One Shot During Confrontation With Hunters

  • July 20, 2015

    One person was shot after getting into an argument with hunters northeast of Munson Saturday night.

    According to witness accounts, there were several individuals deer hunting the area of Green Road and Yearling Lane. A confrontation began between the group of hunters and and another individual, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said.

    At one point during the confrontation, a gun was pointed at the group of hunters when a shot was heard. The individual who was pointing the gun at the group was shot with a high powered rifle during the incident, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said. The victim was airlifted to an area hospital.

    The victim remained in the hospital late Sunday recovering from a gunshot wound; their exact condition was not available.

    Detectives with the Santa Rosa County Sheriffs are actively working this investigation. The individual who shot the victim was identified and is being questioned about the incident.

    More information has not been released.

URGENT: Deer Trapped at Flooded Game Ranch in Pineville, Louisiana

Jodi_Minion2015-06-10T165323_deeroldpicAllegedly, several deer are trapped in floodwaters at a game ranch in Pineville. Several does and fawns have been seen stuck along a fence line for days, unable to rest or lie down. Water levels are expected to rise several more feet, and these animals are in immediate danger of drowning! Officials have responded but apparently just chased away the does, who quickly returned for their young. In the meantime, we’re told that the game ranch owner is refusing to move the deer, even though other farmers in the area moved their animals to higher land days ago.

Please call or write to the game ranch owner and state agriculture officials and politely ask them to intervene and move the deer to higher ground before they drown:

Chet and Willie Cooper
Rigolette Deer Farm
318-640-3627 or 318-715-3980

John Walther
Assistant Commissioner, Animal Health and Food Safety
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Veronica Mosgrove
Press Secretary
Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Wild animals dying for a drink in drought-stricken West

By Darryl Fears
The Washington Post | Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2015 7:00 pm

For the giant kangaroo rat, death by nature is normally swift and dramatic: a hopeless dash for safety followed by a blood-curdling squeak as their bellies are torn open by eagles, foxes, bobcats and owls.

They’re not supposed to die the way they are today — emaciated and starved, their once abundant population dwindling to near nothing on California’s sprawling Carrizo Plain about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where the drought is turning hundreds of thousands of acres of grassland into desert.

Without grass, long-legged kangaroo rats can’t eat. And as they go, so go a variety of threatened animals that depend on the keystone species to live. “That whole ecosystem changes without the giant kangaroo rat,” said Justin Brasheres, an associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of California at Berkeley.

Endangered kangaroo rats are just one falling tile in the drought’s domino effect on wildlife in the lower Western states. Large fish kills are happening in several states as waters heated by higher temperatures drain and lose oxygen. In Northern California, salmon eggs have virtually disappeared as water levels fall. Thousands of migrating birds are crowding into wetland shrunk by drought, risking the spread of disease that can cause massive die-offs.

As the baking Western landscape becomes hotter and drier, land animals are being forced to seek water and food far outside their normal range. Herbivores such as deer and rabbits searching for a meal in urban gardens in Reno are sometimes pursued by hawks, bobcats and mountain lions. In Arizona, rattlesnakes have come to Flagstaff, joining bears and other animals in search of food that no longer exists in their habitat.

“You think about it. In our urban environments we have artificial water. We’re not relying on creeks,” said David Catalano, a supervisory biologist for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “We have sprinkling systems. We water bushes with fruit and water gardens. That’s just a magnet for everything.

“We’ve seen an increase in coyote calls, bear calls, mountain lion calls — all the way to mice and deer,” Catalano said of residents placing distress calls to his department. “At your house everything is green and growing and flowering and they’re being drawn to it.”

The state wildlife agency said it’s preparing for a deluge of calls reporting bear sightings from Lake Tahoe this summer when berries and other foods they eat disappear for lack of rain.

About 4,000 mule deer have disappeared from a mountain range near Reno between late last year and now, likely because of drought. “Our level of concern is very high,” Catalano said. Nevada has placed low fiberglass pools called guzzlers that hold up to 3,600 gallons of water at more than a thousand wilderness areas across the state to provide water for wildlife.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department sent a message for a second year to residents in Flagstaff near Grand Canyon National Park: “Don’t be surprised if you see more wild animals around town in the next few months. Drought conditions may cause creatures like elk, deer, bobcats, foxes, coyotes and even bears to wander further into town than normal, as they seek sources of food and water.”

Don’t feed them, the department warned. Remove pet food, water bowls, garbage and other items that attract wild animals. It does more harm than good.

In California, where mandatory water restrictions were passed by the state water board on Tuesday, humans are already coming into contact with desperate wildlife from the 250,000-acre Carrizo Plain National Monument in California’s Central Valley, near Bakersfield.

“Just today, 20 minutes ago, four coyote cubs arrived” from the Bakersfield’s outskirts, said Don Richardson, curator of animals for the California Living Museum, which has an animal shelter in the city.

“We actually get everything from reptiles to mammals,” Richardson said. “We have 13 San Joaquin kit fox, an endangered species. They were abandoned, orphaned. The kit foxes health was impacted by the struggle to make it with reduced resources. Then of course we see a lot of birds of prey — owls and golden eagles.”

The animals are already suffering from the fragmentation of their habitat because of ranching and urban development. “It’s looking to be a very, very difficult year for wildlife,” Richardson said.

Endangered San Joaquin kit fox, coyotes and birds in the wildlands outside Bakersfield all rely on the giant kangaroo rat to survive. But those rodents are struggling themselves.

“We fear that a semi-arid grassland is becoming a desert,” said Brasheres. “The giant kangaroo rat can’t survive in desert.”

A study by the university recorded a 95 percent population loss since 2010.

Before the drought, 60 percent of their habitat was covered in grasses they eat and seeds they store for hard times in a network of underground burrows, Brasheres said. Four years of little rain has reduced the cover to 18 percent.

“They simply lack food so they starve,” Brasheres said. As the state wildfire season approaches, the remaining grasses could be wiped out.

For a study, biologist caught a few kangaroo rats this year to probe their condition. “They were skinny,” Brasheres said. “We looked at females to see whether they had young, whether they were lactating.” They weren’t.

In this reality where food is scarce and births are few, kangaroo rats are still a top prey item, further shrinking their numbers.

The demise of this species would be unthinkable, Brasheres said. There’s no overstating how important the rodent is in the ecosystem. Few others are around to feed snakes, badgers weasels and animals already mentioned. Even the soil kangaroo rats dig for burrows creates moist habitat for insects.

A worse situation is hard to imagine, said Stafford Lehr, chief of fisheries for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. But there is one.

Chinook salmon are in great danger, he said. For two years, only 5 percent of their eggs have survived winter and spring migrations because the cold water their eggs need to survive drains from rivers and reservoirs.

“If you draw down a reservoir, cold water at the bottom drains first,” Lehr said.

To save them, wildlife officials tried to replenish cold water that drained from Shasta Lake north of Sacramento last year. “It didn’t work,” Lehr said.

“Ninety-five percent of eggs and juvenile brood in 2014 were killed,” Lehr said. “Those would be expected to return three years later. We also had heavy mortality in 2013, expected back in 2016. The 2015 fish are spawning right now. We’re trying everything in our power to have enough cold water in Shasta so we don’t have what we had last year.”

Salmon are only part of the problem. Smelt are at the lowest number ever recorded in the state. They are a major forage fish, feeding other fish and birds in the marine ecosystem.

“It’s part of the heritage resource in the state of California. It’s our responsibility to ensure they are protected,” Lehr said. “Every time you lose something it puts pressure on the environment.

“You lose it, and something else will replace it but it will be lost. They’re part of the ecosystem. Millions of dollars have been invested in their survival.”

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Three 4-year-olds and a 99 y.o. woman reported killing deer in 2013

w/poll: At what age do you think kids are old enough to hunt deer and turkeys?

Total Votes: 24

1-4 0 0%
5-7 1 4%
8-12 10 42%
13 and older–year-olds-reported-killing-deer-in/article_14cb8108-a6fa-11e4-895b-b7f384993d31.html

January 28, 2015 9:29 am | Updated: 10:37 am, Wed Jan 28, 2015.

When the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday proposed setting 7 as the minimum age for kids to get tags for hunting deer and turkeys, some people asked the obvious question:

“How many kids that young are actually killing deer and turkeys?”

We wondered the same thing.

The state’s mentored youth hunting program since 2006 has allowed kids of any age under the age of 12 – the minimum age for buying a hunting license – to hunt certain game, while under direct supervision of a licensed adult.

In most cases, we’re talking about parents or grandparents.

The board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday voted to tweak the program so that kids of any age under 12 still can hunt turkey and deer, but the state will only issue tags to kids age 7 and older.

If kids under 7 want to shoot turkeys or deer, their mentors have to transfer their own tags to the kids.

Many hunters and hunting organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, want the program to remain as is, with no minimum age placed on the program.

They call such limits “barriers” to hunting.

For example, they said, what if a parent has more than one kid under 7 who wants to go buck hunting?

In Pennsylvania, the parent can only have one buck tag, so only one kid would be able to shoot a buck.

While those who oppose any minimum age have been getting all the media attention, the commissioners said they’ve heard from plenty of hunters who agree with their proposal.

They said some even sent them comments stating they believe no kids under 12 should be allowed to hunt deer.

For those of you out there, like us, who have been wondering how many kids under the age of 7 have been out hunting deer and turkeys, here’s a table showing, by age of the hunters, the number of those animals reported to the Game Commission during the 2013-14 hunting season.

The numbers reported here don’t indicate the number of kids – or adults – of a particular age who were out hunting.

The list only shows how many animals were reported as being shot by hunters of a particular age.

Given historical data, more animals likely were shot, because Pennsylvania hunters are notorious for not reporting their kills to the Game Commission.

(By the way, even though we’re focused on kids, it’s interesting to note there was one buck last season reportedly shot by a 99-year-old woman.)


Mississippians could make hunting a right



A pro-hunting amendment to the state Constitution should be a slam dunk in Mississippi, a fiery-red state with hunting roots that run generations deep.

But the National Rifle Association isn’t taking any chances with the Nov. 4 vote on the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment.

“This is a priority for the NRA and the hunting world nationwide,” NRA spokesman Lacey Biles said. “Years down the road, even a hunter-friendly state might turn the other way. It might be 20 years down the road, it might be 50. That’s the whole point of a constitutional amendment, to protect the future, and a hunting heritage that is rich in Mississippi currently, we want that to be enshrined for generations to come.”

The NRA, he said, takes the campaign directly to its members and tries to reach nonmembers through bumper stickers and flyers, much like a campaign for public office.

“We’ll be doing quite a bit,” he said. “It’s a very important initiative for us.”

He said among the NRA’s tenets is the idea “hunting is a preferred means of wildlife management.”

The amendment won’t affect the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’s ability to license and regulate hunting, its spokesman Jim Walker said. And Mississippi isn’t alone. Seventeen states have right-to-hunt amendments. The earliest was Vermont. It added one in 1777.

Animal-rights activists say they aren’t planning any particular campaign in Mississippi.

“We educate people all over the world about the problems with hunting,” said Ashley Byrne of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has long opposed hunting in general. “The fact is that it is cruel and unnecessary and it breeds insensitivity toward suffering of others, it damages ecosystems and disturbs animal populations.”

PETA and the National Council of State Legislatures agree hunting is on the decline. That, said Byrne, has hunters nervous.

“Hunters are worried because hunters know the popularity of hunting is plummeting,” she said. “The number of hunters is dropping every year. Most younger people prefer environmentally sound and non-consumptive activities to enjoy the outdoors — wildlife photography, hiking and camping.”

The council says there is some competition between hunters and others.

“Sportsmen in many states increasingly feel as if they are the ones outside the duck blind, and they are turning to state constitutions to ensure their hallowed pastime will continue in perpetuity,” the council writes on its website. “Increasing urbanization, decreased habitat, declining numbers of sportsmen, and more restrictions on hunting are common factors in the quest to assert the right to hunt and fish in a state’s most basic and difficult-to-amend document. On land that has been traditionally open to sportsmen, development of farmland and forests, along with pressure from other recreational groups such as hikers and off-road vehicles, is putting the pinch on the available land for harvesting game and fish.”

WFP’s Walker said a few years back, hunting was in a bit of a tailspin.

“Single-family households play a big part in that,” he said. “Competition from, believe it or not, video games and other outdoor sports. People not having a place to hunt, losing land leases, things like that. Young people not getting into the game.”

Mississippi, he said, saw that and actively began recruiting hunters and hunting bounced back.

“We recognized several years ago that if we are going to keep our numbers strong, we’re going to have to go after the youth,” he said. “In Mississippi, our numbers are pretty strong. Our hunting classes are full. Our youth hunts are sold out.”

He said the department has reached out to women, minorities and young people because hunting is important to its conservation program. For example, he said, without hunting, the deer population would be out of control.

“If it isn’t controlled, the population suffers,” he said. “There’s not enough food, there’s not enough land.”

But, he said, it’s OK that people hunt for enjoyment and food also.

“I like the smell of gunpowder,” he said.


Hunting Cheerleader Kendall Jones Poses With Dog, Baby Deer

PHOTO: Kendall Jones poses with a photo of a dear on her ranch.

The Texas cheerleader criticized for posing with endangered species she hunted in Africa on Facebook is now showing her softer side.

Kendall Jones, a cheerleader for Texas Tech, posted photos of herself this week posing with a dog and a baby deer in an effort to show her love for animals.

The college sophomore was the target of widespread criticism and a Facebook petition after she posted photos of herself posing with lions and cheetahs that she had killed while on big game hunting trips in Africa.

Cheerleader Fights Back Against Critics of Her Big Game Hunting

“I hope a lion eats you,” Zane Blackwell wrote on her Facebook wall.

“You are a piece of garbage,” Jackie Yaeger wrote.

Jones defended herself on her Facebook page by saying that she hunted the animals on safaris in Africa that, due to their high cost, actually help fund conservation efforts and protect the animals from poaching.

She declined comment to ABC News.

Today, she posted images of herself with a baby deer and yesterday posted one of herself with her chihuaha, Nemo, which she says is one of 40 dogs she’s rescued.

“Out driving around the ranch today in the Ranger and look who we bumped into! Coyote was within 30 yards but we ran him off. Guess he wanted to celebrate #WhitetailWednesday too!!! #SupportKendall #HuntersCareToo,” she wrote today on a post that included an image of Jones with a baby deer.

Jones says on her page that she has been hunting since she was a child with her father and first hunted in Africa in 2008 at age 13, where she shot a white rhino. She describes shooting an elephant, a buffalo, a lion, a leopard, and a hippo on subsequent African hunts.

Last year’s Oklahoma’s deer hunting season was the worst this century

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014.

The Okla. Dept. of Wildlife Conservation released the deer harvest
for the 2013-14 hunting season. Fewer deer were killed by hunters in Okla.
last season since the 1990s.
A total of 88,000 deer were killed by Okla. hunters last season. This is
almost 20,000 fewer deer than the previous hunting season and almost
25,000 fewer than two years ago.
In the last 15 years, Okla.’s deer harvest normally has exceeded 100,000
and only failing under that no. a total of five times.
Only one other time in the past 15 years has the total been less than
That happened in 2004 when the state’s deer harvest was 89,030.
There are several factors that may have contributed to fewer deer being
killed by hunters last season a/w a spokesman for the Okla. Wildlife Dept.
He notes “We have had a drought for quite some time, which has impacted
In addition to the drought, the weather during Okla.’s busiest deer
season (the ten day rifle season) was miserable and likely kept more
at home.
The opening weekend of the rifle season was bitter cold with ice in parts
of the state and the final weekend of the hunting season was also extremely
cold. In between those weekends it was very foggy.
He added “I think a lot of our hunters, they have had success in seasons
past, they were not wanting to get out and fight the weather.”
The state’s big game biologists were not alarmed by a significant dropoff
in just one year. They try not to look at the highs and lows but the
However, if they continue to see a reduced harvest, they need to figure
out what they need to do to change the trend.
The weather models show that the state may be in for a long dry cycle.
If the drought continues and deer reproduction continues to suffer, then
the Wildlife Dept. will have to re-examine the bag limits and season
for future deer hunting seasons.

Poachers kill more than wolves do, Idaho officials say

[Enough said? Now, how many do trophy hunters kill compared to wolves?]

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

>But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action. “Holy buckets, we would be setting budgets aside,” Cummings said. “We would develop a group to figure out what it was and we would develop a plan to deal with it, but we won’t even talk about what impact this has on wildlife.”<

LEWISTON – Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say.

Officials told the Lewiston Tribune that last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer, the newspaper reported Friday.

Officials say a realistic detection rate is 5 percent, meaning poachers are likely killing about 600 elk, 80 moose, 260 mule deer and 1,000 whitetail annually.

“It’s real easy for people to blow a gasket about wolf predation,” said Idaho Fish and Game District Conservation Officer George Fischer. “They are very passionate about it, they are very irate about it and they are livid about it. Yet there is a two-legged wolf out there that is probably killing as many or more than wolves. Wolves are causing an impact, there is no doubt about it; I don’t want to downplay that at all, but two-legged wolves are probably killing more or stealing more game than wolves. That is the shock-and-awe message.”

Barry Cummings, an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer, said many people don’t report wildlife crimes because they don’t consider it a crime against them. The fine in Idaho for illegally killing an elk is $750, while the fine for illegally killing a moose is $10,000.

But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action.

Mark Hill, a senior conservation officer for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston, said it’s not completely clear why people who are aware of poaching don’t turn lawbreakers in.

“I don’t know if it’s because they almost look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘If I turn in so and so, I’m going to be reflecting on some of the things I do and they will turn me in,’ ” Hill said.

California Poachers Confess to Multi-State Crimes

News from the Colorado Division of Wildlifeelk-000-home17300
News from Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Contact Name: Mike Porras
Contact Phone: 970-255-6162


MEEKER, Colo. – After a Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation
spanning several states and two hunting seasons, a trio of men from
California have pleaded guilty to numerous wildlife violations in
Colorado and New Mexico, dating back to 2011 through 2013. Upon being
confronted with extensive evidence of their crimes, the three men
admitted to their illegal activities and accepted a plea bargain in Rio
Blanco County Court in late February.

Throughout their crime spree, the men hunted on private property without
permission, illegally killed an elk, nine mule deer, one turkey and a
blue grouse. In several instances, the poachers only removed the head,
cape and antlers from their illegal kills, or abandoned the entire
animal leaving the meat to waste, which could have brought felony
charges and a prison sentence.

During the investigation, wildlife officials gathered a variety of
evidence including taxidermy mounts from their homes and numerous photos
of the men posing with the illegally taken wildlife.

“These individuals showed complete disregard for the wildlife laws of
several states in a brazen and arrogant manner,” said Northwest Regional
Manager Ron Velarde of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Citizens have every
reason to be outraged by their destructive behavior and we, along with
the other agencies we worked with on this case, are satisfied to see
that these individuals have been brought to justice”

Ringleader Anthony Bauer, 35, of Palm Desert, California, was convicted
of willful destruction of big game wildlife – a felony in Colorado, four
counts of hunting without a proper and valid deer license and illegal
take of a mule deer. He was ordered to pay $5,754 in fines, make a
$10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club [Ironically, the ringleader had to make a
$10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club. It’s not like he shot one of them!]
and forfeit all evidence
seized, including hunting gear and personal computers. Bauer also
pleaded guilty for the illegal take of a bull elk in New Mexico. As part
of his plea, Bauer was ordered to return the illegally taken elk mount,
a mule deer mount and a Barbary sheep mount to New Mexico.

Bauer is the owner of ‘Live2Die’, an outdoor-themed hat and clothing
company based in California. The company’s website is where
investigators discovered the incriminating photos, eventually removed
from the site under the terms of the plea bargain.

“Ironically, it was the discovery of two hats emblazoned with the
company’s logo found hidden in some brush on private property near two
poached deer that led us to these individuals,” said Area Wildlife
Manager Bill de Vergie of Meeker. “The landowner found the hats and let
District Wildlife Manager Jon Wangnild know right away. It once again
shows how important the public’s help can be in bringing violators to

De Vergie praised the work of all of the officers and investigators
involved in the case, including wildlife officers from New Mexico and
California and a forensics laboratory in Wyoming. He noted the
outstanding work of DWM Wangnild of Meeker who initiated the two-year
investigation after receiving a tip from a local outfitter.

Wangnild passed away after being injured in a horseback riding accident
in June, 2013, eight months before the case was resolved in court.

“Jon was very well respected by his fellow officers because of his
dedication and tenacity in bringing violators to justice,” added de
Vergie. “His diligence and hard work on this case, both here and in
California, is a testament to his legacy.”

Wangnild and an investigator traveled out-of-state to assist California
State Fish and Game officers search the suspects’ residences and a local
taxidermist shop where a substantial amount of evidence was seized.

Also pleading guilty in the case was Frank D’Anna, 29, of San Diego and
Hank Myll, 33, of Palm Desert. Myll pleaded guilty to hunting mule deer
without a proper and valid license and illegal take of a mule deer.
D’Anna agreed to pay a citation for hunting blue grouse without a
license, hunting mule deer without a license, illegal take of a blue
grouse, illegal take of a mule deer and hunting on private property
without permission.

Several other men allegedly involved in illegal hunting with Bauer,
D’Anna and Myll and are facing possible charges in New Mexico, pending
further investigation

On the Live2Die website, Bauer states that he “…built his brand on the
principles of living life to the fullest. With a goal to get more kids
off of the video games, and get them outdoors.”

“One of the most important aspects of enjoying the outdoors is being
responsible and ethical around wildlife,” continued de Vergie.
“Unfortunately, considering the extent of Mr. Bauer and his companion’s
illegal activity, this was the complete opposite of what we are trying
to teach our younger generations.”

The three men now must meet with a CPW Hearings Commissioner where they
face the possibility of permanently losing their hunting and fishing
privileges in Colorado and 41 other Interstate Wildlife Violator compact
states, including New Mexico and California.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife asks the public to report possible illegal
wildlife activity to their nearest CPW office or Colorado State Patrol.
To remain anonymous, call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 . Rewards
may be available if the report leads to a citation.