From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:
Arizonans will vote November 3
on a referendum measure to ban
trapping, portrayed by the National Rifle
Assn. and National Trappers Assn. as an
attempt to ban all hunting and fishing as
well. The initiative is sponsored, however,
by Arizonans for Safety and Humanity on
Public Lands, whose initial board of direc-
tors included a hunter and a gun dealer. The
group declined funding from the Humane
Society of the U.S. to avoid confusing the
Of 30 Florida black bears who
were outfitted with radio collars in June
1991, three were poached within a year
study. There was only one other death.
Asian bear gall customers are
paying up to $5,500 for videos depicting
how the bears are killed and butchered.
“The more aggressive the bear acts, the
more the gall is supposedly worth,” says
Canadian Parks Service chief warden Duane
Martin. Reports of bear-poaching in west-
ern Canada have nearly tripled in the past
two years, but only 19 such incidents have
Effective October 1, Canada
banned possession of about 60 military-type
weapons, limited the magazines of semi-
automatic shotguns to five cartridges,
imposed a 28-day waiting period for people
who seek a gun permit, and introduced a
mandatory firearms safety course for first-
time gun purchasers.
Fewer than 30,000 of the
300,000 Ohio deer hunters bought doe per-
mits this year; just 47,073 bought them last
year. Of course, killing does would lasting-
ly cut the deer population, whereas killing
bucks has the opposite effect over a number
of years because the ratio of females to
males in the population increases, increas-
ing the annual ratio of offspring to adult
deer. (The ratio is 1/1 in a good year with
equal sex distribution, but is as high as
56/29–nearly 2/1–in some areas where doe
hunting has long been discouraged.)
Vermont will hold a doe season
this year for the first time since 1987–for
hunters using muzzleloaders only, which
practically guantees many more will be
wounded than are killed and retrieved.
Quebec plans to trap over 150
coyotes a year in the Lower St. Lawrence
and Gaspe regions of the province during
the next five years in hopes of doubling the
deer population–which is down 50% since
1987, when intensive hunting was said to
be necessary due to deer overpopulation.
Prisoners at the Texas state pen-
itentiary in Huntsville have been making
and selling illegal electric fish-stunners,
using state-supplied materials. State repre-
sentative Alan Hightower (D-Huntsville)
has demanded an investigation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service is weighing charges against 50 peo-
ple including numerous officials of Bell
County, Texas, for allegedly illegally bait-
ing doves on Sept. 9 at a ranch owned by
former district judge Don Busby.
President George Bush recently
told a gathering in Provo, Utah, that he
would “resist any effort to stop hunting and
fishing on the public lands,” such as
amendments to the National Wildlife
Refuge Management and Policy Act (S.
1862) that would delete a reference to hunt-
ing as a primary function of the National
Wildlife Refuge System. “If S. 1862 gets
passed as is,” Wildlife Refuge Reform
Coalition coordinator Kristen Berger warns,
“our hopes for meaningful Refuge reform
will be lost for another five to 10 years.”
The League of Ohio Sportsmen
is petitioning for an open dove season–with
the support of the state Division of Wildlife.
“Kids aren’t going to be disappointed and
neither are others who try dove hunting,”
says wildlife management director Pat
Ruble, “because you can just about guaran-
tee that they will see birds…This is a great
sport for the handicapped as well,” being
about as hard as shooting park bench
pigeons. Previous attempts to start a dove
season were stopped by court action in 1976
and by a single vote on the floor of the state
House in 1980.
Missouri Conservationist, pub-
lished by one of the few state wildlife
departments supported by tax funds rather
than hunting permits sales, included an arti-
cle on “live-bird training with pen-reared
birds,” i.e. Hegins-type bird-blasting in
your own back yard, in its Sept. issue.
Protest to 2901 West Truman Blvd.,
Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Amazon jungle natives, far from
being great stewards of biodiversity, kill 14
million animals a year, many of them
endangered, with often severe effects on the
ecosystem, Univ. of Fla. researchers claim.
New York now permits quadri-
plegics to hunt from wheelchairs with pow-
erful crossbows that can be fired without the
use of hands. The legislature didn’t address
what happens when such hunters wound ani-
mals who limp away over rough terrain.
Someone recently shot at one of
the two endangered California condors
who were released last January in Los Padres
National Forest, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
reports–but the three shots missed.
“The Rabbit Stick Rendez-
vous, “ held Sept. 14-19 near Rexburg,
Idaho, “is an effort to preserve and master
stone age aboriginal skills,” according to the
Boulder Outdoor Survival School, which
promotes the event from P.O. Box 905,
Rexburg, ID 83440. It’s really just a New
Age name for what were called “bunny
bops” 20 years ago, when Cleveland Amory
described them in his book Man Kind?
Bowhunter George M. White of
Birmingham, Michigan, has patented a face
mask to kill hunters’ bad breath so that they
don’t spook deer. White received U.S. patent
The Wright Mill Tree Farm of
Canterbury, Conn., offers captive bird-shoot-
ing “accompanied by professional guides
and trained bird dogs” on a 300-acre site–
about the size of a city block.
Eight thousand racing pigeons
worth $864,000 vanished between August 29
and September 2 during a race from Hay to
Sydney, Australia. Only 80 pigeons made it
home. “I’m afraid a lot of them may have
been killed by these thugs in the gun clubs,”
said Sam Beggs, director of the Australian
Pigeon Fanciers Association.
Lead sinkers lost by fishing
enthusiasts jeopardize the survival of the
now scarce common loon, says Tufts
University widlife veterinarian Mark Pokras.