Prince Harry sells rifles, quits hunting for Meghan Markle

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PRINCE HARRY

Prince Harry has reportedly sold his prized handmade rifles worth more than $60,000 after he quit hunting out of respect for his actress wife Meghan Markle.

Harry, 35, has unloaded the two weapons — from a British gunmaker Purdey — by selling them to another hunter in a private deal, according to The Sun.

The former royal, who learned to hunt as a child, has not joined his colleagues at recent game shooting events and is believed to have quit hunting altogether due to Markle’s opposition to the practice.

Harry sold the guns five months ago, a friend of the anonymous buyer told the paper.

“He bought them because he wanted them, not because they belonged to Harry,” the friend said. “But he was quite chuffed when he found out.”

Harry went on a wild boar hunt with his friends in Germany while engaged to Meghan in 2017.

In August, it was reported that Meghan may “fake a headache” to avoid a hunt at the Queen’s annual holiday to Balmoral.

The conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, a friend of Markle’s, recently told the Radio Times that Harry would quit shooting animals for sport.

“I think Harry will stop because Meghan doesn’t like hunting,” she said.

Zimbabwe, Botswana vow to push for rights to trade in wildlife products

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi have declared they will continue pushing for the right to trade in wildlife products, saying communities that have done well in conserving wildlife must be allowed to enjoy the benefits of such efforts.

Several Sadc countries have voiced their concern over the restrictive Convention of Trade in Endangered Species’ (CITES) provisions concerning live elephant and rhino trade, ivory and rhino horn trade bans and the contentious listing of the unthreatened giraffe population.

Speaking during the just ended Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC), leaders from the two countries said environmental conservation efforts, including wildlife, would not be fully realised given the restrictive conditions governing global trade in wildlife related products.

President Mnangagwa said wildlife resource rich countries like Zimbabwe and Botswana must be allowed to trade and realise benefits of their conservation efforts.

He commended Botswana and regional sister countries on the preservation and defence of the wildlife economy, whose full dividend has not been realised because of restrictions in wildlife trade.

“Let those who co-exist and help in the preservation of our wildlife enjoy benefits accruing from the effective wildlife management strategies they have adopted. We reiterated our common position of this very sensitive and emotive matter to have exclusive rights to trade in our wildlife products.”

ALSO ON ZIMVOICE:
SB Moyo, several top Govt officials in Botswana

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the regional leadership was on the right direction in terms of environmental conservation and that such efforts need to be supported by enabling wildlife trade rules and regulations.

Last year in May, Botswana hosted the historic Elephant Summit in the Kasane area, which was followed by the Africa Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in June 2019.

“These will indeed go a long way in improving regional advancement for the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation area (Kaza). It will also contribute significantly towards sustainable economic and ecological benefit for local communities and Africa as a whole,” said President Masisi.

Speaking on the same issue, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, said CITES “has done more harm than good” in terms of assisting developing nations on the conservation front.

“In 2019 that fraternal spirit was demonstrated as our two countries joined hands towards a common position at the CITES Cop 18 meeting where our two countries once again called for the review of the 1989 CITES ban on global ivory trade, which has done more harm than good to our elephant conservation efforts,” he said.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission extends wolf hunting and trapping seasons

Posted: 3:03 PM, Feb 20, 2020
Updated: 6:13 AM, Feb 21, 2020

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has approved extensions of hunting and trapping seasons for wolves in Idaho. Under the new regulations many hunting units will be open year round, and new trapping seasons were added.

In addition, snares will now be an option for trappers in unit forty-five northeast of Mountain Home.

Fish and Game recently asked for public comment.

More than 85 percent of respondents from around the U.S. and twenty other countries opposed the plan, mostly because it allows hunting and trapping while wolves are birthing and while cubs are in dens. Opponent generally said there should be no hunting or trapping of wolves in Idaho.

Local sentiment was much more split. 55 percent of respondents from Idaho were in favor of the proposals. Those respondents generally said more should be done to reduce the number of wolves in Idaho

Specifically, the season modifications include:

•Extended the wolf hunting seasons on public land to Aug. 1 – June 30 in Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8A, 9, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, and 14.

•Extended wolf hunting season to July 1 – June 30 on both public and private land in units 38, 40, 41, 42, 46, 47, 53, 54, 55, 56, and 57.

•Extended the wolf hunting season to Aug. 1 – June 30 in Units 19A, 20A, 21, 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, 45, 48, 49, 52, and 52A on both public and private land.

•Extended wolf hunting season to year-round on private land and Aug. 1 – June 30 on public land in Units 66A, 68, 68A, 70, 71, 72, 73, 73A, 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78.

•Extended the wolf hunting season to year-round on private land and Aug. 1 – June 30 on public land in Units 51, 58, 59, 59A, 60, 60A, 61, 62A, 63, 63A, 64, 65, 66, 67, and 69.

•Extended the wolf hunting season on public land to Aug. 1 – June 30 in Units 21A, 30, 30A, 36, and 37A. Wolf hunting seasons will remain year-round on private lands in these units.

•Extended the wolf hunting season to year-round on both private and public land in units with chronic wolf depredations on livestock: Units 15, 18, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 31, 32, 32A, 33, 36A, 36B, 37, 39, 43, 44, 50, and 62.

•Opened a new wolf trapping season on public land Oct 10 – March 31 in units 52, 52A, 53, 63, 63A, 66A, 68, 68A, 70, 71, 72, 73, 73A, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78, but limit wolf trapping to foothold traps only on public land from Oct 10 – Nov 14.

•Modified the wolf trapping season from November 15 – March 31 in Unit 45 to allow the use of snares on public land.

“Fish and Game biologists recently released a new statewide wolf population estimate based on remote camera surveys and other monitoring efforts. The estimate indicates Idaho’s wolf population remains robust through fluctuations of births and mortality over the year with an estimated peak of 1,541 wolves during summer 2019 after the annual birth cycle and about 1,000 wolves at the end of the year,” said Fish and Game spokesman Brian Pearson.

The Commission has increased wolf hunting and trapping seasons for more than a decade in response to livestock depredations and impacts to other big game species. But the 2019 estimate showed the wolf population remains well above the federal recovery criteria of 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs statewide.

“Wolf predation on livestock and other domestic animals remains chronic in certain areas, and would increase if the wolf population expands into southern Idaho. Wolf predation also continues to have a negative effect on elk populations in some back country areas,” Pearson explained.

During the 14-day public comment period, Fish and Game received comments from 27,076 people about the hunting and trapping proposals, of which 5,675 were from Idaho residents. The percentage of support/opposition was fairly consistent throughout the nine individual proposals.

Botswana to start auctions of elephant hunting licences

With unfenced parks and wide-open spaces, Botswana has Africa's largest elephant population with more than 135,000
With unfenced parks and wide-open spaces, Botswana has Africa’s largest elephant population with more than 135,000

 

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-botswana-auctions-elephant-licences.html

Botswana on Friday will hold its first major auction for trophy elephant hunting quotas since controversially scrapping a hunting ban last year, a wildlife official said.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s government in May revoked a moratorium, just a year after he succeeded Ian Khama, an avid environmentalist, who introduced a blanket ban in 2014 to reverse a decline in the population of wild animals.

Masisi fended off criticism of his government’s decision, saying the move would not threaten the elephant population.

The government will issue seven hunting “packages” of 10 elephants each, confined to “controlled hunting areas”, a wildlife spokeswoman Alice Mmolawa told AFP on Thursday.

In a text message, she said hunting would help areas most impacted by “human wildlife conflict,” a reference to elephants roaming off game parks into communities.

The 2020 hunting season is expected to open in April.

Bidding is open to “companies that are either owned by Botswana citizens or are registered in Botswana,” she added.

Bidders must deposit a refundable of 200,000 pula ($18,300) to participate.

The lifting of the hunting ban was praised by local communities but derided by conservationists and ignited tension between the Khama and Masisi.

African elephant
Map of Africa’s elephant populations, with chronology of species protection measures, the ivory trade ban and poaching

Overpopulation

Masisi has defended his decision to end the hunting ban saying Botswana has an overpopulation of elephants, and pledged to regulate the practice.

His predecessor Khama was bitter.

“I have been against hunting because it represents a mentality (of) those who support it, to exploit nature for self interest that has brought about the extinction of many species worldwide,” he told AFP in a phone interview.

He said allowing commercial hunting could “demotivate those who are engaged in anti poaching, who are being told to save elephants from poachers but the regime is poaching the same elephant and calling it hunting”.

Audrey Delsink, Africa’s wildlife director for the global conservation lobby charity Humane Society International said “the Botswanan elephant hunting auctions are deeply concerning and questionable”.

“Hunting is not an effective long-term human-elephant mitigation tool or population control method,” she said.

Neil Fitt, who heads Kalahari Conservation Society in Botswana, views hunting as a new source of revenue for the country, but cautioned it has to be practised “ethically and properly”.

With unfenced parks and wide-open spaces, Botswana has the world’s largest elephant population with more than 135,000 animals—about a third of the African continent’s total.

Most of the animals are in the Chobe National Park, an important tourist draw.

But the marauding elephants invade villages located near wildlife reserves, knocking down fences, destroying crops, and at times killing people.

Botswana cancels hunters’ licences for killing elephant

Collared elephant
Image captionBotswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting earlier this year (file photo)

Botswana has cancelled the licences of two professional hunters who shot dead a research elephant.

Michael Lee Potter and Kevin Sharp had voluntarily surrendered their hunting licences, a government statement said.

Botswana lifted a ban on elephant hunting in May, citing growing conflict between humans and the animals.

However the elephant, which was shot last month, had been collared – giving it protected status as a research elephant.

The number of elephants in Botswana is estimated to be about 130,000.

In a statement on Saturday night, the government said: “The period of the surrender of Mr Potter’s license is indefinite while Mr Sharp’s license will be surrendered for a period of three years with immediate effect.”

It did not provide information about the nationality of the two men. Neither of the men were available for comment.

The two men have also been ordered to replace the elephant’s destroyed collar, the government said.

It is not clear how the elephant’s collar was damaged.

According to an earlier government statement, the hunters said they had not seen the collar because “the elephant was in a full-frontal position”.

“Once the animal was down, they realised it had a collar on it placed for research purposes.”

However, Neil Fitt from the Kalahari Conservation Society questioned this, telling AFP that elephant collars are “extremely large”.

Meanwhile, Reuters news agency reported that the two men had destroyed the collar in an attempt to hide the evidence.

Media captionHow would re-introducing elephant hunting affect communities and the economy in Botswana?

Last June Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi set up a committee to review the hunting ban imposed by his predecessor Ian Khama in 2014.

In February, the committee recommended allowing hunting again.

Officials said the move was driven by increase in human and wildlife conflict.

Elephants can be very destructive when they encroach onto farmland and move though villages – destroying crops and sometimes killing people.

Most of the country’s elephants live in the country’s northern region, roaming across borders into Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There are some 415,000 elephants in Africa, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with the population having been decimated largely due to poaching for ivory.

Think climate change is the polar bear’s greatest threat? Think again

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This week on Now You Know, Kathryn Sussman talks with author & conservationist Morten Jorgensen about polar bears – the charismatic icons that exemplify global warming for humans around the world. Part of this month’s topic on Canadian animals in danger, Jorgensen discusses the main threats facing polar bears in the wild and provides an understanding of what we are doing wrong and where we, as Canadians, are failing to protect this threatened yet iconic species.In this jaw-dropping interview, Jorgensen explains how all risks to wild polar bear populations are human-posed. While global warming is the best-known, according to Jorgensen, the most dangerous is in fact overhunting.

Polar bears have evolved in a pristine and isolated ice-age environment. Now beset by habitat reduction and food shortages, both caused by rising temperatures, they also face less obvious challenges including the introduction of new pathogens and the arrival of invasive species from warmer climates. Add to that the constant depletion of the oceans by overfishing and hunting of marine mammals, such as seals and walruses that polar bears traditionally live off, and polar bears who already live at “the top of the world” in Morten’s words, have nowhere to go.

In his book Polar Bears on the Edge, Jorgensen provides evidence of what is generally unknown – nearly 1000 polar bears are shot annually, or an average of 3 bears shot every day. Jorgensen explains that the 1972 agreement among all 5 polar bear nations was meant to protect polar bears by banning commercial and non-indigenous hunting, allowing only traditional indigenous hunting. However, according to him, various people who have a vested interest in the hunt, be it politicians, managers, scientists, lobbyists, community leaders, and even NGOs, have used that agreement to actually continue and even escalate the hunt ever since.

Illegal poaching is still a reality everywhere in the Arctic, even in the 2 countries where legal hunting is forbidden (Russia and Norway). Yet, out of the 3 nations still legally allowing the polar bear hunt (Canada, Alaska, Denmark/Greenland), Canada is the only one selling online auctions and trophy hunts to non indigenous peoples. It is also the only country that continues to export polar bear parts to the rest of the world. Jorgensen explains that the vast majority of polar bear killings are still commercialized even when the hunt is performed by members of indigenous communities – the means used to track and kill bears are not traditional and the purpose is commercial in nature.

“While almost everybody for some time has been crying that global warming must be stopped in order to save the polar bear, or conversely, if we don’t stop global warming then polar bears will suffer, in all of that, hardly anybody ever mentions the fact that we are on a global scale hunting the polar bear to an extent which actually by itself will drive the species towards extinction.” – Morten Jorgensen.

Now you know!

Be part of the change!

  • Before deciding whether to donate to an organization or not – ask them if they support hunting polar bears.
  • Participate in discussions and share your knowledge to educate your network on the effect polar bear hunting has on their survival as a species.
  • Ask questions and confront scientists, NGOs, politicians and hunters – let them know that hunting polar bears is an added pressure – on top of climate change – to their survival.
  • Ask your Members of Parliament (MP) to initiate an international agreement for the protection of polar bears which incorporates a moratorium on hunting polar bears.
  • Ask your MP to up-list polar bears from Appendix II of CITES to Appendix I. This would stop all international trade in polar bear parts.
  • Help us spread the word by sharing this podcast in your network!

Learn more

Big money and controversy surround Western trophy hunts

Wealthy hunters pay top dollar for desired hunts, padding Fish and Game budgets and prodding resistance.

High-dollar trophy hunting contributes to species recovery efforts, but most people in the U.S. don’t approve of the practice.
Helen H. Richardson/ Denver Post via Getty Images

Eight days after he killed an elk nicknamed “Bullwinkle” in a hayfield east of Ellensburg, Washington, Tod Reichert had some explaining to do. Again.

Over at least two decades, the southwest Washington business owner spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying the exclusive hunting licenses he used to kill more than 100 elk. His license for the Ellensburg hunt, a “governor’s tag” auctioned to fund elk-related conservation efforts by state wildlife managers, cost him $50,000.

On that hunt in the waning days of fall 2015, Reichert had hoped to stay out of the spotlight and quietly kill a trophy elk. But the bull Reichert shot — in an area the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife had closed to hunting — was something of a local pet. Neighbors were incensed that Bullwinkle was gone and questioned the fairness and legality of the hunt. Hunters unable to shell out for pricey hunting tags feared Reichert would kill a second gigantic elk before they could shoot one themselves.

Reichert’s hunt laid bare the economics undergirding wildlife management across the West. State wildlife agencies are largely funded by taxes and fees tied to hunting and fishing, most of which don’t amount to much for ordinary hunters and anglers. But trophy hunters willing to spend big to hunt exactly when, where and what they want demonstrate what happens when that system is taken to its extreme. While the revenue high-dollar trophy hunting generates pays for recovery efforts that help game species flourish, it also binds wildlife managers to a style of hunting that most Americans, and even many hunters, find distasteful.

THE FEE-BASED FRAMEWORK supporting America’s state wildlife agencies stems from historic wildlife mismanagement. By the late 1890s, wanton slaughter by recreational hunters — coupled with commercial hunting for valuable meats and hides, often aimed at culling species sustaining Native peoples — had devastated North American ecosystems. Hunter and angler dollars were tapped to launch a wildlife management scheme that allowed some species, particularly game species, to rebound. The system persists today: About 59% of the $5.6 billion spent annually by state wildlife departments comes from fees and taxes paid by hunters and anglers.

About three decades ago, agencies began issuing special hunting tags that turn a handful of hunts into revenue engines. Some tags are sold at auctions conducted for species-specific hunter organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which sold Reichert his tag. The organizations then return 75% to 90% of the revenue to the states to fund management of those species. Other tags are sold in raffles that often see a single hunter spend upwards of $10,000 buying hundreds of tickets for a coveted tag.

The high-dollar tags fight a receding tide of revenue as the popularity of hunting fades. The number of Americans who hunt fell 16% between 2011 and 2016, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, leaving state wildlife agencies increasingly dependent on trophy hunters willing to shell out. Thirteen big-spending hunters, for example, provided 10% of the revenue California collected selling 184,020 big game tags in 2018. Bighorn sheep permits issued everywhere from British Columbia to New Mexico regularly run into the six figures.

For 25 years, Washington has relied on revenue from auctioning or raffling off hunting tags for bighorn sheep, deer, elk, moose and mountain goat. While hunting opportunities abound in the state, hunters seeking permission to kill choice species in choice spaces — bighorn sheep most famously, but mountain goats, moose and large deer as well — must rely on either dumb luck or deep pockets. In 2018, nine high-cost hunting permits auctioned on Washington’s behalf and 14 unlimited-entry raffles contributed $847,000 to the department’s $15.4 million wildlife management budget. Washington issues just two permits in the state’s premier hunt, bighorn sheep. One is awarded by a lottery that saw 6,734 tickets sold in 2018 at $11.50 each; the other is auctioned off, often for over $100,000.

“It’s basically a way to gain revenue from that species to manage it. There’s really not anything biological that goes into it.”

General hunting seasons change the makeup of an animal population and can endanger its viability if not properly managed. But so few exclusive tags are issued that the deaths of those particular animals have a negligible impact on the health of a herd, said Anis Aoude, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife game division manager. “It’s basically a way to gain revenue from that species to manage it,” he said. “There’s really not anything biological that goes into it.”

Because state wildlife management efforts prioritize game species — the source of most of their funding — they tend to overlook creatures that aren’t hunted or fished. Wildlife managers stress, however, that the species that do receive their attention do well in part because of the revenue generated by auctions and unrestricted raffles. Many species that wildlife viewers regard as part of the natural environment thrive mainly because of extensive management that includes painstaking tracking and counting of bighorn sheep by helicopter and the airborne reintroduction of mountain goats to areas where they were hunted out decades ago. “There are people that are challenging the notion of hunting. That it has no value, has no modern relevance,” said Keith Balfourd of the Boone and Crockett Club, a hunters’ organization based in Missoula, Montana. “A lot of that is based on the belief that wildlife exists today because it’s nature. … None of that is reality anymore.”

Trophy-hunting dollars help pay for high-profile recoveries in Western states. In Montana, record-setting bidding wars for bighorn tags underwrote a recovery effort that has helped the sheep rebound, Balfourd said. Similarly, Rocky Mountain elk had been wiped out in Washington until they were reintroduced in the 1930s as a game species. Since then, revenue from tag auctions has helped protect thousands of acres of elk habitat in Washington, including a 4,486-acre migration corridor west of Yakima that was moved into state ownership in August. 

STILL, A WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM supported by trophy hunting is an awkward fit for a country that increasingly sees the practice as objectionable: Just a third of U.S. residents approve of it, according to a 2019 Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies survey. And it’s hard for those outside the hunting community to join in discussions about the practice, said Chelsea Batavia, an Oregon State University ecological ethicist who studies trophy hunting. The lines between hunting for food, culture or trophy blur as hunters’ motivations don’t cleanly fit in a single box. A hunter interested in feeding their family may display an animal’s antlers; those hunting for trophies may give the meat to their guides to share with their communities.

When hunting practices are questioned, Batavia said, hunters tend to point to their self-prescribed ethical codes, which restrict the use of technology and require hunters to engage in “fair chase” practices that give their quarry a chance to escape. “That mentality doesn’t leave a lot of space to consider that we need to reform,” Batavia said. “I think that’s a defense mechanism, because they feel like something they love is at risk.”

To Batavia, the trophy hunting that props up wildlife management systems in North America and around the world evokes the enduring legacy of colonial expansion. Heads and antlers taken by trophy hunters, she said, testify to a desire to dominate nature. “We’re treating them like they’re these objects that we can defile and defame,” Batavia said.

Hunters tend to offer a different complaint about the high-dollar tags — their exclusivity. Hunters seeking permission to hunt highly restricted species like bighorn sheep, Balfourd said, can wait “a lifetime” to win the state wildlife management lottery. “A lot of hunters are playing in that system,” he said. “Governor’s tags are one way to circumvent that process, if you will, and that rubs guys the wrong way.”

Idaho stands apart in the West, auctioning only a single bighorn sheep tag. Roger Phillips of Idaho Fish and Game said state leaders have opted to uphold “a long tradition of keeping Idaho’s big game tags equally accessible to all hunters.”

Tod Reichert, left, with Bullwinkle, the celebrity elk that he killed on a trophy hunting tag.
Lower Kittitas County District Court

OUTRAGE AND RESENTMENT often follow when trophy tag holders gain attention. Reichert, who died in 2018, stirred scandal with a 2007 elk hunt involving a helicopter spotter that saw him convicted of lying to wildlife officers. The spotlight again found him when he shot Bullwinkle. That he killed the neighborhood elk in a hayfield closed to hunting prompted Kittitas County prosecutors to charge him with a misdemeanor violation of state hunting regulations; the charge was later dismissed on a technicality.

Calls poured in to game managers in the days after the shooting. One of those callers was Chris Keller, a hunter who lives in Cle Elum, Washington. It didn’t seem right to him that Reichert, who had a second exclusive tag and was preparing to shoot another elk, had bought permission to shoot two trophy bulls during a single season. Reflecting recently on that contentious season, Keller suggested that Reichert’s mistake, beyond violating state hunting rules, was flaunting his special status.

Bullwinkle could often be found in the scrubby hills northeast of Ellensburg, Keller said. Had Reichert killed the elk there, the wider public would’ve remained unaware of his hunt and the system of exclusive, expensive permits that made it possible. “It was bad PR,” Keller said. “That bull didn’t just live out on the farmer’s field year-round. He had a huge herd of cows up in the hills, on public lands.

“If it had happened up in the hills, no one would’ve cared.”  

Nothing stops this hunter: Wheelchair, arm and leg braces. He gets his 10-point buck

2019 crossbow bucks of Upstate NY

Nick Furano with his 10-point buck. “It’s not easy being disabled since birth and trying to find a way out into the woods after watching this buck on camera since Oct. 14,” he wrote on Facebook ” i finally made it happen this morning at 10 a.m.”

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SENECA FALLS, N.Y. — Nick Furano is determined to not let his disability get in the way of his love of deer hunting – or any outdoors pursuit for that matter.

He shot a 10-point buck Nov. 2, opening day of the crossbow season in the Southern Zone. He did it from a home-made tree stand his father, Marty Furano, built for him out of an old, wooden playground set on the family’s land in Seneca Falls. It was a 30-yard shot, he said.

He uses a wheelchair and has leg and arm braces that enable him to walk short distances – including up the steps into the tree stand.

“It’s my biggest buck to date,” Furano said of the 10-pointer, crediting his Dad with instilling in him a love for hunting when he was teen. He said he’s been using a crossbow for years, adding he didn’t feel confident of delivering a lethal arrow on target with a compound bow. He also hunts with a shotgun during the gun season.

“I tried a compound bow, but felt it was a risky situation (for me). Wounding and not recovering a deer is the worst (and last) thing I wanted to do,” he said.

2019 crossbow bucks of Upstate NY

The home-made tree stand out of which that Nick Furano shot a 10-point buck with a crossbow. His father made it out of an old wooden playground set.

Furano said he got early Nov. 2 and headed out to the tree stand by himself in a four-wheeler. He was up, sitting in the stand shortly after 5:30 a.m.

After sitting a couple of hours, he spotted a buck – an 8-pointer.

“He didn’t want to give me a shot. I thought, ‘Oh well, they’re moving,’ ” he said.

Shortly before 10 a.m., he heard “something crunching the leaves behind me.”

Sure enough, he said, it was a big buck he had been following on trail camera since early October. The deer came within five yards, but Furano said he didn’t have an angle to get off a shot.

The buck then walked away some 20 yards – and then another 10. Still, Furano said he didn’t feel confident that he had a good shot.

“He was on to something (likely the scent of a doe), so I just grunted once at him,” he said. The buck turned and Furano fired.

The deer went a short distance and dropped. Furano then called his father, who came out and helped him field dress the deer. He said the deer has since been taken to a Rochester area taxidermist who’s going to make a shoulder mount.

He stressed he doesn’t see his disability as any deterrent to do what he loves – and would like to see others with disabilities get out more in the outdoors.

“You just have to make accommodations,” he said.

Legal and illegal trade negatively impacting survival and wellbeing of Africa’s wildlife: Report

Raffle offers deer hunt with ‘modern-day Teddy Roosevelt’ Donald Trump Jr.

A sports hunting advocacy group is offering the chance to hunt deer with Donald Trump Jr., whom the group calls a “modern-day Teddy Roosevelt.”

For $10 per raffle ticket, people can purchase the chance to win a three-day Pennsylvania trip to hunt whitetail deer with President Trump‘s oldest son.

“You will have to go a long way to find a bigger advocate for our hunting lifestyle, a more passionate hunter and conservationist than Don, Jr. The opportunity to share a hunting camp with him is truly priceless,” writes Hunter Nation, the group operating the raffle.

Applicants have until Oct. 15 to buy tickets. The hunt is planned for December, according to the group’s website.

Trump Jr. has long been an advocate for U.S. hunting as well as big game trophy hunting, having in the past posed in pictures next to safari kills.

This is at least the second time Hunter Nation has raffled off the chance to spend time hunting with Trump Jr., in what appears to be a working relationship between the advocacy group and the younger Trump. The group in February raffled off a five day elk hunting trip with Trump Jr. in Utah.

Hunter Nation did not immediately return a request for comment.

Trump Jr. is an executive vice president with the Trump Organization who also works extensively on his father’s 2020 campaign. It was reported that he played an integral part in the hiring of former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who himself was a member of the congressional sportsmen foundation and a vocal hunting advocate.

It is unclear how the proceeds from the sweepstakes are shared between Trump Jr. and Hunter Nation, which says it works toward land conservation and legislative action.

“Hunter Nation is committed to support laws and policies that restore as much land and wildlife management authority back to State Fish and Game Agencies,” the group writes on its website.

Keith Mark, one of the co-founders of Hunter Nation, also sits on the Interior Department’s International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC), an advisory board established under Zinke to advise the secretary on “efforts to increase awareness of the conservation and economic benefits of United States citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting,” according to its charter.

The IWCC has since its inception come under fire for its makeup of a largely pro-hunting team made up of representatives from major groups including the Safari Club, the National Rifle Association and Conservation Force.