Defeat the Sportsmen Heritage Act!!

URGENT – CALLS NEEDED TODAY Defeat the Sportsmen Heritage Act

In Defense of AnimalsPlease act immediately! We need you to make calls RIGHT NOW or before the end of the workday today, Friday, February 21, at the latest. These bills could be taken up and move very fast Monday, February 24, or soon after.

Senate bill 1996 and its seven companion bills are extremely bad for wildlife and the non-hunting public alike. The goal of this package of bills, collectively called SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Act), is to further “sportsmen’s” interests by opening more federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping, allowing the importation of polar bear “trophies” from Canada, and allowing hunting in National Parks.

WE MUST KILL THESE BILLS!

The House has already passed the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2013. Now there is Senate bill 1996, and a package of seven companion bills, all of which would tragically hurt wildlife and take away the rights of the majority of Americans who don’t hunt, trap, or fish.

If enacted, these bills would:

  1. Mandate a free-for-all of trappers/hunters/fishermen/recreational shooters on 700 million acres of National Forests and Bureau of Land Management land (BLM) – federal public land that belongs to YOU. Trapping is implicit and defined as a subtype of hunting and as such, trapping is green-lighted without being mentioned again. This is analogous to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 by Don Young (R-AK), which turned National Wildlife Refuges System from sanctuaries into playgrounds for hunters, anglers, and trappers.
  2. Make hunting, fishing, and trapping a “priority public use” of federal lands. National Forests and BLM land are hunted, trapped, and fished already. Many have public shooting ranges. The bills would go even further by placing one class of visitors above the majority of recreationists on federal public lands who don’t hunt, trap, or fish. The bills would be a menace to public safety and interfere with other visitors’ quiet, peaceful enjoyment of nature.
  3. Get hunters into National Parks through a backdoor. While hunting is prohibited in National Parks, “skilled volunteers” (read: hunters) would be allowed in the killing (culling) of wildlife populations on federal lands.
  4. Allow polar bear “trophies” from Canada be imported into the US. That would stimulate hunting of this imperiled species.
  5. Bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers. Lead is a neurotoxin which we’ve eliminated from gasoline, paint, and toys. But 3,000 tons of lead shot and bullets per year are fired into the wild and 4,000 tons per year from fishing tackle is lost in ponds and streams. Many birds of prey ingest spent lead fragments when feeding on animals that were shot and are themselves killed.

What We Need From You:

  1. We only want to contact the Senators listed at the end of this alert. Please look at the list of Senators below. If none of your Senators are listed, no action is necessary, but please stay tuned. If you do see your Senator(s) listed, please CALL them immediately – before the end of the workday today, Friday, February 21. See our list of Senators to call below.
  2. To the person in the office of the Senator(s), say this:
    “Please ask Senator _________ to call the cloakroom and state that he has concerns about all of the following bills: S.1996 Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, S. 170 Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, S. 738 Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act, S. 847 Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2013, S. 1212 Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, S. 1335 Sportsmen’s Act, S. 1634 Hunter and Farmer Protection Act of 2013, and S. 1660 SPORT Act.”

Have the office person read back the bill numbers to ensure they’re correct. If asked for reasons for the Senators to be concerned see 1-5 above.

List of Senators to contact, sorted by state:

<strong>California:</strong><br>Boxer, Barbara – (D – CA) 112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3553 Contact: <a href=”http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/&#8221; target=”_blank” data-mce-href=”http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/”>www.boxer.Senate.gov/en/contact/</a&gt;

Feinstein, Dianne – (D – CA) 331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3841 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3841 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.feinstein.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me
Colorado:
Bennet, Michael F. – (D – CO) 458 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5852 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5852 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.bennet.Senate.gov/contact/
Connecticut:
Blumenthal, Richard – (D – CT) 724 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2823 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2823 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Delaware:
Coons, Christopher A. – (D – DE)  127A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5042 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5042 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.coons.Senate.gov/contact/
Carper, Thomas R. – (D – DE) 513 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2441 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2441 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: carper.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-senator-carper
Hawaii:
Hirono, Mazie K. – (D – HI) (202) 224-6361 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6361 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.hirono.Senate.gov/contact
Schatz, Brian – (D – HI)  722 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3934 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3934 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.schatz.senate.gov/contact
Illinois:
Kirk, Mark – (R – IL)  524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2854 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2854 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.kirk.Senate.gov/?p=contact
Indiana: Harkin, Tom – (D – IA)  731 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3254 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3254 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.harkin.Senate.gov/contact.cfm
Maine:
Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2523 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2523 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.collins.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email
Maryland:
Cardin, Benjamin L. – (D – MD)  509 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4524 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4524 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Mikulski, Barbara A. – (D – MD) 503 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4654 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4654 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.mikulski.Senate.gov/contact/
Massachusetts:
Markey, Edward J. – (D – MA) 218 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2742 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2742 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.markey.senate.gov/contact
Michigan:
Stabenow, Debbie – (D – MI) 133 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4822 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4822 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.stabenow.Senate.gov/?p=contact
Levin, Carl – (D – MI)  269 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6221 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6221 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.levin.Senate.gov/contact/
New Hampshire:
Shaheen, Jeanne – (D – NH) 520 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2841 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2841 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.shaheen.Senate.gov/contact/
New Jersey:
Booker, Cory A. – (D – NJ) 141 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3224 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3224 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
New Mexico:
Udall, Tom – (D – NM) 110 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6621 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6621 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.tomudall.Senate.gov/?p=contact
New York:
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY) 478 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4451 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4451 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.gillibrand.Senate.gov/contact/
Schumer, Charles E. – (D – NY) 322 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6542 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6542 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.schumer.Senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm
Ohio:
Brown, Sherrod – (D – OH) 713 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2315 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2315 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.brown.Senate.gov/contact/
Oregon:
Wyden, Ron – (D – OR)  221 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5244 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5244 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.wyden.Senate.gov/contact/
Pennsylvania:
Casey, Robert P., Jr. – (D – PA) 393 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-6324 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-6324 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.casey.Senate.gov/contact/
Rhode Island:
Reed, Jack – (D – RI) 728 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4642 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4642 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.reed.Senate.gov/contact/
Whitehouse, Sheldon – (D – RI)  530 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2921 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2921 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.whitehouse.Senate.gov/contact/
Vermont:
Sanders, Bernard – (I – VT) Class I332 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5141 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5141 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.sanders.Senate.gov/contact/
Leahy, Patrick J. – (D – VT) 437 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-4242 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-4242 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.leahy.Senate.gov/contact/
Washington:
Murray, Patty – (D – WA) 154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-2621 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-2621 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.murray.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme
Cantwell, Maria – (D – WA) 311 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-3441 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-3441 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.cantwell.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria
Wisconsin:
Baldwin, Tammy – (D – WI) 717 Hart Washington DC 20510 (202) 224-5653 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (202) 224-5653 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Contact: www.baldwin.Senate.gov/contact

http://ida.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=SportsmenHeritageAct&autologin=true&AddInterest=1022

Bill promoting hunting, fishing passes U.S. House

By Dave Golowenski For The Columbus Dispatch
Sunday February 9, 2014

A divergent range of sportsmen’s groups commended the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE) last week.

The package of eight bills represented by SHARE would promote hunting and fishing on land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and make the purchase of a federal duck stamp easier. Among the act’s authors is Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green).

Groups including Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership praised the bill and urged the Senate to follow the House’s bipartisan approval.

Meanwhile, a measure that would raise the price of a federal duck stamp to $25 from the current $15 moved out of a Senate committee last week. Revenues generated by the stamp help fund wetlands conservation.

No bump in price has occurred since 1991, the longest period without an increase since the program was established during the 1930s.

Honked off

A Mississippi hunter is reporting he got his 8-point buck after he blew his nose. The sound apparently ticked off the buck, which came running toward the hunter’s stand in full attack mode.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2014/02/09/bill-promoting-hunting-fishing-passes-u-s–house.html

HuntingTrophiesJamieKripke600

Republicans Push Lead Poisoning of Wildlife Disguised as “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act”

For Immediate Release, February 3, 2014

Contact: Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351 or bsnape@biologicaldiversity.orgRepublicans Push Lead Poisoning of Wildlife Disguised as “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act”

Legislation Would Also Roll Back Public-lands Protection, Promote Polar Bear Trophy Hunting

WASHINGTON— The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on H.R.Fudd 3590, the misnamed “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.” Under the guise of expanding hunting and fishing access on public lands, the Republican-supported bill aims to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting millions of birds and other animals from lead poisoning. The extremist legislation also contains provisions to undermine the Wilderness Act, dispense with environmental review for projects on national wildlife refuges, and promote polar bear hunting.

“Another cynical assault by House Republicans to roll back protections for public lands and wildlife,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This supposed ‘sportsmen’s legislation’ would actually jeopardize the health of hunters, promote needless lead poisoning of our wildlife, and prevent hunters, anglers and other members of the public from weighing in on decisions about how to manage 150 million acres of federal land and water.”

H.R. 3590 seeks to exempt toxic lead in ammunition and fishing equipment from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the federal law that regulates toxic substances. The EPA is currently allowed to regulate or ban any chemical substance for a particular use, including the lead used in shot and bullets. Affordable, effective nontoxic alternatives exist for lead ammunition and lead sinkers for all hunting and fishing activities.

Spent lead from hunting is a widespread killer of more than 75 species of birds such as bald eagles, endangered condors, loons and swans, and nearly 50 mammals. More than 265 organizations in 40 states have been pressuring the EPA to enact federal rules requiring use of nontoxic bullets and shot for hunting and shooting sports.

“There are powerful reasons we banned toxic lead from gasoline, plumbing and paint — lead is a known neurotoxin that endangers the health of hunters and their families and painfully kills bald eagles and other wildlife,” said Snape.

H.R. 3590 would also exempt all national wildlife refuge management decisions from review and public disclosure under the National Environmental Policy Act and allow the import of polar bear “trophies” from Canada. The Republican-controlled House approved similar “Sportsmen’s Act” legislation in 2012 by a vote of 274-146, but the bill was stopped in the Senate.

Background
Despite being banned in 1992 for hunting waterfowl, spent lead shotgun pellets from other hunting uses continue to be frequently ingested by waterfowl. Many birds also consume lead-based fishing tackle lost in lakes and rivers, often with deadly consequences. Birds and animals are also poisoned when scavenging on carcasses containing lead-bullet fragments. More than 500 scientific papers have documented the dangers to wildlife from lead exposure. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calculates that more than 14,000 tons of toxic lead shot is deposited in the environment each year in the United States by upland bird hunting alone.

Lead ammunition leaves fragments and numerous imperceptible, dust-sized particles that contaminate game meat far from a bullet track, causing significant health risks to people eating wild game. Recent scientific studies show that hunters have higher lead levels in their bloodstream, and more associated health problems, than the public at large. Some state health agencies have recalled venison donated to feed the hungry because of dangerous lead contamination from bullet fragments.

There are many alternatives to lead rifle bullets and shotgun pellets. More than a dozen manufacturers market hundreds of varieties and calibers of nonlead bullets and shot made of steel, copper and alloys of other metals, with satisfactory-to-superior ballistics. A recent study debunks claims that price and availability of nonlead ammunition could preclude switching to nontoxic rounds for hunting. Researchers found no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers.

Hunters in areas with lead ammunition restrictions have transitioned to hunting with nontoxic bullets. There has been no decrease in game tags or hunting activity since state requirements for nonlead hunting went into effect in significant portions of Southern California in 2008 to protect condors from lead poisoning. California recently passed legislation to transition to lead-free hunting statewide by 2019.

Learn more about the Center’s Get the Lead Out campaign.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/lead-02-03-2014.html

Bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Leadership Introduces 2013 Sportsmen’s Package

Bad news, from: “Hunting LifeBowshot deer

by: Kevin Paulson date: September 26, 2013

Bipartisan Congressional Sportsmens Caucus Leadership Introduces 2013 Sportsmens PackageSeptember 26, 2013

(Washington, DC) – In a significant advancement for sportsmen and women across the country, the bipartisan House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) introduced the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act of 2013. This legislative package includes various pro-sportsmen’s bills that will help ensure our outdoor traditions are protected and advanced, and addresses some of the most current concerns of American hunters and recreational anglers and shooters. Considered to be one of the most important pieces of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in a decade, the passage of the SHARE Act would be a legislative milestone for the sportsmen’s community.
CSC Co-Chairs, Representatives Bob Latta and Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chairs, Representatives Rob Wittman and Tim Walz, introduced the SHARE Act as a bipartisan package of pro-sportsmen’s legislation in an effort to continue to safeguard and promote America’s hunting and fishing traditions.

“This bipartisan legislative package is an important advancement for the outdoor sporting community, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward and to promote the values and traditions that sportsmen and sportswomen enjoy in the United States,” stated Co-Chair, Rep. Bob Latta.

Co-Chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, praised the CSC leadership for their efforts in getting this legislation to the House floor. “Today, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus introduced meaningful legislation that promotes the interest of hunters and anglers. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to advance this legislation.”

Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), emphasized bipartisan cooperation in advancing the SHARE Act in the 113th Congress. “I thank the bipartisan leadership of the CSC for their efforts in introducing this vital legislation. In July, a sportsmen’s package was the topic of CSF’s breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill, where many sportsmen-legislators voiced their support.”

Some of these priorities that this legislation addresses includes: protecting the traditional use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle by American hunters and anglers, the potential increase of more Pittman-Robertson funds for shooting ranges, the permanent authorization of the electronic duck stamp, the importation of polar bear carcasses legally harvested in Canada before 2008, authorizing the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop and implement a new fishery management plan that will ensure the long-term conservation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, and helps facilitate the use of and access to Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands and waters for hunting, recreational fishing and shooting. It also prohibits the enforcement of individual firearm regulations at water resources development projects administered by the Corps of Engineers, and prohibits additional fees for commercial filming on federal lands and waterways.

This legislation will also permanently establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting and recreational shooting.

Vice-Chair, Rep. Tim Walz, stated, “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, historic legislation that will protect and advance our American outdoor heritage for generations to come.”

Vice-Chair, Rep. Rob Wittman also voiced his support for the SHARE Act. “As a sportsman, I am humbled to advocate for this community and help introduce this legislation to advance priorities of American anglers, hunters and conservationists. This common sense package will expand opportunities for recreation, support fair treatment and modernize programs for sportsmen, and includes a proposal I authored to allow migratory waterfowl hunters to purchase their annual Federal duck stamp online,” Rep. Wittman stated.

CSF will continue to keep you apprised as this legislation continues to move through Congress. For more information on CSF, click here.

Since 1989 the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen’s organization in the political arena. CSF’s mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, recreational fishing and shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the CSC, the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, recreational fishing and shooting, and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the agenda of America’s hunters and anglers.

IDA Action Alert: Tell Your Senator to Oppose The Sportsmen’s Act 2013 (S. 1335)

from: In Defense of Animals

The formula to protect wild animals from cruelty is simple: anything that the Safari Club International (SCI) supports MUST be opposed.

The SCI, an atrocious trophy hunter organization, is currently lobbying heavily for Selk-000-home17300 1335, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). If passed, the Act would make hunting and trapping a priority to be considered on federal lands–public lands that are owned and funded by us, the Public.

The bill would allow hunting and trapping in designated wilderness areas, allow “volunteers” to help in the killing of so-called “excess” animals on Federal land, including National Parks, increase the share of federal lands turned into shooting ranges, and legalize the transporting of bows through national parks and the importation of “trophies” from polar bears kills in Canada.

Please contact your Senator immediately and tell her/him to vote “NO” on the Sportsmen’s Act 2013 (S. 1335). The threats our wildlife face come from many directions- loss of habitat, trophy hunters, poaching, conflicts with humans and or human-based activities, as well as the hardships of living in the wild as predator or prey. The last thing we need right now is to open our national parks or wilderness areas that currently do not allow hunting to more killing.

 

Why YOU Should Care About the Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee

Hunters should realize that their God-given right to remain silent protects them from having anything they say used against them…, such as the information in this article in Outdoor “Life” magazine…

 

Hunting Access: Why You Should Care About the Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee

by John Haughey

It may appear to be nothing more than semantics, but a proposal to make the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee a permanent advisory panel rather than one that must have its charter renewed every two years by Congress is a significant step in ensuring wildlife, habitat conservation, and hunting are priorities in federal land-management decisions.

The Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council (WHHCC) advisory committee was created in 2010, replacing the Sporting Conservation Council, to advise the Interior and Agriculture departments on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting, and recreational shooting issues on federal land.

In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the WHHCC requires Congressional reauthorization every two years for it to continue operating. The committee was renewed for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, but rather than renew its charter for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, Rep. Robert Latta (R-Ohio) has proposed a bill that will make the panel a permanent advisory committee.

The Sportsmen’s Heritage And Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act introduced into the House by Latta and three co-sponsors on July 23 exempts the WHHCC from the Federal Advisory Committee Act’s two-year renewal stipulation by making it a “permanent” committee.

“Ensuring that sportsmen and sportswomen have an advisory capacity role across future Administrations is vital for all who enjoy the great outdoors throughout the nation to engage and provide consensus recommendations to federal agencies that will benefit from the Council’s vast experience and expertise,” Latta said. “I am confident that this legislation will serve to the betterment of current and future generations of hunter-conservationists.”

“This legislation will ensure that sportsmen are able to provide first-hand knowledge of the wildlife and hunting issues to the federal government,” agreed Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.

The bill was referred to the House Natural Resources and Agriculture committee where it will be reviewed before introduction onto the floor.

Like its predecessor, the revamped committee would include members of state fish and wildlife agencies, bird and big-game hunting groups, representatives of Indian tribes, and leaders in tourism, hunting equipment, and farming industries.

Members would serve staggered terms of two, three, and four years. The committee would meet at least twice a year and file an annual report.

For more, go to:
– House Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus -Sportsmen’s Priorities Moving in Congress

– New wildlife and hunting advisory committee proposed (Video)

– H.R. 2799: To establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries …;

Tell Congress to Vote NO on The “Sportsmen’s” Act

What’s your position on The Sportsmen’s Act:

S. 1335: A bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes…

What do you think?

The next vote on this bill will occur in the Senate. How should your senators vote?

(Hint: NO!!)

Please go here and let them know:

https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s1335?utm_campaign

What people are saying about the “Sportsman’s” act…

Dear Congressperson:

‘I oppose S. 1335 (“A bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for”) because…I want a place to visit free of these murderous barbarians who call themselves ‘sportsmen’ <<< WHAT AN APPALLING JOKE! I want what is LEFT of our dwindling wildlife to have one last vestige of safety from these 19th century serial killers with impunity & the onslaught of an OVERPOPULATED, comatose, indifferent human species invading every last wild habitat with roads, housing and malls! Keep these MURDERERS out of OUR national parks, they have no need to be in there shooting & killing animals in the last place wildlife has any hope of safely existing! Hunting is Americas’ greatest SHAME!’    Sincerely, Stephanie T

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

7 Reasons the Left Should NOT Be Pro-Hunting

Here’s a clever little article which appeared on a site called “Ammoland.com” over a year ago, on Monday, May 14, 2012. Entitled, “7 Reasons the Left Should Be Pro-Hunting,” it was meant to spur on the passage of a “Sportsmen’s” Heritage Act [the senate version of which must be stopped in its tracks this summer]. My comments are injected within [brackets]…

Columbus, OH –(Ammoland.com)- The last 30 days have been chock full of key events that have a tremendous impact on the future of hunting, fishing and recreational shooting in America – events that are leading many sportsmen and women to draw conclusions about (or further cement their conclusions about) Democratic decision makers.
•In the nation’s capitol, Congress debated sportsmen’s access to public land, whether EPA could regulate ammunition and fishing tackle, whether recreational shooting should be permissible on national monument land where compatible, and last whether the United States should allow the importation of legally hunted trophies.
•In California, the Senate debated whether to ban hunting black bears and bobcats using hounds.
•In Ohio, lawmakers protested colleagues holding clay bird shooting events as political fundraisers in the wake of a school shooting that occurred in February 250 miles away from the proposed event.

In each of these cases, it was Democrats who led the charge opposing hunting rights, restricting target shooting or decrying the use of firearms for recreational purposes.
•In Congress, HR, 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act passed by an overwhelming 274-146 vote. Of the no votes, 144 were Democrats. (79% of the Democrats in the U.S. House)
•In California, SB 1221 passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee 5-3; followed by a 5-2 vote before the Appropriations Committee. All yes votes were Democrats. Not a single democrat voted to protect hunting.
•And as one might expect, the howls of protest over the shooting event fundraiser in Ohio were by Democratic lawmakers; while the shoot was held by a Republican.

It’s not news that sportsmen have a much harder time gaining support from Democratic lawmakers. The question68439_10151399495155861_1116657731_n is why?

There are so many reasons why the left-wing should love American hunters.

[Puke.]

Here are seven:

[Why only 7—was that as high as they could count?]

•We’re a minority. There are roughly 20 million hunters in the United States, making us less than seven percent of the population. Democrats purport to be the champions of the under-represented. Here we are!

[Hunters are underrepresented? Whoa, hold on there a minute pardner—I gotta call bull on that one— if anything they’re overrepresented, I’d say. No other group that size enjoys near as much representation!]

•We eat free range / organic food. Democrats decry large livestock farms, and the use of hormones in meat. Whether deer or duck, game is the ultimate healthy choice. What’s the difference between free-range chicken and free-range pheasant?

[Far from health-food, wild ducks and geese are rife with lead-poisoning, fish with mercury, while deer and elk carry chronic wasting disease acquired by eating contaminated feed meant for livestock. You’d have to have a serious case of mad-cow disease to call that “organic.”]

•We preserve green space. No single group of Americans puts more money into habitat acquisition and preservation than hunters…billions upon billions of our license dollars and taxes on firearms and ammunition for land that everyone else can use for free. I thought Democrats love free stuff!

[Billions? That’s a bit of an exaggeration, I’m sure—unless someone’s spending a shitload on ammo. And besides, the “green space” they speak of is a war zone for much of the year. Most people don’t want to have to watch out for land-mines in the form of traps and dodge stray bullets to recreate in their green spaces.]

•We feed the hungry. Each year, hunters donate thousands of pounds of venison to local food pantries. One would think the party of the Great Society would welcome our contribution to the safety net.

[Not if they love deer in addition to people. Giving the flesh of their victims away is just a feel-good excuse for their favorite sport—killing]

•We support women’s rights. There are few things that make a sportsman happier than successfully hooking a woman on hunting. We’re even okay that they outshoot us many times.

[Great, that’s all we need are more Sarah Palin-types getting hooked on hunting by someone who thinks women’s rights include the equal right to become a deadly and destructive “sportsman.”]

•We’re just regular folks. For every African big-game hunter, there are thousands of hunters making a blue-collar living, and driving our American made trucks.

[Gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing American made trucks with mondo brush-crushing tires, displaying bumper stickers like: “Fish Slayer” and “Ditch the Bitch, let’s go huntin’”]

•We’re animal lovers. Hunters are the ones who pay for endangered species rehabilitation, not Hollywood actors or fashion models. And don’t even get me started on our dogs. No one loves and is more obsessed with dogs than hunters. And we don’t keep our dogs caged in purses where they can’t even turn around or stretch their legs.

[Oh sure, I’ve seen how you treat your hounds and “bird-dogs.” The only time they get out of their crate or kennel is during hunting season.]

My hope is that our left-leaning law makers will read this article, and realize that we really do have so much in common. And that they will join the minority of Democratic legislators who do vote pro-hunting and put an end to the discrimination that we have endured over the last thirty plus years. I’m hoping their position on hunting is evolving.
[Good fuckin’ luck, buddy. Not unless they are all too preoccupied by news of which celebrity died that day or who is having a babies to notice that the last of our public lands are being opened up for hunting and that our roadless wilderness areas are about to be exploited by the Senate version of the “Sportsmens” Heritage Act coming up for a vote this summer.]

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On the Death of Hunting

Literally, figuratively and statistically, hunting is a dying sport—it just hasn’t accepted that fact yet. Over the centuries, hunting in this country has been on a slippery, downward slope. It’s gone from being an almost universally practiced, year-round method of meat-gittin’ and “varmint” eradicatin’ (during the pioneering, God-given “Manifest Destiny” days that near-completely brought an end to the continent’s biodiversity) to the desperate, “sportsmen are the best environmentalists” perjury of present day—a laughable last-ditch attempt to stay afloat if you ever saw one.

Whether consciously aware of it or not, hunters, individually and as a well-funded whole, are in the process of grieving the impending demise of their favorite pastime. The question is, which stage of grief are they currently in, and more importantly, when will they finally give up the ghost and leave the animals alone?

If we apply the Kübler-Ross model (a hypothesis introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, commonly referred to as the “five stages of grief” including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) to the death of hunting, it would appear that hunters are somewhere between the first and the middle stage in their emotional journey toward acceptance. Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness, later expanded this theoretical model to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss, which could include job, income, freedom or some other significant life event. To a dyed-in-the-wool nimrod, the death of hunting definitely qualifies.

Known by the acronym DABDA, the five stages of the Kübler-Ross model include:

1)    Denial — “I feel fine.” “This can’t be happening, not to me.”

Denial can be a conscious or unconscious defense mechanism; a refusal to accept facts or the reality of the situation. This feeling is generally replaced with a heightened awareness of possessions that will be left behind after the death—in this case, after the death of their blood sport. For hunters, these possessions might be their beloved weapons, which they covetously cling to with Gollum-like obsession and zeal. Whenever the specter of gun control rears up after a mass school shooting, you can hear them breathlessly whispering, “My precious, my precious.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual, but some can become locked into this stage…

2) Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!” “How can this happen to me?” ‘”Who is to blame?”

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to be around due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. For hunters, it’s usually directed toward non-hunters, especially environmentalists or animal advocates, but is often also directed against species they view as competition, such as coyotes or wolves. It is important to remain detached when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.

3)    Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.” “I will give my life savings if only…”

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death (or the death of their favorite lethal hobby). Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…” In the case of hunting, this negotiation is with the non-hunting majority and includes reinventing their persona, trying to sell themselves as “the best environmentalists;” pitching hunting as an admirable part of our heritage and trying to get laws passed to enshrine it; or recruiting women and young children into the fold.

4)    Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point?” or in the case of the hunter, “If I can’t have my beloved blood sport, why go on?”

It’s natural for the hunter to feel sadness, regret, fear and uncertainty when going through this stage. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual (or a hunting organization, such as the NRA or the Safari Club) who is in this stage, as these emotions indicate their acceptance of the situation.

5)    Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.” “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality or another tragic event, such as the loss of a loved one…or, for the hunter, the long-dreaded ceasefire in the war waged against the animals.

One of the most popular arguments for hunting is, “But humans are carnivores, we’ve always been hunters.” The fact is, human predatory behavior is killing the planet. The only way any of us are going to survive is if we lay down our weapons and return to our plant-eating origins.

Sound radical? Arthur Schopenhauer spelled out his own set of stages that undeniably applies here: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

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Great News! The “Sportsmen’s” Act is Dead…for Now

Great news—the “Sportsmen’s” Act of 2012 did not get past the Senate. Ironically, it was the Republicans that killed the bill. Not because of any great concern for wilderness or wildlife—quite the opposite; they just didn’t like how much of the budget the bill allocated for conservation projects.

What really doesn’t make sense is why every Democrat (except for Senator Barbara Boxer) voted to approve a bill with a main goal of opening up even more public lands for hunters. Why, for instance, did my two Senators from Washington State approve of a bill that would have allowed for the importation of “trophy” polar bear carcasses from Canada, undermining the ESA? And what did they stand to gain by giving a de facto federal thumbs-up to lead buckshot and other ammunition that have already poisoned so many birds, including endangered condors?

We dodged the bullet this time, but in the years to come there are sure to be other “sportsmen’s” acts rearing their hideously ugly heads (I was just going to say “ugly heads,” until I saw that one of my regular readers used the fitting adverb “hideously” before “ugly head” in reference to these contemptible acts). We can count on more puff about allowing bowhunting in parklands where wildlife is currently protected, more trophy hunters whining against regulations and most nauseating of all, politicians of both parties waxing poetic about hunting.

Hell, some people won’t be satisfied until Ted Nugent’s (hideously ugly) head is carved into Mt. Rushmore alongside Teddy Roosevelt’s.