The Strange, Grisly World of Crocodile Hunting in Australia

THERE ARE MORE than 100,000 saltwater crocodiles in northern Australia. They grow more 20 feet long, weigh over 1000 pounds, and bite with a force exceeding the weight of a small car. And yet there are a group of people crazy enough to hunt them. They cruise around in boats at night with nothing more than a big light, a big harpoon, and a gun, searching for pairs of glowing eyes peeking just above the water.

“It’s somewhat unnerving,” says photographer Trevor Frost. “It’s not like I think the crocodile is going to jump out of the water and eat me on the boat. But it’s eerie. Eyes are everywhere.”

Frost tagged along on 11 hunts for his ongoing series Cult of the Crocodile. The project captures all aspects of the croc-human relationship, from a breeding farm producing highest-quality skins to delighted tourists gawking at crocodiles gobbling up chicken meat. “Here’s this creature that’s been around for millions of years unchanged,” he says. “It can kill people. Some people love it. Some people hate it. And there’s this entire industry around it.”

Nicknamed “salties,” the Australian crocodile lurks in warm rivers, lagoons and billabongs, chomping down on large beasts like pigs, water buffalo, and even sharks. But in the 1960s, the crocodile disappeared almost completely due to over hunting. The government banned killing them in 1971, and the population quickly bounced back. Today, a crocodile management program provides “incentives-based” conservation, allowing for a regulated $100 million commercial industry that includes collecting wild eggs, breeding, and about 1,200 hunting permits a year. Hunters must describe the crocodile they want to kill, then film the death so authorities can verify it was cruelty-free. Many crocodiles are killed due to complaints from locals about them wandering too close to neighborhoods or eating their cattle.

Frost lives in Richmond, Virgina and became fascinated with crocodiles when he visited Australia in 2013 on assignment. He met hunter Aaron Rodwell while purchasing a souvenir crocodile tooth, and Rodwell eagerly showed Frost a cell phone video of him wrangling a croc with his bare hands. Frost was hooked. “The hunters are exposing themselves to a serious amount of risk in order to get a crocodile, and it could go either way,” he says. “The crocodile could get one of them. Or they could get the crocodile.”

He shadowed Rodwell and his partner Roger Matthews on hunts over the next three years. The men set sail in a small aluminum boat at night, beaming a spotlight into the water to pick up the creature’s eyes. They then quietly sidle up beside it and thrust a harpoon in its neck, letting the croc thrash and hiss in the water up to several hours until it tires out. They then lasso its jaw shut, hoist it onto the boat, and execute it with a .22 revolver. There were some close calls. Once, Frost was shooting when a 16-foot croc chomped down on the side of the boat and shook it violently. “When you hear, ‘Get the fuck down!’ that’s when it’s scary,” he says. “Afterwards your heart is beating a thousand miles an hour.”

The cinematic images are fascinating, strange, and often downright grisly. In one photo, a man sits in a hot tub with baby crocs he keeps as pets. In another, Rodwell and Matthews pose proudly with a crocodile strung up in a tree. It’s something you don’t see every day, but not so unusual in a land of 100,000 crocs.

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Signable Petition Demands Zinke to Reject HJR 69, Trump’s Bear Cub/Wolf Pup Killing Bill

Best to click on url:

http://www.environews.tv/world-news/signable-petition-demands-zinke-reject-hjr-69-trumps-bear-cubwolf-pup-killing-bill/

(EnviroNews World News) — PETITION WATCH: The Center for Biological Diversity (the Center) has launched an online petition via the Care2 platform demanding …

Signable Petition Demands Zinke to Reject HJR 69, Trump’s Bear Cub/Wolf Pup Killing Bill

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(EnviroNews World News) — PETITION WATCH: The Center for Biological Diversity (the Center) has launched an online petition via the Care2 platform demanding Department of the Interior (Interior) Secretary Ryan Zinke “deny any request by Alaska for predator control in wildlife refuges.” This, after House Joint Resolution 69 (HJR 69) was signed into law on April 3, 2017, by President Donald Trump.

The highly controversial bill rescinded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule (Refuge Rule) which defaults wildlife management on Alaska’s 16 national refuges to the Alaska Board of Game (BOG). BOG’s wildlife management plan includes what is know as the Intensive Management Law (IM) — a code that allows extreme predator hunting methods such as killing bear sows with cubs, shooting predators from helicopters, luring bears to bait stations and shooting them pointblank, using steel-jaw traps for bears and killing wolves with pups in their dens.

The Center writes in its petition:

President Donald Trump recently signed a cruel bill into law repealing protections for wolves, bears and other wildlife on Alaska’s national wildlife refuges. The law – rushed through Congress under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) — repealed an Obama Administration rule that prohibited killing wolves and their pups in their dens, gunning down bears at bait stations and shooting them from airplanes. And it’s all in an attempt to artificially boost caribou numbers to placate sport hunters.

So far, the Center’s petition has gathered nearly 29,000 signatures and is growing fast online. The Center also points out that it recently filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over HJR 69, which it says is “no ordinary lawsuit” because it challenges the constitutionality of the CRA itself, alleging the 1996 law violates separation of powers laws inherent to the U.S. Government.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Hunting And Fishing Revival

https://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2017/9/12/interior-secretary-ryan-zinke-s-hunting-and-fishing-revival/

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Hunting And Fishing Revival

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is leading a revival. It’s not the kind that occurs under a big tent full of folding chairs, fiery sermons and hallelujahs, but the kind that occurs when hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen in general feel liberated from the shackles of an overbearing federal government; when they experience anew the freedom to take their guns and gear into America’s wild places and fish and hunt the way their fathers and grandfathers fished and hunted before them.

Zinke set the tone for this revival on his first day as Interior Secretary. He did so by repealing the Obama administration’s lead ammunition ban—a ban which served as a last slap in the face to hunters and fishermen everywhere.

Zinke set the tone for this revival on his first day as Interior Secretary.The Obama-era ban was contained in National Fish and Wildlife Service’s Director’s Order 219. The order came from Director Dan Ashe and required regional directors to work with state-level agencies to begin phasing out the use of lead ammunition on federal land. This included requiring the “Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, in consultation with National Flyway Councils and individual states, … [to] establish a process to phase in a requirement for the use of nontoxic ammunition for recreational hunting of mourning doves and other upland game birds.”

The Obama administration avoided calling the order an all-out ban by fashioning it so that its implementation occurred over a period of time rather than all at once.

On March 3, 2017, Breitbart News reported that Zinke had repealed the ban, and that the repeal was one of his first actions as interior secretary.

The reason Zinke made this one of his top priorities upon taking office is that he understands that hunters and fishermen are a crucial part of wildlife conservation: They preserve a balance in nature whereby fish and wildlife are kept at sustainable levels, rather than being able to overpopulate and ruin food supplies and habitat. And he also understands that hunters and fishermen bring a tremendous amount of money into the U.S. economy annually.

On Sept. 1, 2017, Fox News published a column by NRA-ILA’s Chris W. Cox, in which Cox observed:

Zinke knows that America’s hunters and anglers are the backbone of successful fish and wildlife management in the United States. In 2016 alone, $1.1 billion in hunter and angler excise revenues was invested by the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies to fund wildlife projects benefiting all wildlife—game and non-game species alike.

Crucially, Zinke also acknowledges the role hunting and fishing play as traditions in America. For example, a childhood in a state like Kentucky is marked by the time a son and his father spend getting ready for hunting season. They plan the hunt, tend the food plot, build the tree stand, study the movement and habits of the deer, then go out on opening day intent on bringing home food the family can eat and stories the father and son will share for the rest of their lives.

Cox put it this way:

[Zinke] also understands … within our own local communities, hunting and angling is an important tradition that’s often passed down through the generations and enjoyed by the entire family, helping to forge lifelong support of wildlife conservation and the full appreciation of our fish and wildlife resources.

In short, Zinke’s convictions about the importance of hunting and fishing mean more opportunities for outdoorsmen. This is seen via announcements like the Department of the Interior’s Aug. 9, 2017, announcement that Secretary Zinke was expanding “hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 national wildlife preserves.”

This expansion will result in responsible conservation practices, money for the U.S. economy and traditions that link generations together over time.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast

Interior Department, key House Republicans maneuver to open National Park Service lands to killing grizzly bears, wolves

https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/08/interior-department-key-house-republicans-maneuver-open-national-park-service-lands-aerial-gunning-grizzly-bears.html

In April, President Trump signed a resolution, enabled by the Congressional Review Act and passed by Congress on a near party-line vote, that repealed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rule restricting particularly cruel and unsporting methods of killing grizzly bears, wolves, and other predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. There are now multiple indications that the Trump administration and some allies in Congress are gearing up to unwind a nearly identical rule, approved nearly two years ago, that restricts these appalling predator-killing practices on 20 million acres of National Park Service (NPS) lands in Alaska. Our humane community nationwide must ready itself to stop this second assault on a class of federal lands (national preserves) set aside specifically to benefit wildlife.

Today, the Sacramento Bee’s Stuart Leavenworth broke the story that Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) had obtained a leaked memo that appears to show that senior political appointees at the Department of the Interior have barred top officials at NPS from speaking out against a widely circulated draft bill in Congress – the SHARE Act – that includes a provision to repeal the parks rule. The bill, which will be assigned to the House Committee on Natural Resources, contains a host of anti-wildlife provisions. Top officials at NPS reviewed the bill and objected to many provisions, and memorialized those objections in an internal memo. A senior Interior Department official sent back the memo to the NPS officials with cross-out markings on nearly all of the objections raised by the NPS. That helps explain why lawmakers on Capitol Hill have not heard a negative word from the NPS about this legislative package and its provisions that amount to an assault on the wildlife inhabiting Alaska’s national preserves.

Several weeks prior, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had signaled his desire to reopen the NPS predator control rule, with an eye toward changing and even gutting it. The rule passed with almost no dissent when NPS adopted it in October 2015.

In short, there is a double-barreled attack on the rule, and the administration seems to be locked and loaded on both strategies – one legislative and the other executive.

In March, the House voted 225 to 193 in favor of H.J. Resolution 69, authored by Alaska’s Rep. Don Young, to repeal the USFWS rule on predator killing. Those 225 members voted to overturn a federal rule – years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, baiting grizzly bears, and trapping grizzly and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. It’s the stuff of wildlife snuff films.

Just weeks later, the Senate followed suit, passing S.J.R. 18 by a vote of 52 to 47. I was so proud of New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, himself an ardent sportsman, and Sens. Dick Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Tom Udall, D-N.M., for deconstructing the phony arguments advanced by the backers of the measure. If they had been arguing the case in front of a jury, they would have carried every fair-minded juror considering the evidence and honoring a standard of decency. They eviscerated the phony states’ rights arguments advanced by their colleagues. Their false subsistence hunting arguments. Their inaccurate representations of the views of Alaskans.

President Trump then signed H.R. Res. 69/S.J.R. 18 and repealed the USFWS rule.

The USFWS rule was at particular risk because it had been adopted in 2016, and the Congressional Review Act allows Congress and the president to nullify recently adopted rules with simple majority votes in both chambers and no committee review of the measures. The nearly identical NPS rule came out a year earlier and the CRA doesn’t apply to such long-standing rules. In short, the Department of the Interior could weaken the rule by opening a new rulemaking process, or Congress could repeal it (albeit without the expedited review and also perhaps without a simple majority vote in the Senate).

Today’s reporting by the Sacramento Bee, and the work of PEER, have sent up a flare, warning the world that there is maneuvering to launch an unacceptable assault on wildlife on National Park Service lands. Hunting grizzly bears over bait, killing wolves in their dens, and other similarly unsporting practices have no place anywhere on North American lands, and least of all on refuges and preserves. We’ll need you to raise your voice and write to your lawmakers, urging them to block any serious consideration of the SHARE Act in its current form. And tell Secretary Zinke that’s there’s no honor and no sportsmanship in allowing these practices on national preserves.

New wheelchair provides opportunities for quadriplegic hunter

http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20170718/new-wheelchair-provides-opportunities-for-quadriplegic-hunter

Nels Hadden may not be able to move his arms or legs, but he can still take down a deer with a crossbow.

There’s no magic spell or use of the Force, just the power of technology that lets quadriplegic men and women do things that would have been impossible years ago.

Hadden was paralyzed from the neck down in 2009, when he stopped to help at the scene of a crash on Interstate 84 and was struck by another car that slid out of control on the ice. He lived in Milton-Freewater at the time and has since moved to Walla Walla.

On Tuesday the nonprofit Independence Fund gifted Hadden an upgraded wheelchair with 16-inch pneumatic wheels and four wheel drive that will allow him to roll across uneven terrain. He can’t wait to use it to hit the beach for the first time in more than eight years.

“This is going to give some of those things back that were taken away from me,” he said.

Hadden has always been able to move about and control a cell phone using puffs and sips of air into a straw near his mouth, but his other chairs have always been designed for flat, even surfaces.

One of the biggest things the all-terrain chair will help with is hunting. Hadden was an avid hunter before the accident, and still is today. He may not be able to hug his children or lift a spoon to his mouth, but a Walla Walla man named Gary Parson helped him obtain a contraption that mounts a rifle, shotgun or crossbow on his wheelchair and allows him to sight it and pull the trigger using puffs of air from his mouth.

He has been hunting in the years since, and has a few sets of antlers at home to show for it. In the past, he has had to more or less park his wheelchair in one spot and hope the right animal wandered past. Now he’ll be able to move through the forest with other hunters in a manner more reminiscent of when he was a younger.

“I grew up in Pilot Rock and my family, that’s just something that we did,” he said. “It’s not just about taking an animal, it’s about getting together and joking and laughing.”

Even when he was stuck sitting in a blind not too far from the wheelchair-accessible van, Hadden has had some adventures. One night he and his nurse Miranda Amwoka were sitting in the blind when a mama bear and her two cubs walked by. The mama bear came up against the side of the blind, stuck her head in and looked right in at the two of them. Since Hadden was strapped to a wheelchair and Amwoka didn’t have a weapon, it was a pretty scary experience for both of them.

Nels’ wife Betsy said he has more Twitter followers than anyone in the family after he gathered a fan club of hunters and hunting companies interested in his exploits. A couple of them even sent free game cameras for him to review. He has more than 40,000 game camera photos saved on his computer.

Betsy was the one who found out about the Independence Fund, a nonprofit that gives all-terrain wheelchairs and other tools to veterans injured in combat so that they can resume more of the outdoor activities they enjoyed before their injuries. Hadden wasn’t injured in combat, but he is a veteran who served nine years active duty and he was injured while acting as a Good Samaritan, so Betsy convinced him to take a shot at applying anyway. He received a letter saying that usually he would not be eligible, but there was a veteran in the area who had recently given one back because he only got to use it a couple of times before he fell too ill. The group was willing to give Hadden the used chair for free.

It wasn’t a simple matter of moving the chair from one part of Oregon to another. Each chair for a quadriplegic user must fit them “like a glove” in order to avoid pressure sores, and Hadden has even more needs because of the extent of the injuries he suffered during the accident. The chair was sent to a factory where it was customized to Hadden’s measurements and needs, but when Pete Hedberg of Pacific Healthcare Associates delivered it on Tuesday it still took an hour and a half of small adjustments before Hadden was lifted into it using a sling attached to an apparatus on the ceiling. Then it was another hour of adjustments aided by a tape measure to make sure his arms were resting at equal height.

“It takes longer than normal to sit him because he had so many bones broken,” Betsy said.

Still, Hadden was excited about the long-awaited chair, which resembles a shiny red miniature ATV on the bottom.

“Wow, she’s purdy,” he drawled as he laid eyes on the chair. “Pretty fancy.”

He commented on the lights and turn signals on the chair, joking, “Wal-Mart, here we come!”

Hadden doesn’t know the exact value of his new chair, but he does know that the less-fancy one he has been using cost $40,000. Buying a new wheelchair would have cost him more than buying a new car, he said. He can’t even begin to express how grateful he is to receive one for free.

“You rely on it every day because without it you’re in bed,” he said. “It’s basically like an arm or a leg.”

For more information about the Independence Fund, visit independencefund.org.

South Dakota Officials: More Pronghorns Mean More Hunting

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-dakota/articles/2017-07-14/south-dakota-officials-more-pronghorns-mean-more-hunting

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Wildlife officials in South Dakota have decided that a slowly growing pronghorn population justifies a slight increase in the number of hunting licenses available for the next two years.

The state’s Game, Fish and Parks Commission decided Thursday that it will issue resident hunters over 900 more buck-antelope hunting licenses and 1,400 more doe-antelope licenses in 2017 and 2018 than it did last year, when hunter success reached 70 percent. The hunting unit in Stanley County will allocate 40 licenses and the unit in Hughes County will have 50 licenses for each of the next two years.

The pronghorn is a land mammal known for its speed. They’re unique to North America but are commonly called antelope because of their resemblance to the African animal, the Pierre Capital Journal (http://bit.ly/2taKWqT ) reported.

Population surveys by the commission said there will be about 48,000 pronghorns in the state, still about 10,000 short of the statewide-population objective called for in the department’s antelope-management plan.

In the last five years, the state’s pronghorn-antelope herd has been recovering from a decline. Harvest and hunter success has steadily increased since bottoming out in 2013.

___

Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, http://www.capjournal.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press

Animal cruelty has given me a change of heart on dog sporting competitions

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/animal-cruelty-has-given-me-a-change-of-heart-on-dog-sporting-competitions/2017/06/25/68f5ceec-585e-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.a0f78bbbebd0#comments

 Columnist June 25
I love dogs — Toni will tell you I don’t need a wife by my side, I just need a Weimaraner — and every year, my favorite column to write is a canine diary from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race or the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

However, I will never pen either of those columns again and apologize to readers — particularly Iditarod-wise — for my poor judgment.

The thing is, I get along with dogs better than with people; they are more dependable and less deceitful. And in writing a weekly humor column — well, in theory it’s a humor column — I always have relished the annual opportunity to look for laughs from a dog’s perspective.

But in searching for the funny, I lost sight of the facts:

Sled dog racing is cruel, unusual and unacceptable punishment for the animals.

The Iditarod is a rugged 1,000-mile trek over nine days. Only about 50 percent of the dogs reach the finish line, and since its inception in 1973, at least 150 dogs have died in the race.

Short of perishing, Iditarod dogs suffer horrifically along the trail — diarrhea, bleeding ulcers, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and frostbite.

For a better sense of all these horrors, I would suggest a viewing of the new documentary “Sled Dogs” from Toronto filmmaker Fern Levitt or going to the Sled Dog Action Coalition’s website at helpsleddogs.org.

Beyond the brutal training and care of sled dogs, we also treat so many other creatures in unspeakable fashion.

When I was a kid, I delighted in watching bullfighting on TV on Sunday mornings — yes, Sunday mornings; apparently, it is our day of rest and their day of reckoning. Then I went to my first bullfight in Spain as a college student and, well, aside from the fact that it really didn’t seem like a fair fight, I was struck by the savage, barbaric nature of the exercise.

Yet so many civilizations worldwide, near and far, engage in stuff like this.

Bullfighting. Dogfighting. Cockfighting.

Frankly, any animal activity that involves the suffix “fighting” is unquestionably inhumane. At least when humans partake in fighting — boxing or MMA — the participants choose to do so. On the other hand, I don’t think a rooster wakes up at the crack of dawn thinking, “I’d love to bloody another rooster to death after dinner.”

But this is where our culture rests:

Sticking a moose head over the fireplace mantle.

Standing on a boat showing off a 125-pound tuna.

My goodness, rodeo — rodeo! — is the official state sport of South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, though I’m not quite sure the horses and other livestock consider it a sport.

Then there are professional bass fishing competitions.

The Bassmaster Classic — to determine the world champion of bass fishing — is a three-day spectacle on ESPN2.

(At least in poker, we never kill the fish; we just take their money.)

Anyway, I used to fish myself and used to bet on horses; can’t do either anymore.

What they do to horses in horse racing and greyhounds in greyhound racing so that we can place wagers on them is unfathomable and unbearable. Google “greyhound dog abuse” and you will get as many results as “Kim Kardashian shopping.”

Even the circus is abusive to animals, unless you believe the Ringling Brothers polled local elephants to see whether they enjoy balancing on a stool while a woman dances on the back of their head.

(I guess we have evolved a bit — at least there is no longer pigeon shooting at the Olympics. Yes, at the 1900 Summer Games in Paris, there was pigeon shooting. Live birds were held and released as “athletes” took aim. The object: Shoot as many pigeons as possible. Nearly 400 birds were killed.)

It’s really pretty simple:

Animals should not be subjected to our whims, in any way, shape or form, for the sake of our sporting-and-entertainment needs.

We probably should stop eating them, too.

THE EMBLEM; A POEM TO END HUNTING

 http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-emblem-poem-to-end-hunting.html?spref=fb
The Emblem
I’m not blind to the world animals live in.
Their reality is intertwined with my own.
Therefore I would not know where to begin
to describe the cruelty animals are shown.
Humans have become deaf to creatures cries,
We’ve become numb to the feeling of love.
One sight entirely exemplifies
the lack of empathy that I speak of.
Tied to a truck for obvious display,
was a beautiful buck; lifeless and cold.
His disfigured head quickly turned my eyes away
I’m left with an indelible image to hold.
The buck will serve as an emblem for all time.
I must have witnessed this sight for a reason.
The emblem will forever tell of the crime
that permeates the air in hunting season.
The gentle are persecuted by killers
and live a life that is never free of fear.
Respect and Justice are our soul’s pillars.
Let’s rise up and put an end to the hunting of deer.

by Butterflies; long term vegan ~ animal rights advocate

Gators beware, SC hunters are coming for you this fall

Gators beware, SC hunters are coming for you this fall. Here’s how you can hunt.