HSUS Targets Bear Hunting And Trapping

USSA, Bear Hunting Magazine
05/14/2007

Ban dove hunting in Michigan--check. Outlaw trapping in California--check. Prohibit black bear hunting in Colorado --check. Sue to stop hunting on federal lands--check. Merge with other anti-hunting groups to form multi-million dollar mega animal rights group--check.

This is how the Humane Society of the United States plans to pick off your hunting and trapping heritage--and it is only getting started. A recent online message from HSUS President Wayne Pacelle spells out what aspects of the traditional lifestyle are next on the hit list.

Family Hunting Opportunities in the Crosshairs
Right off the bat, the HSUS has its sights on the Families Afield campaign. Families Afield is promoted by the USSA, National Wild Turkey Federation and National Shooting Sports Foundation to breakdown hunting barriers and increase hunter recruitment. Through the program, the partnership works to eliminate hunting age requirements and ease hunter education mandates for first-time hunters.

The HSUS falsely claims the program "places children in unnecessary danger." It hopes to feed on the public's weariness of children with firearms, but sportsmen must accurately convey the message that youth hunting is safe.

"Research documents that the most important factor affecting youth hunting safety is the presence of a responsible, attentive adult hunter," said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president. "Available data from states that have implemented Families Afield initiatives reveals that apprentice hunting license programs brought nearly 34,000 new hunters to the field in 2006, without a single hunting-related shooting incident."

Any Given Sunday
For the sportsmen who work during the week, Sunday may be the only chance they have to sit in a tree stand or try out a new game call, but the anti's shake their fingers at that as well.

"The Humane Society misrepresents the truth when it claims that 'hunters have six days a week to themselves in the woods,' and it calls on the public to oppose Sunday hunting opportunities," said Pidgeon. "The group's statement gives the impression that Sundays are the only days that non-hunters may enter the woods during hunting season, which is obviously completely false."

The truth is 39 states permit Sunday hunting to make it more convenient for families to find time in the field together. Eleven states prohibit or heavily restrict Sunday hunting. Ohio reports Sunday as the day with the fewest hunting complaints.

There's a Coalition for That
The USSA's Sporting Dog Defense Coalition and the Bear Hunter Rights Coalition were formed as the anti's threats to the particular hunting activities grew more frequent and more severe. Many bear hunters, houndsmen and sporting dog enthusiasts recognized the plight and have already joined the coalitions, but for those who have not, let this be your wake-up call - HSUS considers your hunting method "unsporting" and it is about to kick efforts to ban the activities into high gear.

The elimination of bear baiting is one of HSUS's top priorities. The USSA has worked to defeat the organization's efforts to abolish the activity, including ballot initiatives in Maine and Alaska, for example. The Bear Hunter Rights Coalition went head to head with HSUS to defend legislative threats to bear hunting at the state and federal levels.

Now, HSUS is revving its engine and spreading emotional rhetoric to gain traction with the public and leave black bear hunting in the dust.

Let's not forget the houndsmen and sporting dog enthusiasts - HSUS sure hasn't. Consider yourselves warned. The recent flood of efforts to interfere with and ban sporting dog activities was just the beginning. HSUS has officially called you out. You can bet that the worst is yet to come.

"The Sporting Dog Defense Coalition has battled a recent influx of anti-sporting dog regulations and legislation from Rhode Island to California," said Pidgeon. "The anti's are subtly attacking sportsmen who hunt with dogs by advocating blurred animal cruelty laws, oppressive dog care regulations, and other vague bills that will do away with sporting dog activities and training programs, including field trialing."

The Future is in Your Hands
Sportsmen cannot be idle while HSUS and the anti-hunting movement bulldoze the outdoor heritage. Join the USSA to protect America's heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping. Unite with us to protect against legal and legislative attacks by the anti's. Join the effort to ensure the outdoor heritage by involving families in the outdoor experience and share the good news about the sportsman's stewardship role in wildlife conservation.

Visit the USSA link to the left of this page to learn more about the USSA and discover the importance of becoming a USSA member.



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