Which Companies Support HSUS?

ProhibitHSUSThis from humanewatch.org

Just as many donors to HSUS have no idea how their money is being used—or misused—a number of companies have partnerships with HSUS and likely have no idea who they’ve gotten in bed with. We’ve encouraged supporters to contact a number of companies in the past to inform them about HSUS, and we’ve had clear success in getting companies to sever ties with HSUS.

Many of our readers don’t want to support companies that support HSUS. Here’s a list of the companies supporting HSUS. We’ll keep it updated with both current and former supporters. We’ll keep reaching out to current supporters—and we’ll need your help, as always. Stay tuned.

 

Former Supporters

Discover

Bosch North America

Pilot Travel Centers

Precious Kitty

Mary Kay

Yellow Tail Wines

Hill’s Science Diet

Atlantic Publishing

Jordan Vineyard and Winery

Bank of America

Tommy Bahama

 

Current General Supporters

Bissell

Grounds for Change

Goodshop

glassybaby

Tofurky

TisBest

Candle Café

Petplan Pet Insurance

Wine.com

Fred Meyer Jewelers

SurveyMonkey

GIV Mobile

GreaterGood / The Animal Rescue Site

AmazonSmile

eBay

Rover.com

Zazzle

Elk monitoring in Michigan starts from above

elk seen from a DNR airplaneThe Department of Natural Resources just finished its 2016 elk survey after nine days of flying in northern Michigan.

“Every other year, we conduct the survey by counting elk from an airplane,” said DNR Field Operations Manager Brian Mastenbrook. “Because elk are so large and typically found in groups, they are a great animal to count by airplane. An airplane allows us to cover large areas much quicker than any other method, and it gives us a confident estimate of elk.”

Two airplanes flew transects, or grids, over the entire elk range, which is in the northeast Lower Peninsula from Indian River east to Onaway, south to Atlanta and back west to Gaylord. The planes covered 88 transects – each 2 miles wide by 6 miles long – flying more than 5,000 miles.

“This is an extremely effective survey that provides great input for our management recommendations,” said Mastenbrook. “We’ve used this survey to generate population estimates since 2008.”

In recent survey years, population estimates of elk were 1,040 (2012) and 668 (2014).

A total of 1,002 individual elk were counted during the 2016 survey, giving a population estimate of 1,371 elk. The number of animals seen during an aerial survey is always an underestimate, because not all can be seen from the airplane. Although winter is the best time for an aerial survey because elk stand out against the white snow and leaves are off the trees, they still can be missed among dense conifer trees, which do not drop their needles annually. Therefore, to provide a more accurate estimate of elk, a correction factor is used. The correction factor, developed by running experimental trials on radio-collared elk, is now the standard practice among wildlife managers across the nation.

2016 elk survey video thumbnail imageMastenbrook said part of managing an animal’s population is having clear goals, and today’s elk management goals are to balance the population with the available habitat, or food and cover required; use hunting as the primary method of population control; and improve the public’s understanding of elk. He said the elk population goal is 500 to 900 animals in order to reduce crop damage, disease concerns and forest regeneration, while maximizing recreational opportunities. Read more

Food Plots Pay Off in Cold Weather

By Glen Wunderlich

When my neighbor telephoned me a few weeks ago, there was urgency in his voice. “You should see all the deer! And, there’s a really big buck out there.” We watched together as the whitetails milled about, heads down with only one mission: eating.

 

Amid the brassica plot of a couple acres were a good mix of does and bucks – many of which we had never encountered during hunting season based on the headgear being displayed. Dozens of hungry deer in survivor mode had somehow passed the word that the all-you-can-eat smorgasbord was open for business. After a short visit, I had already set my sights on next season’s wide rack.

Even though we had experienced record-breaking warmth in December, a fair amount of deer routinely frequented the lush green landscape for the turnip and rape leaves. However, it now appeared as though all the deer in Shiawassee County decided to take part in the buffet bonanza.

Winter had finally arrived with high temperatures in the 20s with little snow present. However, about two inches of ice blanketed the low-growing clover and alfalfa plants, making them inaccessible. Turnips, on the other hand, protruded to please the crowd; our pact to plant turnips each year was reinforced by the sight of the feeding frenzy.

Bait piles – even small ones – have been outlawed in the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management zone in which we live. Food plots are a legal exception and remain a legitimate means to draw and hold deer on a property, however.

Turnips are in a group of annual plants called brassicas, which includes radishes, turnips, cauliflower, rape and kale and are extremely high in protein and highly digestible to deer.

Brassica Plot a Month after Planting

Brassica Plot a Month after Planting

Protein content can range from 15 to 20 percent in both the leaves and the roots. They remain highly digestible to deer throughout the growing season and beyond and fill a nutrition gap when the going gets tough.

Turnips grow on a wide range of soils but do best on well-drained, fertile soils in full sun with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8.

Purple Top Turnip

Purple Top Turnip

Even though turnips are relatively easy to grow, the first step is to obtain a soil sample, which will indicate soil requirements before blindly throwing money at the project. Lime is used to increase the pH level and should be given a few months to break down before planting.

Preparing the seed bed will require a small tractor, an ATV, or at least a rototiller to churn up and level the soil. Spraying with glyphosate is a good means to control weeds, and if ignored, some fast-growing weeds will stunt the growth of desirable plants to the extent of failure.

Seed can then be broadcast with a hand-spreader and pushed into the ground with a cultipacker. Turnip seed is very small and should not be buried more than about 1/8 to 1/4 inch. It’s also easy to apply too much seed, and in this case more is not better, because too many plants will mean tiny, overcrowded specimens with little yield.

Fertilize at or before planting with about 300 pounds of 19-19-19 per acre to get the plants up and running but soil testing will provide a more accurate recipe for fertilizer and lime needs. After that, sit back and enjoy the show.

A great resource is Ed Spinazzola’s paperback, Ultimate Deer Food Plots or just click on the Quality Deer Management Association’s web site at www.qdma.com, where more detailed information can be found.

Michigan DNR seeks public’s help monitoring moose

moose in snowy forestThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources asks those who live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or those who are just visiting, to share any moose sightings through the Moose Observation Report form, now available online.

The DNR has been monitoring Michigan’s moose population since the species’ reintroduction to the state in the 1980s. To estimate the population status of Michigan moose, the DNR conducts aerial surveys across the core moose range in the western Upper Peninsula. When determining the aerial survey sample area, observation reports are important resources that help to identify where resident moose occur. Read more

A Birder’s Perspective

By Glen Wunderlich

Have you seen your first robin yet this year? I have.

American robin, male Shiawassee County, MI

American robin, male
Shiawassee County, MI

I had just taken a break from chainsaw aerobics and had removed my safety helmet with hearing protection. When I first heard the cheerful tunes, I thought it sounded much like a robin but I was having trouble wrapping my mind around the notion that spring was here already. After all, it was January 21 and not an earthworm in sight.

 

Intently looking and listening, I heard the sound again. Sure enough, it was a robin alright. That’s when I caught its image atop a naked deciduous tree, just as the forlorned visitor flew off.

 

A few days later, while observing one of my feed sites, tiny juncos, chickadees, and titmice were dwarfed by another ground-feeding visitor: a wood thrush. They winter in lowland tropical forests in Central America but obviously, this loner didn’t get the memo.

 

A common sight on the ground is yet another visitor from the far north: the tree sparrow. Plump and long-tailed, American tree sparrows are busy visitors in winter backyards and weedy, snow-covered fields across southern Canada and the northern United States.  Sometimes they number in the hundreds in a particular plot of indigenous pigweed I’ve left for their nourishment. In fact, it’s the primary reason I’ve quit trying to rid the patch of the otherwise undesirable weed.

 

Hopping up at bent weeds or even beating their wings to dislodge seeds from grass heads, they scratch and peck the ground in small flocks, trading soft, musical twitters. Come snowmelt, these small rusty-capped and smooth-breasted sparrows with a black spot on their breasts

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

begin their long migrations to breeding grounds in the tundra of the far North.

 

If you are fascinated by watching and studying birds, you may be interested in an online course at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y.  For the first time, lectures will be available online to anyone, anywhere.

 

Though species native to the Finger Lakes Region of New York will be discussed, course lectures are also packed with information about bird identification, migration, nesting, and other topics that are relevant to anyone hoping to improve their bird-watching skills.

 

The eight-week course is taking place March 23 through May 15. Visit birds.cornell.edu/sfo to learn about the course schedule, which will run concurrently with each Wednesday evening lecture available to online participants the following day. The online lectures will be hosted on the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy website.

 

The course cost is $140 for online participants and is taught by Dr. Stephen Kress, Vice President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society. “I can think of no better way to greet the spring migrants than taking part in Spring Field Ornithology,” says Kress. “Whether people take the course in person or watch the lectures online, they’ll come away knowing much more about birds and appreciate them so much more. There’s great value in that at a time when so many species are in trouble. Plus, bird watching is just great fun.”

Deer With Upper Canines

February 4, 2016

Last December, Brad Wiley – QDMA committee member with the Upper Hudson River Valley Branch in New York – killed a big 4 1/2-year-old buck on the Otter Creek QDM Cooperative, of which he is a member. In this case, however, it wasn’t the age or the size of the antlers that made the buck such a unique trophy. It was the two upper canine teeth that Brad discovered on the deer’s skull. To read the full article, click here.

To Be a Birder

By Glen Wunderlich

Have you seen your first robin yet this year? I have. I had just taken a break from chainsaw aerobics and had removed my safety helmet with hearing protection. When I first heard the cheerful tunes, I thought it sounded much like a robin but I was having trouble wrapping my mind around the notion that spring was here already. After all, it was January 21 and not an earthworm in sight.

Intently looking and listening, I heard the sound again. Sure enough, it was a robin alright. That’s when I caught its image atop a naked deciduous tree, just as the forlorned visitor flew off.

A few days later, while observing one of my feed sites, tiny juncos, chickadees, and titmice were dwarfed by another ground-feeding visitor: a wood thrush. They winter in lowland tropical forests in Central America but obviously, this loner didn’t get the memo.

A common sight on the ground is yet another visitor from the far north: the tree sparrow.

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Plump and long-tailed, American tree sparrows are busy visitors in winter backyards and weedy, snow-covered fields across southern Canada and the northern United States.  Sometimes they number in the hundreds in a particular plot of indigenous pigweed I’ve left for their nourishment. In fact, it’s the primary reason I’ve quit trying to rid the patch of the otherwise undesirable weed.

Hopping up at bent weeds or even beating their wings to dislodge seeds from grass heads, they scratch and peck the ground in small flocks, trading soft, musical twitters. Come snowmelt, these small rusty-capped and smooth-breasted sparrows with a black spot on their breasts begin their long migrations to breeding grounds in the tundra of the far North.

If you are fascinated by watching and studying birds, you may be interested in an online course at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y.  For the first time, lectures will be available online to anyone, anywhere.

Though species native to the Finger Lakes Region of New York will be discussed, course lectures are also packed with information about bird identification, migration, nesting, and other topics that are relevant to anyone hoping to improve their bird-watching skills.

The eight-week course is taking place March 23 through May 15. Visit birds.cornell.edu/sfo to learn about the course schedule, which will run concurrently with each Wednesday evening lecture available to online participants the following day. The online lectures will be hosted on the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy website.

The course cost is $140 for online participants and is taught by Dr. Stephen Kress, Vice President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society. “I can think of no better way to greet the spring migrants than taking part in Spring Field Ornithology,” says Kress. “Whether people take the course in person or watch the lectures online, they’ll come away knowing much more about birds and appreciate them so much more. There’s great value in that at a time when so many species are in trouble. Plus, bird watching is just great fun.”

HSUS Grades Politicians

For those of you who’d like to know how your local politicians are rated by the largest anti-hunting organization in the world, check out the report cards here: http://bit.ly/1QAHb1M.

Another video worth watching covers the HSUS position on hunting with the understanding that anyone who receives high scores with the HSUS lobbyists is certainly no friend of the North American Conservation Model.

Give this one a look and see if you don’t get the notion that HSUS, like some politicians, is definitely flying under a false flag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk5rjSJYeKg

Idaho Wolf Management A Success

— Virgil Moore, Director, Idaho Fish and Game

When Idaho Fish and Game took over wolf management in 2011, the wolf population had grown unchecked for more than a decade after reaching federal recovery levels of 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves eleven years earlier. This was due to repeated lawsuits that stalled delisting and delayed transfer of wolves to state management.

As a result, wolf conflicts with livestock and elk populations were rampant in most parts of Idaho north of the Snake River and livestock producers and hunters grew increasingly frustrated.

After five years of state management of wolves in Idaho, we’re seeing positive results:

  • In 2010, the year before wolves were delisted, there were 109 confirmed wolf depredations on livestock in Idaho. Now livestock depredations by wolves are down by almost 50 percent (59 in 2015).
  • The most recent livestock attack by wolves occurred last October. We haven’t had a depredation-free stretch last this long since 2004. Read more
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