While hunting can have unexpected dangers such as tripping over roots and rocks as you trek, the real dangers facing hunters these days is the animal rights lobby who are trying to stop hunting and trapping all together. While you’ve been hunting and scouting for deer or other animals, these groups have been scheming, developing, and working to pass legislation, and to win political favors and public opinion, to prevent you from ever hunting again. Some of the most dangerous groups are listed below.
- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a powerhouse fund-raising machine that has been pushing through dog breeder bills in many states in back door efforts to make it harder for you to buy your next bird dog, fox hound, squirrel dog or other hunting breed. So called “puppy mill” bills affect far more than puppies.
A good example that these bills hamper dog ownership and increase fees for all dog owners everywhere can be found in a Missouri bill that began as a “puppy mill” bill pushed by HSUS. When the bill was passed, the wording and regulations rightfully covered animal shelters owned and operated by nonprofits—one of the biggest places in any state where puppies are housed in cages. HSUS and other groups complained the new fees were expensive, hampered dog ownership, and were too burdensome to keep track of. Now, they want those same fees and restrictive regulations inflicted on hunters who breed and sell dogs.
HSUS has also run undercover programs to investigate high-fenced hunting operations, and it vehemently opposes dove hunts and polar bear imports.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a group well-known for having nearly naked models parade around and make egregious statements about fur, fishing, whales, meat, and hunting. The group opposes all hunting and makes many attempts to halt hunting, fishing, trapping and everything but eating vegetables.
- Defenders of Wildlife works to protect the “pretty” animals. The group uses stunning photographs of bears, wolves, and lynxes to invite the public to join them to protect these species they declare to be “threatened or endangered”. Then, however, those donated dollars are used to file frivolous lawsuits to stop hunting. In fact, some species this group touts as threatened or endangered are not on any list.
- Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) was formed for the purpose of filing frivolous lawsuits against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the guise of protecting the sanctity of the Endangered Species Act. According to the CBD, nearly 800 plants and animals should be added to the lengthy endangered or threatened species list. These add-to-the-list requests tie up valuable man-hours and dollars of the USFWS and prevent the agency from doing research and improvements on habitat that help all wildlife populations. This hurts hunting and all wildlife in the United States.
This fall when you think about the possible dangers of hunting and how to protect yourself and your family, joining the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance as a Sentry could be the best protection. By being a Sentry—at no cost to you—and staying informed on attempts to stop hunting, you will be better prepared to hunt again in the future. Help us spread the word about the dangers to all hunting.