Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sportsmen Win Latest Round in California

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance 801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH  43229
Ph. 614/888-4868 • Fax 614/888-0326
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                Contact:     Mike Faw (614) 888-4868 x 214
June 26, 2012                                                  Sharon Hayden (614) 888-4868 x 226

Sportsmen Win Latest Round in California

Anti-hunting Bill Fails to Clear Key Panel

(Columbus) –Backers of Senate Bill 1221, which would ban hunting of black bears and bobcats using hounds, failed to earn enough votes to pass the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee this afternoon.

“It all came down to last minute telephone calls from hunters to key Assembly members on the committee,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s director of state services.  “The folks who made those calls made the difference today.”

From the beginning, sportsmen and women have outworked the anti-hunters, packing hearing rooms, and flooding the offices of legislators with calls.  Despite this, the Senate ignored the voice of their constituents and passed SB 1221 by just two votes, which sent the bill to the Assembly. 

Today’s committee hearing was no different as hunters from all over the Golden State packed the room.  This time, however, when it was time to vote, the anti’s came up short.  Assemblyman Ricardo Lara was absent, and Assemblymen Mike Gatto and Roger Hernandez abstained.  This development left proponents of the hunting ban short of the seven votes needed to move the bill forward.

The battle is not over however, as the committee Chairman is able to bring the bill back up for a re-consideration vote (basically a re-vote) within the next week.

“It will all come down to which side is able to generate the most contacts to their Assembly members,” explained Heusinkveld.  “Now more than ever, it is critical for all California hunters to contact their Assembly member today and ask for a no vote on SB 1221.”

Take Action!  California sportsmen must call their state assembly member in opposition to Senate Bill 1221.  To find your member’s contact information visit the Legislative Action Center.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy has to say about Hunting

Hunting and Fishing

Mark Woods, Alastair S Gunn, Gary Varner, J Claude Evans, Christopher Preston. Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Volume 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2009. 
Hunting and fishing raise central concerns for environmental philosophy. Many argue that they are quintessential activities that allow people to participate in and be part of nonhuman nature. Many others argue that these activities constitute undue human interference with the natural world. However nature is valued, embracing or rejecting hunting and fishing will help express one’s environmental ethic. Whatever else nature is—species populations, communities, and ecosystems—it consists of individual animals and fish that should or should not be caught, killed, dismembered, and/or eaten. Critical evaluations of hunting and fishing have helped define and shape the field of environmental ethics.
Hunting Ethics
Most recreational hunters observe legal requirements designed to maintain both ecological balance and stocks of game. They also follow hunting ethics, known as fair chase or walk and stalk designed to even the odds, to give the animal a fair chance. Fair chase requires the hunter to forgo pursuing game in a vehicle or on horseback, shooting over a bait (such as a tethered goat or carcass) or at waterholes, using spotlights to dazzle nocturnal animals, and the like. Only unconfined animals may be hunted; canned hunting, in which the game is confined to an enclosure or small park, is considered unethical by many people. Many hunters believe that telescopic sights and night vision aids are also unethical.
Green hunting involves fair chase but with a non-lethal climax such as a paintball shot or a dart gun that injects a tranquilizer so that the hunter can pose for a photograph with the animal. This is often part of a research program, allowing the animal to be studied, fitted with a microchip, or translocated.
The founder of Orion the Hunter’s Institute, Jim Posewitz, wrote: “Fundamental to ethical hunting is the idea of fair chase. This concept addresses the balance between the hunter and the hunted. It is a balance that allows hunters to occasionally succeed while animals generally avoid being taken” (Posewitz 1995, p. 57).
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