Hunting & Fishing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:

A bill to ban pigeon shoots includ-
ing the notorious Labor Day shoot in Hegins
fell three votes short of clearing the
Pennsylvania state house on March 8––and
actually drew a majority of the votes cast, 99-
93. However, 103 votes would have been
required to pass the bill from the 202-member
house to the state senate. Though the bill
would almost certainly have failed in the sen-
ate, where 38 of the 48 members have ‘A’ rat-
ings from the National Rifle Association, the
vote was a marked advance from 1989, when
the house defeated a similar bill, 126-66.
The Colorado house finance com-
mittee on February 16 killed as contrary to the
expressed intent of the electorate a bill that
would have reauthorized spring bear hunting
and hunting bears with hounds and bait––all of
which were banned by referendum in 1992.

The Vermont Agency of Natural
Resources warned in February that
antifreeze is toxic to fish. The warning
became necessary because some contestants in
icefishing derbies were using antifreeze to
keep as many as 15 holes open at a time, each
rigged with a separate baited hook.
An independent poll recently pub-
lished in the Bangor Daily News reportedly
found that 71% of the respondents including
62% of the deer hunters favor reverse posting,
whereby land would be presumed closed to
hunting unless posted as open to it.
Following up a ban on the use of
lead shotgun pellets, the Environmental
Protection Agency on March 3 proposed ban-
ning fishing sinkers that contain lead or zinc.
Both spent shot and lost sinkers cause lead
poisoning in bottom-foraging waterfowl.
The Pelagic Shark Research
Foundation announced February 18 that
California Bowman Hunters has agreed to
limit contestants in the annual Elkhorn Slough
Archery Derby to killing one shark apiece,
and to cease holding killing contests during the
shark breeding season. Elkhorn Slough was
once a primary spawning area for bat rays,
leopard sharks, and smoothhound sharks––
none dangerous to humans––but massacres
promoted by the shellfishing industry have
now made the sharks scarce.
The 191 British foxhound packs
kill 20,000 foxes per year, according to The
Economist, while hunters and trappers kill
another 120,000. Hunting bans recently adopt-
ed by many communities, following the loss
by 12 votes of a ban proposed in the House of
Commons, have been overturned by the
courts, which have ruled that only the Crown
has jurisdiction over wildlife.
An estimated 60,000 hunters
marched in Bordeaux, France, on February
27 to protest a European Court of Justice rul-
ing that the French bird hunting season must
close January 31, rather than March 31 as has
been costomary; a second ECJ ruling that the
French turtle-dove season, held each May, is
illegal; and a recommendation against the use
of “non-specific methods,” e.g. traps, recently
passed by the European Parliament.
Starting March 1, California fish-
ing license holders must wear their licenses
in a visible place. Federal studies indicate that
up to 25% of all fishers are not licensed.
Shannon King, 18, of Henrietta,
New York, shot a 12-inch arrow through his
forehead into his brain on February 16 while
cleaning his crossbow. King survived.
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