Trump Jr.’s argali trophy hunt in Mongolia cost American taxpayers $77,000

Trump Jr.’s argali trophy hunt in Mongolia cost American taxpayers $77,000

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

June 9, 2020 3 Comments

We’ve just learned that Donald Trump Jr.’s trophy hunting trip to Mongolia, where he hunted an argali sheep—an animal listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act—cost American taxpayers a whopping $77,000.

The revelation comes from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which dug into expenses Trump Jr. incurred for this controversial trip made last year. Following an initial Freedom of Information Act request, the group was provided with Secret Service protection costs alone—around $17,000 for the trip. It was only after an appeal that CREW received information of other expenses, including flight costs and a stop Trump Jr. made in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where he met with the Mongolian president, putting total expenses for that trip at the much higher figure of $76,859.36.

Trump Jr. is an avid trophy hunter and his exploits targeting at-risk animals, including leopards and elephants, are well documented. While all trophy hunting—done purely for fun and the thrill of killing a majestic animal—is unethical and disturbing, what is more outrageous about the president’s son’s pursuit of his deadly pastime is that Americans now have to pay for it.

The trip to Mongolia last August was an ethical minefield from start to finish. ProPublica, which originally broke the story of that trip, reported Trump, Jr. did not even have a permit from Mongolian officials when he shot the animal – it was offered to him afterwards, raising questions about whether he received special treatment from the Mongolian authorities. Argali are prized as a national treasure in Mongolia, and the permitting system for hunting one, according to ProPublica, is based on money, connections and politics.

The hunt itself was conducted at night, with a laser-guided rifle.

Back home, Trump Jr. has established himself as a champion of trophy hunting interests, peddling his famous last name for more privileges and perks, always at taxpayer expense because he receives Secret Service protection on all his trips. In February, he was the guest of honor at the Safari Club International’s annual convention, where the lives of 860 animals, including lions, polar bears, zebras and buffalo, were auctioned off. This included winning bids totaling $340,000 by two hunters for an opportunity to stay on a yacht with and join Trump Jr. in hunting black-tailed deer and sea ducks in Alaska.

Trophy hunters are usually a privileged lot with pockets deep enough to influence policies that favor their bloodlust. But Trump Jr. is not just any trophy hunter. As the president’s son he has an unparalleled ability to potentially influence our government’s policies on the world’s most endangered animals. But just like the Trump administration—which has launched repeated attacks against the most at-risk wildlife in the world, including hacking at the Endangered Species Act to benefit trophy hunters and mining and oil-drilling interests—Trump Jr. has failed to use his power to do good.

We are not staying silent. We’re challenging the administration’s changes to the ESA in court, and we are in good company, with many animal protection and environmental organizations joining us. We have also petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to refuse a permit for Trump Jr. to import the trophy of that sheep. Argali from Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan are listed as threatened in the ESA, and import of a hunting trophy of an ESA-listed species can be authorized only if it furthers conservation. There is no evidence that this was the case here, or that recreational killing for trophies ever promotes conservation.

Being the president’s son may come with perks, like a retroactive permit from Mongolia to slay an argali and a red-carpet welcome from the world’s largest trophy hunting group; but it also comes with the scrutiny of his questionable spending of taxpayer resources by organizations like ProPublica and CREW, and opposition to his wildlife-killing activities from animal protection groups like ours. Americans do not want their money misused in a manner that will do permanent damage to the world’s most at-risk animals, and we will hold those who do so accountable, no matter how powerful and influential they are.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

U.S. should deny Trump Jr. permit to import endangered sheep trophy from Mongolia

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

December 19, 2019 3

No American—regardless of his or her wealth and political connections—should be above the law. That’s why, in a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today, Humane Society International, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund, along with the Center for Biological Diversity, are calling on the agency to refuse to allow Trump Jr. to import the body parts of the animal he killed.

The letter states that argali sheep are an imperiled species who should not be hunted for their horns or hides to serve as wall hangings. “The reporting on Mr. Trump Jr.’s argali hunt—that was conducted at night with a laser guided rifle, and without a hunting permit issued before the hunt—raises serious questions regarding the legality of the killing and subsequent import of the animal.”

As ProPublica reported, Trump’s hunt was partially funded by U.S. and Mongolian taxpayers because each country sent security services to accompany the president’s eldest son and grandson on the multiday trip. After the hunt, Trump Jr. is reported to have met privately with the country’s president, Khaltmaagiin Battulga, before returning to the United States.

It was also reported that Trump Jr. did not have a Mongolian permit to kill the argali—a beautiful animal with long, curving horns—when the hunt took place. A permit was issued to him by the Mongolian government only after he had already departed the country, in what was clearly a hasty attempt to cover up a violation of Mongolian law. Such a violation should by itself disqualify Trump Jr. from bringing his trophy home.

Argali from Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan are listed as threatened in the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and import of a hunting trophy of an ESA-listed species can be authorized only if it furthers conservation. There is no evidence that this was the case here. In fact, Mongolia has a history of using these beautiful and endangered animals as lures for those with money, connections and politics, and has not updated its argali hunting management plan in a decade.

A 2017 FWS finding shows that only a small percentage of hunting license fees in Mongolia actually go to argali conservation and community livelihoods.

Most Americans are opposed to trophy hunting, and do not believe in the canard spread by trophy hunting interests that killing one animal can help save an entire species. In fact, an increasing number of conservation scientists have challenged the notion that trophy hunting benefits conservation.

There is no doubt that Trump Jr. behaved unethically when he pointed a laser guided rifle at a beautiful animal whose species is in a struggle for survival. But this is not just about his poor ethics. As the son of the sitting president, his actions have also put our nation’s reputation as a global leader in the fight to conserve endangered wildlife at great risk. That’s why we urge the USFWS to follow the law and not show any special favors to this trophy hunter who has disgraced our nation and disappointed so many of us with his actions. Our laws should apply equally to every American, regardless of wealth, influence, political connections or name.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Big-game hunting embezzler from Minnesota imprisoned in North Carolina

This photo shows Jerome "Jerry" Hennessey in Mexico in January 2013. The photo was taken by Arizona-based hunting company, Sonora Dark Horn. The discovery of Hennessey's alleged embezzlement from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator has led to federal charges against Hennessey. (Photo courtesy of Sonora Dark Horn)
This photo shows Jerome “Jerry” Hennessey in Mexico in January 2013. The photo was taken by Arizona-based hunting company, Sonora Dark Horn. The discovery of Hennessey’s alleged embezzlement from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator has led to federal charges against Hennessey. (Photo courtesy of Sonora Dark Horn)

BUTNER, N.C. — Jerry Hennessey, who used money from the elevator he managed in Minnesota to pay for big-game hunting trips, on July 29 reported to the low-security area of Butner Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina.

Hennessey, the former general manager of the Ashby Farmers Elevator Cooperative, was sentenced June 21 in Fergus Falls, Minn. He will serve eight years in prison for federal wire fraud and income tax charges. He pleaded guilty to stealing more than $5 million from the co-op over at least 15 years and writing co-op checks for big-game hunting trips across the globe. He had spent more than $500,000 on taxidermy alone and built facilities at his rural home to display it. Many of the payments were labeled for corn and soybeans to mask the fraud.

Hennessey’s fraud caused the dissolution of the co-op and sale of its assets, as well as the end of his marriage. Erik Ahlgren, a Fergus Falls attorney who serves as a state sponsored trustee for the former cooperative, confirmed that Hennessey’s Dalton residence with its two large outbuildings for taxidermy remains for sale.

Hennessey, 56, requested to be placed at the federal prison in Duluth and U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim said he would request it but could not guarantee it. Hennessey had been living with a daughter in the Minneapolis area. Butner is 1,200 miles from Minneapolis, nearly a 19-hour drive.

Butner’s low security area holds about 1,100 men. The institution lists Hennessey’s release date as May 21, 2026. There is no parole in the federal system, one of the reforms in the federal Sentencing Reform Act of 1984.

The Bureau of Prisons “attempts” to place inmates within a 500-mile radius of their “release residence,” according to its online information.

A bureau spokesperson declined to speak to the “circumstances relating to an individual inmate’s designation” to a particular institution. A “number of factors are considered,” including “security, population, programming, and medical needs.”

Hennessey in court noted he is a diabetic. He had taken several weeks of diabetic supplies when he asked a former elevator worker to drive him from Ashby to Des Moines in September 2018, prior to being charged with federal fraud charges. Hennessey returned to Minnesota and turned himself in after federal charges were filed in December.

Big game hunter who held a bloodied sex toy next to a sheep she killed faces criminal charges

Police in Scotland have confirmed that Larysa Switlyk has been reported for firearms offences along with a 41-year-old man who is also from the United States

Big game hunter who held a bloodied sex toy next to a sheep she killed faces criminal charges

A 33-year-old big-game hunter from Sarasota, Florida, Larysa Switlyk, who boasted of shooting and killing local animals while visiting a Scottish island is now reportedly facing criminal charges. Switlyk, “a world-renowned hunter”, was accused of “trophy hunting” wild animals on the island of Islay, Scotland in September after she posed with several of her kills and posted the pictures on Instagram.

Police in Scotland have now confirmed that the hunter has been reported for firearms offences, along with a 41-year-old man, who is also from the United States, according to the Daily Mail.

Although hunting animals in season is not illegal in Scotland, Switlyk is facing a charge under Section 11a of the Firearms Act, which is linked to how one can use borrowed shotguns legally.

Larysa Switlyk posing with her game (Instagram/laryasaunleashed)
Larysa Switlyk posing with her game (Instagram/laryasaunleashed)

Switlyk, in November, had stirred controversy after she posted a picture of herself in Norfolk, posing next to a sheep she had just killed and holding a blood-smeared sex toy. Scotland police said that they had received multiple complaints about hunting in September and the Procurator Fiscal is now probing the incidents, according to the Daily Mail.

Switlyk, a television presenter, in one of her Instagram pictures can be seen dressed in camouflage gear and kneeling beside the corpse of a goat, while another image shows her posing “in sniper mode” and lying in grass while pointing a gun into the distance.

Reports state that her games also include stags and she had captioned one of her pictures with: “In awe of my Scottish Stag — can’t wait to bring it back to the castle for the chefs to cook it up!”

Larysa Switlyk posing with her game (Instagram/laryasaunleashed)
Larysa Switlyk posing with her game (Instagram/laryasaunleashed)

The images she posted of the hunt sparked outrage in the country, with one Member of the Scottish Parliament warning that he would be looking into whether the hunts were organized by an official group or not. It is legal to hunt red stags between July 1 and October 20, given that the hunters use firearms and have a licence for their weapons and have the permission of the landowner.

A spokesperson for the Scottish government at the time had said: “We fully understand why so many people find these images of hunted animals being held up as trophies so upsetting. Responsible and appropriate culling of animals is a necessary part of sustainable land management and the culling of some wild animals, including deer and goats, is not illegal.”

Larysa Switlyk posing with her game (Instagram/laryasaunleashed)
Larysa Switlyk posing with her game (Instagram/laryasaunleashed)

“However, we understand the concerns caused by these images and, in light of them, the Environment Secretary will review the situation and consider whether any clarification of or changes to the law might be required,” the spokesperson added.

After poaching a desert bighorn in Utah, prominent Arizona guide loses hunting rights in 47 states

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/01/23/prominent-arizona-guide-loses-hunting-rights-in-47-states-for-poaching-a-desert-bighorn-in-utah/

A jury in Kanab found that Larry Altimus, 69, faked living in Utah to secure one of the coveted big-game tags considered ‘huge in the hunting world.’

Most big-game hunters can go their entire lives and never get a chance to legally shoot one of Utah’s desert bighorn sheep, a privilege reserved for fewer than 40 lucky hunters each year.

After 21 failed tries, Arizona big-game hunting guide Larry Altimus finally landed such a permit in 2014 soon after taking up residence in Kanab, the Utah town on the Arizona line in the heart of desert bighorn country. But a jury later determined that Altimus was merely pretending to be a Utah resident for the sake of taking one of the state’s most valuable wildlife trophies.

In addition to a felony conviction and more than $30,000 in fines and restitution, the act of fraud will also now cost Altimus his hunting privileges, under a recent decision by a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources hearing officer. The ban will apply not just in Utah, but 46 other states as well.

While Altimus may still guide hunting clients, he cannot hunt for the next 10 years, according to DWR spokesman Mark Hadley.

“He not only stole the permit. He used the permit he wasn’t entitled to to kill an animal,” Hadley said.

Based in the southeast Arizona town of Pearce, Altimus, 69, operates his company Hunter Application Service and guides hunters in pursuit of trophy animals in several Western states. Altimus, who did not return a phone message Monday, has hunted and guided hundreds of times in the Southwest and has appeared on industry magazine covers with his trophies.

Bighorn sheep are among the most coveted big-game species to hunt. Utah’s system for issuing tags for such hunts gives an advantage to those who have tried and failed to get permits in past years.

Hunters earn a bonus point each time they unsuccessfully apply for a particular big-game species. Altimus actively sought these Utah tags, and by 2013, he had amassed 21 points toward a desert bighorn sheep, more points than earned by any in-state hunter, according to court records.

Even with this trove of points, the chance Altimus would draw a nonresident bighorn sheep permit were still slim.

“But if he claimed residency in Utah, he knew he had a good chance of drawing a permit reserved for Utah residents,” said DWR director Mike Fowlks.

Under Utah law, however, hunters are not to obtain a resident hunting permit if they move to the state for a “special or temporary purpose.” As someone who makes a living helping clients obtain hunting tags, Altimus was well aware of the rules, according to Kane County prosecutor Jeff Stott.

At trial last July, Stott had to convince a jury that Altimus knowingly took steps to illegally game Utah’s system for awarding sheep tags, which can auction for as high as $70,000.

In 2014, according to DWR data, 5,174 Utah hunters vied for 35 desert bighorn tags, while 7,184 nonresidents vied for three.

“This is a big tag,” Stott said. “It’s huge in the hunting world.”

Big enough, it appears, for Altimus to uproot his life for a few months.

In August 2013, he rented a house in Kanab, moved his belongings there and obtained a Utah driver license, according to Stott. Using the Kanab address, Altimus applied the following March, not long after meeting the six-month threshold for residency, and drew a permit to take a bighorn from the famed Zion hunting unit — just one of 11 awarded that year.

“We proved it was all for this permit,” Stott said. A few weeks after winning the tag, Altimus moved back to Arizona, then returned for the fall hunt, where he bagged a ram.

After three days of testimony in Kanab’s 6th District Court, the jury returned a guilty verdict for wanton destruction of wildlife, a third-degree felony. Judge Wallace Lee ordered Altimus to pay DWR $30,000 in restitution, payable in monthly payments of $1,000 as part of his three months on probation. He also lost his right to possess a firearm and hunt in Utah during that period. Officials had already seized the ram trophy, whose prodigious horns curled into a full circle.

But the real punishment was meted out by DWR, which filed a petition to revoke Altimus’ hunting privileges for 10 years in the states participating in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which includes all 50 states but Delaware, Massachusetts and Hawaii.

A hearing officer affirmed the recommendation, although the order could be appealed to the Utah Wildlife Board.

Grizzly involved in fatal attack on hunter will stay in K-Country with cub

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Grizzly+involved+fatal+attack+hunter+will+stay+Country+with/10196069/story.html

By Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald September 11, 2014

Grizzly involved in fatal attack on hunter will stay in K-Country with cub

Richard Cross was killed by a grizzly bear in Kananaskis Country on the weekend. Officials have decided against destroying the bear responsible for his death, ruling it a defensive attack.

Photograph by: Facebook photo , Calgary Herald

A grizzly bear that killed a sheep hunter in Kananaskis Country on the weekend will be left in the area with her cub, after it was ruled a defensive attack.

On the weekend, Calgarian Rick Cross was walking alone along the Picklejar Creek trail when he was attacked and killed by the bear.

“It was definitely a defensive attack, not a predatory one,” said Glenn Naylor, district conservation officer with Kananaskis Country. “That was the main decision-making factor, but we have to look at all of the evidence and all possible scenarios first.

“The evidence clearly points to the fact that he out of the blue encountered this situation and the chain of events that happened pretty quickly.”

Cross was hunting for big horn sheep Saturday, but didn’t return home that night as expected. His family reported him missing to police Sunday morning and a search began immediately.

Officers found his backpack and rifle Sunday, but had to call off the search as darkness fell and bears were still in the area. They found his remains not far from his belongings a day later.

Naylor said the evidence shows that the bear responded defensively, both because of its cub and a freshly killed deer carcass in the area.

“It attacked Mr. Cross and the result was tragic. He was killed,” he said. “After he was no longer a threat, the bear left him alone. He wasn’t touched again.”

That led biologists with both Alberta Parks and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to rule it a defensive attack.

“That was the conclusion that was arrived at by everyone,” he said, noting other options would have been to capture and relocate the bear, or destroy it.

Naylor said provincial officials have met with the Cross family about their decision to leave it alone.

“They were appreciative of all of our efforts,” he said. “They had no problem with the result.”

Kim Titchener, program director at Bow Valley WildSmart, said it’s the decision she expected.

“They have a great reputation for doing what’s right for wildlife and what’s right for public safety,” she said. “That bear isn’t a threat. She was doing what bears do.”

The Picklejar area will remain closed until the bear and her cub are finished feeding on the deer carcass.

cderworiz@calgaryherald.com

Hunter sues over alleged fraudulent big-game hunt

Poor baby, imagine his mental distress, anxiety and loss of sleep from not receiving the right head in the mail…

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2022920756_biggamesuitxml.html

Rick Vukasin is demanding reimbursement or else the original argali horns, but he said a possible exchange is complicated by international treaties governing hunting of the rare sheep, a threatened species in Tajikistan.

By SCOTT SONNER

The Associated Press

 This December 2012 photo shows Vukasin, 65, of Great Falls, Mont., posing with a rare argali sheep known as the “Marco Polo” that he shot in the Pamir Mountains.
Enlarge this photoThis December 2012 photo shows Vukasin, 65, of Great Falls, Mont., posing with a rare argali sheep known as the “Marco Polo” that he shot in the Pamir Mountains.

Show comments         

                You travel around the world, to shoot an endanger species, and expect sympathy? What…                (February 15, 2014, by more important things)                                                        
                A good example of someone who deserves to get ripped off.                (February 15, 2014,                     
                What kind of a person would kill endangered animals for just a trophy? How infantile…                (February 15, 2014,                                                          

RENO, Nev. — A big-game hunter from Montana is suing a Canadian outfitter and a renowned hunting guide in Tajikistan he accuses of turning his once-in-a-lifetime adventure of bagging a rare, wild argali sheep known as the “Marco Polo” into a nightmare.

Rick Vukasin, 65, said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Reno last week that he spent more than $50,000 pursuing the animal in the Pamir Mountains of northeast Tajikistan near China’s border in December 2012.

The electrician said he felt like he was literally on top of the world after he tracked, shot and killed a 400-pound, big-horned ram with the coveted, spiraling horns at an elevation of 14,000 feet. But he was mortified two months later, when he opened the box shipped to his home in Great Falls to find the horns were not the 58-inch-long ones from his trophy animal.

“I could tell right away,” Vukasin said. “I was sick.”

The native Montanan who grew up hunting deer on the eastern front of the Northern Rockies had stalked moose in Saskatchewan and red stag elk in New Zealand.

“But the thing I really wanted to do was a Marco Polo sheep hunt,” he said. He pored over books, guides and websites before settling on the excursion halfway around the world.

“The biggest of the species is in Tajikistan. So I figured if I was only going to be able to do this once, I’m going top shelf,” he said.

Vukasin and his guide, Yuri Matison, saw animals the first day but had difficulty tracking them, partly because it’s hard to breathe at that altitude, he said. But the next day he said he “felt lucky” to land a prize with a rack in “pretty good shape … not all busted up from fighting.”

The horns he ended up with are missing a few noticeable chips and weathered to the point he suspects they are at least 2 years old.

Vukasin said Matison and the booking outfitter — Ameri-Cana Expeditions of Edmonton, Alberta — first insisted the horns were the originals and then offered to send a replacement.

Vukasin is demanding reimbursement or his original horns, but he said a possible exchange is complicated by international treaties governing hunting of argali, a threatened species in Tajikistan. Only 60 permits are issued there annually for the sheep named after the 13th-century explorer.

The Safari Club International considers the argali’s horns the “most spectacular” of all the world’s sheep, according to its record book.

Vukasin said Ameri-Cana co-owner Dan Frederick dismissed his concerns, telling him “It’s just hunting.”

“Granted,” Vukasin said, “you can have bad weather or you might not see any animals or you might miss the shot. That’s hunting.

“But to shoot the animal and take pictures of it and then not to get it, somebody has to be responsible.”

Frederick didn’t return calls or email seeking comment. The Associated Press was unable to locate Matison.

Vukasin said he contacted an FBI agent in Great Falls, Mont., who indicated he probably was a fraud victim but there was little authorities could do unless they found a number of other hunters who’d also been duped.

FBI spokesman William Facer in Salt Lake City said Friday the agency could not comment.

Linda Linton, a Reno lawyer, said she filed Vukasin’s lawsuit there because Matison and Ameri-Cana advertise and do business there regularly at conventions of the Safari Club International and the Wild Sheep Foundation, the latter of which named Matison to its Mountain Hunter Hall of Fame in 2009.

Vukasin is seeking $75,000 in damages for lost money, “worry, anxiety, loss of sleep, physical and mental distress.”

“I’ve been fighting them more than a year. I finally got fed up and decided to do something about it,” he said, adding he’s convinced others have been victimized. “I have this stuff sitting in my living room and every time I look at the horns, I just get that much more mad.”

Corey Knowlton? Yup, I Hate Him Too

Corey Knowlton is the hunter who won the right to kill an endangered rhino in the Safari Club auction. This is part of trophy room (Big Horn Sheep section – Knowlton claims that he has hunted “over 120 species on every continent” – obviously many animals per species)…

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…and this is what Grumpy Cat has to say about him:

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BLM Puts Owyhee Bighorns at Risk !

Sheep photo copyright Jim Robertson

Sheep photo copyright Jim Robertson

A recent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposal in the Owyhee Field Office of Idaho puts bighorn sheep at a high risk of disease transmission from domestic sheep grazing. Domestic sheep easily pass pneumonia to wild bighorn, devastating whole herds of the native ungulates through slow and painful death. Despite having spent untold thousands of taxpayer dollars to find a workable solution to keep the sheep herds apart, the BLM’s recent proposal to renew 15 livestock permits in the Jump Creek, Succor Creek, and Cow Creek watersheds of western Idaho simply ignores the science and rationalizes high levels of risk by claiming the risk is even higher elsewhere.

Western Watersheds Project’s members and supporters likely recall the Payette National Forest decision that eliminated sheep grazing on nearly 70,000 acres over three-years between 2010 and 2013. The most rewarding outcome of that decision came earlier this year, when the first bighorn ewe was spotted on one of the now-closed allotments for the first time in many decades!

On the Payette, the Forest Service limited the maximum risk of contact to just 4 percent, eliminating any possibility of allowing grazing that had a greater threat to bighorn. The BLM’s Owyhee decisions permit an annual risk of contact of over 21% on the Poison Creek Allotment! In addition, the risk increases to an astounding 45% if bighorn sheep ever reach population goals set by the Oregon and Idaho wildlife management agencies. Instead of basing the plan on conservation, BLM simply cited to other areas where it allows an even higher level of risk of contact (on the Three Fingers and Board Corrals allotments in Oregon where the risk of contact is 30% and 100%, respectively, see map).

The BLM fails to meet the objectives of the Owyhee RMP that requires protection and enhancement of bighorn populations and habitat and the reduction of the potential for disease transmission between wild and domestic sheep. The BLM should designate areas where the risk of contact threatens the viability of bighorn sheep populations as unsuitable for domestic sheep and goat grazing. Because bighorn sheep are mobile and routinely foray into new areas, this risk analysis must be conducted whenever bighorn sheep are detected in new areas outside of the previous risk analysis areas to determine the suitability of domestic sheep grazing.

WWP provided a protest of the proposed decision last week and we’re prepared to take this to court if we have to. BLM can’t just pick a number and accept the potential for domestic sheep to extirpate bighorn.

Although the protest period is over, you are welcome to contact Idaho BLM Acting State Director Tim Murphy at tmurphy@blm.gov or give him a call at (208) 373-4001 .

If domestic sheep can’t coexist with bighorn, permittees are welcomed to retire their allotments under the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act that mandates permanent closure upon relinquishment. Interested permittees should contact wwp@westernwatersheds.org for more information.

“I’d like to put an arrow in that.”

It’s bad enough to know that there are sadistic sociopaths by the thousands setting traps and snares for wolves out in Yellowstone’s tri-state area, or shooting arrows into deer throughout the Midwest and across the Mississippi; but some of these straightjacket escapees get an extra thrill, adding insult to injury, by taunting those of us who care.

Wolf advocates have been harassed, threatened and made to endure gut-wrenching photos of animals murdered in the most tweaked and twisted ways. Another favorite game the terrible-two-year-olds like to play is to post disparaging comments alongside photos of living animals they’d like to see stuffed and mounted on their trophy wall.

A recent example was a comment left under this bighorn ram photo on Exposing the Big Game’s Facebook page, “I’d like to put an arrow into that.”

Text and Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

Crazed killers such as these get off on knowing how much their glib comments upset the rest of us. But, as with any bully, cyber-bullies need someone to pick on. They feed on our reactions; take that away and it leaves them feeling as impotent as they obviously are.

The thing they fear the most is being ignored—a mouse hovering over the delete button is Godzilla to them. Therefore, whenever I get one of their comments, I send it straight to the trash can and banish the sender for good measure. In an instant their power is squashed. With that one quick click of the finger, we can get some small sense of satisfaction. They can’t get to us if we don’t let them in.

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