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.

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

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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

Thousands of Prairie Dogs in Danger of Being Poisoned

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

http://www.care2.com/causes/thousands-of-prairie-dogs-in-danger-of-being-poisoned.html

by Alicia Graef
January 7, 2014

Animal advocates and conservationists are fighting to stop the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from poisoning thousands of black-tailed prairie dogs who live on the Thunder Basin National Grassland in eastern Wyoming.

The prairie dog management plan was put in place years ago, setting aside 85,000 acres where prairie dogs would be protected from poisons and shooting, but complaints from ranchers have led the USFS to propose going backwards and amend the plan to allow prairie dogs to be poisoned within a quarter of a mile of private or state land.

The management strategy was originally intended to promote ecological diversity and ensure prairie dogs and other species had a safe space to live, but the new plan would in effect take away 22,000 acres of this protected land and end up killing an estimated 16,000 prairie dogs, according to a joint press release from the organizations opposing the agency’s proposal, including the Humane Society of the United States, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife and WildEarth Guardians.

Unfortunately, prairie dog numbers have already been reduced by habitat loss and disease and because they are often seen as pests who need to be destroyed. According to the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, these prairie dogs now only exist on an estimated two percent of their former range.

Living in colonies known as “towns,” prairie dogs are considered a keystone species who are vital to the health of prairie ecosystems. Their disappearance will affect numerous other species who rely on them as a food source and as habitat developers for species who take advantage of abandoned burrows, including burrowing owls, raptors, swift foxes and badgers, among others. According to the Prairie Dog Coalition, as many as 140 species are believed to be affected by the role of the black-tailed prairie dog in North America.

Prairie dog advocates are opposing the proposal, not only because prairie dogs are important, but because adding more poison to the government’s wildlife management toolbox is dangerous and unacceptable. Using poison is a sickeningly cruel method for dealing with wild animals that results in a horrific death and has no place on our public lands. The use of poison also poses a threat to other non-target species as it moves through the food chain.

“These dangerous poisons shouldn’t be used anywhere, much less in one of our last best grasslands,” said Taylor Jones, endangered species advocate for WildEarth Guardians.

Killing prairie dogs and using poison will also impact the recovery plan for black-footed ferrets, who have been brought back from the brink of extinction through captive breeding programs. Thunder Basin National Grassland is believed to be one of the best places available for releasing more of them, and many believe one of the easiest ways to ensure the success of the recovery program is to work on prairie dog conservation efforts simultaneously.

The organizations fighting this proposal are calling on the USFS to adopt non-lethal management strategies that include building vegetative barriers to deter prairie dogs from expanding onto neighboring lands, relocating prairie dog colonies from boundary areas to protected areas away from private lands when necessary and offering incentives to private landowners to coexist with prairie dogs.

TAKE ACTION!

Please sign and share the petition supporting non-lethal alternatives to manage prairie dog colonies and send an email directly.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/thousands-of-prairie-dogs-in-danger-of-being-poisoned.html#ixzz2pwHjboBx

And We Call Ourselves Civilized?

In agreeing with President Obama’s plan to strike Syria, Representative Nancy Pelosi was quoted as saying we must respond to actions “outside the circle of civilized human behavior.” Nice to hear that the U.S. Government thinks it has the moral authority to respond to such actions. While they’re at it, I can think of a whole lot of other actions which should be considered “outside the circle of civilized human behavior” that are desperately in need of responding to.

I’m referring, of course, to the innumerable abuses of non-human animals by humans—many that go on every day right here in the U.S. of A. I’m afraid if I were to try to list all the instances of human mistreatment of other animals which should fall outside the “circle of civilized human behavior,” the pages would fill the halls of justice, spill out onto the streets and overflow the banks of Potomac River in an unending tsunami of savagery.

So here’s just a partial list…

Wolf Hunting—No sooner did grey wolves begin to make a comeback in the Lower 48 than did the feds jerk the rug out from under them by lifting their endangered species protections and casting their fate into the clutches of hostile states. Now, hunters in Wyoming have a year-round season on them while anti-wolf fanatics in Montana have quadrupled their per person yearly kill quota.

Trapping—Only the creepiest arachnid would leave a victim suffering and struggling for days until it suits them to come along for the “harvest.” Yet “law abiding trappers” routinely leave highly sentient, social animals clamped by the foot and chained to a log to endlessly await their fate.

Hound-Hunting—“Sportsmen” not content to shoot unsuspecting prey from a distance of a hundred yards or more sometimes use hounds to make their blood-sport even more outrageously one-sided.

Bowhunting—Those who want to add a bit of challenge to their unnecessary kill-fest like to try their luck at archery. Though they often go home empty-handed, they can always boast about the “ones that got away”… with arrows painfully stuck in them.

Contest Hunts—Prairie dogs, coyotes, and in Canada, wolves, are among the noble, intelligent animals that ignoble dimwits are allowed to massacre during bloody tournaments reminiscent of the bestial Roman Games.

Horse Slaughter—After all that our equine friends have done for us over the centuries, the administration sees fit to send them in cattle trucks to those nightmarish death-camps where so many other forcibly domesticated herbivores meet their tragic ends.

Factory farming—Whether cows, sheep, pigs, chickens or turkeys, the conditions animals are forced to withstand on modern day factory farms fall well outside even the narrowest circle of civilized human compassion. To call their situations overcrowded, inhumane or unnatural does not do justice to the fiendish cruelty that farmed animals endure each and every day of their lives.

Atrocious conditions are not confined to this continent. Chickens in China (the ancestral home of some new strain of bird flu just about every other week) are treated worse than inanimate objects. Bears, rhinoceros and any other animal whose body parts are said to have properties that will harden the wieners of hard-hearted humans are hunted like there’s no tomorrow. And let’s not forget the South Korean dog and cat slaughter, or Japan’s annual dolphin round up…

Far be it from me to belittle the use of chemical weapons—my Grandfather received a purple heart after the Germans dropped mustard gas on his foxhole during World War One. I just feel that if we’re considering responding to actions “outside the circle of civilized human behavior,” we might want to strike a few targets closer to home as well. Or better yet, reign in some of our own ill-behaviors so we can justifiably call ourselves “civilized.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Breaking Down the Means of Stupidity

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http://boldvisions.businesscatalyst.com/opinion.html

by Stephen Capra

Another weekend is about to pass in New Mexico, and another group enjoyed killing innocent animals. So goes it, in the modern, or perhaps throwback American West. South of Albuquerque, in Valencia County is a special place of hell for animals. It is known as Gun Hawk. It is a gun shop owned by people of greed, which make their money off the killing of innocent animals. Their method is to sponsor “killing contests” of coyotes, prairie dogs, and perhaps if they had their way, wolves.

This so-called company thrives on the negative publicity they receive, because like conservation groups, it allows them to become a cause, only they are a cause for fools. You see, if you use the words freedom enough, and talk about heritage, you will have an ample supply of cowboys, young guns, Tea Partiers and worse yet the media, which will quote everything you say without a moments fact checking.

So what this pathetic company is doing is creating a working model for others to emulate in the future. Their bravado is empowering to communities like Clovis, and allows them to take their stand despite science, compassion and simple reason. When George Bush was President many of us protested his war, his environmental policies, his views on abortion. We did it like Americans before us had. We made our case clear and went to the streets to make our case. We did not harm people with whom we disagreed. What has changed is how those on the other side approach dissent. They plant bombs and kill those that believe in a woman’s right to choose. They carry on very public killings of innocent animals, not just for fun, but because they know it is painful to us and they want us to see the carcasses of their personal rage.

To counter this opposition will require that the conservation movement, like Silicon Valley be open to new ways of engaging and fighting for our principles. We cannot speak to these people and try to reason. It is like a conversation with a sociopath, and they simply would not understand the language. I believe in organizing. I see it as essential, but the time has come where you must go from talk to action. Reason is not a guaranteed part of success.

Last week we were in Clovis, we spent time looking at the prairie dogs. Our supplemental feeding and some rain have brought them back to health. I watched as they played and as they stood guard over their territory and thought to myself, they have no idea what is occurring, no idea of the fight. Then another thought occurred, perhaps they do, perhaps they are preparing themselves for what may come. They are hoping for freedom, but resigned to death. Animals sense what is not spoken. They live with dignity and they die with even more.

So we are going to save them, which is not a goal; it is part of the center of our heart and part of our commitment to them. We spoke with the Mayor, the paper and listened to rage, and to phony religious ramblings. As they spoke I searched for their pulse. I looked deeply into their eyes trying to see their personal pain. Was it childhood, was it divorce, it matters not. We all have burdens to overcome, that is the essence of life. When they were done, I knew that our job was far from over.

The earth is heating up, this we know. Many continue to deny that climate change is real. I mention this because people are also heating up. Reason and civility are being lost as the planet continues to boil, as our artic ice melts. It would be easy to say, I want no part of this, I want a home in the country, or to move to Europe. Part of modern society, is a staunch reality that as humans we must be able to absorb more pain and visually see the result of our actions.

The challenge that we all face is how to get us on the right course. We have so many great alternatives, and it begins demanding that we share this planet with all animals-forever. Be it Clovis, be it Africa, or be it the bounty and beauty of our oceans. Stare into the eyes of an animal; you will experience one thing-love.

We can never rest while wolves are being slaughtered. While Coyotes and prairie dogs are killed for fun and laughter. However, we must change tactics, and we must be forceful in our message. People who kill for fun are cowards. What is occurring in simplification- humanity is being bullied. The way for change is to confront the bully, without fear. With this hot powered strength, the bully will yield.

We will soon begin airing our gorilla commercials to fight for the prairie dogs of Clovis and we have plans for a certain gun shop as well. Please help if you can, it’s time we all stare down the bully and share the land with our true kin, the lives that live it wild.

A very wise and learned man stated succinctly my feelings, “When you destroy nature you destroy one’s own nature as well. It kills the song.” Thank you Joseph Campbell

Save the Wolves: Support the Rights of All Animals

Make no mistake, I love wolves as much as just about anyone; yet some people practically worship them, putting them above any other species except perhaps whales and dolphins. To be sure, wolves are sacred, but there are folks who think of them as hyper-sentient—the great Northern furred land-dolphin, if you will.

I’m not for a minute denying wolves’ intelligence or adherence to an almost human-like social caste system, but I can’t get behind campaign slogans such as “Real hunters don’t hunt wolves.” I call bullshit on that. Real hunters hunt wolves, coyotes, elk, deer, prairie dogs, pigeons, pronghorn, bears, cougars, raccoons— anything and everything that moves or has ever moved. Hell, they’d probably hunt whales and dolphins if it weren’t for the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Most hunters just want a target and a trophy, they don’t really care what species it is.

Granted, some hunters are more sadistic than others, just as some serial killers revel in their victims’ suffering, while others dispatch their prey as quickly as possible—they’re only interest: harvesting a trophy corpse to have around, for whatever morbid reason. The most sadistic hunters are probably fueled by the fact that there are people out there who adore wolves while state laws still consider delisted wolves “property” like every other non-human animal.

Serial killers have been known to derive sick pleasure from taunting the families of their victims, calling them from prison to recount their murders. The same kind of thing likely goes on in the minds of sadistic wolf hunters who boast and post photos of their kills, knowing that some sentimental environmentalist or animal rightsists might come across one and be hurt or outraged by it. They’d love to know that one of us broke down, burned out or resorted to lethal action because of their post (as long as they weren’t on the receiving end of the action).

The wolf situation is unique among modern-day animal atrocities, in that it’s as yet perfectly “legal” for hunters and trappers to film themselves in action. In sharing them online, they’re banking on the fact that the general public is unmoved and apathetic. But I’d like to think that if factory farmers readily shared footage of their routine acts of animal abuse online, there would be a lot more vegans in this world.

For now, the only way anti-wolf sadists can be stopped is by eliminating them from the world of the living. But if you happen to reside in one of those backward states that have yet to implement a death penalty for wolf hunting, the best advice is to just ignore them like you would the taunts of any other bully. Meanwhile, keep petitioning Facebook and other social media outlets where their death porn appears. As long as animals, including wolves, are seen only as “property” by the powers that be, the people who run Facebook will feel entitled to allow anti-wolf evil to be spread throughout their pages and posts.

Eventually common decency will prevail and violent anti-wolf/anti-animal sites will come under serious scrutiny, just as misogynistic sites recently have. We need to step up the pressure on Facebook and let them know that freedom of speech does not give one the right to victimize. Be sure to sign this petition and pass it on: http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-executives-ban-sadistic-pages-of-wildlife-torture

Meanwhile, let’s fight for the rights and personhood of all animals, not just a chosen few.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Recreational Shooting Might Just Be Relaxing

Sometimes I get the urge to go out shooting things for sport. You know, recreational shooting, like hunters do, except instead of shooting quail or coyotes or pronghorn or prairie dogs, the targets would be quail or coyote or pronghorn or prairie dog hunters.

There’s probably nothing more relaxing than pecking off quail hunters as they take flight, lying in wait or setting out traps for wolf or coyote hunters, or blasting at prairie dog or pronghorn hunters from a distance of 200 yards or more. Shooting can sure be soothing and killing is the ultimate sport.

Sound like crazy talk? Maybe, but the thing is, while I’m just being facetious about taking lives in the name of a hobby, sport hunters are dead serious.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

South Dakota Reclassifies Wolves as “Varmints”

 

Earlier today I posted an action alert to Urge Your Representative to Stand Up for Wolves. Well, here is an article by the AP and Mark Watson in the South Dakota’s Black Hills Pioneer (a newspaper that boasts being “local and independent since 1876”—and whose attitude toward wolves obviously has remained unchanged since then), titled, “Wolf bill likely signed into law today.” The “wolf bill” in question is actually a state anti-wolf bill which unintentionally underscores why wolves need to remain on the federal Endangered Species List…

SPEARFISH — Gov. Dennis Daugaard is expected to sign a bill today that would reclassify wolves from protected species in the state to predators or varmints in East River counties.

SB 205 received final Legislative action on Feb. 26 when the House approved it 60-9. It passed in the Senate unanimously 35-0.

The bill will classify wolves the same as coyotes, foxes, skunks, gophers, ground squirrels, chipmunks, jackrabbits, marmots, porcupines, crows, and prairie dogs, but only in Eastern South Dakota. They will still remain protected by federal and state law West River.

In 2012, wolves residing in the Great Lakes population, which includes Eastern South Dakota, were removed from the federal Endangered Species Act. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working on plan that would delist the wolves West River as well.

Wolves don’t often roam across South Dakota, however there have been confirmed sightings. Wolves are occasionally killed by vehicles. One was killed in Harding County by a lethal trap set for coyotes and one was shot in 2012 near Custer. Olson said that one was seen just south of her Harding County ranch in February, however that sighting, like most others, lack physical evidence and are not confirmed.

The wolves that do traverse the state come from both the Rocky Mountain packs as well as the Great Lakes packs. They are typically younger males searching out mates and new territory.

Montana officials said that 255 wolves were killed in the 2012-2013 hunting and trapping season. Wyoming reported about 60 wolves killed. In Wisconsin, 117 were killed and in Minnesota, 395 were killed.

Scott Larson, a field supervisor with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Pierre, said a proposed rule by the service regarding the delisting wolves in West River should be issued this spring.

“It will be part of a larger effort,” Larson said. “The Rocky Mountain population and the Great Lakes populations have been delisted, but they are protected in most of the Lower 48 where we don’t have plans for any recovery efforts. … When you have a recovered population you have transients that move out into area where there is not suitable habitat. It doesn’t make any sense to have the protection status different.”

But dozens of U.S. House members don’t want that to happen.

A letter signed by 52 representatives [the good guys] urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not drop wolves from the endangered species list in areas where it hasn’t already been done. The comeback of the wolf populations in the western Great Lakes and the Northern Rockies is “a wildlife success story in the making,” the lawmakers said in a letter distributed by Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats. But it added that because of lingering human prejudice, “federal protection continues to be necessary to ensure that wolf recovery is allowed to proceed in additional parts of the country.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to return wolves to the Southwest, despite court battles and resistance from ranchers. It’s also reviewing the status of wolves and their potential habitat in the Pacific Northwest, where perhaps 100 of the animals are believed to roam, and in the Northeast, which has no established population although occasional sightings have been reported.

“The outcome of these reviews will identify which, if any, gray wolves should continue to receive protections under the Endangered Species Act outside of the boundaries of the recovered populations and the Southwest population,” agency spokesman Chris Tollefson said.

…And which wolves, by contrast, will be classified as “varmints,” the same as coyotes, foxes, skunks, gophers, ground squirrels, chipmunks, jackrabbits, marmots, porcupines, crows, and prairie dogs, as South Dakota has done.

Speaking of prairie dogs, please sign on to this pledge for that beleaguered cornerstone species:

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Who the Hell Hunts With a Machine Gun Anyway?

While America is reeling in shock over the senseless shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and mourning those lost in a volley of peacetime machine gun fire, the papers are rehashing the same questions posed whenever a mass killing makes the news: “Why did this happen?” and “How can we prevent this kind of thing in the future?”

Predictably, politicians from both sides of the fence are weighing in on gun control or the culpability shared by violent Hollywood movies (and even cartoons like Family Guy and American Dad—both of which were preempted by Fox this week because of the tragedy). What we’re not hearing in the mainstream media is any mention of the leading role that sport hunting plays in promoting guns and perpetuating violence.

The latest school shooter, Adam Lanza, and the D.C. Beltway snipers, John Mohammad and John Malvo, all used a Bushmaster .223 hunting/assault rifle to carry out their killings. It was also the weapon used in the Colorado theater shooting, and in a host of other homicidal meltdowns.

The .223 semi-automatic can fire 6 rounds per second (okay, if you want to split hairs, it’s not technically considered a machine gun because you have to hit the hair-trigger with each shot), but what makes it so deadly is the way the bullet reacts on impact: It’s designed to bounce around inside the body once it makes contact with bone.

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Why is such a lethal assault rifle legal for non-military civilians to own? According to the manufacturer, they are intended to be used for hunting animals. As the NRA well knows, hunting has been used to justify the private ownership of some of the most destructive weapons ever invented.

But who the Hell really hunts with a machine gun anyway? Unfortunately, some folks do. One thrill-killer describes his sport this way: “Prairie dog hunting is a blast, on both private and public lands. I like to start by clearing everything within 50 yards with an AR-15, then switch to my .223 Remington for anything out to about 150 and finally trade up to the bull barrel .22-250 for the longer shots.”

And those who mass murder coyotes seem to feel entitled to the deadliest of armaments as well. A recent “contest hunt” offered up a free shotgun or a pair of semi-automatic rifles to whoever murdered the most canines. The terms of the competition were simple: hunters in New Mexico had two days to shoot and kill as many coyotes as they could; the winner got their choice of a Browning Maxus 12-gauge shotgun or two AR-15 semi-automatic rifles. (The AR-15 is the civilian version of the military’s M16 that has been in production since Vietnam.) “Nothing’s gonna stop me,” said Mark Chavez, the hunt’s sponsor, and the owner of Gunhawk Firearms “This is my right to hunt and we’re not breaking any laws.”

Bushmaster describes their .223 as a “Varmint Rifle.” Oh really? That shines new light on what some of these politicians really mean when they say they only hunt “varmints.” I’ve never been an invited guest at George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford Texas; therefore I can only guess that this is the type of weapon the self-proclaimed “varmint” hunter uses when he goes up against a family of scary ground squirrels, marmots or a town of talkative prairie dogs.

Larger caliber Bushmaster models are categorized as “Predator Rifles.”

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Ironically, it was Lanza’s mother, Nancy, who taught young Adam how to shoot. She was an avid gun enthusiast who legally owned a Sig Sauer and a Glock (both handguns commonly used by police) and a military-style Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine, according to law enforcement officials. As it turns out, it was one of her guns that her son turned on her before using them in his attack on the students and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary…

See also, “Honor Thy Father and Mother, Except When They Misbehave.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved