Vote a big victory for real hunting

The Indiana State Senate just voted down legislation that would have resulted in a devastating blow to the hunting heritage of the state.

There wasn’t a single aspect of House Bill 1453 that shouldn’t infuriate real hunters.

Just the fact that the bill refers to canned killing pens as “hunting” preserves should be enough to enrage and engage the masses in efforts to block such damaging legislation from moving forward in future legislative sessions.

You might not even know what this issue is all about. It’s about an industry that grows unnaturally large bucks that are released into a fenced property where people pay to shoot them. These shooters call themselves hunters. Those of us who spend time in the wild, pursuing wildlife, take offense to such an empty claim.

House Bill 1453 passed the House, but was narrowly defeated in the Senate, 27-23. The bill synopsis: Hunting preserves. Provides for the initial licensing and operation of hunting preserves: (1) on which Indiana farm raised and released cervidae are hunted; and (2) that operated during the 2014 calendar year. Establishes licensing requirements, inspection requirements and fees. Exempts licensed hunting preserves from the licensing requirements for game breeders and shooting preserves. Provides that hunters on hunting preserves are required to have a special hunting license.

This quote, “Farm raised and released cervidae are hunted,” is an insult to wildlife and wildlife enthusiasts. Capitalism-at-all-costs legislators willing to completely disregard your best interests, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and the Public Trust Doctrine to repay a small, select special interest group in the name of “private industry” and making money, must be made aware that you will not stand for their disregard for the hunting heritage you hold so dear.

The future of hunting is not for sale to an industry trying to privatize your public resource.

Far too many Indiana legislators, 23 in the Senate and 55 in House, have chosen to ignore public deer hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. Instead, they have been influenced by, and voted for, the captive deer breeding and high-fenced hunting lobby at your expense. Do you know how your legislators voted? Shouldn’t you? See how they voted here:

Aside from the ethical and moral issues of killing captive wildlife in an enclosure they cannot escape, there is disease to contend with. Chronic Wasting Disease is an always-fatal neurological disease that will eventually kill every deer it infects.

The captive cervid industry claims that they are not responsible for the spread of CWD. It’s true that CWD is unfortunately in the wild and spreading through wild populations. However, wildlife biologists and animal scientists across our country attribute the widespread distribution of CWD to the transportation of CWD-positive deer in trailers to new parts of the country and within state borders.

The captive industry will go on to say there is no proof of a CWD-positive deer being transported from one facility to the next. A news release issued by the Iowa Department of Agriculture clearly outlines how a CWD-positive deer was shipped from a breeding facility to a shooting preserve.

See you down the trail.