HSUS: Animals Over Hungry People?

If there’s one thing the Humane Society of the United States seems opposed to, it’s common sense. But in light of events in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you might be able to add logic, scientific facts, and feeding the hungry.  But before we get there, here’s the backstory.

Struggling with an out of control deer population, the city of Ann Arbor approved a deer cull given that deer-vehicle collisions were up 75%, the deer were straining the ecosystem, and the near certain increase in ticks carrying Lyme disease. Despite these sensible grounds, activists were outraged that deer had been hunted in their city.

Unsurprisingly, HSUS led the charge on non-lethal population control last year, lobbying for Ann Arbor to use birth control on female deer. Interestingly, the birth control, PZP, is developed using pig ovaries, while HSUS is generally against medical research using animals.

HSUS’s political ideology puts it at odds with biological and ecological experts.  According to wildlife expert Jim Sterba, PZP “for free-ranging whitetails, does not work. And it is neither practicable nor affordable.” That’s because PZP efficacy has only been proven on isolated populations , such as animals on islands or those living in a fenced environment. University of Michigan professor Christopher Dick, a biologist, had a blunter word for what HSUS is advocating: “Pseudoscience.” Read more

Lion Kill Fest: The Impact of the HSUS Ideology

When the “Cecil” the lion issue took place last summer, the Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal-rights organization in the country, fought to end the importation of lion trophies to the United States under the guise of protecting the remaining “endangered” population (an action the Sportsmen’s Alliance fought).

HSUS won that battle in part (but not in full, as explained below). Lion trophy importation from Zimbabwe (where the Cecil incident occurred) has effectively ended (although the door has not yet been conclusively slammed shut). But, as the Sportsmen’s Alliance said would happen, the consequence of shutting down trophy imports from Zimbabwe has had the opposite effect of what HSUS claimed – as now unsustainable populations of lions will likely face slaughter as new rules shut down the flow of money from U.S. trophy hunters.Lion-By Rumpleteaser (FlickrCC) sized for web

Currently, at least 200 lions are being considered for culling because of an unsustainable management paradigm – overpopulation and no revenue stream for continued support. And a revenue stream it is.

If just those 200 lions are killed, that’s a loss of $10 million dollars to just one area’s anti-poaching efforts, habitat conservation and acquisition, academic studies and all associated ancillary benefits to the local economy and people. The shortsighted and unsustainable rhetoric of the Humane Society of the United States and other animal-rights “warriors” is leading to more bloodshed in the form of economic and intrinsic loss of wildlife in Africa in mere months than has ever been spilled by hunters.

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Watch nesting barn owls through IN DNR webcam

A show of companionship and survival will play out live before the public in a DNR webcam that offers a peek into the lives of a barn owl pair raising chicks. The webcam is at wildlife.IN.gov/8183.htm.

Barn owls are a state-endangered species. The pair on this webcam has been living in a DNR-built nest box inside a metal pole barn in southern Indiana since 2009. These owls have nested every year since 2009. Read more

Remington Arms Company Announces Limited Lifetime Firearm Warranty

Madison, NC – Remington Arms Company, LLC, (“Remington”) is proud to announce today that it is offering a limited lifetime warranty on all Remington firearms purchased January 1, 2016 or after. This new limited lifetime warranty offer supports the celebration of Remington’s 200th anniversary in 2016.”We take pride in crafting dependable, quality firearms designed to last a lifetime in the field or on the range,” said Leland Nichols, SVP & GM Firearms & Accessories. “We’re proud of the Americans who manufacture our products and want to showcase their skill by offering a limited lifetime warranty on all of our firearms.”

Remington warrants to the original purchaser of a new firearm from Remington that such firearm shall be free from defects in material and workmanship for the duration of time that the purchaser originally owns that firearm. This warranty allows for repair or replacement of any part/s of the firearm, or replacement of the firearm if un-repairable, so long as all other requirements of the warranty are fulfilled. All products purchased January 1, 2016 or after are covered by the limited lifetime warranty offer. Read more

Boone and Crockett Club Celebrates New Home of North American Conservation

GW:  I was given a sneak preview of the new Bass Pro Shops facility in Missouri and this will become a worthwhile destination for sportsmen and women for years to come. 

MISSOULA, Mont. – The Boone and Crockett Club commends Club member and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris on his continuing conservation efforts and the upcoming opening of one of the largest, most immersive conservation attractions in the world – Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. The 315,000 square-foot exhibit sits adjacent to Bass Pro Shops flagship store in Springfield, Missouri, and will soon serve as the new home to North American conservation when it opens later in 2016.In 2015, Boone and Crockett Club joined more than 25 of the country’s leading conservation organizations to contribute to the creation of the attraction. The nationwide collaboration brought together conservation leaders to discuss fun and engaging ways to motivate public appreciation for wildlife and conservation efforts. The attraction will highlight past successes and share important conservation messages to a national audience.

“The museum and aquarium continues the legacy of dedicated professionals and individuals who truly care about ensuring the future of wildlife through conservation practices,” said Morrison Stevens, Club president. “It will serve many generations to come with an immersive, educational experience that focuses on the benefits of long-term conservation and the positive effects on wildlife. The motto ‘Conservation had a beginning, but has no end,’ is fitting to describe the opportunity presented by this attraction.” Read more

DNR: U.P. survey results indicate no significant change in Michigan’s wolf population

Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife division officials said today the size of the state’s wolf population has not changed significantly since the last survey was conducted in 2014.

DNR wildlife researchers estimate there was a minimum of 618 wolves in the Upper Peninsula this winter. The 2014 minimum population estimate was 636 wolves.

A wolf walks through the Upper Peninsula woodlands. “The confidence intervals of the 2014 and 2016 estimates overlap, thus we can’t say with statistical confidence that the population decreased”, said Kevin Swanson, wildlife management specialist with the DNR’s Bear and Wolf Program in Marquette.

Confidence intervals are a range of values that describe the uncertainty surrounding an estimate.

Swanson said, based on the 2016 minimum population estimate, it is clear that wolf numbers in Michigan are viable, stable and have experienced no significant change since 2014.

“Currently, deer numbers in the U.P. are at lows not seen in decades and we wondered if there would be a decline in wolf numbers as a result of this reduction in their primary source of prey,” Swanson said. “We also did not observe a significant difference in the number and average size of wolf packs as compared to 2014.” Read more

The Magic & Myths of Fawns

GW:  This information is from QDMA’s Sam Leatherman and provides some facts we may not have known.

The Magic & Myths of Fawns

Photo by Ralph Hensley.

I always look forward to seeing the first newborn fawn of the year. Without fail, social media will begin to fill with pictures of these beautiful, wobbly-legged creatures, and understandably so. Very few things in nature are as beautiful as a newborn fawn in a lush, green field. But these photos are often accompanied by misinformation and bad advice. Let’s look at the magic and myths of whitetail fawns.

Magic: For the first seven to 10 days of life, a fawn will spend up to 95 percent of its time bedded. While bedded, a fawn has a very rapid heartbeat of around 175 beats per minute. When a fawn senses danger is close, it will lower its head and drop its ears, the heart rate will fall to around 60 beats per minute, and the breathing will become slower and deeper – all to try and avoid detection by predators. The first few days of a fawn’s life are a critical time. Most fawns that fall to predators die in their first 10 days of life.
Myth: “I found a fawn that didn’t run away. Something must be wrong with it.” More than likely you have found a very young deer. The fawn will lie perfectly still, barely even blinking, until you move on. Oftentimes, at this young age the fawn will even let you touch it or pick it up, but it is best not to. More on this in a moment.

Magic: Within a few hours of being born, Read more

New Service Puts Your Dream Hunt Just A Click Away

Travelers have long booked flights, hotels, and rental car reservations through websites that show a variety of available options to help them find the best price. Now this same service is available to hunters with the launch of BookYourHunt.com, the very first online booking platform specifically for hunters. The new site places online booking technology at the fingertips of hunters for the first time, allowing a user to search for hunting trips by country or animal species and compare prices from outfitters around the world.While it’s possible look up outfitters on their individual websites, many of them don’t post prices, making it hard to comparison shop. With BookYourHunt.com, users know immediately how much the hunt will cost, what is included, and what dates are available. It’s easy to ask questions, get more information about the outfitter, compare the hunt with a similar one, or book it immediately. The offers come directly from the outfitter, so users pay no booking fees. BookYourHunt.com offers a “Best Price Guarantee” and will match any lower published rate for the hunt. Read more

MI DNR asks anglers to report tagged walleyes

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently jaw tagged 3,000 walleyes in a number of Saginaw Bay tributary rivers. Anglers are asked to collect information on tagged fish they catch and to report it to the DNR.The DNR has tagged more than 100,000 walleyes in the Saginaw Bay area since 1981. Jaw tagging is part of a long-term research project to monitor survival and harvest rates and to learn about walleye movement. The program depends on anglers to report when and where they catch a tagged walleye, as well as the fish’s length, weight (if known) and tag identification number. Once reported, anglers will receive a letter back detailing the history of their fish.

About 10 percent of the tags include a $100 reward for reporting the tag. Each tag is stamped with a unique identifying number and a P.O. box address. If anglers prefer, they can report their tagged walleyes online at michigandnr.com/taggedfish/. Anglers can keep the fish, of course, or release it if they prefer. Anglers are reminded that in order to be eligible for a reward, photos are required of the flattened tag. If the fish is released and an angler is not interested in being eligible to receive a reward, the tag should not be removed from the fish’s jaw. Read more

Why Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe can’t give felons right to vote without restoring their right to own guns

Governor Terry McAuliffe has given felons in Virginia the right to vote without allowing them the right to own a gun.  His executive order will let murderers and rapists will be able to serve on juries.  Say someone has committed multiple violent crimes.  Is there an argument to be made that we have learned something about that individual’s preferences?  Presumably this is the argument for why McAuliffe doesn’t want to restore their rights to own guns.  But why then Virginians would want to let violent criminals help make public policy and serve on juries?
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Friday restoring the voting rights of 206,000 ex-felons, a sweeping action the governor said was aimed largely at rectifying Virginia’s “long and sad history” of suppressing African-American voting power. . . .
The action . . .has the potential to expand the state’s voter rolls, currently estimated at about 5.4 million, by as much as 3.8 percent. . . .
In his speech, McAuliffe anticipated a strong response from Republicans, who said the order’s lack of distinction between violent crimes and less serious offenses will give murderers and rapists the right to vote, serve on juries, hold public office and notarize documents. . . .

McAuliffe’s order does not restore firearm rights. The ability to purchase and own a gun still would require court action. . . .

But McAuliffe action faces a significant problem.  From Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution:

No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. 

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