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The anti-hunter groups are after trophy hunting

The antis think they have found a chink in the armor of the hunters of America. They want to bring down and cause the cessation of trophy hunting as we know it today.
There are seven basic principles to the so-called North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. They are good and have been followed for a long time. About 20 years ago they were put on paper and became more official even though never put into law as a group.
Trophy hunting is not mentioned as one of those tenets, therefore, the anti-hunting crowd figures they can gain ground on that front.
And it shouldn't be thought of as just a hunting thing. It includes fishing.
Recently, off the coast of North Carolina, two fishermen hooked into a 1,000-pound Bluefin tuna and battled it for three hours over an estimated 10 miles. They couldn't even land it into the boat, so they towed it to shore. Think, The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway and you can imagine the scenario.
Now they are being blasted by the anti-trophy zealots on the internet to an extent that seems unbelievable.
Hunting when used as a food source, sustainable usage, along with the other traditional activities and enjoyment that go along with it are pretty much being untouched.
Ever since someone put an arrow into "Cecil the lion" in Africa and it had to be finished off with a rifle, trophy hunting has been put under a microscope. They say it's just an ego trip to put those "heads on the wall".
Hunting groups such as the Safari Club International defend it stating that the income derived from license sales is used for many good conservation practices. And, it is.
Roosevelt's safari
Now the antis have even dug up the safari that Teddy Roosevelt took into Africa in 1909. That took place after the former president had served the rest of the murdered McKinley's term and been elected to a four-year term of his own in a landslide.
He was held in awe for his service in the Spanish-American War as he and his rough riders captured San Juan Hill in Cuba. He had also served as mayor of New York City and with nearly unparalleled popularity chose not to run again for president.
He instead chose to go on an African safari. He partnered with the Smithsonian and with 250 porters and guides plus his son Kermit. They proceeded across Africa in 1909.
But here is the point the antis are bringing up right now. Despite his numerous conservation efforts both in the United States and Africa he killed too many trophy animals. To make their point, a list of the 512 big game animals and birds they shot and killed have been referenced by them. They have a valid point. Here is a list of the few most notable trophies they took for both themselves and the Smithsonian: elephants (11); rhinos (20); hippos (8); zebras (29); buffalo (10); giraffes (9).
Even though they may have been present in numbers we can't imagine, that's a bunch! I hope they don't go after him at Mt. Rushmore, he belongs there.
Big geese are back
Son Scott spotted some flocks of our big Canada geese around Marshall this past weekend. That seems more normal than in recent years when they arrived later.
It seems everyone has a different idea what is normal from weather, to climate and even politics. Here is what I usually see regarding our big geese. They arrive the last week in February, then establish their nesting site by marching around in front of a pre-planned rat house or close by ground location. They build a nest and if weather is compatible will begin laying eggs by the end of March. Their incubation period is around 28 days and if things go well there is usually five to eight goslings following them around the marsh by the end of April, first of May.
Where do they spend their winter? It is my understanding that our southwest Minnesota's big geese usually winter near the big refuges in northwest Missouri. Those include the 11,000-acre Swan Lake, the 8,000-acre De Soto and the recently renamed Loess Hills refuge at 7,000.
It's only a day's flight on a 20-mph southwest wind.
Spring Hunting Forum
This will be the 25th annual Spring Hunting Forum sponsored by the Cottonwood County Game and Fish League. If you've enjoyed the previous 24 you will again enjoy this year's event.
Just to let you know to set aside your evening of Thursday, March 26 at the Windom Country Club.
We have been extremely lucky and fortunate to have joining us Mr. Keith Fisk of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Keith worked closely with Governor Kristi Noem to establish a spring trapping program. It was designed to reduce pressure on nesting ducks and pheasants. It even had the audacity to provide a $10 bounty and provide live traps to catch them. (Joking about the audacity).
In addition Kassy Dumke, waterfowl biologist for Ducks Unlimited in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa will present work being done by Ducks Unlimited in our area. I saw her presentation at this year's state Ducks Unlimited convention, it was excellent. (More info later).


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