Ignorance is never an excuse for hunting

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Well, actually, this article was entitled, “Ignorance is never an excuse for hunting violations,” but I thought this shortened version was more fitting. By Dan Stefanich, it starts off:

“I’m not sure how anyone can accidentally slaughter 30 ducks after the waterfowl season, but these guys did it. And thankfully, got busted.

“Three men have been arrested in connection with a highly publicized killing of ducks after the season. The March duck poaching incident occurred at Carlyle Lake Wildlife Management Area near Vandalia, Illinois. Steven Dean of Granite City, along with Bradley Peters and Daniel Groves of Wood River, were arrested on April 25.  The three men face felony charges for their alleged involvement in the illegal killing of more than 30 ducks out of season, according to the DNR. Since ducks are migratory waterfowl, they fall under the jurisdiction of both state and federal authorities and violations can be charged as felonies. Charges include: 
• Felony resource theft of migratory waterfowl 
• Unlawful possession of freshly killed species during the closed season 
• Wanton waste of migratory waterfowl 
• Unlawful take over the limit of mallard ducks 
• Unlawful take over the limit of northern pintails

“I’m thinking the Judge may throw the book at these guys, and rightfully so. Such a blatant disregard for our natural resources and regulations should carry stiff penalties. Am I the only one tired of “sportsmen” that think the law doesn’t apply to them? These are the guys that give us all a bad name.”

The article goes on to talk about “real sportsmen” following the laws. I didn’t think you’d be interested in reading the rest, but if you’re inclined, here’s the link:


Duck Dynasty Dillweed Wants to Go Duck Hunting With Obama

Go ahead and read about it if you want…


I can’t stand to reading about these Duck Dynasty dweebs any more than I can stand seeing the likes of Ted Nugent; or hearing Sarah Palin’s words of wisdom.

Better yet, why not re-read one of these EtBG classics:



All I can say is, Obama better not take him up on it.


Victory: Ducks Unlimited 2,000 Bird Pigeon Shoot Cancelled

We are pleased to announce that after receiving complaints about the event, and less than one day after we released this video about the issue, Ducks  Unlimited has cancelled the shoot! 
Here is the email we just received from Ducks Unlimited:
  Dale Hall forwarded me your email regarding the pigeon shoot and asked that I respond to you directly. Earlier  today, several Ducks Unlimited members contacted headquarters staff to make us aware that one of our committees was  planning to hold a pigeon shoot as part of a DU event. We have policies in place holding our staff and local  volunteers to high ethical and moral standards, and do not condone wanton waste of wildlife or other animals. To  avoid the potential for wanton waste, the event committee has decided to change the live pigeon event to a sporting  clays shoot.
Matt Coffey     Senior Communications Specialist     DUCKS UNLIMITED

  This is an astounding turn of events; for 20 years Ducks Unlimited has been holding these “phigeon  shoots,” where innocent pigeons have sharp pheasant tail feathers forced into their backs, and yet within one  day, and working together, we all were able to stop this vicious shoot.
This is the power of your activism at work – everyone who called and spoke out helped save not only 2,000 pigeons  whose horrific deaths were just two days away, but perhaps tens of thousands of pigeons in the years to come.

  We also want to thank Ducks Unlimited for recognizing that this was an important issue and taking quick action to  stop this atrocity from happening again.
If you’d like to thank them for stopping the pigeon shoot, please send a polite email to Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. DHall@ducks.org
In the following picture, you will see three birds that SHARK rescued at live pigeon shoots. We know, from having held these birds, and many more like them, that each of them is an individual living being who felt joy and suffering.
Thank you for helping us save 2,000 individual living beings just like these three.


        Kindest Regards,                 Steve Hindi and Your SHARK Team    
    “Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society. Racism, economic    deprival, dog fighting and cock fighting, bullfighting and rodeos are all cut from the same fabric:    violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well    ourselves.” – Cesar Chavez, civil rights and labor leader, founder of the United Farm Workers

Visit SHARK: www.sharkonline.org

Lead that’s left behind threatens local wildlife


March 16, 2014 8:45 pm E95688ABF88792AE42A8914230F586_h316_w628_m5_cBUxDElwb
By Staci Matlock
The New Mexican

Two thin bald eagles brought to The Wildlife Center near Española in January died despite efforts by staff to save them.

The culprit was lead poisoning, according to blood tests and necropsies performed on both birds.

Lead ammunition is a deadly problem for animals and birds, even when they haven’t been shot with it, according to Katherine Eagleson, executive director of The Wildlife Center. In the case of the two eagles, they likely scavenged carcasses of animals that had been shot with lead bullets.

Lead ammunition in carcasses left behind by hunters is one source of lead that can poison wildlife. Lead shot and bullets used for target practice in rural areas like a stock pond on the Caja del Rio mesa is another source of lead poisoning. A third is lead sinkers anglers use to weigh down fishing line. Waterfowl accidentally consume abandoned line weighted with the sinkers or eat fish that have ingested the tiny lead sinkers.

Eagleson said there are plenty of other ammunition choices.

“We’re not saying don’t hunt. There are alternatives that work. Go buy them. It is a simple fix,” Eagleson said.

While steel shot is more expensive and some gun enthusiasts say it isn’t as accurate as lead bullets, Eagleson suggested hunters “get closer and hunt better.”

She said there are plenty of alternatives to lead sinkers that aren’t more expensive.

The link between lead and health problems in humans and animals is widely known. Lead accumulates in tissue over time. In people, it has been linked to anemia and neurological problems. Lead was federally banned from paint in 1977 and from pipes for drinking water in 1981.

The health impacts of lead shot on waterfowl and scavengers have been heavily studied in the past few decades, but impacts on other wildlife have been studied less. A 2011 study found high levels of lead toxicity in a free-roaming cougar in Oregon.

The federal government banned the use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl over water bodies in 1991 after it was estimated that 2,700 tons of shot was ending up in wetlands each year. More than 30 states, including New Mexico, have some restrictions on lead ammunition. New Mexico bans the use of lead ammunition when hunting common moorhens (marsh hens), soras (marsh birds), Virginia rails, snipes, doves, band-tailed pigeons, upland game or migratory game birds on all lands owned or managed by the state Game Commission.

New Mexico’s neighbors vary widely in restricting lead ammunition. Colorado bans lead shot only in the Alamosa/Monte Vista/Baca National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

But that still leaves plenty of land where lead shot can be used. It is particularly popular for people who shoot coyotes. Those carcasses are eaten by a variety of other wildlife that may eat the lead shot, Eagleson said.

Texas bans lead bullets for use on game birds in wildlife management areas and federal wildlife refuges. In 2013, California became the first state to ban all ammunition containing lead. The ban will be phased in completely by 2019.

Not everyone agrees with restricting or banning lead ammunition.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation trade group opposes any bans or restrictions on “traditional ammunition” containing lead cores unless “sound science” proves lead bullets adversely affect wildlife, human or environmental health. Hunters have used lead-based ammo for centuries without adverse health affects, according to a statement on the group’s website.

Studies of lead toxicity in wildlife and birds are available from The Journal of Wildlife Diseases, http://www.jwildlifedis.org.

Dead ducks left on Vic premier’s doorstep


March 17, 2014, 1:02 pm

Animal rights activist have dumped dead ducks in front of the Victorian premier s office.      
AAP Animal rights activist have dumped dead ducks in front of the Victorian premier’s office.

Anti-duck hunting activists who dumped dead ducks outside the Victorian premier’s office say they are being barred from the state’s wetlands under new protest laws.

Coalition Against Duck Shooting activist Tony Murphy says the new move-on powers, which opponents say restrict the right to protest, have for the first time led to their rescuers being excluded from the wetlands.

“(Agriculture Minister) Peter Walsh’s strategy is to force us off the wetlands so that massacres of endangered waterbirds can continue in secret,” Mr Murphy said.

The activists dumped the carcasses of ducks collected over the weekend’s opening of the duck season outside Premier Denis Napthine’s Melbourne office on Monday, saying 33 were the endangered freckled duck species.

Anti-hunters Outnumber Hunters by Three to One


It’s like the 1% vs. the 99% ratio. This graph came from an opinion piece entitled, “Who Owns the Wildlife?” which starts out:

More and more we as a society are facing problems with how wildlife of all types are managed in the United States. We see increasing conflicts and polarization between hunting and anti-hunting groups. On the one side, invoking the pioneer tradition of our ancestors, hunting groups contend that the right to hunt is undeniable and is essential to the sound management of our wildlife resources. On the other hand, anti-hunting groups contend that the need to kill wildlife animals is no longer justified and hunting represents a next to barbaric act against living, feeling animals.

Long line of hunters on a mountain trail.

Long line of hunters walk a mountain trail. Hunters contend that they are the only ones who should have a say in how wildlife are managed.
[I just want to interject here that as a wildlife photographer/watcher, the parking permit I purchase (the same one that comes with a hunting or fishing license) allegedly goes toward enhancing habitat. I recently saw the results of my contribution when I pulled down what used to be a quiet road which ends at a river and found that the "game" department had built a huge paved parking lot with 20 lined, blacktop spaces for trucks and boat trailers. They also put in a boat launch with a brand new dock and installed a shiny new 2-seater pit toilet--all for the sake of duck hunters and sport fishermen. Meanwhile, they did nothing for ducks or wildlife habitat.]


On one side, hunters contend that because they pay the bills for the management of wildlife resources through their licenses and a federal excise tax on their hunting equipment, they are the only ones who should have a say in how wildlife are managed. On the other side, anti-hunters argue that moral objections to the slaying of innocent animals overrides any priority as to who has a say in these matters. 

And the arguments go on and on….

The Guns of Mid-Winter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss the Premier Episode of Black Sheep Robertson: “Revenge of the Ducks”

Tune into NDC’s newest reality series starring Exposing the Big Game’s Jim Robertson, the black sheep of the duck dynasty. You’ll learn true respect for wild ducks and geese, who are featured living as they naturally do along with their wetland brethren on Black Sheep Robertson’s sprawling sanctuary, in peace and harmony as God intended.

No animals are harmed during the filming of this program, unlike on Duck Dynasty, which is all about hurting and killing. And rest assured, although Jim is a compassionate man who would no sooner blast a duck than he would members of the camo-clad clan, he is an atheist so you won’t have to endure any cheesy, half-assed references to salvation and all that stuff.

On the premier episode, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the special breeding facility where giant, mutant man-eating mallards are being fitted with armor outerwear and readied for their release into nearby hunter recreation areas and “sportsmen’s” playgrounds.

(If this sounds shocking, consider that as I write this I’m hearing the recurrent noise of shotgun blasts, resulting in the wounding and deaths of untold numbers of ducks and geese.)
(This has been another installment in EtBG’s “Headlines We’d Like to See.”)

Also See: I’m Not One of those Duck Dynasty Douchebags             

And: Expressing My Freedom of Speech 

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

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

2 duck hunters killed after boat capsized in MA harbor

Third hunter is expected to survive

WESTPORT, Mass. (AP) -

Authorities have identified two duck hunters who died and a third who was hospitalized after they fell into the frigid waters of the Westport River when their boat capsized.

The office of Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter said 53-year-old Steven James of Marshfield and 55-year-old Robert Becher of Cromwell, Conn., died Tuesday.

The surviving hunter was identified as 51-year-old Gregg Angell of Westport. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., and is expected to survive.

Westport Harbormaster Richard Earle said the hunters’ skiff was found overturned at about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Simpson said the water temperature was about 35 degrees and the air temperature was about 8 degrees at the time.

The district attorney’s spokesman said the deaths are not considered suspicious.

The deaths remain under investigation.



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