May 20, 2019

Animal Rights: Bunkum and Balderdash

Some people simply do not like hunting and trapping or the idea that other people do. Perhaps it’s time to get a life and get over it. There are many things in life that all of us don’t like, but does that mean we spend our time forcing our own idealism onto others? Evidently, that is true in some cases.

I have no issues with another who is opposed to hunting and trapping. I don’t try to get them to change their life over it. I only expect the same respect in return. Did I say respect? Pfffft!

What I do have an issue with is when ignorant and severely misguided excuses are given to defend one’s position on the dislike of the activity. Given the direction the American Society has taken in recent years, there is no guilt association with lying nor is there any need to present honest facts. This practice has become null and void and runs rampant throughout.

Recently two Letters to the Editor in Maine newspapers came from obvious despisers of hunting and trapping. As they go hand in hand, it is safe to say that these same people have a perverse perspective of the roles animals, both wild and domestic, play in man’s existence.

The first letter I’d like to address comes from someone who wants to stop the use of bait as a tool to harvest black bears. For the record, so would I. I don’t like baiting (I’ll save the reasons for another show). However, I can reasonably understand that without baiting the success rate for taking a bear would drop significantly, seriously hampering the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) ability to maintain the bear population at healthy levels.

But factual information is void in such conversations with animal lovers.

I’ve heard the argument before that baiting unnaturally over-feeds bears, causing a false increase in the number of offspring and that baiting habituates bears to human conditions, i.e. food and smells. The letter writer states: “One of the worst things that can be done to manage a bear population is to artificially increase the amount of available food in the environment and accustom them to human food and smells…”

Under different conditions, this may be true but I don’t think so in this case. If baiting was seriously widespread, in other words, that there actually is an artificial increase in food in the environment (not just at bait stations), throughout the entire habitat of Maine, artificially feeding bears would probably cause a problem.

According to the MDIFW’s website, bears in Maine number as high as 36,000: “Maine’s bear population remained fairly stable through 2005, but has been increasing over the last 5 years and our current estimate is between 24,000 and 36,000 bears.”

We also can find that in 2016 Maine’s bear harvest totaled 2,859. The same data tells us that 68% or 1,936 bears were taken over bait. From previous information found at various sources, it has been estimated that bear hunting success rate is around 30%. For Maine to have harvested 2,859, the number of licensed hunters probably approached 9,000. 62% of all bears harvested was done by out-of-state (guided) hunters.

How does all this translate into the number of bait piles and where they were located geographically? I dunno, but it would certainly appear that the process of baiting may have affected only a very small portion of the bear population, if at all, regardless of how one might fudge the numbers. Even if it were biologically correct to state that artificial feeding increases bear populations, baiting bears does not and cannot have any real effect on the growth of bears.

We also know that bears much prefer natural foods. During high-yield mast crop years, attracting bears to baiting stations is a difficult task to accomplish.

This is a poor argument to use against the use of bait for bears and is always simply a play on the emotions of readers.

The second letter is an excellent example of bunkum and balderdash. The diatribe begins with an attempt at likening bobcat hunting to an unfair advantage for the hunter over the animal because it doesn’t have a helmet, protective padding and shoes….or something.: “Most of us like some kind of sports by either following them, participating in them or both. Whatever ones we prefer, we expect that players or teams be more or less evenly matched in terms of skill and equipment.

We’d protest, for instance, if the tennis players we were rooting for were not allowed to use rackets, and we’d be in an uproar if the quarterbacks and linemen on our favorite team were denied helmets, protective padding and shoes.

Why? Because we require a level playing field and we believe in fairness, as well as giving those we contend against a sporting chance.”

Oh, my! This might deserve the Golden Horse Excrement Award.

Let’s put it this way. If the letter writer wants a “level playing field” wouldn’t that mean that each team would have an even chance, 50-50, of winning? This sounds more like “each participant gets a trophy.” How is it a level playing field when MDIFW has determined that a better than average chance at a bobcat hunter being successful, i.e. winning, runs at not much better than 9%?

But we soon discover the real reason for the whining and complaining: “…we believe that the consequence of defeat should not be the forfeiture of life itself.” Okay, so everyone DOES get a trophy. As I said, I don’t have an issue with people who don’t like to see animals die. I understand this but they don’t understand that the perpetuation of life insists that something must die in order for life to continue. But I digress.

The writer then goes on questioning the MDIFW’s bobcat management practices of which I have no problem. After all, I spend a great deal of time questioning their wildlife management practices. The letter writer states that MDIFW has no idea how many bobcats are in the state of Maine. This may be somewhat true but they do have a system, although it may be antiquated (I haven’t studied the plans and formulas used), where bobcat populations are estimated (like every other game species) and harvest requirements formulated from that information. See the plan here.

(Note: The writer honestly doesn’t see any difference between hunters and trappers legally taking wild animals for various reasons and MDIFW’s prohibition on hunters and trappers killing domestic animals. Where does one go from here?)

Then the writer gets back to the real meat and potatoes as to why he wants bobcat hunting to end: “Hunting bobcats is cruel and abusive.” And let’s not forget it’s “inhumane.”

What the writer rambles on about at this point is mostly pointless to discuss as it becomes obvious the writer places animals at an existence equal to or greater than that of man, giving them the attributes of man: “The word humane is derived from the world [word?] humanity, but until that connection is understood and practiced, what we have is really nothing less than state-sanctioned cruelty…”

The word “humanity” (an Evolution term) first appears in the late 14th century. All definitions and attributes are given to the existence of man…not animals. “Human” and “humane” were used interchangeably for centuries all in reference to characteristics of man…not animals.

Few know that “humane societies” were first established to save drowning people.

Any sense of humaneness pertaining to animals should only be derived from a value-weighted perception of the man toward the animal. It is certainly debatable as to whether or not an animal thinks, acts, and feels the same as a man. It is when we project our own “human” qualities onto animals, we get into some real serious issues.

I really do not understand what the author is saying when he says that “until that connection is understood.” Assuming he means a connection between human and humanity, I fail to see any connection that pertains to the existence of animals.

Not that many animal lovers would care to learn from the Scriptures, but perhaps I can give a better understanding of the role our Creator intended between man and beast (all animals, i.e. birds, fish, mammals, etc.). Genesis 1:26 tells us at the time in which He was going to “create man in our image,” “and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over everything that creepeth and moveth on the earth.”

In verse 28, Yaweh instructs Adam to “Bring forth fruit, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over every beast that moveth upon the earth.”

After the Great Flood, Yaweh once again gave Noah and his sons the same instructions. We find them in Genesis 9: 1-5: Also the fear of you, and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the heaven, upon all that moveth on the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered.

Everything that moveth and liveth, shall be meat for you: as the green herb, have I given you all things.”

Clearly, the role of the animal toward man’s existence is clearly defined. An animal, of any kind, is not and does not have the same existence as that of man. It was intended for food, the same as plants.

Unfortunately, these verses and others are too often taken out of context to mean that man can do anything he wishes to an animal. Proverbs 12:10 tells us: “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the mercies of the wicked are cruel.” The original Hebrew word for “regardeth” is “yada.” It carries many meanings, mostly in reference to acknowledging “the life of the beast.” It also carries the meaning “to respect.”

Yaweh gave us all the plants and animals of the Earth. After the flood, He told Noah and his sons that animals “shall be meat (food) for you.” His Scripture also tells us to be knowledgeable about the beasts and give them respect. Obviously, this didn’t mean to the point that animals are protected beyond that which might ensure their existence or to the detriment of man.

My advice to the animal lovers and those who hate hunting and trapping, tell us how upset you are because someone is killing an animal, but save the bunkum and balderdash about equal playing fields and “inhumane” treatment of animals.

As an aside: The author quotes someone who says, “Bobcats are worth more for wildlife watching and tracking opportunities than they are as pelts.” Wildlife watching? Tracking? Seriously? I have lived in Maine for going on 66 years. I have “wildlife watched” a bobcat once in my life and that was while visiting a park in Florida. It would appear that this person places little value on the life of a bobcat. Shame.

 

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Maine Lynx Trapping Case Ends with Anti-Hunters Conceding Defeat

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit officially dismissed an appeal brought by animal-rights organizations concerning the trapping of Canada lynx in Maine, likely ending a multi-year, multi-lawsuit court battle concerning the protections offered the predator in the state.<<<Read More>>>

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Are Anti-Hunters Educable?

Some are, most aren’t. I’m not quite so optimistic as the author, although he does present good points. The author also points out that our own fish and wildlife departments almost never get off their lazy, brainwashed asses and work toward educating those that need educating. As a matter of fact, most members of fish and wildlife agencies are responsible for feeding the media echo-chambers with the lies and “emotion-driven diatribe” that the anti hunters feed off.

As the old saying goes, who needs enemies when you have friends like this?

“I’ve presented many talks and slide programs to non-hunting organizations and groups. I always include some hard-core hunting, trapping and predator management material in the program. On occasion, I’ve purposely baited an anti or two in the crowd, who invariably let their mouth overload their ass and give me an opportunity to override and stifle their attention seeking, emotion-driven diatribe with simple facts and personal experience to the contrary of what they have been misled and misinformed into believing.”<<<Read More>>>

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New Trappers Convention

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Minnesota Busts Two Guys Who Must Be The World’s Worst Trappers

The mouse that roared!

Minnesota officials are claiming to have nabbed two old men, 70 and 68 years of age, illegally running traps lines. Officials state they confiscated 638 illegally-set snares. It appears officials have had these two duffers under investigation since 2014.

According to one media report, a northern Minnesota trapper, said these men were not trappers, they were “butchers.” That may be an accurate description…or not, when you consider what 638 traps yielded. If you want to call them trappers, they were extremely poor at what appears to be an illegal enterprise.

Minnesota is claiming this to be the biggest trapping bust in the state’s history. I’m guessing finding 638 traps is big for two men, but for that effort, the state officials report only confiscating one wolf, “17 foxes, five snowshoe hares, two fisher, and one deer that the poachers had illegally taken.” And I repeat all taken, I don’t think the deer was, by at least 638 traps. Astounding!

Charges ranged from not tending traps as required by regulation, unmarked traps, loops in snares sized improperly, unreported or untagged game, etc. Are we to think these two clowns intended to obey the laws after putting out 638 traps? *Note* – According to the trapping rules and regulations of Minnesota, there is no limit on the number of traps one trapper can put out. A trapper is supposed to check traps daily. I doubt two old men could tend a dozen traps each a day.

One person who left a comment at the site of the media report asked, “You spent two years and how many tax dollars following and collecting evidence on these guys and the worst they can get is a 3K fine and a year in jail? Seriously?”

One does wonder why it took 3 years to shut these two guys down.

However, never fear because the idiot wolf lovers, along with their lackeys at the newspaper, are using the event to promote the banning of all trapping to protect wolves, stating how inhumane snaring is. I always have wondered how something to do with animals is called “inHUMANe” when animals aren’t HUMAN…well, at least not in the minds of sane people.

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ALERT! Federal Legislation Would Ban Trapping on All Wildlife Refuges!

Press Release from the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance:

Take Action Today! Sportsmen’s Alliance members should contact their Congressman or Congresswoman today and ask them to vote NO on HR 1438. HR 1438 has been assigned to the House Committee on Natural Resources. Members can contact their legislator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Legislative Action Center.

New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a longtime opponent of hunting rights, has introduced legislation that would ban trapping on national wildlife refuge lands. House Resolution 1438 known as the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act, would ban body gripping, foothold and snare traps on more than 150 million acres of federal land.

In a statement released on her website, Lowey writes: “We must restore the true meaning of ‘refuge’ to the National Wildlife Refuge System.” Additionally, Lowey also quotes Born Free USA, a long-time anti-trapping organization. Their quote incorrectly states that “The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is clear: to be an inviolate sanctuary for our native wildlife.”

Despite the lofty rhetoric and misleading statements, the National Wildlife Refuge System was not designed to be sanctuary for animals; instead, it was specifically designed to include hunting, fishing and trapping. Moreover, in 1997 Congress approved the National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act, which identified hunting, which includes trapping, as a priority use of refuge land. The law was signed by President Bill Clinton. In addition, trapping is an effective tool for controlling predators, which can negatively impact other wildlife on refuge lands.

“It’s clear from her statements that Representative Lowey does not have a firm handle on the purpose of these lands, or how the funds used to manage them for the benefit of all species are derived, ” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It’s not surprising that such a distorted view would lead to legislation like this. And it’s no surprise that Representative Lowey is rated a ‘Humane Champion’ by the Humane Society of America’s Legislative Fund.”

Trapping is utilized across the United States, by both federal and state wildlife managers. Refuge land is managed in cooperation with state fish and wildlife agencies. HR 1438 would put a one-size-fits-all federal ban in place for refuges rather than allow state biologists do what is best for individual refuge properties. The traps that would be banned by HR 1438 are the most common and effective devices used by trappers. HR 1438 is a first step to ban hunting on all federal land and should be rejected.

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Sportsmen’s Alliance, Maine Trappers Victorious in Lynx Lawsuit

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, U.S. District Judge Jon Levy issued his ruling in a lawsuit that sought to revoke the state of Maine’s Incidental Take Permit (ITP), which would open individual trappers to Endangered Species Act (ESA) violations. Judge Levy ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s use and application of ITPs were lawful and in keeping with the requirements of the ESA.

The ruling is a clear victory for the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, trappers in Maine and the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife. In his ruling, Judge Levy found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “actions were in keeping with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act…the National Environmental Policy Act…and the Administrative Procedure Act…”

“We are extremely pleased that District Court Judge Levy has sided with reasonable and responsible management,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance president and CEO. “Today’s clear ruling is nothing short of a full victory for trappers, but also hunters and anglers, too. This case had far-reaching implications for how Endangered Species Act policies would be implemented. If anti-hunting organizations can ban all trapping in the areas where protected lynx are found, what[sic] would stop them from banning fishing in streams or rivers that contain[sic] endangered fish species?”

The case, filed by the anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups Center for Biological Diversity, the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, the Animal Welfare Institute and Friends of Animals, was essentially a backdoor attempt to use the Endangered Species Act to stop trapping in the state. At the heart of the legal battle were Incidental Take Permits, which are granted under the ESA and provide for limited, incidental taking of federally protected species. Without such protection, individual trappers and state wildlife agencies could be held liable for ESA violations every time a lynx was accidentally caught in a legal trap.

“Today is a great day for Maine trappers, and this judgment vindicates the great work of the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife,” said James Cote, director of government affairs for the Maine Trappers Association. “We are so pleased with this outcome, which is positive for trappers and Canada[sic] lynx alike, and that wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with the Sportsmen’s Alliance.”

Canada lynx, which are listed as a threatened species in the U.S. due to fragmented populations at the southernmost range of their habitat, are abundant north of the border in Canada. In fact, there are many who believe that the lynx populations should be removed from the ESA altogether.

This is not the first time that the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Maine trappers have prevailed in trapping litigation. In 2010, we successfully defended against a similar lawsuit that also tried to use the Endangered Species Act to stop trapping. That case paved the way for trapping to continue.

Joining the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation in the most recent case was the Maine Trappers Association and the National Trappers Association.

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Alaska Sues U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Over Refuge Predator Program

“The state of Alaska has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a federal agency’s restrictions on predator harvests on wildlife refuges and national parks there.

State attorneys filed the lawsuit Jan. 13 in the U.S. District Court of Alaska, claiming new rules adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) violate a 1980s law authorizing the state to manage wildlife, impairs indigenous peoples’ ability to harvest food for sustenance, and sets a precedence to restrict future fish and game harvests, intended to be under state control.

The new rules prohibit taking black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs, taking brown bears over bait, taking bears using traps or snares, taking wolves and coyotes from May 1 to Aug. 9, and taking bears from an aircraft or on the same day as air travel has occurred.

In 2015 the National Park Service (NPS), also under the Department of the Interior, placed similar restrictions on national park lands there.”<<<Read More>>>

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Tough Men

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Tom Mansanarez Art

Been there done that..

That too..

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