December 9, 2019

Brian Lynn Joins USSA as Vice President of Communications and Marketing

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

Columbus, Ohio – The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) is proud to announce the hiring of Brian Lynn, of Liberty Lake, Wash., as Vice President of Communications and Marketing. Brian’s 15-year career in the outdoor industry is highlighted by work experience at notable companies such as ESPN Outdoors/B.A.S.S., Outdoor Life and Texas Fishing and Hunting News.

He is very passionate about USSA’s mission and has reported on USSA issues, such as the Wisconsin wolf lawsuit, in the past.

“I’m excited to be a part of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, a group whose opinion and expertise I’ve respected, sought out and promoted while serving as an editor for the last 15 years,” Lynn said. “I look forward to continuing, and building upon, the excellent work and extraordinary accomplishments the organization has already achieved when it comes to protecting sportsmen’s hunting, fishing and trapping rights and heritage.”

For the past six years, Lynn has served as a consultant, freelance editor/writer and social media manager at his company, Universal Media Solutions, Inc. He prides himself in his ability to drive content from concept to production, and also boasts strong editorial and writing skills, having served as a senior-level editor for more than a decade. Lynn currently writes for nearly a dozen websites and print publications, including a branded blog at OutdoorLife.com.

“Brian’s passion for the issues outdoorsmen face from anti-hunting groups combined with his combination of experience and expertise make him an ideal fit for our organization,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “We’re excited about where he can lead our communication and marketing efforts as we begin to implement our new strategic plan.”

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Task Force Formed to Counter Cyber Threats to Hunters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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USSA Launches New and Improved Website

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

(Columbus, OH) – The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) is pleased to announce the launch of its fully renovated website that offers visitors a user-friendly, easy to navigate site to stay up-to-date on issues USSA is working on across the country. The site will also showcase a new video series, allow for easy membership sign-up and much more!

Visitors to the site at www.ussportsmen.org will enjoy quality graphics that highlight USSA’s work to defend and advance hunting, fishing and trapping nationwide. The site is easy to explore from your desktop as well as mobile devices.

A key feature of the site is the state by state breakdown of issues affecting our outdoor heritage under the Government Affairs page. Visitors can also view the President’s Blog – The Sportsmen’s Notebook, for in-depth content from USSA’s President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, as well as other USSA staff members and guests.

“The rebuilding of our site is one of many steps forward we have taken in recent months, and there are many more to come,” said Pinizzotto. “Ultimately our goal is to build the most effective organization possible to protect hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities in the country, and our new website is a small but important component to that effort.”

Along with news, the site will feature a section to showcase the new USSA video series, USSA TV. Hosted by Communications Specialist, Kali Parmley, the series will follow USSA across the country as they fight to protect your outdoor heritage. The series will also include product reviews, hunting stories and more.

In the USSA Forum, sportsmen and others are able to voice their opinions on topics important to our heritage and our sports. Interested in opinions on a state trapping issue or knowing what caliber is best for elk hunting? Ask your fellow sportsmen in the USSA Forum.

The site also offers sportsmen various ways to become directly involved in the fight to protect hunting, fishing and trapping through USSA’s different membership levels and numerous volunteer opportunities which are vital in protecting our outdoor heritage today and tomorrow.

Visit the site today at www.ussportsmen.org.

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Leading Charity Evaluator Slaps Animal Rights Groups with Donor Advisory Warnings

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

(Columbus, OH) – Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, has stripped their rating of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights groups and replaced them with a “Donor Advisory” warning.

Charity Navigator rates organizations from one to four stars, with four being the highest rating possible. According to Charity Navigator, a “Donor Advisory” means that “serious concerns have been raised about this charity which prevents the issuance of a star rating.”

The move comes after Feld Entertainment, Inc., operator of the Ringling Brothers Circus, recovered $15.75 million in attorney fees from HSUS and their codefendants who include Born Free USA/Animal Protection Institute, Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as reported by USSA in early June.

Except for ASPCA, each of the codefendants also had their rating revoked.

Charity Navigator explains on their site that they take no position on the allegations made or issued by third parties. They follow that with “However, Charity Navigator has determined that the nature of this/these issue(s) warrants making this information available so that donors may determine for themselves whether such information is relevant to their decision whether to contribute to this organization.”

“I think the donor advisory issued for HSUS and the other groups by Charity Navigator speaks for itself,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “Our focus is maintaining USSA Foundation as a first-class organization and our four star rating, which we know gives our supporters tremendous confidence in our work.”

While HSUS and others have fallen on the Charity Navigator scale, USSA Foundation recently earned the coveted four star rating from the organization.“Our supporters can be fully confident that we manage our organization with the utmost integrity, which includes how we utilize the precious funding they provide,” said Pinizzotto. “We will continue to make decisions based upon sound science and will not allow ourselves to fall into the pit of extremism and propaganda that others can’t seem to avoid.”

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Facebook Shuts Down Skull Bound TV Page for 24-Hours for Ethical Harvest Photo

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

(Columbus, OH) – Skull Bound TV, a popular hunting and fishing show on The Sportsman Channel, has been shut out of their Facebook page for 24-hours with no access to add new content after a standard post was said to not follow “Facebook Community Standards.”

The post in question showed a 7-foot black bear harvested on a do-it-yourself hunt by Jim Kinsey, director of the show, after “one of the most incredible hunts of our lives” according to Jana Waller, host of Skull Bound TV.

The post made by Waller showed Kinsey sitting proudly behind his legal harvest.

“Tears were flowing after 28 years of searching for this kind of Montana bruin,” Waller told USSA. “We were given no explanation for why it was removed. We hunt ethically and in good taste and we feel violated.”

According to the social network: “The conversation that happens on Facebook – and the opinions expressed here – mirror the diversity of the people using Facebook.”

However, Facebook requires users to follow the “Community Standards” that include categories such as Violence and Threats, Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment, Hate Speech, Graphic Content, and more, all of which do not set certain standards, but guidelines.

“The fact that Facebook removed Skull Bound’s post and photo that showcased an ethical hunt without any explanation is unacceptable,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “Jana and Jim put a lot of hard work and passion into that hunt and they deserve to be able to share it.”

“Graphic Content” according to the standards is “when people share any content, we expect that they will share in a responsible manner. That includes choosing carefully the audience for the content.”

“Skull Bound in no way violated the Facebook Community Standards as they were simply sharing content their fans would like to see, as is stated in Facebook rules,” said Pinizzotto. “This appears the work of anti-hunters from behind computer screens.”

Waller is perplexed on why this particular post was flagged.

“This is our marketing page and it’s ridiculous that we can’t ‘share, promote or celebrate our hunting lifestyle because some “anti hunter” doesn’t like it. Simply stay off our hunting page if you don’t believe in hunting.” said Waller. “I can guarantee that I do more for animals through my conservation donations, purchasing hunting licenses and supporting our hunting heritage than 99 percent of anti hunters.”

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USSA Forges Relationships to Benefit California Sportsmen

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

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) President Nick Pinizzotto was one of the headline speakers at the Agricultural Preservation Environmental Conservation Sportsmen (APECS) Foundation’s first annual dinner and auction this past weekend in Red Bluff, California. APECS was formed to help raise awareness for sportsmen’s issues affecting the Golden State and to assist in preserving the heritage of farmers and outdoorsmen nationwide.

“It was a pleasure to address the crowd at the APECS fundraising banquet,” said Pinizzotto. “There is tremendous passion among the sportsmen in northern California, and particularly the Red Bluff area and it is truly inspiring to work alongside them.”

USSA partnered with APECS and other likeminded groups throughout the region on the event, which hosted over 350 attendees. Guests enjoyed games, food, and both live and silent auctions. Sportsmen also had the chance to exchange ideas in regards to the preservation of our outdoor heritage.

USSA recently opened a western office in Sacramento to assist sportsmen in California and other western states in their uphill battle against the anti-hunting movement.

“APECS is committed to helping advance USSA’s mission while also providing us with important financial resources and leadership needed to grow our presence in California,” added Pinizzotto. “This is a group of people who share our desire to win, and you could feel the energy in the room.”

Other sponsors of the event included Jen Adams and Norissa Harman who are the co-owners of Girls with Guns clothing, Mule Deer Foundation, Field of Dreams, Red Bank Outfitters, and the Kids Outdoors Sport Camp.

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Cabela’s, Inc. Co-Founder Passes

From U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance:

(Sydney, NE) Richard N. Cabela, co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the world’s largest outdoor retailer, Cabela’s, Inc. passed away today at the age of 77.

Dick joined the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) Board of Directors in 1999 and served as Chairman of the Board since 2001. During his time with USSA, Dick and his wife Mary showed their love of our hunting heritage through their support and advocacy for issues affecting sportsmen as well as their dedication to the Trailblazer Adventure Program, a youth outdoor program of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation.

Dick, Mary, and his brother, Jim, founded Cabela’s somewhat inadvertently after offering hand-tied fishing flies through the mail. Since that time, Cabela’s has grown to be a $3.6 billion company with a worldwide catalog and Internet business and 50 stores in the United States and Canada.

“While Dick was a great leader and long-time supporter of USSA, he was also a dear friend of many in the organization,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “He built a great company from the ground up, and he will truly be missed by the USSA family and the outdoor community.”

Dick garnered numerous accolades in his lifetime, including induction into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2001, Dick was honored with the Safari Club International’s prestigious C.J. McElroy Award for his dedication to preserving and promoting the heritage and tradition of hunting. In 2007, Dick and Jim were honored by Outdoor Life magazine as being among the top 25 “most influential people in hunting and fishing.”

USSA honored Dick and his family’s leadership by establishing the Cabela Lifetime Business Achievement Award in 2005. The award honors Dick and his family’s dedication to protecting outdoor sports, including hunting, fishing, and trapping. It is presented to companies that demonstrate the same passion and commitment to protecting America’s outdoor heritage.

Dick is survived by his wife, Mary, their nine children and their families, as well as two sisters and three brothers.

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