Animal-rights group wants Arizona voters to ban hunting of mountain lions, bobcats

http://tucson.com/news/local/animal-rights-group-wants-arizona-voters-to-ban-hunting-of/article_cc140fd3-be4a-5a03-a7c9-c53fc51ff297.html

  • By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services
  • Updated 
Mountain lions
The hunting of mountain lions and other big cats is largely considered trophy hunting.

George Andrejko / Game And Fish Department

PHOENIX — Saying there’s no reason for “trophy hunting” of mountain lions, the Humane Society of the United States is moving to get Arizona voters to outlaw the practice.

The group’s proposal for the 2018 ballot would make it illegal to pursue, shoot, snare, net or capture any “wild cat.” That specifically means bobcats and mountain lions.

As written, the ban also technically would apply to jaguars, lynx and ocelot. But those already are protected as endangered species.

“People no longer really tolerate trophy hunting,” said Kellye Pinkleton, the Humane Society’s state director. “People are not shooting them, hounding them, trapping them for subsistence.”

But Kurt Davis, a member of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, said the number of mountain lions killed each year — about 360 in 2015, the most recent number available — simply keeps the population in check and ensures that prey species, including bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope, are not decimated.

Davis said he sees the proposed initiative as part of an effort to ban hunting entirely.

Pinkleton responded: “We do not have any blanket opposition to hunting.”

Backers of the ban on hunting big cats have until next July to gather 150,642 valid signatures on petitions to get the issue on the ballot.

The Humane Society and its local affiliate have a track record with voters. In 1994 they succeeded in getting Arizona voters to approve a ban on the use of leg-hold traps on public lands by a margin of close to 3-2.

Pinkleton noted that initiative laws have since been tightened by the Republican-controlled Legislature, with a ban on paying circulators on a per-signature basis and a requirement that petition papers be in “strict compliance” with all election laws.

But she said her organization and other allies should be able to raise the $3 million to $5 million it will take to force a public vote.

If it gets that far, it could be difficult to defeat. Davis said Arizona has a higher percentage of urban residents than any other “inland” state, meaning people less likely to go hunting.

That means the Game and Fish Commission and hunters will need to make their case that the practice should not be outlawed.

Davis said it comes down to science.

He estimated there about about 2,500 mountain lions in Arizona.

Each year the state issues more than 10,000 tags to hunt mountain lions. Davis said the commission’s experience is that, given the difficulty to actually kill one, that keeps the population in the 2,000 to 3,000 range, which he said is ideal.

Pinkleton disagreed. “The science doesn’t back up their claims,” she said.

She said the initiative would still allow killing of mountain lions in cases where they were endangering humans or killing other animals, whether a rancher’s cattle or the bighorn sheep that have been reintroduced into the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area near Tucson.

The difference, she said, is that only the actual lions causing the problem could be hunted, versus simply telling hunters they can go out and shoot them in the area to cut down on the population.

Davis said such an approach makes little sense.

He said a 1990 initiative banning the killing of mountain lions in California now results in more of the big cats being killed by state officials to protect other species than were taken by hunters.

Pinkleton said there’s a good reason why the Arizona initiative would outlaw only the killing of wild cats.

“These essentially are killed for trophies or for fur,” she said, and for “bragging rights” about killing a lion.

“This is not deer or elk where communities are using the whole animal, whether for the meat or whatever,” she continued. “This is not a subsistence animal.”

Davis takes exception to pushing the initiative as a ban on hunting “trophy” animals.

“The notion of ‘trophy’ is a political notion that they’ve tested and polled,” with no actual legal basis, he said.

If the test of “trophy hunting” is whether hunters actually eat what they kill, that would include the hunting of coyotes, Davis said.

Beyond that, he said the initiative ignores that hunting is “a tool used by our state’s biologists … to manage our state’s wildlife.”

“Thank god … that you have hunters, both men and women sportsmen, that are willing to go out and be part of the management tools to maintain healthy populations of all of our species,” he said.

Bobcats, which Davis said number “in the thousands” in Arizona, are a different situation. They are classified the same as coyotes, raccoons and skunks, which can be hunted at all times without a special permit.

According to the Game and Fish Department, 1,300 bobcats are killed each year, on average.

Part of the debate is likely to involve methods used by some hunters.

“If a pack of dogs chases a mountain lion into a tree, and they are shot, that is not a fair chase,” Pinkleton said.

Davis countered, “That’s one of those issues that you see and hear, and it creates an emotional response.” But he said that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.

“The traditions of using hounds to pursue lions is something that existed in our country since its foundation,” he said. Anyway, Davis said, only a “small number” of people have the ability to use dogs. “I don’t,” he said.

The numbers from the Game and Fish Department suggest that the use of dogs does make a big difference, however: Out of 324 mountain lions killed in 2015 by hunters, 247 of those were with the use of dogs.

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Female hunter is found dead after apparent suicide ‘following online threats from animal rights activists’

  • Melania Capitan, 27, posted photos of her hunting activities on social media
  • The online star reportedly killed herself and left a suicide note to friends
  • This comes after it was reported that the internet star was threatened online 
Melania Capitan, 27, was a well-known blogger and hunter with thousands of online followers

Melania Capitan, 27, was a well-known blogger and hunter with thousands of online followers

A female hunter has been found dead after apparently committing suicide weeks after she was reportedly threatened on social media by animal rights activists.

Melania Capitan, 27, was a well-known blogger and hunter with thousands of online followers.

She rose to fame due to her posts in which she explained hunting tactics as well as showing glimpses into her every day life.

Hunting magazine Jara y Sedal reported Melania, who was from Catalonia and had lived for the last three years in Huesca, had apparently killed herself.

She had also reportedly left a suicide note addressed to her friends.

This comes after it was reported that the internet star was threatened online.

Her posts caused much controversy across the internet, especially with animal rights activists who widely criticised her.

She rose to fame due to her posts in which she explained hunting tactics as well as showing glimpses into her every day life

She rose to fame due to her posts in which she explained hunting tactics as well as showing glimpses into her every day life

Hunting magazine Jara y Sedal reported Melania, who was from Catalonia and had lived for the last three years in Huesca, had apparently killed herself. Pictured: Her rifle on a dead deer

Hunting magazine Jara y Sedal reported Melania, who was from Catalonia and had lived for the last three years in Huesca, had apparently killed herself. Pictured: Her rifle on a dead deer

She had also reportedly left a suicide note addressed to her friends. This comes after it was reported that the internet star was threatened online

She had also reportedly left a suicide note addressed to her friends. This comes after it was reported that the internet star was threatened online

Her posts caused much controversy across the internet, especially with animal rights activists who widely criticised her

Her posts caused much controversy across the internet, especially with animal rights activists who widely criticised her

Even after her death, her Facebook profile was inundated with messages praising the tragic news.

One person wrote: ‘You have done a favour to humanity! Bye Bye.’

Another commented: ‘She is alive, do not worry, what happened is that she left hunting and now is in the casting of the series The Walking Dead.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4718110/Female-hunter-dead-apparent-suicide.html#ixzz4nnLjgjgL
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Two from brief reality TV show admit to hunting violations

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas man who starred on the short-lived reality TV show “American Stuffers” and his son have pleaded guilty to hunting violations in central Arkansas.
Court records show 40-year-old Daniel Ross of Romance and 19-year-old Hunter Ross of Rose Bud pleaded guilty last Tuesday in White County District Court to misdemeanor charges and each was fined $8,500.
Daniel Ross pleaded guilty to hunting during a closed season, night hunting and transporting illegally taken wildlife. In exchange, more than 40 similar charges being dropped.
Hunter Ross pleaded guilty to hunting during a closed and night hunting while more than 30 similar charges were dismissed.
The pleas were first reported by The Daily Citizen newspaper.
The Animal Planet reality show “American Stuffers” in 2012 was about Daniel Ross’ taxidermy business, which preserved pets that had died.

© 2017 Associated Press

Man accidentally shot in head during possible hunting expedition at Parawa

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/law-order/man-accidentally-shot-in-head-during-suspected-hunting-expedition-at-parawa/news-story/94420c1d178070990ac40404d078a341

A MAN is fighting for his life after he was accidentally shot during a possible hunting expedition south of Adelaide.

Authorities were called to Springs Rd, Parawa, almost 40km west of Victor Harbor. at 3.45pm on Sunday amid reports a man had received a “serious wound to the head”.

Detectives are investigating how the man came to suffer “life-threatening” gunshot wounds but the man had been at an area of native forest popular with deer hunters.

A man is taken to Victor Harbor hospital after he was shot and injured during a suspected hunting accident on a property near Parawa, south of Adelaide.

Police believe the incident is not suspicious and are treating the shooting as an “accident”. >snip>

Iraq’s Unique Wildlife Pushed to Brink by War, Hunting

Even by the Islamic State’s brutal standards, the mess its fighters made of Kaldo Shoman’s farm had to be seen to be believed.

Over more than two decades, Shoman and his two brothers had labored to turn their land into an ad-hoc animal sanctuary. By planting trees, they hoped to attract migrating birds—and eventually tourists—to this largely barren swath of northwestern Iraq. In an area with scarce water, they carved out an artificial pond—and then watched as wild pigs and the occasional gazelle came calling.

But in one fell swoop, the Islamic State wiped their refuge off the map.

Blasting through the front gate in the summer of 2014, the men penned the Iraqi farmer’s horses into a paddock and used them for target practice, Shoman says. After shooting Shoman’s pet vulture and hogtying his favorite dog to a moving tractor, they carted off his extensive collection of songbirds. (See “Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed.”)

Keen to deprive would-be attackers of potential cover, the fighters then torched dozens of forested areas, including the Shomans’ roadside plantation. They laced the soil with mile after mile of landmines. When, in late 2015, Iraqi Kurdish troops closed in on their last holdings in northern Nineveh Province, the retreating jihadists deployed one last ecosystem-killing tactic: Dumping oil.

“Look what they did!” Kaldo Shoman says, pointing at the jet-black trails of diesel that still coat his pond 18 months later. “They are the animals!”

The past few decades have been intensely challenging for many Iraqis, who’ve lived through several conflicts, crippling economic sanctions, and now jihadi terror. But lost amid the understandable focus on the human toll is the impact this chaos has had on the country’s wildlife.

Before its 40 years of near-unbroken hostilities, Iraq teemed with life, including a half-dozen types of cat, an impressive array of falcons, and several hundred species of fish, including the plump river carp that gave rise to Iraq’s national dish: masgouf. So prolific was its snake population that the ancient Sumerians milked the serpents’ venom and used it for medication.

But in recent decades, wildlife sightings are becoming more and more rare, conservationists say. Due to the ongoing conflict, scientific data on species decline are scarce. At least 31 bird species are threatened or at the point of extinction, according to Nature Iraq, a local nonprofit. (Bigger beasts, including Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers, long ago disappeared from the landscape.)

“For thousands of years we had plenty of wildlife, from Zakho [in the north] to Faw [in the south],” says Adel Musa, director of Baghdad Zoo, where some of Iraq’s few remaining big cats now reside. (See National Geographic magazine’s pictures of Baghdad after the storm.)

“But after all this war, all of Iraq’s circumstances, I am sad to say they are gr

WAR ZONE

The Iran-Iraq war shoulders much of the blame for the wildlife decline.

Starting in 1980, two enormous armies battled one another back and forth across the border region for eight years, laying waste to the mountains in the process.

Entire populations of wild goat and wolves were whittled down to almost nothing by shellfire, forest rangers told National Geographic. The number of migrating Persian fallow deer dropped precipitously, in part due to extensive trench networks, and is now regionally extinct in Iraq, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

When former President Saddam Hussein chopped down most of Basra’s 12 million date palms in order to prevent sneak assaults on all-important oil facilities, he transformed this once lush environment into a sterile flatland from which neither it—nor its animal inhabitants—have ever recovered. (Also read about the struggle to save Baghdad Zoo animals in 2003.)

Several years later Hussein turned his fury on southern Iraq’s marshes, the region’s largest wetlands. Intent on flushing out defeated rebels, he ordered the landscape drained, its people dispersed. As the waters dried up, the area’s rich array of otters, pelicans, striped hyenas, and river dolphins vanished, in most instances never to return.

Poachers have also killed off the smooth-coated otter—which is considered vulnerable to extinction—throughout most of its range in Iraq.

“The fish, the birds, the bigger animals: It’s not like before,” says Ismail Khaled Dawoud, a buffalo breeder who moved back to the marshes after they were partially reflooded.

Eric Trump to Keynote Sportsmen’s Alliance 20th Annual “Save Our Heritage” Rally

http://www.ammoland.com/2016/09/eric-trump-keynote-sportsmens-alliance-20th-annual-save-heritage-rally/#axzz4JPcQk7Av

In celebration of the 20th Annual Sportsmen’s Alliance “Save Our Heritage” Rally, Eric Trump, avid hunter and son of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, will speak at the event on Sept. 10 in Columbus, Ohio.

The “Save Our Heritage” Rally is a one-day rally of all things outdoors, which raises awareness and funds for the Sportsmen’s Alliance to protect and advance hunting, fishing and trapping nationwide. The event runs from 3-9:30 p.m. at the Villa Milano Banquet & Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio, and features a catered dinner, raffles, auctions and games for great prizes ranging from elk, wolf and deer hunts to African safaris and dozens of firearms.

Seating is strictly limited, and only a handful of tickets for remain available. Tickets cost only $50 and include dinner and drink tickets. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Purchase Tickets or by calling 614-888-4868.

Appearances by political hopefuls is nothing new for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. In recent years, Sen. John McCain, Speaker Paul Ryan, Gov. John Kasich and others have addressed those attending the organization’s events.

Eric Trump, the middle son of Presidential hopeful Donald Trump, has been a lifelong hunter ever since his maternal grandfather introduced him and his older brother, Donald Trump, Jr., to it as children. The Trump brothers were attacked by the international animal-rights movement in 2012 when images of the two from an African safari circulated on social media.

Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2016/09/eric-trump-keynote-sportsmens-alliance-20th-annual-save-heritage-rally/#ixzz4JPdW7gJ9

Man killed in hunting accident in Sussex County – $350,000 Verdict

http://valawyersweekly.com/2016/07/05/man-killed-in-hunting-accident-in-sussex-county-350000-verdict/

Decedent, 61, and shooter, Dr. Correll, were both members of WAIDS Hunt Club in Sus­sex County. Both were experienced hunters. On Dec. 30, 2013, the hunt club organized a group deer hunt with the use of hunting dogs. Shooter had hunted the particu­lar tract of land numerous times prior to this hunt, thus was familiar with the topography. Decedent had never hunted that tract and was thus unfa­miliar with the area. Each hunter was assigned to a particular “stand” (loca­tion) strategically determined prior to the hunt. Decedent and shooter rode together to the area. Shooter instruct­ed decedent where his “stand” was located and advised decedent to walk into the woods, continue down the hill, cross the swamp and take his stand. Shooter watched decedent enter the woods. After walking approximate­ly 10 yards into the woods, decedent encountered a ground blind (tent) in his line of travel. Concerned about the ground blind, decedent via two-way radio questioned shooter as to wheth­er the ground blind would be occupied. Shooter walked in the field towards the wood-line and then advised dece­dent to continue walking past the ground blind down the slope, cross the swamp and take his stand. Decedent did as instructed.

Shooter took his stand in the cor­ner of the field. Shooter was standing in a relatively flat field and the field sloped gradually toward the woods line, where it then sloped precipitous­ly down to the swamp. The difference in elevation from the ground where shooter stood to the ground where decedent stood was 6.66 feet. Deer began running parallel to the swamp and towards decedent. Decedent took four shots at the deer. Shooter heard the four shots fired and acknowledged that he knew decedent had fired at the deer. Two doe broke out into the open field as a result of decedent’s firing at them. Once they entered the field in site of shooter, one turned to his left and ran parallel with the woods line and the other turned to his right and did the same. Shooter fired twice at the doe that turned to his left. This doe was, according to the shoot­er, about 8-10 feet from the woods line. The pellets from the first shot missed the doe and struck at several locations into the woods along a fair­ly tight and consistent pattern from the shooter to the decedent. Due to the slope, approximately four inches of the decedent’s head was just above the ground level of the field. One pel­let from the shot struck decedent in the left temple, entered his brain and did irreversible and permanent dam­age. Decedent died at MCV the follow­ing day. Shooters’ second shot killed the doe.

Based on his written admission to DGIF officers, after the shots were fired and decedent was not respond­ing to radio communications, shooter entered the woods in the location he saw decedent enter, walked by the same ground blind and within seconds located decedent on the ground. In re­sponse to further questions by DGIF officers as to where he observed dece­dent enter the woods, shooter pointed in the same direction of the shot path that ultimately killed decedent.

Shooter contested liability. Shooter contended that based on his proximity to the doe he fired upon, it appeared to be a safe shot and believed that the ground in the field was an adequate backstop for the buckshot. He further contended that because of his own knowledge that the swamp was more shallow to the right of the line that decedent walked down to the swamp, he assumed the decedent would have realized that, walked further to his right and crossed the swamp there, and further assumed that had he crossed the swamp at that location, he would have stayed in that location. Shooter also argued that decedent was contributorily negligent in not using his radio to advise shooter that he was not where shooter assumed he would have been.

Widow of decedent retired from her job of 28 years, effective Dec. 31, 2013, the very day her husband died.

Mediation was attempted twice with different mediators with no success.

Prior to the civil action, shooter had been charged criminally with man­slaughter and reckless handling of a firearm. Shooter pled guilty to reckless handling of a firearm and the man­slaughter charge was noll prossed.

Originally both the hunt club and the shooter were named defendants. Prior to trial, hunt club was nonsuit­ed. After two days of trial and after hearing from experts from both sides as well as the shooter, and the shoot­er’s criminal lawyer, the plaintiff, wid­ow of the decedent, made a motion for a directed verdict on the issue of liability, arguing negligence per se and no evidence of contributory negli­gence for a jury to consider. The court agreed and instructed the jury that the shooter was negligent as a mat­ter of law, that his negligence was the proximate cause of the injury, and that they should only consider the issue of damages. The jury returned a verdict of $350,000.

[16-T-090] 

Type of action: Wrongful Death – Hunting Accident
Injuries alleged: Lethal wound by buckshot pellet in head and died next day
Name of case: Harris, Adm’r of Estate of Thomas Harris, deceased v. James Allen Correll and Waids Hunt Club
Court: Sussex Circuit Court
Case no.: CL15000063-00
Tried before: Jury with directed verdict
Name of judge: Hon. Robert G. O’Hara
Date resolved: May 4, 2016
Special damages: $87,959.50 medical bills; $1787.95 funeral expenses; decedent was unemployed receiving social security disability in amount of $ 1600.00 per month, after taking in account the widow’s benefit of $400.00 per month, the loss of income claimed was @ $ 1200.00 per month.
Verdict or settlement: Directed verdict on issue of liability; jury verdict on damages
Amount: $350,000.00
Attorneys for plaintiff: Steven Novey, Prince George

the Dangerous “Noble Savage” Myth

Dave Foreman, formerly of Earth First! and now The Rewilding Institute, wrote in the glossary of his timely over-population book, Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife, of the “Noble Savage Myth: Jean Jaques Rousseau is the best-known flag-waver for the myth of the noble savage, which holds that man in a natural state was noble, peaceful, and ecologically sweet before being besmirched by civilization. Anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, history, field biology, conservation, and so on have shown this belief to have no ground on which to stand.” Foreman recommends the book, Constant Battles, by archeologist Stephen A. LeBlanc as the current must read on the subject. Having been keenly interested in the subject since reading Jarred Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee, Richard Wrangham’s Demonic Males, and even before, I of course ordered Constant Battles to fill in the blanks.

The book arrived in the mail yesterday and I couldn’t wait to get started. From that book’s prologue: “War today and in the last century seems unprecedented in intensity, ferocity, and number of lives claimed. With this ominous could hanging over our heads, it’s easy to believe that humans have somehow abandoned the benign behavior that characterized our earliest history. What happened to those ‘noble savages’ of old who were content to live in peace and harmony and were not out to colonize and exploit the undeveloped world? The ecological catastrophes occurring all around us present another modern maelstrom—and no ecosystem is immune, from the tropical rainforest, from the pristine arctic to the ozone layer. Humankind today seems to have abandoned a reverence for nature and lost long-held abilities to live in ecological balance. Has ‘progress’—that escalating desire to be bigger, better, faster, stronger—totally extinguished our ancestral instincts to grow everything we consume and hunt only what we need to sustain us? Many view the march of civilization not as a blessing but a curse, bringing with it escalating warfare and spiraling environmental destruction unlike anything in our human past.

“Contrary to exceedingly popular opinion, and as bad as our problems may be today, none of this is true. The common notion of humankind’s blissful past, populated with noble savages living in a pristine and peaceful world, is held by those who do not understand our past and who have failed to see the course of human history for what it is.

“…I have spent my entire career attempting to make sense of the past, and I find the world completely at odds with popular misconceptions. Not only is the past I observed not peaceful and pristine, but, cruel and ugly as it may be, it provides great insight into the present. The warfare and ecological destruction we find today fit into patterns of human behavior that have gone on for millions of years. Humans have been destroying their environment for a long time and continue to do so for the same reasons they did in the past… [P]roper grasp of the past has invaluable benefits for humankind today. We are far better off understanding the past than ignoring it, or believing a mythical version of history that bears little to resemblance to what actually took place.

“A myth, due to its very nature, is not grounded in any reality, so it is susceptible to total manipulation. Though we can manipulate reality, it is subject to objective questioning, because we presume there is an objective basis to it. Once we accept a myth as truth without any consideration of its reality, how do we question its implications or manipulations on objective grounds? Myths are dangerous, and we are better off without them…”

00-intro

Wildlife Refuges, Not Hunters’ Playgrounds

nohuntsign

October 16th, 2013 by Anja Heister

Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) wants to turn even more wildlife refuges into playgrounds for hunters and other “consumptive users” of wild animals.

The U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System includes 550 national wildlife refuges, thousands of waterfowl protection areas and four marine national monuments, totaling more than 150 million acres. Despite being called “refuges”, more than half of all national wildlife refuges are already open to hunters, trappers and anglers.

Consumptive users also have millions of acres of public and private lands outside the refuge system available to them to pursue their frivolous and violent activities of “recreational” trophy hunting and fishing, and trapping for fur. They should not be allowed in refuges, which often are the last remaining places for animal species already struggling for survival.

Furthermore, as the USFWS’s own 2011 survey has shown, wildlife watchers have already well outpaced and outspent wildlife killing interests. Wildlife watchers are a growing economic force, and their overwhelming preference to see living animals needs to be considered and respected.

Wildlife refuges, as the name indicates, should be true sanctuaries for wild animals where they are sheltered from the killing spree that surrounds them.

What You Can Do:

Please copy and paste the comment below to the USFWS and tell them that hunting, trapping and fishing should not be allowed in national wildlife refuges at all.

Please follow these steps to send your comment to the USFWS:

http://www.idausa.org/wildlife-refuges-hunters-playgrounds/

Conservation Groups Sue Over NC Coyote Hunting

RALEIGH, N.C. — Conservation groups are suing North Carolina wildlife regulators, saying a rule that allows coyote hunting endangers the world’s only wild population of about 100 red wolves because hunters easily confuse the two animals.

An attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court on behalf of three other groups.

The state Wildlife Resources Commission in July approved a permanent regulation allowing coyote hunting in the five-county area of eastern North Carolina that’s known as the Red Wolf Recovery Area. A state judge earlier blocked a temporary rule allowing the hunting in Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Washington and Beaufort counties.

The Southern Environmental Law Center says 20 red wolves have died from gunshots since 2008.

A wildlife commission spokesman declined comment until the agency receives the lawsuit.

Coyote photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Coyote photo Copyright Jim Robertson