MI: Man accused of accidentally shooting friend while hunting

https://www.wxyz.com/news/man-accused-of-accidentally-shooting-friend-while-hunting

 

Nov 13, 2019

RICH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — It was supposed to be an enjoyable night. Three friends went hunting in Lapeer County’s Rich Township, then one of them ended up shot and another in jail.

It happened at a property off of Kelch Road. The men were hunting small game and scouting the area in preparation for deer hunting season. As the night ended, they were unloading their weapons.

“One individual thought his gun was unloaded. It wasn’t,” said Jeremy Howe, Lapeer County Undersheriff.

Howe says 30-year-old Andrew Brill accidentally shot one of his friends. He then left the scene and that raised questions. Why did he leave? What did he have to hide? Was this really an accident? Investigators say they believe they have answers.

“He has a child,” Howe said. “He wanted to say goodbye to his child. He believed he was going to be locked away for a long time.”

Brill called investigators after saying goodbye to his young child and turned himself in. It turns out Brill has a felony record. When he was 20 he was convicted of attempted criminal sexual conduct in the third degree with an underage teen. Under the law he should not have had a gun. Plus, investigators say he had alcohol in his system.

He faces numerous firearm charges including careless discharge causing injury.

First responders rushed his friend to McLaren Hospital in Lapeer. The friend was later transported to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where he is in stable condition.

With many preparing to hunt, Undersheriff Howe says there is no excuse for such accidents.

“Never ever point a weapon at something you don’t intend to shoot,” Howe said. “Obviously he thought the gun was unloaded. It was not.”

Brill is in the Lapeer County Jail, held on $10,000 bond.

Hunter bags rare antlered doe: ‘Deer of a lifetime’

That’s not a buck!

One Oklahoma hunter was recently in for quite the surprise when he realized the antlered deer he shot was not a male, but rather a female doe.

Over the weekend, outdoorsman Chris Blades was on the prowl in Seminole County when he harvested what he initially suspected to be “an extremely non-typical buck” that was, in fact, biologically female. Officials for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) have since described the doe as “the deer of a lifetime.”

One Oklahoma hunter was recently in for quite the surprise when he realized the antlered deer he caught was not a male, but rather a female doe, pictured.

One Oklahoma hunter was recently in for quite the surprise when he realized the antlered deer he caught was not a male, but rather a female doe, pictured. (Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WARNING VISITORS ABOUT AGGRESSIVE ELK: ‘PLEASE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE’

“Biologists say this can occur in an average of 1 [in] 10,000 does,” reps for the ODWC wrote on Facebook.

“For this reason, regulations for deer are referred to as ‘antlered’ and ‘antlerless,’ not ‘buck’ and “doe,” the department said, sharing three images of Blades’ catch in a post that has since been liked more than 2,200 times.

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An image of hunter Chris Blades' with his recent October catch, an antlered whitetail doe.

An image of hunter Chris Blades’ with his recent October catch, an antlered whitetail doe. (Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)

When contacted for comment, ODWC big game biologist Dallas Barber confirmed to Fox News that Blades’ catch was a whitetail deer and described the antlered female as “very rare.”

“While it is very rare, we do see one or two antlered does harvested each year. It is caused by a hormonal imbalance,” Barber said.

“As long as deer season is open, and you are abiding by our management zones designated ‘doe days,’ it is never illegal to harvest a doe,” he added.

t’s Time To Get The Lead Out Of Hunting Ammo

I

ELIMINATING LEAD BULLETS ISN’T ANTI-HUNTING, CONSERVATIONISTS SAY; IT’S BEING PRO-HUMAN AND WILDLIFE HEALTH. FRANZ CAMENZIND ASKS: WHAT SPORTSMAN WOULD BE OPPOSED TO THAT?

A bald eagle and other avian scavenger feast upon a deer wounded by a hunter's bullet  that later died.  If any of these birds ingests lead, chances are high it could get sick or die.  Every year, bald eagles, America's national wildlife symbol, die from exposure to lead ammo. Photo courtesy Craighead Beringia South in Jackson Hole
A bald eagle and other avian scavenger feast upon a deer wounded by a hunter’s bullet that later died. If any of these birds ingests lead, chances are high it could get sick or die. Every year, bald eagles, America’s national wildlife symbol, die from exposure to lead ammo. Photo courtesy Craighead Beringia South in Jackson Hole

How many times have we used the phrase “get the lead out” to encourage action on this or that issue? Well, it’s time to take these words literally and get the lead out of our hunting ammunition; hunters, it’s time to go lead-free.

Why? The following words from a Yellowstone National Park press release makes this call to arms tragically clear: “A golden eagle was found dead on December 6, 2018, near Phantom Lake in the northern section of Yellowstone National Park. A recent lab necropsy indicated the cause of death was lead poisoning.”
This, the first adult female golden eagle marked with a radio transmitter in Yellowstone’s history was to be part of a long-term study to determine how eagles go about their life in the park.
Yellowstone’s 2018 resource report states that 20 of its 28 known golden eagle territories were located in the northern range. This was likely one of those eagles; a territorial bird that along with her mate, should have raised young this year. Instead she is dead, poisoned- likely from eating fragments of lead bullets embedded in gut piles found just beyond the park’s northern boundary. So concludes the press release.
Her body may never have been found were it not for the radio transmitter, which begs the question: what are the odds that this one dead eagle is the only one so struck down?
And more recently, an immature bald eagle was found dead in Glacier Park. Cause of death: lead poisoning.
THE VICTIMS AND THE MAGNITUDE
 
Eagles are not alone when it comes to suffering the ill effects of lead poisoning. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in 2016, the worldwide human death toll attributed to all lead exposures was 540,000. Both the WHO and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) state unequivocally that there is no level of lead exposure that is considered safe for humans. The same can be said for our wildlife.
Lead is one of first the most studied, naturally occurring toxins. In the past century, hundreds of papers have been published describing the deadly hazards imposed by the tons of lead recklessly flung into the environment by hunters, recreational shooters and fishing enthusiasts. The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that figure to be between 6,000 and 10,000 tons annually—that’s 12 to 20 million pounds of lead that enters our nation’s uplands, wetlands and waterways each year.

The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 tons annually—that’s 12 to 20 million pounds of lead related to hunting ammo and fishing tackle— enters our nation’s uplands, wetlands and waterways each year.

From a hunting perspective, it is impossible to estimate the tonnage break down between small caliber-recreational shooters, lead shot by upland game bird hunters and the amount of large caliber lead bullets used by big game hunters. What matters is where the lead ends up.
What we know is that along with humans, upwards of 130 species of wildlife, including at least 75 bird species are susceptible to lethal and sub-lethal doses of lead. And to that point, there are reliable estimates that spent lead ammunition kills between 10 and 20 million animals annually in the United States. That’s in addition to what hunters kill outright.
Scavenging birds, such as bald and golden eagles are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. Of the 130 bald and golden eagles tested from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska at the Washington State University’s Raptor Rehabilitation Center, 48 and 62 percent respectively had blood lead levels (BLLs) considered toxic.

Staff at the Raptor Center in the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, estimate that90 percent of the 120 to 130 bald eagles they receive each year have elevated BLLs. Of these, 20-25 percent either die or are euthanized, and over the course of 24 years, the staff reports that well over 500 eagles have met that fate.

Scavengers suffer lead poisoning by ingesting the offal left from big game hunters, as well as from the remains of the countless ground squirrels, prairie dogs and coyotes killed with lead ammunition and left in the field to be fed upon by every hungry scavenger.
For example, “recreational” shooters reported killing an estimated two million black-tailed prairie dogs per year in just three of the eleven states in which they occur. Undoubtedly, the majority was shot with lead bullets and left where they fell. At 2.5 pounds per prairie dog, potentially 5 million pounds of lead-contaminated carcasses were left on the killing fields for scavengers to unwittingly ingest.

“Recreational” shooters reported killing an estimated two million black-tailed prairie dogs per year in just three of the eleven states in which they occur. Undoubtedly, the majority was shot with lead bullets and left where they fell. At 2.5 pounds per prairie dog, potentially 5 million pounds of lead-contaminated carcasses were left on the killing fields for scavengers to unwittingly ingest.

This does not include the unknown number of white-tailed prairie dogs shot each year in the name of recreating.
THE PATHWAY TO LETHAL POISONING 
 
Why is lead so easily and routinely ingested by man and beast alike?
Lead bullets, whether pure or copper jacketed have a nasty habit of fragmenting upon impact, sending upwards of hundreds of pieces of lead into the surrounding tissue, sometimes radiating six or more inches from the bullet’s path. These fragments are often too small to be seen with the unaided eye. Unfortunately, the smaller the fragments, the more apt they are to be ingested and the faster they are to dissolve and enter the blood stream, be it animal or human.
Once in the blood, lead finds its way into the lungs, liver, kidneys, central nervous system and the brain. It can also settle in the bones where it may remain for years. With single or intermittent low doses, victims may eventually rid their blood of much of the lead, but permanent organ and neurological damage may have already occurred.
Non-lead, copper and copper alloy bullets rarely fragment upon impact, and even then, the metals are not nearly as toxic.
 
Visible symptoms of lead poisoning include general listlessness, gastrointestinal distress leading to a loss of appetite and weakness, lack of muscle coordination and blindness. And for an adult bald eagle, a BLL of one part per million is considered lethal.
At sub-lethal levels, lead can inflict long-term impacts including impaired vision, weakness and diminished coordination. Any of these conditions can render the victim prone to injuries and fatal accidents, or simply reduce their ability to successfully compete in the wild.
For example, the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center found that 85 percent of the injured eagles that came into their facility had elevated BLLs.
These sub-lethal levels may not appear to be the cause of death, but it is clearly a contributing factor– much as low alcohol levels may not kill humans, it can result in accidents that do.
Lead ammunition often fragments upon impact when a bullet hits its big game target. This results in more lead in carrion tissue, increasing the likelihood it will be ingested by a wide range of avian and mammal scavengers, from bald and golden eagles to ravens, wolves, foxes, coyotes, grizzly bears and, of course, people eating game meat on the dinner table.  Lead is toxic and exposure has been known to negatively affect learning in children.  Photos courtesy Greg Winston (http://www.gregwinstonphoto.com/about) and Craighead Beringia South in Jackson Hole
Lead ammunition often fragments upon impact when a bullet hits its big game target. This results in more lead in carrion tissue, increasing the likelihood it will be ingested by a wide range of avian and mammal scavengers, from bald and golden eagles to ravens, wolves, foxes, coyotes, grizzly bears and, of course, people eating game meat on the dinner table. Lead is toxic and exposure has been known to negatively affect learning in children. Photos courtesy Greg Winston (http://www.gregwinstonphoto.com/about) and Craighead Beringia South in Jackson Hole
Eagles are not the only victims of lead poisoning.  For decades, hunters’ lead has spelled trouble for one of America’s most endangered animal: the California Condor. By the mid-1980’s, the entire population of our continent’s largest flying land bird was reduced to a precarious 22 individuals. Literally teetering on the brink of extinction, the very controversial decision was made to capture all the wild condors and place them into captive breeding facilities.
Due to the success of that effort, today’s condor population numbers nearly 500- half of which are now flying free over northern Arizona and southern Utah, and along the California coast. The rest remain in captivity.
As pure scavengers, condors, like vultures, feed on what is already dead, including hunter–killed carcasses and gut piles, most of which harbor lead bullet fragments.  Just a few years ago, 50 percent of all known wild condor deaths were attributed to lead poisoning. And as one biologist warned, lead poisoning: “continues to preclude recovery”–­­ meaning long-term survival in the wild remains in doubt.
The survival of critically-endangered California condors remains threatened due to lead ammo in the environment. Photo courtesy Gavin Emmons/National Park Service
The survival of critically-endangered California condors remains threatened due to lead ammo in the environment. Photo courtesy Gavin Emmons/National Park Service
The vice-president of the American Bird Conservancy added, “In all likelihood, many more condors would likely have died from lead poisoning had it not been for the fact that wild condors in California are normally captured twice each year, tested for lead poisoning and then treated if necessary.”
The treatment for extreme lead poisoning in man or beast is Chelation therapy. It’s a lengthy process requiring the administration of edetate calcium disodium orally or subcutaneously over several weeks. The drug binds with blood stream lead and is then expelled as bird excrement, or in the case of mammals as urine.  It does not however, reverse organ damage.
RESEARCH IN GREATER YELLOWSTONE PUTS LEAD IN CROSSHAIRS
 
In the Yellowstone Ecosystem, several studies have addressed the occurrence of lead in the blood of avian scavengers associated with the region’s fall big game hunting season. It is estimated that as many as 500 tons of biomass are left on the landscape each hunting season as a result of un-retrieved game and gut piles. This becomes a major attractant for eagles, ravens, crows and magpies, plus the full contingent of mammalian scavengers including grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes and fox.
Researchers from Jackson Hole’s Craighead Beringia South and The Teton Raptor Center have documented the presence of substantial amounts of lead fragments in gut piles and in the processed meat from big game killed in the region.
Blood samples were taken from 81 bald eagles over the course of five seasons and not surprisingly, BLLs were significantly higher during the fall-winter big game hunting season then before or after.

As of 2013, the researchers attributed the death of at least two resident adult bald eagles to lead poisoning, no doubt resulting from feeding on lead infused gut piles- much as was the fate of golden eagle in Yellowstone.  They also reported that many of the eagles tested were migrants, meaning that the impacts of the toxic feast were being exported throughout the region and beyond.

A follow-up study of before, during and after hunting season involving over 300 blood samples from common ravens- another bona fide scavenger, found that the seasonal fluctuations of BLLs were identical to those for the bald eagles.
A separate study of 178 golden eagles captured during the fall migration in the western flyway, found that 72 percent had measurable levels of lead in their blood. Fourteen percent were considered either “clinically poisoned,” or “lethally exposed” to lead.
Just because eagles and ravens “fly off” and expel lead in their excrement doesn’t mean they’ve dodged the bullet. They might still be dealing with sub-lethal organ damage. What is their long-term prognosis, particularly recognizing that these tests are just momentary snap-shots of their health and it is highly likely that the eagles will continue to be exposed to the hunter’s lead?
A 2009 study found that samples from all 30 of the white-tailed deer killed by hunters in Wyoming using lead-core, copper-jacketed bullets contained metal fragments, 97 percent of which were lead. Further analysis found metal fragments in 324 ground meat packages randomly sampled from 24 of the 30 carcasses- 93 percent were lead. One package alone contained 168 lead fragments.
LEAD IN HISTORY AND ITS IMPACT ON PEOPLE
 
The biocidal nature of lead and the impact of lead poisoning on humans can be traced back to the Roman Empire. Researchers examining Roman archeological sites have identified lead in the pottery frequently used in wine making and its transport, in the lining of aqueducts, and in the cosmetics of the day.
Many historians believe that this broad, consistent exposure to lead eventually impaired the mental capacity of the ruling class in particular and may have contributed to the eventual downfall of the Roman Empire.
Fast-forward to the industrial age and the subsequent invention of the automobile and the use of leaded gasoline. With that combination of technologies, atmospheric lead suddenly became one of the primary sources of lead poisoning. (Diesel fuel does not contain lead.)
As a result of the 1963 Clean Air Act and its subsequent amendments, automakers were required to install catalytic converters in all cars manufactured after 1975. For the converters to function properly, only lead-free gasoline could be combusted.
Since the removal of lead from gasoline, it’s estimated that the average atmospheric lead level in the United States has dropped nearly 99 percent. The WHO lists lead as “a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple [human] body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.” Adverse health impacts include lower mental function, convulsions, coma, anemia, and even death.  Studies have shown that children with moderate to severe lead poisoning may be left with behavioral disorders, lowered I.Q. and mental retardation.
Elevated juvenile BLLs have been associated with antisocial behaviors including increased risk for adjudicated delinquency. Numerous studies have also demonstrated a strong correlation between childhood exposure to lead and higher rates of violent crime.
The US military has an active program aimed at reducing exposure to lead, especially for kids, for whom the negative effects of lead are irreversible. States one advisory, citing a wide range of risks, "Those who work in battery and bullet productions, home renovations, auto repair shops and firing ranges are at a higher risk of lead exposure."
The US military has an active program aimed at reducing exposure to lead, especially for kids, for whom the negative effects of lead are irreversible. States one advisory, citing a wide range of risks, “Those who work in battery and bullet productions, home renovations, auto repair shops and firing ranges are at a higher risk of lead exposure.”
Pregnant women with high BLLs may experience miscarriages, stillbirths, premature births and low birth weights, and infertility (a condition that can also affect men).
The CDC recommends that when an 80-pound child’s BLL exceed 5 micrograms per deciliter, that action be taken. This may consist of nothing more then removing all sources of lead from the victim’s environment. But here is the kicker; 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in an 80-pound child is equivalent to approximately 0.000005 of an ounce of lead in all of his or her blood.
And when the blood level reaches 45 micrograms per deciliter- the level where Chelation therapy is recommended, the total lead in the child’s blood is about 0.00004 of an ounce.
Likewise, a 180-pound adult hunter with 5 micrograms per deciliter will have approximately 0.00001 of an ounce in his or her blood. Take this to the level where Chelation therapy is recommended (45 micrograms lead per deciliter), the same adult will have about 0.00009 of an ounce of lead in his or her’s blood.
By any measure, these are truly miniscule amounts, yet this is all that’s required to bring on long-term health problems, or even death.  For reference, a 150-grain, 30.06 lead bullet weighs about 0.34 of an ounce. Even with minimal fragmentation, there is enough lead in one bullet to pose serious health risks for all consumers of the meat.
Unlike the ubiquities nature of atmospheric lead, lead bullets poison a relatively select group: the families and friends who hunt and consume the earth’s bounty, and the wildlife that clean up after the killing.
PROPOSED REGULATIONS AND RESISTANCE FROM NRA AND OTHERS 
 
Lead shot is regulated to differing degrees in 23 European countries. Only Germany bans lead bullets for big game hunting and then, only in certain regions.
Closer to home, in March of 2009, then Acting National Park Service Director Dan Wenk (recently retired Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park), sent a memorandum to his senior leadership team, “require[ing] the use of non-lead based ammunition and fishing tackle in NPS units where those activities are authorized” by the end of 2010—“or sooner.”
The push back was immediate–within days the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its hunting allies claimed the “announcement demonstrated either complete ignorance or complete arrogance,” and a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of people wanting to hunt. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) (the trade association for the ammunition and firearms industry) both jumped on the anti-ban wagon, as did numerous other sportsmen’s groups.
The pressure was so intense that just 14 days after sending the directive, the National Park Service issued a “clarification” that walked back the ban and vowed to work more closely with appropriate stakeholders and interest groups in a more public process.
Now, a decade later the National Park Service has still not managed to institute a service-wide ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle.  This, in our national parks and monuments where picking a wild flower can bring a considerable, and appropriate citation.

Now, a decade later, the National Park Service has still not managed to institute a service-wide ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle.  This, in our national parks and monuments where picking a wild flower can bring a considerable, and appropriate citation.

In what was seen by some as a last-minute effort by the Obama administration, then Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe signed Director’s Order No. 219 that established a timeline to phase out the use of toxic, lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle on Service land and waters by the year 2022.  He did this on his last day in office.
Ashe’s Order was not two months old when summarily overturned by Montana’s own, and President Donald Trump’s newly appointed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has since resigned his position under a storm of investigations stemming from alleged illegal activities while in office.
As part of a monitoring program, lead sinkers, weights and lead shotgun shot were found in a bald eagle nest over the course of 10 years.  Photo courtesy National Park Service
As part of a monitoring program, lead sinkers, weights and lead shotgun shot were found in a bald eagle nest over the course of 10 years. Photo courtesy National Park Service
Before he left, the NRA thanked Zinke “on behalf of the five million members of the NRA and tens of millions of American sportsmen.” Even the National Wildlife Federation: “America’s largest and most trusted conservation organization,” disagreed with the Secretary Ashe’s order and tacitly supported Zinke’s action.
To the Federation’s credit, they have since walked back their position. They are now calling for “Reducing the use of lead shot and tackle and replacing it with increasingly available copper, steel, and tungsten alternatives.”
Unfortunately, the Federation seems unable to muster the metal to call for an outright ban on the use of lead in hunting and fishing activities.  They prefer to work collaboratively and have “an honest conversation” “with sportsmen, wildlife professionals, government agencies and industry about the science of how lead continues to afflict wildlife.”
Similarly, The Wildlife Society, the august fraternity of wildlife professionals is only able to support a phasing in of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle. They don’t dispute the toxic nature of recreational lead, in fact, many of their members have documented that very fact in peer reviewed articles. Yet, the Society, like the Federation avoids asking for an immediate, national ban on lead–not even a phased in ban with a firm deadline.
On August 13, 2019, the organization, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility released the following statement: “Under orders from the Trump Administration, the National Park Service is reviewing all hunting and fishing restrictions that are stricter than state game laws.”
This is driven in part by a 2018 Memorandum from then-Interior Secretary Zinke to compile all hunting and fishing orders that differ from state game laws for all lands under Interior’s purview. His order is considered as a “commitment to defer” to “State fish and wildlife management” for all lands within agency authority “except as otherwise required by Federal law.”
Clearly, this could place the management of lead ammunitions in state hands where the history of positive action is dismal.
In the absence of a national lead ban, the California legislature in 2008 passed a law prohibiting the use of lead bullets for most hunting activities within the range of the California Condor. Five years later, the state’s Governor, Jerry Brown signed a comprehensive bill phasing in a complete ban on lead ammunition used for the taking of any wildlife for any purpose in the entire state. This ban took effect on July 1 of this year, making California the only state to institute a statewide ban on lead bullets and shot for all hunting pursuits.
At least 30 states have various bans on the use of lead ammunitions. Some ban lead shot for specific upland species, or at specific locations. Only a few states actively “encourage” or “recommend” the use of non-lead bullets for big game hunting.
Neither Idaho nor Montana has state-level restrictions on the use of lead shot or bullets. Wyoming bans the use of lead shot on two of its state wildlife management areas.
Regionally, Grand Teton Park requires that non-lead bullets be used for its elk reduction program, while the adjacent National Elk Refuge only encourages hunters to use non-lead ammunition during its annual elk and bison hunts.

Regionally, Grand Teton Park requires that non-lead bullets be used for its elk reduction program, while the adjacent National Elk Refuge only encourages hunters to use non-lead ammunition during its annual elk and bison hunts.

In 1991, a federal ban was placed on the use of lead shot for all waterfowl hunting.  Fortunately, this nation-wide ban remains in place.
Because of the random nature in which restrictions are applied, it is incumbent upon every hunter to check with the appropriate agencies for the most current information.  Of course, the safest route is to go lead-free.
With thousands of technical and popular articles describing the toxic nature of lead and its health implications for wildlife and humans alike, why haven’t we mustered the forces to do the right thing? The answer is clear; every effort to do so has been met with incomprehensible resistance from the hunting community–lead by their friends at the NRA, Safari Club International and the NSSF.
Fanning the flames is the unjustified claim that it is yet another ploy by the animal rights activists and anti-hunting, anti-gun folks to limit gun rights and erode hunting opportunities. They all argue that the science isn’t definitive–conveniently ignoring the super abundance of evidence to the contrary–and the absence of evidence to support their own erroneous claims.
Lead bullet fans also argue that non-lead bullets don’t preform as well as the leaded counterparts, and that the non-leads cost more then the leaded equivalents.
Numerous articles have appeared in hunting magazines making the case that modern, non-lead bullets preform as well as the lead versions, and in some cases even better.
Ironically, in 2012, the NRA publication, American Hunter awarded the Barnes VOR-TX lead-free bullets, the “Ammunition Product of the Year Award.” Coming from the NRA, this is viewed as the best endorsement non-lead ammunition can receive.
And yet, the NRA vigorously resists every effort to ban lead ammunitions.
And in the past decade, the Army and Marines have “gone green;” swapping their small caliber lead bullets for a “copper slug and steel penetrator” version. After many years and tens-of-millions of dollars on research and testing, both services emphatically claim that the new “green” ammunition out performs traditional lead bullets in every aspect.
A hunter in the deer stand. Photo courtesy Steve Maslowski/US Fish and Wildlife Service
A hunter in the deer stand. Photo courtesy Steve Maslowski/US Fish and Wildlife Service
When it comes to costs, yes, non-lead bullets can cost more then traditional leaded versions. However, in many ways, it comes down to what is being compared to what. Currently, the cheapest lead bullets will certainly cost less then the best non-leaded versions. However, numerous professional hunters and sports writers state that when comparing similar high quality bullets, the price difference is minimal.
Even if $50 were spent for ammunition, it is arguably a small percentage of the overall outlay for a typical big game hunting experience, recently estimated to be between $1,500 and $2,100.
There are at least 28 manufactures producing lead-free rifle bullets in upwards of 35 calibers, including Barnes, Hornadys, Remington, Winchester and Federal. And as the technology improves and the demand grows, competition between manufacturers will likely close whatever cost gap that currently exists.
Likewise, many articles have been published in sporting magazines touting the health and environmental benefits of switching to non-lead bullets. The good news is that a growing number of hunters are opting for non-lead alternatives. It seems the organizations that claim to represent the sporting community may not be keeping up with their own members.

Many articles have been published in sporting magazines touting the health and environmental benefits of switching to non-lead bullets. The good news is that a growing number of hunters are opting for non-lead alternatives. It seems the organizations that claim to represent the sporting community may not be keeping up with their own members.

To understand how domineering these special interests are, consider that four decades ago we succeeded in getting the nation’s paint industry to get the lead out of its household products. And three decades ago we rid lead from new domestic water pipes. And 25 years ago we got the lead out of highway gasoline- imposing our collective will upon some of the largest corporations in the world.
And yet, we have not been able to ban lead ammunitions.
Are our elected officials and wildlife agencies so intimidated by, or be-holding to the NRA and their like-minded accomplices that they are afraid to step up and protect the well-being of our wildlife and the public? Is the NRA more intimidating then some of the world’s largest corporations? Or, are our agencies and elected officials simply not up to doing what is right?
With the hunting season upon us and in the absence of agency and legislative leadership, it’s up to each hunter to go lead-free.  To help make the switch happen, spouses, parents and loved-ones; buy a box of non-lead ammunition for the hunter in your life. Tell them it’s for their own health, for the health of your family, and for the health of our beloved wildlife.
And agencies, it’s time to at least actively promote the use of non-lead ammunition. And electeds, it’s time to pass legislation banning lead ammunitions.
 “Wild” and “natural” means little if the game meat we put on our tables contains toxic lead.
EDITOR’S NOTE: What are the arguments against bans on lead ammunition? Two workers at a gun shop hold forth in the video below making assertions that Camenzind addresses in his piece above.

Hunter pleads in cat shooting case

An 18-year-old hunter from Deckerville has entered a plea in Sanilac County Circuit Court in connection with the shooting of a domesticated cat last October.

Jeffrey Stone is charged with killing-torturing animals, a felony, and malicious destruction of property over $200, a misdemeanor.

The charges stemmed from an incident on Oct. 21 when the 18-yearold allegedly shot a cat with an arrow while hunting in the area of North Sandusky and Downington roads.

According to Sanilac County Undersheriff Brad Roff, the cat was shot after bothering Stone several times while he was hunting deer. The wounded animal was able to return to its home. The owners took the cat to a veterinarian where it was euthanized, according to Roff.

During last week’s final pretrial hearing in circuit court, Stone agreed to plead guilty to the felony and the misdemeanor. In accordance with the plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor’s office, the acceptance of the guilty plea to the felony was deferred by the court pending successful completion of probation. If he completes the terms of probation the felony will be dismissed.

Stone will be sentenced on the misdemeanor March 20.

Deer camp & gay bars

(Beth Clifton photo)

A 1974 study by James Kennedy for the Wildlife Society found that 75% of the hunters surveyed would prefer hunting with their buddies in an area with only a 10% chance of killing a deer to hunting alone with a 50% chance of making the kill.

Seeking the kill is only the pretext for the various other rituals that “separate the men from the boys,” determining “who’s a pussy.”

This,  not the supposed difficulty of shooting a deer,  probably best explains why approximately 70% of all licensed hunters don’t get one – while those for whom the kill is the paramount experience tend to “get their deer” year after year,  perennially bagging the limit and/or placing high in the buck pool.

The deer camp atmosphere of exaggerated masculinity is apparently not unlike the atmosphere of “leather trade” gay bars,  albeit that the gay bars more likely try to emulate deer camps than the other way around.

Ernest Hemingway himself appears on this book cover, with a lion he shot in Kenya in 1934. But the story the photo illustrates does not portray hunters in a positive light.

“Hunting is anything but expression of manhood”

One must wonder,  ultimately,  how sexually secure any of the posturing denizens are.

“You can take my word for it,” snorted former hunting guide Douglas Townsend some years ago.  Having escorted hundreds of big game hunters,  he concluded,  “This hunting habit is anything but an expression of manhood.”

Gregory Hemingway,  son of author Ernest Hemingway,  would probably have concurred.

Trying to impress his macho father,  a living symbol of hunters and hunting to a whole generation,  Gregory at age 11 won the World Life Pigeon Shooting Championship.  At 19 he was arrested for transvestitism.  Trying to regain his father’s respect,  he next slaughtered 18 elephants on a single African safari.

(Beth Clifton collage)

Gregory turned Gloria

But Gregory Hemingway remained an unhappy transvestite,  who spent,  he admitted in a 1987 interview,  “hundreds of thousands of dollars” trying to overcome the cross-dressing habit.  He had partial sexual reassignment surgery in 1995 and changed his first name to Gloria,  but then changed his mind,  tried to have the surgery reversed,  and remarried his fourth ex-wife.

Gregory/Gloria Hemingway died on October 1,  2001 at the Miami-Dade Women’s Detention Center,  hours before he was to appear in court after being arrested for indecent exposure and resisting arrest.

Gregory Hemingway appears to have never been an actual practicing homosexual,  just insecure – like his father,  who likewise spent his whole life trying to prove masculinity that no one else ever seriously called into question.

Marysville school shooter Jaylen Ray Fryberg (Facebook)

“Killed the wrong animal”

Literally killing the female,  Cameron Robert Kocher of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, nearly ten years old,  said he was only “playing hunter” on March 6, 1989, when he fatally shot Jessica Ann Carr,  age seven,  with his father’s rifle.

Observing subsequent legal proceedings,  Cleveland State University law professor Victor L. Streib unequivocally blamed the killing on Kocher’s exposure to guns and hunting. “All he has done,” Streib summarized,  “is kill the wrong animal.”

There have been hundreds of comparable incidents,  including one not far from ANIMALS 24-7.  Avid hunter Jaylen Ray Fryberg, 14, on October 24,  2014 shot five fellow students at Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, killing two, putting two more into critical condition, and then killing himself

(See Marysville school shooter loved hunting & pit bulls;  and Killing the white deer & the Marysville massacre.)

Woodchucks. (Susan Federico photo)

“Just another woodchuck”

An upstate New York man named Dave Goff cited childhood hunting experience,  which he said helped him learn to “kill the wrong animals,”  in persuading former Congressional Representative James T. Walsh to obtain for him a Distinguished Service Cross,  a Silver Star,  and nine other medals for Vietnam War service that he never performed.

“I was brought up on a dairy farm,”  Goff explained to syndicated veterans’ affairs columnist Laura Palmer.  “I used to shoot woodchucks all the time.  It got to the point where I would flash it through my head that it was just another woodchuck and it didn’t mean anything.  It was just a job.”

Goff claimed to have been assigned to killing civilians as part of the CIA’s infamous Operation Phoenix while still in his teens.  After military service,  Goff said,  he went through 13 years of breakdowns and alcohol abuse,  trying to deprogram himself from having been a killer,  trying to find his way into becoming a caring,  responsible human being.

Walsh saw to it that Goff in 1989 received the medals he said he had earned.  But Goff was in 1994 prosecuted for unlawfully wearing military medals and decorations,  after Stolen Valor author B.G. Burkett established that Goff actually spent his alleged time in Vietnam as an Army mail clerk in Okinawa.

Deer Being Trapped and Slaughtered in Texas Community—Stop the Massacre

SPEAK UP FOR DEER

act now for deer

Deer in a residential community in Yantis, Texas, are being netted and killed in a misguided attempt to reduce their population. Every minute spent trapped is a terrifying eternity for these easily frightened prey animals, who can badly injure themselves in frantic attempts to get free. Families of deer are torn apart, leaving young and weak animals vulnerable to starvation and dehydration. Your voice is needed now.

SPEAK UP FOR DEER

see the bears now

Video: One Year Later, Rescued Bears Swim, Play, and Bob for Apples

After enduring a decade of deprivation and frustration, Ben and Bogey are now free to play and explore the lush environment around them. See video footage of the bears at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where they’re currently hibernating (wait until you see them playing and swimming!), and then learn how you can help other bears who are still languishing at roadside zoos or forced to perform.

TAKE ACTION FOR OTHER BEARS

help cold dogs

Dogs Are Desperately Cold

Winter’s chilliest weeks are still ahead of us—and dogs forced to live outside are suffering tremendously.

GIVE A DOG SHELTER

Monroeville man dies in apparent accident while hunting

http://www.norwalkreflector.com/Law-Enforcement/2018/10/24/Man-dies-in-apparent-hunting-accident.html?ci=stream&lp=6&p=1

BY TANDEM MEDIA NETWORK • YESTERDAY AT 11:39 AM 
OXFORD TWP. — Authorities said they found a hunter dead Sunday after his family reported him missing.

Deputies found the body of Theodore “Ted” Wensink, 48, of Wood Road in Monroeville, near Taft and Mason roads at about 8:30 p.m., according to an Erie County Sheriff’s Office report.

A family member contacted the sheriff’s office after Wensink had been “overdue” from a hunting trip he took that day, alone, and said no one had seen or heard from him, the report states.

Deputies searched the woods and found Wensink’s body at the bottom of a tree, about 30 feet beneath a hunters’ tree stand, which appeared to have collapsed, according to the report. Wensink had a visible injury to his head.

Chief Deputy Jared Oliver said authorities are still investigating the death and preliminary autopsy results will be available soon.

Wensink graduated from Perkins High School in 1988 and attended The Ohio State University for mechanical engineering, according to his obituary. He worked as a design engineer in Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana before he returned to Ohio to work at his family’s seed farm in Oxford Township — fulfilling his lifelong dream of working on the farm founded by his great-grandfather.

He was a 4-H advisor and superintendent of a llama club. In Erie County, Wensink was a volunteer with the Erie County Fair, particularly with the Oxford Hustler 4-H club.

“His humor and kindness will be missed by all who knew him,” his obituary states.

Survivors include his wife, Jennifer, whom he married Nov. 18, 1995; their two sons, Jeremy and Timmy; parents, Richard and Kay Wensink; two brothers, Christopher (Liana) and Neil (Kate); nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday and 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Toft Funeral Home & Crematory, 2001 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Burial will follow in Sandhill Cemetery.

 

Two hunters rescued in Beaverhead County by helicopter after ATV accidents

 

 

https://mtstandard.com/news/local/two-hunters-rescued-in-beaverhead-county-by-helicopter-after-atv/article_4bfee70f-3234-55de-adb4-fdd5571cff2e.htm

Two hunters rescued in Beaverhead County
The Blackhawk helicopter used to rescue a hunter in Beaverhead County is seen here.

Two hunters have been rescued in Beaverhead County after serious ATV accidents around the opening of general hunting season. Both rescues involved helicopters, one from the Montana Army National Guard and one from Life Flight.

According to Sheriff Franklin Kluesner II, the first call came in Friday at 12:27 p.m. The caller said his 58-year-old brother was unable to move after an ATV accident in the south end of the Gravelly Mountains. The men were scouting hunting areas for the next day when the accident occurred, Kluesner said. The caller hiked about a mile and a half from his brother to find cell service.

Kluesner said his office was able to help the caller determine his location coordinates through a cell phone app, which showed he was near Fossil Creek, over 60 miles southeast of Dillon — a two or more hour drive for emergency vehicles.

After learning their location, Kluesner said Life Flight was requested and a helicopter was dispatched from Rexburg, Idaho. Ground support was also dispatched, including a local search and rescue team and an ambulance from Lima.

About 90 minutes after receiving the call for help, the injured man was transported via Life Flight to a hospital. Kluesner believes the man is from North Dakota and is at a hospital in Bozeman as of Wednesday afternoon, with serious injuries.

Two days later, Kluesner’s office received three more search and rescue calls within a few-hour time frame. One was from a woman concerned about her husband, who returned back to his camp shortly after she called; another was from a group of people whose truck slid off of a road west of Lima, and were assisted by Bureau of Land Management rangers in the area; and a third resulted in a full deployment of local search and rescue volunteers, along with assistance from the Montana Army National Guard.

Around 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Beaverhead County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a woman who said she hadn’t heard from her 69-year-old husband since Saturday afternoon. The woman told law enforcement she had driven to his campsite Sunday morning, about 15 miles south of Dillon, but did not find him or his ATV. The man had planned to hunt in the area.

Kluesner said after his office spoke with the woman, Beaverhead Search and Rescue volunteers began a ground search for her husband while aircraft searched overhead. The hunter was not located on Sunday.

An expanded search resumed early Monday. At this time, Kluesner’s office looked at what other resources they had available. The search and rescue team decided to call the Montana Army National Guard, which promptly deployed a five-person crew via Blackhawk helicopter from Helena. The helicopter arrived in the area around noon.

At 1:30 p.m., the ground crew located the missing hunter, who had spent 44 hours pinned beneath his upside-down ATV in a ravine. The crew called the National Guard helicopter, which landed in the area, stabilized the man and transported him to Barrett Hospital and Healthcare in Dillon. Kluesner said the man is now at Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula with serious injuries.

In the last four years Kluesner has been sheriff, he said he’s seen a steady increase of ATV use in Beaverhead County. This has also led to an increase in accidents.

“We have a lot of areas where you can still use four-wheelers and side-by-sides, which have become very popular,” Kluesner said. “But they aren’t that stable and do have the potential to cause real serious injuries.”

Kluesner went on to say these injuries are especially concerning when hunters and other recreationists ride into the backcountry, where they become harder to reach and there is little to no cell service. He said his office was extremely lucky to have access to Life Flight and Montana Army National Guard teams to rescue the two injured hunters, and he is proud of the collaboration that went into finding them.

“Helicopters are invaluable in these situations. They (helicopter flights) are expensive endeavors, but there’s no price you can put on a human life,” Kluesner said.

 

South Carolina wildlife officials consider new hunting rule to keep deadly deer disease at bay

A white-tailed deer standing in a forest. Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images.

A deadly disease that’s threatening deer herds across the country is prompting South Carolina wildlife officials to reconsider which products hunters are allowed to use to lure trophy bucks.

The state Department of Natural Resources wants to introduce a regulation that would ban hunters from using scent lures that contain natural deer urine, according to Charles Ruth, a certified wildlife biologist and big game program coordinator with the wildlife agency.

“It would take about a year for us to file the regulation and go through the legislative process, but we’d like to see a ban on natural urine products by the 2019 deer hunting season,” Ruth told the Greenville Journal during a recent phone interview.

Many hunters use buck and doe urines to lure deer to their location or cover their scent, but the foul-smelling liquid is thought to contribute to the spread of chronic wasting disease, according to Ruth.

Chronic wasting disease is a contagious, neurological illness affecting deer, elk, and moose populations throughout North America, according to Ruth. That includes the white-tailed deer, a popular game species in South Carolina. Greenville County hunters alone harvested more than 3,000 white-tailed deer in 2017.

“We haven’t detected signs of chronic wasting disease in South Carolina yet, but we don’t want to look back several years from now and wonder if we did everything possible to prevent it,” Ruth said.

Since it was first documented in a captive mule deer in Colorado about 35 years ago, CWD has slowly spread to more than two dozen states and a number of Canadian provinces, according to SCDNR.

Ruth said the disease, which has no treatment or cure, is caused by deformed proteins called prions that replicate upon ingestion and attack the animal’s central nervous system, ultimately killing it.

“The incubation period for chronic wasting disease can range from a year to five years,” he said. “But if a deer contracts the disease, it’s going to eventually die. There’s no question about it.”

Scientists believe CWD prions likely spread from deer to deer through feces, saliva, blood, or urine, either through direct contact or indirectly through environmental contamination of soil, food, or water, according to Ruth. Once a deer contracts the disease and dies, its tissues become vectors. The prions can only be destroyed by burying them in a landfill or through incineration.

While there has never been a documented case of a human contracting the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people do not consume meat from an infected animal.

Natural scent lures pose a risk to South Carolina’s deer population, because they are often produced by facilities that collect urine over a grate system, which doesn’t prevent contamination from feces or saliva, according to Ruth.

Collection facilities also have no way of knowing whether or not their deer are disease-free, because there is no certified live-animal test for CWD, nor is there a way to test urine for prions once it’s been collected, according to Ruth. These facilities also generally don’t treat their urine-based products with chemicals or heat to kill the infectious proteins, because these treatments would secondarily destroy the desired scent characteristics.

Several states, including Alaska, Arizona, Virginia, and Vermont, have enacted outright bans on urine-based attractants, while others have drafted regional bans and/or rewrote rules to allow only synthetic lures. These bans, however, have been met with opposition from some hunters — who dribble the foul-smelling fluid on foliage near their tree stands — and manufacturers, who market products like “Cold Blue” and “Buck Bomb.”

Ralph Brendle, owner and president of River Bend Sportsman’s Resort in Spartanburg County, said the proposed regulation to ban urine-based attractants in South Carolina wouldn’t likely impact his business. “We don’t use scent lures of any kind. We just hunt them naturally in the woods,” he said. “The only thing we do is set out some bait every now and then.”

Brian Sullivan, co-owner and manager of Toney Creek Hunting Plantation in Anderson County, said his company currently uses urine-based attractants for guided deer hunts but won’t likely seek out an alternative if South Carolina enacts the ban. “Synthetic lure doesn’t work nearly as good,” he said. “I’d just prefer not use it.”

Ruth said the proposed regulation to ban urine-based lures in South Carolina would need to be passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor before it could be enforced. If approved, it would become one of many regulations instituted by the wildlife agency over the years to combat the spread of CWD.

A white-tailed deer standing in a field. Photo credit: iStock by Getty Images.

In an effort to help prevent the disease from entering South Carolina, SCDNR has banned the commercial transport of deer and other related species, such as elk and moose, since many cases of CWD have been linked to captive animals, according to Ruth.

The agency also continues to maintain regulations restricting the importation of whole carcasses or parts containing nervous system tissue from deer and elk harvested in the U.S. states and Canadian provinces where CWD has been documented, according to Ruth. If hunters dispose of these carcass parts in South Carolina, the disease agent could potentially infect deer in that area.

Ruth said South Carolina is far from any state where the disease has been diagnosed, but SCDNR has tested more than 6,000 deer from all 46 counties since 2002 and developed a response plan that’s designed to contain the spread of CWD should an outbreak occur.

Current research shows that CWD outbreaks can lead to significant declines in deer populations over time. In Wisconsin, for instance, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002.

John Quinn, an associate professor of biology at Furman University, said scientific understanding of the ecology and transmission of CWD in free-ranging wildlife is limited, but a major decline in South Carolina’s white-tailed deer population due to such a fatal disease would likely have ecological consequences.

The white-tailed deer is considered to be a keystone species, one whose very activities have an immediate effect on both the landscape and the natural habitats of other animals in the wild, according to Quinn.

White-tailed deer not only serve as prey for coyotes and other predators, but their feeding habits and preferences can affect the variety, quality, and structure of plants in a habitat, Quinn explained. While chronic browsing can kill or hinder the growth of preferred plants in an ecosystem, deer avoidance of non-native, invasive plant species can cause them to become more prevalent and spread faster.

“A loss of deer populations is going to change forest understory,” Quinn said.

 

Quinn said a decline in South Carolina’s white-tailed deer population would also likely lead to fewer hunters, which in turn would mean less dollars for SCDNR, which collects a large portion of its funding from hunting-license sales and federal excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and other hunting equipment.

Deer hunting generates more than $200 million annually for the state’s economy, according to Ruth. South Carolina sells more than 700,000 recreational licenses each year to residents and out-of-state hunters and fishermen.

Recreational and commercial hunting licenses can be purchased online at dnrlicensing.sc.gov. Deer hunting on private lands in Game Zones 1 and 2, both of which include parts of Greenville County, runs through Jan. 1, 2019.

For more information, visit www.dnr.sc.gov.