Everyone thinks they’re an expert on wildlife management these days. Pop stars, politicians and news anchors bang away on their anti-hunting drums in an attempt to convince the public that hunting has no role in wildlife management.
If there were a ringleader to this mad circus, one would have to look no further than Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
In his latest blog post, Pacelle highlights the HSUS’s history of shutting down hunting and trapping seasons for predators such as bears, cougars, bobcats and wolves – particularly in western states. There is no doubt that the article alludes to Pacelle’s own personal vendetta to end predator hunting and his ignorance of the sound science that guides the North American Wildlife Conservation Model– the most successful game-management program on the planet.
Unfortunately, the deceptive tactics implemented by the HSUS know no boundaries. Having found success in California, their anti-predator-hunting crusade now bleeds out across the nation.
Just last year, HSUS attempted to all but eliminate the bear hunting season in Maine despite opposition from professional wildlife managers, who see hunting and trapping as critical tools for maintaining healthy predator populations and mitigating human/wildlife conflicts. Maine voters soundly rejected the ballot initiative, reinforcing their trust in trained professionals.
HSUS has now turned its eye to New Hampshire, where the fish and game commission recently voted to move forward with plans to open a limited bobcat hunting and trapping season for the first time since 1989.
Unsurprisingly, HSUS released a statement criticizing the proposed hunt, exclaiming that the season is completely unnecessary.
Contrary to these unsupported claims from HSUS, managing bobcats through hunting and trapping seasons is nothing new. In fact, New Hampshire wildlife managers have data that proves bobcat populations are recovered, healthy and can support hunting and trapping seasons. This scientific management and use of hunting and trapping seasons is similar to other northeastern states, such as Vermont, Maine and New York, which all have hunting or trapping seasons.
Despite baseless criticism from HSUS, the facts still remain. Bobcat populations have recovered in New Hampshire, and hunting should be included as part of the state’s management plan. At the end of the day, one agenda-driven organization from Washington, D.C., should not trump the science of New Hampshire’s professional wildlife managers.