Idaho Marmot-Killing Contest a Transference of Victimhood

While it’s too bad about Hannah losing her battle with cancer 6 years ago, why do hundreds of innocent yellow-bellied marmots (ignorantly referred to as “rock chucks”) have to pay with their lives for four years afterwards? The event already includes a motorcycle run, a walk/run and an auction, so why kill marmots at all? Hasn’t there been enough death?

http://magicvalley.com/news/local/rock-chuck-derby-in-bliss-raises/article_bc6fd825-24e7-5d5d-ac25-d3028b9e9b92.html

Rock Chuck Derby in Bliss Raises $300,000

April 27, 2013

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BLISS • Holding the lifeless rock chuck by the tail, Jeff Huber dumped the bundle of fur into a five-gallon bucket, put it on a scale and waited for the results.

Huber was hoping for a high number, but the weight failed short of the 16.8 pound world record.

“It’s OK, I’ll just go out again for another one,” he said. “It’s a three-day event. I have time to get a bigger one.”

Huber was one of the 300 hunters registered in the sixth annual Hannah Bates Memorial Rock Chuck Derby.

The event includes a motorcycle run, a walk/run and auction, but the main goal is to shoot the biggest rock chuck and bring it back to the saloon where it can be weighed by judges. The winner will be announced Sunday and will receive a gun as a prize.

Hunters gather from all over the nation to participate, said Sandee Bates, Hannah’s mom.

The derby became dedicated in Hannah’s honor after the 20-year-old lost her battle with cancer in 2008. Ever since, the event raised more than $300,000, Bates said.

The money has gone to school athletic programs, local nonprofits and children’s cancer support groups.

“Every year it amazes me how many people show up to show their support,” Bates said. “People are so generous every year.”

As the event continues to grow, more people get to learn Hannah’s story and leave knowing they are supporting a good cause, said Carol Wood, one of the event planners and who knew Hannah.

“A little bit of Hannah touches of them,” she said.

Huber said in years past, he normally just participates in the motorcycle ride. This year, he and his son, Kameron McGarity, 14, decided to try hunting.

“We’ll be back,” he said. “We can get a bigger one.”

Rockchuck Derby Starts In:
24 days
23
:
28
:

http://rockchuckderby.com/

RULES AND REGULATIONS

Five Day Hunt: Wednesday, May 14 – Sunday, May 18, 2014
Location: Outlaws & Angels

Registration Locations:
- Outlaws & Angels – Bliss, Idaho
- Cal’s Log Tavern** – Twin Falls, Idaho
- TJ’s Lounge** – Buhl, Idaho
*Registration at these locations ends May 10

Registration Fee:
Adults $30
Youth $20 14 and under

Winner Classes:
Adults: Top 5
Youth: Top 5
Archery: Top 3
Muzzleloader: Top 3

Weigh In Times:
Wednesday, May 14: 2PM – 7PM
Thursday, May 15: 2PM – 7PM
Friday, May 16: 2PM – 7PM
Saturday, May 17: 2PM – 7PM
Sunday, May 18: 10AM – 1PM

All State of Idaho Hunting Regulations will apply and hunters must have a valid hunting license, or hunter education number.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Wednesday, May 14
Kickoff
Registration: 10AM – 10PM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Jam Kitty 8PM

Thursday, May 15
Registration: 10AM – 10PM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Jam Kitty 8PM

Friday, May 16
Registration: 10AM – NOON *last day of registration
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Dirty Johnny 8PM

Saturday, May 17
BIKER APPRECIATION DAY
BLOODING MARY MORNING 10AM – 1AM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 2PM – 7PM
Band: Dirty Johnny 8PM
Free Chili: 4PM – 7PM

Sunday, May 18
BLOODING MARY MORNING 10AM – 1AM
Rock Chuck Weigh In: 10AM – 1PM
Free BBQ: 2PM
AWARD CEREMONY: 4PM

Rally to Save California Wolves, Wildlife Set for Wednesday in Ventura

copyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/wolf-04-14-2014.html

Event Precedes State Fish and Game Commission Meeting

VENTURA, Calif.— Dozens of local residents and activists from the Center for Biological Diversity and allies will rally Wednesday morning in Ventura to voice their support for protecting gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act and for banning all wildlife-killing contests in California. Both issues are on the agenda for the California Fish and Game Commission meeting that will take place in Ventura later that morning.

And on Tuesday night, the Center’s Amaroq Weiss, one of the nation’s leading wolf conservation advocates, who has been at the forefront of wolf recovery efforts in the United States for the past 17 years, will give a public presentation on wolf conservation in California and beyond.

Wednesday, April 16 Rally:

WHAT: Citizens, including members of the Center for Biological Diversity, will rally on the sidewalk in front of the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel to send a loud message to the California Fish and Game Commission that Californians support full protections for wolves under the California Endangered Species Act and support banning all wildlife-killing contests in the state.

WHEN: 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., Wednesday, April 16 (Note: The public hearing starts 15 minutes after the rally ends, at 8:30 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel.)

WHERE: The sidewalk in front of the main entrance to the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel, at 450 E. Harbor Boulevard in Ventura.

VISUALS and INTERVIEWS: Attendees will hoist posters and banners with messages in support of full state protections for wolves and banning wildlife-killing contests. Speakers (also available for interviews) will include Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity; Keli Hendricks, a California rancher who supports coexisting with native predators; Camilla Fox and Grant McComb, executive director and youth outreach coordinator for Project Coyote; Damon Nagami, senior attorney with the National Resources Defense Council; and Jim Hines, conservation chair for the Sierra Club – Los Padres Chapter.

Wolf Presentation, April 15:

WHAT: Biologist and former attorney Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity, will give a presentation about wolves and wolf conservation challenges.

WHEN: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 15

WHERE: City Corps Building, 77 N. California St., Ventura

The public and media are welcome to attend.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

2014 NY State Animal Rights Lobby Day

Please join us and help us promote our
2014 NY State Animal Rights Lobby Day

1)If you have not yet done so, please register now to attend.
(see link below)

2)Forward the attached e-flier to other lists on which there are
New York State Animal Rights activists.

3) Distribute the paper flier to other activist wherever activists gather (meetings, rallies, health-food stores etc.)

  On 2014 NY State Animal Rights Lobby Day we will meet with your
New York State Legislators in Albany to help these three bills
become enacted into law in this 2014 session
New York State Legislators in Albany to help these three bills
become enacted into law in this 2014 session

 

Ban Shooting Contest Prohibit Devocalization Prohibit Extreme Confinement of Farmed Animals
 

The sponsoring organizations for this event are:

LOHV-NY      The League of Humane Voters of New York
FOA      Friends of Animals
IDA      In Defense of Animals

On lobby day we will have an orientation and organize into lobbying teams in the Terrace Lounge (street level) of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Albany from 10:45 am to 12:00 noon.

We will then lobby from 12:30  to 3:30.

There will be a bus from New York City to Albany and back ($20 roundtrip)

There is no charge for registration

Please Register Now to Attend

After you register for the event
you  will be given an opportunity to buy a bus ticket on-line or by mail

and

be given directions to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) by car or public transportation

Please crosspost this announcement by email and facebook

 

 

Please join us for this special Lobby Day on May 6th. Meet with your
New York State Legislators in Albany to help these three bills
become enacted into law in this 2014 session

Please Forward!!!

 
     
 

 

   
   
   

It’s Crow-Killing Time in Upstate New York, and Elsewhere

By ANDREW C. REVKINcrow poster
March 27, 2014

It’s crow-killing time in upstate New York this weekend, and in many places around the country this spring. My friend Suzie Gilbert, a bird rehabilitator and writer (read “Flyaway”), has written a blog post criticizing this form of recreation. [Update, March 28 | She's added a followup piece that has valuable new elements.]

Here’s an excerpt from Gilbert’s post with a link to the rest, followed by the reaction I was able to elicit via Facebook from the Rip Van Winkle Rod & Gun Club, which has organized the weekend “Crow Down” in Palenville, N.Y.:

I am not anti-hunting. I won’t pick a fight with hunters, as long as they eat what they shoot and don’t use lead ammunition. However, I will pick a fight with the Rip Van Winkle Rod and Gun Club in Palenville, New York, which is sponsoring their fourth annual “Crow Down” March 29-30, 2014.

The “Crow Down” is a “hunting contest” where both adults and children slaughter as many crows as they possibly can in two days. Why do they do this? Look at the Maryland-based website Crow Busters, although I warn you you’ll need a strong stomach for the photographs. Here is a direct (and unedited) quote:

“… keep in mind the main reason why experienced crow hunters got into the sport in the first place, Fun. Plain old fashioned Fun.”

Some people think it’s just plain fun to kill enormous numbers of animals and pile up their bodies, and when there’s no “bag limit” it’s legal to do so….

Outlawing these contests is within the purview of state government, not the Department of Environmental Conservation. New York Senators Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and Tony Avella (D-Queens) have co-sponsored a bill (#S.4074) which would make it unlawful for “any person to organize, conduct, promote or participate in any contest or competition where the objective of such contest or competition is to take the greatest number of wildlife.” I urge everyone concerned about the concept of mass slaughter in this day and age – especially when it’s being taught to children – to contact them and express support for this bill, which would protect not only crows, but all the unfairly maligned species that have been targeted for hundreds of years. Groups across the country, including Project Coyote in California, are fighting similar battles.

[Read the rest.] http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/its-crow-killing-time-in-upstate-new-york-and-elsewhere/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=1

Help Ban Wildlife Killing Contests in CA

http://www.projectcoyote.org/action/actionbancontestsca.html

“A society that condones unlimited killing of wildlife for fun and prizes is morally bankrupt.”  ~ Dave Parsons, Project Coyote Science Advisory Board

Dear Friend of Wildlife,

We need your help to prohibit wildlife killing contests in California! At the request of Project Coyote, the California Fish & Game Commission voted unanimously on February 5th to consider a statewide ban on wildlife killing contests. Project Coyote representatives made the case for a ban, after which newly elected Commission Vice President Jack Baylis put forth the motion to move forward on a formal rule-making process to consider prohibiting wildlife-killing contests statewide. Commission President Michael Sutton supported the motion stating, “I’ve been concerned about these killing contests for some time. They seem inconsistent both with ethical standards of hunting and our current understanding of the important role predators play in ecosystems.” Read more here and in the articles in the sidebar. Watch our video:
Wildlife Killing contest Video Play Button Still

As a result of the Commission’s vote, a formal rule-making process will commence and the issue will be agendized at the April 16th Fish and Game Commission meeting in Ventura; public testimonies will be heard before the Commission votes on whether to permanently ban wildlife killing contests statewide (the vote on the proposed ban will not take place until June or August).

Now is the time to write- email or snail mail- favoring the ban! (please see talking points below).
Contact:
California Fish and Game Commission P.O. Box 944209 Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 fgc@fgc.ca.gov

Please cc your letters to California Department of Fish & Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham at director@wildlife.ca.gov and to Project Coyote at info@projectcoyote.org  as we are tracking the letters sent.

Join us in Ventura on the 16th to express your support before the Commission. Details/agenda will be posted here.
Please also sign our Change.org petition on this issue here.

MM
Wildlife killing contests are ethically indefensible events allowing participants to kill wildlife to win prizes. They are ecologically reckless, not only harming individual animals, but also altering predator-prey dynamics, disrupting the social dynamics of predatory species, and increasing threats to public safety, all for fun and prizes. They have no beneficial management purpose but, rather, promote gratuitous violence against wildlife. They demean the immense ecological and economic value of predators in an ecosystem while teaching children to hate and trivialize the lives of predators.

Additional talking Points (please personalize your letter):

1. Commend the California Fish and Game Commission and the Wildlife Resources Committee for prioritizing the issue of modernizing predator conservation and stewardship statewide. California has the opportunity to set the trend for the nation by moving this great state toward more responsible, science-based, and ethical wildlife stewardship. These regulations and policies should reflect current science, conservation biology, and the ecological principles of ecosystem-based management as well as proven coexistence practices which will yield better outcomes for wildlife and people. The first logical step toward this goal is to end those practices that violate these standards; we must outlaw wildlife killing contests.
2. Wildlife killing contests, “derbies” and “drives” are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes and, simply, for the “fun” of killing. Such thrill kill events perpetuate the wanton waste of wildlife. Prizes and awards are given to those who kill the most individuals and the largest (and sometimes the most females). This is not about sport or fair-chase; predators are often baited and lured in with distress calls of wounded young placing wildlife at an even greater and unfair disadvantage.
3. No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests control problem animals or serve any beneficial management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (that is hunted, trapped, or controlled by other means) form stable “extended family” social structures that naturally limit coyote populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and greater pup survival.

4. The importance of predators in maintaining order, stability, and productivity in ecosystems has been documented in scientific literature. Coyotes and other native carnivores provide myriad ecosystem services that benefit humans; these include control of rodents and rabbits which compete with domestic livestock for forage and which are associated with plague and lyme disease.   5.  Wildlife killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.   6.  Wildlife killing contests put non-target animals, companion animals, and people at risk.

********** Thank you for speaking up for wildlife!

A Big Deal Out of Nothing?

As most of you know, this blog, as a rule, does not allow comments from self-proclaimed wildlife killers or their apologists, for the same reason a victim’s rights group might have a policy not to approve comments from abusers of vulnerable human victims. However, once in a while I post a hunter’s comment if it gives us particular insight into how their minds work.

According to the following comment to the post “High School Class Sponsoring Crow Hunting Tournament,” crows, coyotes, deer, hogs and ducks are “nothing,” but domesticated chickens may have some value…

“I think you are all making a big deal of out of nothing. I grew up in Sasakwa, I graduated from Sasakwa, and I hunt deer, ducks, and hogs. I don’t see why crows or coyotes are any different. My family lives in the country and we have animals. Coyotes will come and kill our chickens if we don’t keep an eye out for them.

“And we are not ruthless killers. Many kids and adults in Sasakwa have taken Hunter Safety Courses and hunt. Just because our community puts a hunting event together doesn’t mean there will be a big school shooting.”

Well, that’s what the shooters from Columbine would have said. Granted, not every bully becomes a serial killer, but the shooting of crows or coyotes for the sake of a sporting event is abusive in its own right. The contest-killing of sentient beings may not qualify as mass murder according to the laws of the day, but it’s certainly not “nothing.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, except where noted

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, except where noted

The Animals Support Gun Control

On the way up to the mountains to ski some of the seven plus feet of snow which fell during the past week, I passed a car with a bumper sticker that read: “The Animals Support Gun Control.” That brings up an issue you almost never hear about, ironically enough, after someone brings a hunting rifle to school and tries to peck off every kid or teacher they can get a bead on.elk-000-home17300

Oh, you hear about gun control, that’s a given, but almost never in the context of how they’re used against non-human animals—for sport or savagery—in contest kills, often geared especially for young people, as if to tempt the next mass-murderer out of hiding and onto the playground for some real fun and games.

You can’t expect grade-schoolers to understand the subtle difference between a sacred human life and those of other animals they’ve been trained to kill—before they could even develop a conscience—by their proud parents, who use their kids’ eagerness to please and to play follow the leader against them, in hopes of recruiting a life-time hunting partner.

The disturbing trend among states to lower the legal hunting age, practically to infancy, suggests the word “Columbine” evokes only the image of a pretty flower to them. Meanwhile, hunters in states like Idaho are actively luring young children to try their luck in coyote or wolf killing derbies to further degrade the value of life that movies and video games have already taught them to disregard a thousand times over. The town of Holley, New York, just held another appalling example of state-sanctioned sadism in the form of an animal-kill contest they dubbed the “squirrel slam.” “Sporting” events like the so-called “squirrel slam” are an embarrassment that only adds to the global perception that this is an inherently violent country.

Not to be outdone, the Oklahoma “game” department just announced that the senior class of Sasakwa High is sponsoring a crow-killing contest, set for the end of this month—complete with prize money for whoever murders the most crows. It’s a spectacle sure to inspire the next killer-in-waiting to turn their semi-automatic on their fellow classmates.

These kinds of hunting events beg the obvious question: how can kids be expected to know the difference between officially sanctioned animal cruelty and acts of cruelty they come up with on their own?

So if you feel your Second Amendment rights are withering away at the mere mention of gun control, relax that death-grip on your rifle for a moment and consider what the animals would have to say about the issue, if only we allowed them a voice.

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Protestors of Squirrel Slam say hunting contest ‘is a crime against nature’

By Tom Rivers, editor 19 February 2014

HOLLEY – Edita Birnkrant doesn’t want to take away anyone’s Second Amendment rights. But she does want to make shooting animals illegal when it’s part of a fund-raiser.

Birnkrant is director of Friends of Animals in New York. She will be in Holley on Saturday for the 8th annual Squirrel Slam. She may be joined by hundreds of FOA supporters from several states.

“We share the landscape with wildlife,” Birnkrant said by phone this afternoon from New York City. “I see this as a crime against nature.”

Friends of Animals plans a peaceful protest near the Holley Firehall from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Birnkrant was in Holley last year for the Squirrel Slam and she said some of the hunters taunted her with dead squirrels, holding them out towards her as they passed by for the weigh station at the firehall.

Police have told Birnkrant the Friends of Animals will be separated from the hunters on Saturday. Police don’t want the hunters walking through a pack of protestors.

This year’s event has the added dimension of the New York Revolution, a group that formed last year after the state passed the controversial gun control measure known as the SAFE Act. The group is expected to be in Holley on Saturday, showing its support for the Second Amendment.

Birnkrant said she doesn’t want to infringe on the Second Amendment.

“We’re not trying to take guns away,” she said. “We think wildlife killing contests should be unlawful. As a society we have to evolve from this.”

The Holley event isn’t the only fund-raiser where participants hunt wildlife. Other events target crows and coyotes. But Birnkrant said Holley’s Squirrel Slam is unusual because it has a fire department as its sponsor and
welcomes children as young as 12 to participate.

Participants bring up to five squirrels to the weigh station and prizes go to the heaviest cumulative entry. The event on Saturday, despite little advertising, quickly was a sellout and capped at 650 participants.

The Squirrel Slam generates about $6,500 in revenue for the Fire Department. After it pays out $1,500 for prizes, $500 for food and $440 to Holley for police overtime, Fire Department President Fran Gaylord said the event nets about $4,000.

Friends of Animals plans to present a petition to village and fire department officials, asking that the event be cancelled in the future. Friends has offered to make up the fund-raising loss for the fire department, Birnkrant said.

Bills in both the State Assembly and Senate call for banning wildlife hunting contests. That doesn’t include fishing derbies. Birnkrant said that her goal is to stop the contests that call for killing of land animals. She
doesn’t see the contests as hunting in the traditional sense.

“Most people would be horrified by a dog or cat killing contest because they are pets,” Birnkrant said. “I’m horrified by a squirrel killing contest. They feel pain.”

Friends of Animals is actually against all hunting, but the group’s immediate goal is to see state legislation approved to ban wildlife hunting contests.

Birnkrant said her group hopes to show its opposition to the Holley event on Saturday, and doesn’t want to get into any confrontations with supporters of the Squirrel Slam.

“I would hope it would be pretty uneventful,” she said.

Holley police expects to have at least five officers on duty Saturday afternoon with additional support from the Albion Police Department and New York State Police.

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

Photo copyright Jim Robertson

High School Class Sponsoring Crow Hunting Tournament…

…and other weekly hunting news from Oklahoma.

The senior class of Sasakwa High is sponsoring a crow hunting tournament
on March 1st. [Watch for the next big school shooting to happen there, sometime after March 1st.]

[Crow] “hunters” can register for the tournament as individuals or
three
person teams.
The deadline to enter is Feb. 17th. The cost is $20 per person. The
first
place will pay 35 percent of the entry fees. The second place will be
awarded
15 percent.

The Okla. Station Chapter of the Safari Club International is holding its
29th
annual convention banquet and fundraiser on March 1st at the Okla.
Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
In 2010 and 2012, the chapter’s banquet program won best-in-class among
all the organization’s chapters across the world.
The 2014 banquet will feature much more. This includes more than
$500,000
worth of auction items such as big-game hunts around the world, bird hunts,
fishing trips, guns, gear, jewelry, sculptures and more.
Auction items can be viewed on line and the tickets are $75 in advance or
$95 at the door

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

.

Okla. is now debating whether to hunt a young deer buck or shoot a trophy
deer. Now, deer associations and landowners work together to manage
deer and other wildlife on their properties, with a common goal, such as
protecting young bucks and increasing the buck age structure.
A bill has been introduced in the Okla. House of Representatives that
proposes a 6-point antler restriction on bucks for hunters ages 17 or
older.
This is an attempt to protect young bucks. They can’t grow into trophy
bucks if they keep getting killed as yearlings.
Other states have similar restrictions. However, some wildlife officials
don’t think it would work in Okla.
Because so many deer hunters voluntarily do not kill young deer, wildlife
officials believe that the trend in Okla. is that more hunters keep passing
on young bucks.
One official notes “Hunters are better educated, and they are more
selective about what they harvest.”
Four of the top five states that had the lowest percentage of yearling
bucks
harvested were states that did not have any antler regulation.
Depending on which side of the deer management debate often depends
on whether you primarily hunt for meat or hunt for horns.
The Okla. Wildlife Dept. tries to please both groups thru liberal hunting
seasons and Deer Management Assistance Programs for landowner
interested in managing for bigger bucks.