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White House Pens Budget Cuts To Interior Department

White House Pens Budget Cuts To Interior Department

White House Pens Budget Cuts To Interior Department

WHITE HOUSE BUDGET WOULD CUT INTERIOR FUNDING BY 11 PERCENT

Public lands fish and wildlife habitat, public access funding, and hunting and angling opportunities will face severe negative impacts in the administration’s fiscal 2018 budget, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) announced today.

Key resource agency funding is slashed, important staff positions are eliminated, and programs important to public lands and sportsmen are cut in the budget, a draft version of which was released in March.

Notable measure include an 11 percent overall reduction in the Interior Department, an 84 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and complete elimination of funding for a decade-plus collaborative effort to conserve the Western sagebrush steppe.

“The administration’s budget starves our public lands of critical funding,” said Land Tawney, BHA president and CEO.

“The cuts they would levy on our natural resource agencies, resource professionals and key programs are unprecedented and far-reaching in scope. Not only would they profoundly diminish our lands and waters, fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor opportunities; they also would hobble America’s potent outdoors economy – currently $887 billion strong, sustainable and growing.”

“On his first day at Interior, Secretary Zinke signed a secretarial order calling for the expansion of public access and hunting and fishing opportunities on U.S. public lands – an action we applauded,” Tawney continued.

“Today, only weeks later, we are confused by the drastic cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has done more to facilitate public access opportunities to hunt, fish and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors than any other federal program in history. The proposed budget flies in the face of what sportsmen and women need and want most: access.”

CUTS TO LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND, FREEZE TO SAGEBRUSH CONSERVATION EFFORTS

The Land and Water Conservation Fund represents a bipartisan commitment to safeguarding the nation’s outdoor heritage, having enhanced public access to millions of acres in the United States over the course of its 50-year-plus existence. The LWCF utilizes revenues from offshore oil and gas development to bolster state and local efforts on behalf of America’s parks, wildlife refuges, forests, trails and other public open spaces.

As well, the administration’s budget would unravel critical greater sage grouse conservation plans, a model for landscape level conservation that prioritizes state and local needs as well as habitat conditions. This approach has forestalled the need to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act and played a key role in the health of 165 million acres of sagebrush steppe, relied upon by more than 350 species of fish and wildlife, including big-game species such as mule deer, pronghorn and elk.

“Healthy and functioning sage grouse habitat is essential to conserving the sage grouse and hundreds of other species,” Tawney stated.

“In addition to halting funding critical to sage steppe conservation, the administration is ignoring over a decade of collaborative work by private land owners, state and federal agencies, and hunters and anglers.”

BHA calls for members of Congress to reject the administration’s budget.—courtesy BHA

Fever Tick Situation Report

Exotic Wildlife Association NEWS ALERT

Exotic Wildlife Association
NEWS ALERT
“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
Cervid Industry Leaders Meet for CWD Summit

Ten national cervid leaders convened in Denver for a CWD retreat on April 19, 2017. This was not a symposium like the recent ones in Texas and Saskatchewan but a brainstorming session among several national leaders representing CWD susceptible species from the United States and Canada.
The purpose of the retreat was to define the industry’s position on the perceived future of CWD policy and work toward that goal together. Industry leaders agreed if all the national and state/provincial associations were asked for their perceived goal for CWD policy, there would most likely be over a dozen different answers.  This is a problem if the industry wants meaningful reform.
The cervid industry spends a great deal of time and money on CWD policy and research.  As far as regulations, the industry needs to consider what they want CWD policy to look like now, next year and in five to ten years from now.  The industry needs to agree on a targeted destination. Otherwise, industry associations are going in different directions with conflicting messages to legislators and policy makers. Thus, less success.
It is important American and Canadian cervid industries have similar goals for CWD policy. Otherwise, CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and USDA APHIS use the other agency’s rules to prevent reform.  Furthermore, the different CWD species have their own nuances with policy too. Ante-Mortem testing brings a whole other realm of questions.  The recent work in Texas on ante-mortem testing in the last two years is historic.
Representatives at the retreat covered all CWD susceptible species in both nations. All regions of the continent were represented. The meeting agenda focused on global policy on the USDA federal CWD rule and program standards, responses to CWD discovery, and research.
To yield true industry sentiment, the brainstorming session was closed to only industry representatives without the government intervention. After industry produced an outline of goals, Dr. Keith Roehr, who serves as the State Veterinarian of Colorado, and his assistant Mr. Wayne East, joined the group to review the ideas and offer valuable input as a regulatory official with years of experience in a CWD state with an active cervid industry.
The participants of the meeting are as follows:
Whitetail Deer: 
Glen Dice- Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association,
Shawn Schafer- North American Deer Farmers Association,
Laurie Seale- Whitetails of Wisconsin,
Patrick Tarlton- Texas Deer Association,
Skip West- North American Deer Farmers Association
Exotic Deer:
Charly Seale- Exotic Wildlife Association
Elk: 
Andy Azcarraga- North American Elk Breeders Association,
Travis Lowe- North American Elk Breeders Association,
Eric Mohlman- North American Elk Breeders Association,
Ian Thorleifson- North American Elk Breeders Association.
The full report will be shared with the American Cervid Alliance Leadership Council and discussed on the council meeting conference call on May 16th. Councilmen will be responsible for distributing the report to their own association boards for feedback.
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025

Exotic Wildlife Association NEWS ALERT

Exotic Wildlife Association
NEWS ALERT
“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
Legislative Newsletter
Animal Cruelty
HB 748 by Farrar authorizing a municipality with over 700,000 people to impose on a person charged with animal cruelty to pay all costs and attorney fees. The bill is pending in committee. EWA opposes the bill. Passed out of committee and is set on House Calendar
HB 749 by Farrar would develop an animal abuser database similar to a sexual abuser database, was supposed to be heard March 20, but was withdrawn. EWA opposes the bill. EWA Opposes the bill. Still pending in committee.
Weapons
SB 16 by Nichols would have eliminated all fees for applying or renewing the license to carry a handgun. However, due to the high fiscal note in such a hard fiscal year, the CSSB 16 has been amended to reduce all the fees to $40. EWA supports the bill. Passed the House.
SB 263 By Perry relating to the handgun removing the caliber requirement to obtain or renew a license to carry a handgun. EWA supports the bill. The bill awaits hearing in the House.
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025

Exotic Wildlife Association NEWS ALERT

Exotic Wildlife Association
NEWS ALERT
“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
Texas Legislature Bill Alert
85(R) HB 338
Relating to acreage contracts and quantity contracts for the purchase of agricultural products.
5/3/2017 H Placed on General State Calendar
85(R) HB 748
Relating to certain costs associated with certain court proceedings for cruelly treated animals; authorizing fees and costs.
5/6/2017 H Placed on General State Calendar
85(R) HB 1891
Relating to a documented member of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas hunting certain deer.
5/4/2017 H Placed on General State Calendar
kickapoo deer hunting
View all actions
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025

AXIS DEER

AXIS DEER

Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae

Axis axis

Photographer: Troy D. Hibbitts Source: thehibbitts.net Copyright:Troy D. Hibbitts

DESCRIPTION

Axis deer (Axis axis) are easily identified by an orange coat with white spots similar to a whitetail fawn. Mature males and females have white patches on their throat while only mature males have antlers with an average of 6 points per antler. Female axis deer do not grow antlers and have a mature body size of 90 to 150 lbs while males weigh an average of 150 to 250 pounds. Behavior of axis deer is nearly identical to native whitetail deer with majority of activity occurring at dusk and dawn. Herds are comprised of males and females of various ages throughout the year.

ECOLOGICAL THREAT

Axis deer are known to occupy the same ecological niche as whitetail deer. This means they compete with whitetail deer for available resources. With an increased resistance to native diseases, axis deer are not susceptible to the same population decreases resulting from local disease outbreak. This would allow the axis deer populations to grow out of control, while the whitetail deer suffer from local disease outbreaks. Local farmers are at risk of damage caused by axis deer populations growing and foraging in cultivated fields or gardens.

BIOLOGY

The average lifespan of axis deer is 9 to 13 years with documented cases of 20 years in captivity. Female axis deer reach maturity at 2 and remain fertile until 15 years of age. Male axis deer compete for females during their rut season by fighting other males. The height of the rut occurs in June and July but has been observed in all parts of the year. In Texas, the majority of axis deer fawns are born from January to April following a 210-238 day gestation cycle. Only one fawn is typically born during each pregnancy, but females go through estrous multiple times in one year.

HISTORY

Axis deer were introduced in 1932 as a game meat. They were kept on farms or controlled hunting sites for food purposes. Since their introduction, axis deer have escaped captivity and established in Texas, with over 6,000 free ranging animals and 40,000 kept on private hunting ranges.

NATIVE ORIGIN

Native Origin: India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka

CURRENT LOCATION

U.S. Habitat: Axis deer feed on grass and sedges in fields near wooded or sheltered areas. They can be found in open areas during warm periods of the day, but are primarily active at dusk or dawn. Since the axis deer prefer warm weather they thrive in the state of Texas.

U.S. Present: CA, HI, TX

MANAGEMENT

Management of axis deer is facilitated by legalized hunting with the purchase of permits and permission to hunt on private ranges with an entrance fee. Hunting free range axis deer is by permit only so local parks and wildlife authorities can monitor populations. For more information about hunting axis deer in Texas click here.  

Read more – Axis deer possession now illegal in Hawaii, Holoholo State News

 

REFERENCES

Lane, Robert S., and Willy Burgdorfer. 1986. Potential role of native and exotic deer and their associated ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in the ecology of lyme disease in California, USA. Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Mikrobiologie und Hygiene. Series A:Medical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, Virology, Parasitology 263(1-2): 55-64.

Moe, Stein R., and Per Wegge. 1994. Spacing behaviour and habitat use of axis deer (Axis axis) in lowland Nepal. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72(10): 1735-1744.

Ramsey, Charles W. 1968. A drop-net deer trap. The Journal of Wildlife Management 32(1): 187-190.

Riemann H., M. R. Zaman, R. Ruppanner, O. Aalund, J. B. Jorgensen, H. Worsaae, and D. Behymer. 1979. Paratuberculosis in cattle and free-living exotic deer. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association 174(8): 841-843.

Internet Sources

http://www.itis.gov

http://www.allaboutexotics.com

http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu

How Coyotes Killed Deer Hunting

How Coyotes Killed Deer Hunting

The Coyote Is the Newest Player in the Game. And the Biggest.

Coyotes are decimating fawn crops. (Russell Graves photo)

Coyotes are decimating fawn crops. (Russell Graves photo)

I hear it more and more as time goes on. “I’m seeing fewer deer.” That’s something I hate to listen to. Because of the root cause, I know there is no quick fix or simple solution to change it.

There are many reasons why hunters might see fewer deer than they used to. Overharvesting animals. Disease outbreaks. Increased pressure. Habitat loss. Increased predation. The list goes on. But what most people don’t realize is that the No. 1 reason we’re seeing fewer deer (in most places) than we used to, is because of predation. And I’ll go to bat against anyone who disagrees with me. Sure, there are pockets where it’s overharvest, disease and/or other factors that caused the decline. But for most places today, it’s predation — mostly coyotes — that influences deer populations the most (even more so than hunting in some parts of the country).

How It Happened

Coyotes aren’t native to the eastern half of the country. In fact, they weren’t found east of the Mississippi River until the early 1900s. According to the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), prior to that, coyote populations were confined to the midwestern and some western states. Then, between 1900 and 1950, they spread into the Great Lakes region and on into the northeastern states. Then, during the late 1900s and early 2000s, they spread from the southern plains eastward to the southeastern region of the country.

We must start creating early successional bedding cover for deer. (Russell Graves photo)

We must start creating early successional bedding cover for deer. (Russell Graves photo)

So why did they spread so rapidly when they stayed (relatively) in place up until the last century? That’s a good question. Many factors likely contributed to the cause. As wolf populations declined, coyotes spread to inhabit areas their larger cousins once controlled. Also, this was around the time many eastern states began restocking deer. So it’s possible the coyotes followed the deer. There are some theories that go as far to say that our own man-made bridges across major rivers like the Mississippi helped them to spread. Regardless, spread they did.

The problem is here.

And it isn’t going away.

The Data

There is a lot of data to show that coyotes aren’t only a factor in managing deer herds, they’re also capable of destroying populations of whitetails over time. Charles Ruth, a deer biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), has conducted a lot of research to prove coyotes’ effects.

Charles Ruth, John C. Kilgo, H. Scott Ray, Mark Vukovich and Matthew J. Goode spear-headed an extensive study on the 78,000-acre Savannah River Site to show this. Of 70 collared fawns that were killed, 49 of them died within the first three weeks of birth. The other 21 died between week four and week nine, with fewer deaths each consecutive week. The point: Coyotes are having the greatest effects on young fawns. And they kill enough of those fawns to send shockwaves through entire deer populations. These are lasting effects.

The research shows just how much coyotes impact deer herds. (Russell Graves photo)

The research shows just how much coyotes impact deer herds. (Russell Graves photo)

According to Dr. Karl Miller, a whitetail biologist with the University of Georgia, fawn mortality, coyote food habits, correlational data, and removal studies all show that these canines are having a significant effect on deer populations throughout most of the country. According to QDMA’s 2016 Whitetail Report, not a single state in the eastern half of the country has a decreasing coyote population. They’re thriving.While coyotes can and will kill adult deer, it’s the fawn crop they’re killing off. So as you might imagine, they’re having the greatest effects on younger deer. And there in lies the problem.

The five states with the lowest fawn recruitment rates are Rhode Island (0.20), Oklahoma (0.30), Florida (0.40), Virginia (0.40), and Arkansas (0.41). Each of these states have increasing or stable coyote populations, too. Coincidence? I think not. The five largest declines in fawn recruitment from 2005 to 2015 were Illinois (-0.15), Maine (-0.16), Wisconsin (-0.24), Maryland (-0.24), and South Carolina (-0.29). And each of those states have increasing coyote populations as well. An Ohio study recently showed that bowhunters saw three times the coyotes from the stand in 2011 as compared to in the ‘90s. Their experiencing declining fawn recruitment rates, too.

According to the QDMA, the total reported deer harvest in the United States in 2000 was 7,351,866. That number dropped to 5,969,180 in 2014. That decline matches up almost perfectly to the increasing population of coyotes throughout the last 15 years. Again, coincidence? Highly unlikely.

Interestingly enough, even though deer in the northern states have lived with coyotes longer, coyotes are becoming less efficient there than in the south. Fawn mortality due to coyotes is often two or three times as high in the South as in the North. Why? Because white-tailed does in the North are learning how to better protect their fawns from predators. Also, many of our forests are maturing in the South (even more so than in northern states), lending to less early successional growth to hide fawns in.

The Solution

Recent studies have proven that hunting is not an effective method of managing coyotes in most cases. However, trapping is an effective removal strategy. Kip Adams, a biologist with QDMA, shed some light why this is the case.

“Research shows you have to remove about 75 percent of a coyote population annually to cause it to decline (because they recruit so many pups annually),” Adams said. “Given the necessary removal rate, I said hunting is typically not an effective method of reducing their numbers in the eastern U.S. This is because they are hard to kill and you simply can’t kill enough to make a difference in population numbers. In more open country (like the western U.S.) I think you likely can kill enough via hunting, but I don’t think it’s possible in the East. In areas in the East where there are a lot of dog hunters, they might be able to kill enough coyotes if they hunt a lot, but the average deer hunter (or deer camp) isn’t going to make a dent in the coyote population. Trapping is a far more effective technique to reduce coyote numbers in localized areas.”

Dr. Karl Miller recently shared with me just how effective trapping truly is.

We have to manage coyotes both through hunting and trapping. (Josh Honeycutt photo)

We have to manage coyotes both through hunting and trapping. (Josh Honeycutt photo)

According to Dr. Miller, Dr. Beasom conducted coyote-removal research in 1974 on a 5,000-acre South Texas ranch. In the no-removal area, Miller said Beasom reported fawn recruitment rates of 0.32 fawns per doe. He said Beasom recorded recruitment rates of 0.82 fawns per doe in the coyote removal area. That’s a big difference. According to Dr. Miller, in 2009, Dr. Howze and Dr. VanGilder experienced similar results in southwest Georgia and northeast Alabama, respectively.Click here to hear Miller explain how to predator-proof your property.

For trapping to be effective, you must trap from just prior to the fawning period all the way through summer. But this is a problem because many states don’t allow trapping during the warmer months. So in essence, many of our state agencies are hindering themselves when it comes to helping deer populations. I don’t say that to offend anyone. It’s just the truth. Contact representatives in your state if you desire to see trapping seasons in summer.

Beyond coyote removal, we have to create better habitat for fawns. Selective-cut logging, allowing old fallow fields to grow up, and planting native grasses and forbs are all ways we can provide more bedding cover and food sources for deer.

The Future

Unfortunately, coyotes aren’t the only problem whitetails face. Other predators such as bears and bobcats are having a significant impact on deer. Disease is another factor. Chronic Wasting Disease continues to spread across the country. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease continues to hurt populations. Countless other diseases threaten whitetails on a daily and annual basis, too. Habitat loss is a serious threat. Needless to say, deer are fighting on a lot of fronts. And coyotes are leading the charge against them.

According to Ruth, it’s too late to just try to manage predators. We also have to change what we do as hunters. It’s sad. But it’s the future.

“The take-home message that I learned, and try to impart, is that coyotes are here to stay and will play a role in future deer management at some level in South Carolina,” Ruth said. “If property owners/hunters are concerned with their impacts, take every opportunity to shoot them, if you have the time and money, trap them. But more importantly, we need to look at the other side of the equation, which is how we treat deer from a harvest management standpoint.”

Does that mean we must kill fewer deer from a hunting standpoint? Yes, it does.

“Making adjustment to harvest strategies, particularly on does, is more important now than prior to the colonization of the state by coyotes,” Ruth continued. “We may not be able to control coyotes to the extent that some may want, but as deer managers/hunters we know that if we make adjustments to how we manage/harvest deer then the deer population will respond in one direction or the other. Hunters remain the No. 1 source of mortality on deer in South Carolina and the only source of mortality that we have complete control over. Therefore, harvest management ultimately will dictate the trajectory of deer populations in the future.”

That’s a hard pill to swallow. But swallow it we must. There’s a new player in town. It’s called the coyote. And until deer hunters pony up and take a stand for deer by managing coyotes, too, it will only get worse.

NEWS ALERT

Exotic Wildlife Association
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Humane Society of the U.S. Favors Fundraising over Animal Rescue

April 20, 2017

Humanewatch.org

It seems every time there’s a natural disaster, we can count on some charities trying to help and some charities trying to exploit the situation to raise money. Those with loud voices may be the bad actors, devoting resources to fundraising and PR, while other groups quietly do hard work, spending their resources getting their hands dirty.

Consider the latest from the Humane Society of the United States. This group runs sad ads on TV full of needy dogs and cats, yet gives only 1% of its money to pet shelters and doesn’t run a single pet shelter of its own. It does, however, spend tens of millions of dollars on marketing itself well, so people are under the impression that it’s a legitimate and effective group. (Our report “Looting in the Aftermath” documents several high-profile events the Humane Society of the United States exploited.)

This morning we happened to take a gander at what employment positions HSUS is trying to fill. HSUS is only trying to hire 3 people for its Animal Rescue Team. Meanwhile, it’s hiring 16 people for fundraising/marketing positions:

To read more, visit…

Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025
 
April 26, 2017
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Exotic Wildlife Association, 105 Henderson Branch Rd., West, Ingram, TX 78025
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Constant Contact

Loss of Member

Exotic Wildlife Association
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  Loss of Member
The Exotic Wildlife Association sends its condolences to former board member and long time EWA member, George Sistrunk, on the passing of his wife, Laura. Memorial services will be held May 6th at 2:00 p.m. at the Christ Chapel in Bandera, Texas.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the scholarship fund at the San Antonio Woman’s Club. Contact the EWA office for more information.
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025

Legislation moving on pesticide use on feral hogs, MLDP fee

Legislation moving on pesticide use on feral hogs, MLDP fee

Legislation moving on pesticide use on feral hogs, MLDP fee

The Houston Chronicle reports two pieces of legislation important to Texas landowners and hunters continue making headway.

House Bill 3451 would amend the Texas Agriculture Code to prohibit the Department of Agriculture from registering, approving for use, or allowing use of any pesticide for feral hog control unless a study by a state agency or university recommends such action.

Rep. Lynn Stucky, R-Denton, filed the bill in the wake of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s emergency rules issued earlier this year. The rules allowed for use of the first pesticide approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for controlling feral hogs.

A state judge suspended those rules due to numerous objections over the key ingredient in the pesticide—warfarin.

The bill has moved out of its committee meeting and awaits a vote in the House.

Senate Bill 722 by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, would authorize the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to establish a fee for participation in the Managed Lands Deer Program. Due to the program’s popularity, Texas Parks and Wildlife hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Charging a fee would help the agency add more staff to do just that.

SB 722 reported out of committee and awaits action in the Senate.

Texas Lawmaker Wants to Legalize Hunting Feral Hogs from Hot Air Balloons

Texas Lawmaker Wants to Legalize Hunting Feral Hogs from Hot Air Balloons

Policymakers in Texas continue to scratch their heads over the state’s feral hog problem, and the solutions are getting weirder.


Researchers and policymakers for years have searched fruitlessly for effective ways to significantly drop feral hog population levels in Texas, with proposals ranging from eating our way out of the problem to widespread poisoning.

Roughly 2 million wild hogs are estimated to live in Texas, and they cause more than $50 million in damage each year. The invasive animals’ high breeding rate and lack of predators have fueled their proliferation in South, Central and East Texas, leading to big business for hunters and trappers.

In 2011, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, then a state rep, passed what became known as the “pork chopper” bill, legalizing the hunting of feral hogs from a helicopter. On its face, the bill sounded more like a joke than an actual solution.


Hunter prepares to shoot feral hogs with a rifle from a helicopter.  YOUTUBE/NICK LEGHORN

Turns out, it’s really hard to shoot anything from a helicopter. In addition to being ineffective, the method is also very dangerous (and not just for the hogs.) The only results produced by the bill were some crazy YouTube videos and an industry in which people pay upwards of $3,000 per hunt to pick off pigs from a chopper.

Enter state Representative Mark Keough, a Republican and pastor from The Woodlands. He told the Observer that he “loved” Miller’s pork chopper bill and found himself asking: “What are more ways we can take more feral hogs?”

After chatting with hunters and conducting his own informal research, Keough believes he’s found an alternative solution: hot air balloons.

His House Bill 3535 would authorize Texans to hunt feral hogs and coyotes from a hot air balloon with a permit.

If the idea seems crazy, that’s because it is. No one hunts from a hot air balloon. Go ahead, Google it. “I haven’t found people anywhere doing this,” Keough admits.

But he thinks it would be pretty damn sweet to try. (It’s currently illegal, or he would’ve tried already, he said.)

The fast-moving helicopter approach, Keough says, has a lot of “safety issues,” leads to many misses and often scares off the hogs. “They’re smart,” he said.


Feral hogs damage land in rural areas, but have increasingly caused problems in suburban and urban areas.  U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Hot air balloons, on the other hand, are more stable, slower and offer a better rifle-shooting platform, Keough said.

Last July, 16 people were killed in the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history near Lockhart when the pilot lost control and crashed into power lines. The incident led to calls for stricter regulation of the balloon industry.

Still, Keough says, “It’s far safer than if you were hunting out of a helicopter.”

But more effective? Probably not.

Even Keough admits there’s a good chance hunters could spend all day in a balloon and not shoot anything. And its clumsy, slow-moving nature will keep hunters from effectively chasing the animals.

The animals, which can grow to weigh 100-400 pounds, have a gestation period that’s shorter than four months and litter sizes of up to 12. They are considered a non-game animal, meaning there are no seasons or bag limits, but a state hunting license is required.

Billy Higginbotham, a professor and wildlife and fisheries specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, said the balloon strategy faces the same problem as helicopters in the eastern third of the state: trees.

“Aerial gunning by any vehicle [in East Texas] is not widely used because of the extensive tree cover,” Higginbotham said.


State Representative Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands.  FACEBOOK

Keough said the “pork choppper” bill “was more about creating an industry” and that no single strategy will significantly reduce hog populations.

“I think there is a possibility [with hot air balloons] for an industry, but the motivating factor is this is another way to get rid of the problem,” he said

Keough also sponsored legislation that would require more research on the effects of widespread lethal pesticides, including warfarin, before they can be used on hogs. The measure passed the House Monday.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesperson declined to comment on pending legislation, citing agency policy. HB 3535 would require the agency to license individuals who want to hunt from the balloons.

Keough, who said he’s “interested in anything that will help us get rid of these things,” believes his bill represents the spirit of Texas.

“We’ve got a problem here, and we are willing to fix it ourself,” he said. “We have that Western, swashbuckling, cowboying type of way to deal with things. It’s part of the culture, it’s different than any other state.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported no license is required to hunt feral hogs in Texas. A state-issued license is required, although there are no seasons or bag limits.

Hunter Shoots Two Partners Who were Hiding Behind Turkey Fan

Hunter Shoots Two Partners Who were Hiding Behind Turkey Fan

We’ve also covered many stories through the years that highlight the turkey hunting tactic called “reaping” or “fanning,” and one of the most amazing featured an entire hunt filmed by a drone.

At the end of my DIY fan article, I wrote: “To my knowledge, no turkey hunter has died while reaping, but I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘if,’ it’s only a matter of ‘when.’ ”

Well, it almost came true last week in Kansas.

According to this report from The Joplin Globe, three buddies were hunting new land. Two of the shotgun hunters began searching for turkeys on one side of the leased private property, and the other man started hunting elsewhere on the land. Somehow they ended up moving into each other’s space. It appears likely that they were calling to each other, both parties thinking that the other was a real gobbler. While two of the hunters hid behind a turkey fan on the edge of the woods, the third man shot at the fan, hitting his hunting partners.

According to the news story: “Sheriff Dan Peak said the sheriff’s office learned of the matter when the shooter drove the two injured hunters to the hospital in Girard with potentially life-threatening shotgun wounds to their faces and upper bodies. They later were flown by medical helicopter to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin.”

This story serves as a grim reminder of the dangers of reaping/fanning a turkey, even on private land. Be careful out there!

“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”

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Live on Facebook Tonight!
 
Tune in to the Alan Warren Show live on Facebook tonight! We will be discussing the scimitar horn oryx! We will share the live link on our EWA Facebook page and you can even post live comments and questions during the show! Don’t miss it!
The show goes live at 6:00 pm central.
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Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025
 
April 12, 2017
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This EWA E-Blast brought to you by:

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Alan Warren Outdoors Radio Show 


  

Exotic Wildlife Association, 105 Henderson Branch Rd., West, Ingram, TX 78025
Sent by charly@myewa.org in collaboration with

Fever Tick Updat

Exotic Wildlife Association
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“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
Fever Tick Update
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025
 
April 10, 2017
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Exotic Wildlife Association, 105 Henderson Branch Rd., West, Ingram, TX 78025
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Exotic Wildlife Association News Alert

Exotic Wildlife Association
NEWS ALERT
“Promoting Conservation through Commerce”
CALL TO ACTION
 
SUPPORT House Bill 2855 by Rep. Chris Paddie RE: Microchip ID for Captive Deer
We need your support and action TUESDAY! The House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism posted for public hearing NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 11th on the following bill supported by the Exotic Wildlife Association.
House Bill 2855 by Rep. Chris Paddie
Relating to the identification of breeder deer by use of microchip implants.
The Committee will meet at the following time and location:
Date:               TUESDAY4/11/17
Time:              2:00pm or Adjournment of the House
Location:        Capitol Extension, Room E1.010
We need everyone’s SUPPORT. The Texas Wildlife Association and the Texas Foundation for Conservation are actively engaging their membership and other outdoor organizations to oppose this legislation without cause or merit. We need YOUR SUPPORT NOW!
Please plan to attend the public hearing next week to register your support for this bill.
Additionally, please email your state legislator and the Texas House members seated on the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism to explain why you support this legislation. Talking points supporting this legislation are included below. We ask that you please include reasons why this issue is important to you and your family.
To Find Your State Legislator, Click HERE:
To Email the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Members, Click HERE:
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SUBJECT: Support for House Bill 2855 (Microchip ID in Deer)
Dear Representative:
I am writing in support of House Bill 2855, which would allow deer breeding facilities to utilize USDA approved 840 Series Microchips as an acceptable form of identification for breeder deer held under TPWD permit. We would like to thank you for your support on this most important issue.
House Bill 2855 would allow deer breeding facilities to utilize USDA approved 840 Series Microchips as an acceptable form of identification for breeder deer held under TPWD permit. Microchip ID technology serves as the gold-standard for animal identification worldwide. Humane societies, veterinary clinics, scholastic research facilities, and international animal transportation regulations utilize microchips for permanent identification in many species of animals. The technology is widely available and the procedure for application is fast, safe, and appears to be relatively pain-free in most animals. However, the current Texas statute does not recognize microchip technology as a form of accepted identification under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department permit issued for breeder deer.
The Committee Substitute for House Bill 2855 would simply allow a breeder the OPTION of utilizing a USDA-approved microchip or a tag for the identification of deer while in a breeding facility. The application of this technology would vastly improve the traceability and identification of permitted animal movement in captive deer. Furthermore, this legislation would recognize the continued, existing use of the tattoo on released animals to ensure hunters across the state are able to easily ID an animal born in a captive facility.
The current Texas statute falls well short of the technological advancement in identification technology. Millions of microchips are utilized in the United States to identify a wide variety of animals – including white-tailed deer in most states that allow captive farming. Microchip technology is accepted and endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture through its Herd Certification Program across the United States. The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends certified microchips for all species.
We thank you for your support of House Bill 2855 by Rep. Chris Paddie. This important legislation would allow for the best available identification technology to be utilized as an accepted form of identification for breeder deer held under TPWD permit.
Exotic Wildlife Association
Charly Seale, Executive Director

105 Henderson Branch Rd., West
Ingram, Texas 78025

TEXAS DEER ASSOCIATION

13-Year-Old Girl Tags Two Monster Red Stags – Then Receives Death Threats

NEWS |

13-Year-Old Girl Tags Two Monster Red Stags – Then Receives Death Threats

Aryanna Gourdin, a 13-year-old from Cove, Utah, recently traveled with her father, Eli, and her brother, Jacob, to New Zealand to hunt red stag. She successfully pulled-off the challenge and tagged two mature stags on consecutive days (stag No. 1 shown above). The second stag (below) scored 404 inches! Aryanna went on the hunt with outfitter Kaweka Hunting New Zealand.

The video below of Aryanna and her second stag received over 110,000 views on Facebook. Kendall Jones even shared the hunt on her Facebook page, which has more than 1 million followers.

Aryanna has always loved the art of hunting and has many stories to tell.

For example, back in August, Aryanna and her father went on a hunting trip to Africa. During this adventure, she legally tagged a zebra and giraffe. Aryanna decided to post a picture her harvest on Facebook, but anti-hunters spotted the post and she received many hate messages – and even death threats. In total, she received more than 75,000 negative comments on her Facebook post, and was called “sick” and an “animal hater.”

Undaunted, Aryanna has not recanted her hunting lifestyle. She simply has replied kindly and softly to this situation saying, “I will never back down from hunting, because I am a hunter!”

And Aryanna isn’t fighting the negativity alone. Many outdoorsmen and supporters of Aryanna have stated, “Let the haters hate. Hunt away, Aryanna!”

Editor’s note: Aryanna continues pursuing her love for the outdoors. She is now a co-host on The Outdoorsman’s Art Radio Show alongside with her father, Eli, and the author. She also recently contributed to writing a book regarding hunting rights and anti-hunting activism entitled “The Hunter’s War: Vegan Vs. Hunters,” which is available online. She will never back down from being a hunter.

The TDA Story

The TDA Story
The TDA is the state’s largest wildlife association to support a hunter’s individual freedom of choice, and we will always work to ensure Texans have the liberty to choose how and where to hunt.

Urgent Info from Newport Labs

Urgent Info from Newport Labs
In order to continue offering the cervid industry vaccines as we have in the past, we need your help.  Newport Laboratories is asking for your assistance by submitting affected tissues to their lab for a diagnostic workup.  Submissions of fresh spleen, lung, intestine, fecal samples/swabs, jaw swabs, foot swabs.

For your convenience we have attached the diagnostic submission form to be used when submitting your samples to the diagnostic lab.  When completing the diagnostic form please be sure to include your attending veterinarians information. Please note that all results and diagnostic charges will be sent to your veterinarian.

Newport Laboratories also provides free diagnostic kits for sample submission. Call 1-800-220-2522 to request a free diagnostic shipper.

Deer Breeders Corp. | 972.289.3100 | info@dbcDeer.com | www.dbcDeer.com

Facts About CWD in Texas…

Facts About CWD in Texas…

Facts About CWD in Texas…

The recent news surrounding one deer in one breeder facility in Texas has prompted a great deal of concern with our industry. As a result of a positive CWD test on a whitetail buck in a Medina County deer breeding facility, Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD) has halted ALL transfers and liberations within the state. 

At the current time, the deer ranching industry in Texas has effectively been shut-down by this decision. More than one thousand landowners and their families, all dependent on deer management as a substantial source of income, are left in doubt as to the future of their business this year.

While there is no doubt that the concern of CWD in our state is something to be taken seriously, here are some important facts to remember when considering the CWD situation in Texas:

*CWD is not a public health concern

On the Texas Parks & Wildlife website, a fact sheet on CWD states that:

“Epidemiologists with the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, and along with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, have studied CWD and have found no evidence that CWD poses a serious risk to humans or domestic animals. Years of monitoring in the affected area in Colorado has found no similar disease in people or cattle living there.”

Earlier this year, results of a study conducted at UC-Davis provided a great deal of insight into the issue. Scientists involved in the research suspected that the human prion protein structure would block out the infected cervid prions in the testing, “as the sequences did not appear to be compatible,” according to Dr. Christina Sigurdson, senior author of the study. Their hypothesis proved to be true, as they found that the mice in the experiment who expressed “the normal human prion sequence resisted infection when exposed to same materials – just as humans seem to, even those who consume venison meat.” 

*Texas deer ranchers have participated in CWD monitoring programs since 2007

In fact, the ranch from which the positive result occurred was participating in such a program, proving that the monitoring system currently in place is effective.

Hundreds of these monitored herds have absolutely zero traceable connections to the index herd and have invested much effort and financing into building CWD status through the USDA. That these herds were also shut down is an unnecessary restriction of commerce creating financial hardships for Texas citizens.

*Over the last decade more research has been done to develop a live-animal test for CWD

Though this test is not validated by the USDA, Texas has the authority and should take the lead in the utilization of live-animal testing in the management of this CWD scenario. 

*Suspending the deer industry negatively impacts not only the entire hunting community, but rural economies and the entire state of Texas

Intensive deer management is vital not only to the health of the whitetail and its habitat, but also the entire Texas economy. As a $700 million industry, deer ranching produces a tremendous economic benefit for rural communities across the state. And the end result of members’ efforts is the creation of a host of new opportunities for quality hunts on private land-essential to the continuation of our rich hunting tradition in Texas.

*The Texas Deer Association is closely monitoring this situation and advocating on behalf of its membership

We remain in constant contact with the Texas Animal Health Commission (lead investigators) and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. In addition, TDA has assembled our own Response Team to address the day to day issues of this current situation.

TDA is advocating for the reopening of TWIMS as soon as possible in order to minimize the hardship placed on Texas deer ranching operations. Visit our website to receive the latest updates on the Texas CWD Situation: www.texasdeerassociation.com