Donald Trump Jr. Ditched Secret Service to Go Moose Hunting

Donald Trump Jr. gave up his Secret Service detail in mid-September to go on a moose-hunting trip in the Yukon, according to a report in The New York Timesthat details one reporter’s quest to locate the eldest son of the president during his adventure. Trump voluntarily abandoned the protections when he traveled to the sparsely populated northwest Canada territory, where he spent a week with a few friends and a hunting bow. Trump Jr.’s Secret Service protection has since been reactivated.


Conserving Moose… or Not

Canadian Blog

by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate

Conserving Moose… or Not 11/10/16

Moose© Henry Schimke

North America’s moose population extends from Alaska to the East Coast, through boreal and mountain forests. Throughout much of that range, the species is in decline. Where I live, in Ontario, the population has declined by 20% in just the past 10 years.

There are now about 92,000 moose spread over a vast region. In Minnesota, moose are nearly gone from the northwest and are less than half of their earlier numbers in the northeast. In other places, they are either in decline, holding steady, or—in a few instances—increasing.

98,000 people want to hunt moose in Ontario… which outnumbers the moose!

The threats to moose are vast, including a suite of problems associated with global climate change—which is increasingly evident as you move north. Pressure from all manner of incursions, including forestry practices, mining, roads, recreational use, and so on, can reduce the ability of moose to survive.

But, most of these threats to moose directly benefit human short-term interests. So does hunting, for a vocal minority. And, hunters don’t want to stop hunting (although, of all of the immediate threats to moose, not shooting them is the easiest step that could be taken).

I understand that hunters don’t care, but not that they still claim to be “conservationists.” Of course, if they want to keep killing a species that’s in decline, they are no such thing.

That includes First Nations hunters who, exercising treaty rights, can kill any moose they wish to, without even having to report the numbers. However, when Ontario Environment Commissioner Diane Saxe recently published her first annual report with a section entitled “Ontario’s Moose Population Under Threat,” it was too much for moose hunter Rob Learn. He points to the number of collisions between moose and cars to explain that there are plenty of moose, and that the limit placed on how many can be killed by non-First Nations’ hunters guarantees species survival. He makes the valid point that the determination of how many moose there “should” be, as decided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, is not entirely objective.

And then, there are the natural predators—mainly wolves and bears—who are scapegoated as a cause for moose declines. Killing, as always, becomes the solution.

Here’s a thought; don’t kill them. There’s a long list of North American wildlife species, from northern cod, to passenger pigeons, to bison, to Carolina parakeets, that plummeted from numerous to suddenly rare—even extinct—because the killing didn’t stop in time. We have time.

There are three times more Ontario government employees in Ontario than there are moose. Within their ranks lies the means to save these animals. Let’s start by stopping the killing. It might not happen… but it should.

Did the Hunters Get your Wolves’ Elk?

In one of Edward Abbey’s many epic books he mentions seeing a bumper sticker on the back of a gas hog, redneck rig that went something like, “Did the coyotes get your deer?” It was an unabashed show of narcissistic entitlement which spelled out just how the driver felt about nature and the need for a diverse ecosystem.

Although his type doubtless have no qualms about supporting factory farming by buying a nightly meal of meat from the local “Western Family” grocery store, when hunting season rolls around they are right there to lay claim to the wildlife as well, in the form of deer, elk, moose or pronghorn.

It don’t mean shit that apex predators such as wolves, cougars, bobcats and coyotes have nothing else to eat and have evolved over eons to live in harmony with their wild prey. Hunters think of themselves as apex predators, decked out in their best Cabella’s camouflage outfit, tearing up the land on their trusty 4-bys or 4-wheelers, hoping a deer steps out in front of them.

But as a faithful reader pointed out this morning, human hunters aren’t apex predators, they’re apex parasites (Homo parasiticus).

Personally, I’d rather “my” deer went to the coyotes and “my” elk went to the wolves, as nature intended.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson. All Rights Reserved

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.

No wolves to be added to dwindling Isle Royale wolf pack


The National Park Service has decided not to transplant any wolves to Isle Royale National Park to address the island’s declining wolf population, MPR News reports.The wolf pack living on the Lake Superior island has been dwindling over the past several years because of inbreeding, disease and a temporary decline in the moose population. There are just nine wolves compared to an average of 23 over the past couple of decades. Some researchers are concerned the wolves might die out if new animals aren’t added to the pack.

But Phyllis Green, the superintendent of Isle Royale National Park, said Wednesday the Park Service doesn’t think that step is necessary yet.

Instead, she says park officials will develop a management plan to assess the wolves’ survival longer term, as well as their interactions with the moose that live on Isle Royale, the Associated Press reports. She said it’ll take about three years to put the plan together.

Map showing the location of Isle Royale in Lake Superior.

“This is an island,” Green told MPR. “Island biogeography is a developing science, and our understanding of how islands react to change is still really being studied in a lot of ways.”

“As long as there’s a breeding population, we’re going to let these animals have a chance to live their lives without us intervening,” Green added, according to the AP.

A long-running research project has been studying the relationship between the wolves and the moose on Isle Royale for more than 50 years.  The scientists who lead that study, Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich of Michigan Technological University, are among the most vocal advocates for bringing more wolves to the island.

Vucetich declined comment about Green’s decision Wednesday but said he and Peterson would issue a statement next week, according to the Associated Press.

In a 2013 interview, Vucetich said it’s important to keep the island’s ecosystem healthy, with or without human involvement, the AP reports.

“As long as there are moose on Isle Royale there should be wolves on Isle Royale,” Vucetich said.

Killing of entire Alaska wolf pack upsets National Park Service…And Me!

Before admiring the “subsistence” lifestyle, think of wolves that the state of Alaska shoots from planes to provide “game” for their hunters…


by Nick Provenza

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Fish and Game officials killed an Eastern Interior wolf pack last week, and the National Park Service — which had been studying the animals — is none too pleased.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that all 11 wolves in the Lost Creek pack near Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve were shot. That included the pack’s alpha pair, which had been fitted with tracking collars as part of an ongoing research project.

Doug Vincent-Lang, acting director for the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation, says the wolves were in an area adjacent to the preserve that has been targeted by the state for aerial predator control, which is part of an effort to boost moose and caribou numbers.

But Yukon-Charley Superintendent Greg Dudgeon said the shootings are a setback for a long-term study of wolf behavior that began roughly 20 years ago. He said the Lost Creek pack had been monitored for the past seven years.

ALASKA… National Park Service and State Clash over the recent Wolf Pack Killing

An entire wolf pack was shot and killed by aerial gunning for the sole purpose of boosting moose and caribou numbers, discarding the fact that they were part of a twenty year study by NPS!

On Feb. 21, the state agency shot all 11 members of the Lost Creek pack near Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. That included the pack’s alpha pair, which had been fitted with park service collars as part of an ongoing research project.

Yukon-Charley Superintendent Greg Dudgeon said the shootings are a setback for a long-term study of wolf behavior that began roughly 20 years ago. He said the Lost Creek pack had been monitored for the past seven years as part of the study, which looks at wolf migration patterns, denning habits and population changes.

Alaska fully intends to continue it aerial killing of wolves, calling it Predator Control.



Kathy Dunn
Tourism Marketing Manager

Online Comment link…

If You Love Wolves, Love Elk and Hate Hunting

Wolf advocates have known for a long time now that ranching is the nemesis of all things natural and wild, and that if you want to help the wolves, boycott beef, leather, wool, lamb and mutton. But lately hunters like those in the Idaho trophy elk hunting industry have been out to prove that they are a wolf’s gravest threat.

Not only do certain Idahoans want to run wolves out of lands cleared for ranching, they want to eliminate them from the wilderness as well.

They see public lands, such as the Lolo National Forest and the Frank Church wilderness area, as private breeding grounds for elk specimens they love to kill, and they’re not willing to share those specimens with the likes of wolves.

Some wolf lovers respond with hatred for the cows and sheep themselves, and disregard for deer and elk. But wolves need elk and deer to survive, therefore wolf lovers should also be elk and deer lovers and wilderness advocates. Ultimately, a true wolf lover is not only anti-cattle and sheep ranching, but also anti-deer, moose, caribou and elk hunting.

Wolf advocates who are indifferent to ungulates and accepting of hunting and ranching will never see an end to wolf hunting or “control.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

8 charged in connection with illegal hunting activity

Feb 6, 2014
Kerry Leary

ALLAGASH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The Maine Warden Service has charged eight people with various hunting violations after executing search warrants.

As a result of an ongoing investigation into illegal hunting activity, six search warrants were executed. Five in the town of Allagash, Maine and one in Palermo, Maine.

Eight people were charged, two of whom were taken to the Aroostook County Jail. Maine Game Warden Lt. Dan Scott said the suspects are “intentional wildlife violators who display a complete disregard for fish and game laws.”

He also said the current and past poaching practices of those charged “have undoubtedly had an impact on local wildlife resources.”

The charges range from illegal possession of moose and deer to hunting with a suspended license. The following list details the charges filed:

1. Carter McBreairty of Allagash, charged with “hunting deer after having killed one.”
2. Kim Hafford of Allagash, charged with “false registration of a deer.”
3. Jess McBreairty of Allagash, charged with “hunting with a suspended license,” and arrested for a violation of bail.
4. Reid Caron of Allagash, arrested on a warrant for night hunting moose.
5. Hope Kelly of Allagash, charged with “possession of moose killed at night,” and “possession of an unregistered moose.”
6. Gregory Hughes of Allagash, charged with “possession of a firearm by a felon.”
7. Arlo Caron of Allagash, charged with “unlawful possession of gift deer.”
8. Gerald Pollard of Palermo, charged with “illegal possession of moose.”

The Warden Service is working with the Aroostook County District Attorney’s Office on the investigation. More charges are likely to be filed.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Hunting guide permanently banned in plea deal

[The lesson here is, you can hunt and kill all you want, but you’d better not “waste” anything.]

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The license of an Alaska hunting guide has been permanently revoked as part of a plea agreement.

Alaska State Troopers say 45-year-old Michael Vanning of Verdale, Wash., pleaded guilty last week to guide offenses near Fort Yukon and Kotzebue.

The offenses include wanton waste, failure to salvage game and failure to supervise clients and assistant guides.

Vanning was fined $90,000, with $80,000 suspended, and banned from hunting for 12 years.

Vanning owned Gateway Guiding Inc. and operated sheep, grizzly bear and moose hunts.

The state dismissed other cases from Sand Point and Fairbanks. He had faced charges of guiding on private land, failing to report a violation and possessing or transporting illegally taken game.

The sentence is Vanning’s third since 1998. He forfeited an airplane in a previous case.

Read more here:

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Wyoming Game and Fish investigate killing of cow moose with calf by its side

Published November 26, 2013/
Associated Press

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is looking for information about a cow moose that was poached on state land north of Buford.

Laramie Game Warden Kelly Todd says the cow moose was shot sometime around the weekend of Nov. 9-10.

The cow was shot through the back legs and eventually died in South Crow Creek. A bull moose calf was spotted hanging around the cow’s body.

It is illegal to shoot a cow moose with a calf at its side that hunting area.

Todd says a hunter may have mistaken the moose for an elk. He says hunters need to be aware of what they’re shooting at. [Always good advice!]

The game department is asking anyone with information about the crime to come forward.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved