American Trophy Hunters in Africa: Monsters of Death and Destruction

01bfb39948b2f313b238ba43f926ea25

…hunting clubs are free to regulate themselves, to decide for themselves what is ethical. And their committee decision have the force of law. The very industry which has so ill-treated wild animals has been given the power to decide how wild animals should be treated. Like giving paedophiles the right to decide what they can do to children…

USA TROPHY HUNTERS IN AFRICA – MONSTERS OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION

They call themselves conservationists. But all they conserve are their sordid commercial interests and their sick hunting culture.

Spreading out like a deadly cancer from their HQ at Safari Club International, these insidious weapons of mass destruction infect the vulnerable third world conservation structures in Africa.

The strategy of all Big Business is to seize control of their own regulatory authorities, and Big Hunting is no exception. Using stalking horses like WWF, they take over and paralyse conservation authorities in Africa, perverting conservation policies to their own brutal ends.

This evil cult – for that is what it is when stripped of its propaganda whitewash – already controls the Internation Conservation organisations like CITES and IUCN. Let’s see how:

CITES:

CITES lists all big cats as Appendix I – except lions, who can be freely hunted under Appendix II. Why are lions excluded from Appendix 1 protection, when everyone knows that their numbers have declined by about 80% in the last five decades and that lions are clearly headed for regional extinction?

Answer: because the hunting industry lobbies, campaigns and threatens when necessary , to keep lions huntable.

Compare lions with jaguars. There are twice as many jaguars in central American jungles as there are lions in the whole of Africa.

Logically, lions should be listed as Appendix I, and jaguars left huntable under Appendix II.

But U.S. hunters have no interest in jaguars. Who wants to suffer the discomfort of struggling through foetid jungles, being bitten by leeches and mosquitos, in order to hunt jaguars? No one, it seems. So Big Hunting is quite happy to see jaguars placed on Appendix I.

Lions are a different commercial proposition altogether. Every US hunter wants to enjoy the pampered luxury of 5 star lodges in the healthy African savannah. So lions will go extinct because as long as there is a lion left to kill in Africa, Big Hunting will keep lions from being listed as Appendix I.

To hell with the numbers and to hell with conservation.

IUCN:

This is the organisation that has contributed so significantly to the decline of wild lions by adopting the hunting industry’s policy of sustainable use. This made real conservation – i.e. the preservation of natural funcioning eco-systems, irrelevant.

And when the EU was considering whether to require import permits for, inter alia, lion trophies, Dr. Rosie Cooney and the whole IUCN sustainable use gang lobbied furiously to prevent it, arguing that this would “inconvenience” the hunting industry.

TANZANIA:

Tanzanian lions are being hammered by US trophy hunters. When Dr. Luke Hunter of Panthera published research showed that the trophy hunting of lions was adversely impacting the survival of lions in Tanzania, his research permit was suddenly withdrawn. Similarly when Dr. Bernard Kissui was due to give his presentation to the Tourism Authority of Tanzania at Arusha recently, he let it be known that his talk would also refer to the damage being done to wild lions by trophy hunting. Shortly before he was due to talk, he received a threatening phone call, and felt nervous enough to delete all reference to trophy hunting out of his presentation.

Big Hunting brooks no interference!

SOUTH AFRICA:

Having wiped out wildlife populations in S.A. the hunting industry now claims credit for getting tens of thousands of farmers to stop producing food for the nation and turn to game farming in order to creat a ghastly parody of conservation – wildlife as alternative livestock. They kill off the wildlife, then bring back the lost numbers by taking the ‘wild’ out of wildlife – and have the gall to describe their obscene substitute as ‘conservation.’

For example, look at the TOPS (Threatened or Protected Species) regulations in SA. Unbelievably, hunting organisations are granted self-government. They can themselves: – ‘define criteria for the hunting of listed threatened or protected species in accordance with the fair chase principle;’

It means that the hunting clubs are free to regulate themselves, to decide for themselves what is ethical. And their committee decision have the force of law. The very industry which has so ill-treated wild animals has been given the power to decide how wild animals should be treated. Like giving paedophiles the right to decide what they can do to children.

The Protection Racket.

To protect the huntiing fraternity, SA government structures are a mouthpiece for hunting propaganda. They’ll tell you ‘canned hunting is illegal.’ They lie.

They’ll tell you that tame lion hunts “take the pressure off wild lion populations” and that if canned lion hunting were banned there would be an increase in wild lions being killed.

They lie. Actually the opposite holds true. Lion farming causes an increase in the poaching of wild lions.
Whistleblowers have come forward in Botswana to relate how, using 4 x 4 vehicles, they have chased down wild lion prides to the point of exhaustion, shot the pride adult lions, and captured the cubs for sale to unscrupulous S.A. lion farmers. The captured cubs are smuggled across S.Africa’s porous borders. Lion farmers need a constant supply of wild lions to prevent in-breeding and captivity depression in their lion stocks.

Besides, CITES scientists realized long ago that allowing captive breeding of predators for their body parts would cause an increase in the poaching of wild animals. That is why CITES decision 14.69 bans tiger farming for their body parts. So, if tiger farming is banned because it would cause the extinction of wild tigers, surely lion farming should be banned for the same reason?

Lion bone trade.
South Africa officially issued permits for the export of 1,300 dead lions from South Africa to China, Lao PDR and Viet Nam in just 5 years from 2008 to 2012 inclusive.

The SA lion skeleton is sold for US$ 1500 to a Laotian syndicate, who sells it on.
In Vietnam a 15 kg skeleton of a lion is mixed with approx. 6 kgs of turtle shell, deer antler and monkey bone and then the boiled down in large pots over a three day period.
This yields approx. 6-7 kg of tiger cake, which is worth US$60,000 – $70,000 in Vietnam.

To promote canned hunting, SA government conservation officials give permits to lion farmers to export lion bones to known wildlife crime syndicates in Asia. They seem blind to the threat of extinction to wild lions caused by the lion bone trade.

Unfortunately for lions, the Asian traditional medicine practitioners regard the bones of wild lions as being more “potent” than those of captive – bred ones. So the law of unintended consequences will apply here: as the existing lion bone trade (a spin-off from canned lion hunting) allows more and more Asians to become invested in the growing trade, so the demand for wild lion bones will grow. Prepare for a poaching frenzy of wild lions every bit as egregious as the existing slaughter of rhino.

So, US Fish and Wildife, what will you do? The case for raising the status of lions to endangered is overwhelming. Do you have the courage to break the stranglehold of the hunting bullies? If you do not, then lions will go extinct in Africa.

Chris Mercer  March 31st 2014

Campaign Against Canned Hunting. http://www.cannedlion.org

 

3 elk shot and left to die near Fernie, B.C.

Photo  Jim Robertson

Photo Jim Robertson

Conservation officer Frank DeBoon says someone went for a drive recently in
the Baynes Lake area south of Fernie, spotted a herd of elk and shot into
it, dropping three cows where they stood.

Deboon says the three females, who were likely pregnant, were then left
there to die. In 26 years as a conservation officer, DeBoon says he’s never
seen anything like it.

“It’s pretty upsetting to see somebody who would just go and shoot animals
and leave them to waste,” he told CBC News.

Deboon estimates it happened about a week ago. He says the shooter or
shooters didn’t take anything.

“The elk were all in good health, probably pregnant with this year’s calves.
There’s no reason for it other than somebody deciding to shoot them.”

DeBoon says they’ll likely get away with it too. The site of the shooting is
off a fairly remote logging road and unless there was more than one person
in the vehicle, there are likely no witnesses.

Still DeBoon wants the story out there. He’s hoping someone either heard the
shots, or or perhaps stories from someone bragging about their hunting
prowess.

The shooting comes after nearly a dozen elk were shot and butchered by
poachers on Vancouver Island last year.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/3-elk-shot-left-die-near-fernie-b-140233256.html

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.

WDFW asks public’s help to generate leads

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

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

March 17, 2014 copyrighted wolf in river

Contact: Sgt. Pam Taylor, 509-892-1001
Wildlife Program, 360-902-2515

WDFW asks public’s help to generate leads
in shooting of radio-collared wolf

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WFDW) is seeking the public’s help to identify the person or persons responsible for shooting and killing a gray wolf last month in Stevens County.

A 2-year-old black female wolf from the Smackout Pack was found dead Feb. 9 near Cedar Lake in northeast Stevens County. The condition of the carcass indicated it had died between Feb. 5 and Feb. 7, and a veterinarian’s examination confirmed it had been shot.

Wildlife managers had captured the wolf about a year ago and fitted it with a radio collar so they could track its movements and those of her pack members.

WDFW, with the help of three non-profit organizations, is offering a reward of up to $22,500 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Conservation Northwest, the Center for Biological Diversity, and The Humane Society of the United States, have each pledged $7,500 to create the reward.

Gray wolves are protected throughout the state. WDFW is responsible for management of wolves and enforcement of laws to protect them. The illegal killing of a wolf or other endangered fish or wildlife species is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Sergeant Pam Taylor of the WDFW Northeast Washington Region is leading the investigation. She urged people with knowledge of the crime to report it confidentially by calling WDFW’s poaching hotline, 877-933-9847 , or by texting a tip to 847411.

Clan of the Cougar (and Wolf) Slayers

[Surprise, surprise, the White's are at it again...]

A Young Girl’s Family Secret

11-year-old Shelby White grabbed headlines when she reportedly shot a cougar stalking her brother in rural Washington state. But there’s a bit more to the story—the White family actually has a long, bloody history of poaching endangered wolves and other wildlife

AUTHOR:   Mar 10, 2014
Shelby White’s shot was heard round the world. But her family’s cold-blooded past didn’t make it into the newspaper reports.

The 11-year-old girl captured hearts and headlines last week when she reportedly whipped out a rifle and bravely gunned down a cougar sneaking up behind her brother in rural Washington. It wasn’t the first time the White family has drummed up publicity for killing exotic animals.

The pint-size slayer comes from a clan of convicted poachers that slaughtered a pair of endangered gray wolves and tried to smuggle their skins across the U.S. border a few years ago. The revelation, absent in the mainstream media accounts of the Shelby’s cougar killing, recasts the tale of the adorable deadeye and has caused the history of her kin to resurface.

“The Whites are known sons of bitches,” says Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, which has championed wolf recovery in the region. “I don’t think anyone is the least bit surprised that they remain in the news.”

Authorities first caught wind of the White clan’s illegal killings in 2008 when a FedEx employee stumbled across a blood-soaked parcel postmarked for Canada. The sender, eventually identified as Shelby’s mother, Erin White, used a bogus name and phone number and claimed the package contained a rug, according to federal prosecutors.

 Instead of a rug, authorities discovered that the sodden parcel contained a wolf hide belonging to a butchered member of the Lookout Pack, the first gray wolves to repopulate Washington since the 1930s. The pack, protected under state law and the Endangered Species Act, roamed an area near the White’s 700-acre ranch in the Methow Valley, which rests of the eastern slope of the North Cascades.

Tom White, Shelby’s father, copped to killing the wolf. Federal agents later found evidence that he slayed a second member of the Lookout Pack and that Shelby’s grandfather, William White, had concocted a conspiracy to kill wolves and smuggle a wolf hide into Canada. Agents also discovered the elder White had a penchant for poaching animals, including big game he unlawfully shot in Canada and snuck back into the U.S.

Tom White, Shelby's father, poses with an endangered wolf he shot and killed back in 2008. Tom White, Shelby’s father, poses with an endangered wolf he shot and killed back in 2008. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

In 2012, the White family pleaded guilty to a host of federal charges, including conspiracy to kill an endangered species, conspiracy to export an endangered species and unlawful importation of wildlife. William and Tom White also pleaded guilty to state charges of illegally hunting bears with dogs.

The family managed to dodge jail time, but had to fork over more than $70,000 in fines, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. William White was sentenced to six months of home detention, while his son was sentenced to three months.

As a result of their convictions, both White men also lost their hunting licenses. But that hasn’t stopped Tom White’s children from apparently picking off animals left and right, most notably the cougars that have flocked to the Methow Valley.

Shelby White was not the first of her siblings to bag one of the wildcats this winter, her grandfather William White tells Vocativ in a phone interview. Cody, her 9-year-old brother, blasted a 120-pound cougar earlier in February. Shelby’s 14-year-old brother Tanner also killed one on the family’s property that month, White says.

 “Their dad has been showing the kids how to track them every weekend,” White says, adding that all three children had tags to hunt cougars. White says the wildcats have become a scourge in the area since state lawmakers banned cougar hunting with hound dogs in 1996.

Cougar sightings and encounters have been unusually high in the Methow Valley this winter, say wildlife officials, though they’ve been unable to pinpoint a precise reason. At least 10 cougars have been killed in the area alone this winter by hunters or state officials, the Methow Valley News reported.

Four of those killings have occurred on the White ranch, according to the family.

Cougars can pose a threat to livestock and sometimes humans, William White says. The big cat that Shelby White shot on Feb. 20 may have been stalking her older brother Tanner. The boy had just entered the family’s home from outside when Tom White spotted the animal in the driveway, the grandfather says.

“My son yelled, ‘Shelby, grab your gun,” says William White. The girl trained her .270-caliber rifle on the animal and gunned it down from about 10 feet away.

Wildlife officials say the animal was an emaciated female that weighed 50 pounds. It was likely starving to death. Because her father and grandfather are barred from hunting and because her brothers already bagged cougars this year, Shelby was the sole person in the family that could legally kill the wildcat, her grandfather says.

“The reason my granddaughter shot the cougar was because she was only one in our family that had a tag,” William White says. “We’re trying to follow the law as best we can.”

Still, given the White family’s history with hunting, the cougar killings raised eyebrows among Friedman and other members of Washington’s environmental community.

A photo of the wolf pelt that Erin White, Shelby’s mom, allegedly tried to send to friends in Canada. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

“It certainly smells a little funny,” Friedman says…

A Hunter Weighs in

Here’s a nuisance, pro-kill comment I received this morning on the post, “What’s the Difference Between a Poacher and the Owner of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches?” It is quoted here, verbatim, to share some insight into how these kind of people think:

“Apart from the elephants and rhinos, a lot (not saying all) of the big cats hunted in Africa are typically neucense animals to local tribes, farms, and villages. The hunters are the ones who pay the money for the guided hunt (by locals) and almost all of the animal is utilized for it’s furs, meats, and bones. It doesn’t just go to waste. On top of that it also removes the neusence animal from the area; which in turn makes life for the locals a little bit easier. Or I’m wrong and he likes to murder awesome animals. Either way, I am for it.”

1794802_600379583390084_2056398278_n

What’s the difference between a Poacher and the Owner of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

http://catastrophemap.org/wordpress/?p=3180

ANSWER: One does it for money, the other does it for fun Jimmy John Liautaud

Jimmy John’s Owner Jimmy John Liautaud Likes To Kill Large Mammals
NO STUDIES YET AVAILABLE ON COMPENSATION ISSUES FOR BIG GAME HUNTERS WHO OWN COMPANIES THAT MAKE TORPEDO SHAPED SANDWICHES

In addition to loss of habitat, elephants, rhinos and big cats are being hunted to extinction globally by humans who need their parts. In the case of elephants and rhinos, the tusks and horns are the booty. These are valuable commodities, used primarily in Asia to make little religious trinkets (ivory tusks) and as aphrodisiacs (rhino horns). The animals are usually alive when the poachers tusks and horns are cut away. The world’s remaining big cat are hunted for their skins.Is heinous as this trade it, the motive is profit, enough profit that poachers are less likely to be individuals and more likely to be warlords, or even members of various African military forces moonlighting. They’re in it for the money and the authorities are losing the battle nearly everywhere. 2012 was a record year for rhino massacres, with four out of five remaining species nearing final extinction.Congo elephant massacre

This is a fundamentally different motivation than that of Jimmy John’s sub sandwich empire Jimmy John Liautaud, who loves to go on safari for the sheer pleasure of killing large animals. Look at the big grin of triumph as he poses with their corpses. This is a happy fellow who has proven once again that he can master nature as long as he has a safari staff and a big fucking gun.

Jimmy participates in the safaris on private game preserves, where the safari companies essentially own the prey whose guaranteed death is their profit center. In fact, here’s a handy link to Johan Calitz Safaris’ photo page, featuring a host of mighty men with their subdued trophies.

In case you are looking for patterns, Johnny is also politically inclined to the right wing. He just hates providing health care for his workers, and publicly announced plans to reduce workers’ hours in order to avoid the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide health coverage or pay a penalty.

_____________________________

[As I pointed out in my post "'Kill 'Em All Boyz' Are 'Ethical' Hunters Once Again," Poachers or not, it’s all ends the same for the animals they killed.]

NRA Campaigns Against The Plan To Save The World’s Elephants

ele-with-tusks-feature
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

By Hayes Brown, ThinkProgress.org
March 2014

“Any firearm, firearm accessory, or knife that contains ivory, no matter how big or small, would not be able to be sold in the United States, unless it is more than 100 years old. This means if your shotgun has an ivory bead or inlay, your revolver or pistol has ivory grips, your knife has an ivory handle, or if your firearm accessories, such as cleaning tools that contain any ivory, the item would be illegal to sell.”

For that reason, the NRA implores its members to flood the White House and Congress with phone calls and emails to “let them know you oppose the ban on commercial sale and trade of legally owned firearms with ivory components.” That desire to resell old — but not antique — weaponry clearly is more important to the NRA than preventing the looming extinction of the species — which is linked closely to the skyrocketing demand for ivory.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday (February 28) asked its 3.1 million members to call their representative in Congress and urge them to block a rule designed to protect the world’s elephants from being poached into extinction.

Last month, the White House announced a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, placing a total embargo on the new import of items containing elephant ivory, prohibiting its export except in the case of bona fide antiques, and clarified that “antiques” only refers to items more than 100 years old when it comes to ivory. “This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild,” a White House fact sheet on the announcement declared.

The NRA is disturbed about provisions of the ban related to domestic resale of items including ivory. “We will finalize a proposed rule that will reaffirm and clarify that sales across state lines are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, and will prohibit sales within a state unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants, or under an exemption document,” the White House said in February.

While many people would make the mistake of assuming that this was about helping save endangered elephants, the NRA understands what the real motivation is. “This is another attempt by this anti-gun Administration to ban firearms based on cosmetics and would render many collections/firearms valueless,” the NRA said in its call to arms.

“Any firearm, firearm accessory, or knife that contains ivory, no matter how big or small, would not be able to be sold in the United States, unless it is more than 100 years old. This means if your shotgun has an ivory bead or inlay, your revolver or pistol has ivory grips, your knife has an ivory handle, or if your firearm accessories, such as cleaning tools that contain any ivory, the item would be illegal to sell.”

For that reason, the NRA implores its members to flood the White House and Congress with phone calls and emails to “let them know you oppose the ban on commercial sale and trade of legally owned firearms with ivory components.” That desire to resell old — but not antique — weaponry clearly is more important to the NRA than preventing the looming extinction of the species — which is linked closely to the skyrocketing demand for ivory. “In 2013 alone an estimated 30,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory, more than 80 animals per day,” Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week.

The commercial ivory ban is only part of a new National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking announced at the same time as the embargo, which prioritizes “strengthening domestic and global enforcement; reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad; and strengthening partnerships with international partners, local communities, NGOs, private industry, and others to combat illegal wildlife poaching and trade.” In that vein, the United States has been leading the charge in persuading countries around the world to destroy their stockpiles of intercepted ivory, annihilating six tons of it last November. Since then, Togo, China, and France have also followed suit and destroyed seized contraband of their own.

Aside from the conservation concerns, which the NRA doesn’t seem moved by, poaching is increasingly being viewed as a national security issue for the United States. In an interview last year, Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, said ivory had become a “conflict resource.” An Enough Project report from last year also found that Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army has begun poaching ivory from elephant tusks to fund the group’s activities, which include abducting children and forcing them into sex slavery.

“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

More on the Kill ‘Em All Boys

Agent Goes Undercover to Nab a Gang of Poachers

March 2, 2009 12:00 am

By Warren Cornwall The Seattle Times SEATTLE — The body count began the moment Tom Sharpe met Mick Gordon. When Sharpe stepped from his pickup, he found four men and a boy in the garage of Gordon’s Longview duplex stripping the skin from a big bull elk. Gordon retrieved a hunting dog Sharpe was thinking about buying, and they drove toward the woods to test the dog. Along the way, Gordon bragged that he killed lots of bears, cougars and bobcats. He shot four or five bull elk a year. A few months earlier he’d poached a big cougar. He and a buddy tossed dynamite into a creek to kill fish. Gordon declared that “he had poached everything there was to poach.” Shortly after midnight, they turned back, having killed nothing that day. But Gordon invited Sharpe to come hunting again. Gordon wouldn’t have been so welcoming if he’d known who Sharpe really was: an undercover wildlife cop. The investigation that started in 2006 finally ended in November, when the last of four defendants — including Gordon — pleaded guilty to poaching-related charges in Lewis County. Gordon, a one-time hospital nurse at Providence Centralia Hospital who is now serving 13 months in prison, declined to comment. Nothing, it seemed, was too big or too small for the hunters, who took wildlife both legally and illegally. Their claimed victims included house cats, bobcats, mountain lions, elk, deer, bears, a turkey vulture, fish and one of their own hunting dogs. They even had a name for their group: They called themselves the “Kill ‘Em All Boyz.” Going Undercover Rumors of a poaching ring had been circulating in Southwest Washington when Fish and Wildlife got a phone call with a tip in late 2006. Mick Gordon was trying to sell a hunting dog, and he was boasting about his poaching prowess. The tipster offered a tantalizing possibility. Could a wildlife cop posing as someone interested in buying the dog get inside this group of hunters? Poaching is hard to prove. The crimes happen far from witnesses. Evidence is easily destroyed. This case was a rare opening into the tight-knit world of hound hunters, people who use dogs to track game. Gordon “has an extremely ‘high on me’ type of personality that is easily manipulated with some compliments,” one wildlife cop wrote in the investigation files. So it was decided. The state’s main undercover wildlife officer would try to infiltrate the group. To charm his way in, Tom Sharpe — a fake name used by the agent — told Gordon he was a ship captain who periodically sailed rich people’s yachts from port to port and had spare time to hunt. The Times is not using the agent’s real name at the request of Fish and Wildlife Department officials, out of concern it could compromise current investigations. To pump up his poaching credentials, Sharpe told Gordon he was going hunting in Alaska. Then later, he called Gordon and told him he had poached a grizzly bear there, and showed photos of himself with a dead grizzly — one that had been killed by someone else in Alaska. The hook was set. Gordon marveled to one person about what a crazy, hard-core hunter Tom was, according to investigative records. Leader of the ‘Boyz’ Investigators zeroed in on Gordon as the leader of the loosely organized group. A stocky 36-year-old who grew up in northern Idaho, he was portrayed as vulgar and boastful in detailed notes from the undercover agent. He regaled Sharpe with stories of his sexual exploits and his poaching. He declared his hatred of police, vowing at one point that he wanted to “shoot every cop that he sees in the face,” according to the agent’s notes. Gordon was an avid hunter, rounding up friends to join him and driving dirt roads late into the night. He bragged of tricking an old lady into giving him three house cats, then killing them while training his dogs. He was also studying to be a nurse, became licensed during the poaching investigation and got a job at Providence Centralia Hospital. On Jan. 20, 2007, Sharpe went out with several of the Kill ‘Em All Boyz. According to his notes, they tried to live up to their name. Gordon was joined by local acquaintances Brian Hall, the 38-year-old manager of his family’s Longview temp agency; Joe Dills, a 20-year-old logger; and a mentally disabled man named Dan. Piled into two trucks, they headed to some woods close to the Oregon border. They broke through gates on private timberland roads, using keys they’d acquired and a homemade metal pry bar nicknamed the “permission slip.” With the hounds riding in back, they cruised down dirt roads, waiting for the dogs to catch the scent of an animal. But they found little. Finally, one of Gordon’s dogs, Copper, bolted from the truck. The men let the other dogs loose before they realized Copper had found a porcupine The hunters started delivering jolts of electricity to the dogs through remote-controlled collars used to scare the animals away from something. But at the end of a long, fruitless day of hunting, the dogs full of porcupine quills, Gordon lost his temper, according to the undercover agent. Instead of a few quick jolts, Gordon kept his finger down on the shock button. Then he got a second shock collar and strapped it around the dog’s torso, near its groin. For roughly three minutes, Gordon shocked and kicked the dog so ferociously the agent feared it would die, according to the records. Two of Gordon’s friends at the scene dispute that account. Gordon wrote a confession saying he strapped the second collar around the dog and kicked it. However, Hall said it was a stray kick, not a severe beating. “No way I would let someone stomp and kick on a dog when I was standing there,” Hall said in an interview. But Sharpe, also in an interview, recalled that he desperately wanted to stop the beating. He decided that with a group of armed men thinking he was a hardened poacher, he’d be putting his life in jeopardy to intervene. Eventually Gordon stopped beating Copper, according to the agent. But the hunting was over for the night. The dog died within two weeks. Gordon’s friends say they think porcupine quills caused the fatal injury. They say Gordon took the dog to a doctor but couldn’t afford to pay for the treatment. Gordon told Sharpe the dog died from “internal injuries,” according to the agent’s notes. Despite the Kill ‘Em All Boyz name, the group killed very little in front of Sharpe. One day in the Mount St. Helens foothills, the dogs treed a bobcat, which two of the hunters shot. Dills fired a shotgun at a turkey vulture sitting in a tree, according to investigative records. Sharpe shot a bobcat when Gordon insisted he pull the trigger. Gordon and Dills said they shot a black bear when Sharpe wasn’t with them. A wildlife officer later found the decomposing carcass. But the agent heard plenty of stories during his nine hunting trips. All told, the Kill ‘Em All Boyz claimed to have killed dozens of animals, many illegally, in a years-long spree extending to Oregon, Idaho and much of Southwest Washington, according to the agent’s notes. The claimed death toll included 100 elk, at least a dozen bears and more than 50 cougars and bobcats. Ending the Charade Once, after breaking through a timber-company gate to hunt, Sharpe mentioned that they didn’t have to worry about game wardens because he’d heard they were all investigating people using traps to catch moles. “What the (expletive) is wrong with those idiots?” Gordon replied, according to the agent’s notes. “This is the (expletive) they should be working — guys like us.” In June 2007, after eight months undercover, the wildlife police decided it wassnrsslion time to end the charade. Within minutes of his arrest, Gordon was offering to talk, according to Lt. Ed Volz, the officer who ran the sting. Gordon quickly wrote a confession in which he admitted to poaching deer, a bear and a cougar, and breaking locks to road gates. He implicated Dills and another friend, Adam Lee, in a variety of crimes. Four men eventually pleaded guilty to a variety of hunting and trespassing charges, many of them misdemeanors. Hall got 60 days in jail. Dills got 90 days. Lee got a month in jail. Gordon received the stiffest sentence — 13 months in state prison. Lee and Gordon lost their hunting privileges for life. Gordon’s nursing license also was suspended Dills and Hall, the two defendants who agreed to interviews, said despite the guilty pleas, the most gruesome details were exaggerations by the undercover agent. They said Gordon’s claims of widespread poaching were just bragging. “I’m not saying that we didn’t commit the crimes. But it was made to look like we were really, really bad people, and we’re not that way,” Dills said. Gordon, who entered prison in November, could be released as soon as May if he’s deemed a well-behaved inmate.