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.”

Buck Fever

Robert Scheer/The Star

This is X-Factor, an Indiana deer that in his prime was worth an estimated $1 million.

His value as a stud comes not from research and not from the quality of his venison. Instead, his value is in those freakish antlers, the product of more than three decades of selective breeding.

In less than 40 years, a relatively small group of farmers has created something the world has never seen before — a billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer that are trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for the trophies.

An Indianapolis Star investigation has discovered the industry costs taxpayers millions of dollars, compromises long-standing wildlife laws, endangers wild deer and undermines the government’s multibillion-dollar effort to protect livestock and the food supply.

To feed the burgeoning captive-deer industry, breeders are shipping an unprecedented number of deer and elk across state lines. With them go the diseases they carry. Captive-deer facilities have spread tuberculosis to cattle and are suspected in the spread of deadly foreign deer lice in the West. More important, The Star’s investigation uncovered compelling circumstantial evidence that the industry also has helped accelerate the spread of chronic wasting disease, an always-fatal deer disease similar to mad cow. CWD now has been found in 22 states.

CWD’s spread roughly coincides with the captive-deer industry’s growth. In half of the states where CWD was found, it first appeared in a commercial deer operation. Officials in Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Canada think captive deer or elk introduced the disease to the wild.

So far, government programs have failed to halt CWD’s spread, largely because there is no reliable way to test live animals for the disease. So infected deer may be shipped into disease-free states, where they can infect other animals, captive or wild. The Star’s investigation uncovered examples of deer escaping from farms, shoddy record keeping and meager penalties for those caught breaking the rules, which further undermine state and federal efforts to contain the disease. Plus, in less than a decade, more than a dozen people have been charged with smuggling live deer across state lines.

More: http://www.indystar.com/longform/news/investigations/2014/03/27/buck-fever-intro/6865031/

 

Who Should Read Exposing the Big Game?

Imagine you’re a hunter and you just bought a copy of Exposing the Big Game to add to your collection of books and magazines featuring photos of prize bull elk, beefy bison and scary bears (the kind of animals you objectify and fantasize about one day hanging in your trophy room full of severed heads). This one also includes pictures of “lesser” creatures like prairie dogs and coyotes you find plain ol’ fun to trap or shoot at.

You don’t normally read these books (you’re too busy drooling over the four-legged eye candy to be bothered), but for some reason this one’s burning a hole in your coffee table. So you take a deep breath and summon up the courage to contemplate the text and its meaning. Several of the words are big and beyond you, and you wish you had a dictionary, but eventually you begin to figure out that Exposing the Big Game is more than just a bunch of exposed film featuring the wild animals you think of as “game.”

This book actually has a message and the message is: hunting sucks!

You don’t want to believe it—the notion that animals are individuals rather than resources goes against everything you’ve ever accepted as truth. But reading on, you learn about the lives of those you’ve always conveniently depersonalized. Finally it starts to dawn on you that animals, such as those gazing up at you from these pages, are fellow earthlings with thoughts and feelings of their own. By the time you’ve finished the third chapter your mind is made up to value them for who they are, not what they are. Now your life is changed forever!

Suddenly you’re enlightened and, like the Grinch, your tiny heart grows three sizes that day. The war is over and you realize that the animals were never the enemy after all. You spring up from the sofa, march over to the gun cabinet and grab your rifles, shotguns, traps, bows and arrows. Hauling the whole cache out to the chopping block, you smash the armaments to bits with your splitting maul. Next, you gather up your ammo, orange vest and camouflage outfits and dump ‘em down the outhouse hole.

Returning to the book, you now face the animals with a clearer conscience, vowing never to harm them again. You’re determined to educate your hunter friends with your newfound revelations and rush out to buy them all copies of Exposing the Big Game for Christmas…

Or suppose you are a non-hunter, which, considering the national average and the fact that the percentage of hunters is dropping daily, is more than likely. Avid hunters comprise less than 5 percent of Americans, while you non-hunters make up approximately 90 percent, and altruistically avid anti-hunters represent an additional 5 percent of the population. For you, this book will shed new light on the evils of sport hunting, incite outrage and spark a firm resolve to help counter these atrocities.

And if you’re one of the magnanimous 5 percent—to whom this book is dedicated—who have devoted your very existence to advocating for justice by challenging society’s pervasive double standard regarding the value of human versus nonhuman life, the photos of animals at peace in the wild will provide a much needed break from the stress and sadness that living with your eyes open can sometimes bring on. As a special treat cooked up just for your enjoyment, a steaming cauldron of scalding satire ladled lavishly about will serve as chik’n soup for your anti-hunter’s soul.

So, who should read Exposing the Big Game? Any hunter who hasn’t smashed his weapons with a splitting maul…or any non-hunter who isn’t yet comfortable taking a stand as an anti-hunter. The rest of you can sit back and enjoy the pretty pictures.

______________________________________________________________

The preceding was an excerpt from the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport.

front-cover-low-res6

“Kill ‘Em All Boyz” Are “Ethical Hunters” Once Again

Ever since a friend sent me an article from back in 2006 about the poaching ring4cbfbced5cc75_image who gave themselves the narcissistic name the “Kill ‘Em All Boyz,” I’ve been wondering when they would be back in the Washington state “game” department’s good graces and be allowed to hunt again.

I found the answer in an October 20, 2008 article by the Daily Astorian entitled “Tip alerted WDFW officials to poaching gang” which reported that Micky Ray Gordon, ringleader of the “Kill ‘Em All Boyz” (who pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree animal cruelty, illegal hunting with hounds, second-degree criminal trespass and third-degree malicious mischief and was sentenced in ‘08 to 13 months in prison, following a seven-month undercover investigation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) would be eligible to purchase a hunting license again after only five years of suspension.

The other poachers were given even more lenient sentences, with even shorter
suspensions before they could hunt again. According to the article, “Brian Hall, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal trespass, third-degree malicious mischief and second-degree hunting with dogs. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines, and will not be eligible to purchase a hunting license for two years. Adam Lee, 21, pleaded guilty to hunting with a suspended license and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and $1,850 in fines. And Joseph Dills, 23, pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, ranging from second-degree big-game hunting to using bait to hunt for bear. His total penalties amounted to 65 days in jail and $2,050 in fines.” At their press time, “Dills [was] pending trial in Lewis County on charges of committing other hunting violations.”

The article also states that this “case has provoked outrage among the hunting community in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon, in part because of the nature of the crimes but also because Gordon and his gang were initially referred to as “hunters” and not “poachers.” That sentiment was echoed by a comment I received earlier today from a hunter who piously stated, “Please remember. These are poachers, not to be confused with legal, ethical, ‘pay for conservation’ hunters.”

Well, they can go out and buy a hunting license now, just as legally as anyone. Does that make them different people? Are they “ethical” hunters again now that they’re
1800308_664612120267816_1839536551_nallowed to re-up their annual hunting licenses and bear, elk, deer, cougar,
bobcat, etc., etc. tags? How do these former poachers’ mindsets differ from the
average hunters? Is it just a matter of how many they killed at one time; or
the fact that they were not playing fair by the law-abiding hunters?

Poachers or not, it’s all ends the same for the animals they killed.

________________________
Anyone who witnesses a wildlife violation call WDFW’s toll-free Poaching Hotline at (877) 933-9847

If You Love Wolves, Love Elk and Hate Hunting

Wolf advocates have known for a long time now that ranching is the nemesis of all things natural and wild, and that if you want to help the wolves, boycott beef, leather, wool, lamb and mutton. But lately hunters like those in the Idaho trophy elk hunting industry have been out to prove that they are a wolf’s gravest threat.

Not only do certain Idahoans want to run wolves out of lands cleared for ranching, they want to eliminate them from the wilderness as well.

They see public lands, such as the Lolo National Forest and the Frank Church wilderness area, as private breeding grounds for elk specimens they love to kill, and they’re not willing to share those specimens with the likes of wolves.

Some wolf lovers respond with hatred for the cows and sheep themselves, and disregard for deer and elk. But wolves need elk and deer to survive, therefore wolf lovers should also be elk and deer lovers and wilderness advocates. Ultimately, a true wolf lover is not only anti-cattle and sheep ranching, but also anti-deer, moose, caribou and elk hunting.

Wolf advocates who are indifferent to ungulates and accepting of hunting and ranching will never see an end to wolf hunting or “control.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson