December 17, 2017

Better to Remain Silent

It appears that I am always returning to the adage: Better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Or as is found in Proverbs 17:28: (Wycliffe Bible) “Also a fool, if he is still, shall be guessed a wise man; and, if he presseth together his lips, he is guessed an understanding man.”

Here I go reading again! I was reading an article online about how one “outdoor writer” stated that hunters can mistake another hunter for game. He expressed it in these terms: “If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it probably will.”

Most disturbing about this piece is there is no differentiating between the actions by every hunter to sift through the hundreds upon thousands of objects his eyes take in in one day of hunting and seeing something and shooting at it or killing it.

This is followed by a bunch of psycho-babble about how the brain will see only what it wants to see and when a hunter is so anxious to see game and shoot it, he or she will pull the trigger on such things as a box of Marlboro cigarettes.

A friend of mine was a Maine Humorist. One of his albums he recorded was titled, “Tall Tales and Damned Lies.” Some of this guy’s claims belong in Joe Perham’s Tall Tales and Damned Lies. The author writes: “That explains why virtually every truly experienced turkey hunter I know has been shot at least once.”

Either this guy knows only a handful of “experienced” turkey hunters who are total, brain-dead idiots, or he lies longer than a bearskin rug. Evidently, he buys into the psycho-babble of whom he quotes in this article who says, “the more experienced the hunter,…the more likely you are to be tricked by your ‘mind’s eye.'”

For crying out loud! Years have been spent to educate hunters in recognizing their targets. In Maine, for example, the hunter is 100% responsible to recognize his or her target BEFORE they pull the trigger. Nothing is foolproof. Mistakes can happen but they are rare. Listening to this guy one is led to believe everyone who hunts gets shot and the more experienced you are at hunting the greater your risk of shooting someone.

Hunters don’t need enemies when they have friends like this.

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Insane Grizzly Bear Nightmare

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Next Up For H(I)S(I)US: Ban Mountain Lion Hunting

*Editor’s Note* – It seems that with these extremists, like H(I)S(I)US, that the only qualifier in killing any animal is when a person’s live is threatened. HSUS makes me feel like my life is being threatened. So, now what?

In November 2018, the world’s wealthiest animal-rights organization intends to ask Arizona voters to ban mountain lion, bobcat and other big-cat hunting. Operating under the name ‘Arizonans for Wildlife,’ the campaign is really being spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The group filed language on September 25 with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to allow the signature-gathering process to begin in an effort to qualify the issue for the 2018 ballot. If the language is approved, the HSUS-led group would have to gather 150,642 valid voter signatures by July 5, 2018 to qualify for the election on November 6, 2018.

The language filed by the anti-hunting group would remove mountain lions and bobcats from the state’s list of huntable species. Under the proposed language, mountain lions and bobcats, along with jaguars, ocelots and lynx, would be called “wild cats,” and be prohibited from hunting or trapping.<<<Read More>>>

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Secretary Zinke signs Secretarial Order to Support Sportsmen & Enhance Wildlife Conservation

Order seeks to expand access on public and private lands and to promote hunting and fishing among youth, veterans, and minority communities

9/15/2017

Date: September 15, 2017
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356, which will support and expand hunting and fishing, enhance conservation stewardship, improve wildlife management, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Secretarial Order 3356 is an extension of Secretarial Order 3347, issued on Zinke’s first day, March 2, 2017. That order identified a slate of actions for the restoration of the American sportsmen conservation ethic, which was established by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The new order comes days after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a survey that found there are 2.2 million fewer hunters in America now than in 2011. The order seeks to improve wildlife management and conservation, increase access to public lands for hunting, shooting, and fishing, and puts a new and a greater emphasis on recruiting and retaining new sportsmen conservationists, with a focus on engaging youths, veterans, minorities, and other communities that traditionally have low participation in outdoor recreation activities.

“Hunting and fishing is a cornerstone of the American tradition and hunters and fishers of America are the backbone of land and wildlife conservation,” said Secretary Zinke. “The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands. As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands – packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4AM with my dad – I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations. Some of my best memories are hunting deer or reeling in rainbow trout back home in Montana, and I think every American should be able to have that experience.

“Today’s Secretarial Order is the latest example of how the Trump Administration is actively moving to support hunting and other forms of outdoor recreation on public lands. This means finding ways to expand hunting and fishing on public lands, improving access, and taking necessary actions to facilitate the enjoyment of these time-honored activities by any member of our society.”

Secretarial Order 3356 directs bureaus within the department to:

  • Within 120 days produce a plan to expand access for hunting and fishing on BLM, USFWS and NPS land.
  • Amend national monument management plans to ensure the public’s right to hunt, fish and target shoot.
  • Expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities, and youth.
  • In a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way, or acquisition), and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
  • Within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available, and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Department lands.
  • Improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal,? territorial, and conservation partners.

“On behalf of the 5 million hunters, recreational shooters and members of the NRA, we commend Secretary Zinke for continuing to follow Teddy Roosevelt’s sportsman legacy by opening more land and water to hunting and target shooting,” said Chris Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association. “In the past, management plans for federal lands have been put in place to ban hunting and shooting. Sportsmen and women can now breathe a sigh of relief that those days are over. This administration values access to public lands for sportsmen and we commend them for it.”

“For too long, sportsmen’s access to our federal lands has been restricted, with lost opportunity replacing the ability to enjoy many of our best outdoor spaces. This extension to Secretarial Order 3356 will go a long way to reversing that trend and help grow the next generation of hunters, fishermen, and recreational shooters,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I appreciate this new order and am committed to working with Secretary Zinke and my colleagues to do everything we can to expand and enhance access to our federal lands for all Alaskans, and all Americans, so that we can continue our rich sportsmen’s heritage.”

“Restoring wildlife habitat and expanding opportunities for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation will help increase wildlife populations and connect millions of Americans with our nation’s natural treasures,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Secretary Zinke’s order demonstrates his commitment to collaborate closely with conservation organizations and state agencies to achieve these critical conservation outcomes. We look forward to working with the Secretary, the Department, and our conservation partners to recover America’s wildlife and connect every American with nature.”

“Secretary Zinke’s action today follows in the great tradition of President Teddy Roosevelt and recognizes the central role that hunters play in conservation and successful wildlife management,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “The National Shooting Sports Foundation is deeply grateful to Secretary Zinke for the historic Secretarial Order that he signed  today. NSSF has worked closely with, and in support of, Interior Department officials on these priorities and other positive steps announced today. Today’s action will serve to benefit current and future generations for years to come.”

“Americans depend on reliable and affordable access to public lands to participate in outdoor sporting and recreational activities,” said Chairman Rob Bishop. “Unfortunately, these lands are not being managed to facilitate consistent, open access. Today’s Secretarial Order to increase these opportunities strengthens the foundation of our country’s hunting and fishing heritage and helps ensure that sportsmen and women continue to enjoy access to our federal lands and waterways.”

“For many Americans, hunting and fishing wouldn’t be possible without public land and the access it provides for these pastimes. Secretarial Order 3356 represents a renewed commitment to working with our nation’s sportsmen and women to ensure that our legacy of hunting and fishing-driven conservation continues to stand the test of time,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We applaud Secretary Zinke for recognizing the critically important role that expanded federal land access plays in achieving this goal.”

“We support Secretary Zinke’s order to expand opportunities for hunters and anglers on BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and Park Service lands as well as on private lands,” said David Allen, President and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “Access to quality wildlife habitat remains one of the most significant factors impacting hunting and fishing participation throughout the country. This order will help ensure sportsmen and women continue to have opportunities for quality recreational experiences on public lands and potentially private lands.”

“Generations of Idahoans, including me, have passed on their love of hunting, fishing, and shooting sports to their children and grandchildren,” said Senator James Risch, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “I applaud Secretary Zinke’s quick action to protect those fundamental rights and expand access for sportsmen and women across the country.”

On his first day in office, Secretary Zinke reversed an order that would have banned lead ammo and tackle on National Wildlife Refuge lands, and he began the process of expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands across the Department.

In August, the Secretary announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 national wildlife refuges, and he announced the initial stages of a plan to acquire land to make the Bureau of Land Management Sabinoso Wilderness Area accessible for the first time ever to hunters, hikers, and wildlife watchers.

In addition, Secretary Zinke recently made recommendations to President Trump on 27 national monuments that call for changes to some that, while still protecting the land, would also protect and expand public access to that land for citizens who want to hunt, fish, and hike and experience the joy and beauty of these special places.

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The Ethics of Baiting Deer….or Any Other Game Animal

Maine has recently passed a law prohibiting the “feeding” of deer from August 15th to December 15. This Act was supported by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), which should be no surprise as we know MDIFW has tried for years to ban the act of feeding deer at anytime.

However, the real issue, I think, is the prevention of “baiting” deer for the purpose of improving your chances of taking a deer during the archery, rifle or muzzleloader seasons.

In V. Paul Reynolds article this week, he says that in this debate about baiting deer, ethics should be part of the discussion. But ethics of any kind, can be a very sticky wicket.

Who decides what is ethical? For years I have written about ethics as it may apply to hunting and still believe, within the written laws, ethics is a personal perspective.

I support the baiting of bear for harvest purposes because there is a need to limit or reduce the growth of the black bear populations in Maine. It is my understanding that the MDIFW mostly sees the bear baiting issue much the same way. In short, it is a necessary management tool, even if it perceived by some as ugly. Without this tool, the alternative may be even uglier.

Because most of Maine has few deer and historically the state has never really been overrun with deer, the need to call for the implementation of baiting as a management tool to reduce numbers, has never been necessary and is definitely not needed today.

But this really has little to do with ethics. I’m not a bear hunter but I can clearly say that if I was, I would NOT bait – unless, of course, I was very, very hungry. I am a deer hunter and I would NOT bait deer for much the same reasons. I don’t necessarily object to those who choose to bait their game, where legal, but I personally would not care to implement baiting regardless of how, if any, doing so effects the odds of bagging game.

I have often read those who define ethics as, “what you do when nobody’s watching.” While this may be partially true, personal ethics goes beyond whether or not someone chooses to stay within the bounds of regulations. Short of legitimate regulations to guide the scientific management of game animals, it should NEVER be left up to Government to attempt legislating ethics. When you consider the corrupt and unethical existence of Government at all levels, surely one cannot seriously ask such an entity to make the decisions as to what is ethical and not ethical.

We have been brainwashed and manipulated into a totalitarian form of existence in which one of the greatest problems in today’s society is that “useful idiots,” i.e. the totalitarian sheep, believe it is their right and their duty of conquest to tell others how to live.

To what degree ethics should be discussed in this debate about baiting deer, would be a crap shoot and more than likely would only serve to create more problems. Within the laws of man, whether or not we agree with them, my personal ethics should remain as such…personal. If I strongly believe in my own ethical practices, perhaps, and I mean perhaps, I might share that philosophy with friends…if they care to know. Besides that, I mind my own business and expect that same respect in return.

Here is a link to the story of how Maine’s record Boone and Crockett buck was shot over a pile of “bait” – culled potatoes.

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Why Constitutional Amendments to “Protect” Hunting Need The Correct Language

Many states have tried, some have succeeded, in getting a constitutional amendment to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap…or at least they think they have. Truth is, very few, and perhaps no state, has made a success out of actually protecting and guaranteeing the right to hunt, fish and trap. Essentially what they have done is end up with legalese, fit only for the law profession, that says the state recognizes that hunting, fishing and trapping are long held traditions and these activities have been used as part of a game management plan. The new laws then make people think this tradition is being protected, when it is not. And here’s why.

As an example of the wrong wording in a right to hunt, fish and trap constitutional amendment, the state of Maine, over the past few years, has bounced around half-efforts to get an amendment passed. However, I have opposed all wording of this effort because it’s fake wording that fails to provide the protection that I believe most sportsmen want.

Without the proper, tough and direct language, while there may be recognition of how hunting, fishing and trapping have been a part of game management and responsible use of natural resources, all attempts have failed to provide language that forces the state, along with their natural resources departments. or fish and game departments, to manage all game species specifically for surplus harvests. I might point out that this kind of tough language is generally opposed by legislators and in particular heads of fish and game departments. The biggest reason is because most fish and game departments have already morphed beyond sensible and scientific game management in favor of environmentalism’s “Romance Biology” and “Voodoo Science.”

Without this kind of tough and direct language, fish and game departments and/or state governments, can end hunting, fishing and trapping at anytime. With a growth and power of the progressive Left, a totalitarian social effort to end all hunting, fishing and trapping, mostly driven by an extremely perverse animal rights society, not only are fish and wildlife departments gradually, and sometimes not so gradual, are becoming more anti hunting, fishing and trapping, but the general electorate can end hunting, fishing or trapping with one effort at the ballot box with zero consideration for science.

An example of that is seen in British Columbia, Canada, where voters have decided to ban grizzly bear hunting because it doesn’t fit their ideological narrative. As was said by Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson, “[It is]not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”

Certainly this reflects the desires of the people, a product of a totalitarian democracy of sorts (two wolves and a sheep discussing what’s for lunch), where a simple vote can destroy long held traditions as well as making a mockery out of wildlife science.

While there never exists any true guarantee of a right to hunt, fish and trap, one does have to wonder if this same kind of referendum would have even been attempted if a true constitutional amendment existed with real power that said it is the mandated function of government to manage all game species for the purpose of surplus harvest and use of natural resources.

It is often argued about whether wildlife is part of the public trust. In my 65 years of life, I do not recall anyone suggesting that viewing wildlife, even out one’s back door, should be stopped or that managers should grow game species to levels that would be harmful to a healthy establishment of animal species. Why is it then, as seems to be the way of the “new” progressive society, that society has little interest in the aspects of the public trust when it comes to the public trust involvement of hunters, fishermen and trappers? In their pea brains, hunters, trappers and fishermen are excluded from any participation in a public trust.

A classic example of totalitarians at work.

Next time anyone begins talking about another proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to hunt, trap and fish, please take a little extra time and honestly ask yourself if what is being proposed will do what it is being sold as doing and is worth any effort to get it passed. Contrary to what the politician will tell you. something is NOT better than nothing.

But, isn’t it now just too late? Does there even exist enough people who aren’t mentally destroyed and manipulated with animal rights and environmentalism, along with Romance Biology and Voodoo Science?

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Why Did Maine’s Head Deer Biologist Walk Away From His Job?

*Editor’s Note* – Is there a bad atmosphere at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife? If so, how will this effect who gets hired as the new guy?

Kyle, who had only been at his position a few years, apparently decided it was no longer for him. Although there has been no official acknowledgment of this from the department, his departure was, insofar as I can tell, abrupt and unexpected. There were no press releases. I stumbled upon the information that he had left his job more than three months after he left his post.<<<Read More>>>

 

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Renowned Conservationist, RMEF Promote Relevance of Hunting

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—In an effort to promote a wider public conversation about the positive connections between hunting and wildlife conservation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with widely-respected conservationist and wildlife researcher Shane Mahoney to release a timely and evocative short film titled Relevance.

The video, which discusses the modern relevance of hunting traditions, especially in terms of conservation benefits, is the first product generated as part of a new and ongoing collaboration between RMEF and Mahoney.

“Shane is one of the world’s leading voices for conservation,” said Steve Decker, RMEF’s vice president of Marketing. “His message about hunting’s role in society showcases the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, certainly one of the most successful systems of wildlife recovery and management the world has ever seen. Shane’s message resonates not only among sportsmen and women, but also with those who do not hunt or fish but who share in the concern for wildlife’s future.”

The film’s narrative is borrowed from Mahoney’s keynote address, delivered at RMEF’s 2017 National Convention earlier this year in Nashville.

Mahoney, a long-time RMEF member, is the president and CEO of Conservation Visions, a global wildlife initiative focused on international conservation issues.

“Hunting is sometimes incorrectly viewed as a self-indulgent and wasteful anachronism in modern society,” says Mahoney. “However, we know, from an objective perspective, that sustainable use of wildlife can be an effective tool in support of conservation and human livelihoods; it is connected to the conservation of wild lands and waters, the environment, and our own food security.”

In 2015, Mahoney launched the Wild Harvest Initiative, a multi-year research and communication effort supported by RMEF and a diverse partnership of individuals, business interests, conservation NGOs and government agencies. The project’s mission is to provide a first-ever evaluation of the biomass and economic value of wild food harvested by recreational hunters and anglers in Canada and the United States and to assess the wider community of consumers who share in this harvest. By conjoining these insights with existing economic assessments of recreational hunting and angling, and by evaluating the costs and mechanisms that might be considered necessary to replace this wild food harvest, the Wild Harvest Initiative will help focus a wider question facing conservation policy institutions in both countries; namely, if hunting and angling were to cease tomorrow, what would be the consequences?

RMEF and Mahoney will work together on future projects as part of RMEF’s ongoing#HuntingIsConservation campaign, which has reached more than 30 million people since its launch in January 2016.

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Maine House Fearful of Lawsuits Passes Bill to Allow “Religious” People to Forego Wearing Blaze Orange

The Maine House has passed, 120-27, LD 426 that provides anyone who cannot wear bright colored clothing while firearms hunting for deer, to discard it and instead wear some kind of red clothing – some kind because what that red is has not been determined.

Many other things in the bill, whose sponsor was quoted as saying, “I feel that failure to do so will almost certainly lead to a legal confrontation between the state of Maine and this group of Amish people”…, were not spelled out and leaves wide open many issues, some of which could be potentially serious.

If the Senate passes and the Governor signs this bill, it appears anyone can hunt deer with firearms and forego wearing blaze orange and replace it with red. If questioned simply tell the warden it’s for religious reasons. Who is going to prove one way or another. Does this bill clearly point out that you have to be an active member of a recognized “religious” order or sect to qualify? And now wouldn’t that open up a can of worms!

And what about liability. Yes, Maine law states that a hunter is responsible to know his target before shooting. But what if there is an accident anyway. Is the shooter exempt from liability because, unlike all other hunters, a “religious” hunter isn’t wearing the required hunter orange?

So, what does this say about the years of process and development of Maine hunter safety rules. Do we toss those out the window because of a “religious” belief? If blaze orange is a public safety issue then it is a public safety issue…period.

If Maine is passing this bill, partly due to the fear of lawsuits brought on by the Amish, then is it that they have no fear of a lawsuit brought on by everyone else who feels reverse discrimination?

But what I find of interest, and I suppose a point that nobody wants to speak of (out of fear of a lawsuit for bigotry and/or religious persecution), is that the Amish state that their religion forbids them to wear bright-colored clothing because it draws attention unto them. Really? So is it the bright clothing that is the issue or the fact that attention is being brought on them somehow?

If it’s about the attention, then one could argue that they certainly draw more attention on themselves simply by living a lifestyle that causes people to stop and stare, and sometimes worse than that. And if that isn’t enough, I know when I am out in the woods hunting, and wearing blaze orange because it is REQUIRED by law (and now I will be treated differently) there’s nobody around in the woods that would give a damn what I’m wearing.

In short, none of this makes much sense at all. It just all sounds like a bunch of crap, rooted in the fear of some sort of lawsuit, to go overboard with “religious” tolerance. Which brings me to another point. If it’s the attention they are trying to avoid, what kind of attention have they already brought on themselves by pushing this law and what more attention, probably national, would they bring on themselves if they filed a lawsuit?

I call BS!

Personally I don’t care. I really don’t. Under certain circumstances I would like to be able to hunt without blaze orange. Now, I guess I can because I just found “religion.”

 

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Curious Deer Sniffs Hunter’s Pants

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