Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why ALL hunters should care about California

from the U.S. Sportsman's Alliance.  This is excellent . . . we're all in this together.

Why the Lies Being Told in California Should Worry Sportsmen Nationwide

It’s easy to understand why California houndsmen are up in arms.  But what you might not know is why it should matter to sportsmen in the other 49 states.  This fight is our fight too, and here is why:
I have never hunted with hounds.  But today I am a hound hunter because each of the arguments the anti-hunting lobby is using against the houndsmen could just as easily be used against you and I.
The Top Lies Being Told:
1)     It’s Unsporting to use Hounds to Chase Bears:
This should pique the interest of every pheasant hunter, duck hunter, foxhunter and more.  The anti’s are running around Sacramento telling legislators that it’s inhumane to allow a dog to chase a bear – they say it isn’t fair chase.  In reality, there is NO difference between using a hound to track a bear’s scent and using a bird-dog to follow a pheasant/grouse/quail.  If it’s inhumane for bears – what’s next?  Pheasants?  Fox?  Coyotes?  Raccoons?  The truth is – they think all hunting with dogs is bad.
 2)     Inhumane to Shoot a Bear at Close Distance:
This flies right in the face of everything sportsmen are taught.  Hunter Education teaches us to take responsible, ethical shots.  To work to get the best shot possible.  If it’s inhumane to shoot a bear at close distance – what about a turkey or a deer?  The close distance allows the hunter to age, sex, and determine if the bear has cubs all prior to taking a shot.  Don’t be confused.  They would oppose bear hunting if you shot the bear at 200 yards.  It’s not the distance they oppose, that’s just the crutch (read: LIE) they are using.  They oppose ALL hunting.
 3)     Misleading Facts – The Number of States That Allow Hound Hunting:
The bill’s author likes to point out that 2/3rds of the U.S. doesn’t allow bear hunting with hounds.  That’s a nice sound bite, but the truth of the matter is 18 states don’t even have a huntable population of bears!  Of the 32 states that hunt bear, 18 allow the use of dogs – nearly 60%.   Of the states with more than 2,000 bears – 16 of 23 allow you to use dogs – 70%.  The anti’s argument would be akin to arguing for a ban on elk hunting in California because Ohio doesn’t allow it (Nevermind the fact that Ohio doesn’t have Elk!).
4)     Pictures – GPS collars
This one is another favorite of the animal rights lobby.  In California, they are sending packets of information to each legislators’ office that include things they claim are unsightly deeds such as dogs wearing GPS collars, which they claim prevents bear hunting from being a fair chase.  What they don’t tell you, is that GPS collars are already ILLEGAL in California.  The pictures they are using are from another state all-together.
5)     Houndsmen and Bear Hunters Are Just “Trophy Hunting”
This one should be no surprise to any hunter.  They claim the only reason we hunt is for the trophy.  When in fact, the reasons for hunting are much more complex – see The Grim Hunter.  But in California, they are telling legislators that bear hunters shoot the bear and leave the meat to rot.  Sportsmen know the truth.  There are already wildlife laws in California on the books that require sportsmen to take the bear meat – that truth just doesn’t fit into the anti’s agenda.
6)     Cruel and Inhumane When Hunting.  Sound Science When Used For Research
This one is a favorite of mine.  In California, the anti’s are saying that it’s cruel and inhumane to use hounds– but their bill allows the Department of Fish and Game to do it.  In addition, when these same hunters volunteer their time, dogs, etc. to help capture a mountain lion or a bear for research it’s called sound science.  For more than 40 years, the use of hounds has been used by private foundations, universities and wildlife agencies safely and humanely.  The truth is there is no difference between treeing a bear for hunting or for research.
Each of these lies can, and likely will, be used against sportsmen again in the near future.  It may be in Florida, or Texas, or Pennsylvania… we can’t predict where.  But if they are able to get away with these lies now, they’ll surely be used again.   Sportsmen must stand together to defeat this bill – because after all we know their real agenda is the end of ALL hunting.  If these lies are successful in California, be sure they will find their way to your state soon.

Voters in the state of Maine voted down such a ballot initiative in 2004.  Hard to say whether hunting has enough support in California to defeat this bill in the state Assembly.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Time to Stand Against Wildlife Violators

From The Thinking Hunter:
...I think my reluctance to write has been a response to the sheer idiocy that has been exhibited by so many of the outdoor media’s celebrities, and outdoor professionals (guides and outfitters).   Let’s be honest, a significant number of these people have behaved in ways that are appalling at the very least. If you go online and begin counting up the game violations by these people you quickly realize we’ve got a problem and it is best expressed in the immortalized words of Strather Martin and Paul Newman: “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”  The failure is that too many outdoor celebs and professionals are starting to believe their own press releases and from that they are expecting a “bye” when their actions violate the law.

... Case in point is Ted Nugent. Numerous editors and even the National Rifle Association have all remained silent about Nugent’s behavior and when asked why, we discover it is because Nugent’s fans are ready to rip into anyone who speaks out or writes against Nugent and they are afraid that condemning Nugent’s actions will “rock the boat.” They are unwilling to risk losing readers or members. In short, membership fees and subscribers are more important than the future of the outdoors and Second Amendment!

One Way to Stop Poaching

From The Wildlife Society Blog:
With animal poaching rampant in India, western state allows forest guards to shoot hunters
The Associated Press via the Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A state in western India has declared war on animal poaching by allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight in an effort to curb rampant attacks on tigers and other wildlife. The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime. More

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Val Geist on Game farm "hunting".

This from an interview by David Peterson and published in the Denver Huff Post:

Petersen: Aside from its role in the spread of diseases, what are your views on the game farming industry?
Geist: Game farming is utterly incompatible with the maintenance of free-roaming wildlife on this continent, standing in direct opposition to all four basic tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and democratic hunting: (1) Wildlife "ownership" must be held exclusively in the public domain. The corollary is that wildlife must never become private property. (2) In order to save North American wildlife from extinction, we long ago outlawed market hunting and commercial trafficking in dead wildlife. But game farming depends utterly on developing a huge and growing legal market in dead wildlife, throwing the doors open to illegal marketing of wild animals as well. (3) The allocation of the public wildlife resource among private citizens must be regulated by due process of law. It's the American way. It's a way that works for all. And what does game farming give us? Wildlife allocation by financial privilege. Canned hunts make a mockery of ethical democratic hunting. (4) Fair chase! Neither the U.S. nor Canada allows the frivolous killing of wildlife. But what restraints against frivolous killing exist in the private sector? None. A canned shooter may buy as many animals as he or she wants and kill them for whatever reason, in whatever fashion, no matter how frivolous, immoral and disgusting.

You said it, Dr. Geist. Let's keep the hunt in hunting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sportsmen's Bill Stirring Controversy

From the WMI Outdoor News Bulletin:
The Sportsmen's Heritage Act (H.R. 4089) passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 274 to 146 on April 17.  Many groups are now pushing for action in the Senate, however, the bill's momentum has created a rift among some conservation organizations.  While many sportsmen's groups are touting the bill's importance to entrench hunting, fishing and shooting on federal public lands, others claim the bill is unnecessary and could undermine wilderness protection, reports the Wildlife Management Institute.
Concerns raised in addition to undercutting protection of wilderness areas are: creating loopholes in the National Environmental Policy Act (that could make it easier to close federal lands to hunting) and cutting the President's authority to create new national monuments that was first used by Theodore Roosevelt.
I hope all hunters will work together to fix these issues in the Senate- then we will have a truly landmark bill for the future of hunting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We don't have fish and wildlife by accident

Outstanding op/ed from TRCP's Neil Thagard.
Wildlife and wild places are big business in Wyoming. More than $2.5 billion is generated here every year by outdoor activities ranging from hunting and fishing to camping and bird watching.
This didn’t happen by accident.

Read more:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jim Posewitz on Wisdom

Wisdom — Jim Posewitz on Vimeo 3, 2011 - 3 min
Jim Posewitz's determination and grit are inspiring to all of us — no matter what battles we're fighting.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Canned Killing: Don't Call It Hunting!

David Petersen

Outdoorsman and author

Huffington Post

Among ethical hunters, the term "fair chase" implies a universal bottom-line of self-imposed fairness and morality. Fair chase hunting specifies the pursuit of wild, free-ranging game animals, and, together with limits on technology, assures wildlife a better-than-even chance of escape. Thus, the term hunting.

Meanwhile, another and wholly opposite term and mindset, "Canned hunting," was coined by fair chase hunters to condemn the sickly "sport" of paying thousands of dollars for the great soulful adventure and challenge of executing captive-raised, half-tamed wildlife on "game farms," several of which stain my longtime home of LaPlata County and surrounds.

...Jim Posewitz, hunter, retired Montana wildlife biologist, and founder of Orion: The Hunter's Institute. Canned hunting, says Posewitz, "is killing and nothing more. The worst thing it does is to trivialize the value of wild animals. A fenced shoot is just the sale of a fabricated image to people who have neither the skill nor the inclination to obtain the real thing. It's a threat not only to real hunting, but to our whole concept of wildlife conservation."

read complete article

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nuse to give talk on the Heritage of North Am Hunting

Come join me at the Bent Northrop Memorial Library in Fairfax, VT

Orion: The Hunters’ Institute~Thursday, May 10 @ 7pm.
Eric Nuse talks about the Heritage of North American Hunting. Orion is best known for its books and advocacy for fair chase hunting, hunter ethics and teaching hunting heritage.  In addition to running a consulting business, Eric works with the State Fish and Wildlife agencies on hunter recruitment, hunter safety and ethics issues, and has just published Volume 2 of Vermont Wild, in which he shares his experiences as a Vermont game warden.

164 Park Street
Fairfield, Vermont 05455
We can be reached at
802-827-3945 or email.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sportsmen Paying the Freight for 75-years

by Chris Lawrence
Metro News Online, Charleston

When you want to talk about the heyday of hunting and fishing in West Virginia and in the United States, we are very fortunate to be living in it right now.    If you ask any hunter in his fifties or over, you'll find a far different story about hunting and fishing as a kid than the children of today who hunt and fish will tell.   Today's abundance of all species of wildlife in the U.S. is one of the single greatest tributes to conservation in the history of mankind.    It's here because you and I paid for it.
The year 2012 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Act in the United States.   The results of the excise taxes we pay when we buy firearms, ammunition, archery, and fishing equipment is directly tied to the abundance of not only game species, but even to critters we don't hunt in our world today.
"The funds allowed a transformation in how we managed wildlife," said John Organ with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a recent conference of professional wildlife managers in Charleston. "Up until 1937 the model for managing wildlife was restrictive laws and regulations designed to string out a dwindling supply of wildlife." 
note: John is a Board member with Orion