Clinton has election eve conversion on hunting

WIth elections near so many politicians start to come out in favor of hunting, even in Democratic primaries. Now it is Hillary Clinton's turn:

WAUSAU, WIS. -- At a campaign stop this afternoon, Hillary Clinton’s focus was on the economy and health care but some in the crowd had other things on their minds. Clinton was asked to discuss gun control which prompted Clinton to talk about her days holding a rifle in the cold, shallow waters in backwoods Arkansas.

“I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to hunt. I went duck hunting in Arkansas. I remember standing in that cold water, so cold, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men. The sun’s up, the ducks are flying and they are playing a trick on me. They said, ‘we’re not going to shoot, you shoot.’ They wanted to embarrass me. The pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck and they were surprised as I was,” Clinton said drawing laughter from the crowd. . . .

Emphasis added by me to the word "rifle" in the text. Does Hillary know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle? Does she realize how hard it is to shot a duck with a rifle and to even do it on one's first shot? I doubt it.

Thanks to Ben Zycker for the link.

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Teaching hunting as a class in school?

Given all the benefits from hunting, this seems like an idea whose time has come:

CHARLESTON, W.VA. --A significant drop in the number of hunters in West Virginia has left a hole in the state's budget, and one lawmaker thinks he has a solution: allow children to receive hunter training in school.
Seventh- through ninth-graders could opt for instruction in topics ranging from survival skills to gun safety, but the weapons would have dummy ammunition or be disabled. Sen. Billy Wayne Bailey, who introduced the bill this month, doesn't envision students firing real guns during class time. . . .

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Deer Spreading into in even densely populated areas

Here is what one New Jersey County is trying to do:

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- On a hilltop with breathtaking views of New York's skyline, sharpshooters perched in trees took aim Tuesday at white-tailed deer, a species being crowded out of one of the nation's most densely populated areas.
The problem is common enough in New Jersey's suburbs, as it is in other communities that have brought in marksmen to thin the herd: When their numbers get too great, the gentle animals destroy the forest, spread Lyme disease and pose a hazard for drivers.
But perhaps nowhere else have the trained shooters been so close to so many people as they are on the South Mountain Reservation, a nature preserve bordering hundreds of high-priced homes in the thick of the country's most crowded state.
"I could come out on my deck and get shot," said Sharon McClenton, a 42-year-old teacher whose house in West Orange butts up against the preserve.
Officials and many other residents insist, to the consternation of animal rights activists, that the hunt is necessary. . . .



One boy who I predict is going to be a hunter

I had a friend who once claimed that he could only eat rabbit and lion meat, but I take this story a little more seriously:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A 6-year-old Plainville, Conn., boy is suffering from a rare food allergy and deer meat is the only solid protein the boy can stomach, according to his family.

Timmy Armstrong has eosinophilic esophagitis, a condition in which food allergies trigger an intense inflammation of the esophagus, according to a report from WTNH News Channel 8. . . .



Animal Rights Groups Merge to Fight Hunting

Animal rights groups merging to better fight to end hunting:

The voice of America's anti-hunting forces is trying to become more powerful.

In what the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is calling a "precisely-calculated effort," the Humane Society of the United States is attempting to consolidate all of the animal rights movement's political power under a single umbrella.

Humane Society director Wayne Pacelle reportedly told one publication that his organization may soon merge with at least three unnamed animal rights organizations.

OK, so if they end hunting deer, what will happen to the deer population? What will happen to the cost of food as farmers have deer eat more of their crops? What will happen to the additional motorists who run into deer?

Meanwhile, Obama "pledges support for Animal Rights."

He said he sponsored a bill to prevent horse slaughter in the Illinois state Senate and has been repeatedly endorsed by the Humane Society. "I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other," he said. "And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals."
(emphasis added)

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The cost of animal and car crashes

Jim Robbins details the increasing cost of accidents from deer and other animals.

Wildlife-related crashes are a growing problem on rural roads around the country. The accidents increased 50 percent from 1990 to 2004, based on the most recent federal data, according to the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University here.

The basic problem is that rural roads are being traveled by more and more people, many of them living in far-flung subdivisions. Each year, about 200 people are killed in as many as two million wildlife-related crashes at a cost of more than $8 billion, the institute estimated in a report prepared for the National Academies of Science.

Ninety percent of the accidents occur on rural two-lane roads, and the most common animal involved is a deer. . . .

The human death toll has risen from 111 in 1995 to around 200 in 2005, the most recent year for which figures are available. Officials say better designed highways would help lower the number.

An 80 percent increase in 10 years is pretty amazing. One cause that he doesn't mention in the piece is the increases in the number of animals. As the number of animals increases, the animals move into areas where people live.



‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting’

A Q&A with Bill Steigerwald and Frank Miniter on this interesting topic can be seen here.



New Op-ed: On the benefits from Hunting


Percentage of Americans who are Hunters Plummets

New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10 percent between 1996 and 2006 - from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.

The primary reasons, experts say, are the loss of hunting land to urbanization plus a perception by many families that they can't afford the time or costs that hunting entails.

"To recruit new hunters, it takes hunting families," said Gregg Patterson of Ducks Unlimited. "I was introduced to it by my father, he was introduced to it by his father. When you have boys and girls without a hunter in the household, it's tough to give them the experience."

Some animal-welfare activists welcome the trend, noting that it coincides with a 13 percent increase in wildlife watching since 1996. But hunters and state wildlife agencies, as they prepare for the fall hunting season, say the drop is worrisome. . . .

There are a lot of economics reasons for this. Fewer people have grown up in rural areas raising the costs of them learning how to hunt, possibly more alternative activities raising their opportunity costs, increased licensing requirements raising the costs of getting started, and having to travel farther to go hunting.

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President Signs Executive Order on Hunting

Washington, D.C. - An Executive Order issued by the President of the United States will spell more hunting opportunities and enhanced conservation efforts, according to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the nation's premier sportsmen's rights advocacy organization.

Today, President George W. Bush released the order, entitled "Facilitation of Hunting and Wildlife Conservation." It directs all relevant federal agencies to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities, wildlife management and habitat.

"The Executive Order is a great milestone for sportsmen and wildlife conservation," said Bud Pidgeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. "It clearly demonstrates that the President understands the unbreakable bond between successful wildlife conservation and hunting - that sportsmen are the key to abundant wildlife and habitat." . . .

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Boy stops wild hog as big as buffalo

This is one scary animal. It weighs as much as some buffalo and appears to be longer than most. I am no expert on this this, but one sad thing about this boy shooting the wild hog is that possibly it could have been caputred and used bred to produce larger pigs for sale for food.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Hogzilla is being made into a horror movie. But the sequel may be even bigger: Meet Monster Pig. An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004. . . . .

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