Boone and Crockett Club: Drone hunts ineligible for records

http://missoulian.com/news/local/boone-and-crockett-club-drone-hunts-ineligible-for-records/article_a263a49c-b86b-11e3-b4f4-0019bb2963f4.html

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.

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Nebraska Governor Vetos Bill That Would Ban Cougar Hunting

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

Columbus, OH –(Ammoland.com)- 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.

http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2014/03/nebraska-governor-stands-up-for-sportsmen-vetos-hunting-ban-2516300.html

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Drone-Assisted Hunting Banned in Alaska

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/drone-assisted-hunting-banned-alaska-180950251/?no-ist

by Rose Eveleth smithsonianmag.com

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.

Colorado-man-offering-drone-hunting-lessons-in-Deer-Trail

California Poachers Confess to Multi-State Crimes

News from the Colorado Division of Wildlifeelk-000-home17300
News from Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Contact Name: Mike Porras
Contact Phone: 970-255-6162

CALIFORNIA POACHERS CONFESS TO MULTI-STATE CRIMES

MEEKER, Colo. – After a Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation
spanning several states and two hunting seasons, a trio of men from
California have pleaded guilty to numerous wildlife violations in
Colorado and New Mexico, dating back to 2011 through 2013. Upon being
confronted with extensive evidence of their crimes, the three men
admitted to their illegal activities and accepted a plea bargain in Rio
Blanco County Court in late February.

Throughout their crime spree, the men hunted on private property without
permission, illegally killed an elk, nine mule deer, one turkey and a
blue grouse. In several instances, the poachers only removed the head,
cape and antlers from their illegal kills, or abandoned the entire
animal leaving the meat to waste, which could have brought felony
charges and a prison sentence.

During the investigation, wildlife officials gathered a variety of
evidence including taxidermy mounts from their homes and numerous photos
of the men posing with the illegally taken wildlife.

“These individuals showed complete disregard for the wildlife laws of
several states in a brazen and arrogant manner,” said Northwest Regional
Manager Ron Velarde of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Citizens have every
reason to be outraged by their destructive behavior and we, along with
the other agencies we worked with on this case, are satisfied to see
that these individuals have been brought to justice”

Ringleader Anthony Bauer, 35, of Palm Desert, California, was convicted
of willful destruction of big game wildlife – a felony in Colorado, four
counts of hunting without a proper and valid deer license and illegal
take of a mule deer. He was ordered to pay $5,754 in fines, make a
$10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club [Ironically, the ringleader had to make a
$10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club. It's not like he shot one of them!]
and forfeit all evidence
seized, including hunting gear and personal computers. Bauer also
pleaded guilty for the illegal take of a bull elk in New Mexico. As part
of his plea, Bauer was ordered to return the illegally taken elk mount,
a mule deer mount and a Barbary sheep mount to New Mexico.

Bauer is the owner of ‘Live2Die’, an outdoor-themed hat and clothing
company based in California. The company’s website is where
investigators discovered the incriminating photos, eventually removed
from the site under the terms of the plea bargain.

“Ironically, it was the discovery of two hats emblazoned with the
company’s logo found hidden in some brush on private property near two
poached deer that led us to these individuals,” said Area Wildlife
Manager Bill de Vergie of Meeker. “The landowner found the hats and let
District Wildlife Manager Jon Wangnild know right away. It once again
shows how important the public’s help can be in bringing violators to
justice.”

De Vergie praised the work of all of the officers and investigators
involved in the case, including wildlife officers from New Mexico and
California and a forensics laboratory in Wyoming. He noted the
outstanding work of DWM Wangnild of Meeker who initiated the two-year
investigation after receiving a tip from a local outfitter.

Wangnild passed away after being injured in a horseback riding accident
in June, 2013, eight months before the case was resolved in court.

“Jon was very well respected by his fellow officers because of his
dedication and tenacity in bringing violators to justice,” added de
Vergie. “His diligence and hard work on this case, both here and in
California, is a testament to his legacy.”

Wangnild and an investigator traveled out-of-state to assist California
State Fish and Game officers search the suspects’ residences and a local
taxidermist shop where a substantial amount of evidence was seized.

Also pleading guilty in the case was Frank D’Anna, 29, of San Diego and
Hank Myll, 33, of Palm Desert. Myll pleaded guilty to hunting mule deer
without a proper and valid license and illegal take of a mule deer.
D’Anna agreed to pay a citation for hunting blue grouse without a
license, hunting mule deer without a license, illegal take of a blue
grouse, illegal take of a mule deer and hunting on private property
without permission.

Several other men allegedly involved in illegal hunting with Bauer,
D’Anna and Myll and are facing possible charges in New Mexico, pending
further investigation

On the Live2Die website, Bauer states that he “…built his brand on the
principles of living life to the fullest. With a goal to get more kids
off of the video games, and get them outdoors.”

“One of the most important aspects of enjoying the outdoors is being
responsible and ethical around wildlife,” continued de Vergie.
“Unfortunately, considering the extent of Mr. Bauer and his companion’s
illegal activity, this was the complete opposite of what we are trying
to teach our younger generations.”

The three men now must meet with a CPW Hearings Commissioner where they
face the possibility of permanently losing their hunting and fishing
privileges in Colorado and 41 other Interstate Wildlife Violator compact
states, including New Mexico and California.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks the public to report possible illegal
wildlife activity to their nearest CPW office or Colorado State Patrol.
To remain anonymous, call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 . Rewards
may be available if the report leads to a citation.

What’s Not to Like about Guns

Guns. Sure, I own a few. What good god-fearin’ American doesn’t? I figure it’s my duty to keep the arms manufacturers afloat. Of course, mine are just to keep those other gun nuts at bay. I hope I never have to use them, but if someone’s spoilin’ for a gunfight, well that’s ok too.

So, what’s not to like about guns? Well, for starters, they’re noisy, and they’re made for killing. And since it’s illegal to shoot each other, most people use them against non-human animals.

Some folks out here in rural America are so proud of their guns they wear it like a badge. They advertise it all over their loud pickup trucks so no one seeing the cute little Pomeranians in their cab mistakes them for some kind of anti-gun pinko.

Mostly, I don’t like the noise they make. And I guess I empathize with the animals too much. Whenever you hear gunfire, ya have to wonder who the hell’s out there shooting now and what, or who, are they shooting at this time.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

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.

______________________________________________________________

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

front-cover-low-res6

Anti-hunters Outnumber Hunters by Three to One

whoownschart

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

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

Long line of hunters on a mountain trail.

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

 

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

And the arguments go on and on….

A Hunter Weighs in

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

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

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