Hunters Epically Troll PETA’s “Shoot Selfies, Not Animals” Facebook Filter With Wild Game Pictures




Hunting season is just around the corner. Of course, the activists comprising the alleged People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are trying to ruin momentum for the upcoming season with their latest efforts to promote their “Shoot Selfies, Not Animals” campaign. However, their attempts to share their message hasn’t gone unnoticed from hunters and sportsmen. In fact, the response from hunters across social media have been oh so delicious.

Here’s where the campaign can be found on Facebook. I took a snapshot of what it looks like when you try to apply any filter:



And clearly this campaign by PETA has, point blank, backfired. Here’s how some hunters have responded to the social media campaign:

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I mean, what's wrong with ruffling a few feathers? 🦆(Me punny? Always. 😏) On a more serious note, I've watched countless hunters receive death threats by vegan extremists. I've been called every derogatory name for a female that you can imagine for being a hunter. I've had death threats to my dog, future children, self, and family members all because I hunt legally and ethically. On the contrary, I've had normal conversations with vegans. At the end of the day, we still didn't agree; however, we had a decent, healthy conversation about our beliefs. I believe everyone has a right to his or her own opinion. However, cyber-bullying and death threats are disgusting. #peta #shootselfiesnotanimals #shootselfiesandanimals #drakewaterfowl #alwaysinseason

A post shared by Sydney Broadaway (@sydneyleann40) on

Hunting is very much part of the American fabric and will continue to remain as such. Contrary to PETA’s messaging, hunters and anglers are more conservation-minded than they are and don’t kill most of the shelter pets they take in as this activist group does.

Hunting season is just around the corner. Happy trails, everyone!

 

Correction: The title of the article has been amended to epically*, not epicly. 

Commerce Dept Reforms Red Snapper Fishing Rules in Gulf of Mexico

In an effort to improve private recreational fishing access in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Commerce has listened to recommendations from sportfishing groups to extend the federal Gulf red snapper season by 39 days–instead of the current 3-day rule. The states affected include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The amended red snapper season will run now through Labor Day.

Rep. Steve Scalise–who was critically injured from last Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, VA–led the charge to pass this important conservation measure to allow more anglers access to these particular fishing opportunities.

In a statement released by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s office, he thanked Scalise and other lawmakers for their efforts in reforming red snapper fishing limit rules.

“I’d like to offer my thoughts and prayers to Whip Scalise, his staff, the Capitol Police, and their families,” said Secretary Ross.  “Majority Whip Scalise and his staff have been incredibly helpful on this and a host of other issues, and I wish them and the other victims a speedy recovery.  Such a despicable act of violence has no place in our political discourse, and the Administration and Congress will continue to work together in service to the American people.”

The press release further expanded on the rules changes:

The new rule announced today will re-open the 2017 Federal recreational season for red snapper by the private angling component on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 16, 2017, through Labor Day, September 4, 2017. During this time, the season will be closed Monday through Thursday with the exception of July 3, July 4, and September 4. Correspondingly, the five Gulf States will bring their state red snapper water seasons into alignment with the Federal water season for the rest of the summer.

This is the first time in nearly a decade that decade federal authorities and the five states that rest on the Gulf of Mexico are cooperating to coordinate Federal and State private angler red snapper fishing seasons for the rest of the summer season.

Sportfishing groups also weighed in on the news last week.

“Today’s announcement providing additional Gulf red snapper fishing days is a welcome relief for the thousands of tackle shops, marinas, equipment manufacturers and other businesses who have suffered from decreasing public access to Gulf red snapper in recent years,” said Mike Leonard, ASA’s Conservation director, in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Garret Graves (R-La.) and Austin Scott (R-Ga.) along with the Gulf states’ marine fisheries agencies’ directors for working diligently to pursue this action.”

The previous designated period for the 2017 recreational red snapper season in Gulf federal waters was scheduled for June 1-3, 2017.

Here’s more from the Association for Sportfishing Association:

In exchange for these additional fishing days, red snapper harvest will not be allowed in state or federal waters on Monday through Thursday during the summer (with the exception of holidays). Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas may have additional fishing days in state waters in the fall depending on harvest estimates from the summer season.

The rules change will apply only to recreational anglers–not commercial fishermen or charter fishing. Hopefully, this is a small but important win for true conservation. Hopefully angling rights will be reformed to allow for other types of anglers to safely and ethically harvest red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico too.

Over 100 Recreational Leaders Praise Interior Secretary Zinke for Promoting True Conservation

Over 100 executives respresenting recreational groups have praised Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s leadership at his respective department. In an ad printed in the Wall Street Journal, the executives had this to say about Zinke’s leadership.

“In his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump is setting an agenda to emphasize and prioritize outdoor recreation on federal lands, highlighted by selecting former Montana Con- gressman Ryan Zinke as Secretary to lead the Department of the Interior and donating his first quarter salary to the National Park Service,” the letter said.

It added, “The President’s proposals open the door for greater access to public lands for recreation and increased investment to overcome some $20 billion in deferred maintenance – something prior Administrations of both parties have not resolved.”

“The outdoor recreation industry is also en- couraged by the President’s willingness to tackle America’s long-term infrastructure challenges. His promise of a trillion dollar infrastructure initiative will increase access to the nation’s rec- reation lands through better bridges, roads, waterways, and restored infrastructure within our nation’s parks. Furthermore, visitors would realize vastly improved connectivity, which will boost outdoor safety and enjoyment.”

The letter’s signees represent most sectors of the outdoor recreation industry, which is appraised at $887 billion in worth. The activities they represent include fishing, shooting sports, hunting, archery, camping, marine, motorcycle, powersports, hospitality and recreation vehicle usage.

The executives comprise the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, which aims to expand recreational opportunities and subsequent enjoyment on all federal lands and waters. Here’s their full list of goals:

  • Identify and promote recreation business champions to be appointed/nominated to the Trump Administration.
  • Remove barriers from establishing public-private partnerships as entrepreneurial mechanisms for addressing deferred maintenance, including modernizing campgrounds on federal lands to better fit the needs of current and next-generation campers/RVers.
  • Work with Congress to include a recreation title in the forthcoming “Infrastructure Bill” and other legislation to address various recreation infrastructure issues.
  • Promote tax reform to support and grow the outdoor recreation industry.
  • Identify onerous regulations and remove policy barriers that are negatively affecting outdoor recreation businesses and consumers.
  • Fast track the implementation of the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act to ensure the primary drivers of the outdoor recreation economy across the U.S. are recognized.
  • Prioritize federal agency budgets on recreation-related infrastructure improvement, because outdoor recreation is the largest driver of economic activity on federal lands.
  • Develop and deploy a digital information strategy for outdoor recreation on federal lands, including increased Wi-Fi coverage and easy-to-use apps to book campground/RV sites.
  • Change the mindset of federal agencies so recreational access and high-quality visitor experiences are prioritized.

As I’ve written before, it’s encouraging to see someone like Zinke at the helms of this department. Not only is he making it more accountable and efficient, it’s returning DOI to its true conservation roots. I’ll continue to follow DOI developments and write about them here at The Resurgent.

Interior Department is Correct: Antiquities Act Should be Modernized

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced his review of national monument designations created since January 1, 1996, yesterday –including those national monuments designated under the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

Zinke said President Trump authorized him to review any national monument created since this date, which spans at least 100,000 acres. The Interior Secretary says the goal of this review is to “to make sure the people have a voice” over lands that have the highest level of protection from the federal government. The review is expected to be conducted over the course of 45 days.

This move comes after the last administration’s controversial designation of Bears Ears National Monument last December in Utah, which was unanimously opposed by all Republican lawmakers–both federal and local–in the state. Here were Senator Mike Lee’s thoughts on this controversial designation of Bears Ears National Monument from December:

 

During a White House press briefing, Zinke said “The 45-day review is pretty much centered on Bears Ears because that is the most current one.” The report is expected to be completed within 120 days, he said.

Zinke added, “It restores the trust between local communities and Washington.” The review of the two dozen or so monuments aims “to give Americans a voice and make sure their voices are heard,” he said.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 was the first law of its kind to make any designation of national monuments with regards to historic preservation policy. Regardless of your take on public lands, which is very convoluted and multifaceted, one thing is for certain: this law needs to be overhauled and modernized. Here’s the gist of it:

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fied unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.

Sec. 3. That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which the may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations, and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific or educational institutions, with a view to increasing the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings shall be made for permanent preservation in public museums.

Here’s how social media weighed in on this move:

Zinke believes this review of the Antiquities Act is necessary as his predecessors at Interior stretched it too far to prevent development on millions of acres near land and sea. He believes the law was also abused to cut off access to public lands to anglers, hunters, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

“By and large, the Antiquities Act and the monuments that we’ve protected have done a great service to the public,” he said, although Western state residents “would probably say it’s abused. My position is, I’m going to be looking into it and evaluating it on a legal basis.”

“I think the concern I have and the president has is when a monument is designated, the community should have a voice,” Zinke added. “I am not going to predispose what any outcome will be. I am going to talk to congressional delegations as I review the list, talk to governors, stakeholders involved and formulate recommendations that are appropriate.”

Why shouldn’t citizens have a say over the designation of national monuments in their backyards? Big government coming in and usurping lands with minimal to no public input–which they ultimately forbid hunting, fishing, and hiking on–should anger true conservationists. How can lands be public if the public is refused a voice ? Zinke recognizes the problem with preservation and has instead ushered in a return to true conservation.

Before the fear mongering starts to set in, let’s see what Secretary Ryan Zinke comes up with. He’s not going to sell off all public lands for oil and gas exploration. He’s not going to abuse his privileges. He’s actually offering to be transparent–a key facet absent in his predecessors. To keep public lands truly public, allowing input from those who’ll be impacted by such national monument designations is important. I welcome the improvement and modernization of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and hope you will too.

 

Hunting Groups Applaud Law to Undo Regulations on Alaska Wildlife Management

President Trump signed House Joint Resolution 69 into law, which undid an onerous law forbidding any hunting on lands that fall under the purview of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Alaska. Here’s more on the legislation:

This joint resolution nullifies the rule finalized by the Department of the Interior on August 5, 2016, relating to non-subsistence takings of wildlife and public participation and closure procedures on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.

The Senate and House of Representatives previously passed the joint resolution with votes of 52 to 47 and 225 to 193, respectively. The former version passed on March 21st, 2017, while the latter version passed on February 16, 2017. Here’s some more clarification on the legislation:

The FWS rule underlying H.J. Res. 69 was finalized on August 5, 2016. It argued that Alaska’s wildlife management practices had begun to deviate from federal policies and therefore would be preempted in various respects.
Highlighting the political nature of the rule, however, was the involvement of the anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States, which ran typically hyperbolic television ads falsely claiming that its repeal would allow for inhumane forms of taking bears and wolves.
The basic point of contention, however, was whether local Alaskan wildlife management authorities or the federal government should ultimately be responsible for setting policy on fish and wildlife management on National Wildlife Refuges within Alaska’s borders.
 Here’s how true conservationists reacted on social media:

Not surprisingly, the Sierra Club screamed bloody murder in response to this resolution being signed into law:

Now hunters can kill grizzlies and wolves on Alaska’s wildlife refuges, including mother grizzlies with their cubs, and wolves with their pups in their dens. State wildlife officials can even shoot at grizzly bears from helicopters (Sarah Palin, eat your grizzly-mama heart out).

Here’s how radical environmentalists and their surrogates responded:

https://twitter.com/AlongsideWild/status/847231209381928960

Nobody is intent on killing bear cubs. This talking point is pure propaganda. Those very acts are heavily discouraged and frowned upon in the hunting community, as young wildlife are usually off-limits.

Perhaps it’s time for state wildlife management entities to take in the reigns from the federal government, no? Tell us how you feel and whether this is good or bad legislation.

 

Chaffetz Kills Public Lands Bill After Backlash From Sporting Community

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced he is withdrawing a bill that would have sold off 3.3 million acres of public lands across 10 states following backlash from the sporting community.

The Disposal of Excess Federal Lans Act of 2017 (or H.R. 621) would have directed “the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal, and for other purposes.” This would have encompassed 3.5 million acres–  roughly the same size as the state of Connecticut.

Many saw this as a threat to access to hunting and fishing on public lands, so Chaffetz felt it was wise to withdraw the bill and let it die in the House Natural Resources Committee.

OutdoorLife reported on hunting group opposition to the bill:

Pheasants Forever shared a petition on its Facebook page the calls lawmakers to keep federal lands public. The petition has about 39,000 signatures and is a group effort supported by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, Remington, Powderhook, National Wildlife Federation, and many others. Signing the petition online automatically sends the following letter to your local congressmen and women.

Many hunters and anglers are torn on management of public lands. Citing fears of an encroaching federal government, some in the sporting community would like to see the Bureau of Land Management and similar government entities reigned in for abuses in power. Others believe handing over control of public lands to states –even a smidgeon of it — will undermine the pristine nature of public lands. I myself am torn on this issue as a conservationist and angler–though I believe there could be some consensus achieved and less government meddling in hunter/angler rights.

Had this passed now, the consequences would have been dire.  Many in the sporting community heavily vote Republican and are conservative, so this would have alienated many in our base.  Good on Chaffetz to prioritize other legislative items. He and other House Republicans should turn their efforts into passing the Hearing Protection Act, which would deregulate suppressors.

Ducks Unlimited Celebrates 80 Years of True Conservation

January 29, 2017, marked 80 years since Ducks Unlimited (DU) was formally incorporated.

DU focuses on the following conservation tactics: restoring grasslands, replanting forests, restoring watersheds, working with landowners, working with partners, acquiring land, conservation easements, management agreements, and Geographic Information Systems.

What is DU and their mission statement? It’s outlined below:

Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

The vision of Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

Donations taken into the organization go direction to conservation efforts, which is how most nonprofits should be operating. Per the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hunters contribute well over $200 million each year to conservation services:

Each year, nearly $200 million in hunters’ federal excise taxes are distributed to State agencies to support wildlife management programs, the purchase of lands open to hunters, and hunter education and safety classes. Proceeds from the Federal Duck Stamp, a required purchase for migratory waterfowl hunters, have purchased more than five million acres of habitat for the refuge system (2005 statistics only); lands that support waterfowl and many other wildlife species, and are usually open to hunting.

I became a member of this organization last April and attended my local banquet. I had heard about them several years before for their work on Capitol Hill. DU, like many other true conservation groups out there, promote truly sustainable policies that benefit both wildlife and humans.

Happy 80 years, DU! Keep up the great work.

 

Outdoor Women Are Leading the Charge on Conservation

More women are participating in fishing and hunting. As these pastimes become more popular among American women, it’s worth noting these trends and celebrating them — not dismissing those who partake in them.

Actress and singer Hilary Duff recently posted a picture of herself spearfishing in Hawaii. However, the picture was met with scorn from some of her fans.

One Facebook commenter wrote, “I can’t even look at someone who can smile, after having tortured lives. I don’t care that they don’t walk on twos and talk like you. I can no longer respect you. In fact, I was a fan, nope not anymore.”

Female hunter and Cabela’s pro-staffer Eva Shockey-Brent has also been subjected to countless attacks for ethically hunting wild game—most notably for hunting a black bear in November 2014. Recently, she posted some Facebook messages she received including one that reads, “Please kill yourself. Thanks. No really, kill yourself.”

These attacks notwithstanding, female anglers and hunters aren’t impeding conservation efforts— they’re bolstering them.

Although women comprise roughly 11 percent of hunters, their numbers are steadily improving. Similarly for fishing, female participation has steadily grown over the years—with women comprising roughly 27 percent of all anglers per the 2014 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. 

“Over the years we’ve begun to see a significant increase in the number of women embracing wildlife conservation. With expanded experiences in hunting, shooting and other outdoor endeavors, women are now taking charge in these efforts,” said Mia Anstine, hunting guide and MAC Outdoors owner.

Anstine graced the cover of Field & Stream earlier this year and was listed as one of 11 game changers in the outdoor industry. She is also an archery instructor, writer, podcast contributor, speaker, hunter and active conservationist.

She added, “This movement is significant because of the nature of women to teach and share via empathy and compassion. Through this form of instructing, knowledge is transmitted in a more positive way. These women are attracting others to learn and embrace their origins. Ultimately, this will lead to wildlife preservation for future generations to enjoy.”

Barbara Baird, publisher of Women’s Outdoor News, also notes the positive impact outdoor women are having on the industry through public policy and public relations.

“Throughout the various wildlife agencies, we are seeing more and more female boots on the ground, not only in science-related positions — such as biologists and ecologists — but also in marketing and public relations,” said Baird. “We’re observing a movement in the industry where women are assuming leadership roles in outdoor-related businesses. We suspect that these women aren’t pushing, necessarily, female-driven agendas first and foremost, but we believe that their influences include opening doors to hunting, fishing, shooting and other outdoor activities to a more diverse group of people.”

Women contribute an average of $117 million each year to wildlife and habitat programs, per the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Moreover, female hunters are also responsible for an economic output of $5.9 billion each year, according to their 2012 report.

This has led to the rise of new groups and outfitter companies, including groups like Huntress View. Billed as “a place where women hunters, whether they be experienced or beginners, can go to gain insight on hunting and shooting from a woman’s point of view,” founder Andrea Haas believes more women will continue to take up shooting sports and hunting.

“I can think of so many reasons that women hunting is a positive thing, but what stands out to me the most is that women have broken the stereotype of what a hunter should look like, or be,” Haas said. “Hunting is no longer primarily a “man’s sport” and is now more welcoming to new hunters. It opens up the door for more and more people to get involved in hunting and preserving our outdoor heritage, which is the ultimate goal.”

In 2013, National Geographic noted how women are seeking alternatives to processed food through hunting, which provides free-range and organic meat free of hormones and additives. The magazine also noted that hunting allows participants to develop “a sense of intimacy and respect for both the animals and their habitats.”

Learning where your food comes from and is sourced from isn’t a radical notion; it should become the norm.

Women — myself included —have opted to participate in hunting and fishing for various reasons. Thanks to education and positive marketing campaigns, true conservation methods through hunting and fishing will continue to spread with the help of women.