From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1995:
Heeding an appeal from Brigitte Bardot, the cabinet of
Lebanon on August 30 reaffirmed a national ban on hunting imposed
effective January 1. The Association of Gun Salesmen had pushed for the
opening of a 14-week hunting season, to have begun on September 15.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, spending $50,000 to
restore elk to the Chequamegon National Forest in Illinois, in hopes of
building a huntable herd, has included in this year’s budget $5,500 for
30,000 posters explaining to hunters how to tell an elk from a deer and
why none of the recently released elk seed stock should be shot just yet.
Canada has begun phasing out the legal use of lead shot, to
prevent lead posioning of waterfowl and raptors who eat fish containing
lead pellets, and will ban lead shot entirely by 1997, says environment
minister Sheila Copps. The U.S. has been phasing out legal use of lead
shot for more than a decade, banning it from use over water at the
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Vermont in 1985 and proposing
to ban it from more sites each year since, including use over land against
small game at 43 refuges effective in 1996 under amendments to federal
regulations published on August 16. However, U.S. ammunition makers
continue to sell lead shot; Canadians buy $6 million worth per year.
Bill McCollum (R-Florida) has pledged to hold a hearing
this fall on HR 1202, the Captive Exotic Animal Protection Act of 1995.
“It is apparent that the game farms this legislation would attempt to
address make a mockery of hunting and perhaps even humanity,”
McCollumn recently wrote of the anti-canned hunt bill.
Responsibility for the administration of the Non-hunters
Rights Alliance, cofounded by Dan Namowitz and the late Lorraine
Tedeschi, has been transferred to Arnold Baer, New England Regional
Director for the Humane Society of the U.S., c/o Route 112, POB 619,
Jacksonville, VT 05342-0619. The NhRA advocates reversing the posting
onus, so that land must be posted if hunting is allowed there, rather
than if hunting is not allowed, a measure which would improve the ability
of landowners to keep hunters out even when posting signs blow down
or are torn down.
On the agenda for the Alaska Board of Game meeting of
October 21-28 are Proposal 16, to allow Alaskans to sell bear gall bladders,
which Sandra Arnold of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance believes “will
provide incentives for more bears to be killed for profit”; Proposals 22,
23, and 25, which seek to close the McNeil River State Game Refuge to
grizzly bear hunting after a two-year experiment with a lottery for permits
to kill the half-tame bears; and Proposals 28 and 29, which would
reinstitute wolf-killing to increase moose and caribou numbers. Letters of
comment may be faxed, before October 6, to 907-465-6094.
Georgia-Pacific, Weyerhaeuser, and the John Hancock
Insurance Company are reportedly moving from an open access policy
for hunters on their southeastern Oklahoma timberlands to private leasing,
a change which is expected to increase revenue and reduce liability for the
landowners while also reducing hunting pressure. The Oklahoma
Wildlife Commission has offered the companies a publicly funded
wildlife management package including forest restoration and fire control
in a last-ditch bid to keep the hunting access open.
The fall goose season was cancelled on August 23 in the 16
states comprising the Atlantic Flyway due to a crash in the number of
geese nesting in northern Quebec. The Quebec flocks have fallen from
about 750,000 geese to fewer than 250,000 since 1988, while the number
of nesting pairs has fallen from 116,000 to 29,000. Waterfowlers are still
allowed to shoot ducks, who are expected to come under exceptionally
heavy fire because hunters can’t blast geese, and resident Canada
geese––the latter targeted in special seasons. The New York “nuisance
goose” season ran from September 5 to September 15.
A $250,000 study of bowhunting wounding rates c o n d u c t e d
by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and West Virginia
University found that an average of 1,823 archers per hunt studied hit deer
237 times––about once per nine archers––and took home 173 deer per
hunt, under one per 10 archers. The average maximum wounding loss
rate was 13%, but about 45% of the deer wounded were later killed by
other hunters. This would make the wounding loss rate in bowhunting
about double the loss rate found in studies of rifle hunting, but far less
than the 50% loss rate found in studies of Texas and Illinois bowhunters.
The number of licenced hunters in the U.S. dropped from
15.6 million in 1993 to 15.3 million last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service reported on August 3, but the number of anglers grew from 30.18
million to 30.24 million.
Ardent fox hunter and vivisector Dr. Gordon Nichols
F r e n c h, 76, former associate dean of the University of Pennsylvania
medical school, died of head injuries on August 28 after losing his mount
during a hunt by Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds, of Chester County,
Fox hunters seeking a missing $5,000 hound in the
Blackwater State Forest of Florida on August 28 captured, trussed, and
killed a 50-year-old, 500-pound, 11-foot alligator whose stomach included
telemetric collars and tags from seven hunting dogs in all, one of
whom vanished in 1981. At least 25 dogs were missing and believed
stolen in the vicinity.