Bobcat Hunting May Soon Be Reinstated in IL

pawsdownPaws Down! To the Illinois legislature for passing a bill that would lift the ban on bobcat hunting in the state of Illinois.

Like many predators, bobcats only have one litter per year, which can make populations especially vulnerable to hunting.

Like many predators, bobcats only have one litter per year, which can make populations especially vulnerable to hunting.

According to a recent news article, a longstanding ban on hunting bobcats in the state of Illinois may soon be lifted. The measure is being pushed by state Representative Patrick Verschoore who feels that bobcats are a threat to residential areas and farms. Bobcats are predators, but their average weight rarely exceeds thirty pounds and conflicts with humans are extremely rare. However, as a keystone predator – that is, a predator who has no natural enemy, the reproduction rate of this animal is notably low. A low reproduction rate renders these animals particularly vulnerable to overhunting. Last year, the Illinois legislature passed a bill to reinstate the hunting of bobcats, but it was vetoed by then-Governor Pat Quinn.

Take action. Residents of Illinois, contact Governor Bruce Rauner and urge him to keep the hunting of bobcats illegal in Illinois.

Raccoon Trapping Now Legal in Entire State of Georgia

Ppawsdownaws Down!

To Governor Nathan Dean of Georgia for passing H.B. 160  that has made trapping raccoons in Northern Georgia legal.

Raccoons can now be trapped for their fur throughout the entire state of Georgia.

Raccoons can now be trapped for their fur throughout the entire state of Georgia.

The use of steel traps (of any kind) in the trapping of animals is cruel.  It creates extreme fear and pain which no animal should be subject to.  Northern Georgia and Southern Georgia were at a standstill on this until recently. As detailed in a local news article, residents of Northern Georgia were encouraged to petition Governor Nathan Dean for the continued protection of the raccoons there. According to Emory Dunahoo, a representative of Hall County, the reason the northern raccoons were “off limits” was a result of “a feud” between hunters and trappers.  Unfortunately, that is no longer the case since the H.B. 160 Bill was signed on April 27, 2015.

Take Action: Contact your state legislature to encourage restrictions on wild animal trapping in your state.

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BLM Rejects Permit Request for Cash-Prize Killing Derby

The BLM has cancelled a permit requesting the use of their land for a "predator derby."

The BLM has cancelled a permit requesting the use of their land for a “predator derby.”

Pawpawsups Up! To the United States Bureau of Land Management for cancelling a permit for a predator-killing competition in Idaho. Earlier this year, the hunting group Idaho For Wildlife applied for a special-use permit to include Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in a “predator derby,” in which contestants would kill as many animals as possible, namely wolves and coyotes, for a cash prize. The BLM initially planned to disperse the event through the Salmon, Challis and Upper Snake BLM field offices during the three-day event in early January. However, according to a recent news story, the BLM announced on November 13th that the permit was cancelled. Although the killing derby is still scheduled to take place, participants will not be permitted to hunt on BLM lands. In 2013, the event drew about 230 people, approximately 100 of them hunters, who killed 21 coyotes but no wolves. Take Action: Contact the Idaho Office of the Bureau of Land Management and thank them for not allowing the slaughter of animals on BLM land.

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Wolf Study in MN

Minnesota may gather more information before permitting wolf hunts.

Minnesota may conduct population studies before re-opening wolf hunts in the state.

Two bills are being considered in the Minnesota State Legislature that would suspend wolf hunts to give time for studies to be conducted. The results of these studies would help determine the best way to manage wolves and livestock and to get an accurate account of what is happening to the state’s wolf population.

The results of these studies, authorized under HF 2680 and SF 2256 , would create an annual wolf census and develop educational plans to reduce conflicts between wolves and humans, among other actions.

Minnesota residents, contact your legislators and encourage them to support these bills.

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When you think about it…where’s the fun when death is the ultimate outcome?

Unfortunately, many families encourage and participate in hunting for fun, recreational purposes.

Unfortunately, many families encourage and participate in hunting for fun, recreational purposes.

Why do some individuals enjoy massacring innocent animals? And why do some think it’s just fine to encourage their children to take part in the action? From the deadly pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania to the annual squirrel slam in Holley, New York, and the most recent Predator Masters convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico, people are destroying nature. Of course, those participating in these events don’t see it that way. They’re just out to have a fun family day killing wildlife. Yeah, it’s all just a fun family day. But what about the pigeons and their families; what about the squirrels and their families? The coyotes and theirs? This is no fun family day for them.

Some of these events are meant to raise money for worthy causes, just as the auction of a permit to shoot an endangered black rhino was promoted as a fundraiser to help conserve the species. Can’t we raise money for worthy causes without having to resort to violence? Can’t we have fun without harming others? When you think about it…where is the fun when death is the ultimate outcome?

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When you think about it…killing to conserve is an oxymoron.

The Dallas Safari Club is planning to raise conservation funds for the black rhino population by raffling off a permit to hunt and kill a member of the species.

The Dallas Safari Club is planning to raise conservation funds for the black rhino population by raffling a permit to hunt and kill a member of the species.

A recent news article noted that the Dallas Safari Club wants to raise funds to help conserve the black rhino by selling chances to win a permit to kill a black rhino.

There just seems to be something terribly wrong when an organization that purports to want to save a species is doing so by auctioning off a permit that will allow a hunter to kill a member of that species. Why not sell 50/50 raffle tickets or have a bake sale—okay, that won’t raise the kind of money the Dallas Safari Club contends it can raise for conservation—but to kill what you want to save just doesn’t make sense.

How will the winner of the hunting permit decide which animal’s life should be taken? Why is one life less important than another? Each rhino’s life is inherently important to that rhino and possibly to that rhino’s family and herd members. Who are we to decide one of the rhinos’ lives is to be spared and another’s is to be taken—all in the name of conserving the species? Yes, money is needed to protect dwindling numbers of many wild animals. But is raising that money by taking a life the best way to do so?

When you think about it…killing to conserve is an oxymoron.

When you think about it…let’s support those who don’t want to kill.

The youth of our country are now the targets of those that must keep the "tradition" of hunting alive.

The youth of our country are targeted by those struggling to keep the dying “tradition” of hunting alive.

While the number of hunters is actually decreasing, those interested in keeping the “tradition” of hunting alive are now focusing on the youth of our country. Get rifles into their hands when they’re young and maybe, just maybe, the “tradition” will continue. However, many young people are not interested in hunting. They don’t see the point of it. Killing wildlife is not high on their list of priorities. So, what’s the hunting industry to do?

Often the decision is to make it easier for children to hunt. Some states lower the age at which children can hunt on their own. Some firearms manufactures make rifles specifically fit for children and in colors to entice their interest. Some wildlife agencies host killing contests designed just for children. Yet, not all children want to stalk squirrels. We should applaud those who do not want to kill for the sake of killing. We need to offer them alternatives to learn about wildlife while preserving wildlife. When you think about it…let’s support those who don’t want to kill. While companies and agencies that make money off hunting will lose, our children and wildlife will reap great rewards.

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