Roadblocks to Raise Funds for Victims of Hunting

An Alabama paper, the Gadsden Times, reported the other day that a goose hunter was critically wounded by friendly fire. Apparently the victim and his buddy were both carrying loaded shotguns when his buddy slipped and hit him point blank in the side. 

They followed that article up with news that there would be a roadblock set up to collect donations to help offset the victim’s hospital costs.

My first reaction mirrored that of a Facebook friend who succinctly commented, “Un-fucking-believable.” The nerve of stopping everyone on the highway to ask that they fund a hunter’s recovery from a hunting accident! 

Then the thought came to me: two can play at that game.

I propose we set up road-blocks—everywhere there is hunting going on—to collect funds for the wildlife victims of hunting. Whenever a goose is winged by a shotgun blast, a deer is crippled by an arrow, a bear escapes on three legs from a shoulder wound or an animal is found struggling in a trap, hunters would have to pay for their rehabilitation and return to the wild. 

I guarantee if hunters had to put their money where their mouths are, it would cut down on the prolonged animal suffering inherent in the sport of hunting.

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WDFW fence out wildfire displaced wildlife, call for more hunting

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

(What the WDFW are essentially saying is, ‘Never mind that the deer just went through hell escaping a terrifying catastrophic wildfire, let’s kill them before winter so no human is inconvenienced.):

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

Aug. 7, 2014

Contact: Jim Brown, (509) 754-4624 ext. 219

WDFW assesses habitat affected by wildfires,
helps landowners fence out displaced wildlife
 

OLYMPIA – State wildlife managers are working with Okanogan landowners to protect their crops from deer displaced by area wildfires and are assessing the fires’ damage to wildlife habitat.

In addition to burning hundreds of homes, the Carlton Complex fire has scorched tens of thousands of acres of habitat used by wildlife, including mule deer, wild turkeys and western gray squirrels. The fire, which is still burning in some areas, has damaged 25,000 acres within five wildlife area units managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“A fire of this magnitude will have both short and long-term effects on wildlife populations and the landscape and that will have implications for hunting and grazing in the area,” said Jim Brown, WDFW regional director. “This is not a problem with easy answers.”

The burned area is home to a local mule deer population, which lives there year-round, and supports thousands of migratory deer during the winter. Some of the areas may still provide winter habitat depending on weather throughout this summer and fall.

Even if conditions are ideal, however, there will be too many deer for the area to support this winter and possibly for several years to come, said Scott Fitkin, WDFW district wildlife biologist in Okanogan County.

“We know we need to take steps to reduce the size of the herd,” Fitkin said. “That effort will focus initially on minimizing conflicts between deer and agricultural landowners.”

WDFW is working with local property owners to stop deer from moving into orchards, hay fields and pastures to seek food and cover. The department is helping landowners replace a limited number of fire-damaged fences and seek state and federal emergency funding.

“We expect more issues to arise as migratory deer return to the area this fall, but we are taking steps now to minimize those problems,” said Ellen Heilhecker, WDFW wildlife conflict specialist in Okanogan County.

WDFW likely will increase the number of antlerless deer permits issued this fall and winter, reaching out first to youth and senior hunters and hunters with disabilities. The department will directly contact hunters who already applied for deer permits in the area, so a new application process is unnecessary, Fitkin said.

The agency plans to draw deer and other wildlife away from agricultural lands with feed this summer and fall. WDFW is considering a feeding program for deer this winter.

“Winter feeding is not a long term solution,” Fitkin said. “At best, it’s a stop-gap measure until the deer population and habitat are back in balance.”

Sustained supplemental feeding is neither efficient nor beneficial to wildlife and often creates problems, he said. Feeding concentrates animals, making them more vulnerable to predators, poaching and disease, such as hair slip, which is already a concern for deer in the region. Having so many animals clustered in one area also causes damage to the land and can hinder restoration efforts.

In the winter, deer prefer to eat shrubs and bitterbrush, which WDFW plans to re-seed on department lands within the burned area. However, it will take many years for shrubs and bitterbrush to re-establish in the damaged area. Likewise, western gray squirrel habitat could take several years to recover. In some areas, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir tree stands sustained significant damage.

WDFW will work with other government agencies on restoration activities such as timber salvage and weed control. The agency also has located alternate wildlife units in Okanogan County with suitable forage for emergency livestock grazing. This grazing will be offered to department permit-holders first, then to others if enough land is available.

Like other public land managers, WDFW likely will close roads in some wildlife units due to hazardous trees, said Dale Swedberg, WDFW’s Okanogan lands operations manager. That could reduce access for hunting in the burned areas this fall.

“We’re developing contingency plans in anticipation of what happens during the remainder of the fire season, fall green-up and winter severity,” Swedberg said.

Hunters and others should check WDFW’s wildfire webpage at wdfw.wa.gov/wildfires for updates on conditions and access on WDFW lands. Information on wildlife and restoration efforts in the affected area also can be found on the webpage.

 


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Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: 
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Northern Ireland says ‘NO’ to fox and stag hunting

http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2014/july/northern-ireland-says-no-to-fox-and-stag-hunting

29 July 2014

Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports, are appealing to the animal loving public of Northern Ireland to support their anti-hunting campaign by attending a rally against fox and stag hunting this Saturday 2nd August, from 2pm at the Stormont Buildings.

Stormont Rally 250The Rally which is being held by Noelle Robinson, Green Party Councillor for Bangor Central in partnership with the charity, will highlight that Northern Ireland is now the only region within the UK that has not introduced a complete ban on fox and stag hunting.

In 2002, the introduction of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act made it illegal to hunt a wild mammal with a pack of hounds in Scotland. In 2004, after 80 years of tireless campaigning by the League, England and Wales followed suit and the Hunting Act was passed. Ten years on, there is currently no hunting legislation that exists  in Northern Ireland and as such hunting foxes and stags with dogs, continues to be legal.

The charity have therefore given this campaign priority status and hope they will be able to ensure that this barbaric practice is also made illegal in Northern Ireland.

Janice Watt, Senior Public Affairs Officer in N.I said: “It is vital that we gain the support of both the N.I public and politicians in order to resign this cruel and blood thirsty sport to the history books where it belongs. It is not acceptable in the modern age for any animal to be chased to exhaustion, and then ripped apart whilst still alive. 

“The public were outraged at the leniency shown to dog fighters convicted this year in our courts – but what is the difference between setting dogs on a domestic pet, and setting dogs on a fox or stag? The answer is none. We are urging people to show their support for this campaign by attending the rally at Stormont on Saturday.”

Official figures released this month  revealed more individuals were prosecuted for hunting with dogs last year in England and Wales (2013), than in any other since the 2004 ban came into force. A total of 341 convictions under the Act, make it the most successful piece of wild animal legislation, with one person on average prosecuted under the Act every week, and over two-thirds of these convicted.

Did the Hunters Get your Wolves’ Elk?

In one of Edward Abbey’s many epic books he mentions seeing a bumper sticker on the back of a gas hog, redneck rig that went something like, “Did the coyotes get your deer?” It was an unabashed show of narcissistic entitlement which spelled out just how the driver felt about nature and the need for a diverse ecosystem.

Although his type doubtless have no qualms about supporting factory farming by buying a nightly meal of meat from the local “Western Family” grocery store, when hunting season rolls around they are right there to lay claim to the wildlife as well, in the form of deer, elk, moose or pronghorn.

It don’t mean shit that apex predators such as wolves, cougars, bobcats and coyotes have nothing else to eat and have evolved over eons to live in harmony with their wild prey. Hunters think of themselves as apex predators, decked out in their best Cabella’s camouflage outfit, tearing up the land on their trusty 4-bys or 4-wheelers, hoping a deer steps out in front of them.

But as a faithful reader pointed out this morning, human hunters aren’t apex predators, they’re apex parasites (Homo parasiticus).

Personally, I’d rather “my” deer went to the coyotes and “my” elk went to the wolves, as nature intended.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson. All Rights Reserved

Home detention after fatal hunting accident

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The Southland hunter who shot a fellow deerstalker after mistaking him for a deer earlier this year has been sentenced to seven months home detention, 400 hours of community service and ordered to pay $10,000 to his victim’s partner.

On April 13 Wayne Edgerton from Tuatapere mistook Adam Hill, 25, for a deer and shot him while hunting in the Longwood Forest in Western Southland.

Earlier Edgerton pleaded guilty of reckless use of a firearm causing death.

Several victim impact reports read to the Invercargill District Court yesterday talked about the impact of losing a young man and Edgerton’s stupidity, and they asked that he be imprisoned.

On hearing the sentence delivered by Judge Michael Turner, several people walked from the court muttering their dissatisfaction.

Judge Turner described the incident as Edgerton, a well known local gun safety advocate, as having a momentary lapse of care which had tragic consequences for both families.

Judge Turner ordered Edgerton to pay the victim’s partner, Christine Pink $10,000 for emotional harm and the forfeit of his firearm.

http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/306963/home-detention-after-fatal-hunting-accident

Last year’s Oklahoma’s deer hunting season was the worst this century

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

The Okla. Dept. of Wildlife Conservation released the deer harvest
numbers
for the 2013-14 hunting season. Fewer deer were killed by hunters in Okla.
last season since the 1990s.
A total of 88,000 deer were killed by Okla. hunters last season. This is
almost 20,000 fewer deer than the previous hunting season and almost
25,000 fewer than two years ago.
In the last 15 years, Okla.’s deer harvest normally has exceeded 100,000
and only failing under that no. a total of five times.
Only one other time in the past 15 years has the total been less than
90,000.
That happened in 2004 when the state’s deer harvest was 89,030.
There are several factors that may have contributed to fewer deer being
killed by hunters last season a/w a spokesman for the Okla. Wildlife Dept.
He notes “We have had a drought for quite some time, which has impacted
reproduction.”
In addition to the drought, the weather during Okla.’s busiest deer
hunting
season (the ten day rifle season) was miserable and likely kept more
hunters
at home.
The opening weekend of the rifle season was bitter cold with ice in parts
of the state and the final weekend of the hunting season was also extremely
cold. In between those weekends it was very foggy.
He added “I think a lot of our hunters, they have had success in seasons
past, they were not wanting to get out and fight the weather.”
The state’s big game biologists were not alarmed by a significant dropoff
in just one year. They try not to look at the highs and lows but the
average.
However, if they continue to see a reduced harvest, they need to figure
out what they need to do to change the trend.
The weather models show that the state may be in for a long dry cycle.
If the drought continues and deer reproduction continues to suffer, then
the Wildlife Dept. will have to re-examine the bag limits and season
lengths
for future deer hunting seasons.

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

All of God’s creatures have rights, a fact that most people don’t seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT)

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I learn to respect animals and to respect life?

Hunter: Buy a rifle and get a hunting license. Then hunt the animals down and kill them.

Boy: And that will help me attain a respect for animals and for life?

Hunter: Yes, of course it will, boy. Plus, if you go hunting with your father or your grandfather, then you can really bond with them.

Boy: But couldn’t I bond with them at a baseball game or at an amusement park?

Hunter: I guess so. But then you couldn’t kill anything.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, what happens to some of the deer during the winter?

Hunter: Well, some of the weak ones starve to death. And that’s a very cruel way to die. So – instead – hunters shoot some deer, cut off their heads for trophies, dismember their bodies and eat their flesh in order to save them from the cruelties.

Boy: But, uh, uh, how come hunters never shoot starving deer – only big, healthy ones?

Hunter: Uh, uh, uh, boy. Now you just keep quiet about that.

Boy: And another thing, Wise One, if hunters were really concerned about starving animals, wouldn’t they feed them?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You’re saying that we should be feeding starving deer – instead of killing them? But…

Boy: Is it true, Wise Hunter, that deer-car accidents have more than tripled over the past 30 years?

Hunter: Well, uh, yeah.

Boy: But I thought hunters killed deer in order to reduce the herd so deer-car accidents would decrease.

Hunter: Well, uh, you sure ask a lot of questions, boy.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how come the Department of Natural Resources always promotes the killing of animals?

Hunter: Well, just between you and me, the hunting community and the DNR are allies. You know, real good buddies.

Boy: You mean most of the people who work for the DNR – hunt?

Hunter: Yes, of course, boy. And those fees from the hunting licenses – around 90 percent of that money goes toward the hiring of DNR officers and the marketing of programs to recruit young people, like yourself, into the hunting community.

Boy: What about the commission that oversees the DNR in Michigan?

Hunter: You mean, the Natural Resources Commission?

Boy: Yes, Wise Hunter.

Hunter: Well, uh, eight of the nine commissioners ‘live to hunt and hunt to live!’

Boy: Ohhh. You mean, people who hunt make decisions about the fate of wild animals?

Hunter: Now, now, boy. You just keep that bit of information to yourself.

Boy: Would hunters ever try to conserve some of the land if they couldn’t hunt on it?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You mean, we should just conserve some of the land and some of the animals that live on that land for the heck of it – with no killing. Uh, that would be a pretty kind gesture of humanity.

Boy: I know, Wise Hunter, I know.

Hunter: Well, uhhh…

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I help advance the, uh, sport of hunting?

Hunter: Tell people to have compassion for hunters.

Boy: You mean, tell people to have compassion for those who have no compassion?

Hunter: Yes, boy.

Boy: But, uh, Wise Hunter, these things you say make no sense.

Hunter: I know, boy, I know. But if we say these things enough, the public will eventually believe us and then they will make sense.

Boy: Ohhh!


Watch The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – An extraordinary presentation on veganism by Gary Yourofsky

Elizabeth deer bow hunting plan drawing fire from opponents

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/elizabeth-deer-bow-hunting-plan-drawing-fire-from-opponents

by Russell Haythorn

ELIZABETH, Colo. – The Town of Elizabeth is considering allowing crossbow hunting of deer, but the plan is drawing fire from opponents..

Norma Emerson is a big fan of the deer that roam her yard almost every day. One even gave birth in her backyard last year.

“We love living here because of the wildlife out here,” she said.

Emerson is not a fan of the town’s proposal to thin the herd by allowing a limited bow hunt within town limits.

“I believe it is a very bad plan,” she said.

But town administrators say complaints are on the rise and the deer population is out of control. The animals are causing more crashes, damaging more yards and attracting predatory animals like mountain lions.

If the bow hunt plan moves forward, Town Manager Dick Eason says it will be selective.

“Highly qualified and skilled bow hunters in a very well defined geographic area,” he explained.

“We can work very closely with the town and vet how many, what kind of hunters are in there, what their experience is,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.

Other options under consideration are sterilization and relocating the herd. If the hunting option is selected, it would likely occur during hunting season.

The town says it will likely be May before a final decision is reached.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

New law allows crossbow hunting, but not on LI

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/new-law-allows-crossbow-hunting-but-not-on-li-1.7576666

April 1, 2014 7:32 PM
By DAVID M. SCHWARTZ

John Hargreaves, an archer from Farmingville, practices his

Bow hunters on Long Island will be allowed closer to homes — though not with crossbows — under terms of a new law included in the state budget package.

Bow hunters won’t be able to shoot within 150 feet of buildings, a reduction from the 500 feet that had been on the books, state officials said Tuesday.

The new law gives hunters access to more land, lawmakers and hunters said, and could help to reduce a deer herd that Eastern Long Island residents said has grown too large.



 

“It opens up a lot of areas to hunting that can’t be hunted now,” said Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor). “That’s what my local governments and people were telling me they wanted.”

Property owners must give hunters permission to be on their land.

Wildlife advocates said the change was bad for both deer and humans. “It’s cruel for the deer and dangerous for humans,” said Bill Crain, president of East Hampton Group for Wildlife. He said bow hunting can lead to slow deaths for deer.

“A hundred and fifty feet — that’s awfully close. You could be in somebody’s yard where children are playing,” Crain said.

Hunters and local officials have advocated for easing hunting restrictions to help deal with the herd of 25,000 to 35,000 deer in Suffolk. The population has grown so large that the Long Island Farm Bureau entered into a controversial agreement with sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cull deer in late February.

Cuomo’s proposed budget that he originally submitted included easing the distance restrictions, as well as allowing for crossbows to be used in hunts — which elderly and disabled hunters had sought.

The eventual budget bill allows crossbows to be used upstate, but not in Suffolk or Westchester counties. Deer hunting is not allowed in Nassau County. Thiele said the crossbows weren’t a focus of his efforts, and faced some opposition on Long Island.

Some hunters were disappointed that crossbow hunting won’t be allowed on Long Island.

John Blanco, 68, of Manorville, said he has been too weak to pull back a bow since he began fighting cancer in 1997.

“If you let the senior citizens or disabled people get crossbows,” Blanco said, “there’d be no need for the culling they have going on.”

Crossbows can be easier to cock than bows, which can require more upper body strength.

Allowing crossbows and easing the setback restrictions were recommended in the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Deer Management Plan, released in 2011.

“Archery shots taken at deer are typically discharged either on a horizontal plane or on a downward trajectory,” according to the report.”In these situations, an arrow travels only a short distance before either hitting the target or dropping to the ground.”

In the past 10 years, the report said, “the only reported injuries in New York State related to handling or discharge of bow-hunting equipment were 2 self-inflicted cuts from careless handling of arrows.” The 500 foot restriction on firearm hunting, which is only allowed during limited times in January in Suffolk, are unchanged.

Thiele had introduced a similar bill last year, but the bill did not make it out of the Environmental Conservation Committee, which is chaired by Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst).

“I’m comfortable,” Sweeney said Tuesday. “One hundred and fifty feet is more than adequate to keep people safe.”