“I have a God-given right to pursue happiness, and happiness to me is killing things, skinning them, plucking them, and then having a good meal. What makes me happy is going out and blowing a duck’s head off.” – Phil Robertson
Maddie Crocenzi, firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished 4:23 p.m. ET Sept. 26, 2017 | Updated 12:13 p.m. ET Sept. 27, 2017
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners is making four electronic devices lawful for hunting and has given preliminary approval to make state game land access easier for individuals with mobility challenges.
Electronic decoys for hunting waterfowl and doves was approved at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Hunting devices for other game, including electronically heated scent or lure dispensers and those that distribute ozone gas for scent-control purposes, also were approved.
The four devices will be legal in six to eight weeks.
“Next year they will be written into the digest and publicized even more so than they are now,” Wildlife Conservation Officer Supervisor Bert Einodshofer said.
He describes the decoys as efficient and a better version of wind-driven or pull-string decoys.
“They worked well,” he said. “They help decoy the geese and the ducks.”
Einodshofer said these devices have not had a negative impact in other states. He doesn’t see any negative impact to wildlife or for “fair ethical chase” in Pennsylvania.
The board also gave preliminary approval for several changes to state game land access for individuals with mobility challenges.
The proposal includes a free Disabled Person Access Permit that would allow individuals to use ATVs, golf carts and other devices on certain state game land routes.
If given final approval, hunters who use wheelchairs can travel anywhere on the game lands where individuals are able to travel on foot. Those hunters can also locate and flush game, and may carry loaded sporting arms, while on or in wheelchairs.
The board will vote on the proposal at the Jan. 28-30 quarterly meeting.
SANDY CREEK, N.Y. – State police say a 24-year-old man mistook his father for a deer and fatally shot the older man while hunting near the family’s central New York home on Thanksgiving.
Troopers say Kristopher Paro was in a tree stand in the woods behind his home in the Oswego County town of Sandy Creek around 4:40 p.m. Thursday when he heard what he thought was a deer about 100 yards away.
Police say Paro fired a shot, unaware that his father, 58-year-old Kevin Paro, had gone into the woods a short time earlier to hunt. Troopers say the father was hit in the chest by a round from his son’s .270-caliber rifle.
The older man was taken to Oswego Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The son hasn’t been charged. Police say their investigation is continuing.
It’s nice to see by this morning’s news that everything is back to ‘normal,’ at least in terms of humans being shot at in Paris. You wouldn’t know the ‘act of war’ was over around here. I’m hearing just as many semi-automatic shotgun blasts out there as I did yesterday.
Maybe more, in fact. Being a Saturday during goose and duck hunting season, it sounds like every waterfowl hunter in the neighborhood has declared war on our aquatic avian friends.
Someone must have set up a duck blind nearby. Yesterday they were out blasting at birds all day, right through the torrential rainstorm that should have been a duck’s delight.
Yes, everything’s back to normal today, but If this killing of animals by the hundreds is ‘normal,’ why are we so shocked when humans go after each other?
What do you call a war waged on unarmed opponents? Considering the rate and frequency of shooting I’m hearing out there now, there’s a massacre going on. If the victims being slain were human, it would be called mass murder. A pre-dawn ambush. All-out insanity. Evil incarnate.
But to the hunters on opening day annihilating ducks and geese, it’s tradition; harvesting nature; business as usual.
Someone must have signaled “charge” to an entire platoon waiting to attack at dawn, and a mindless barrage of semi-automatic shotgun fire shattered the morning air. Now it’s 7:30 a.m. and only the random explosions break the stillness. The blitzkrieg has been going on steadily for over forty-five minutes—since before first light (sunrise today is officially at 7:35, according to the NOAA weather radio).
I wasn’t sure if the “enemy,” no, “opponent,” no, victims were the elk herd who occasionally visit the neighbor’s hayfield, the stray black-tail deer who keep themselves mostly out of sight around here for fear of poachers, or the ducks and geese who are starting to gather on their customary wintering grounds. Judging by the constant rapid gun fire, the victims must be the “waterfowl” whose “season” started today.
What fresh hell is this? Armageddon for avian kind? Or just another opening day for sport hunters?
On a hopeful note, wild animals can unlearn their conditioned response of fearing the worst when they see humans. The other day we surprised a familiar flock of geese, who instinctively took flight. “It’s okay; It’s just us,” we told them. As one, they must have all thought, “Oh yeah, we know them. They’re not Elmers or Elmerettes out to get us. It’s just that friendly couple that walks their dog every day. And anyway, it’s not hunting season.” They instantly hit the brakes and gently landed back down while we gave them a wide berth and continued to tell them how glad we were to see them again.
That’s the way it should be, humans and non-humans getting along and sharing the planet.
Although I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone what they should or shouldn’t do, perhaps if we all treat the Earth and its non-human inhabitants with a little kindness and respect—stop shooting and gassing geese, and for that matter, stop treating all other animal life like they’re expendable playthings; stop calling yourselves sportsmen when all you really want to do is kill; stop pretending that primates are supposed to be predators; stop assuming everything has been put here for your benefit; stop heating up the climate by burning fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow; and not to shock anyone, but why not slow down to 55 or less for the sake of migratory wildlife, if not the climate; and last but definitely not least, the unmentionable, stop having babies—we may all survive for another century or two.
In short, stop thinking only of your own species’ immediate gratification and treat the natural world with a little love and humility. Oh, and an apology to the Earth for past abuses might be in order, as well.
Yesterday we came across a river otter who crossed the road about 30 yards in front of us and disappeared into our pond. No cars were around so he needn’t have been in a hurry, but still he was very business-like, loping purposefully from one waterway to the next. He didn’t stop and give us any extra time to appreciate his company, and clearly—though we meant him no harm and regarded him with respect—he didn’t seem to appreciate ours.
Similarly, on today’s walk along a road through the neighboring wetlands, a large flock of ducks took flight, putting as much distance between us and them as possible, as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, several pairs of Canada geese kept a wary eye on us as they
honked their warning calls and ambled reluctantly behind the cover of some cattails and tall grass. We spoke reassuringly to them, explaining that we didn’t intend to hurt them, but our mere presence was disruptive. Unfortunately wildlife tends to judge all people based on human nature in general.
Although fewer folks nowadays are out to kill everything they see, destructive behavior has been a hallmark of human nature since the genus Homo first set foot on the face of the Earth. Other traits representative of the species seem to be an over-bearing sense of entitlement (as in “it’s all here for us”) and a narcissistic arrogance that empowers them to see themselves as supreme among all other beings, whom they objectify as resources put here for them by some anthropomorphic deity for their benefit to exploit as they see fit.
It’s always disappointing that the wild animals assume the worst because of your association, no matter how distant, with the average gun-toting Elmer, when all you want to do is be friends.