December 18, 2018

Maine Hunting And Fishing: Not Marketed or Not Attractive?

George Smith’s article in the Bangor Daily news says, “DIF&W used to work with the outdoor industry, including guides and sporting camps, to market hunting and fishing in our state. But they don’t do that today.”

Is that the job of government, to market private business and industry? Some would think so. They might even invoke the “Commerce Clause” in the U.S. Constitution which states: “To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

The Commerce Clause says its purpose is to “regulate” not necessarily to market and promote. Of course, for those who have spent some time studying the Commerce Clause, we know how the tyrannical government has abused the clause with its mandate to “regulate” to control and manipulate private business and the people of this country in ways that require a vivid imagination to link certain laws with Article I, Section 8, Clause 3.

Personally, I don’t think it is the job of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to market hunting and fishing, but is that really the issue in Maine? Is the state in need of marketing hunting and fishing or is it a problem of “if you build it, they will come?” By this I mean is Maine an attractive enough place to hunt and fish that those capable and interested in traveling to other places beyond their home state to hunt and fish would find appealing enough to do so?

I would suppose that much involved in answering that question is based upon one’s perspective. It is mostly all relative to what a person might find attractive.

Also bear in mind that from what I gather talking to locals throughout the state, there’s not a lot of interest in bringing in outsiders to spread thinner the dwindling supplies of fish and game. Can we blame them? If that is understandable, are these same locals interested in their hard-earned money being used to promote private business? What’s in it for them? Maybe a few other private businesses may profit from more out-of-staters coming to hunt and fish but the majority of Maine hunters and fisherman are more interested in filling their freezers with game – a product that seems to be dwindling in Maine which might be the biggest reason these businesses, in part, are struggling to make ends meet.

Let’s take a look at a few of these fish and game species and see how attractive they are.

Maine is noted for having good trout fishing and yet the most popular fishing is for bass. Does Maine do a good job of promoting bass fishing or is it all trout fishing? 

Deer hunting is a struggling enterprise. Where once population objectives for deer were sought to be around 350,000 animals, the newest plan for deer management is calling for around 200,000 deer by the year 2020. Even though the most recent deer harvest was better than it has been in the past ten years, two things directly contributed to the increase – snow to hunt on and a record number of “Any-Deer Permits” issued (an issuance that makes little sense to many.)

Examination of data seems to indicate that as the deer harvest shrinks, along with it is the number and size of “trophy” class bucks. With a success rate below 20% and a shrinking trophy-class bucks, what’s the attraction that’s worth MDIFW spending time, personnel and money to market? (Note: Those who can afford to come to Maine “from away” to trophy hunt are the wealthy – aren’t they?)

Bear hunting attracts out-of-state hunters but an overabundance of the animals directly competes with deer and moose growth and bear are fond of fawns and calves for their meals.

MDIFW admits they need to reduce the bear population but so far have shown they have no serious intentions of doing anything about it. They whimper at the demands of guides and outfitters who want bountiful bear to keep their clientele happy. Is this the results we would get if MDIFW marketed hunting and fishing? No thanks!

Turkeys are a nuisance. All I have heard all year long is people commenting, both positively and negatively, about turkeys. There are just far too many of them and not very many people have an interest in hunting them. It is historically proven that when society begins to perceive any animal in a negative way, managers lose support for their programs. Perhaps it is time to allow the hunting of turkeys with a big game license, for both in-state and out-of-state hunters. There may be an interest in taking a few turkeys if hunters didn’t have to buy a special permit to do so. That might be a way of “marketing” hunting in the state while at the same time solve the turkey problem. But, then again, turkey hunting is prevalent and available in so many places the market is saturated. What does Maine have that other states don’t?

Which brings us to moose hunting. Year after year we hear repeatedly the disappointment of never getting drawn for a moose permit. It seems perhaps the program more resembles that of the king’s than a resource for all to enjoy. The program seems to benefit the wealthy in buying points etc. The other problem that exists with moose is one that seems to be backfiring into the faces of MDIFW from greed. The greed comes from trying to grow so many moose they can demand more money for the hunt and at the same time keep businesses trying to eke out a living through moose gawking tours. Now there is a tick and disease problem that is working to mitigate the greed. Where this will end who is certain?

With limited resources and plans for the future that appear to be calling for even fewer hunting opportunities, what’s to market? I spent many years of my earlier life in business. I never asked, nor did I want, government’s “help” with anything. As a matter of fact, I wanted them to butt out of my business knowing that any “help” they offered came in the form of more control and restrictions that directly limited my ability to prosper.

Maybe business owners, no matter who they are or what their business it, should move further away from centralized social government (what can my government do for me) and do what they can to get government out of their businesses so they can be free to change with the times. We have all been programmed to believe government is the answer. When will we learn?

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A Most Different Thanksgiving

Yesterday, I awoke around 5 a.m. to -2 degrees F. Need I remind readers it is only November? With around 16 inches of snow on the ground and the wind whipping at times to 25 miles per hour, I’m not such a die-hard whitetail deer hunter, anymore, that I felt inspired to get out in this crap. Instead, I journeyed east on a three-hour car ride for Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.

My eighteen-year-old Florida van, that has never seen salt or any temperatures below 32 degrees, made some of the darndest noises as it mumbled and grumbled in protest even louder than I was. I kept asking questions like, what the heck is that noise and consoling the old girl telling her it will be okay. You’ll be back in Florida in a couple of weeks, and I’ll give you a nice bath.

As in most any car, regardless of its age, riding on frozen Maine highways makes you think something has seriously happened to the suspension. By the time I got to my destination, I got a rush of memories of winters of many years gone by when I spotted the dark brown globs of frozen slush directly behind each wheel. The frozen reminders of nastiness were all large enough that the tires themselves kept the size shaved down, and each time I hit a “frost heave” or a pothole, the compression of the vehicle kept the bottoms of each mini iceberg from growing beyond its maximum.

As I drove along the highway, carefully monitoring my engine temperature gauge wondering if I have the right mixture of coolant/antifreeze to keep the engine from freezing, I began to reminisce about what the sides of the roads used to look like on Thanksgiving Day – each old logging road would have a car or truck parked in it, as hunters have hit the woods. In my 3-hour journey, mostly covering back roads, I saw none. I took notice of all vehicles I spotted, looking for “hunter orange” clothing – hats, vests, jackets, even the now shied away from rifle racks for fear of “offending” someone. I saw three that I suspected were going to or coming from hunting.

Is this the case because it was so cold? It’s been cold before. Is it because it was a holiday? Isn’t it a Maine tradition for hunting families to have Thanksgiving dinner after dark because the daytime is spent trying in near desperation to fill that tag? Or maybe there just aren’t many people left who hunt – perhaps because there are so few deer left, getting motivated to hunt in the cold is extremely difficult to do.

It’s Friday morning now. The temperature on my deck thermometer reads 10 degrees – “We’re having a heat wave!” There are today and tomorrow and then the deer hunting season draws to an end. I’m struggling to reason and to find excuses I guess. There’s snow to hunt on but it’s a bit deep and crusty/crunchy. It is also cold to be out long.

What to do? I leave for Florida for the winter in just a few days. Do I want to shoot a deer and then rush around to get the deer processed? I’ve frozen the meat and packed it in ice for the trip to Florida before, but I’m not sure I want to do that again.

The forecast says Saturday, the last day, high temps here are to reach a balmy 33 degrees.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for us fair-weather fairies to take one more whack at it.

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Return to an Apologetic Savage Nation

Recently, Jim Beers, contributing writer for this website, wrote an article that concerned a piece found in the Wall Street Journal. The premise of the work is that with the ongoing promotion of “neo” ecological theory of hands-off “natural regulation,” wildlife and land management, and “rewilding,” the society is regressing from a civilized people back to a savage existence.

It prompted me to write my own article that first appeared in print in the Bethel Citizen (small Maine town) newspaper. Here is that article:

Return to a “Savage” State

Open Air with Tom Remington

James Beers, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee who spent considerable time in Washington, D.C., who became a whistleblower discovering as much as $60 million was stolen from Pittman-Robertson Federal Excise taxes to be used for reintroducing wolves to the Northern Rockies and other illegal activities, recently said that if we are not willing to put a stop to the current “Ecological Theory” that places man as equal to or lesser than that of plants and animals and “spiritual rewilding” our forests and plains, this lack of action will “…return all of us eventually into a “savage state.”

The definition of “civilize” is “to bring out of a savage state.” As our civilization advanced from what some have perceived as uncontrolled slaughter of many of our wild animals and destruction of the habitat that confronted the settlers, through responsible wildlife management which led to developing an understanding of the cooperation of both consumption and conservation, establishing the North American Model of Wildlife Management, we are now moving in a direction that is calling for a hands-off approach to plant and animal management; establishing wilderness and predator protection based somewhat on the belief that Nature produces a preferred outcome.

If the land was in a “natural” state when we found it, i.e. “savage state,” working to restore it to what it once was, or what we think it once was, surely must be a return to an uncivilized, savage state.

We have and are being misled that leaving things up to Nature, will provide for a stabilization of animal and plant existence, i.e. that Nature achieves a “balance” where everything is Nirvana. My very good friend, Dr. Valerius Giest, a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, says that the Utopian belief in nature, free from the hands of man, achieving balance is “intellectual rubbish.” Life consists of constant negative and positive feedback loops where everything is in constant change.

Leaving it to Nature will yield what Nature has to offer. Reality shows us that Nature’s results are not what most of us prefer. We prefer control and manipulation to achieve healthy plants and wildlife as best possible, while at the same time continuing to provide an opportunity for that long-held, civilized existence of regulated hunting, trapping, and fishing.

If we prefer a healthy existence for our wildlife, someone has to manage and control it. Nature will not, contrary to what some believe, give us what we want in this civilized society. Taking from the resource in a responsible, scientific approach is a cooperation that undertakes the task of managing wildlife for a healthy bounty and providing opportunities for those who wish to take sustenance from that resource. It’s a win-win.

It seems with each passing year, the grumbles and groans get louder and louder of the need to end hunting, fishing, and trapping. As it currently stands, we exist in a back scratching situation where licensed hunters, fishers, and trappers pay the costs of wildlife management in return for an opportunity to reap the rewards of taking from the resource. To deny that privilege, thinking wildlife will manage itself is wrong thinking. To steal it away with a belief that wildlife will control itself is uncivilized, returning us eventually to the previous savage state.

The next time you see a hunter, trapper, or fisherman, thank them for providing the means of responsible conservation so that all of us can enjoy a healthy wildlife.

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Today, a friend sent me a link to an article published at National Review called “Friends of Elmer.” In this piece of work, the author points out how the existence of the (perhaps second) oldest profession, hunting, has morphed into an act of apologizing and calling on all hunters, as was requested by the long-held magazine of hunting and outdoor activities, Sports Afield, “…for the sake of the hunting community, please don’t say anything about it on social media, and please, please don’t post any pictures.” This in regards to whether anyone was able to obtain a license to hunt a grizzly bear.

Another hunting magazine was quoted as saying, “We need to be very, very careful and intentional about what we post and what are in those posts.”

The author of the referred-to article writes: “The problem with that line of argument is that dead animals are necessarily front-and-center when it comes to hunting. That is, ultimately, what hunting is about — and hunters should not apologize for that. Hunting is one of the most ancient of organized human undertakings: Hunting, and not that other thing, may very well be the world’s oldest profession. And whether one thinks of it as sport or ritual — or simply as gathering protein — it is part of an honorable tradition, and a pursuit that can be, at its best, profound.”

Aren’t these actions of apologizing for being a hunter and for hunting, and the fear we are instilled with driving us to feel the need to apologize, just another aspect of this society’s regression toward a savage state? If, as has been stated, our society brought itself out of an uncivilized existent, to return to that is savage.

I witness repeatedly, fish and wildlife departments across the country living in fear of lawsuits from environmentalists and animal rights groups. I understand the concern but not the fear (or apologies) but are we to shed our responsibilities to manage, control, protect where needed, etc. wildlife because we fear a lawsuit?

The author says that the protests from people are “aesthetic” – a set of idealistic false principles guiding one’s every move, an almost “Keeping up with the Joneses” kind of existence. It also sounds a lot like the changing of our “Foundational Libraries” – the Power Structure‘s efforts to rewrite the foundational principles and morals that are the driving force of our cultural existence.

Partly because of fear of lawsuits, but mostly due to Environmentalism’s powerful outreach to brainwash (change the foundational library) the masses, this very disease has reached epidemic proportions in this country, as can be witnessed at any time in our society; apologizing for being a hunter. I guess it holds more moralistic and cultural value to proclaim your sexual orientation and expose your immoral behavior, along with your hatred and complete disregard for your Creator, than to admit you are a hunter.

If you are ashamed to be a hunter, feel the need to apologize, and believe that the North American Model of Wildlife Management is wrong, before you apologize for being a hunter, destroy your guns and never buy a hunting license again. Don’t be an apologist as some of our traditional hunting magazines, as well as many hunters, are doing. They are only doing the bidding for those changing our foundational structures while at the same time putting a noose around the necks of themselves and the long-held heritage of hunting.

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During Deer Hunting “Errant Bullets Being Discharged in the Forest”

The author of a Letter to the Editor rebuttal about how Maine tradition has included taking your children with you to go deer hunting, asks immediately, “Has the world gone completely mad?”

I would have to say it has after reading this ignorant, emotional claptrap: “How can anyone justify exposing a 7-month-old baby to the inherent dangers of errant bullets being discharged in the forest during prime hunting season?”

I am 66 years of age. I began following my father around in the woods during hunting season, sometimes I’m sure he did want me crashing through the leaves behind him, and I’ve never witnessed “errant bullets being discharged” while in the woods. It’s not something that happens but extremely rarely.

And yet the same sniveling whiners think nothing of strapping a newborn baby into a car seat and heading to the mall. Surely there is more risk in a car than from so-imagined “errant bullets.”

Or perhaps this brain-poisoned automaton would prefer that the children stay home and become mind controlled from filthy, disgusting movies, music, video games, cell phones, Facebook, and the like. Perhaps she would prefer propping the child up in front of the technological device and watching Disney’s new movie that shows one princess looking to kill another “rival” princess with broken glass. There’s also the myriad available violence-laced video games that teach children how to fire “errant bullets” and kill innocent people all in the name of entertainment.

Maybe the author prefers that at 7 months of age the parent begins teaching their child how to become a homosexual, a transgender, a lesbian, a queer, bisexual, or the benefits of smoking dope or doing meth at a young age. God only knows we can’t take any other far-out risk of exposing our child to “errant bullets.”

“Has the world gone completely mad?” Absolutely, and this author is proof of it. The world is insane. Priorities are askew. Values have all gone away. Morals are missing.

 

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Is Maine Really in the Midst of Deer Hunting Season?

I wonder if the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is ashamed or embarrassed that it is regulating and administering the state’s annual deer hunting season? – or any of the big game hunting seasons for that matter.

Someone visiting the state would have no idea unless they happened to see some people running around with hunter orange clothing on, but then again, blaze orange is often daily attire for some of the locals. The majority of Maine residents don’t even know the deer hunt is on. Didn’t it use to be a right of passage? Didn’t kids skip school, with or without their parents’ permission, to go deer hunting? Hell, I did!!! Once I even went to the boys’ room and lit a cigarette (I didn’t smoke) so I would get expelled from school to have more time to deer hunt. The principal laughed at me and told me I would have to wait until Saturday like everyone else.

It was a time when the fish and game department got to brag about the successes of their efforts at managing deer, touting the number of deer tagged, even in estimations. In a way, it was the canary in the coal mine of successful deer management.

Is that what’s going on? Is the MDIFW refusing to acknowledge the deer season because they are ashamed of how global warming has yet to produce more deer? Or maybe it’s because most managers are believers in nonconsumptive use – that animals should be protected from all killing, even when scientifically proven over generations to be the trophy model of success. The brainwashing is in full metal jacket.

I’ve spoken often of what appears to be the deliberate act of not placing live data of deer tagging on the websites so we can all see. If you are a mainstream media person in good standing with MDIFW, you can call or email and ask for some numbers, but not the rest of us. MDIFW even fails to take 5 minutes (omg we just don’t have the resources to do that) to send out a press release on their website with a brief update about the hunting season. It’s really like the preteen who insists their parents drop them off a block away from the school for fear the parent might embarrass them somehow.

How do we maintain hunters, say nothing of recruiting new ones, if the MDIFW appears ashamed of the event?

Yesterday, the MDIFW took enough time to release their “Monthy Review.” And what was in the monthly review? About anything except hardly a mention about hunting.

Commissioner Woodcock expresses appreciation to private landowners for land access, we can read about the “mysteries of bats,” honoring fallen game wardens, salmon in Sebago Lake, or learn more about chronic wasting disease.

Whatever happened to the sense of pride in Maine’s deer, bear, and moose hunting seasons?

It is extremely obvious that the MDIFW has little or no interest in such things anymore and is a precursor to what lies ahead for those left who still enjoy hunting. I’ll give it 10 years, perhaps as many as 20, and it will be a violation to hunt any animal, which would be difficult to do considering that the totalitarians will have what guns they can take away from us and it will be unlawful to own any.

God, the future looks bright, doesn’t it?

I don’t want to be this way. I don’t want to berate the MDIFW, but for 50 years I have paid my way and now the department is too conscience-stricken to even publically speak of one of Maine’s historical events that used to knit a community together. There’s a lot more to “Git ya deeyah yet?” than the poking fun of hunters it is today. It was all that was talked about. Now people get “offended” when they see or even hear about deer hunting.

Evidently, the MDIFW is the same way.

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Anti-Hunting Mental Drool

Along with the time of year when there is much activity with hunting and trapping, we all regularly are subjected to the mental drool of those who don’t like any of the activities. Maybe if they just said I don’t like hunting and trapping and left it at that, some of us wouldn’t bother to single them out to expose their limited mental capacities while disparaging a worthwhile, long-standing, cultural heritage that has unlimited benefits to both man and wildlife – hunting.

A letter scribbler in the Bangor Daily News called hunting and trapping “incivil” – evidently meaning that any reporting in the news about hunting and trapping is offensive, rude, or impolite. The writer also called hunting and trapping an unworthy event and unsportsmanlike and said hunting was no longer “fair chase.”

Here’s a couple of things to ponder. Most of these terms – fair chase, sportsmanlike, etc. – have been crafted by men over the years perhaps as a means of pulling the wool over someone’s eyes about hunting and trapping. They are man-made terms much the same as when some mental midget declares hunting is an act to “prove one’s manhood.”

Fair chase is really nothing but abiding by the laws crafted by men for men to hunt and trap animals for consumptive use. All rules and regulations for hunting and trapping are grounded in species management and public safety – nothing more. I never thought of hunting as a “sport” therefore sportsmanship had nothing to do with the act. I see hunting as something I enjoy doing that occasionally (emphasis on occasionally) rewards me with a few good meals of healthy meat.

So give it a rest already. Take your “fair chase” and “sportsmanship” to the athletic field, where these days everyone gets a “trophy.” Hunting and trapping are a well developed scientific necessity to responsibly manage and maintain a healthy and sustainable game population.

The other issue is one in which I’ve never quite understood. Obvious this whiner takes offense – finds incivility – in news reports about hunting and trapping, and yet in order to find offense, the person must be reading the reports.

As this writer mentions, they find politicians offensive and rude, as do I. I find the solution sensible. Stop reading the articles and looking at the pictures. Any moron should understand that basic concept, but evidently, that is above the capacity of some who would rather whine, bitch, and complain about something they know nothing about.

 

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Feedback Beginning to Come in on Maine’s New Game Tagging System

It was announced a few days ago that Maine was entering the techno-zombie world of electronic game registration. This new system went into effect with the onset of the black bear hunting season. We are also in one of those “Expanded” seasons for deer with archery hunting.

I saw a first comment about the new system of registration from a person who shot and registered a deer taken in the Expanded season.

Essentially, he said the new program was easy to use and mostly begged that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) would begin to allow field registration so tagging could be done in the field with a smartphone.

I hope not.

Field tagging, while appearing convenient to some, presents a myriad of problems as I see it. I’ll present one.

Registering of game serves more than one purpose. It provides game managers a location where they can go and physically inspect the game, take samples, and collect all kinds of data. It is this data that should make Maine wildlife managers better at doing their jobs. Consider what might happen if this data was no longer collected.

Maine is one of those states that is not overrun with deer for example. Because of this, more importance is put on responsible and effective deer management. Data is vital to accomplishing this.

Let’s not be greedy. I’m still in a bit of shock over this announcement of MDIFW moving to a more modern form of game registration. We should be thankful for that. We should also be eager to be a part of game management by understanding the need to visit a registration center to tag our haul.

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Crossbow Not a Firearm, Not a “True” Bow

I got snickering a bit yesterday as I read V. Paul Reynolds article about crossbows and how certain rules regulating the use of crossbows for hunting have changed. In his article, he states: “The Maine Warden Service considers the crossbow not to be a firearm. The Maine Bowhunters Association (MBA) could never warm up to the medieval contraption, deeming it not a true bow.”

I’m not here to try to convince anybody about whether or not a crossbow should or shouldn’t be used as a weapon to kill certain game at certain times and in certain places. Instead, I’d rather talk about why some don’t like the idea because it ruffles their feathers in some odd fashion…I guess.

The Maine Warden Service, according to Reynolds, believes the crossbow “not to be a firearm.” This one is easy, provided this is the meaning of the comment that it isn’t a firearm and not that it isn’t a weapon that could be used for killing/hunting.

According to the dictionary, a firearm is a pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc. According to the BAFTE, a firearm is any weapon that uses an explosive to propel a projectile. So, technically a crossbow is not a firearm.

I’ve known for some time that the Maine Bowhunters Association has resisted allowing crossbows for hunting. I’ve read some members as saying it isn’t in the same category as “bow hunting” and that even the image of the crossbow somehow dirties the image of bow hunting in general. Oh, come on! Are we playing with the same notion that somehow the looks of a weapon determines its killing capacity?

It should always be remembered that opportunities to hunt are usually a good thing but that those opportunities are always going to be restricted by the desired and actual harvest of the game we are in pursuit of. Whether we hunt with a pistol, rifle, bow, crossbow, or a handful of rocks, biologists and hunting regulators are not going to allow us to kill too many animals.

Some have a problem with the so-called muzzleloader season for deer, believing the muzzleloader, a “primitive” weapon, is not a “true” gun of the modern era. It can and has been repeated that the modern muzzleloader is far from a primitive weapon.

Do muzzleloaders deserve their own special hunting season? Do crossbows deserve their own special hunting season? Do longbows deserve their own special hunting season? Does any weapon deserve its own special hunting season?

I would guess the crossbow is as much a true bow as a muzzleloader is a true rifle.

The longbow – is this the “true” bow? – has been around longer than the crossbow dating back to around 3,000 BC…maybe. Not long after this, the crossbow of a fashion was designed for warfare. Both weapons were designed for and used in warfare killing millions of people over the years.

A crossbow is not a firearm because it doesn’t fire. Why isn’t the crossbow a “true” bow? Probably for the same reason, that to some a muzzleloader is not a true rifle. In other words, they just plain don’t like the damned things.

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Pick A Side: Eco-Imperialism Or Wildlife Conservation

Hunters conserve and save wildlife when no one else will or can.

Want to save wildlife in wild places? Convince misguided would-be “saviors” that they need to throttle back, cease making death threats and doing other terrorist things.

In just the past few days there has been a spate of Internet and social media attacks on hunters for their choices to participate in legal hunting at various places around the globe.

The attacks come in two basic forms: Ridicule and death threats. Differences of opinion are healthy. Death threats are both sick and illegal.<<<Read More>>>

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Restraining Order Issued to Stop Grizzly Bear Hunts

A very biased report on the actions of a judge in Montana who issued a temporary restraining order to stop a grizzly bear hunt:

“A federal judge in Montana on Thursday issued a court order temporarily blocking the first trophy hunts of Yellowstone-area grizzly bears in more than 40 years, siding with native American groups and environmentalists seeking to restore the animals’ protected status.

The 14-day restraining order by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula, Montana, came two days before Wyoming and Idaho were scheduled to open licensed grizzly hunts allowing as many as 23 bears in the two states to be shot and killed for sport.”<<<Read More>>>

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