Shut Off That TV, It’s a Beautiful Day Out

While most Americans were glued to their TV sets, cheering or shouting at their favorite410557751_d3027a6344 overpaid players in the Super Bowl–refusing to budge during the manipulative, high-tech commercials except to urinate or grab another beer, I was outside enjoying the unseasonably warm day (and secretly praying for snow).

On our daily walk to the river, my wife and I and our dog “Honey” were treated first to the sight of a pair of ravens driving an eagle out of the area. The eagle must have inadvertently flown over the ravens’ former and future nesting site, and they wanted to make it clear that though they weren’t guarding any eggs just yet, that forested hillside was off-limits until further notice.

In addition to the usual mergansers and herons fishing the river, we saw a seal stick his head above the waterline to get his bearings. Seals are a fairly rare sight here on this tidal tributary of the Columbia, twenty miles upstream from the ocean, but no doubt the winter smelt run was making his efforts worthwhile.

Next, upwards of a thousand cackling Canada geese, in four or five formations of a few hundred or so apiece, crossed loudly overhead. Uninterested in fish, they were instead searching for greener pastures and a safe place to bed for the evening.

These are just a few of the wonders going on while humans are spending their valuable yet limited time on this Earth with their ball game.

Text and Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Text and Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

The Guns of Mid-Winter

When I wrote my book, Exposing the Big Game, its subtitle, Living Targets of a Dying Sport, was appropriate. But like so many things in this rapidly changing world, by the time the book came out, that subtitle was becoming obsolete. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, the sport of blasting birds, murdering deer, culling coyotes and plunking at prairie dogs—in a word, hunting—is seeing a seemingly inexplicable resurgence.

Lately we’re seeing longer hunting seasons on everything from elk to geese to wolves, with more new or expanded “specialty” hunts like archery, crossbow, spear (and probably soon, poison blow gun) in states across the country, than at any time in recent memory. Meanwhile, more Americans are taking up arms against the animals and wearing so much camo—the full-time fashion statement of the cruel and unusual—that it’s starting to look ordinary and even, yuppified.

So, when did cruel become the new cool and evil the new everyday? Are the recruiting efforts of the Safari Club and the NRA finally striking a cord? Did the staged “reality” show “Survivor” lead to the absurdly popular thespian cable spin-offs like, “Call of the Wildman,” “Duck Dynasty” and a nasty host of others? Is “art” imitating life, or is life imitating “art?” Did the author of the Time Magazine article, “America’s Pest Problem: It’s Time to Cull the Herd,” ratchet up the call for even more animal extermination?

Whatever the reason, I don’t remember ever hearing so many shotguns and rifles blasting away during the last week of January. By the sound of the gunfire, coupled with the unseasonably dry and warm weather here in the Pacific Northwest, you’d swear it was early autumn.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

TRUE cost of the season’s must have fur-trimmed Canada Goose coat

‘Chilling cruelty, unspeakable suffering and corporate denial’:  the TRUE cost of the season’s must have fur-trimmed Canada Goose coat

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2544075/Revealed-Chilling-cruelty-unspeakable-suffering-corporate-denial-Is-TRUE-cost-seasons-Canada-Goose-coat.html#ixzz2rYM0Ypqk

By Laura Collins  23 January 2014

They have made America their new frontier, forging into the US clothing market to become one of the season’s most recognisable brands with sales of Canada Goose outerwear expected to top $30million this year alone.

In a high profile year in the States, Kate Upton has appeared on the front of Sports Illustrated in one of their fur trimmed, down jackets and nothing much else.

It isn’t the only firm to market such coats, yet Canada Goose has rapidly established itself as the label of choice for the well-known and the well-heeled braving the frigid weather blown in on the polar vortex.

But today MailOnline can reveal that allegations of chilling cruelty and unspeakable animal suffering have been repeatedly levelled at this family business turned multimillion dollar concern.

Scroll down for video

The real cost of a $600 coat: Campaigners claim the coyotes that are trapped and skinned for their fur to trim the hoods of Canada Goose coats can be in pain for days. It is unclear whether these images are from Canada Goose trappers but the firm does use the same leg holds

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The real cost of a $600 coat: Campaigners claim the coyotes that are trapped and skinned for their fur to trim the hoods of Canada Goose coats can be in pain for days. It is unclear whether these images are from Canada Goose trappers but the firm does use the same leg holds

 

Exhausted, alone and all out of fight, this Coyote awaits its inevitable fate having been caught in a trap by its right hind leg

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Exhausted, alone and all out of fight, this Coyote awaits its inevitable fate having been caught in a trap by its right hind leg

 

According to animal rights activists, behind every fur trimmed hood and down stuffed coat is a brutal reality of Coyotes trapped and left to suffer in the wilderness.

Many of today’s ethically aware consumers would never dream of buying a full length fur. But in an  odd quirk of the current trend for this style of garment those same shoppers pull on a coyote trimmed coat without a moment’s concern for the origins of that little flurry of fur.

Lindsay Rajt, Director of Campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said:  ‘Canada Goose uses exclusively Coyote fur on the trim of their coats and those animals are trapped in a way that is just inherently cruel.’

As a company founded and grown in Canada, Canada Goose makes much of their support of North Canadian communities in which, their publicity states, Coyote trapping has been ‘a way of life for hundreds of years.’

According to a spokesperson for the firm: ‘The trapping of fur-bearing animals is strictly regulated by the provincial and territorial wildlife departments in Canada.

‘We purchase coyote furs from certified Canadian trappers, never from fur farms or endangered animals.

Kate Upton going 'Polar Bare' on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2013 Swimsuit edition, wearing a smile, a white Canada Goose parka and not much else

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Kate Upton going ‘Polar Bare’ on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2013 Swimsuit edition, wearing a smile, a white Canada Goose parka and not much else

 

 

But PETA has dismissed the standards as ‘window dressing.’

Mr Rajt said: ‘The company’s reference to  AIHTS standards is meaningless and a way of placating and  silencing people with valid concerns.

‘Leg hold traps are still legal in  Canada. Mother animals will chew off their limbs in order to get back to their young. The trapped animal might be there for days before the  trapper comes and finds them, they are frightened and starving and in  pain during that time. And then they’re bludgeoned or strangled to death or shot.’

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Coyotes trapped for their fur

              

A trapped Coyote howls in pain, its right forepaw held tight in the jaws of a leg hold trap - legal under the AIHTS but cruel according to PETA

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A trapped Coyote howls in pain, its right forepaw held tight in the jaws of a leg hold trap – legal under the AIHTS but cruel according to PETA

 

Trapped Coyotes can struggle to get free for days until the hunter returns to check his traps. Mother animals separated from their young attempt to chew off their own limbs in a bid for freedom

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Trapped Coyotes can struggle to get free for days until the hunter returns to check his traps. Mother animals separated from their young attempt to chew off their own limbs in a bid for freedom

 

Ms Rajt revealed that PETA is this week appealing to Canada Goose to abandon their use of fur in favour of synthetic alternatives and to dump their use of real down stuffing.

She said: ‘PETA is reaching out to Canada Goose to urge the company to switch to innovative, synthetic fur like their top competitor Helly Hansen, which has been fur-free for many years.

‘Additionally, we are asking that Canada Goose dump down and opt for revolutionary synthetic technology like the one recently developed by The North Face – Thermoball, which mimics down but offers superior versality.’

Ms Rajt claimed: ‘We have been trying to meet with this company, we’ve been trying to engage with them since 2006.

‘The CEO originally agreed to meet with us in 2008 to discuss trapping  policies and methods but just never confirmed that meeting and then  failed to make himself available to any of our follow ups.

‘It is a challenging company for us to work with.’

Meg Ryan pictured last month in New York's West Village. Canada Goose's concerted effort to win the US market has seen it become a celebrity brand of choice

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Meg Ryan pictured last month in New York’s West Village. Canada Goose’s concerted effort to win the US market has seen it become a celebrity brand of choice

 

Andrew Garfield and girlfriend Emma Stone in their Canada Goose parkas on a shopping trip in New York

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Andrew Garfield and girlfriend Emma Stone in their Canada Goose parkas on a shopping trip in New York

 

Actress Clare Danes wearing her Canada Goose parka with its distinctive Coyote trim while braving the New York chill

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Actress Clare Danes wearing her Canada Goose parka with its distinctive Coyote trim while braving the New York chill

 

But according to a spokesperson for the company: ‘We’ve corresponded with PETA on numerous occasions and it quickly became evident that they were not interested in a constructive conversation.’

Canada Goose was founded in 1957 and has enjoyed remarkable success and rapid growth across the past decade when it started marketing it’s ‘truly Canadian’ ethos to Europe.

 ‘We’ve been trying to engage with this company since 2006…It is a challenging company for us to work with,’
PETA Director of Campaigns, Lindsay Rajt, on Canada Goose’s refusal to meet

Today the company employs more than 1000 people and sells its products in more than 50 countries across the world.

It continues to manufacture its coats in Toronto and Winnipeg but recently opened its first US Headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Last year it became the official sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival and US Equity firm, Bain, recently bought a majority stake in the hitherto entirely Canadian enterprise.

Canada Goose defend their practices

              

Real fur real suffering: Canada Goose President Dani Reese flanked by his company's distinctive outerwear. He says the company uses Coyote fur 'because it works'

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Real fur real suffering: Canada Goose President Dani Reese flanked by his company’s distinctive outerwear. He says the company uses Coyote fur ‘because it works’

 

The extreme weather outerwear is manufactured in Toronto and Winnipeg though US Equity firm, Bain, now owns a majority stakehold

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The extreme weather outerwear is manufactured in Toronto and Winnipeg though US Equity firm, Bain, now owns a majority stakehold

 

Founded in 1957 the family company Canada Goose now employs more than 1000 people and sells its garments in more than 50 countries

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Founded in 1957 the family company Canada Goose now employs more than 1000 people and sells its garments in more than 50 countries

 

Canada Goose President Danni Reiss is very clear in his assessment of the importance of the US market to his brand. He said, ‘The States is a market with one of the greatest potentials in the world. The US is growing faster than the overall company.’

Speaking in a corporate video Mr Reiss explained: ‘We use Coyote fur for a number of reasons. Number one, Coyote fur works – it’s functional, it provides warmth around the face in a way no synthetic fabric can. It does that in the coldest places on earth and it is important to realise that sometimes urban centres and cities can feel like the coldest places on earth.’

Coyote fur doesn’t freeze, doesn’t hold moisture, retains heat and is biodegradable.

Ms Rajt dismissed the necessity of real fur saying: ‘They actually do have some faux fur trim products and there’s a market for that. There’s no reason why they couldn’t switch completely.’

A spokesperson for Canada Goose said: ‘We understand PETA’s concerns and we respect the right of people to choose not to wear fur, however, we know PETA does not respect our ethical, responsible use of fur so further conversation won’t be productive.’

But Ms Rajt insisted: ‘I just don’t believe that  half the people wearing these coats understand what’s really involved in the making of them. And I just don’t believe that they would make that  same choice if it was an informed one.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2544075/Revealed-Chilling-cruelty-unspeakable-suffering-corporate-denial-Is-TRUE-cost-seasons-Canada-Goose-coat.html#ixzz2rYL8KOiR Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Duck Dynasty guns? Yep, but will new product line actually revive hunting?

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / January 3, 2014

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Just about everyone in America now knows that Phil Robertson and the “Duck Dynasty” clan are a rare breed, indeed. But even as the bayou-based reality TV family has morphed into a marketing and cultural commodity – note its new line of Mossberg shotguns and rifles – there’s another angle to ponder: Until now, hunters like Phil Robertson had actually been disappearing from America’s duck-dotted wetlands.

“Duck Dyasty,” a show about a band of self-described rednecks and their kin straddling the gulf between rural values and fabulous wealth – built to a TV viewership crescendo this past summer, during its fourth season. It captured even broader attention more recently when Mr. Robertson, the clan patriarch, became embroiled in a corporate spat with A&E executives over his views, expressed to a GQ reporter, that homosexuality is a sin like bestiality, and that homosexuals are akin to drunkards and terrorists.

The Robertsons’ subsequent decision to break away from their TV licensing to sign the Mossberg shotgun deal independently – not to mention the multitude of TV and newspaper stories about the “Dynasty” clan’s red-state attitudes and values – speaks to what some call redneck commoditization. That’s an appeal to primarily white Southern fundamentalist Christians that has translated into financial (some $450 million in merchandise sold in less than two years), as well as cultural and political, payoff.

More: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2014/0103/Duck-Dynasty-guns-Yep-but-will-new-product-line-actually-revive-hunting

Also see: http://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/duck-dynastys-evil-is-spreading/

And: http://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/im-not-one-of-those-duck-dynasty-douchebags/?relatedposts_exclude=4210

Duck Dynasty’s Evil is Spreading

Some folks may be wondering why we let ourselves get worked up over a stupid faux “reality” TV show like Duck Dynasty; what harm are they doing by showing their hairy mugs for money and attention (and a lot of both). Well, I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it: their idiocy seems to be catching.

In all the years I’ve lived by this waterfowl wintering area, people have been respectful of the No Hunting Access sign. Now you find spent shotgun shells along the road overlooking the bay–a sure sign that bozo Robertson wanna-bes are shooting out at ducks who take refuge in the calm waters there.

And just today a boat full of duck hunters motored their boat through a flock of 100

—Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

—Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013

trumpeter swans, driving them across the river to an island infested with hunters shooting from their duck blinds.

It only takes a few boneheads to ruin it for everyone–especially if they have their own TV show.

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MT Sentators Host “Sportsmen’s” Town Hall

Bitterroot Valley legislators to host sportsmen’s town hall on regulation changes

HAMILTON – Two Ravalli County state senators will host a sportsmen’s town hall meeting this week on proposed changes to hunting in the Bitterroot Valley.

The meeting will be held at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, and Sen. Scott Boulanger, R-Darby, will host the event.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow sportsmen to offer ideas, comments and concerns about proposed changes to the local hunting regulations, including requiring all hunters to obtain an unlimited permit to hunt elk in three of the four districts in the valley.

Other topics will include the youth cow elk season, whitetail doe seasons, hunting district boundary changes, anti-trapping initiatives and wolves.

Guest speakers include Keith Kubista of the Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, who will address the anti-trapping ballot initiative.

Safari Club Regional Representative Jon Wemple will talk about the loss of elk hunting opportunity under the

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

proposed valleywide permit system.

……Meanwhile in Oklahoma……

local OKC hunting news:

Oklahoma deer hunters have a final opportunity to take firearm into the woods
when the 10-day holiday antlerless gun season opens Saturday in most
of the state.
Deer taken during the antlerless season are not included in the hunter’s combined season limit.
Okla. state wildlife officials encourage a high doe harvest to reduce overpopulation and improve buck-doe ratio for a more healthy deer herd.

Archery deer season continues thru Jan. 15th statewide.

The Washita National Wildlife Refuge, which is located west of Butler, Okla., still has duck blinds available for three midweek hunts this season.
This refuge offers some of the best goose hunting in the state.
All the weekend dates have been filled. However, the midweek hunts are still available.

Thanksgiving Celebration—Eat Lots, Drink Lots, Respect Little, Care Less

It’s a special morning of a special day, but out in migratory bird habitat there’s a massacre going on. Though nearly every family across the country has a turkey thawing out in preparation for a gluttonous banquet a little later in the day,

Text and Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

recreational meat-pursuers are ringing in the season by blasting away into flocks of wintering geese to make up for the fact that their sacrificial bird-of-the-day came from a grocery store.

Never mind that the poor being was raised in a windowless barn, crowded-in with so many other turkeys that their wings wither away to virtual stumps of appendages, their natural coloration was bred out of them anyway.

Can’t afford your own tormented Thanksgiving turkey this year? Not to worry, chances are some abattoir has donated hundredsDSC_0277 of frozen carcasses to your local food bank, in hopes of promoting their own animal industry. Here on the coast, turkeys were donated by a thriving seafood “processing” plant.

Non-human life has very little value in today’s world. Heck, a Montana wolf hunter can go out and mow down a loyal dog walking practically at her beloved master’s side and not face any legal consequences. The value of mass-produced birds is measured by the pound. No charge for their stark white feathers; they come off the body easily and can fetch a penny or so a pound at the pillow factory.

But the mighty hunters out in the tidelands currently shooting up a storm won’t be satisfied until they kill something themselves. There’s nothing like a hands-on blood bath to get you in the mood for a feast, I guess. Some folks haven’t come far from Plymouth Rock; at least they phased out witch burnings.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Early hunting season to begin for wood ducks, teal

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Canada geese are currently being hunted in Tenn.

The Associated Press, September 9, 2013

Early hunting season for wood ducks and teal begins this week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Early hunting season for wood ducks and teal begins this week.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the season runs from Saturday to Sept. 18 with a daily bag limit of four, not to exceed two wood ducks.

Hunters must have a valid state hunting license in their possession as well as a Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit.

Hunters aged 16 and older also must have a Federal Duck Stamp.

The early hunting season for Canada geese began Sept. 1. It continues through Sept. 15 with a daily bag limit of five.

More information on Tennessee’s waterfowl season can be found on the TWRA website at http://www.tnwildlife.org under the “for hunters” section.

Information on the 2013-14 late waterfowl seasons will be available in late September.

Oklahoma Gears Up For Hunting Geese; Doves and Squirrels “in Season” Now

OKC Saturday hunting news:

The Washita National Wildlife Refuge near Butler, Okla. and on the upper
end of Foss Reservoir is now accepting applications for blinds for goose
hunting for the upcoming hunting seasons.

There will be ten blinds on the edges of wheat fields available to
hunters. On six Wednesday hunts, blinds will be filled by reservation only on a
first-call, first -served basis that week. Applicants must be 18 years or older.The refuge has been offering goose hunts since 1982 and is one of the premier public waterfowl hunts in Oklahoma.
Last season, 223 hunters bagged 271 geese during the refuge hunts. The
bag limit for geese has increased this year.

The refuge manager states “Washita continues to be a prime goose-hunting
destination and offers some of the most economical hunting in the state.
With a peak population near 100,000 most years, true water fowlers are
sure to get a thrill whether or not they take home their limit.”

Okla.’s annual free hunting days on Sept. 7th thru the 8th. Dove and
squirrel are in season those days.

[They gotta always have something to shoot at, don't they?]

Photo by Jim Robertson

Photo by Jim Robertson

 

Welcome to “What the Fuck Week”

What the fuck’s going on with humans’ cruel and sadistic treatment of animals these days? Has the world of man gone completely mad?

If you have the feeling there’s a kind of quickening—an acceleration of human evil—happening lately, you’re not alone. I’ve noticed it for a while now. From Sears carrying “I love wolf hunting” T-shirts to the Wildlife Services round up and gassing Canada geese, so many bizarre, shocking and downright malevolent deeds have come to light in the past few days that I hereby declare this “What the Fuck Week.” (WTFW will run from now until further notice.)

Early last evening the warm autumn air brought out a hatch of flying termites. Clumsy in flight, they lose their wings shortly after finding a suitable log or house to bore into. An entire industry was built around trying to exterminate them, when nature has long held the key to termite control—namely, bats. And last night there were more bats circling the house than I’ve seen all summer. Bats big and small were out in force, dodging each other to get to their temporarily-winged prey.

Much has come to light in recent years about the benefits of bats as managers of mosquitos and other undesirables.

But just today in my inbox I received the following petition about an absurd and sadistic reality show that caused me to let out a “What the Fuck?!” loud enough to rattle the termites out of their burrows:

                              ………..

The Discovery Channel: Stop showing videos of Bear Grylls mutilating, killing and eating innocent animals

This petition will be delivered to: Chairman, Discovery Communications, LLC, John S. Hendricks


 

In a clip from Man vs Wild (formerly on The Discovery Channel) Bear Grylls used smoke to flush bats from a cave and then struck the fleeing, terrified animals with a makeshift club and stomped on them with what seemed to be glee, jokingly referring to it as “bat tennis.”

Yes, this actually happened, and it is not an isolated incident. Aside from bats, Bear has killed alligators, monitor lizards, capybaras and even boas. None of these animals are killed in anywhere near a humane manner; they are simply beaten to death for the amusement of the viewing public.

 
This can’t be overstated enough: for those who care about animals, the videos available online showing his frequent atrocities are very, very difficult to watch.  If you seek them out to see for yourself, please be aware of this.

In replying to email complaints about the show, The Discovery Channel defended itself by saying that Bear was imparting valuable survival information and, unbelievably, that it was his Bear’s “style!” Such “stylistic” concerns as applied to people comprises much of the notoriety of serial killers.  As for the conveyance of vital survival tips, opting to beat, kill and eat whatever animals are near is very clearly a rash and inadvisable course of action. Real survival experts – the ones who actually survive in the wilderness rather than preen their sad macho survivalist fantasies on television – say that pretty much everything Bear Grylls does or says to do will get you killed. There is no worthwhile information whatsoever that can only be conveyed by filming oneself killing innocent, healthy animals, and terrorizing and bludgeoning sleeping bats right at their doorstep.  

Let us not forget that Bear Grylls was exposed for staying in hotels overnight while filming a show that falsely portrayed him as embattled by harsh wilderness.

Profiting from the utterly pointless killing of these bats – and all animals – is unilaterally unacceptable, and while the show may now be cancelled, Discovery still has the video and others like it up for viewing on their website, meaning that they as well as Bear are still profiting from engineering, perpetrating and showing the deaths of these innocent animals to audiences worldwide. 

Please contact those responsible for fouling our televisions with his presence. Please also feel free to join the Bear Barbaric Bear Grylls Facebook page to voice your opinion: https://www.facebook.com/BoycottBarbaricBearGrylls

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