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Africa Hunting : Tanzania: Poaching on the Rise at Key National Park

on 2011/1/21 5:55:31 (961 reads)

Poaching is among major problems facing Katavi National Park located south west of Tanzania. Elephants are the favourite animals targeted for their trophies as their tusks have a growing market in the Far East, said the acting chief park warden, Mr David Kadomo.

Refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other countries have been blamed for wanton killing of the animals which, he said, has become worse in recent times. He revealed this in a report presented to a team of journalists from various media houses who visited the game sanctuary recently.

Said he: "The killing of wild animals for their trophies is now carried out for commercial interests, with elephant tusks being smuggled through neighbouring countries."

In recent years, Tanzania has been blamed for being the source of contraband elephant tusks that are being sold in the Far East.

Mr Kadomo could not, however, give figures of the amount of ivory seized or elephants killed annually by poachers in the area.

He pointed an accusing finger to refugees residing in Rukwa, Kigoma and other western regions for being responsible for the carnage.

He would neither say if increased roads across the 4,471 square kilometre park, the third largest in the country, have abated the animals' killing.

However, he noted that many animals have been knocked down by speeding motor vehicles along roads in the park.

The protected area is known for having the highest concentration of elephants. During the dry season, for instance, 4,000 elephants converge along a river that cuts through the park.

It was established in 1974 after the then 2,253 square kilometre Katavi Plains Game Reserve was upgraded. The latter has been a protected area since the colonial days.

In 1998, its size was nearly doubled to 4,471 square kilometres. Thus it became the third largest national park in the country, after the Serengeti and Ruaha national parks.

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Africa Hunting : Angola: Big Hunts at Nature Reserves Forbidden

on 2011/1/21 5:52:00 (1018 reads)

Luanda — The reinforcement of patrolling in national parks by guards from these institutions, in collaboration with the Police and the Armed Forces, has enabled over the last six months the reduction of big game, a source with the sector has announced.

The head of the department of conservation of the Ministry of Environment, Joaquim Manuel, has said.

"Hunters are still entering in conservation areas, but for little time and sometimes without success, as they fear being captured by specialists that make frequent patrols, meant at the preservation and maintenance of the fauna and nature reserves", explained Joaquim Manuel.

Although they represent a reduced number, he said, guards are still working to prevent poaching.

Works have been done for the training and integration of more guards in nature reserves, whose infrastructures are being recovered slowly.

The source reminded that in Angola it is forbidden the hunting of animals such as the sable antelope, elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, black rhinoceros, zebra, gorilla, hyena and manatee.

Angola has 13 game reserves.

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Europe Hunting : Sweden's wolf hunt courts controversy

on 2011/1/21 5:47:51 (974 reads)

Environment officials from the European Union are preparing to prosecute the Swedish government after it again allowed the hunting of wild and endangered wolves.

Conservationists say there are only 200 wolves left in the wild in Sweden, and this season's quota of 20 animals has been half filled in the first day of hunting.

While the EU and local conservationists say it is an illegal and illogical slaughter, hunters argue the kill is all about ensuring the wolves' survival.

Swedish ecotourist guide Anders Stahl says wolves are a vital part of the natural order, and the real threat comes from hunters encouraged by a government that gives a licence to kill.

"How can you conserve numbers if you hunt them? For me that's illogical," he said.

"Lots of people don't hunt them and have more of a naturalist way of looking at the wolves. For me, as a naturalist and ecotourism guide, for me it's a problem if there aren't any wolves."

European Commission environment spokesman Joe Hennon says his department is beginning legal proceedings against Sweden that could end up in fines of tens of millions of dollars.

"We sent a letter to the Swedish minister in December pointing out our interpretation of the law," he said.

"And we left Sweden in no doubt that if they did go ahead with the licensed hunt that we would have to open formal proceedings against them."

'We know every wolf'

About 6,000 hunters signed up to try to kill just 20 wolves.

The spokesman for the Swedish Hunters Association, Daniel Lidne, says far from destroying the animals, the hunters are the true conservationists.

"Basically what we're trying to do is that we try to save the wolf with hunting," he said.

"I know it seems to be contradictory but still we have this inbreeding problem, and to be able to bring in new genes and new wolves we have to make room for them and remove some of the inbred wolves."

Mr Lidne says he does not think the EU knows how well Sweden monitors the wolves and the hunts.

"They haven't understood that we have total control of the wolves in Sweden," he said.

"We know every wolf. We have a name and number on all the adult wolves in our country, and this is almost like a zoo in the wild."

Swedish animal rights activists have tried to disrupt the hunt by going into the forest with firecrackers to frighten the wolves away.

Some fear that Sweden's reputation as an ecologically responsible nation is also being driven to extinction. ... 117528.htm?section=justin

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Other Hunting : Russians hunt down rumoured 400-strong wolf pack

on 2011/1/21 5:44:11 (847 reads)

A RUMOURED 400-strong pack of wolves that has slain 30 horses and is said to pose a threat to human life has sparked fear in the northeastern Russian region of Yakutia.

Hunters have been dispatched to deal with the beasts, state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported, and a single pelt would be met with a reward of 10,000 roubles ($335).

"We have gathered 24 hunting parties to patrol the neighbourhood on snowmobiles. We also set traps. Using poison against wolves is forbidden though. When daytime becomes long enough, the hunters will shoot the predators from helicopters," said a spokesman for the administration of the Verhnoyarsky region, where the wolf pack lives, as cited by Interfax news agency.

But the Moscow News website said reports of the huge wolf pack should be tempered by the knowledge that wolves usually form groups of no more than 20, suggesting "a group of 400 would be difficult to sustain".

The Yakutia (or Sakha) Republic covers a vast expanse of northeastern Russia and is comparable in size to India. ... ry-e6frf7jx-1225991671694

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USA Hunting : USA: Ted Nugent won't be charged with violating South Dakota hunting laws

on 2011/1/21 5:38:10 (702 reads)

Rock star and hunting advocate Ted Nugent will not be charged with violating any South Dakota state game laws for shooting pheasants last fall.

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"A determination was made not to prosecute," Sara Rabern, a public information officer for the South Dakota attorney general's office in Pierre, told the Rapid City Journal. "And the Fall River County state's attorney concurred."

Nugent was being investigated by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to determine whether any game laws were broken after some of his hunting privileges were revoked in California on Aug. 13.

Nugent lost his California deer hunting license through June 2012 after a 2009 deer baiting incident, and may have been prohibited from any hunting in South Dakota because of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement that recognizes suspension of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in member states, which include South Dakota and California.

The rocker went pheasant hunting at Dakota Hills Shooting Preserve in Oral, S.D., on Oct. 16 while filming for his television show, "Spirit of the Wild," on the Outdoor Channel, sparking the investigation.

Officials determined that Nugent's license revocation in California for deer hunting didn't disqualify him from getting a license to hunt pheasants, and that Nugent was exercising a small-game privilege that didn't have anything to do with what happened in California. ... -dakota-hunting-laws.html

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Africa Hunting : South Africa: Hunter fined over rhino poaching

on 2011/1/19 16:02:06 (1564 reads)

Johannesburg - A professional hunter and taxidermist from Mossel Bay - who organised hunting trips in SA for several Vietnamese hunters - was on Tuesday fined R30 000 in the Mokopane (Potgietersrus) Regional Court for illegally hunting white rhino.

Chris van Wyk, 42, was arrested in 2006 after he - and not the Vietnamese hunter or the professional hunter who should have accompanied him - shot the rhino.

Van Wyk was found guilty in July 2010.

His conviction related to a hunting trip on April 27 2006 at the Leshoka Thabang Game Lodge in Roedtan in Limpopo, in which Van Wyk and a Vietnamese client, Nguyen Tien Hoang, were involved.

Van Wyk organised the hunting trip through Tienie Bamberger, a professional hunter and the owner of Warthog Safaris in Ellisras, and was introduced to his Vietnamese client in Naboomspruit.


Bamberger received permission for the hunting trip from the owner of Leshoka Thabang, Johan van Zyl. Bamberger was not present on the day of the hunting trip and his wife, Ananya and his father accompanied Van Wyk and Nguyen.

When they found the rhino, the Vietnamese man walked away. Bamberger's wife, her father-in-law and Van Wyk shot four times at the rhino from a distance of between 50m and 100m.

Van Wyk didn't have a permit to hunt the rhino and was also not registered in Limpopo as a professional hunter.

On reading the verdict, Magistrate Gerhard Pretorius emphasised that Van Wyk during his trial in a police raid in the Free State was found with rhino horn and ivory and was also arrested in the Western Cape after being found with rhino horn. He was found guilty in both cases.

Pretorius said it pointed to Van Wyk's tendency to clash with the law in such incidents.

Pretorius said it was just a moneymaking racket. "This is a circus in which 23 people get on a vehicle and watch as animals are shot dead."

Pretorius warned Van Wyk that the "prison doors were coming closer and opening wider" should he continued his activities.

Outside court, Van Wyk said he thought the sentence was fair. ... r-rhino-poaching-20110119

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USA Fishing : USA: Anglers Catch Big Winnings in FLW Fantasy Fishing

on 2011/1/18 10:45:20 (844 reads)

Another record-breaking season for the biggest contest in fantasy sports began last week with the start of the new season of FLW Fantasy Fishing 2011.

Every year about $1 billion is spent on fantasy sports. Of the near 30 million Americans playing, fantasy is the most popular fantasy game with about 21 million participating.

“Fantasy Fishing is something we have put a lot of time and effort into and feel it is one of our best undertakings,” said Irwin Jacobs, chairman and CEO FLW Outdoors and the creators of FLW Fantasy Fishing. “The participation from the fans is unbelievable, and with the game being played all over the world, it has helped build the sport and bring recognition to the anglers and our partners.”

Players can sign up by visiting It is free to play, but players can benefit by signing up Player’s Advantage, which gives them access to additional information and resources.

The 2011 FLW Fantasy Fishing season will include 10 tournaments, with each offering more than $25,000 in prizes. The grand prize winner at the end of the season will take away $100,000 with the overall second-place winner receiving a Ranger Z-520 boat and Ranger Trail Trailer, plus two motors and motor batteries.

“Fantasy Fishing has proven to be one of the best things to happen to our sport as it allows fans worldwide to be much closer to the action on the water and have a vested interest in the outcome of the tournaments, as well as win phenomenal prizes,” said Trisha Blake, president of marketing at FLW Outdoors. “We launched this game with the anticipation that it would bring new fans to fishing and have a significant impact on the sport, and it has succeeded even beyond our goals.”

The typical fantasy sports customer is a white-collar male that makes about $90,000 a year. Fantasy fishing is hoping to capitalize with fan popularity just as fantasy games have swept Major League Baseball, NBA, NASCAR and the NHL. ... lw-fantasy-fishing/56858/

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Europe Fishing : UK: Tight lines toast as river records monster fish haul

on 2011/1/17 15:43:56 (915 reads)

A SHORT riverside ceremony in Halkirk yesterday ushered in the start of the salmon-fishing season in Scotland.

Optimism surrounded the first flies cast on the River Thurso following last year's record haul.

Click to see original Image in a new window

Dar Sutherland toasts the new salmon season on the River Thurso while Dougie Reid prepares to cast the first fly. Robert MacDonald 01955 602741

Though the freezing conditions deterred all but a hardy few from trying their luck yesterday, river managers are bullish about prospects for the coming year.

Thirty regular anglers lined up behind Thurso piper John Macrae outside Halkirk's Ulbster Arms for the launch before marching to the snow-covered riverbank below the main road bridge on beat four.

There, the traditional toast was made by former river superintendent Dar Sutherland. The 66-year-old, of Sinclair Square, Halkirk, wished tight lines to all who went out.

The first fly was put into the Comlifoot pool by Mr Sutherland's contemporary, assistant superintendent Dougie Reid, with whom he first went fishing.

Mr Reid (65) is an expert angler but his only contact with his handful of casts was with a chunk of ice.

While conditions were less than ideal, river superintendent Eddie McCarthy believes the signs are good for another bumper season.

Last year, records were shattered with a total of 3022 landed from beats two to 13, which are managed by Thurso River Company. A further 450 or so came off beat one, which is worked by Thurso Angling Club.

The August total of 1026 exceeded the entire season's catch for the river in five of the last 10 years.

Mr McCarthy said: "We have records going back to 1894 and this beat the previous highest catch by almost 1000."

He believes last year's monster haul resulted from young salmon arriving back in better shape and greater numbers.

"For once, something good has been happening at sea. We've complained for years about smolts coming back under-nourished and in poor shape. Last year, they were in much better condition and in greater numbers."

Mr McCarthy added that the prolonged freeze-up last winter meant fry were later to hatch and so had more food available.

In addition, the colder water slowed fish down and increased opportunities for them to be caught over the length of the 26-mile river.

Mr McCarthy said the investment programme from Angus Estates Ltd is also paying dividends.

He said: "The river is now a lot more accessible to anglers. We're wanting to keep them coming when they get older and when they maybe are less able to do a lot of walking. At the same time, we don't want to detract from the wilderness factor so it's all about getting a balance."

The 700-plus anglers who fished the Thurso last year included a 10 per cent increase in visitors.

Looking to this season, he said: "I'm very, very optimistic that it's going to be another good year." ... ds_monster_fish_haul.html

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Africa Hunting : Kenya: Elephants Outgrow Parks And Roam in Villages

on 2011/1/21 5:54:47 (1000 reads)

Nairobi — The elephants are back. With their numbers rising, an unfailing memory and a dearth of poachers, the animals have put the worst time of their lives in Kenya, the 1980s, behind them.

Their population is galloping along at almost four per cent annually, and has almost outgrown the capacity of the protected areas of Maasai Mara and Amboseli national parks.

Following closely the movements of Lady Lorna and an older elephant called Kiramatian, scientists at the African Centre for Conservation have established that elephants are indeed increasingly venturing out of the protected areas.

Between 2006 and 2010 the researchers put electronic collars on the two elephants to help trace the herd movements. This combined with a trained group of security scouts in the South Rift has seen the animals try to reclaim their old rangelands.

Following the elephant poaching years of the 1980s which dramatically cut the country's population from about 167,000 to 16,000, the government established several protected areas.

The population is now recovering with a national heard of about 35,000 animals.

"Now this creates a new problem. Herds have outgrown the resources in the protected areas and are venturing out," says Jim Nyamu, an elephant researcher with the African Conservation Centre.

The main elephant sanctuaries established then, in the South Rift for example, were the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the Amboseli National Park both running parallel with the Tanzania border.

In between the two protected enclaves, is an estimated distance of 300 kilometres or approximately 12,000 square kilometres falling within Kajiado County and covering Central, Namanga and Magadi divisions.

"This land belong either to individuals or group ranches and once the elephants spill over, there is bound to be competition for water and pasture. Farm raids will be a frequent occurrence," says Nyamu who has also been in charge of the Trans Border Elephant Project.

The researcher says that about two-thirds of the elephants are known to move frequently outside parks into private land, causing damage to property and loss of human life and or injury.

Data collected in the last four years indicates the animals are moving from the two protected Mara and Amboseli areas to as far as Kajiado, Magadi and even Suswa in Narok and into Tanzania. Information collected by the community scouts show more elephant sighting in areas where previously there was no evidence of the animals.

"In the last four years, there have been appearances of elephants in Ngong which is a very interesting happening," says the researcher.

In three different years, 2006, 2007 and 2008, a group of different elephants visited Ngong, Corner Baridi and went up to Kitengela. With this foregoing, people in Ngong should expect more elephant visits mainly as a result of compression in the protected areas.

In 2009 there was also an unusual sighting of an elephant in the highly populated Kiserian and Rongai near Nazarene University, which was captured by KWS personnel to avoid conflict.

The researcher says there has been an increase of elephant and human conflict in the last five years in the study area. Such include the elephants destroying fences, houses, food stores, dams, crops and other infrastructure.

Of specific interest to the researchers is the emergence of elephants in Kajiado Central, an area that is undergoing rapid land subdivision.

Nyamu predicts high chances that bigger groups of elephants will continue to visit this area and even become residents.

The country now is faced with the dilemma of a growing heard and declining elephant habitat. Five years ago ACC facilitated the formation of the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) which encourages a non land subdivision management option to keep ranches open for conservation.

The conservation area involves two ranches Olkiramatian and Shompole which are closed to farming and grazing, unless in very extreme drought conditions. It is dedicated to tourism and conservation activities.

"The objective is to create elephant pathways aimed at connecting elephant population either side of the Rift Valley and establishing the connectivity pathways to Kenya South and northern Tanzania and a link between Amboseli and Maasai Mara," says Nyamu.

The conservation area is currently hosting two world class tourism facilities Shompole Lodge and Loisiijo which in prearranged agreements share the proceeds with the community.

This symbiotic relationship, says the researcher, guarantees the community a return while conserving diversity.

The women in the Magadi conservation area have established a group resource centre which runs various activities from, offering accommodation, selling beads and other income generating enterprises.

"We are establishing more conservancies and tourism facilities so that we can market the South Rift as a single tourist destination," says John Kamanga the Soralo, coordinator.

The African Conservation Centre, Solaro, and KWS are offering paramilitary training to its scouts who secure the conservancy area and monitoring animals using GPS tracking system.

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Africa Hunting : Ghana: Bush Meat Gives Country More Revenue Than Mining

on 2011/1/21 5:50:54 (974 reads)

It is almost common knowledge that wild animal meat sold in Ghana's major markets every year amounts to anything between 200 and 350 million dollars in revenue. Perhaps, what is unknown to many Ghanaians is that these revenues from the sale of grasscutter (akrantie), antelopes, rats, snails, birds, etc., rub shoulders with, and even outstrip annual revenues from timber and minerals.

The Forest Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission (FC) has confirmed that in 2008 and 2009 timber fetched Ghana a total of 350 million dollars in each of the two years, comprising 250 million dollars export revenue and an estimated 100 million dollars for 400,000 cubic metres of wood consumed locally. But 80% of this wood is considered illegal.

And although gross mineral revenues may appear several times higher than what is realised from the sale of wild meat, actual revenues accruing to government from minerals is a paltry sum, almost half of what is realized from bush meat.

For instance, the 2009 budget and fiscal policy statement of the Government of Ghana states that total mineral revenues for 2008 amounted to about $2.3 billion. But, according to the Chamber of Mines, mining companies paid about GH¢180 million (about 5%) to the Government of Ghana in that year. Also, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2005 mentioned that out of the total mineral revenue of about $870 million generated in 2003, only $46.7 million, representing 5%, was retained in Ghana.

In both years, the bush meat revenue was estimated at between 200 and 300 dollars. Currently, about 384,000 metric tons of wild meat is estimated to be sold annually in Ghana. A study alluded to by the Wildlife Division of the FC indicates that the value of wildlife for an area of 30 square kilometers is US$140,000.

The worry of many is that all of the revenue estimated for wild meat is officially unrecorded. To say it differently, all the revenue goes into individual pockets due to loose regulation and monitoring. For instance, none of the individuals a traveler comes across on major highways such as the Accra-Kumasi road selling bush meat accounts for it by way of tax.

The only form of direct revenue accruing to the state is about GH¢100,000 per annum realized from game licensing. "What is recorded is game licensing...not the value of the catch," Mr Raphael Yeboah, Executive Director of the FSD, explained to yours truly in a recent interview.

Consequently, calls are coming from certain quarters for formalization and proper management of bush meat trade to ensure that government earns a substantial share of the revenue for development. This could lead to less reliance on timber trade, which in turn can help reduce deforestation. Statistics show that the forest cover of Ghana has reduced alarmingly from about 8.2 million hectares of land at the beginning of the 20th

century to a mere 1.4 million hectares by close of 2007.

Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director of Wacam, for example, opines that proper management of bush meat trade could inure to the benefit of the state. Hence, instead of perpetrating environmental degradation through surface mining and timber harvesting, it would be more profitable to place greater emphasis on wild animal meat trade, which is proving to be an equally rewarding sub-sector.

This could lead to better management of forests since the animals themselves would need the forests to thrive.

Certainly, his suggestion has not gone unchallenged. The first to consider the suggestion as untenable is Mr. Yeboah. He turns to Ghana's forest and wildlife policy to justify his disagreement. The policy recognizes both fauna and flora. Policy actions have resulted in the creation of specific protected areas which are for animals and plants. These have completely different premises or objectives for management.

"So, in the first place, to say that we should sacrifice one at the expense of another is not very good in the sense that what animals can do, maybe trees cannot do and what trees can do animals cannot do," Mr. Yeboah stressed.

Apart from that, it is believed that a significant chunk of bush meat comes from forest reserves and not from exclusively wildlife protected areas. This pre-supposes that "the more you open up the place and there are shrubs...the more animals can also come and breed."

Hence, "we strongly think that for maximizing the benefits of the forests, we should harmonise both the consumptive and non-consumptive use of the forests and as much as possible make sure that it is the excess growth that should be harvested," Mr. Yeboah points out, adding that for both animals and plants it is not advisable to over-harvest lest "you can also destroy their base boils down to management."

This last point ties in with arguments put forward by biodiversity campaigners. They hold the view that bush meat trade is one of the most alarming threats to the survival of wildlife in West Africa and the main cause for the 'empty forest syndrome.'

Experts say Ghanaian forests are part of the Upper Guinean Hotspot, one of the 25 most biologically rich and endangered ecosystems in the world. In Ghana alone, there are 59 endangered mammal species, many of which continue to be offered in the market for bush meat consumption.

An existing mechanism for regulating the hunting of wild animals is the 'Close Season' initiative of the Wildlife Division of the FC. The 'Close Season' which usually falls between August and December is an annual ban on hunting and collection of wild animals. The period is said to be the breeding season of most of the animals.

Usually, a statement announcing the 'Close Season' would state that "During this period it shall be illegal for anybody to hunt, capture, or destroy any wild animal except the grasscutter (Akrantie), which can be done only under licence issued by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission."

Even so, Mr. Yeboah admits that there is the need to reconsider the current regime of game licensing. "The permit points are so remote and far from the people; they would rather steal than travel to Koforidua and get a permit to kill one akrantie."

But ultimately, the solution lies in integrated management, Mr.Yeboah concludes.

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Canada Hunting : Canada: Man Gets Lifetime Hunting Suspension

on 2011/1/21 5:46:17 (924 reads)

A Foleyet man has received a lifetime hunting suspension for using a firearm in an unsafe manner while hunting black bears. Foleyet is located about 300 km north east of Sault Ste. Marie.

Randy Gervais pleaded guilty to 13 charges under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, including two counts of using a firearm carelessly for hunting; four counts of hunting black bear without the authority of a licence; four counts of obstructing a conservation officer by providing false information; one count of hunting black bear within 400 metres of a dump site; one count of trespassing for the purpose of hunting, and one count of transporting illegally killed wildlife. All charges laid were a result of a 14-month investigation dating back to May 2009.

The court ordered the immediate cancellation and surrender of Gervais’ Ontario hunting licence and that he be prohibited from possessing, applying for, and/or obtaining any Ontario hunting licence for the rest of his life. Gervais also received a lifetime ban on engaging or associating in any hunting-related activities, or possessing hunting-related sporting equipment in an area where game wildlife within Ontario.

Court heard that on four separate occasions between May 20 and July 8, 2009, Gervais shot and killed two bears and shot at another two bears in the Foleyet area. One bear was shot in the middle of Young Street in Foleyet with a high-powered rifle. The bullet passed through the bear in the direction of the local public school. The second bear was shot at the Foleyet dump site, also with a high-powered rifle. In this case, the bullet passed through the bear towards a public access road, two cemeteries, a church and an all-terrain vehicle trail that people frequently use. The last two bears were shot near Maple Street Lodging in Foleyet, and one of the two bears was wounded in the shooting.

Gervais obstructed conservation officers during the investigation by telling them that three of the bears were shot in protection of property. He denied any involvement in shooting the bear at the dump. Gervais also trespassed on posted occupied land to hunt the Foleyet dump bear and illegally transported the bear shot on Young Street.

Justice of the Peace Alex Spence heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Chapleau, on January 12, 2011.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry officer during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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Europe Hunting : UK: Bercow under fire for change on hunting ban

on 2011/1/21 5:42:54 (793 reads)

THE Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Buckingham has come under fire for “changing his strongly held convictions” on the hunting ban.

John Bercow, whose constituency covers Princes Risborough, reportedly wrote a letter to a constituent from Buckingham at the start of the month saying there was a “compelling” argument for the ban and hunting foxes to kill them was “wrong in the 21st century.”

Before he was elected as speaker in 2009, as a Tory MP, he was strongly against Labour's plan to ban hunting with dogs in 2004 and voted against it.

Guy Portwin, master of the Kimblewick Hunt, which was previously The Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks hunt said that John Bercow was wrong on this and said: “We are all sorry that he has changed his previous strongly held convictions on this subject.”

He added: “The animal welfare arguments have been set out again to him and we are convinced that if he actually took notice of them he will come back to his original position.

“The Kimblewick hunt looks forward to the Conservatives fulfilling their manifesto pledge of a free vote on scrapping the Hunting with Dogs act in due course.”

The letter came at the same time as his Labour wife Sally Bercow wrote a piece for the Labour Uncut website, saying “with a bit of luck” the vote on a repeal of the ban will not take place at all.

David Cameron had promised a free vote on a repeal of the hunting act but no date has been set.

Leader of the UKIP Nigel Farage, who stood against Mr Bercow at the election last May for Buckingham, said “Bercow is the flipper to end all flippers” and “he has flipped on the issue of hunting.”

He added it was an issue that is close to the hearts of many. He said: “Those Conservatives that supported him in the election last year did so out of loyalty to him. He obviously feels that they do not deserve loyalty in return.”

A spokesman for Mr Bercow's constituency office said: “In this letter the Speaker was offering to pass on the concerns of this constituent to the relevant minister even though in the interests of transparency he was pointing out that these were not views that he shared.

“Parliament is not facing any debate on this issue and there is no conflict between serving a constituent and fulfilling his role as Speaker.

"It is Mr Bercow's duty both to represent his constituents and articulate his views to them as appropriate. His role is to be neutral in the chamber but not neutered as a constituency member." ... or_change_on_hunting_ban/

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USA Hunting : USA: Dachshunds make good hunting dogs

on 2011/1/19 16:03:30 (2011 reads)

Several years ago I received a phone call from a woman in Chapel Hill, N.C. asking me for some recommendations on where she could go hunting with her dogs. When I questioned her about what kind of dogs she intended to used for hunting in our state she replied that she’d use her “Teckels.” She soon explained that the “Teckel” is another word for the little dog that many of us know as a “Dachshund.”

I’d always heard that Dachshunds were originally used as badger hunting dogs in Germany, but since we didn’t have badgers here in North Carolina I furthered my questions to Sian Kwa by asking her what she intended to hunt with her dogs. I was floored when she said “rabbits, ducks, deer and bear.” Envisioning a 600-pound black bear with a little "wiener-dog" held firmly in its teeth, I then asked Kwa just how big her dogs were anyway. “Oh, they’re about (15 to) 20 pounds each” she replied. My reply to her was that, “Lady, a Tar Heel bear will eat a dog of that size like a sausage biscuit.” Kwa replied that her “Teckels were very capable of hunting about any animal that she expected to come across in North Carolina.”

Using Teckels as rabbit dogs I could believe, but when it came to retrieving ducks across the water and tracking wounded animals as large as our whitetail deer or black bear, that, to my way of thinking, was another matter.

Kwa explained how the Dachshunds traditionally were used to track badgers (vicious animals that dig holes into the earth to live in). Dachshunds track the badgers, and when the badgers seek to get away be retreating into their underground holes the Dachshunds (being skinny elongated little dogs) follow the badger into its hole, grasp it by the throat and hold it firmly with their teeth until the hunter digs the dog and badger out of the ground and dispatches the badger. If the digging takes too much time, the dog could be seriously injured or be dead because it is practically impossible for any dog of similar size to kill a badger underground. In rare occasions, the badger is flushed out of the den like with foxes, but this is not common because badgers prefer to stay in the den for shelter.

I subsequently invited Ms. Kwa to bring her dogs down to our small farm outside Garner to demonstrate their prowess as rabbit dogs. She showed up with three Dachshunds and one of the most unusual dogs I’d ever seen as her “secret weapon.”

We didn’t find many rabbits that day but we did find enough for her to make me a believer in using Dachshunds as hunting dogs. Her “secret weapon” dog also made a believer out of me as to her expertise as a hunter who knew what she was doing with dogs.

The “secret weapon dog” was a Pharaoh Hound, which looked exactly like one of those dogs you see depicted on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs (the ones with the sharply pointed ears sticking straight up off the dog’s head). Sian Kwa explained that the Pharaoh Hound was indeed the dog you see in Egyptian hieroglyphics and that this breed of dog is one of the oldest domesticated breed of dogs in recorded history. They trace their lineage back some 3,000 years.

Kwa’s Dachshunds were used to jump the rabbits from their hiding places in the briar patches into the open where the Pharaoh Hound was then released. This fast running, highly maneuvering Pharaoh Hound then ran the rabbit down and retrieved it back to its handler.

Teckels and Pharaoh Hounds combined were a double-barreled way to rabbit hunt.

With Sian Kwa’s hunting dog’s ability in the back of my mind I recently had the opportunity to visit Germany and experience hunting with Dachshunds first hand in the forest and fields of Bavaria.

We used Dachshunds to retrieve mallard ducks that we shot from ponds and streams. We used Dachshunds to hunt hares (big rabbits) in open fields and I witnessed the dogs exhibit their ability at the tracking of wounded game first hand.

One morning one of my hunting companions wounded a roebuck (much smaller that our whitetail deer) and the deer disappeared into the thick forest of Bavaria. We tracked the wounded animal until the blood trail ran out and would have lost the animal had not the hunter returned to his house and brought his pet Dachshund (a family pet but with hunting training) back to track the deer down. Even though the dog was a pet (all Teckels live in the house in Europe) they are likely trained for blood tracking. In other words, most Teckels that are with German hunters have passed hunt tests (not quite like the pets in this country).

Taking the little Teckel to the last place we saw a blood spoor, the hunter put the dog’s nose into the ground and let if off the lead to do its own tracking. For about an hour-and-a-half the hunter followed behind the little Teckel through the thick fir trees. When he finally caught up to the dog it was holding the deer firmly by the throat waiting for the hunter to come up and finish-off the deer. I had no doubt that the animal would have been lost had the Dachshund not been brought into play to track the deer.

Sian Kwa continues to raise and train her little Teckels at her home in Chapel Hill. She’s a hunter herself and hunts with archery tackle as well as with firearms. She often visits Germany and other European countries to have her Dachshunds bred and to study the traditional ways of hunting with these dogs. She has a website at and uses this instructional aid to explain to a lot of hunters how versatile Dachshunds are as hunting dogs. She’s made believers of a lot of hunters with her workshops that show other hunters the value of Dachshunds as hunters.

Read more: Garner News - Dachshunds make good hunting dogs ... ondary_sports_left_column

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Asia Hunting : Kazakhstan extends Saiga antelope hunting ban until 2021

on 2011/1/19 15:58:56 (838 reads)

ASTANA — Kazakhstan on Tuesday extended a ban on hunting saiga antelopes until 2021 as the Central Asian nation seeks to save the endangered species.

An order by the country's agriculture ministry to extend the ban was issued in November 2010 and published in local media on Tuesday, effective immediately.

The previous ban lasted until late last year.

Saiga antelopes, which have distinctive bulbous noses, are listed as a critically endangered species by WWF.

The Kazakh agriculture ministry put the country's saiga population at over 90,000 antelopes as of late 2010, although the WWF estimates the antelope's entire number at 50,000, having shrunk from over a million in the 1990s.

Its population fell drastically following the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to uncontrolled hunting and demand for its horns in Chinese medicine.

The introduction of the new ban follows an outbreak of pasteurellosis, an infectious disease that strikes the lungs and intestines, that claimed nearly 12,000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan last year.

The antelopes migrate between Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and China. ... bf18c765a683ae3458575d.11

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USA Fishing : USA: Girls Aloud Sarah Harding Says She Loves Fishing!

on 2011/1/18 10:38:54 (660 reads)

Whilst her four Girls Aloud bandmates are busy working on solo material and various other ventures, Sarah Harding has been bust getting engaged and taking up the glamorous sport of err... fishing.

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Yes, the blonde haired star of hits such as 'Biology' and 'The Promise' has revealed that she and her fiancee Tom Crane love nothing more than casting a rod and waiting for the bait to be taken.

"Me and Tommy love it. We're getting pretty good at it too" she told The Sun.

"The first time we went out, we didn't catch anything so we went out the following day at the crack of dawn.

"We got up at 4.30 to get out at first light. We were there for hours but it paid off. It was brilliant. I've had a few big ones now. One recently was huge, I didn't know what was on the end of the line at first - it was massive but it got away." ... ng-says-she-loves-fishing

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