HUNTING & FISHING
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1993:
The Illinois Department of Agriculture in June
banned captive pigeon shoots on advice of the state attor-
ney general, bringing its policy into line with the state
Humane Care for Animals Act of 1973 and a January 1992
amendment to the state Conservation Code. The ban was a
major victory for anti-pigeon shoot activist Steve Hindi, of
Plano, Illinois, who has struggled since 1990 to get
enforcement of the laws against pigeon shooting.
The Fund for Animals has announced that it
will not protest against the annual Fred Coleman Memorial
Labor Day Pigeon Shoot in Hegins, Pennsylvania, this
year. Major protests orchestrated by the Fund and PETA in
1991 and 1992 backfired when they became confrontational.
Nearly twice as many shooters and shoot supporters attend-
ed the Hegins shoot last year as before the Fund got
involved, possibly attracted by the chance an activist might
get killed in the act of rescuing a bird. The Coalition
Against Live Bird Shoots in Pennsylvania will hold a small-
er protest this year; details have not yet been announced.
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission
voted June 11 to commence an open season on foxes, rac-
coons, and coyotes, despite the risk of orphaning young if
mothers are killed in spring. Opposing the actions, Port
Huron resident Cynthia Bostiwick pointed out that the com-
mission had no statistics on coyote numbers, only one writ-
ten complaint from a farmer about coyote predation, and no
evidence that hunting controls coyote numbers; in fact, the
average coyote litter size increases from 4.3 pups to 6.9
pups in areas where they are heavily hunted, according to a
1973 study done in Texas.
The Jackson Hole News on June 2 published alle-
gations from two witnesses-after-the-fact that hunter Jerry
Kysar, an opponent of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone
National Park, knew what he was doing September 30,
1993, when killed a wolf in Fox Park, a part of the
Yellowstone ecosystem. Kysar shot the animal, the first
wolf positively identified in the region in half a century,
shortly after an apparent wolf was videotaped in nearby
Hayden Valley. Establishing the presence of a native wolf
population could slow or halt the reintroduction plan.
Authorities on Manitoulin Island in Providence
Bay, Ontario, are blaming resort construction in deer yards
for causing up to 200 deer/car collisions per year, but resi-
dents who feed deer to insure plentiful targets for hunters
each fall may have more to do with it. The island has about
11,000 year-round residents, an estimated 20,000 deer, and
attracts 9,000 hunters per season.
The Williston, Vermont, branch of the Hudson
Paper Co. donated paper for permits and Villanti & Sons
Printers of Williston donated printing to help the state Fish
and Wildlife Department hold a moose hunt this fall, even
though the legislature on March 31 rejected a bill to set a
moose license fee. The Fish and Wildlife Board voted May
19 to hold the season anyway, despite the lack of the budget
the license fee would have raised.
Responding to the continuing loss of waterfowl
to lead poisoning, the Environmental Protection Agency on
June 24 announced it will follow up the gradual ban on lead
shot imposed in the mid-1980s with a ban on lead fishing
sinkers. Ducks and geese commonly ingest shot and lost
sinkers as they feed in shallow water.
Studying results of six catch-and-release bass
fishing tournaments attracting 500 to 700 entrants apiece,
Mississippi State University researcher Steve Miranda has
discovered that about 10% of the fish die immediately after
release, while another 10% die of related stress later.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission on
June 9 recalled 83,000 electric worm probes, blamed for
electrocuting at least 30 anglers since 1973.
Ohio state senator Ben Gaeth (R-Defiance) said
June 20 that he probably wouldn’t resume efforts to open a
dove season in the state until next year. Even if Gaeth had
the two more votes needed to pass the dove hunting bill , it
couldn’t take effect in time to allow dove hunting this fall.
The state of Louisiana auctioned more than 300
trophies from the Curley Miller Wildlife Museum in
Houma on June 19 to cover tax bills the late Miller ran up
while improperly claiming deductions for “donating” the
trophies to the state. An oil millionaire, Miller reputedly
hunted 11 months a year until his death in 1989 at age 61.
Correction : A typographical error in our June
issue confused the identities of Illinois Rifle Association
executive Kevin Walker and Michigan Outdoor Journal
columnist Roberts Howard the second time Howard’s
remarks were mentioned in describing a May 2 Compuserve
Pets Forum computer network exchange between the two of
them. In the exchange, Howard told Walker to quit argu-
ing with anti-hunters, because, “Actions speak louder.
Next time you are harrassed while hunting,” Howard went
on, “look around and be certain you are not observed and
buttswipe the malefactor. Place unconscious form on
ground. Retire quickly…Remember, even Jesus advocated
carrying sword under proper conditions.” One John F.
Tamburo responded, “Why break a perfectly good weapon?
Take aim and use the gun as it was designed.” Walker
objected to both suggestions.