Poachers kill more than wolves do, Idaho officials say

[Enough said? Now, how many do trophy hunters kill compared to wolves?]

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

>But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action. “Holy buckets, we would be setting budgets aside,” Cummings said. “We would develop a group to figure out what it was and we would develop a plan to deal with it, but we won’t even talk about what impact this has on wildlife.”<

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/apr/19/poachers-kill-more-than-wolves-do-idaho-officials/

LEWISTON – Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say.

Officials told the Lewiston Tribune that last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer, the newspaper reported Friday.

Officials say a realistic detection rate is 5 percent, meaning poachers are likely killing about 600 elk, 80 moose, 260 mule deer and 1,000 whitetail annually.

“It’s real easy for people to blow a gasket about wolf predation,” said Idaho Fish and Game District Conservation Officer George Fischer. “They are very passionate about it, they are very irate about it and they are livid about it. Yet there is a two-legged wolf out there that is probably killing as many or more than wolves. Wolves are causing an impact, there is no doubt about it; I don’t want to downplay that at all, but two-legged wolves are probably killing more or stealing more game than wolves. That is the shock-and-awe message.”

Barry Cummings, an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer, said many people don’t report wildlife crimes because they don’t consider it a crime against them. The fine in Idaho for illegally killing an elk is $750, while the fine for illegally killing a moose is $10,000.

But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action.

Mark Hill, a senior conservation officer for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston, said it’s not completely clear why people who are aware of poaching don’t turn lawbreakers in.

“I don’t know if it’s because they almost look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘If I turn in so and so, I’m going to be reflecting on some of the things I do and they will turn me in,’ ” Hill said.

California Poachers Confess to Multi-State Crimes

News from the Colorado Division of Wildlifeelk-000-home17300
News from Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Contact Name: Mike Porras
Contact Phone: 970-255-6162

CALIFORNIA POACHERS CONFESS TO MULTI-STATE CRIMES

MEEKER, Colo. – After a Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation
spanning several states and two hunting seasons, a trio of men from
California have pleaded guilty to numerous wildlife violations in
Colorado and New Mexico, dating back to 2011 through 2013. Upon being
confronted with extensive evidence of their crimes, the three men
admitted to their illegal activities and accepted a plea bargain in Rio
Blanco County Court in late February.

Throughout their crime spree, the men hunted on private property without
permission, illegally killed an elk, nine mule deer, one turkey and a
blue grouse. In several instances, the poachers only removed the head,
cape and antlers from their illegal kills, or abandoned the entire
animal leaving the meat to waste, which could have brought felony
charges and a prison sentence.

During the investigation, wildlife officials gathered a variety of
evidence including taxidermy mounts from their homes and numerous photos
of the men posing with the illegally taken wildlife.

“These individuals showed complete disregard for the wildlife laws of
several states in a brazen and arrogant manner,” said Northwest Regional
Manager Ron Velarde of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Citizens have every
reason to be outraged by their destructive behavior and we, along with
the other agencies we worked with on this case, are satisfied to see
that these individuals have been brought to justice”

Ringleader Anthony Bauer, 35, of Palm Desert, California, was convicted
of willful destruction of big game wildlife – a felony in Colorado, four
counts of hunting without a proper and valid deer license and illegal
take of a mule deer. He was ordered to pay $5,754 in fines, make a
$10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club [Ironically, the ringleader had to make a
$10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club. It's not like he shot one of them!]
and forfeit all evidence
seized, including hunting gear and personal computers. Bauer also
pleaded guilty for the illegal take of a bull elk in New Mexico. As part
of his plea, Bauer was ordered to return the illegally taken elk mount,
a mule deer mount and a Barbary sheep mount to New Mexico.

Bauer is the owner of ‘Live2Die’, an outdoor-themed hat and clothing
company based in California. The company’s website is where
investigators discovered the incriminating photos, eventually removed
from the site under the terms of the plea bargain.

“Ironically, it was the discovery of two hats emblazoned with the
company’s logo found hidden in some brush on private property near two
poached deer that led us to these individuals,” said Area Wildlife
Manager Bill de Vergie of Meeker. “The landowner found the hats and let
District Wildlife Manager Jon Wangnild know right away. It once again
shows how important the public’s help can be in bringing violators to
justice.”

De Vergie praised the work of all of the officers and investigators
involved in the case, including wildlife officers from New Mexico and
California and a forensics laboratory in Wyoming. He noted the
outstanding work of DWM Wangnild of Meeker who initiated the two-year
investigation after receiving a tip from a local outfitter.

Wangnild passed away after being injured in a horseback riding accident
in June, 2013, eight months before the case was resolved in court.

“Jon was very well respected by his fellow officers because of his
dedication and tenacity in bringing violators to justice,” added de
Vergie. “His diligence and hard work on this case, both here and in
California, is a testament to his legacy.”

Wangnild and an investigator traveled out-of-state to assist California
State Fish and Game officers search the suspects’ residences and a local
taxidermist shop where a substantial amount of evidence was seized.

Also pleading guilty in the case was Frank D’Anna, 29, of San Diego and
Hank Myll, 33, of Palm Desert. Myll pleaded guilty to hunting mule deer
without a proper and valid license and illegal take of a mule deer.
D’Anna agreed to pay a citation for hunting blue grouse without a
license, hunting mule deer without a license, illegal take of a blue
grouse, illegal take of a mule deer and hunting on private property
without permission.

Several other men allegedly involved in illegal hunting with Bauer,
D’Anna and Myll and are facing possible charges in New Mexico, pending
further investigation

On the Live2Die website, Bauer states that he “…built his brand on the
principles of living life to the fullest. With a goal to get more kids
off of the video games, and get them outdoors.”

“One of the most important aspects of enjoying the outdoors is being
responsible and ethical around wildlife,” continued de Vergie.
“Unfortunately, considering the extent of Mr. Bauer and his companion’s
illegal activity, this was the complete opposite of what we are trying
to teach our younger generations.”

The three men now must meet with a CPW Hearings Commissioner where they
face the possibility of permanently losing their hunting and fishing
privileges in Colorado and 41 other Interstate Wildlife Violator compact
states, including New Mexico and California.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks the public to report possible illegal
wildlife activity to their nearest CPW office or Colorado State Patrol.
To remain anonymous, call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 . Rewards
may be available if the report leads to a citation.

Ignorance Abounds

Because I love wildlife and wilderness, I’ve always chosen to live in the wildest places I could find; places where nature reigned (as much as humanly allowable); the kind of places about which rural real estate agents routinely advertise that “wildlife abounds”.

Well, if you spend much time in rural America, you know that wherever wildlife abounds, ignorance is even more abundant.

Yesterday, I came across another dead beaver, killed by an ignorant ruralite who enjoys dispatching any wild animal that crosses their path. The excuse? “Beavers eat our trees; seaDSC_0128 lions eat our fish; coyotes and wolves eat our deer and elk, prairie dogs eat our livestock’s grass,” etc., etc.

The real reason? It’s “fun” to shoot, snare or run over them as happened to the last four beavers I’ve seen dead along the road.

I’ll never forget, while I worked as a substitute school bus driver for the local district, when we passed a beaver carcass on the shoulder of the road, the students all jumped for joy and screamed “Oh, cool!” The kids have the excuse that no one has ever taught them any respect for life, or that everything in nature has its place. I still haven’t figured out what excuse their parents have for remaining so ignorant.

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

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

 

Study sheds light on top causes of deer mortality in Northern Wisconsin

How much higher is the deer kill from human hunting than the other four causes?

Answer: More than four times higher than any other source. In fact, human hunting was responsible for about twice as much deer mortality in northern Wisconsin than the other four causes combined.

The rates of mortality were human hunting 43%, starvation 9%, coyote 7%, wolf 6% and roadkill 6%.

If you added poaching (8%) the human kill gets even more significant…

Full Story:

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/study-sheds-light-on-top-causes-of-deer-mortality-b99190938z1-241992741.html

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Park Service Not Budging on Rock Creek Park Deer Culling Debate

By: Jonathan Wilson
January 15, 2014

For the second year in a row, the National Park Service is using the practice of bringing in sharpshooters to kill deer in Rock Creek Park in an effort to thin the local herd and allow park vegetation a chance to regrow.

The lethal method of controlling the deer population continues to draw strong criticism from some local residents and from groups such as the Humane Society, but the Park Service isn’t budging.

Stephanie Boyles-Griffin, the Humane Society’s senior director of Wildlife Response, says everyone can agree that not managing the deer in Rock Creek park would be a disaster for the deer and local citizens who enjoy the park. But, she says, there are better ways to do it than what the Park Service has proposed.

“We put men on the moon — we can manage animals like deer living in Rock Creek without having to kill them,” she says.

Boyles-Griffin says that long before the Park Service got final approval for its management plan, it solicited public opinion and got more than that from her group. The Humane Society advocated for immunocontraception as a way to thin the herd — and even offered to pay more than half the cost — an offer that still stands.

“It just seems a little outrageous that they wouldn’t take a route that might take a little longer, but would let everyone achieve their management goals, but would make everyone happy and more importantly would be something NPS could be proud of instead of something they have to be ashamed of,” she says.

Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles of the National Park Service says her agency has a responsibility to manage the entire park. And she says getting deer down from more than 70 per square mile to 15 to 20 per square mile needs to happen fast.

“We’re in a crisis right now — and we need to quickly and effectively bring the population down to allow forest regenerate and to allow other plant life to flourish in Rock Creek Park,” she argues.

Anzelmo-Sarles says NPS has rejected immunocontraception thus far because no method that can be remotely injected has been proven effective over a multi-year period without leaving chemical residue or changing behavior in deer.

BE SURE TO POST COMMENTS

http://wamu.org/news/14/01/15/park_service_not_budging_on_rock_creek_park_deer_culling_debate

Photo by Jim Robertson

Photo by Jim Robertson

National Park Service Starts Mass Slaughter of Deer in Rock Creek Park

Washington, D.C. (January 8, 2014) – As Christmas trees and charming illuminated

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

deer decorations sparkled on lawns in the nation’s capital last night the real deer who live in Washington, DC, were being gunned down by the National Park Service in the bitter cold. Last night’s begin of the mass killing of deer was the first of several unannounced deer kills that the NPS plans to conduct in Rock Creek National Park through March 31.

In record-breaking bitter cold temperatures that reached into the single digits with 40 mph wind gusts the National Park Service, in a sneaky attack, last night set up unannounced road blocks around Rock Creek Park and turned its guns on some of the 300 deer who live there.

Although gunshots could not be heard, Park Police acknowledged to passers-by that the killing was taking place. The NPS has announced in the past that silencers would be used by USDA Wildlife Service’s agents on guns so that residents who live near the Park would not be disturbed. It is also possible that archery was used, an unusually cruel method of killing animals.

Unlike last year’s killing, in which the NPS announced in advance on what days the killing would occur, the NPS has now changed tactics. In an attempt to outwit deer supporters, the NPS has announced that it will conduct surprise kills on unannounced nights through March 31.

Last night’s killing was exceptionally unconscionable because it took place during a record-breaking cold spell during which wild animals need to preserve their heat and energy by hunkering down. Hunting the deer during such extreme weather stressed not only the deer but all the other animals who live in the Park.

“The National Park Service’s decision to enter in an endless cycle of killing deer is appalling in terms of its brutality, and it goes against the public’s will, common sense, compassion and science,” says Anja Heister, In Defense of Animals’ Director for the Wild and Free-Habitats Campaign. “The agency kills deer despite its failure to provide proof that it is actually the park’s deer and not exotic plants that interfere with forest regeneration.”

“Urban deer are here to stay, and we need to take responsibility in treating them humanely” adds Heister. “Instead of being so incredibly backward, the NPS should enter the 21st century and use existing nonlethal methods, including fertility control.”

Legal action by a coalition of local Washington D.C. residents and In Defense of Animals against the NPS killing continues, as will negative publicity and protests by local residents for as long as it takes to put a halt to this senseless killing, and for the agency to realize that it had better start to listen to the public, who strongly opposes the killing of deer in our nation’s capital as unacceptable.

###

Contact: Anja Heister, anja@idausa.org, 406-544-5727

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS – 3010 KERNER BLVD. – SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 – 415-448-0048

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Most of you remember the buck in Oregon who was hit by an arrow. Apparently the wound wasn’t too deep and the arrow worked its way back out. Here he is now; Buck showed back up just the other day at the home of the woman who worked so hard to keep him safe throughout the rest of hunting season. I’m sure for her, this was the best Christmas gift she could ever hope for!!

1524982_10201074346996271_1536101420_n

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.

Wildlife activists outraged at TIME’s cover story this month Special

The cover of this month’s issue of TIME depicts a young female deer below the headline “America’s Pest Problem.” The wildlife activist community is in an uproar over the article many see as factually inaccurate and something more fit for an op-ed

The article does appear to be advancing an agenda, as the last line in the lead paragraph on the TIME website reads “Why wildlife in the U.S. needs stronger management.”  The article’s full title is “America’s Pest Problem: It’s time to cull the herd.”  Whether intentional or not, David Von Drehle’s article has sparked controversy.

Almost immediately, activists took to the internet expressing their outrage. The article’s dateline is Dec 9, 2013, but is available online now. A Facebook event page is already set up to encourage people to write physical letters to TIME. The event page has this in its description

Time Magazine is coming out with an article to the general public, supporting the slaughter of wildlife on a grand scale. This article is extremely dangerous and inaccurate. This article supports outright slaughter of our wildlife in all parts of the country stating that we are all being overrun with animals and that “experts” say it is necessary. Time Magazine has a responsibility to the public to be accurate and unbiased, and not promote an anti-environment extremist point of view.

Protecting Endangered Species, the Facebook page hosting the letter writing event had this to say in a statement

It is disturbing that Time Magazine has used it’s reputation as a legitimate news source to promote a very extreme and controversial opinion as fact. The consequences of promoting this type of intolerance of our wildlife are severe and promotes violence and cruelty towards our animals. Wildlife belongs to all of us as a nation, not to the special interests of oil, the livestock industry, and recreational hunters. The opinion expressed by Time is that of these special interest businesses and is in direct opposition to wildlife experts and the overwhelming number of voters in the states of concern. This is an opinion which could be freely expressed in an op-ed section, but to present it as fact, as a cover story, is highly unprofessional and exerts the power of Time magazine in an inappropriate manner.

The use of hunting today beyond the purpose of sustenance is a very important contributor to the destruction of our environment. The use of hunters to control populations or “manage” them IS THE PROBLEM. At the turn of the century the wolves and other predators were nearly exterminated out of fear and lack of knowledge of biology, contributing to over and under populations of other animals. We know more about biology than we did in 1900 and this needs to stop. No form of hunting is superior to Nature, and the motivations of special interests are based on human desires of consumption, they are not based on the best interest of the animals or the environment. Misinformation needs to be corrected before we destroy what we do have left. We have nonviolent and nonlethal means to correct problems and we need to use them.

One of the activists participating in the event, Mar Wargo, expressed her opinion as well

Americans seem to be learning and expressing a new ethic today. It seems to me it is not a well educated ethic and lacks moral grounds. In the 40 years of the Endangered Species Act, Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act we have come full circle and now have this tremendous backlash towards the wild animals and wild lands. I believe much of this is corporate interests and this now encompasses hunters who had not been the enemy at one time. They had been the conservationists once. No longer. Killing is too popular and this is all weighed down in ignorance and greed. We have good laws that allowed us to participate in the process and stop actions against wild lands and wildlife. This is Not user friendly any longer, we have lost much of our own traction as a result. We need to regain sanity and science in this country. We need to respect this Earth which is now damaged beyond repair if we intend to survive. Killing the Earth is not the way to survival.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson