*Editor’s note* – I was forwarded this email from Don Peay, Founder, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. It is a plea to hunters to get involved, step up to the plate and help support the effort to save hunting as the big money from environmentalists, anti-hunting and animal rights groups threaten that heritage.
Fellow Sportsmen, this is a SOS call for the WEST.
SFW (Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife) has invested over $500,000 over the past several years to get wolves delisted – done twice – and to keep the(m) delisted in the court room. We cannot win this fight alone, the entire hunting community needs to wake up and take this issue seriously.
I have written this email to be a little raw to stir some people to action. I am not the best at saying it all just right, but we have been in the fight, took some punches and delivered more than we take.
This issue, is SERIOUS, SERIOUS for the future of hunting elk, moose, mule deer and wild sheep in the WEST. In places, the game is lost for a generation – see below:
In the Billing Gazette the other day, there was an article calling for a meeting to discuss the future of elk hunting in the Gallatin Valley.
Montana Game and Fish (FWP) confirmed what many of us have said for ten years: after many years of low calf production, elk herds won’t slowly decline, the will precipitously collapse.
This herd was counted at 1,500 elk in 2005 and all cow hunts were stopped. The herd has decline 85% and is now at 200 – not a typo – two hundred. I predict there will be less than 100 elk in that herd next year – and to even CONSIDER a HUNT of up to 450 bull elk tags, what in the – you get the point – can they be thinking ?
Wolves are the main culprit – recognized by Montana FWP in this article – Pro Wolf game and fish folks, WAKE UP, HERE’s your sign, address this problem or you are OUT OF A JOB !
This is just one of many elk herds biting the dust, with Moose, deer and sheep herds soon to be going down the drain with them.
In the same paper, there was an article where the Montana FWP ordered a pack of wolves to be killed because they had killed a couple livestock and 3 guard dogs.
Wipe out a 1,500 herd of elk, do nothing? close the Montana wolf quota season when it reached 50, not 75 as planned? but act when 3 dogs are killed? what are people in Montana thinking, and why are sportsmen sitting idly by and watching it happen???
I know what the sportsmen of Utah would do, worst case, we would go to the PETA pound and save 1,000 dogs about to be killed by PETA and HSUS and stake them out in wolf areas – well fed and cared for of course – but when the wolves killed these dogs, get the wolves killed. Or we would go and buy a bunch of ba ba sheep, stake them out in five acre pens and when wolves killed them, get the wolves killed.
Or, I really think the sportsmen of Utah would let the Governor of Utah (know) if he still wanted to be governor, he better take action to protect game herds.
As this might fly around the country, that is just not idle talk. The Sportsmen of Utah stood thousands strong on the steps of the Utah Capital years ago, and thankfully, Governor Leavitt and then Huntsman took an interest in Sportsmen issues, as have Governor Herbert. Since that rally, sportsmen of Utah have continued to organize and invest hundreds of millions of dollars to increase herds, fix habitats, and control predators. We dramatically reduced lion populations, we have a state sponsored coyote control program, we got our spring bear hunt back.
The various Utah sportsmen groups, SFW, MDF, SCI, NWTF, FNAWS, Trappers, etc. have worked together to tackle tough issues, together. We changed our state constitution when experts said it couldn’t be done. We took on the anti-hunting groups and pounded them into oblivion.
The Utah legislature is going to take another bold step to protect our game herds soon is my prediction.
Come on Montana sportsmen, save yourself, because as soon as all the elk are gone the wolves will be down here.
SFW has worked hard to get wolves delisted, has been in the court room from day one to KEEP wolves delisted. The least you can do is show a little fire and take care of your state, now that wolves are not an endangered species !!
There ought to be 5,000 sportsmen standing outside the Missoula Court Room when Judge Malloy(Molloy) drives in to hear the case to keep wolves of the Endangered List. If it was in SLC(Salt Lake City), I guarantee you, that would be the case!
To sportsmen leaders around the Country – Toby Bridges has been sounding the SOS call to the hunting industry to engage in this fight. If all the sportsmen across the country don’t engage and win this fight, and the anti-s get their 6,000 to 8,000 wolves, hunting in the west will be only a memory of the good old days.
This issue is serious as a heart attack. Karl Malone and Jeff Foxworthy have stepped up to join the fight. George Strait, Ted Nugent, other big names who hunt the west it is time for you all to step up to(o).
The Anti-hunting groups are putting all their chips in on this bet, and if sportsmen don’t match their bet, it is game over.