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Public Perception Problem
Public perception has certainly taken its toll on the modern trapper. Somewhere down the line of American evolution, we began to set social norms for what was deemed “okay” for harvesting our nation’s natural resources. Killing for food, for instance, is generally socially tolerated, while taking an animal’s life for a beneficial garment is somehow deemed “selfish” or “greedy”. At some point, we seemed to lose the bearings of our moral compass, shaming perceived “luxury items” like fur garments as “materialistic” while we wait in line for the latest and greatest smart-phone or sports car. Here in North America, super PACs and politicians spend billions of dollars in an attempt to outright ban activities such as trapping, all the while turning their backs to the millions (yes, millions) of wild animals wasted daily on our nation’s roadways. The acts of modern regulated hunting and trapping will never hold a candle to the immense suffering man’s inadvertent progression has placed upon our fragile wildlife species. Deforestation, housing development, pollution, infrastructure, and rapid population growth all take their toll on wildlife. What’s rarely reported in the media or brought up in debates is the trapper’s ever-watchful eye over our natural resources. Our tools have also evolved with ethical and humane treatment being the primary focus.
As modern trappers, we will continue to do what we know and believe to be right, and support managing our natural resources with moral wisdom. We’ll set our traps for pelts, and assume our role in modern wildlife conservation. The fur trapper lives in a modern world, and we must constantly fight being totally forgotten by our own kind. As our society continues to redefine itself, more people seem to be seeking to move further away from the daily grind and closer to the land, and I hope the interest in trapping and the understanding of its immense value will continue to grow. If the modern trapper’s solitary watch were to be removed from our woods, North America’s natural beauty would certainly lose another layer of defense against our own industrialization.
Woonsocket's Ralph Dellinger enters the NWTF NE Hall of Fame
EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation is pleased to see H.R. 2591, the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act of 2017, approved by the U.S. House of Representatives today. We would like to express our appreciation to Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) and the other sponsors of this important legislation for their dedication.
Sponsored by Scott and original co-sponsors Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), H.R. 2591 authorizes a portion of the funds allotted in the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, commonly referred to as the Pittman-Robertson Act, for state fish and wildlife agencies’ use to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters and recreational shooters. The legislation provides agencies more flexibility to use the funding to appeal to potential hunters and shooters and to create public shooting ranges to encourage more participation.
“Hunting and recreational shooting provide vital funding to state fish and wildlife agencies to deliver on-the-ground conservation and sustainable management of wildlife and their habitat,” said NWTF CEO Becky Humphries. “The increased ability to attract and retain new hunters and recreational shooters provided by this legislation ensures funding for conservation into the future.”
The NWTF also extends thanks to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives for their support of this important legislation. With the number of active hunters and recreational shooters on the decline, this legislation is crucial to our nation’s hunting heritage.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. ml PlanetTo succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.
Posted by Wayne G. Barber & Photo by Wayne G. Barber
DEM Stocking Local Waters With Trout For Columbus Day Weekend
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will begin stocking trout in ponds across Rhode Island next week in advance of Columbus Day weekend – a popular time for recreational fishing.
The following waters will be stocked with rainbow and brook trout before Columbus Day
• Burrillville – Round Top Ponds • Charlestown – Lower Shannock, Pawcatuck River • Coventry – Carbuncle Pond • Exeter – Breakheart Pond, Browning Mill Pond • Glocester – Spring Grove Pond • Lincoln – Olney Pond (Lincoln Woods State Park) • North Kingstown – Silver Spring Lake • Richmond – Meadowbrook Pond, Beaver River, Wyoming Pond • Scituate – Hope Mill Landing, Upper Pawtuxet River • South Kingstown – Barber Pond • Other selected areas on the Wood and Pawcatuck Rivers.
Anglers and other recreationists are reminded that at this time of the year, the threat of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae may be found in Rhode Island lakes and ponds. Currently there are several advisories statewide. There is an advisory at Spectacle Pond, Blackamore Pond, Cranston; Central Pond, Ten Mile River, Omega Pond, Turner Reservoir, East Providence; Almy Pond, Newport; Tarkiln Pond, North Smithfield; Melville Ponds, Sisson Pond, Portsmouth; Mashapaug Pond, Roosevelt, Willow, Edgewood, and Pleasure Lakes, Japanese Gardens (all in Roger Williams Park), Providence; and Slack Reservoir, Smithfield-Johnston; and Little Pond, Warwick. Anglers and others should avoid these ponds for recreation. Waters with cyanobacteria and/or blue-green algae are toxic to animals.
MONTPELIER, VT -- Canadian officials confirmed on September 14 the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a captive red deer herd in Quebec province. With the infected deer housed within 100 miles of the Vermont border, wildlife officials expressed concern for its proximity to the state and are carefully monitoring the potential for movement of deer across the border.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department issued a reminder to hunters traveling outside Vermont to hunt--and now particularly to Quebec--that the regulation restricting the importation of deer and elk carcasses, which is designed to protect Vermont's wild deer from chronic wasting disease, remains in effect and will be fully enforced.
Ticks and Lyme disease are an enormous public health concern that must be addressed immediately. The smartest choice to tackle this issue is to work with Mother Nature rather than against. This means placing a moratorium on the recreational and commercial killing of foxes in Vermont. Foxes are a main predator of white footed mice who are an effective carrier and a key host of Lyme disease. Interventions, such as culling the deer population or spraying harmful tick-killing pesticides on lawns and clothing, have made minimal differences in lessening the spread of ticks and ultimately end up being short-term solutions. Protecting Vermont’s predators such as foxes and allowing their population to grow is getting more to the root of the problem, as opposed to quick fixes.
Research studies have shown that there is a link between the increase of mice populations and activity and the decline of predators that hunt mice, such as foxes. Mice infect up to 95 percent of ticks that feed on them and are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks carrying Lyme disease in the Northeast. If a moratorium is placed on the recreational and commercial killing of foxes in Vermont, there is a strong possibility that we may see a decline in the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. This increased level of predator activity means fewer mice supplying blood meals for the next generation of ticks, which results in fewer ticks becoming infected. Addressing the root cause of the problem is a commonsense approach that does not present any downsides.
This safe, sensible and effective policy of halting the sport killing of foxes may have tremendous and lifesaving results for the health and safety for Vermont residents.
The health benefits of establishing a moratorium on the hunting and trapping of foxes far outweigh any recreational benefits experienced by a small fraction of Vermonters. No one can equate the paltry price of a fox pelt with the cost of bearing Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses. Taking a modest, evidenced-based step to combat the rapidly growing rate of tick-borne diseases is well worth the time and effort of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board to consider.