TRUMP OFFICIALS JUST PROVIDED ‘A GIFT TO TROPHY HUNTING’ IN THE FORM OF YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLY BEARS

http://www.newsweek.com/yellowstone-grizzly-bear-trump-hunting-628432?utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=right&utm_medium=related2

grizzly bear
A grizzly bear roams through the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, on May 18, 2014. Conservation groups have slammed the decision to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the Endangered Species Act.JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

The decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to remove the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of endangered species has been called “a gift to trophy hunting” by conservation groups.

Related: Killing of famed Yellowstone grizzly intensifies protection debate

The bear has enjoyed protected status for 42 years, during which time its numbers grew to more than 700 from just 136. On Thursday, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said it is now time to call the operation a success and to remove the bear from the Endangered Species Act, instead allowing states to take control over its future.

“This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of state, tribal, federal and private partners,” Zinke said in a statement. “As a Montanan, I am proud of what we’ve achieved together.”

The move, which was first proposed by the previous administration of President Barack Obama last year, will go into effect 30 days after it is published in the federal register. At least immediately, it will not lead to open season on grizzly bear hunting. As well as being restricted to the bears that travel outside of the park’s boundaries, hunts will only be allowed if the number of bears remains above 600.

However, many conservationists argue that Thursday’s decision adds yet another threat to the future survival of the bears, whose habitat they say is already endangered by climate change.

“The Trump Administration’s delisting maneuver is a gift to trophy hunting and oil and gas interests,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States, tells Newsweek in an email. “The bears continue to face an array of threats, and the last thing they need are wealthy elites chasing them down and shooting them for trophies.”

The action will not affect the nearly 1,000 grizzlies inhabiting Glacier National Park in Montana. But experts have said protections for those bears could soon similarly be removed, according to The New York Times.

Prior to the 1850s and the onset of widespread hunting and trapping, grizzly bears across North America numbered around 50,000. And some conservationists have argued that placing their conservation back in the hands of states, which can use hunting as a form of population control, is an unnecessary risk. Indeed, Tim Preso, an attorney for environmental law firm Earthjustice, has said that legal action to prevent the change is already being considered.

“We’re certainly prepared to take a stand to protect the grizzly, if necessary,” he told the Associated Press. “There’s only one Yellowstone. There’s only one place like this. We ought not to take an unjustified gamble with an iconic species of this region.”

In addition to conservation groups, the move has also been opposed by Native American tribes, for whom the grizzly bear is a sacred animal. A treaty opposing hunting of the bear has been signed by 125 tribes.

Zinke, a former senator from Montana, has a lifetime score of just 4 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, with the group indicating that of 73 votes on bills with environmental impact, only three were pro-environment.

Trump’s two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, are known to be fond of big-game hunting and have previously attracted criticism for posing for photos alongside dead animals, including a leopard and an elephant.

What went so wrong with Trump sons that they could kill this beautiful creature

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HUNTING AFRICAN ANIMALS AND BRINGING THEIR HEADS TO THE U.S. IS LEGAL AGAIN UNDER TRUMP

http://www.newsweek.com/hunting-african-animals-legal-us-trump-712988

Elephant and lion trophies can be imported from Africa again, in a reversal of an Obama-era policy that prohibited the importation of endangered animals.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it will allow trophy hunters to bring back legally hunted wildlife, removing restrictions on permits that were put in place to discourage the hunting and poaching of animals that are on the threatened species list.

The International Wildlife Conservation Council, a newly created arm of the Department of the Interior, wants to bring a focus to the “economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” Plus, it believes “human populations” could benefit from having Americans visit and hunt.

99602245Philip Dixie (L), a professional hunter from Blaauwkrantz hunting reserve shows a trophy during a hunting Safari in the Blaauwkrantz game reserve some 70km from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The council has determined that hunting in Zimbabwe and Zambia will help with conservation efforts, though its announcement does not include research that supports that view.

“By lifting the import ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Trump Administration underscored, once again, the importance of sound scientific wildlife management and regulated hunting to the survival and enhancement of game species in this country and worldwide” said Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action in a statement on the NRA-ILA website.

“This is a significant step forward in having hunting receive the recognition it deserves as a tool of sound wildlife management, which had been all but buried in the previous administration.”

In 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Service suspended the import of sport-hunted elephant trophies, citing a lack of evidence that the practice helped conservation efforts.

The expanded import policy will likely be welcome news to Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who have posted photos of themselves after a trophy hunting expedition. The photos showed them with a leopard and an elephant, and drew criticism from animal rights groups. They have continued to take big-game hunting trips across the U.S. and in Canada, though they haven’t posted photos.

What went so wrong with Trump sons that they could kill this beautiful creature

Trophy hunting may be popular with the Trumps, but not everyone is on board. When Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in 2015, he sparked international outrage for targeting one of the most well-known and beloved African lions. Palmer had a permit to hunt in Zimbabwe, and paid around $50,000 to a professional hunter-guide to kill the lion.

Zimbabwe’s elephant population has declined since 2001, and Zambia’s populations have declined in some regions. Hunters often choose the healthiest or strongest members of animal populations, to have a more impressive trophy, but this can have negative effects on the species overall.

A 2015 poll showed that 86 percent of Americans oppose big-game hunting, and six out of 10 respondents said it should be illegal.

Infamous ‘Lion Killer’ Perishes After Falling 100 Feet During Hunting Trip

https://animalchannel.co/hunter-dies-trip/

written by Britanie Leclair on October 9th, 2017

According to Google Dictionary, karma is a belief based in Hinduism and Buddhism that says a person’s actions dictate their future. It’s also a term that a number of animal lovers have been using to describe the following story.

In November 2015, an Italian hunter named Luciano Ponzetto drew the wrath of the internet after the public got a hold of photos of him smiling next to the body of a hunted lion.

According to Safari Club Italy (of which Ponzetto was a member), the photos were originally posted to the club’s Facebook page to showcase the winners of its annual Chapter Trophy Award competition— a competition in which Ponzetto had won a 3rd place prize.

The photos and subsequent media coverage made Ponzetto infamous. He was criticized and ultimately forced to resign from his role as the medical director of a business kennel.

The Sun also quoted him as saying, “I am being criticized by people who do not know me. I have always loved my work and I have always loved animals… I will carry on hunting until the law changes.”

Source: ATI

But Luciano no longer hunts. It isn’t because the laws have been changed, however— it’s because he died in a manner that many are calling an act of karmic retribution.

One year following the initial controversy, media outlets reported that Ponzetto had died as a result of falling into a 100-foot ravine during one of his regular hunting trips. According to ATI, Ponzetto was hunting wild birds with friends in the Colle delle Oche hills near Turin, Italy, when he slipped on a patch of ice, ultimately falling to his death.

According to sources, prior to the incident, Ponzetto had recently returned from Canada and had bragged about catching a number of kills. An Italian spokesperson (via The Sun) said, “His body was recovered by helicopter and taken to a local hospital… He died instantly and there was nothing that could be done.”

Now, I’m not one to talk ill of the dead, but I can say that the news of Ponzetto’s death received very little sympathy. As mentioned, people considered the circumstances ironic, believing the hunter had finally paid the price for his hunting ways.

Animal trophy hunting documentary misses the mark

http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Animal-trophy-hunting-documentary-misses-the-mark-12218414.php?cmpid=email-desktop&cmpid=email-desktop

“Trophy,” a documentary that explores the commodification of threatened and endangered African species, which premiered earlier this month at the Quad Cinema in New York City, is enough to have Cecil the Lion rolling over in his grave.

While the directors should be commended for putting the issue in the spotlight, it feels more like an attempt by the trophy hunting industry to save face following the public backlash after the tragic death of Cecil the lion at the hands of an American trophy hunter in Zimbabwe in 2015. And it’s no wonder, since the movie’s narrative unfolds after the directors attend the Safari Club International’s (SCI) annual hunter’s convention.

They drank the Kool-Aid.

To appease the public, the trophy hunting industry claims that without it there would be no money in Africa for conservation. In the movie, well-heeled American trophy hunters are the unsung heroes whose money is helping to save Africa’s magnificent animals from the bad-guys—local poachers driving these animals to extinction. It’s hard to stomach the hypocrisy—American trophy hunters think their money makes killing ok.

The idea that it doesn’t is not broached by directors who promise to tell both sides of the story with critical examination. The movie never considers that legal trophy hunting is one of the reasons that Africa’s Big Five face extinction in the first place and that legal trophy hunting fuels poaching.

Longlac man fined after shooting trophy bear; 760-pound animal was shot at the Longlac dump

Trophy bear was shot near Longlac in 2014.

The shooting three years ago of one of the largest black bears ever
harvested in Ontario has led to a stiff fine and the loss of hunting
privileges for a Longlac man.

Michael A. Gauthier was convicted after a trial in Geraldton this week and
fined $5,000 for hunting black bear within 400 metres of a waste disposal
site.

He was also fined $1,000 for possessing wildlife illegally, and received a
four-year hunting suspension. The bear was forfeited to the Crown.

According to a news release from the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Forestry, court was told that on September 13, 2014, Gauthier shot and
wounded a 760-pound bear within the Longlac waste disposal site. Several
hours later, he returned to the site where he dispatched the injured bear.

The MNRF news release refers to the animal as a trophy bear.

Skull size is the usual measurement for determining bear records.

The weight listed in the news release was the “dressed” weight, measured
after the internal organs were removed.

Ontarioblackbears.com lists the largest recorded weight for a black bear as
816 pounds.

However, the Federation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife says its
records show the heaviest bear ever harvested in the province was 780
pounds. It was shot by a hunter using a cross-bow in the Nipissing area in
2007.

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/longlac-man-fined-after-shooting-trop
hy-bear-707460

Donald Trump is first president to address the NRA in 34 years

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-president-address-nra-34-years/story?id=47080710

  • By MEGHAN KENEALLY

Apr 28, 2017

President Donald Trump is following in the footsteps of former President Ronald Reagan by speaking at a National Rifle Association event.

Today’s speech, at the NRA’s Leadership Forum in Atlanta, won’t be Trump’s first talk to the gun rights group. He was endorsed by the NRA in May and spoke at their convention at the time.

But his appearance later today marks the first time that a sitting president has addressed the group since Reagan did so in 1983.

The NRA is known for their sizable lobbying operation and by raising money for — and against — candidates. The group made over $52 million in donations to candidates during the 2016 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. They spent $30.3 million in support of Trump, the CRP reported.

Trump campaigned on the pledge to support and protect the Second Amendment, which he said during his May NRA appearance, was “under a threat like never before.” He pointed to his then-rival Hillary Clinton as the basis for that threat.

“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, not change it; she wants to abolish it,” Trump said at the time, although Clinton had never made such claims.

“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November. The only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person you know: Donald Trump,” he said.

Trump has noted that his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, have been longtime members of the NRA, and during the May speech, he said that “they have so many rifles and so many guns, even I get concerned.” 

During the second presidential debate, Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices that will “respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for and what it represents,” and said that the list of 20 judges that he released as possible picks all fit that bill. Judge Neil Gorsuch, who he later nominated and has since been appointed to the Supreme Court, was on that list.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that hundreds of protesters and gun control advocates are reportedly gathering near the convention site this morning. Part of the protest will feature a “die-in,” where 93 people will lie down in a local park to represent the number of people who die from gun violence every day, the paper reports.

There will be another protest on Saturday, and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia is scheduled to attend. Lewis and Trump have a turbulent history. Lewis did not attend the inauguration and said he did not see Trump as a “legitimate president.” Trump returned the favor by criticizing the civil rights leader, saying that he was “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results.”

Donald Trump vs. animals

If a presidential candidate announced that his or her administration would hurt one of your relatives, you would likely do everything possible to prevent that person from being elected. For the 95% of U.S. pet owners who describe their dog or cat as a member of the family, or the millions of other Americans who care about animals on farms and in the wild, Donald Trump presents such a threat.

From a four-legged vantage point, a Trump administration would be a disaster. Last month, the Trump campaign floated billionaire Forrest Lucas as the potential secretary of the interior in his administration, a position that oversees vital animal-related programs at the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Described as “the leading anti-animal advocate in the United States” by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Lucas has dedicated much of his time and fortune to defending some of the worst animal abuse industries in our country.

Lucas’ anti-animal front organization, Protect the Harvest, spent a quarter of a million dollars to try to block a ballot initiative in North Dakota that would have set felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty to dogs, cats and horses. That’s relevant to Lucas’ potential influence in a Trump administration, given that the Bureau of Land Management manages tens of thousands of wild horses in the West.

Lucas’ political machine has also advanced other anti-animal causes, including so-called “right to farm” legislation in states like North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana and Oklahoma. Such legislation would leave millions of animals suffering in silence on factory farms and slaughterhouses, while undermining the Bureau of Land Management’s role in humanely administering 155 million acres of grazing land for cattle and sheep.

While Interior is not directly responsible for companion animal programs, Lucas has shown callous indifference to their protection by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to efforts to weaken and repeal tough standards to reform puppy mills in Missouri, the nation’s largest dog-breeding state. The Lucas group also helped kill a local initiative in Indiana that simply would have required proper outdoor shelters to protect dogs and cats from the elements.

Along with Lucas, the other members of Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee include some of the most vocal anti-animal business leaders and elected officials in our country. Former Iowa State Rep. Annette Sweeney, one member of that group, was the author of her state’s “ag gag” bill, a perverse inversion of justice in which the heroes who film cruelty on factory farms are instead charged as criminals themselves. That bill was signed into law by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, another advisor on Trump’s team.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, yet another member of Trump’s committee, is infamous for vetoing a bill that would have banned trophy hunting of mountain lions in his state, thus extending Lucas’ anti-cat efforts outlined earlier to their wild cousins as well.

Donald Trump Jr. in Africa with an elephant tail.

But Donald Trump doesn’t need to consult his advisory board to find defenders of cruel trophy hunting practices like Heineman. He has more than enough of them in his own family.

Sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. have offended millions of wildlife lovers with their pay-to-kill hunts for some of Africa’s most magnificent creatures, including elephants, kudus, civet cats, crocodiles, waterbucks and leopards. Pictures of the Trump boys posing with the victims of their murderous vacations have drawn condemnation across the world, but a much more muted response from their father, who justified it with a casual comment that his “sons love to hunt.”

In this midst of Trump’s anti-animal tornado, it is with wistful retrospection that many Republican animal advocates remember the past leadership by our party on many of the same issues. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the first federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act into law, as well as legislation prohibiting the poisoning of wild horse and burro waterholes. President Richard Nixon expanded the scope and coverage of animal protection legislation by signing landmark animal protection laws including the Animal Welfare Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Endangered Species Act.

President Gerald Ford expanded both the Animal Welfare Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, while Republican legislative leaders like Senator Bob Dole championed the protection of farm animals throughout their careers from their seats in Congress. More recently, Representative Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) twice led Congress to ban horrific animal crush videos, and dozens of Republican representatives in both chambers have fought for legislation to protect whales, chimpanzees, horses and companion animals from cruelty and abuse.

On Election Day, those are the voices for animals that we should honor and respect. If you love your dog, cherish your cat or care about other animals on farms or in the wild, then proxy their paws in the voting booth and pull the lever for anybody but Donald Trump.

Weinstein is CEO of Ridgeback Communications. He was director of media relations for the Dole/Kemp presidential campaign and was deputy press secretary to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Take Action to Save Oregon Cougars from Hound Hunting

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 3.17.20 PM

http://mountainlion.org/ActionAlerts/020217ORfourbills/020217ORfourbills.asp?utm_source=Action+Alert+OR+Hounding+Bills+02-2017&utm_campaign=Action+Alert+9%2F29%2F2015+SD+lower&utm_medium=email

Oregon has introduced four threatening bills that not only promote cruel and unethical hunting methods, they strike at the very heart of the democratic process. Send a message to your Oregon state representative and state senator urging them to oppose bills H.B.2107, H.B.2589, S.B.371 and S.B.458.

 

      • H.B. 2107, H.B. 2589 and S.B. 371: These three bills would allow counties to opt out of Measure 18 via a county-wide vote. Measure 18 is a statewide law banning use of hounds to trophy hunt cougars and was passed by a wide majority of voters throughout Oregon in 1994. These bills would set a dangerous precedent.
      • H.B. 458: Perhaps the most frightening bill, would mandate the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department to set up a controlled hound hunting program for cougars, bypassing the citizen majority who has repeatedly said no to the sport hunting of cougars with hounds.

 

Hound hunting allows a pack of dogs to run down a cougar until the animal is cornered in a tree or on a rock ledge. The hounds are GPS radio-collared and send a signal to the hounder when they have ‘treed’ an animal and the hounder is then able to shoot the exhausted and terrified cougar at point blank range. There is no fair chase and many hunters don’t approve of the use of hounds for sport hunting.

 

    Letters from Oregon residents will be sent forward via US mail to your legislator. Letters sent from outside of Oregon will be held and sent to the Governor and other decision makers if necessary.
    1. IF YOU LIVE IN OREGON YOUR OPINION IS CRUCIAL.

      Send an electronic letter above and we will forward a paper copy to your representative and send a copy to the Governor of Oregon

http://mountainlion.org/ActionAlerts/020217ORfourbills/020217ORfourbills.asp?utm_source=Action+Alert+OR+Hounding+Bills+02-2017&utm_campaign=Action+Alert+9%2F29%2F2015+SD+lower&utm_medium=email

Please be sure to use your own voice and experiences when adding your comments and feel free to use and expand on the talking points below:

      • These bills would undo Measure 18, the statewide initiative that passed in 1994 by a majority vote to ban cougar trophy hunting with hounds.
      • The passage of these bills would give counties authority to override state law and set a dangerous precedent by rendering majority votes on statewide ballot measure initiatives meaningless.
      • These bills would put Oregon’s cougar population and other wildlife in grave danger from indiscriminate chase by hounds.
      • Hounders should know where their hounds are at all times because of the radio collars they wear, but hounds can range miles from hounders, crossing private land and attacking, injuring and killing non-target game and even pets.
      • Dependent cougar kittens fall victim to hound packs as well, as they are attacked and killed during the chase.
      • Hounds are injured and killed on the hunt as they face large male lions and mother lions who are trying to protect their kittens.
      • Hunting with hounds is not fair chase and many ethical hunters do not approve of hounding.
      • Cougars are ‘treed’ by hounds and must wait with no escape until the hunter arrives to shoot and kill the terrified and exhausted animal at close range.

 

    1. NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU CAN STILL SEND A LETTER.

      If you live outside of Oregon we will forward a paper copy of your letter to the Governor of Oregon. Let’s let them know that MOUNTAIN LIONS SHOULD NOT BE HUNTED BY DOGS!

 

    1. You can SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS for these four bills at: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/list/ by searching for the bill numbers, clicking on them and signing up in the upper right screen for “e-subscribe Email”. You will be notified of legislative actions and hearings on the bills you subscribe to.

 

 

Trophy Hunting is Barbaric

02/22/2017 03:50 pm ET | Updated 15 hours ago

(Photo Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States)

Trophy hunting is a despicable practice that even many hunters disagree with because of clearly unsportsmanlike practices like hunting animals in fenced enclosures, baiting, and using dogs to chase and exhaust wild animals. But the bottom line is that trophy hunting is simply killing for fun or bragging rights and no real hunter who follows any sense of ethics would participate in this blood sport.

Last year, The Humane Society of the United States used data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine that between 2005 and 2014, 1.26 million trophies were brought into the U.S. This is an average of 126,000 trophy imports per year or 345 per day.

The killing of Cecil the lion by American Walter Palmer demonstrated to the world how inhumane trophy hunting is. Cecil was in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and wore a collar that transmitted data about his movements back to researchers. This didn’t stop Palmer and his guides from luring the lion outside of the protected preserve with meat and then stalking and killing him. People were outraged and rightfully so.

Even with Walter Palmer as one of its members, Safari Club International continues to facilitate selling trips around the world to kill the rarest animals for their heads and hides. Their recent convention in Las Vegas in February offered the following options to wealthy individuals:

· a Zambian leopard, sable, roan and plains game hunt for $81,000;

· a Canadian polar bear trophy hunt for $72,000;

· a New Zealand red stag and tahr hunt for four people for $92,000.

SCI maintains that it is a “conservation” group that contributes substantially to the economies of poor African nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. To coincide with the meeting in Las Vegas, Humane Society International (HSI) released a study conducted by Economists at Large that finds that trophy hunters have overstated their contributions to African economies and employment.

In Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, trophy hunting brings in just 0.78 percent or less of overall tourism spending and has a marginal impact on employment, accounting for 0.76 percent or less of tourism jobs.

The fact is the segment of the tourism industry in Africa that does not rely on hunting is growing faster and employs 132 times more people than the trophy hunting industry. The tourism ministries of these eight countries must recognize the damage trophy hunting causes to their brand. We should call on these ministries to lead the charge in banning trophy hunting, something Botswana and Kenya – both prosperous tourism destinations – have already done.

Trophy hunting is still big business for SCI. In 2015, revenue from the convention was $14.3 million out of a total revenue of $22.7 million. The money is used to open up trophy-hunting seasons on wolves, fight any efforts to restrict the hunting of African elephants and lions, and lobby Congress to enable hunters to import endangered polar bear trophies into the U.S. or increase hunter access to public lands.

Trophy hunters are losing ground. In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restricted imports of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe, as well as conferring threatened and endangered status for African lions. Cecil’s shooting prompted numerous major airlines, including Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and United, to ban the transport of some or all trophies from Africa.

It is up to us to put pressure on Congress to continue to pass laws that limit trophy hunting. This will not be easy as President Trump’s sons are avid trophy hunters. We also need to encourage African nations to turn to viable alternatives to trophy hunting, like ecotourism, which promises sustained growth, much higher economic value, and greater contribution to employment.

Cecil the lion cast a light on this inhumane practice. In his memory, let’s save other big game from wealthy people who are neither hunters nor conservationists – they are cold blooded killers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trophy-hunting-is-barbaric_us_58adf859e4b01f4ab51c75ab

Controversial hunting group hosts ‘Women in Hunting’ event

Controversial hunting group hosts ‘Women in Hunting’ event

HUDSONVILLE, Mich.– A controversial hunting organization is hosting their annual fundraising event this weekend in West Michigan. The group kicked off the weekend with an event encouraging more women to get involved in hunting.

Safari Club International is an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of hunters and conservation education. While hunting is a male-dominated sport, it’s something the group is trying to change.

“Women are the fastest growing population of hunters, said Dan Olson, President of the Michigan chapter of Safari Club International. “When you come to a lot of our meetings it’s mostly men. We want to get more of the women involved and this is the best way to do that.”

The Michigan chapter of Safari Club International invited three generations of female hunters, all of which are famous in their field. The youngest: 22-year-old Kendall Jones, whose photos were shared around the world in 2014.

“I went over to Africa and I was hunting the big five,” said Jones. “I posted pictures of all of my animals and the lion picture I posted, the anti-hunters got a hold of it and posted it on all of their anti-hunting websites. They put it on the news and it just kind of blew up. I was on all of the news stations in other countries with my face on their newspapers. In Germany, I was the ‘Baby Face Killer’.”

Now, Jones is using her platform to encourage women and children to get outdoors.

“Since everything’s happened, it’s really given me a platform to have a voice for hunters,” said Jones. “It’s given me the ability to spread awareness and educate these people on what conservation really is. My goal is to get females and the youth involved.”

Jones says she wants children to learn to love hunting so the sport doesn’t disappear.

“I love kids and I would love for them to get outside,” said Jones. “I think some kids are so sheltered nowadays with being inside and being on their phones so much they don’t get to experience the great outdoors. If we don’t get them outside hunting is going to die off. Having this pedestal, that’s something I want to do is get them involved and get them outside.”

Also in attendance was Diana Rupp, editor in chief of Sports Afield magazine.

“Wildlife conservation is really driven by hunters and not a lot of people know that story, but it’s really true,” said Rupp. “The money that we put into hunting licenses and the money that’s raised by organizations like the one we’re at now with the fundraiser is super important to our wildlife heritage.”

Rupp says some people have misconceptions about hunting.

“It’s not that we hate animals or anything like that which a lot of people think,” said Rupp. “It’s absolutely the opposite. We love animals. We are trying to promote wildlife conservation in a way that truly works and raise a lot of money for the animals and for the habitat.”

Mary Harter, the 2015 Woman Hunter of the Year, was also there pushing women to get involved.

“We can do it,” said Harter. “Women are known to shoot better than men. We can do it.”

On Saturday, they’re hosting an all-day fundraiser at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville. Doors open at noon. Tickets cost $90 and you must have a ticket to enter. The event ends at 10 p.m. and includes raffles, games, dinner, an auction and more. The Pinnacle Center is located at 3330 Highland Dr. in Hudsonville.