July 24, 2014

Task Force Formed to Counter Cyber Threats to Hunters

Press Release from U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance:

(Columbus, Ohio) – Sportsmen, conservation organizations and outdoor personalities met at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) headquarters yesterday to develop strategies to counter the recent increase in cyber-attacks on hunters.

The group makes up the Hunter Advancement Task Force with most members sharing a common theme of having been targeted by animal rights activists through social media.

“This is a great opportunity to start developing ways to hold those responsible for the recent wave of cyber-attacks against sportsmen accountable,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “The task force is not only working to stop direct attacks on hunters but also discussing how best to educate the public on the vital role sportsmen play in the conservation of all wildlife.”

Attendees included outdoor television personalities Melissa Bachman and Jana Waller, Colorado hunter Charisa Argys along with her father Mark Jimerson, Doug Saunders of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Bill Dunn of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, John Jackson of Conservation Force, Dennis Foster of the Masters of Foxhounds Association, Tony Schoonan of the Boone and Crockett Club and Mark Holyoak of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Other attendees included USSA President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, Evan Heusinkveld, USSA vice president of government affairs, Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs, Michelle Scheuermann of Bullet Proof Communications and author Michael Sabbeth.

Bachman, a television producer and host, found her life and career threatened after posting a photo of an African lion she harvested to her Facebook page last year. Almost immediately, Bachman came under attack from anti-hunters around the world. Bachman also found herself the target of death threats that “hit way too close for comfort” when anti-hunters showed up at her office.

“Regardless of your beliefs about hunting, Americans can all agree that threatening someone’s life is simply unacceptable.” said Bachman.

Other members of the task force have also had personal experiences with cyber-bullying including Waller who has had not only threats to her life, but also to her career. Waller, the star of Skull Bound TV, found herself having to defend her livelihood after an anti-hunter called her show sponsors to accuse her of poaching.

“The whole issue of harassment is so important,” said Waller. “I am scared it is going to deter people from standing tall and proud as hunters.”

While attacks on outdoor-celebrity hunters have been going on for years, average hunters have largely avoided the wrath of the anti-hunting community. Earlier this year, however, Charisa Argys was thrown into the spotlight when a picture of her legally harvested mountain lion appeared online. The image brought a flood of criticism and threats not only to her, but to family members as well.

“Just because some anti-hunters in Europe went ballistic over a legal hunt, this issue is going to be associated with me for the rest of my life,” said Argys. “It is never going to go away. It’s going to be there forever. It could affect my job prospects and my life.”

This initial task force meeting was just the first of many to develop short and long-range strategies to protect hunters from cyber harassment.

“In the short term we are developing aggressive legal approaches to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions to prosecute anti-hunting harassers.” said Bill Horn, USSA director of federal affairs. “In the long term, we would like to cultivate strategies to provide additional legal protections for hunters who are finding themselves the target of cyber bullying.”

Pinizzotto added, “What this group discussed today and the ideas generated are a terrific first step in protecting hunters now and in the future. We have some of the brightest minds in our industry working on this critical issue. I look forward to continuing this discussion and adding additional key groups and individuals to the team in the coming weeks.”

Open Thread – Thursday, July 24, 2014

PutinGunPlease use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not covered in articles published on this website. Thank you.

Two Ukranian Fighter Jets Shot Down Near Malaysian Airline Shooting Down

“Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets on Wednesday, not far from where a Malaysian airliner was brought down last week in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers on board.”<<<Read More>>>

Predicting Human/Wolf Conflicts

Note: I’m still laughing!

Abstract

Due to legislative protection, many species, including large carnivores, are currently recolonizing Europe. To address the impending human-wildlife conflicts in advance, predictive habitat models can be used to determine potentially suitable habitat and areas likely to be recolonized. As field data are often limited, quantitative rule based models or the extrapolation of results from other studies are often the techniques of choice. Using the wolf (Canis lupus) in Germany as a model for habitat generalists, we developed a habitat model based on the location and extent of twelve existing wolf home ranges in Eastern Germany, current knowledge on wolf biology, different habitat modeling techniques and various input data to analyze ten different input parameter sets and address the following questions: (1) How do a priori assumptions and different input data or habitat modeling techniques affect the abundance and distribution of potentially suitable wolf habitat and the number of wolf packs in Germany? (2) In a synthesis across input parameter sets, what areas are predicted to be most suitable? (3) Are existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany consistent with current knowledge on wolf biology and habitat relationships? Our results indicate that depending on which assumptions on habitat relationships are applied in the model and which modeling techniques are chosen, the amount of potentially suitable habitat estimated varies greatly. Depending on a priori assumptions, Germany could accommodate between 154 and 1769 wolf packs. The locations of the existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany indicate that wolves are able to adapt to areas densely populated by humans, but are limited to areas with low road densities. Our analysis suggests that predictive habitat maps in general, should be interpreted with caution and illustrates the risk for habitat modelers to concentrate on only one selection of habitat factors or modeling technique.<<<Read More>>>

Bearing Roaming Downtown Waterville, Maine

WATERVILLE — Police have received multiple reports from people who say they have seen a bear wandering about the city.<<<Read More>>>

WatervilleMap

Bear Bells Are Worthless and You Just Ain’t “Big” Enough

““Bear bells are annoying to other hikers and virtually useless for letting bears know you are coming,” he said. “A bear needs to hear you well in advance, not as you pass it, which is about the range of those tinkly little things.”<<<Read More>>>

BearBells

BeltBell

Wear this ONLY if you can make yourself look bigger than an 800-pound grizzly bear.

Alaskan Soldier Attacked by Bear During Training Exercise

ANCHORAGE, Alaska– Officials say a 26-year-old Alaska Army National Guard soldier was wearing a combat helmet and other protective gear when he was attacked by a bear while participating in a training exercise at a military base.<<<Read More>>>

Australian Government Manipulating Temperatures to Fit Warming Narrative

The following link takes you to some very interesting information as to how the Australian Government deliberately manipulated and increased temperatures in order to promote and fit into the narrative of a warming climate….due of course to the presence of man. Tons of information available.<<<Discover More>>>

Deadline Approaching for Any-Deer Permit Lottery Paper Application

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is reminding all hunters that the deadline to apply for the 2014 Any-Deer (Antlerless) Permit Lottery using a paper application is Friday, July 25. Online applicants have until 11:59 p.m. August 15th to apply at www.mefishwildlife.com.

Paper applications must be postmarked by July 25 or delivered in person to 284 State Street in Augusta before 5 p.m. on Friday, July 25. You can download the application at http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/anydeer/pdfs/2014any-deerapplication.pdf.

Residents applying to hunt on their own land without a license and applicants with a legal residence outside the U.S. or Canada must use the paper application and may not apply for an any-deer permit online.

It is free to apply for the any-deer permit lottery. The lottery drawing will be held on September 9 and results will be posted on the Department’s web site that day after 2 p.m.

This year, there will be a total of 37,185 any deer permits available in 12 districts. These districts are primarily in southern and central Maine.

Deer hunting season (firearms) begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Oct. 25. Youth hunters may take a buck statewide or an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management districts where any-deer permits will be issued this fall.

Maine Resident Only Day will be held on Nov. 1 this year.

Deer hunting season (firearms) runs from Nov. 3 to Nov. 29.

For more information on deer hunting in Maine, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

Wolf Guard Dog Killed By Wolves

“I know he could have handled his own if he had one [wolf], but where there was one that ganged him up on the front and one the rear end, they just killed him,” said Blessinger.<<<Read More>>>