From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1992:

Fourteen million Americans hunted
in 1991, according to newly released U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service statistics; 34.5
million fished; and more than 76 million
watched, photographed, or fed wildlife
without feeling the need to kill.
Or rape.
Hunting critics who equate the
lethal pursuit with perversely sublimated
sexuality got an apparent case in point
November 4 when police charged hunter
Antone Mendes Jr., 40, of Plymouth,
Massachusetts, with open and gross lewd-
ness, lewd and lascivious speech or behav-
ior, assault and battery, assault with a dead-
ly weapon, attempted kidnapping, and leav-
ing a firearm in a motor vehicle unattended.
The charges allege that Mendes
sexually assaulted his hunting partner, an
unidentified 23-year-old man.

Female wardens assaulted
At Walled Lake, Michigan,
hunter Robert Tumath, 25, of Detroit, was
charged November 15 with felonious assault
for allegedly striking conservation officer
Vicky Darling in the face with the butt of his
shotgun. Tumath’s brother Roderick, 29,
was charged with assault and battery, Both
men and a companion, Scott Bollinger, 22,
of Redford, were further charged with
hunting while intoxicated and a variety of
permit violations.
At Baldwin, Michigan, state police
on November 22 apprehended a pair of pros-
titutes who had allegedly been working the
local deer camps. The two pleaded guilty to
lesser charges and served 11 days apiece in
jail. Lake County magistrate Pat Bromley
indicated to reporters that the case was
unusual only in that police had ignored pros-
titution in deer camps for a number of years.
Record deer kills were reported in
many parts of New England and the
Midwest, but human fatalities also threat-
ened to reach a 10-year high. The
Connecticut state medical examiner ruled the
November 11 death of jogger Kevin Elliott,
33, a homicide. Elliott, a known hunting
opponent, was wearing a dark blue sweatsuit
when Robert Cook, 42, nearly blew his head
off with a shotgun. Cook said he mistook
Elliott for a deer.
Robert Washburn, 47, of
Shaftsbury, Vermont, was gutting a buck
he’d just shot on November 17, when his
brother Bruce, 54, saw the buck’s head
move. Bruce fired; Robert died. A day ear-
lier, Robert Gabel, 25, was fatally shot by
a hunting companion who mistook him for a
deer. Other hunters killed when mistaken
for deer included David Callewaert, 43, of
Shelby, Michigan, and Charles Sproul, 56,
of Garden City, Michigan, who were shot
within a half hour of one another.
The unluckiest hunter of all was
probably Edward C. Gardiner Jr., 55, of
Blackwood, New Jersey. Three days after
he died in a fall while deer hunting, his tick-
et won $1 million in the New Jersey lottery.
Other victims
Although accidents were sharply
down in Pennsylvania because of a new reg-
ulation requiring turkey hunters to wear fluo-
rescent orange, a 16-year-old managed to
put a 20-year-old into the hospital in critical
condition November 3 by firing at a turkey
as the bird flew in front of the victim––who
was loading firewood into a pickup truck.
The same day, a 66-year-old hunter was
shot in the chest and stomach by a fellow
hunter from only 90 feet away––the length
of a baseball basepath. He was expected to
live. Earlier, David Allen Balin, 20, fatally
shot Philip Wayne Sickler, also 20, as they
hunted squirrels in Cain Township.
Duck hunter Todd Vriesenga, 25,
wasn’t hunting on Halloween, but he’d left
his shotgun loaded with the safety off when
he put it in the closet. When he grabbed it
to accost Adam Provencal, 18, whom he
mistook for a prankster, it discharged,
blowing Provencal’s face off. Ironically,
Provencal was approaching Vriesenga’s
house to apologize for the behavior of
friends who had thrown toilet paper on the
property earlier. Vriesenga was charged
with manslaughter.
The youngest human hunting vic-
tim of the season was apparently Gilbert
Hendrikson II, 14, of Frankfort, Indiana,
killed November 22 when his shotgun dis-
charged after he dropped it from a tree
stand. John Stone, 17, died near Sand
Lake, New York, in a similar accident
November 18.
But the youngest human seriously
endangered may have been Stacy Baum, 7,
who was waiting for a schoolbus outside
her home in Broadalbin, New York, when
Timothy Ferguson, 22, jammed the brakes
on his pickup truck, jumped out, and shot a
buck who was standing an estimated nine
feet behind her. Ferguson was charged with
four misdemeanors in the incident.
Because of the continued high
prices paid for bear paws and gallbladders
by Oriental medicine merchants, bears
remained under intense hunting pressure
across the U.S.––but not all the pressure
came from gunfire. Fifteen bears were
killed by cars as they fled across roads dur-
ing an experimental chase-only season for
Virginia houndsmen. Virgina established
the month-long season in order to sell per-
mits to houndsmen who had been taking
their dogs to West Virginia and North
Carolina, where chase seasons had already
been established.
Houndsmen and Sporting Dog
Association lobbyist Tom Evans called the
chase season “a kindness” to dogs who
need “to be let out and exercised” after
spending most of a year in kennels.
A deer hunter who recently saw a
cornered bear turn on a pack of hounds
gave ANIMAL PEOPLE a different
description. “The bear was hitting those
dogs so hard their heads went one way and
their guts the other,” he said. “I never saw
anything so cruel. I don’t know who’d raise
a dog and send it out to get hurt like that.”
Hunting notes
While the Ohio Division of
Wildlife  won’t allow public access to nui-
sance trapping reports (see “Animal
Control & Rescue,” page 8), officials have
begun releasing the names and addresses of
landowners who seek permits to kill nui-
sance deer. The idea is to pressure such
landowners into allowing more hunters on
their property.
Shooting farm-raised [tame]
pheasants is so popular in Ohio,
Division of Wildlife game management
head Pat Ruble says, that the department
doesn’t dare stop releasing them. Ohio
released 14,000 tame pheasants this year,
800 of them in connection with special
hunts for children. Virtually none of the
tame pheasants ever survive the hunting
Protect Our Earth’s Treasures
is continuing a petition drive against a pro-
posed mourning dove season in Ohio.
Request petition forms c/o 614-299-9001.
Quebec intends to ban hunting
female moose beginning in 1994, offi-
cials recently announced. Quebec moose
numbers are down from 80,000 a decade
ago to 70,000 today, while the sale of
moose hunting permits is up from circa
12,000 to more than 150,000. Officially,
the ban isn’t immediate to avoid harming
outfitters who have already taken reserva-
tions for the next moose season. But a
Quebec general election must be held in
1993, and tougher hunting laws traditional-
ly hurt the party in power, to the extent that
the previous incumbent administration once
virtually legalized jacklighting. The anti-
jacklighting law was restored after the
incumbents were re-elected.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural
Resources has proposed legalizing the cap-
ture of native wildlife such as rabbits, foxes,
and coyotes for pursuit by dogs within
fenced compounds The proposal would
amend Bill 162, the Fur Farms Act, which
would otherwise protect wildlife (particular-
ly lynx) from capture for commercial
exploitation. The comment period on the
proposal expired November 22, but letters
may still be addressed to Bud Wildman,
Minister of Natural Resources, Whitney
Block, Queen’s Park, 99 Wellesley St. W.,
6th floor, Room 6301, Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M7A 1W3.
Despite a decade of protest t h a t
began with the 1971 film Bless The Beasts
and the Children and petered out circa
1981, the Arizona Fish and Game Dept.
still hosts annual bison massacres at the
Raymond Ranch Wildlife Area, east of
Flagstaff. The killing––at extremely close
range––earns the state about $13,000 a year.
Houston Chronicle hunting writer
Joe Doggett argues that the 12-goose bag
limit now effective for waterfowl hunters
should be decreased, not to protect the
geese but because, “The typical rag spread
party of six or eight hunters could fill the
bed of a pickup truck with a full limit push-
ing 100 geese. Non-hunters are getting
increasingly edgy over such sights.”
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