by Butterflies; long term vegan ~ animal rights advocate
You can apply for a permit to hunt alligators in South Carolina this fall starting Monday.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will accept gator hunting permit applications online from May 1 through June 15 for the season that runs from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14.
A random computer drawing will award a select number of permits, with notifications being sent out in July. Selected hunters must then go back online to purchase their permit and a tag for $100. Non-SC residents will have to pay an additional $200 fee.
Each selected applicant may harvest only one alligator and may hunt only in the area they are selected for.
Permit applicants must be 16 or older at the time of the hunt, but hunters of any age may participate with the hunter selected for a permit.
Each selected hunter can have as many helpers with them as they like, as long as each person in the boat has a South Carolina hunting license.
If you’re already getting excited about bagging a gator this fall – or want to stay far away but are curious about what it’s like – here are a few technique tips the DNR provides:
▪ Alligators are usually hunted after dark, although some hunters use snatchhooks on animals during day and twilight hours.
▪ Alligators are located at night by their reflective eye shine, which has a characteristic red glow.
▪ Alligators should be approached quietly keeping the beam of the spotlight directly in or just above their eyes.
▪ Do not shoot an alligator between the eyes or on the top of the skull. The skull is very thick and a bullet may ricochet off of the skull. To humanely kill an alligator, a shot must be directed to the portion of the neck/head juncture where the neck meets the top of the skull plate and angled slightly toward the skull.
▪ Never assume any alligator is dead.
For more information about alligator hunting in SC and applying for permits, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/alligator.
… Is A Celebrity Death Hoax
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/entertainment/ted-nugent-murdered-killed-montana-hunting-accident-celebrity-death-hoax-01833295#CLffGmQbC1S84Eji.99
Shawn Rice — April 28, 2017
Ted Nugent killed or murdered in a Montana hunting accident is just another celebrity death hoax. Despite rumors that the rocker was killed in a hunting accident in Montana, he remains alive and well. Nugent is an American musician and political activist. Nugent initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of the Amboy Dukes, a band formed in 1963 that played psychedelic rock and hard rock. Where did this false rumor originate?
On April 28, 2017, a number of unreliable web sites began publishing stories reporting that the rock musician and conservative icon had been killed in a hunting accident in Montana. You can read text from that fake story below.
“Ted Nugent, 70’s rocker turned hunting guide and conservative icon, was shot and killed early this morning in a tragic hunting accident. While setting up his tree stand just outside a wildlife reserve in Montana, Nugent was fired on and hit in the chest by a hunter with a scope nearly a quarter of a mile away who believed he was a brown bear.”
However, there are no legitimate news reports of Nugent’s death. Just recently, Nugent made a Facebook Live video with his wife Shermane on the same afternoon the death hoax starting circulating social media. They confirmed he is indeed alive and well. You can see that video below.
If that were not enough, Shermane posted another live video a few minutes later in which her husband’s voice could be heard while she played with the couple’s dogs. You can check out that video below as well.
Nugent’s spokeswoman Linda Peterson confirmed to Snopes that reports of Nugent’s untimely death were nothing more than “fake news.” Here are some examples of people discussing Nugent’s alleged death on social media.
Nugent is famous for his rock career, but has also become an outspoken supporter of conservative political figures, such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and President Donald Trump. Nugent recently made news when he was pictured alongside Palin and fellow rock singer Kid Rock at the White House, where they all dined with Trump. The trio also were pictured in front of a painting of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mocking her.
Nugent is also a divisive figure due to comments he has made about former President Barack Obama and Clinton that have been characterized as racist, sexist and potentially inciting violence. Nugent hunts and is an ardent Second Amendment advocate who sits on the board of the National Rifle Association..
What did you think of the fake news about Nugent’s alleged death? Did you see people sharing it falsely on social media? Have you seen any other celebrity hoaxes recently? Let us know in the comments section.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/entertainment/ted-nugent-murdered-killed-montana-hunting-accident-celebrity-death-hoax-01833295#CLffGmQbC1S84Eji.99
Today’s speech, at the NRA’s Leadership Forum in Atlanta, won’t be Trump’s first talk to the gun rights group. He was endorsed by the NRA in May and spoke at their convention at the time.
But his appearance later today marks the first time that a sitting president has addressed the group since Reagan did so in 1983.
The NRA is known for their sizable lobbying operation and by raising money for — and against — candidates. The group made over $52 million in donations to candidates during the 2016 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. They spent $30.3 million in support of Trump, the CRP reported.
Trump campaigned on the pledge to support and protect the Second Amendment, which he said during his May NRA appearance, was “under a threat like never before.” He pointed to his then-rival Hillary Clinton as the basis for that threat.
“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, not change it; she wants to abolish it,” Trump said at the time, although Clinton had never made such claims.
“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November. The only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person you know: Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump has noted that his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have been longtime members of the NRA, and during the May speech, he said that “they have so many rifles and so many guns, even I get concerned.”
During the second presidential debate, Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices that will “respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for and what it represents,” and said that the list of 20 judges that he released as possible picks all fit that bill. Judge Neil Gorsuch, who he later nominated and has since been appointed to the Supreme Court, was on that list.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that hundreds of protesters and gun control advocates are reportedly gathering near the convention site this morning. Part of the protest will feature a “die-in,” where 93 people will lie down in a local park to represent the number of people who die from gun violence every day, the paper reports.
There will be another protest on Saturday, and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is scheduled to attend. Lewis and Trump have a turbulent history. Lewis did not attend the inauguration and said he did not see Trump as a “legitimate president.” Trump returned the favor by criticizing the civil rights leader, saying that he was “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results.”
Shooting emperor geese in Alaska is legal for the first time in 30 years, but officials are hoping hunters take it easy.
| April 19, 2017, at 12:53 p.m.
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Shooting emperor geese in Alaska is legal for the first time in 30 years, but officials are hoping hunters take it easy.
Federal managers have opened a subsistence hunt for the birds and are visiting coastal villages to lay down ground rules before the geese migrate, KYUK-AM reported (http://bit.ly/2pg3aVE ).
The rules call for targeting one bird at a time instead of spraying the flock, only taking juvenile birds that are not yet breeding, limiting the number of birds taken and only taking one or two eggs from a nest.
About 80 percent of the world’s emperor goose population breeds along the west coast of Yukon Delta in southern Alaska. The migration is expected to begin in mid to late May.
Officials hope the large number of geese doesn’t get to hunters’ heads, though.
“With the season opening for emperor geese for the first time in 30 years, there is a concern of overharvest of emperor geese, because they’re ignorant to a lot of hunting activities, because they haven’t been harvested, so they haven’t learned how to avoid hunters,” said Bryan Daniels, a waterfowl biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The six-week hunt is now open and runs until the beginning of June.
The 1980s was the last time hunters could go out for emperor geese, which was before the bird’s population dropped dangerously low.
Now, the population is just above the threshold to sustain a hunt.
Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org
Although Congress put an end to a set of federal restrictions on wildlife management on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, the underlying conflict is far from over.
President Donald Trump signed a House Joint Resolution on Tuesday overturning a set of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations enacted in 2016. The rule restricted certain hunting methods on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, with additional specific rules for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Under the rule, predator control activities were banned unless based on sound science and in response to a conservation concern or met refuge need. On the Kenai, additional public use restrictions went into place, including some plane and motorboat access, camping restrictions and requiring a permit for baiting black bears and prohibiting using a dog to hunt big game except black bears, among other rules.
The state filed a lawsuit in January against the Department of the Interior over the Fish and Wildlife rules and another set of hunting restrictions set by the National Park Service in Alaska’s national preserves. The Safari Club International, a hunting organization, filed a similar lawsuit of its own about a week later. A few days after that, the Alaska Professional Hunting Association filed its own lawsuit over the same regulations.
“Passage of this resolution reaffirms our state sovereignty, and the state’s authority to manage fish and wildlife statewide, including on federal public lands,” said Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth in a news release issued Tuesday. “Alaskans depend on wildlife for food. Reversal of these regulations will allow residents to continue their hunting and gathering traditions.”
Despite the overturn, there’s still a sharp philosophical management disagreement between federal wildlife managers and state wildlife managers, and unless one side’s mandate changes, the disagreement will remain. Fish and Wildlife manages the national wildlife refuges for natural biological diversity, without promoting prey species over predators. Fish and Game, on the other hand, is mandated to manage for maximum sustained yield, which would provide enough harvestable animals to provide for hunters. The National Park Service protects the lands it manages and all the wildlife on them, prohibiting hunting entirely on national preserves.
Stacey said the group contests that by bypassing the state’s game management authority, the refuge and national park rules effectively amend the state’s constitution.
“(The state constitution) is where you get the maximum sustained yield management rules,” he said. “Within (Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act), it says nothing is supposed to modify or amend the state’s constitution. We argue that whrere the federal government steps in and imposes a foreign management philosophy, that actually effectively amends the state’s constitution.”
The three agencies cooperate on management issues, but there have been times over the years when the Board of Game or Fish and Game crossed a line and trigged a reaction from the feds. A recent example was when the Board of Game authorized the taking of brown bears over bait on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, said Board of Game chairman Ted Spraker.
“We allowed the taking of brown bears over bait in 2013, and the refuge immediately said, ‘Not on the refuge,’” he said. “That hasn’t changed.”
There are management tools built in, such as an overall quota for brown bears taken in the area before the season closes, he said. The refuge allows baiting for black bears in an area of Game Management Unit 15A but put brown bears off limits, which seemed inconsistent, he said.
The National Park Service regulations are still in place, so the lawsuits will go on with those challenges, and the regulations on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are still in place, so the Safari Club’s lawsuit will still challenge those.
“It has more to do with not ceding authority to the federal systems compared to whether the department and the Board of Game will change things that we’re currently doing,” Spraker said. “I don’t see any major changes coming because of this, I think there will be a little more cooperation on some of the issues, but I don’t see the refuges embracing any sort of predator management because of this.”
The overturning of the rule must be frustrating for the agency, though, said Michelle Sinnott, an attorney with environmental law firm Trustees for Alaska, which represents a group of conservation organizations that petitioned to intervene in the three lawsuits and have been granted intervener status in the Safari Club and Alaska Professional Hunters Association lawsuits.
“It’s maddening to a sense and I’m sure it’s very frustrating for federal agencies, because the Congressional Review Act takes a sledgehammer to agencies’ years of work and communications with the public and public noticing comment and meetings with people in the region,” she said.
ANILCA has a role to play too. The act, passed in 1980, affected about 157 million acres of federal land in Alaska and changed management for others, including converting the Kenai National Moose Range into the current Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Its baseline principles include the provision of managing for natural diversity, and so even with the 2016 rules changed, with ANILCA still in place, the conflict still stands between federal management of wildlife on federal land and state sovereignty.
“That question is still alive and well and we’ll be part of it now,” Sinnott said. “It’s great that our intervention was granted, because now there’s a whole host of Alaskan voices that will be heard in these cases.”
Once the debate moved to the national level, the groups supporting Fish and Wildlife’s rule received support from members of Congress who saw problems with the rules themselves and with the state asserting its right to manage wildlife on federal lands, said Pat Lavin with the Alaska office of conservation group Defenders of Wildlife.
“To have any state kind of challenge that and claim that the state has the right to do whatever it wants … I think plenty of members of Congress saw that right away and that was all the noise,” he said. “Unfortunately, we lost the vote anyway. There’s plenty of folks in Congress who understand that and aren’t crazy about it but were willing to undo this regulation.”
Lavin agreed that ANILCA would help reinforce current management practices. Refuges around the country don’t always follow the strict state regulations, he said.
“It is true, and not only in Alaska but around the whole country, that as a general proposition in managing refuge lands, the Fish and Wildlife Service defer at least initially to the place they’re in, in a given refuge,” he said. “That’s kind of the default position, but on top of that, the refuge does things all the time that are specific to the refuge and may or may not be consistent with state regulations.”
Spraker said he was optimistic that with the new federal administration, a new Department of the Interior director and a new Alaska regional supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service, state and federal managers could collaborate on management more.
“I don’t think this is going to make a major change in how we do business, but I do think it’s going to increase the level of collaboration between the state and federal agencies,” he said. “And with new leadership, I think that will lend itself toward cooperation with the state.”
March 18, 2017 5 am
The 16 national wildlife refuges in Alaska span the state from the remote Arctic on the northern edge to the volcanic Aleutian islands southwest of Anchorage. Across the refuges’ nearly 77 million acres, animal diversity abounds — ice worms and seabirds, black bears and grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, predators and prey. There is one guiding principle behind the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s management of all the species on these refuges: Conserve the natural diversity of wildlife as it is. In essence, let them be, and let humans enjoy the spectacle of nature on these refuges.
But at these particular enclaves, that also means letting humans hunt — within limits. It’s difficult to believe that any wildlife refuge isn’t truly a refuge from hunters. That’s the way the national system of refuges started, but over the last quarter century, many have been opened up to regulated hunting.
Concerned that the state’s predator control campaign could become widespread enough to disrupt the refuges’ ecosystems, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a rule that bars hunters and trappers in the refuges from killing wolves and their pups in their dens, killing bear cubs or sows with cubs, baiting brown bears, shooting bears from aircraft, or capturing bears with traps and snares. The rule took effect in September.
Let’s be clear on a few things. The federal rule prohibits only these gruesome methods of hunting on national wildlife refuges. It does not apply to hunting in state-owned wilderness or to rural Alaskan residents who hunt for subsistence. And it’s doubtful that killing huge numbers of wolves and bears would automatically drive up the number of moose and caribou. “The best available science indicates that widespread elimination of bears, coyotes and wolves will quite unlikely make ungulate herds magically reappear,” wrote 31 biologists and other scientists to then-Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell last year when the rule was still being studied.
In other words, the Alaskan government sought to allow types of hunting that probably would not accomplish what it wants to accomplish, but would end up killing brown bears who’d been lured with bait, slaughtering helpless cubs and wolf pups, and allowing bears to languish in excruciating pain for unknown hours in steel-jawed traps. This is unconscionable.
And this is not a case of states’ rights being usurped by the federal government. If anything, the congressional measures would subvert the federal government’s decades-long statutory authority over federal lands in Alaska. The national refuges are not Alaska’s private game reserve. That wilderness belongs to all of us. The Senate should stop this bill from going any further.
By David Levdansky
Last year the Legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf removed a long-standing statutory prohibition against the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting in Pennsylvania.
That legislation conveyed to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) authority to regulate how, when and where semi-auto rifles could be used for hunting.
Game commissioners, sworn to represent and uphold the interests of the state’s hunters, should also consider the impact of permitting semi-automatic rifle use for hunting on the non-hunting public.
- READ MORE: Game Commission reminds hunters of rifle restrictions (11/23/16 statement).
As that legislation moved toward enactment, several Game Commissioners indicated publicly their intent to “go slow” in authorizing semi-auto use.
Some even shared possible scenarios, where semi-autos might be permitted for use in hunting predators, like coyotes, but not during the regular big game seasons for deer and bear.
But surprisingly, at their January meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to permit the use of semi-automatic rifles in all seasons, for all species and have indicated their intent to follow through and grant final approval to this sweeping proposal at their next meeting on March 28.
Anyone who followed this unfolding issue assumed from earlier PGC statements that the debate would “go slow,” following a conservative approach to introducing semi-automatic rifles into Pennsylvania hunting.
What happened in the course of a few weeks that caused the sweeping approval of semi-autos to be fast-tracked? It’s obvious that something influenced commissioners’ earlier stated intent to be deliberate in handling this issue. Is this part of a legislative deal in the works?
Game commissioners who have spoken about the unanimous preliminary approval stated their rationale this way–that other states have not experienced an increase in hunting accidents caused by hunters using semi-auto rifles in the woods.
But I question that enough time was available, between the governor’s signature on the legislation and the Game Commission’s initial unanimous vote, to conduct a thorough review.
We hunters make up about five percent of the total Pennsylvania population. That doesn’t mean the other 95 percent are “anti-hunters” but they are non-hunters. Their perception of hunters and hunting is vital to the continuation of our hunting traditions.
Moving so rapidly to permit semi-auto rifle use for all hunting will have unintended consequences.
From personal experience, I notice a difference in the reaction of non-hunters when I discuss hunting with a bow or a flintlock. They respect and support the ethical taking of game through methods that conform with the “fair chase” intrinsic to our hunting tradition.
My concern is with their perception of hunters when they see us using firearms designed for military purposes in the deer woods.
Eventually, there will be an accident involving a semi-auto rifle. It may even be an accident that has nothing to do with semi-auto technology, but the public won’t care about that.
All they will see is a hunter with a semi-automatic rifle designed for combat use, and they’ll blame all hunters and the Game Commission for whatever tragedy occurred. We hunters don’t need that kind of black eye. Is the rapid expansion of the semi-automatic rifle to hunt deer worth this risk?
The proposed rule implicitly recognizes this risk as it limits semi-auto rifles to a 5-shell capacity magazine for hunting. But these guns come equipped to carry a 20-shell magazine.
In view of the Game Commission’s sudden “flip” from its original intention to carefully deliberate semi-autos for hunting, how can we be assured that the 5-shell maximum will not soon expand, until the full 20-shell banana clip is legalized?
The deer woods will echo with “if it’s brown, it’s going down.” More errant shots, more deer wounded and left to rot in Penn’s Woods.
Several commissioners have defended their preliminary vote to authorize by saying hunter opposition was less than they expected.
It’s obvious that opposition was light because commissioners misled everyone. They initially said they’d take a slow and deliberate course.
People who are concerned about this trusted them to fully consider this issue, from all viewpoints.
But then commissioners surprised everyone with the unanimous vote and intention to move rapidly forward. The classic bait-and-switch tactic. Why?
I am a life-long hunter who was taught the importance of one-shot discipline while qualifying for the Boy Scouts marksmanship merit badge, by my NRA-certified Hunter Education instructor, and by my father, recognized for distinguished marksmanship during WWII Battle of the Bulge.
All my early shooting and hunting mentors reinforced the importance of minimizing a reliance on firepower but maximizing self-control while hunting, in the interest of safety, humaneness and the accuracy of my own shooting.
I believe we must continue to emphasize this ethic in training future hunters.
The use of semi-auto rifles for hunting undermines that ethic and will erode our standing in the eyes of public opinion, critical to our future.
I am not opposed to change. But this issue has many facets and ramifications that need studied and thought through. I want us to manage change with deliberation so that we hunters, and the honored tradition of hunting, do not suffer unintended damage we cannot repair.
The Game Commission should table this misguided proposal at their March 28 meeting and allow for more public input from hunters and non-hunters alike.
David Levdansky, a Democrat from Allegheny County, was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1985 to 2010. He is a life-long hunter.
The public has one last chance to tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission the concerns about upcoming hunting rule change proposals in person at the commission’s March 17-18 meeting in Olympia.
The most notable proposed changes include the elimination of several special elk areas in and around Grays Harbor County, increasing the bag limit for white-fronted and white geese to address their growing abundance, and allowing the restoration of points to hunters who draw a permit for a damage hunt but are not called on to participate in a hunt.
The meetings are set to commence at 8 a.m. both days, with a public comment starting each session. There will also be a public comment period after each presentation, each featuring a different segment of proposed hunt rules changes. The meetings will be held in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia; a complete agenda is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/. All the proposed changes are available for review at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting.
Some areas of interest for local hunters include a10:40 a.m. presentation Friday about the elimination of several elk areas, including the Tri Valley, South Bank, Chehalis Valley and Willapa, meaning the land within those areas will be reabsorbed into their respects Game Management Units and fall under the same rules governing those units. Following that at 11:05 a.m. will be a discussion of general deer seasons and deer and elk special permits.
The migratory bird hunting presentation will be at 1:40 p.m., where the public can hear about proposed bag limit changes for several species of geese, among other changes.
Final action by the commission on the proposed recommendations is scheduled at a public meeting April 14-15 in Spokane.
The commission will also be briefed on a few other topics, notably the Willapa Bay salmon management plan and its adaptive management objectives, scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Saturday. Also among the briefings will be in-season management of Puget Sound salmon fisheries and bird dog training at two units of the Snoqualmie Valley Wildlife Area.
Prior to the regular meeting, the commission will have its annual meeting with Gov. Jay Inslee March 16 at 3 p.m. in the Governor’s Office.
Wildlife managers also will provide an update on the status of wolves in Washington and actions the department took in 2016 to implement the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.
In addition, the commission will be briefed on a petition the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received calling for a protection zone for southern resident killer whales off the coast of San Juan Island.