July 28, 2014

Impacts of Wolf Hunting/Trapping on Tolerance of the Gray Wolf

ABSTRACT:

The Public Trust Doctrine placed wildlife in trust, via state control and regulation, for the benefit of the people. Managing agencies that lose sight of the importance of public acceptance of predator policies and management actions may find themselves legislatively or judicially subverted. This study examines how the Montana public wolf hunting and trapping seasons have affected tolerance and acceptance of gray wolves (Canis lupus) among rural resident ranchers, hunters, and trappers. Twenty residents from the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Ninemile Valleys were qualitatively interviewed over the summer and fall of 2013. Potential participants were initially identified using purposive sampling, with subsequent interviewees located through snowball sampling. The presence or absence of the public wolf hunting and trapping seasons is not the sole determining factor of tolerance or intolerance of wolves in this sample population. The pattern of determinant factors instead more closely represents a web of influence than a direct line of cause and effect. Eight main nodes, or themes, were identified in interview transcription data identified based on frequency of occurrence in interview data and how essential they seemed in shaping attitudes of interviewees: 1) the consequences of political maneuvering (frustration, perceived inequity, and mistrust); 2) the need for management and control of the wolf population; 3) wolf-related impacts to interviewees’ livelihood and way of life; 4) personal beliefs, affects, and attitudes; 5) previous interactions with predators; 6) cultural influences; 7) the place and impact of wolves in the ecosystem; and 8) noted changes in opinion. Most themes were further divided into subthemes, and the connections between all themes and subthemes were examined from there. While the impacts of the seasons have not yet been great or entirely consistent across the sample population, statements made by interviewees suggest that removal of public wolf hunting and trapping liberties would greatly reduce tolerance and acceptance in these interest groups and increase an overall polarization of public opinions. Interview data reveal complex relationships between stakeholders, interest groups, and impacts from wolf re-establishment, as well as complex attitudes towards wolves that often incorporate some level of awe and admiration. Individual’s trust in managing agencies may be critical in moving forward. Data also shows that there will likely be more changes to come in this sample population’s acceptance and tolerance of wolves. Wolf tolerance and acceptance levels should be further monitored in Montana rural resident ranchers, trappers, and big game hunters, the stakeholder groups that are the most directly impacted by and most necessary for continued wolf management and recovery.<<<Download PDF Document>>>

Hunting Increases Numbers of Wildlife

This graphic is not vetted. I spent some time but not a lot attempting to verify the claimed statistic. I could not.

SouthAfrica

Texas Teenager Cyber Attacked After Posting Hunting Photos

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

(Columbus, OH) – A 19-year-old Texas Tech cheerleader is the latest female hunter to be attacked by animal rights groups after she posted photos of her successful African safari on Facebook.

Kendra Jones, from Cleburne, Texas has been hunting with her father since she was a child, including being on a safari when just six years old. Her latest hunt however has brought her a wave of Facebook attacks, including death threats.

Those included “Come to South Africa and try to hunt our endangered animals, you will be shot on sight and believe me, there will be celebrations.” “I hope you get eaten by a lion, you cow,” and “How about we have a real hunger games? I vote we hunt this horrible woman down first.”

Anti-hunters have also created “the official Kendall Jones Hate Page” on Facebook.

But even these attacks have not deterred her thoughts on hunting.

In an interview with a Houston television station, she said she always gives the meat to local villagers, but does not want to give up her hobby. In fact, she is pursuing a reality television series about her passion. She stated that all of her kills were the result of fair chase.

Jones is the latest female hunter targeted for her passion, but certainly not the first.

Charisa Argys, a Colorado native, legally harvested a mountain lion and posted the photo online with her father. An animal rights activist from Germany led a campaign to spread it to dozens of Facebook pages and Internet sites belonging to international anti-hunting organizations. The floodgates opened with specific threats targeting her physical appearance, her life and her family.

“I have never been called so many horrible, hateful names in my life,” said Argys. “They went so far as to post my full name, address and directions to my house. It was awful.”

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance has been working to help sportsmen fight cyber harassment from animal rights extremists by building support for them from the hunting community.

”It is never okay to harass and even assault someone simply because they choose to live their life differently.” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “Unfortunately anti-hunters clearly lack this basic value and have decided to use their keyboards to attack law-biding hunters.”

Whereas Jones and Argys are not hunting celebrities, some of the recent attacks have targeted high profile hunters as well.

Jana Waller, host of Skull Bound TV on Sportsman Channel, was recently barraged by activists after also posting photos online. She is undaunted by the criticism.

“It’s a shame that people who know nothing about hunting and conservation feel the need to spew insults and threats regarding a topic they obviously are uneducated about,” said Waller. “Without hunters’ dollars spent in Africa, there would be catastrophic effects on the vast majority of their animal populations.”

“Trying to explain that hunters are true animal lovers is like trying to explain algebra to a two-year old. They’re just not going to get it,” she added.

Another high profile hunter, Melissa Bachman, outdoor TV host and producer, came under attack after posting a photo of a male African lion she legally harvested while on a safari. Anti-hunters quickly took to social media to attack Bachman, labeling her as an “animal murderer.” Other posts included “I hope you die alone – losers.”, “I wish to have some money and kill you all myself” and “If I have the opportunity I will put a rifle inside Melissa’s mouth and I will shoot.”

“Each and every hunter needs to band together and support one another in our rights as hunters” said Bachman. “What the antis fail to comprehend is that if it weren’t for sportsmen and women, populations of game and non-game species plus the lands they inhabit would be in dire straits today, period.”

Anti-hunters wrath hasn’t been focused just on individuals. Organizations such as USSA and Dallas Safari Club have received threats and media outlets such as HuntingLife.com have as well.

“We have received death threats towards us and other people we have posted on our site,” said Kevin Paulson, owner of HuntingLife.com. “The antis are especially venomous toward women and those who are hunting big game such as cats in Africa and the U.S. “

As the cyber threats to female hunters and others continue to escalate, so to have the efforts to protect these innocent victims.“As an organization with the sole mission to protect hunting, fishing and trapping, we see it as our responsibility to step up and lead the effort to put an end to cyber harassment of sportsmen,” added Pinizzotto. “We are currently working with a number of conservation partners and key individuals to do just that.”

Time Running Out to Apply for Maine Moose Hunting Permit

Online applications must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on May 14. You can apply online now at www.mefishwildlife.com. Don’t wait until the last minute!

This year’s moose permit lottery winners will be announced on June 14 at the Moose Lottery Festival at the University of Maine Presque Isle.

Permit winners and their subpermittees will be able to hunt in one of the Department’s 25 wildlife management districts (WMDs) which cover more than 21,000 square miles.

For more information on the moose lottery, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

RMEF Allocates $3.5 Million for Habitat Stewardship, Hunting Heritage

MISSOULA, Mont.—In addition to work in permanent land protection, public access and elk restoration, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation allocated more than $3.5 million so far in 2014 for habitat stewardship and hunting heritage projects across the United States.

The total includes more than $3.1 million specifically directed for elk habitat, research, elk restoration and wildlife-related conservation projects in 27 states with wild, free-ranging elk populations. Additional funding is allotted for hunting heritage programs in 49 states.

Banquet-based membership and fundraising activities by local RMEF chapters generated the funding that state volunteers and staff will direct into various on-the-ground projects and programs.

“What can you say about our volunteers who number more than 10,000 strong?” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “It’s thanks to their hard work, passion and dedication that we have this funding to turn around and put back on the ground in their own backyards which will enhance the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.”

“This allocation of funds has and will fund Project Advisory Committee projects, state grants, and a portion of the Virginia and Missouri elk restoration projects,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “Individual states also designated some of the funds to our national programs and initiatives.”

Habitat projects are selected for RMEF grants using science-based criteria and a committee of RMEF volunteers and staff along with representatives from partnering agencies and universities from their respective states. Project examples include prescribed burning, forest thinning and management, noxious weed treatments, water improvements and other habitat enhancement work carried out mostly on public lands. Also included are research projects to better understand and improve management of elk, habitat, predators and other factors that influence conservation.

Hunting heritage projects are selected by RMEF staff and volunteers in their individual states and are based on the ability to provide education about habitat conservation, the value of hunting, hunting ethics and wildlife management, and reaching out to youth.

RMEF will also distribute funding received through donations, partnerships with conservation-minded partners, grants and other means to its national core programs of habitat stewardship, land protection, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

Who Moved My Hunting Opportunities?

“We here at WON have always supported wildlife management based on science and we always will. But are all of these reductions truly based on science, animal head counts, on-the-ground studies and facts? Or are part of them based on pressure from the animal-rights, anti-hunting groups that are now part of the everyday life of the Fish and Game Commission and the DFW?

We all know that the long term plan to eliminate hunting is “species-by-species”, and incrementally, as the anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has said time and time again. And now that HSUS is breaking bread with the Fish and Game Commissioners and high-ranking officials in the DFW, is this just another “incremental” loss to hunters?”<<<Read More>>>

AntiBear

Hunters and Fisherman Pony-Up Nine Times Anybody Else for Wildlife Conservation

“A study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found that for every taxpayer dollar invested in wildlife conservation, hunters and fishermen contribute nine.

So please note: To “preserve nature,” they don’t tax Birkenstock hiking boots and Ying-Yang pendants – but they do tax my shotgun. They don’t tax Yoga manuals and Tofu tid-bits wrapped in recycled paper – but do tax my 30.06 deer rifle. They don’t tax binoculars or birding Field Guides with cutesy photos of the red-cockaded woodpecker and spotted Owl – but they do tax the shotgun shells I blast at Mallards before arraying on my grill as Duck-K-Bobs (cooked rare and lovingly basted with plenty of butter, Cajun seasoning and teriyaki sauce).”<<<Read More>>>

Anti-Hunting Senator Takes Another Run at Nebraska Mountain Lion Ban

Despite having already suffered multiple defeats in his quest to ban mountain lion hunting in Nebraska, Senator Ernie Chambers has again surfaced with another attempt to ban the season.

With little more than a week to go in the 2014 legislative session, Senator Chambers filed a motion yesterday to yet again vote to over-ride the governor’s veto on LB 671, the mountain lion ban, despite previous attempts failing twice last week. Because the previous attempts to overturn the veto both failed, it’s up to Senate Speaker Greg Adams whether to suspend the rules to grant Senator Chamber’s another attempt.

In addition, Senator Chambers also filed his mountain lion ban language as an amendment to a bill dealing with insurance companies. Despite intense pressure from Senator Chambers, the amendment was ruled not germane to the bill. This means that the amendment was not closely related to the topic of the bill, thereby out-of-order and could not be considered.

“It’s evident that Senator Chambers is going to try every trick in the book to pass his anti-hunting agenda,” Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s vice president of government affairs. “Senator Chambers has now turned his focus to derailing the legislative process as much as possible in an effort to force his way.”

Senator Chambers has also filed his anti-hunting amendment on 10 additional bills that are scheduled to be considered today.

“Senator Chambers’ amendment is not germane to any of those bills, either” said Heusinkveld. “Regardless, it’s clear that Senator Chambers is content to throw a wrench into the works until he gets his way. Nebraska sportsmen must be vigilant and call their senators today in opposition to this effort. Let your senators know that Nebraska sportsmen and women expect their wildlife to be managed by the professionals at the Game and Parks Commission and not by someone with an anti-hunting agenda.”

Take Action! Nebraska sportsmen should call Senate Speaker Greg Adams TODAY at (402) 471-2756 and let him know that sportsmen expect their wildlife to be managed by professionals, not anti-hunting politics. Nebraska sportsmen should also call their state senator today and ask them to stand up for sportsmen and vote against any attempt to ban the mountain lion season. To find your senator’s phone number visit the USSA Legislative Action Center.

“Hunting” Wolves in the Style of France

“As day broke, around 50 French hunters, wolf lieutenants and local farmers stood motionless, rifles in hand, gazing silently into the forest of Caussols in the Alpine foothills of Provence.

A few miles upwind, dozens of beaters in fluorescent orange and yellow tops began their arduous march though deep snow over steep, wooded terrain, making strident calls and firing shots into the air as they went.

Sandwiched between the two lines, the hunters hoped, were anything up to three packs of wolves that local sheep farmers say are ruining their age-old pastoral existence with incessant attacks on their flocks. Camera traps caught images of them only 48 hours previously. The clamour of the beaters was designed to flush them of the woods and into the line of the hunters’ fire.”<<<Read More>>>

Nebraska Governor Stands Up For Sportsmen, Veto’s Hunting Ban

From the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance:

Today, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman vetoed a bill that would have banned Mountain lion hunting in Nebraska. The measure, LB 671, sought to remove the authority of the state’s wildlife management professionals in favor of legislative ban on mountain lion hunting.

In his veto message, Governor Heineman stated “Nebraskans expect responsible wildlife management. LB 671 eliminates an important tool used to accomplish it. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission should retain the ability to determine those management actions which are necessary to protect both the health and safety of our citizens and the wildlife in our state. Removing the agency’s authority to manage mountain lions through hunting at this time is poor public policy.”

The bill will now be returned to the legislature where they would need 30 yes votes to override the Governor’s veto.

“Our system of wildlife management is designed to remove political influence and allow wildlife management professionals to do their jobs,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA’s president and CEO. “We’re extremely proud of Governor Heineman for standing up to protect sportsmen. This action speaks volumes about his view of hunting and scientific wildlife management. Nebraska sportsmen should call Governor Heineman today and thank him for this stance.”

On Monday, March 24, the Nebraska legislature passed the bill that removes the authority of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to manage the state’s growing mountain lion population. The effort to ban Mountain lion hunting is being driven by Senator Ernie Chambers. Senator Chambers has vowed to oppose every proposal of the state’s Game and Parks Commission until the mountain lion season is banned.

Nebraska added Mountain lions to the state’s list of game animals in 2012 when Governor Heineman signed LB 928 into law. In 2013, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission took a measured approach designed to maintain, or slightly reduce—the population of mountain lions in the state.