From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1994:

Hunter harassment
WASHINGTON D.C.––A federal hunter
harassment statute became law with the August 26
passage of the Crime Bill of 1994. Added to the
Senate version of the Crime Bill by Senator Conrad
Burns (R-Montana), it cleared the Senate without
debate and was kept in the final version by a
House/Senate conference committee as a concession
to the National Rifle Association, which was irate
over the ban of 19 assault rifles named in the bill.
The statute may be considered the first fed-
eral lawmaking achievement of Humane Society of
the U.S. vice president for governmental relations
Wayne Pacelle––who can claim indirect credit for
getting more state legislation passed than any other
animal defender. Pacelle assumed his current post
after staging dozens of high-profile hunter harass-
ment actions from late 1988 into early 1994 in his
former position with the Fund for Animals. Only
four states had hunter harassment laws in 1986,
when Pacelle rose to prominence as a Yale under-
graduate with a successful constitutional challenge of
the Connecticut statute, which was thrown out in
1988 but was amended and restored by the state leg-
islature. There are now hunter harassment laws in 48
of the 50 states––and the NRA, recruiting around the
issue, now boasts a record high membership.

Courts have also ruled that the hunter
harassment laws of Montana and Wisconsin are
unconstitutional, but the Montana statute is likely to
be amended and restored soon, while the Wisconsin
verdict was reversed on appeal.
The Wildlife Legislative Fund of
America is helping the Oregon Sportsmen’s
Political Action Committee and Arizonans for
Wildlife Conservation raise $500,000 apiece for TV
ads attacking Oregon measure 18, which would ban
use of bait to hunt bears and dogs to hunt both bears
and cougars, and Arizona proposition 201, an initia-
tive seeking to ban leghold trapping. Measure 18 and
proposition 201 will each be on the November 8 bal-
lot in their respective states.
Having plea-bargained three years of
supervised probation in March 1993, on one count
of obstructing justice, after being charged with 35
counts of corruption including use of public funds to
buy hunting weapons, former sheriff Dallas Cormier
of Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, has applied for
a federal pardon so that he can go hunting again. He
already convinced a state judge to drop the last two
years of the probationary period. Cormier was also
fined $10,000, which he apparently hasn’t paid yet,
and was to do 500 hours of community service.
Both Texas governor Ann Richards and
Republican challenger George Bush, son of former
President George Bush, went dove-hunting on
September 1, the first day of the season. Bush shot a
protected killdeer, whose resemblance to a dove is
that both have wings, and was fined $130. His
knowledge of nature runs in the family: in 1989 the
elder Bush said he had no qualms about shooting
cage-reared pheasants because, “These are not ani-
mals.” (Perhaps he can find work in Pennsylvania.)
A recent amendment to the Vermont
jacklighting law, ostensibly to make watching
wildlife from a vehicle at night easier, has brought a
sharp rise in poaching, according to lieutenant war-
den Robert Rooks.
The Florida Department of Transport-
ation has applied for dredge-and-fill permits from the
Army Corps of Engineers, to build “recreational
access points” to serve hunters, leading from I-75
into the Big Cypress National Preserve and the South
Florida state water conservation area. Big Cypress is
among the last refuges of the Florida panther, which
competes with human hunters for deer.
Adrian Read, a professional safari
hunter from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, now offers
videotaped paint-gun elephant hunts, at $750 a day.
Heavily ridiculed by other safari guides, Read esti-
mates he has helped kill about 14,000 elephants over
the years, but says he no longer enjoys killing them.
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