“SHORTAGE OF HUNTERS HAS ENVIRONMENTALISTS CONCERNED”

What an interesting web we weave.  For decades now PETA and environmentalists have looked down on hunters and have called them every name you can think of except wanted and needed.

Well that could all change, MSN is reporting that there is a decline in the number of hunters in our nation and the consequences could hurt their causes.

According to  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data hunting license sales have fallen from a peak of about 17 million in the early ’80s to 15 million last year.  In fact, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency their 2016 survey pointed to an even deeper decline of 11.5 million Americans who say they hunt, down more than 2 million licensees from five years earlier.

“The downward trends are clear”

So what are PETA and the environmentalist concerned about since they are achieving their stated goals?  Well, the decline in hunting licenses means a decline in cash and now that is resulting in some pretty large financial shortfalls in many state wildlife agencies.

I remember reporting on the state of California forcing people to conserve water.  That worked so well they saw a precipitous decline in cash coming into their waterworks departments so they had to increase their rates greatly.

The article stated the following:

In Wisconsin, a $4 million to $6 million annual deficit forced the state’s Department of Natural Resources to reduce warden patrols and invasive species control.

Michigan’s legislature had to dig into general-tax coffers to save some of the state’s wildlife projects, while other key programs, such as protecting bees and other pollinating creatures, remain “woefully underfunded,” according to Edward Golder, a spokesman for the state’s natural resources department.

Some states, including Missouri, are redirecting sales tax revenue to conservation.

Here in Pennsylvania — where the game commission gets more than 50 percent of its revenue from licenses, permits and taxes — the agency had to cancel construction projects, delay vehicle purchases and leave dozens of positions vacant, according to a 2016 report, even as it tackled West Nile virus and tried to protect rare creatures such as the wood rat.

So now what are people are calling for, well I told you what happened in California when it came to their water rates.  Now a national panel has called for a new funding model to keep at-risk species from needing far costlier emergency measures.

Interesting what happens when people get what they want and have strived for decades to achieve.  Apparently they never really look fully at the consequences of their actions, kind of like teenagers if I remember those years of being one and raising them.

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Sport Hunting and Hobby Eating

 

Text and photo copyright Jim Robertson

Okay, so there’s sometimes more to sport hunting than just mindless plunking away at innocent, undeserving animals. Besides the selfish, sociopathic satisfaction they get out of snuffing out their fellow sentient beings, some hunters are also motivated by the prospect of eating the flesh of their conquests.

These so-called “sportsmen” (or women) are not starving or suffering in any way (outside of being burdened with a low self esteem) at the time they commit their offenses; they just have a peckish for something perversely pleasurable to them. Case in point, here’s a description, in a hunters’ own words, of how much he enjoyed consuming the flesh of a scarce, embattled trumpeter swan: “You would think it would be goosey, but it’s more ducky, tight grained, very flavorful. The fat was delicious. I plucked it all the way to the chin and used the neck as a sausage skin.” (From the article, “Utah hunters killed 20 rare trumpeter swans by accident this year. Here’s why that matters.”)

Clearly, some of these sport-eaters fancy themselves gourmets and may even pride themselves in their abilities to turn a deceased carcass into a delectable feast, but the same could probably have been said about Jeffery Dahmer and his unfortunate victims.

Serial Killer Robert Hunter and victim

And the fictional serial killer (based on an actual doctor incarcerated in Mexico), Hannibal Lecter displayed typical hunter-bravado when bragged to FBI agent Clarice Starling: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chiani.”

Sorry to tell self-excusatory sportsmen and other unapologetic killers, murder does not magically become sacred once your victims’ flesh passes through your digestive tract.

Nunavut has a new polar bear management plan: NWMB

“We are going to do what we can do to get this in place before this season”

Nunavut’s new polar bear management plan brings in a one-to-one male-female harvesting ratio for all Nunavut subpopulations, says the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. (Photo by Jane George)

Nunavut has a new polar bear management plan: NWMB

(Updated on Sept. 26 at 1:30 p.m.)

CAMBRIDGE BAY—The Government of Nunavut has approved a new polar bear management plan.

That was the news from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board to members of the Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board at its annual general meeting in Cambridge Bay.

The cornerstone of the new polar bear management plan is the one-to-one male-female harvesting ratio for all Nunavut subpopulations, the NWMB chair, Dan Shewchuk, told those at the meeting.

The gathering in Cambridge Bay is the first of three regional wildlife board annual meetings that he and Jason Akearok, the NWMB’s executive director, plan to attend.

Akearok said getting the polar bear management plan done has been “quite a feat.”

“We are going to do what we can do to get this in place before this season,” he said.

The plan has been under consideration for nearly five years, with a big discussion about the draft plan last March in Iqaluit at an NWMB board meeting.

The plan will be in effect until 2029.

Of the circumpolar world’s 19 subpopulations of polar bears, 12 are found mainly in Nunavut.

There are quotas now for each of those subpopulations—and defence kills fall under annual quotas for each community.

While the new plan won’t increase quotas right now, new total allowable harvests, as the quotas are called, will be considered as new data comes.

Under the previous plan, Nunavut communities could only hunt one female polar bear for every two male polar bears hunted through an annual allotment of community polar bear tags.

That applied everywhere except to a Baffin Bay subpopulation of polar bears, where a one-to-one male-female harvesting ratio was in place.

Under the new plan, it won’t make any difference if a polar bear harvested in Nunavut is a male or female, as long as the balance between males and females is maintained. Cubs will count as a half tag.

The new one-to-one harvest ratio should allow communities to continue with defence kills, when needed.

Polar bear incursions into communities have been an increasing concern in the territory after two deaths by polar bear mauling in the Kivalliq region last year—but, under the current management plan, the defence killing of a polar bear, when female, has counted as two tags. This has left some communities with no more tags to count on after a defence kill.

The new plan will also encourage communities to engage in polar bear deterrence, Shewchuk told Nunatsiaq News.

But he has previously said that aggressive polar bears are harmful to Inuit culture and lifestyle, because of damage to cabins, bird colonies and seal populations.

Those at the meeting in Cambridge Bay welcomed news of the change in the polar bear management plan.

They were also pleased to learn that the Kitikmeot region will have five more tags for grizzly bears. A large grizzly bear was seen, and later shot, after roaming around an area close to Mount Pelly where there are many cabins.

Elsewhere, the reaction to the new polar management plan could be mixed.

Polar bears face an uncertain future due to threats posed by climate change, according to a 2018 assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

The committee, known as COSEWIC, once again assessed polar bears as a “special concern.” That means the species may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Youth hunters prepare for hunting season

https://www.siouxlandproud.com/news/youth-hunters-prepare-for-hunting-season/

On Sunday, kids from 7 to 17 years old spent the day learning how to properly and safely handle hunting guns.

WASHTA, Iowa (KCAU) – On Sunday kids in Washta, Iowa spent their morning training for the upcoming hunting season.

On Sunday, kids from 7 to 17 years old spent the day learning how to properly and safely handle hunting guns. A priority for both the kids and adults at the range.

“When I was little my dad would always go out pheasant hunting and I always wanted to come with and deer hunting and I just like it because I’ve done it a lot,” said Ty Schlichting, a youth hunter.

“My dad really got me started shooting and it has always been a really good way to bond with him,” said Joshua Lauck, a youth hunter.

For many of the kids at Peasant’s Forever Youth Shooting event, learning how to use rifles properly gives them an opportunity to have some extra bonding time with their dads.

“This is a skill and hobby that these kids can use when they are 90 and above,” said Brian Lauck, the youth chair for Cherokee County Pheasant’s Forever.

Even though the event was full of kids having fun, they also recognized just how dangerous guns can be.

The International Hunter Education Association says about 1,000 hunting accidents occur a year.

“We like to teach the kids the safety how to properly use the shotguns and rifles their a tool just like a hammer so we want to teach these kids the proper way to use these tools,” said Lauck.

“They teach you like the safeties of a gun and how to shoot one,” said AJ Wolcott, a youth hunter.

Officials say gun education is key to responsibly passing on the hobby to the next generation of hunters.

“They are gonna want to know what it is anyways so to teach them rather than have them figure it out on their own is a safer way,” said Joshua Lauck.

“An incident can happen at any time or anywhere,” said Conley Ginger, a youth hunter.

Allowing them to safely take part in family traditions, One shot at a time.

“I like watching the kids shoot them having a good time. Watching them break their first clay and shooting that then rink it’s just a lot of fun watching the smilies when the kids shoot so that’s the reward right there,” said Lauck.

At the end of October, these kids will be back with their rifles in hand ready to go a youth hunting trip together.

Dove hunting opens today at Swan Lake NWR

https://www.newspressnow.com/sports/outdoors/dove-hunting-opens-today-at-swan-lake-nwr/article_a691a0dc-ca7b-11e9-a326-1f3a46211c2f.html

Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Chillicothe, Missouri, will be open for the second year for dove hunting during the Missouri season starting today.

Steve Whitson, refuge manager, said the Missouri dove hunting season will be held for the second year at the refuge starting Sept. 1. The recently approved Refuge Hunting Plan opened areas of the refuge to dove hunting.

He said the dove hunting area is located on the north end of the refuge near the Hunting Headquarters site.

Last year, there were 29 hunters that participated in the opening weekend and 71 doves were harvested.

Hunters must check in at the Hunting Headquarters prior to entering the dove hunting area and when leaving the hunt area. A Missouri Small Game Hunting Permit and a Migratory Bird Hunting Permit along with a check-in stub are required to hunt dove. Hunters may check in 2 hours prior to official sunrise.

He said hunting dogs used for dove hunting are allowed for retrieval only and must be under the control of the owner at all times.

There is no overnight camping allowed on the refuge. Nontoxic shot is required while dove hunting on Swan Lake NWR and lead shot is prohibited. All Missouri dove hunting regulations will apply.

Whitson said hunting is a priority for public use in the refuge system and is allowed when found compatible with that specific refuge’s mission and purpose.

The dove hunting regulations flyer along with an area map can be found on the Swan Lake NWR website under the hunting section at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Swan_Lake/.

National Park Hunting and Fishing Restrictions Under Fire

Rules to Stem Invasive Species, Lead Poisoning, and Gun Accidents at Risk

By
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility –
August 13, 2019, 09:56:59 AM

National Park Hunting and Fishing Restrictions Under Fire

Washington, DC August 13, 2019 – Under orders from the Trump Administration, the National Park Service is reviewing all hunting and fishing restrictions that are stricter than state game laws, according to documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The Department of Interior, the parent organization for NPS, has ordered that all federal hunting and fishing restrictions on Interior lands not anchored in statute be rescinded.

While hunting is banned in most national parks, some 76 of the total 419 NPS units allow some form of recreational, subsistence, or tribal hunting. However, the park units that do allow hunting, the largest of which are in Alaska, cover more than 60% of the national park system. At the same time, more than 85% of park units with fish (213 in all) are open to fishing.

In response to a September 2018 order from then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, NPS and the other Interior agencies compiled their hunting and fishing rules that differ from state game laws.   The NPS compilation lists 19 parks with hunting rules more restrictive than state hunting provisions and 32 park units with more restrictive fishing rules.

“National parks should not be reduced to game farms,” stated PEER Executive Director Tim Whitehouse, noting that state game rules are often designed to maximize state license revenue rather than protect wildlife populations.  “The emerging pattern is Trump keeping federal lands while divesting federal management of those lands.”

The restrictions recounted by NPS serve a variety of conservation interests, such as –

Averting gunshot accidents near visitor centers and other high visitation developed areas;
Preventing introduction or spread of invasive species, by restricting use of live bait; and
Protecting wildlife from unsporting or excessive practices, such as hunting with dog packs on islands, baiting of bears and other wildlife, and use of certain traps.
The NPS is still analyzing these rules and has yet to rescind any. Meanwhile, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is now touting as one of the key accomplishments of his tenure that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will open to hunting and fishing or lift restrictions on 89 of its units – 75 national wildlife refuges and 15 national fishing hatcheries – for the 2019-2020 season.

“All this talk about empowering the field and having decisions made on the ground is proving to be pure baloney,” Whitehouse added, noting that PEER is tracking impacts from these mass rule relaxations. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration has reduced wildlife management to an ideological reflex, abdicating any stewardship of federal wildlife.”

Read NPS memo summarizing hunting and fishing rules

See parks with hunting restrictions

View parks with fishing restrictions

Look at the Zinke order

Scan repeal of hunting and fishing rules in 89 refuges and hatcheries

Examine repeal of Alaska park and refuge protections

Trump Wants to Make Alaska’s Protected Wilderness a Hunting Ground

A video featuring a father and son slaughtering a mother black bear and then her two screaming newborn cubs in their den has ricocheted around the world, drawing obvious comparisons to the killing of Cecil, the African lion, by a Minnesota dentist several years ago.

Sadly, the shocking brutality the two men displayed for the world to see could soon be sanctioned by this administration. The Department of the Interior proposes to make legal these and other venal trophy-hunting practices on more federal public lands in Alaska. In 2017, Congress and the president overturned a 2016 rule governing 76 million acres of National Wildlife Refuge System lands, and effectively prohibited the trophy hunting of hibernating black bears.

This administration has shown a penchant for supplicating itself to trophy hunters and trappers. At a time when most Americans regard trophy hunting with revulsion, the Trump administration plans to overturn two federal rules prohibiting the most deplorable trophy hunting and trapping practices ever carried out on federal lands in Alaska.

Also at risk is a 2016 rule concerning the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge that prohibited the hunting of brown bears over bait and the discharge of weapons within one-quarter mile of heavily used recreational areas, including campgrounds, trailheads and rivers. This rule also prohibited trophy hunting and trapping in high-use public zones in the Kenai refuge.

A wildlife camera captures Andrew Renner and his son, Owen, illegally killing a mother bear and her cubs in Alaska. The camera, originally set up as part of a wildlife study, also documents them tampering with evidence two days later.
A wildlife camera captures Andrew Renner and his son, Owen, illegally killing a mother bear and her cubs in Alaska. The camera, originally set up as part of a wildlife study, also documents them tampering with evidence two days later.
USFS AND ALASKA DEPT. OF FISH & GAME

Another element of the mess at issue is that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game works under the auspices of Intensive Management, a paradigm that privileges hunting interests over wildlife conservation. Intensive Management permits the wholesale slaughter of wolves and bears in the mistaken belief that killing lots of these native carnivores will increase game herds for humans. That approach has utterly failed, however, most importantly because the Arctic’s fragile ecosystems cannot support unlimited numbers of herbivores. The result is a management strategy that has decimated Alaska’s native carnivore communities and encouraged an increase in the animal species most likely to cause harm to the landscape and environment.

When will it all end? Trophy hunters and trappers have killed wolves in Denali National Park and Preserve and along its boundaries in such numbers that tourists have all but lost their chance to witness wolves, including the famous and storied East Fork (Toklat) Pack, studied and admired since the 1930s.

The same is true for grizzly bears. Because of Intensive Management, Alaska’s great bears are now in great jeopardy. The state’s sanction of extreme hunting practices threatens to shrink native carnivore populations, to the dismay of biologists who study these majestic animals and to the great loss of all Americans who care about them. Such trophy hunting and predator-control practices should not be allowed on federal lands anywhere, and especially not in our national preserves and refuges in Alaska.

As of the previous census, wildlife-watching is a $2 billion-a-yearindustry in Alaska that contributes far more to local economies than trophy hunting and trapping ever could. Alaska’s wildlife-watching tourism outperforms the funds generated in the state from all hunting activities (and the extreme methods at issue here account for only a tiny fraction of that amount).

Wolves, black bears and grizzly bears represent an extraordinary lure for tourists, and they will continue to compel the interest of all Americans for decades. If their populations are hindered on these public lands, local economies could falter. But more importantly, we will all suffer the loss that their death and disappearance from our wild spaces entails.

Our national parks, preserves and wildlife refuges were founded “to conserve species and habitats in their natural diversity … for the benefit of present and future generations.” Overturning these rules and catering to trophy hunters moves us backward. That’s the wrong direction, and we shouldn’t let it happen.

Sign a petition urging Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to oppose the rule that would overturn the 2015 National Park Service rule currently protecting iconic wildlife from trophy hunters and trappers on federal U.S. lands.

This article was produced by Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Google clarifies: Hunting ads OK

RMEF Elk Network video screenshot
A Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation video had its internet advertisements briefly disallowed by Google before being reinstated after protests by Montana’s Sen. Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte.

TownNews.com Content Exchange

Google’s animal cruelty prohibition does not apply to hunting ads, according to a company spokeswoman who explained how a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation video ad was mistakenly rejected in April.

“Google doesn’t have a policy prohibiting hunting ads,” the unidentified Google spokeswoman wrote in an email statement on Tuesday. “We do have a policy against ads that promote animal cruelty or feature gratuitous violence towards animals. In this case, we made a mistake and the ad is now approved to run. We always encourage advertisers to appeal if they feel that an ad was wrongly disapproved — this helps us improve our systems and processes.”

On Friday, hours after receiving a letter from Montana’s congressional members, Google restored a paid ad promoting a RMEF video it had initially rejected because of animal cruelty issues.

However, it was unclear whether Google was reviewing an appeal from RMEF before the letters from Montana’s congressional delegation became public. RMEF spokesman Mark Holyoak said the organization was unaware of any appeal process beyond the initial rejection it received on April 25.

The Missoula-based hunting advocacy group appealed to Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Rep. Greg Gianforte, who sent inquiries to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Friday. Holyoak said a Google representative called on Friday evening rescinding the decision and reinstating RMEF’s ad.

The advertisement appeared as a “pre-roll” spot before other videos on the YouTube media website. It promoted an 8-minute video about former RMEF board member Nancy Hadley, who participates in a muzzle-loader elk hunt in New Mexico and reminisces about growing up in a hunting family. The cover image of the video shows Hadley in camouflage holding an elk antler in the field. RMEF’s Elk Network media department produced the video. One scene in the video shows a bull elk flinching and running away after an off-camera gunshot is heard.

In an email provided by Daines and Gianforte, a Google Support representative states “any promotions about hunting practices, even when they are intended as a healthy method of population control and/or conservation, is considered as animal cruelty and deemed inappropriate to be shown on our network. I can imagine how displeasing this could be to hear as you would like to promote this video so that you can show hunting in a positive manner, however, we are also bound by our policies and protocols and according to Google’s policies, promotions such as these cannot be allowed to run.”

Google’s “Inappropriate Content” policy states “we don’t allow ads … that display shocking content or promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination or violence.” While most of the examples involve human activities such as hate-group promotion, execution videos, and “gratuitous portrayals of bodily fluids,” it does have a specific entry for animal cruelty. That includes cruel entertainment such as dog fighting and trade in threatened species products such as rhino horn.

Contrary to the Google email to RMEF, hunting practices are not mentioned in the policy. However, Google has user buttons where someone can flag or object to content they think inappropriate. That content gets reviewed by Google’s support services, which may decide to reject it or leave it up.

“We appreciate things were turned around in a quick manner,” Holyoak said on Tuesday. “We communicated that this is about conservation and ethical hunting.”

Save Orangutans and Support Anti-Trophy Hunting Bill: 10 Petitions You Should Sign This Week to Help Animals!

Lead Image Source : Don Mammoser/Shutterstock

The Pastime of Psychopaths

What kind of person enjoys taking another living being’s life? It may seem improbable at first glance, but what if the same twisted psychology that drives a man to maim, stalk and—an agonizingly painful 40 hours later—shoot a lion to death might also drive a man to break into a house and plunge a knife into the people found inside? Such killers hide in plain sight. They are military officials and Boy Scout leaders. Gynecologists and dentists.

Serial killing and trophy hunting are terrifyingly similar. As wildlife researcher and author Gareth Patterson* points out, both types of killers often immerse themselves in violent imagery. Hunting magazines are designed to titillate hunters and help fuel violent fantasies of stalking and killing prey. They are full of pictures of hunters standing victoriously over animals they have slain, the obvious message: Kill something—or, rather, someone—and you, too, can achieve greatness.

Similarly, serial killers often draw inspiration from bondage pornography. Dennis Rader was obsessed with violent images of men dominating women, and he used them to fuel his fantasies of tying up and killing women. Eventually, fantasy made way for real life. The same has been true for other killers, like Ted Bundy.

Patterson notes that both types of killers enjoy the excitement of planning their kills and building anticipation while they stalk their eventual victims more than the actual act of killing. And how many times have you heard hunters say, “It’s more about the hunt than the kill”? They describe in detail their love of being outdoors, seeing their intended prey for the first time, tracking them down, cornering them and conquering them. Perhaps, like many serial killers, they’ve actually become addicted to the adrenalin rush they get from controlling their victims’ fates.

According to John Douglas, one of the FBI’s first criminal profilers, serial killers who take souvenirs from their victims do so to prolong their violent fantasies. Some take jewelry or locks of hair, while others take photographs or body parts. Trophy hunters proudly display their victims’ severed animal heads on their walls and share photos of themselves on social media grinning beside their corpses. Like serial killers, trophy hunters are compelled to prove their status as a person who has power over life and death. Between hunts, both value their souvenirs as a way to remember the power they once held over another living being.

Neither type of killer shows remorse for the killing but rather excuses the behavior as filling some sort of vague spiritual need. When selecting their victims, some hunters describe a “tremor” they feel when they see the “right” animal. They like to interpret this as nature’s way of telling them they are “supposed” to kill that particular being.

Some serial killers also believe they are instructed by a higher power to kill a particular person. Cannibal Richard Chase tried the doorknobs of strangers’ houses. If he found one locked, he took this as a sign that he was not welcome and would leave the occupant alone. An unlocked door, though, was an invitation—he was “meant” to kill the person inside.

Some hunters of animals “graduate” to killing people. Robert Hanson—an avid hunter with a living room full of mounted animal heads who was featured in a national hunting magazine—flew kidnapped women into the Alaskan wilderness, released them and then hunted them down. Why did he do this? Because hunting nonhuman species was no longer thrilling enough.

“[Killing people] is so much fun,” the Zodiac Killer said in one of his letters. “It’s even better than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous animal.”

Both types of killers could keep their fantasies as just that—fantasies. Trophy hunters could shoot photographs rather than high-powered crossbows. But both decide—enthusiastically—to take a life in order to fulfill their own selfish desires. They plan their killing sprees carefully, and then they kill and kill again, with no sign of stopping.

It’s time for us to call trophy hunting what it is: the pastime of psychopaths.

*Well known for his work with African lions, Gareth Patterson is an environmentalist, independent wildlife researcher, public speaker and author who has worked for more than 25 years for the increased protection of African wildlife. His current book, an autobiography, is My Lion’s Heart.