Eye on the Antis – December 2006

No Dove Season! HSUS Television Blitz Helps the Antis Put an End to Dove Hunting in Michigan.

It is rather remarkable that there are folks who still believe that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an organization that runs the local animal shelters.

HSUS is an anti-hunting juggernaut and the worst enemy sportsmen have ever faced. The animal-rights group’s bankroll is immense, much of it raised through donations from people who think they’re helping their local animal shelter. HSUS is not in any way associated with the Paulding County Humane Society or any other local humane society animal shelter. They stole the name years ago and set about on an animal-rights agenda that includes anti-hunting efforts. HSUS is putting vast resources of cash into play directly against sportsmen.

During the November 7 election, the Michigan ballot included a statewide referendum asking voters if dove hunting should be banned in the state. The effort to place the referendum on the ballot was pushed by HSUS. Leading up to election day, urban television stations were blitzed with television ads that characterized dove hunting as nothing more than target practice on live songbirds, that doves were too small to even eat. Dove hunting lost by a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent.

According to the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, HSUS bankrolled the effort to ban dove hunting in Michigan with $1.6 million in contributions out of $2.3 million spent by the anti-hunters’ campaign. HSUS contributions were a 250 percent increase over its previous record amount spent on a wildlife issue.

“The HSUS and its puppet organization, the Committee to Restore the Dove Shooting Ban, purchased television airtime and ran anti-hunting messages throughout the final six weeks of the campaign,” the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance said. “This level of spending on a ballot issue is unprecedented for HSUS, and confirms sportsmen’s greatest fears about the retooled animal-rights organization, which merged with the Fund for Animals in 2005. The merger put anti-hunting zealots in charge of more than $100 million that can be spent to ban hunting. The HSUS plan of attack appears to be to first chip away at certain types of hunting — dove and bear are emerging as the early targets.”

On the other side, sportsmen formed a group called the Citizens for Wildlife Conservation Committee, which “never truly got off the ground in its efforts to match the financial power of the anti-hunting campaign. The group raised less than $500,000 and was able to muster only a week-long radio campaign to combat the antis’ television ads,” the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance reports.

Meanwhile, just two weeks ago in New Jersey, an HSUS-led campaign has forced the cancelation of the state’s black-bear season. The HSUS website proudly reports their victory: “The citizens of New Jersey have expressed their opposition to the trophy hunting of bears,” said Michael Markarian, the executive vice president for HSUS.

“Killing bears simply for their heads and hides is inhumane, scientifically reckless, and bad management policy.”

For the 2004 tax year, the net worth of HSUS was $111 million, and their bankroll is growing.

Where will HSUS use this money next? What’s to stop them from going state-by-state and picking off dove seasons and bear seasons one-by-one? Why don’t sportsmen see this threat?

I think the answer can be found right here in Georgia. Sportsmen, it seems, don’t get involved in an issue until it affects them directly.

Let HSUS win a lawsuit that could cancel this year’s hunts at Bond Swamp and Okefenokee NWRs.

“Huh? Never hunt there. When’s the rut in Hancock County?”

Let Marion County pass an ordinance that makes it all but impossible for hunters to have a hunt camp on their leases. Barely a ripple other than from the hunters who have camps in the county.

Divided into little segments geographically or by the species we hunt, sportsmen don’t have a chance. HSUS smells our weakness.

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