Delta man dies in apparent hunting accident

by Amulya Raghuveer

Posted: 04.17.2014


DELTA, OHIO — Fulton County officials say a man who reportedly went out hunting for woodchucks Wednesday morning was found dead hours later.

According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were called to the scene of a possible hunting accident in Fulton Township, Delta around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

An investigation revealed the body of 51-year-old Chad Spiess. The man’s body was found on his own property on County Road H.

Spiess had reportedly gone out woodchuck hunting earlier that day. He was later found dead with a gunshot wound to his chest.

The case remains under investigation by Fulton County sheriff’s deputies.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

National Wildlife Refuges Expand Hunting

[The expansion of hunting--Watch for it in a refuge near you!]

By: | April 15, 2014

Hunters provide many positive economic benefits to state wildlife agencies, including expanded wildlife opportunities, habitat restoration, and continued conservation efforts. Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceThree national wildlife refuges in the Great Lakes region will expand hunting opportunities and two more will open to hunting for the first time, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois and thePatoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area in Indiana will expand migratory bird, upland game and big game hunting.

The ones opening hunting for the first time are Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge in New York for big game hunting, and Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania for migratory bird, upland game and big game hunting.

Hunting and wildlife observation is a big economic boost to the local area, said Bill McCory, the manager of Indiana’s 7,398-acre Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge.

A lot of money is spent locally on hunting licenses, guns, clothes, tackle, bait and more.

Aside from monetary benefits from opening and expanding hunting and fishing at refuges, there are also highly valued recreational opportunities for visitors.

Jeremy Ross, a longtime hunter from the area, was a Patoka visitor even before it became a refuge. He is now on the board of directors for the Friends of the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge.

Opening the land gives that many more people the opportunity to go out and experience nature and fulfill their love of whatever they want to pursue outdoors, said Ross.

Nationwide, 20 refuges in total are offering expanded hunting, and six are offering it for the first time.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the 2014 expansion of hunting opportunities at 20 National Wildlife Refuges. Another six refuges are open to hunting for the first time.

Dan Ashe, director of the Fish & Wildlife Service, said that hunters and anglers economic contributions are also a big help in restoring habitat and financing conservation throughout the refuge system.

Hunters and anglers have paid more than $15 billion in excise taxes – used by state wildlife agencies to sustain and restore habitat, educate the next generation of hunters and fund sport shooting ranges nationwide, Ashe said in a blog post.

And Ashe says that there are no intentions to stop the growth of the national wildlife refuges anytime soon.

We are committed to strengthening and expanding hunting opportunities on our national wildlife refuges wherever possible, Ashe wrote.

The National Wildlife System is composed of 560 refuges that encompass 150 million acres of land and water throughout the United States.

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
An Animal Rights Poem from

All of God’s creatures have rights, a fact that most people don’t seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT)

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I learn to respect animals and to respect life?

Hunter: Buy a rifle and get a hunting license. Then hunt the animals down and kill them.

Boy: And that will help me attain a respect for animals and for life?

Hunter: Yes, of course it will, boy. Plus, if you go hunting with your father or your grandfather, then you can really bond with them.

Boy: But couldn’t I bond with them at a baseball game or at an amusement park?

Hunter: I guess so. But then you couldn’t kill anything.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, what happens to some of the deer during the winter?

Hunter: Well, some of the weak ones starve to death. And that’s a very cruel way to die. So – instead – hunters shoot some deer, cut off their heads for trophies, dismember their bodies and eat their flesh in order to save them from the cruelties.

Boy: But, uh, uh, how come hunters never shoot starving deer – only big, healthy ones?

Hunter: Uh, uh, uh, boy. Now you just keep quiet about that.

Boy: And another thing, Wise One, if hunters were really concerned about starving animals, wouldn’t they feed them?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You’re saying that we should be feeding starving deer – instead of killing them? But…

Boy: Is it true, Wise Hunter, that deer-car accidents have more than tripled over the past 30 years?

Hunter: Well, uh, yeah.

Boy: But I thought hunters killed deer in order to reduce the herd so deer-car accidents would decrease.

Hunter: Well, uh, you sure ask a lot of questions, boy.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how come the Department of Natural Resources always promotes the killing of animals?

Hunter: Well, just between you and me, the hunting community and the DNR are allies. You know, real good buddies.

Boy: You mean most of the people who work for the DNR – hunt?

Hunter: Yes, of course, boy. And those fees from the hunting licenses – around 90 percent of that money goes toward the hiring of DNR officers and the marketing of programs to recruit young people, like yourself, into the hunting community.

Boy: What about the commission that oversees the DNR in Michigan?

Hunter: You mean, the Natural Resources Commission?

Boy: Yes, Wise Hunter.

Hunter: Well, uh, eight of the nine commissioners ‘live to hunt and hunt to live!’

Boy: Ohhh. You mean, people who hunt make decisions about the fate of wild animals?

Hunter: Now, now, boy. You just keep that bit of information to yourself.

Boy: Would hunters ever try to conserve some of the land if they couldn’t hunt on it?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You mean, we should just conserve some of the land and some of the animals that live on that land for the heck of it – with no killing. Uh, that would be a pretty kind gesture of humanity.

Boy: I know, Wise Hunter, I know.

Hunter: Well, uhhh…

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I help advance the, uh, sport of hunting?

Hunter: Tell people to have compassion for hunters.

Boy: You mean, tell people to have compassion for those who have no compassion?

Hunter: Yes, boy.

Boy: But, uh, Wise Hunter, these things you say make no sense.

Hunter: I know, boy, I know. But if we say these things enough, the public will eventually believe us and then they will make sense.

Boy: Ohhh!

Watch The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – An extraordinary presentation on veganism by Gary Yourofsky

Miss Kansas to host hunting show for Outdoors Channel


Updated: 2014-04-14T00:05:03Z

[A fresh face, camo, the smell of a bleeding dead bird in the morning--I must be dreaming. Or is it a nightmare?! Wake up Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.]

April 13 By Michael Pearce

The Wichita Eagle

— Theresa Vail’s job has included a lot of cameras and fashionable clothing since she won the Miss Kansas crown last year. Friday and Saturday she got a look at a future that will contain more of the same when she reliquishes her crown June 7.

From then on, though, the cameras will be videoing her on hunts and other outdoors passions for “Limitless,” a series she’ll be hosting on the Outdoors Channel next year. The clothing will be mostly camo, made by “She,” a line of women’s outdoors apparel Vail has been hired to promote and help design.

Vail filmed her first episode for the show while at the Governor’s Turkey Hunt in El Dorado. The show was about a Flint Hills turkey hunt with her father, Mark. Both shot nice toms 20 minutes into the hunt Friday morning.

Vail has received attention for openly speaking of her love of hunting, firearms and her career in the Kansas Army National Guard. She gained more national attention when she announced she would not cover her tattoos in the Miss America competition in Atlantic City last September.

Two months later, the 23-year-old chemistry and Chinese major at Kansas State realized that her career goal of becoming a dentist might be put on hold when the Outdoor Channel called to talk about her possibly hosting a series on their network.

“I told them I didn’t want to do what everybody else was doing and they said they didn’t either,” Vail said while taking a break from Friday’s hunt. “We both wanted it to have more than just me on hunts. I was sold from there on.”

She had gotten a taste of outdoors television in late December, when she and cameraman David Blanton met for an archery deer hunt near Pratt. It snowed hard, and the windchill and temperatures were brutal. She got a nice, mature whitetail with her bow. Blanton, Realtree Outdoors host, got a look at someone he thought could easily succeed in the business.

“She just absolutely energized me more than anything. She is an amazing person, really,” Blanton said. “She really wants to teach people they can do things outside their comfort zone, to believe in themselves. They’ll see when the shows begin to air.”

Vail said about half of each segment will be based on hunting, usually with archery gear. The rest will be about a particular personal challenge. To go along with a New Mexico elk hunt she’ll be spending a day training with the state’s Smoke Jumper fire fighters.

“You have 100 pounds of gear on, and you’re running up and down buildings carrying people in a fireman’s carry,” she said. “It’s going to be pretty tough, but I thrive on things like that.”

Another show will have her participating next year in a marathon in New Mexico that honors soldiers from the Bataan Death March in World War II. She recently hosted several pageant contestants at the event, which is held largely across boot-sucking sand dunes. Vail carried 46 pounds in a rucksack to compete in the event’s toughest category.

Vail also wants to be as hands-on as possible in her hunts that will include at least three trips for elk, several for deer and possibly at least one for bear. That means she’ll be insisting on field-dressing and packing out loads of meat, when needed.

Though a longtime hunter, she admits she does have plenty to learn.

“I’m not afraid to say, ‘Hey, I don’t know how to do this,’ but I want to learn and do it myself,” she said. “That’s empowering and more people need to do it. I’ve never (backpacked the meat from an elk down a mountain), but I will learn how and that’s the kind of thing that makes me so proud.”

Friday morning’s hunt with guide Pat Post, her father and two cameramen required some quick thinking.

Post’s scouting had found where a sizable flock of turkeys was roosting in a high-rise of a sycamore over a gorgeous Flint Hills stream. The crew of five moved close to the roost while tom turkeys filled the still air with scores of gobbles.

Four toms strutted toward Post’s decoys shortly after fly-down. A mechanical problem caused Vail’s gun to only “click” when she pulled the trigger. Using the sound of her dad’s shot to cover her noise, she quickly worked the action on the semi-automatic 12 gauge and killed a nice tom five yards away.

Vail has also been hired by Bass Pro Shops for assorted company promotions and work on the She clothing line, which they own. She said she’ll finish the two semesters needed for her college degree online.

She also re-enlisted for another six years in the National Guard. Vail said they’re willing to work with her schedule since she often promotes the military. Her father has had a long career as an Army dentist.

After working with Vail on several projects, the two cameramen in Kansas to film the turkey hunt believe she’ll be able to get done all she’s mentioned, and probably more.

“She’s not afraid of trying anything,” cameraman Casey Keefer said. “There’s nothing timid at all about Theresa. She has so much drive and personality.”

Cameraman Jason Brown agreed, saying, “It’s like the title of her show, ‘Limitless,’ there are no limits in Theresa.”


While on the Other Side of Illinois

Illinois House OKs measure to allow bobcat hunting

Friday, March 28, 2014

FILE - In this 1996 file photo, a bobcat is seen in a tree at Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria, Ill. Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years. The Illinois House voted 91-20 Thursday in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate. Photo: Dennis Magee, AP / Herald & Review

FILE – In this 1996 file photo, a bobcat is seen in a tree at Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria, Ill. Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years. The Illinois House voted 91-20 Thursday in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate. Photo: Dennis Magee, AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports ( the Illinois House voted 91-20 Thursday in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate.

Illinois banned hunting of the nocturnal animal in 1972. Bobcats were on the threatened species list from 1977 to 1999.

But supporters say the population has made a comeback.

Republican state Rep. Wayne Rosenthal of Morrisonville is the bill’s sponsor.

He says the bobcat population is growing in rural, non-farming areas of western and southern Illinois.

The hunting and trapping season would occur sometime between Nov. 1 and Feb. 15. A hunter would be allowed to kill one bobcat per year.


Boone and Crockett Club: Drone hunts ineligible for records

Heading out for the big hunt? Leave your drone at home.

The Missoula-based Boone and Crockett Club, North America’s oldest hunting and conservation organization, has announced that any game scouted or taken with the help of drones or other unmanned aerial vehicles is ineligible for entry into its records program.

“Boone and Crockett likes to, as much as possible, set the standard for fair chase,” said Richard Hale, the chairman of the club’s big game records committee.

The club defines fair chase as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.

“These drones, like all technology, have advanced rapidly. We need to be responsive to the way technology is changing things,” Hale said Sunday, adding that several states, including Colorado and Alaska, have already moved to ban the use of drone-aided hunting.

Curbing the use of technology is not new for the Boone and Crockett Club.

In the 1960s, the group declared that trophies taken with the use or assistance of aircraft, including spotting or herding game, would be ineligible for its prestigious records.

“We already don’t allow things like trail cameras that could send an image to, say, your phone, or pursuing game in a vehicle,” Hale said.

He said if Boone and Crockett or even state wildlife agencies take a wait-and-see approach on new technology, companies and other groups can develop an entrenched interest in seeing such technology stay legal, and lobby against any moves to limit them later on.

The Boone and Crockett Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887 to promote the proper management of wildlife and encourage hunting sportsmanship. Its international headquarters is in Missoula.


Nebraska Governor Vetos Bill That Would Ban Cougar Hunting

Nebraska Governor Stands Up For Sportsmen, Veto’s Hunting Ban

Columbus, OH –( Today, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman vetoed a bill that would have banned Mountain lion hunting in Nebraska.

The measure, LB 671, sought to remove the authority of the state’s wildlife management professionals in favor of legislative ban on mountain lion hunting.

In his veto message, Governor Heineman stated “Nebraskans expect responsible wildlife management. LB 671 eliminates an important tool used to accomplish it. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission should retain the ability to determine those management actions which are necessary to protect both the health and safety of our citizens and the wildlife in our state. Removing the agency’s authority to manage mountain lions through hunting at this time is poor public policy.”

The bill will now be returned to the legislature where they would need 30 yes votes to override the Governor’s veto.

“Our system of wildlife management is designed to remove political influence and allow wildlife management professionals to do their jobs,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA’s president and CEO.

“We’re extremely proud of Governor Heineman for standing up to protect sportsmen. This action speaks volumes about his view of hunting and scientific wildlife management. Nebraska sportsmen should call Governor Heineman today and thank him for this stance.”

On Monday, March 24, the Nebraska legislature passed the bill that removes the authority of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to manage the state’s growing mountain lion population. The effort to ban Mountain lion hunting is being driven by Senator Ernie Chambers. Senator Chambers has vowed to oppose every proposal of the state’s Game and Parks Commission until the mountain lion season is banned.

Nebraska added Mountain lions to the state’s list of game animals in 2012 when Governor Heineman signed LB 928 into law. In 2013, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission took a measured approach designed to maintain, or slightly reduce—the population of mountain lions in the state.


Nebraska’s first mountain lion hunt could also be last

‘It was the first time he had ever seen a mountain lion.’ [Too bad he couldn't just enjoy the experience, instead of ruining it for all others and ending the life of the cat.]

By Robert Gearty

Published March 27, 2014

William “Paul” Hotz shot this 102-pound mountain lion days after Nebraska’s first sanctioned hunt of the animals began. (Courtesy: William “Paul” Hotz)

A grammar school teacher who killed a Nebraska mountain lion in the state’s first cougar hunt could also be the state’s last hunter to bag one of the trophy cats.

William “Paul” Hotz, 33, may earn that distinction if a bill halting future hunts becomes law.

He was one of three Nebraskans to kill a mountain lion after state issued permits to hunt the big cats for the first time this winter. The bill to end the hunt was passed this week by the Nebraska State Senate.

Gov. Dave Heineman has until the weekend to sign the bill into law or veto it. His spokeswoman, Jen Rae Wang, told the governor is reviewing the bill and has not yet made a decision.

Mountain lions are native to Nebraska but disappeared in the late 1800s after settlers hunted them in massive numbers. The first confirmed sighting in the state in more than 100 years took place in 1991. Over the next two decades, their numbers increased, particularly in the northwestern part of the state.

The state Legislature passed a law to hold a cougar hunting season in 2012 with the aim of keeping their numbers in check in Nebraska’s rugged Pine Ridge region. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission believes the region is home to about two dozen mountain lions.

The commission said hunters could kill four mountain lions in Pine Ridge but that if a female cougar was killed before the quota was filled, the season would end.

Hunters shot two male cats in January. One of the hunters paid $13,000 to obtain a cougar hunting license at an auction. The other hunter won his permit in a lottery.

Hotz was also a lottery winner along with 99 other hunters who were allowed to hunt cougars from Feb. 15 to March 31.

He and a friend started hunting on Feb. 26. They immediately got lucky when they spotted a big cat on a hillside near the South Dakota border.

“We had a good amount of snow two days earlier and that helped,” he said.

It was the first time he had ever seen a mountain lion. “You can spend days in the pines searching and calling and never see a cougar,” he said.

Hotz shot the cougar in the neck from a distance of about 250 yards with his 25.06 Remington rifle.

He described the hunt as a “once in a lifetime experience.”

The female mountain lion he shot had been tagged as a cub in Wyoming. The cat was five years old and weighed 102 pounds.

Because it was a female, Hotz’ kill ended the state’s hunt.

If the cougar hunt halt becomes law, Hotz would go down as the last Nebraskan to kill a mountain lion.

Hotz said he is not so sure he approves of the bill.

“I think honestly having a season is a better way to manage them than not,” he said.

The effort to end Nebraska’s mountain lion hunt was led by Omaha State Sen. Ernie Chambers, a long-time hunting opponent. Chambers said the relatively small size of the mountain lion population in Pine Ridge didn’t warrant a state-regulated hunt.

“I think it goes more to extermination than to appropriation of wildlife management,” he told

His legislation still permits killing a mountain lion to protect humans or livestock.

At a State Senate hearing on the Chambers bill in January, opponents included representatives from the Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation and other hunting groups.

Stacy Swinney, a Dawes County Commissioner, told senators she opposed the bill because Nebraska has a “serious mountain lion problem.”

“We now have a growing, reproducing number of one of nature’s most fearless, dangerous predators, and they walk through our homesteads at will day or night,” she said.

Colorado Hunter In Cross Hairs After Online Bullying By Anti-Hunting Activists

[I don't encourage people to visit these sites and "bully" the poor trophy hunters, but if the animal-killers don't want to receive a lot of angry comments from animal advocates then they shouldn't post photos of themselves smugly posing with their victims. That's why child molesters don't pose with their victims. This article doesn't make the connection; the only victim they see is the one with the rifle.]

March 27, 2014
DENVER (CBS4)- A picture of a hunter posing on Facebook with her kill, a mountain lion, has put her in the cross hairs of groups that oppose hunting. She claims she’s being harassed online by animal activists- some have threatened her life.

“My first hunting experience was when I was three years old,” said Charisa Argys.

Argys lives in Buena Vista and grew up with a love of hunting after being introduced to the sport by her father.

“It’s always been quality time for us. It’s always been a time when we got to get away,” said Argys.

In February 2013 she hunted and shot a 175-pound male mountain lion. She posted pictures of her kill on the internet.

“I am very proud of what I had accomplished that day,” said Argys.

One year later that picture would result in online threats.

“My picture had been placed on an animal rights activist page,” said Argys.

That picture quickly made the rounds in cyberspace as anti-hunting organizations picked it up and re-posted it, along with hundreds of comments, some of them hurtful.

“They were calling me horrible names. They were saying they wanted to kill me, they wanted to see me dead, they called me fat, they called me ugly, they called me the B-word, they called me the C-word,” said Argys. “There really wasn’t anything they weren’t willing to call me and to say.”

One comment reads, “The only answer is to take out these psychopaths. Problem solved — animals saved.”

Another comment calls for “an eye for an eye.”

And another, “You are a disgrace to those of us who respect life, human and animal. I’d love to hunt YOU and hand YOUR head on my living room wall.”

“You know it was definitely cyberbullying. These were not just threats but I would say they were terroristic threats,” said Argys.

Argys’ shooting and killing the mountain lion is legal in Colorado.

“Absolutely it’s legal. It’s part of wildlife management,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras. “You may not like hunting, we understand that. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to express your opinions.”

Porras said Argys is not the first female hunter to be the target of attacks on the internet.

“I mean there are Facebook pages harassing women that have posed with their harvest,” said Porras.

Argys said she did not expect that type of reaction when she posted her picture on the internet, “I had no idea that this type of behavior was going on.”

Argys said Silva Wadhwa, a former reporter with CNBC based in Germany, claims to have started the firestorm.

In a Facebook message to Argys, Wadhwa wrote that she doesn’t agree with trophy killing. She went on to state, “But I do not and will not ever condone or encourage insults, threats or death wishes.”

Argys said the internet comments continue but she vows not to be intimidated, “If I don’t stand up for myself and I don’t take a position on what I feel passionate about how can I expect my children to stand up if it happens to them?”

She also plans to keep hunting.cougar cub

“It was an extreme hunt and it was well worth it,” said Argys.

According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Argys hunted her mountain lion in an area where there is an effort to reduce the number of wild cats.

Drone-Assisted Hunting Banned in Alaska

by Rose Eveleth

Alaska takes big game hunting seriously, and, in a recent meeting of the Alaska Board of Game, the state officially banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to help hunters track prey.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers told the board that, while drone-assisted hunting was still rare, they worried that, as the technology got cheaper, more hunters would start using it, Casey Grove at Anchorage Daily News reports. In 2012, a hunter took down a moose using a drone, and troopers couldn’t do anything about it because the practice wasn’t technically illegal. “Under hunting regulations, unless it specifically says that it’s illegal, you’re allowed to do it,” Wildlife Trooper Captain Bernard Chastain told Grove.

To get ahead of potential problems, the board decided to make spotting and shooting game with a drone illegal. This is similar to the law that bans hunters from using aircraft to follow and shoot animals. With aircraft, it’s legal to shoot the animal if you take it down a day or more after spotting it with the plane but, with drones, any kind of tracking and killing will not be allowed. According to Grove, these laws stem from a “principle of fairness”—not to the animals, but to the other hunters. “Other people don’t have a fair opportunity to take game if somebody else is able to do that,” Chastain says.

According to Valentina Palladino at the Verge, this isn’t the first use of drones banned by hunting communities. Colorado will vote on a rule that would require permits to use drones while hunting. And in Illinois, PETA’s drones, which were tracking hunters, were made illegal. And not only can you not hunt animals, but delivering beer by drone is apparently also a no-go. Spoil sports.