Wildlife serial-killing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1996:

The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service has proposed
opening the Cape May National
Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey to
migratory bird hunting. Targeted
would be rails, gallinules, woodcock,
common snipe, ducks, geese,
coots, and mergansers. The rationale,
from the official impact statement:
“The demand for additional
public hunting areas increases as
more and more land is developed.
Providing the hunting public with
areas in which to hunt helps assure a
safe and quality hunting experience.”

A 30-day comment period
ended on May 3, but on the chance
it may be reopened, comments
might still be sent to Refuge
Manager, Cape May National
Wildlife Refuge, 24 Kimbles Beach
Road, Cape May Court House, NJ
08210-2078. The refuge was
opened to deer hunting for the first
time just this past winter.
Wisconsin hunters
including governor Tommy
T h o m p s o n, an avid hunter, are
reportedly up in arms over the recommendation
of a seven-member
Department of Natural Resources
panel that bucks be off limits to
hunting until sufficient does are
killed to stabilize the fast-growing
deer population. Killing bucks
accelerates deer reproduction by
increasing the proportion of the herd
who bear fawns, and by making
more food available to does during
the winter, increasing the likelihood
of twin births.
Theodore Roosevelt
Fitzgerald, 50, of Utica, New
York, agreed on May 6 to close the
168-acre Hunter’s Quest Game
Ranch, a canned hunt, and pleaded
guilty to three misdemeanors, rather
than stand trial for a variety of
charges pertaining to the discovery
by wardens of untagged animals of
multiple species at a taxidermy shop.
The Virginia Board of
Game and Inland Fisheries i s
“considering adopting regulations
that would sanction ‘foxhound training
preserves,’” says a recent
Humane Society of the U.S. bulletin.
“Red and gray foxes would be
trapped in the wild for release in
these ‘preserves.’ Packs of foxhounds
would be set on the foxes,
ostensibly to make the hounds better
hunters.” Washington Post coverage
indicates Virginia has tolerated
about 20 such facilities for the past
11 years. Letters may be sent to the
Board of Game and Inland Fisheries,
4010 West Broad St., POB 11104,
Richmond, VA 23230.
Eleven bowhunters
among them killed just one
g r o u n d h o g during a “groundhog
derby” held over the weekend of
May 11-12 by the Leeds and Grenville
Archery Club, of Brockville,
Ontario. Participation may have
been held down by rain.
The Wildlife Legislative
Fund of America, League of Ohio
Sportsmen, and Ohio Conservation
Coalition are pushing a scheme––
opposed by the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources––that would
replace ODNR authority over hunting,
trapping, and fishing with an
Ohio Fish and Wildlife Commission,
to consist of two farmers and five
regional representatives.
The Maine Supreme
Court on May 7 reinstated the trespassing
conviction of former state
trooper Stephen Emerson IV, who
earlier persuaded a Superior Court
justice that he wasn’t trespassing
because he wasn’t actually on the
land when he shot at a deer decoy
set up by wardens in a neighbor’s
posted yard. The neighbor had
repeatedly warned Emerson away.

The Missouri Department
of Conservation has ratified
a river otter trapping season to run
from November 20, 1996 to January
20, 1997, with no bag limit.
Promoting otter trapping, the
Missouri Trappers Association is
donating an otter coat to the next
Miss Missouri, to be named on June
8. Letters opposing federal approval
of the export of otter pelts may be
sent to the Office of Scientific
Authority, Room 750, U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service, 4401 North
Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA
22203. Deadline for receipt is June
3. The Miss Missouri Pageant may
be addressed c/o 626 Summit,
Mexico, MO 65265.
Lending further urgency
to the effort of Colorado People
Allied With Wildlife to ban lethal
trapping, snaring, and poisoning
via a November ballot initiative,
Colorado governor Roy Romer on
April 14 signed into law a bill transferring
responsibility for predator
control regulations from the state
Division of Wildlife to the
Department of Agriculture. Ranchers
will now in effect regulate the
hunting and trapping of coyotes,
wolves, pumas, bobcats, foxes,
bears, beavers, muskrats, raccoons,
opossums, and striped skunks.
Ranchers and trappers pushed for the
transfer of authority after the
Colorado Wildlife Commission last
summer recommended a requirement
that leghold traps be padded,
and sought to ban coyote hunting
during their nursing season.
Testimony from eight
members of The Fur-Bearer
D e f e n d e r s, a five-minute video of
animals in traps, and letters opposing
the trapping of red foxes by a
ratio of 250-to-three on April 5
influenced the California Fish and
Game Commission to reject a
request for a year-round unlimited
red fox season, advanced by the
California Trappers Association,
California Sportsman’s Lobby, and
the Glen County Fish, Game, and
Recreation Commission, with the
endorsement of the California
Department of Fish and Game.
A district court in Den
Hague, The Netherlands, ruled on
March 28 that the Dutch government
has the legal right to unilaterally
implement a ban on the import of
pelts from species often caught by
leghold trapping. The Metis Nation
of the Northwest Territories,
Canada, had contended that the
import ban was illegal because the
European Union as a whole has
delayed implementing the continentwide
ban it was to be part of.

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