Drought likely to shape Montana’s hunting seasons


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Elk fight
Two bull elk spar.NPS

Tom Kuglin

Hunting this fall could be largely shaped by the widespread drought hitting the state this summer, from potential access closures to impacts on wildlife fitness and location.

While some early hunts start in August, Montana’s hunting season really begins in earnest Sept. 4 with the start of the six-week archery season. On Oct. 23 general season kicks off for five weeks and ends the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And new for this year, traditional muzzleloader hunters will have their own nine-day season to chase elk and deer in December.

A bachelor group of mule deer bucks near the Missouri River in Chouteau County.USDA NRCS

Most big game herds fared pretty well following a mild winter by Montana standards. Cold snaps remained relatively short-lived with little lower elevation snow. And hunter success hovered around average levels in most parts of the state.

Persistent drought this summer affected green up with many areas of Montana reporting stifled grass growth. That can mean less nutrition for elk, deer and other wildlife.

“I think we’re seeing that doubled-edged sword,” said Brian Wakeling, Game Management Bureau chief with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “We did see a relatively mild winter and were looking forward to that with fawns and calves hitting the ground. But the real challenge for that of course is we’re also dealing with drought (and) fires. So while we might’ve seen some favorable winter survival, we may see some reduced survival in terms of recruitment and getting those young animals into adulthood.”

Montana’s wide expanses mean a variety of habitats and different species handle tough conditions better than others. Northeast Montana has seen a surge in mule deer populations so numbers likely remain favorable, Wakeling said. In the southeast, mule deer numbers are not quite as rosy.

Whitetails overall seem to be doing better than mule deer and elk tend to be less sensitive to extreme summer conditions, Wakeling said.

Lush grasses in the spring and summer are when animals bulk up for the stresses of fall ruts and winter, said Butte-area FWP biologist Vanna Boccadori.

“Any calves or young born this year are probably going to be pretty darn light going into the fall,” she said. “Adults just won’t have the fat, which can affect breeding potential so you could see this affect two generations of animals.”

BREAKING: Argentina Becomes The First Country In The World To Ban Salmon Farming

New legislation has outlawed salmon farming in Argentina following concerns about sustainabilityby Jemima Webber2nd July 2021Updated 26th July 2021



Salmon farming can spread parasites to wild marine life Credit: Karl Muscat

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego approved a bill this week that bans salmon farming. The practice has come under fire due to concerns about sustainability.

The decision follows a proposal to begin farming in the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego. According to MercoPress, it’s the only area that Argentina could feasibly farm salmon in.

Lawmakers unanimously approved the bill to ban salmon farming. The decision is the first of its kind globally.

Estefanía González of Greenpeace told the publication that ‘Argentina is making history’.

“This is very important because once this industry is installed it is very difficult to combat it, even when they commit illegalities and environmental disasters. The impacts they leave can be irreversible.

“In the eyes of the world, it manages to take a tremendous step towards protecting the ecosystem and also its culture,” she said.

Is salmon farming sustainable?

Salmon farming has attracted criticism for its impact on the planet and animal welfare. Fish farms spread parasites like sea lice to each other but also wild fish.

To combat this, farmers use antibiotics. However, these then enter the surrounding waters, contributing to antibiotic resistance in both marine life and the people consuming them.

“There is no right way to do the wrong thing,” González commented. “Salmons are an exotic species in the seas of Argentina and Chile, they are not a species that is present naturally.”

“Therefore the amount of chemicals and antibiotics that are needed for their production and the impact they generate on the ecosystem makes it is practically impossible for this activity to be carried out without environmental consequences.”

‘A reckless industry’

Faye Lewis, Head of Communications at vegan charity Viva!, said Argentina’s rejection of salmon farming is a ‘hugely significant moment’.

She said to Plant Based News: “It sets a real precedent for the rest of the world to follow.  Salmon farming is a reckless industry that is responsible for huge environmental and ecological problems.”

Lewis mentioned ‘huge numbers’ of salmon mortalities, as well as the intensification of toxic algae blooms, and the entanglement of marine mammals.

She continued: “When Viva! ran an investigation into salmon farming we uncovered fundamental changes in the density and occurrence of lice in coastal waters. Our investigators also saw the putrid conditions first-hand which are a breeding ground for invasions of parasitic sea lice.

“Argentina is hopefully the first of many countries to take this huge step forwards.”

Youth Dove Hunts Provide a Gateway to the Outdoors [” “]

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog


Photo of Sydney and her dad, Pete, courtesy of Brenda Burns

August 2, 2021

Online registration opens August 16

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) provides several youth dove hunt opportunities throughout the state each fall. A simple hunting setup combined with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere makes WFF’s youth dove hunts an ideal way to introduce young people to the outdoors.

Registration for this year’s hunts will open at 8 a.m. on August 16, 2021. Although the hunts are free, online registration is required. The first youth dove hunts of the 2021 season begin on September 4. For more information including a complete hunt schedule, visitwww.outdooralabama.com/youth-hunting/youth-dove-hunts.

Brenda and Pete Burns of Spanish Fort, Alabama, took their daughter, Sydney, to a youth dove hunt in Macon County in October of 2020. Sydney, who was 9 at the time…

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byThe Ally StaffAugust 2, 2021

News Brief

On July 29, a coalition of 70 conservation, Indigenous, and animal welfare groups filed a formal petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)  to re-list the gray wolf as an endangered species throughout the American West under the Endangered Species Act. 

The gray wolf has been protected under the Act since 1978, and since then, wolf populations have increased in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and now California.

On January 4, of 2021, USFWS announced that Canis lupus had recovered and was no longer listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. That means that management of wolf populations fell to states. 

It is estimated that roughly 1,500 gray wolves live in Idaho, and in May of this year, Idaho lawmakers passed S1211, a bill that enables the year round trapping of wolves on private property. Wolves can be trapped, snared, poisoned, or shot, and an unlimited number of hunting tags will be issued. Governor Brad Little signed the bill into law, which took effect on July 1.  

In Montana, lawmakers passed three bills that enable the hunting of wolves. SB224 would enable the use of chokehold snares. HB225 extends the wolf trapping season by 30 days. SB267 is a bill that effectively brings back bounties, or payment of expenses, for killing wolves.

But petition concerns go beyond new hunting laws and regard “poaching, genetic problems associated with low population levels, fragmented habitats, and disease outbreaks that strike at random, potentially reducing populations below critical thresholds.”

The petition calls for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wolves in the West as a “Distinct Population Segment.”

“Wolves remain completely absent from suitable habitats or perilously close to extinction in many western states, and the handful of states surrounding Yellowstone National Park are now driving the larger populations toward extinction — endangered species listing — by ramping up wolf killing and stripping away hunting and trapping regulations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming,” said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist and Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project.  “This petition gives Secretary Haaland and Interim Director Williams a legal and scientific blueprint for restoring federal protections and counteracting the irresponsible state policies in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

“The American West has vast tracts of public lands that offer ideal habitat for gray wolves,” said Molvar. “In order to return the wolf and restore the balance of nature, it is necessary to apply federal protections that supersede anti-wolf state politics that push wolf populations toward extinction rather than recovery.”

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham reveals Covid infection, lauds vaccine: ‘My symptoms would be far worse’

The Extinction Chronicles


PUBLISHED MON, AUG 2 20213:26 PM EDTUPDATED 2 MIN AGOAnnika Kim Constantino@ANNIKAKIMCSHAREShare Article via FacebookShare Article via TwitterShare Article via LinkedInShare Article via EmailKEY POINTS

  • GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham commended the Covid vaccine after testing positive for the disease, saying that his “symptoms would be far worse” without it.

In this article

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) attends the Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting on Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett in Hart Senate Office Building, in Washington, DC, October 15, 2020.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) attends the Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting on Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett in Hart Senate Office Building, in Washington, DC, October 15, 2020.Tom Williams | Pool | Reuters

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday lauded the Covid vaccine after testing positive for the disease, saying that his “symptoms would be far worse” without it.

Graham, 66, said in a tweet that the House physician notified him he tested positive despite being fully-vaccinated. The South Carolina Republican said he begun having…

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Regarding the Pain of Farmed Animals


By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

In May this year I suffered a fall that required emergency spinal surgery followed by a lengthy stay in a rehabilitation facility, from June 4 to July 23, in Nassawadox, Virginia, five miles up the road from Machipongo where we are headquartered with our chicken sanctuary. For decades I’ve been preoccupied with pain – not my pain, which never amounted to much until now, but rather with the unrelieved and untreated pain of the countless chickens, turkeys, and other animals living in what, in the twentieth century, became factory farms.

Chickens in a factory farm
Perdue chicken factory farm. Photo by David Harp.

Factory farms are places in which large numbers of genetically and chemically manipulated animals are warehoused to grow into food for human consumption. In these places, animals are mired in the squalor that results when groups of creatures of any species are crowded together in accumulating waste. We now know that these animals are not only forcibly confined in environmental filth including toxic gases, but that they are caged in bodies wracked with painful deformities and diseases inflicted on them by human beings. They are locked into what the twentieth-century animal rights activist Henry Spira referred to as “the universe of pain and suffering” from which there is no escape but in death.

By “we,” I mean those of us in the animal advocacy movement who focus particularly on the plight of farmed animals and who track the evidence reported by agribusiness researchers specializing in farmed animal “diseases of production” and “welfare.” For example, in “Pain in Birds,” animal scientist Michael Gentle writes that the “widespread chronic orthopedic disease in domestic poultry,” added to the fact that there is a “wide variety of receptors in the joint capsule of the chicken,” including pain receptors, supports the behavioral evidence that the birds are in chronic pain.

In 1990, the American Association of Avian Pathologists identified three of the most common bone pathologies associated with the forced rapid growth of present day poultry: Angular bone deformities, in which the bones become bowed in or out or twisted; tibial dyschondroplasia, in which the bones develop fractures and fissures; and spondylothesis, in which the vertebra become dislocated and/or cartilage proliferates in the lower backbone, pinching on the spinal cord and lower back nerves.

For all of these tortures, no pain relief is offered. Having been in a “pain management” program since May following my spinal surgery, I both can and cannot imagine the unrelieved suffering of these birds. I think about their suffering in its own right and also in terms of our society’s expectation of immediate pharmaceutical relief for everything from mild depression to minor stomach upset.

Before Factory Farms

In his book Animal Revolution, Richard Ryder (who coined the term “speciesism”) offers a glimpse of how animals were prepared for meals in the typical 18th-century English household during the Age of Enlightenment. Alexander Pope, the great English poet of the time, described “kitchens covered with blood and filled with the cries of creatures expiring in tortures.”

Many people believe that the pre-factory-farming era was idyllic, or nearly so, for chickens, turkeys, and other farmed animals. In reality, factory farming is an extension of age-old attitudes and practices toward animals raised for food. For example, Keith Thomas, in Man and the Natural World, observes that poultry and game birds in previous centuries “were often fattened in darkness and confinement, sometimes being blinded as well.”

Geese were thought to put on weight if the webs of their feet were nailed to the floor, and “it was the custom of some seventeenth-century housewives to cut the legs off living fowl in the belief that it made their flesh more tender.” The London poulterers, Thomas writes, “kept thousands of live birds in their cellars and attics” in conditions forecasting today’s factory farms.

In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman describes culinary practices that arose in eighteenth-century England, when “bored city dwellers became fascinated by sadism,” including the idea that “torturing an animal made its meat healthier and better tasting.” One recipe starts out: “Take a red cock that is not too old and beat him to death.” Another instructs:

Take a goose, or a Duck, or some such lively creature pull off all her feathers, only the head and neck must be spared: then make a fire round about her, not too close to her, that the smoke do not choke her, and that the fire may not burn her too soon; not too far off, that she may not escape free: within the circle of the fire let there be set small cups and pots of water, wherein salt and honey are mingled; and let there be set also chargers full of sodden Apples, cut into small pieces in the dish. The Goose must be all larded, and basted over with butter: put then fire about her, but do not make too much haste, when as you see her begin to roast; for by walking about and flying here and there, being cooped in by the fire that stops her way out the unwearied Goose is kept in; she will fall to drink the water to quench her thirst, and cool her heart and all her body, and the Apple sauce will make her dung and cleanse and empty her. And when she roasteth, and consumes inwardly, always wet her head and heart with a wet sponge; and when you see her giddy with running, and begin to stumble, her heart wants moisture, and she is roasted enough. Take her up and set her before your guests and she will cry as you cut off any part from her and will be almost eaten up before she be dead: it is mighty pleasant to behold!

Eighteenth-and nineteenth-century literature offers additional testimony regarding the treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl. In Tobias Smollett’s novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, published in 1771, the Welsh traveler Matthew Bramble complains during a visit to London that “the poultry is all rotten, in consequence of a fever, occasioned by the infamous practice of sewing up the gut, that they may be the sooner fattened in coops, in consequence of this cruel retention.”

In order to whiten their flesh, calves, sheep, birds, and sometimes lambs, were stuck in the neck so that the blood would drain out slowly for hours and days. The wound would be stopped up and the animal would be left to linger alive for another day or so. In The Rural Life of England, William Howitt describes the practice of hanging live turkeys in the kitchen upside down by their heels to bleed out “through a vein opened under the tongue,” to improve their color. This is also how calves became veal prior to the adoption of the veal crate in the twentieth century – they were suspended upside down from the kitchen ceiling.

Delicate Lady
“Delicate” lady with dying turkey, by Sue Coe.

“Evolved” Animal Farming

The effects of the “human controlled evolution” of chickens and other birds bred for the meat industry are described in an article in International Hatchery Practice. Andrew A. Olkowski, DVM and his colleagues state in “Trends in developmental anomalies in contemporary broiler chickens” that chickens with extra legs and wings, missing eyes and beak deformities “can be found in practically every broiler flock,” where “a variety of health problems involving muscular, digestive, cardiovascular, integumentary, skeletal, and immune systems” form a complex of debilitating diseases. Poultry personnel, they say, provide “solid evidence that anatomical anomalies have become deep-rooted in the phenotype of contemporary broiler chickens.”

An example is a breast muscle myopathy described in 2018 as a worldwide phenomenon. Called “wooden breast,” this condition manifests a manmade impairment in “broiler” chickens so severe that the birds’ breasts develop a hard wood-like texture involving necrosis, fibrosis, and macrophage infiltration relating to the cardiopulmonary system’s inability to supply capillary blood to the bird’s massively growing breast muscle, which as a result hardens and dies.

Ulcerative and necrotic diseases in agribusiness chickens are endemic. Femoral head necrosis occurs when the top of the leg bone disintegrates as a result of bacterial infection, oppressive body weight, and oxygen deficiency in the contaminated chicken houses that exacerbate the birds’ pre-existing pulmonary pathologies. Necrotic enteritis involving the bacterial agent Clostridium perfringens shows intestines swollen with gas, oozing putrid fluid, and full of ulcers. Gangrenous dermatitis, a skin disease, affects the legs, wings, breast, vent, abdomen and intestines of the birds as a result of toxins emitted by Clostridium perfringens in conjunction with exposure to immunosuppressive viruses in the chicken sheds.

Pain Without Pity

The idea of a past characterized by compassionate animal farming that could be revived and modernized in contrast to factory farming does not pass scrutiny. Industrialized animal production practices reflect the inveterate view that, as poultry researcher Joy Mench once told me in the comfort of her office, the basic premise of our relationship with “food” animals precludes ethics and empathy. It allows us to decide that morality does not apply to our use of these animals. Traditional animal husbandry practices support this nihilistic viewpoint.

A photograph of turkeys being “noodled” (force-fed) to increase the size and growth rates of their livers and bodies, appears in the March 1930 issue of the National Geographic, along with much else that helps to explain why a sixteenth-century observer wrote of animals raised for food: “They feed in pain, lie in pain, and sleep in pain.” Farmed animals live and die in lonely, relentless agony that even pain-relieving medication could not overcome. We may think that roasting a live bird in front of a fire and devouring her while she is dying is too cruel and savage for today’s world, but nothing could be further from the truth.

KAREN DAVIS, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Inducted into the National Animal Rights Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to Animal Liberation, Karen is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns. Her latest book is For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation: Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl (Lantern Books, 2019).


Star City man fined for wildlife violations

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

A Star City area man has pled guilty to several wildlife offences and was fined $15,000 in Melfort provincial court. According to the province, Ivan L.Jun 28, 2021 11:14 AM By: SaskToday


dead deerMinistry of Environment conservation officers in Melfort found 10 dead white-tailed deer on the laneway of a rural property west of Star City. Ministry photo

A Star City area man has pled guilty to several wildlife offences and was fined $15,000 in Melfort provincial court.

According to the province, Ivan L. Beuker, aged 67 of Star City, was fined $15,000 for illegal hunting; waste of edible game; hunting within 500 m of occupied buildings; hunting big game with a rim fire rifle; and night hunting. A three-year hunting suspension was also imposed.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.473.0_en.html#goog_53085225

Ministry of Environment conservation officers in Melfort had received a report Jan. 7 of a dead deer on the laneway of a rural property west of…

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Stands are a solution to hunters’ problems

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog


Published 11:18 am Saturday, July 31, 2021

ByHunter Cloudhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.473.0_en.html#goog_1935393040https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.473.0_en.html#goog_1716469599KT Outdoors was started by Kevnin Thomas, left, and Richard MicKinney, right, to provide a portable hunting stand that could be put together with ease. (Submitted Photo)

Business partners Richard McKinney and Kevin Thomas are lifelong friends who recently started a company called KT outdoors. Their product, a portable hunting box stand.

They grew up in Natchez together before Thomas left the area and moved to Alabama where he has a construction company and owns a race team. McKinney has stayed in Natchez and owns a lawn care business.

In November 2020, Thomas had bought a property on Ogden Road and wanted to put up a box stand for his wife to hunt out of. They looked at box stands to buy but did not have a way to put one in the woods.

“We came home and…

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Montana, Idaho wolf laws prompt petition for listing as Endangered Species

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog



Photo by: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via APThis Feb. 1, 2017 photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows the Western gray wolf Snake River pack seen by a remote camera in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. (ODFW via AP)By:Laura Lundquist – Missoula CurrentPosted at2:43 PM, Jul 31, 2021and last updated1:49 PM, Jul 31, 2021

MISSOULA — Seventy organizations are requesting Endangered Species protections for Western wolves in response to Montana’s new laws that increase wolf hunting and trapping, including the use of snares.

On Thursday, a coalition of 70 conservation, animal welfare and indigenous groups filed aformal petitionwith the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting that wolves be relisted. They cite “inadequate regulatory mechanisms” in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and the fact that few wolves have moved out to occupy other Western states.

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