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proposed crow hunt in Utah

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Marian Hussenbux,

Animal Interfaith Alliance,

www.animal-interfaith-alliance.com

Faiths Working Together for Animals,

based in the U.K.,

has sent this email to Senator Okerland, at rokerlund@le.utah.gov.

Dear Senator Ralph Okerlund,

I write on behalf of The Animal Interfaith Alliance, an international alliance of faith groups founded in Britain concerned about the welfare of animals. Our member organisations and individual members include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. We are all united by our common concern for animals, based on our various faiths.

Though we are of course not constituents of yours, we are writing in support of American campaigners to ask you to vote against SB0246 and to oppose the building of, and any funding for, a coal port in Oakland, California – and any related infrastructure.

We agree with local residents concerned about this proposal that a California port to export Utah coal, fossil fuels, minerals, or other products extracted from the ground is not in the best interest of Utah residents and taxpayers.

The coal industry is clearly proven to be a cause of great pollution – to the air, to streams and lakes, and adversely affecting animals, plants, and human beings.

To sum up, coal and fossil fuel industrialization is profoundly destructive to the environment and long term interests of all who inhabit the planet.

We are told by state residents that Utah is one of the few last remaining places on earth where one may find pristine, wild natural lands. No other place surpasses the majestic beauty of your national parks and monuments, and your public lands.

Surely you have an obligation to protect these precious lands far into the future.

The tourism and recreation industries are the backbone of your economy. Unlike coal, they are not short-term investments which leave behind unattractive wastelands dead to all life.

Please reflect on the unique and irreplaceable beauty of Utah’s wild lands and vote against SB0246.

Kindest regards,

Marian.

 

Photo: Sharon St Joan

For more information about SB246 and the Oakland coal port, click here.

 

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By Kirk Robinson,

Executive Director of Western Wildlife Conservancy, and

Advisor to the Coalition for All Wildlife

 

Wildlife advocacy and political activism require us to make a moral commitment to the goals of conservation. Unfortunately, the choices are not always easy ones because moral ideals often conflict and we must choose between them or settle for doing nothing. But that’s often how it is with moral issues. If choices were always obvious and easy, they wouldn’t demand much of us, and we would be much the less for it.

The reason I bring this up is because the wild animals that I (we) care about and are trying to protect and conserve are frequently killed by people who hate them or value them only as trophies, which raises the question whether we should even try to recover or protect them. This is particularly the case with the Mexican wolf because it is a subspecies of wolf that is languishing under the feckless stewardship of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Nothing significant has yet been done to further the recovery of the Mexican wolf without a law suit brought by conservation organizations. And of course a big part of the reason for this is the pushback from the states that don’t want wolves, period, never mind the Endangered Species Act. This is because the western states are dominated politically by the mindless traditional view that all native predators have to be either eliminated or strictly controlled by lethal means.

So what are we to do about this? When Western Wildlife Conservancy first started 20 years ago (then called the Utah Cougar Coalition), my charge from the board (which I inherited) was to end cougar hunting in Utah within one year. Well, of course that didn’t happen. Nor was it even politically possible. Fortunately, while members of the board conspired to try to remove me, the bylaws that they themselves adopted made that difficult, and instead they resigned one by one, allowing me to choose a new board that understood the political realities of carnivore conservation. The original members of the board had good hearts, but were clueless about what it would actually take to get the job done and weren’t up to the task of developing a long term strategy and sticking with it. Furthermore, they had no understanding of ecology and the way in which species, as members of communities of organisms, depend upon each other: their mutual thriving is a matter of mutual dependence; the good of each is dependent upon the good of all (considered as members of species). They loved animals, but they lacked this critical perspective.

What about the Mexican wolf? Human beings drove it nearly to extinction, leaving only seven of them to become founders of a recovery effort. Canis lupus baileyi was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act way back in 1976 and recovery efforts began 18 years ago with reintroductions into the wild.

After many years of slow growth, then population stagnation, there was a short run of years in which the population in the wild grew – reaching 110 at the end of 2014. But this only happened because of law suits. As of now the count is down to 97 – a 12% decline. There were eleven known deaths, plus two more that were apparently due to trauma from capture by FWS (wolves are periodically captured for various reasons, such as to fit them with radio collars), and probably a few others that we don’t know about, as there were several “missing” wolves. The point is that a lot of these wolves are being illegally killed (and a few unintentionally killed), which is in turn causing some deaths of pups (pup survival was greatly reduced this last year). Thus, one might well ask – and I think we really should ask – whether it is ethically proper for us to continue the Mexican wolf recovery effort. (I want to emphasize that these killings are not properly called poachings. That’s what you call killing a deer out of season or without a license. We’re talking here about malicious killings by people who would be happy to wipe out all wolves if they could.)

Individual wolves count. Their lives count. They are conscious, intelligent, emotional beings in their own right. So why should we continue to release captive individuals into the wild if they stand a serious chance of being killed by an ignorant yahoo? It is a fair question to ask – never mind that recovery is mandated by the ESA.

I understand and appreciate the dilemma – both horns of it: either we continue the effort to recover the Mexican wolf or it will go extinct. Neither of these options is attractive and there is no third option. Thus, each of us must choose for ourselves where we stand. Obviously, I am for continuing the effort with determination and passion. I believe we have a duty to do so. But that is my judgment. You might disagree.

This doesn’t mean that I am content to allow the recovery effort to plod along or to just accept the illegal killings. Far from it. What we want is not just conservation, but compassionate conservation. Indeed, this is a whole new field that has opened up in the last five years or so. And in the case of the Mexican wolf, what it means is that we have to pressure the Fish and Wildlife Service to do more to prevent the illegal killings of Mexican wolves, and not only to release more captive wolves into the wild. What we want in the end is a genetically viable, self-sustaining, and ecologically functional population of wolves that human beings simply leave alone.

Among other things, I believe this means that they must retrieve radio receivers that FWS handed out to ranchers living in the vicinity of Mexican wolves, which they can use to learn the whereabouts of wolves. The FWS originally gave several ranchers receivers because they thought it would make them less hostile to the recovery effort if they could avoid moving their livestock into areas where wolves are present. While we don’t know for certain that this has enabled illegal wolf killings, it clearly places wolves at greater risk. Thus, many of us believe that it would be prudent to take the receivers away.

Another thing the federal government could do is invest more in finding and capturing and prosecuting the law breakers. Of course, resources are limited, making this difficult. And resources are limited because the livestock lobby is so very powerful – never mind that only about 2% of national beef production comes from the arid western states. The Republicans in Congress – Utah’s Congressman Bishop being a prime example – are passionately committed to doing all they can to make the Endangered Species Act ineffective. That’s just the truth and is not meant to be partisan.

We live in a democracy – supposedly. What this means is that we citizens have the ultimate responsibility to make it work properly and to change the status quo when it needs changing. Otherwise we might as well live under a monarchy or theocracy or dictatorship of some sort, where we only have to obey. My view, therefore, is that it is up to us citizens to bring about improvements in wildlife conservation and management, and in other areas of civil life. We can’t just leave it to the government or to the good will of people who lack good will. If we are unwilling to rise to this challenge, then probably the best thing would be for us to just admit it to ourselves and give up. I am not willing to do this, so the alternative for me is to keep going no matter what obstacles are thrown up by the obstructionists.

I am not willing to give up, not just because I am stubborn – though maybe I am that too – but because, wildlife conservation aside, I want democracy to succeed and believe it is partly my responsibility to make it succeed. And to be perfectly frank about it, though this admission might strike some as a display of the utmost arrogance, I hold myself in high esteem and regard it as beneath my dignity as a human being to allow myself such an easy out. I won’t settle for a life of ignorance and complacency. And you shouldn’t either.

A great extinction is underway – the sixth major one in Earth history, the last one having occurred approximately 65 million years ago. The difference is that that one was mainly due to an asteroid colliding with Earth, while this one is entirely due to us – a very young species on Earth as far as that goes. For all our noontime brilliance (and, as a species we have demonstrated great brilliance), we are in the process of destroying all that is good. The world we are rapidly creating is one that by the end of the 21st Century, if nothing changes, will be devoid of most large-bodies species living in the wild, both on land and in the sea, and absent any truly wild places.

I recently finished a new book, published just this year, titled “The Society of Genes.” The first chapter of this book explains in very clear terms how cancers develop. The development always goes through eight stages serially. Maybe the same is true of life on Earth, with the great extinctions marking the stages. When human beings are through with the Earth, the way things are going, it not only will be devoid of all the glorious species that have evolved over the eons, but it won’t afford a life worth living for human beings either. That will essentially be the death of the planet. Maybe new biodiversity will evolve in the subsequent 50-100 million years (it will take about that long), but one can only hope that the big evolutionary dead-end of primates with big brains that they don’t know how to use won’t be repeated.

Okay, granted, the scenario I just described doesn’t have to play out. But it is a virtual certainty unless we make sure it doesn’t. And doing this will require three things of us besides our big brains: thoughtful moral vision, self-determination, and courage.

 

Photo: Jim Clark, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons / “This image or recording is the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.”/ A captive Mexican wolf at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

 

 

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To read part one first, click here.

 

 

The depredation issue

 

Wildlife Board member, Mike King, again requested, as he had at the July 5 meeting, that there be two votes to consider separately the two issues of crop depredation and the crow hunt. This time the two rules were voted on separately. Adding crows to the list of species that can be killed by farmers if their crops are being damaged was accepted unanimously by the Wildlife Board. On the crow hunt vote, Mike King and Bill Fenimore, were the two who voted against the crow hunt.

 

Two incidents of crop depredation in Utah had been originally cited by the Wildlife Board and by DWR. One of the speakers, who had researched the topic, was able to uncover a total of seven incidents of crop depredation in the state of Utah – which still seems an inadequate number to justify a statewide crow hunt. Jason Robinson went over several examples of crows involved in Utah crop depredation – including one example of crows standing on a bag of seeds, poking holes in it so they could eat the seeds. It wasn’t immediately clear why the bag of seeds couldn’t have been covered or placed inside out of reach of the crows – or why lethal means needed to be used to repress this natural behavior of birds.

 

No farmers or other agricultural producers or anyone whose crops had suffered damage by crows showed up to attend the public hearing.

 

Wildlife Services representative Mile Linnell stated that he and his colleagues spent much of their time explaining to the public, and offering help with, non-lethal methods of deterring crop depredation – such as netting placed over fruit trees.

 

The use of hunting as a mechanism for addressing crop depredation by crows has been repeatedly mentioned by the DWR. How hunting crows in the fall and winter would prevent the depredation of crops which are grown in the spring and summer, was not explained. How hunting crows in the large regions of Utah where there are no crows would help with depredation was also not explained. Nor was any scientific data offered to substantiate the repeated claim that the crow population needs to be brought under control. The Christmas bird counts, which were given as a reference, show a decline in the crow population over the last several years.

 

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What was abundantly clear from the July 29 Public Hearing is that, in the words of long-time animal advocate Kirk Robinson, of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, who has been showing up for RAC meetings and Wildlife Board meetings for twenty-five years to fight against excesses of hunting, “There has been a sea change.” For many years, Kirk Robinson was often a lone voice speaking up on behalf of wildlife, especially predators, who are hunted. Now he is joined by a chorus of voices.

 

At first glance, it may seem hard to find any cause for optimism in the passing of the rule allowing a crow hunt in Utah. Indeed, it is a sad day for crows and the other birds, like ravens, who will be mistakenly killed during a crow hunt.

 

Still, it is undeniable that a change is taking place. These two Wildlife Board meetings were by far the most well-attended in memory, and the voices that spoke up were overwhelmingly opposed to the crow hunt. It is abundantly clear that many, many Utahns care deeply about wildlife and do not support casual hunting for fun.

 

Between the June 5 Wildlife Board meeting and the July 29 Public Hearing, the voices and attendance of opponents to the crow hunt did not diminish, but only grew in strength. It is clear that the voices of those working on behalf of Utah wildlife are gathering momentum and have become a force that will not go away.

 

From all corners of Utah, people are looking towards change and towards a time when there is a growing respect and love for wildlife, and an emphasis on valuing wild birds and animals as an integral part of the natural world.

 

Photos: Utah wilderness 

Text and photos: © Coalition for American Wildbirds. Permission is given to cross post or reproduce this. Credit given and a link to this website will be appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The link below to this video of a brilliant crow was sent by someone in India who had heard about the Utah crow hunt.  She writes,

“Please forward this to the crow hunters of Utah. Maybe it will inspire them to take up a less violent activity, and leave crows alone.

“If it does not, it means that they are scared of the world knowing that the crows are smarter than them.”

http://wallythekat.tripod.com/A_Pages/AA-Videos-YOU-Tube/Crow-Einstein.html

 

Photo: © Mircea Costina / Dreamstime.com

 

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On Tuesday, July 29, the Utah Wildlife Board voted a second time to approve the Utah crow hunt. They also approved, as they had before, adding American Crow to the species that can be killed by farmers, without a permit, for crop depredation.

 

The Public Hearing, held in the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources building in Salt Lake City, had been called in response to requests from the public to re-consider the Wildlife Board’s vote on June 5 to allow a crow hunt, and to take into account comments submitted during the July public comment period.

 

The Wildlife Board’s vote was three to two, as it had been during the July 5 meeting.

 

This was a disappointment to those who had worked hard to oppose the crow hunt, and it will mean that crows and other similar birds like ravens will be needlessly injured and killed during the hunts, which have been scheduled for the entire month of September, 2014, as well as for the months of December, 2014, and January and February 2015, but it was not an unexpected outcome.

 

In the room were approximately 100 people — members of the Utah Wildlife Board, representatives of the Division of Wildlife Resources, the Department of Natural Resources, a line of armed officers standing at the back and along one side of the room, TV cameras and journalists, one or two organizations supporting the hunt; and the vast majority of the public in attendance were individuals and organizations who spoke in opposition to the crow hunt.

 

Every group and individual was given two minutes to speak, and all who wished to speak were allowed to do so.

 

Comments opposing the crow hunt

 

Two Utah ornithologists and biology professors, Dr. Wayne Whaley and Dr. Franz Goller, spoke independently against the hunt, both stressing that the hunt had no scientific basis, that it would harm and perhaps wipe out resident crow populations, and that it was illegal and unscientific.

 

An environmental lawyer, Jeff Parker, stated that the hunt would be illegal, and is in conflict with existing Utah and federal wildlife law.

 

John Bair, Wildlife Board member, countered that it was his belief that the DWR would not have proposed the crow hunt without a good scientific basis.

 

A number of hunters were among the thirty or so who spoke opposing the crow hunt; one man who said that he had been a hunter all his life, called the crow hunt “ridiculous.”

 

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Most spoke against the crow hunt as being unethical and as contrary to the principles of hunting; only one or two stated that they were against all forms of hunting. So, clearly, the debate was not between hunters and non-hunters; it was between those who espouse ethical values in the tradition of hunting, and those who have no problem with killing animals only for fun.

 

Despite encouragement by the Board to come up with new reasons to oppose the hunt, most speakers stuck to their original reasons – perhaps because they are the real, actual reasons, and because none have been satisfactorily addressed by the DWR.

 

Many speakers cited the inevitable confusion between crows and ravens, a protected species. Killing protected species, like ravens, is a violation of U.S. wildlife law. DWR officer Jason Robinson, Upland Game Program Coordinator for UDWR, addressed this issue by going over the distinctions between crows and ravens, but did not explain how hunters would be able to tell at a distance, in poor light, or if the tail or beak were not visible, which bird they were shooting. Jason Robinson stated that if hunters cannot id the birds, they should not shoot. It seems however, that the rule passed will inevitably lead to ravens and other black birds being killed or injured.

 

Others pointed out that no one believes that most hunters will eat the crows they kill – as is required by “the wanton waste of wildlife” provision of Utah law. This legal requirement was repeated again, as it has been many times before, by DWR officers and by the Wildlife Board. Everyone agrees that crows must either be eaten, or kept as trophies, by the hunters. One speaker pointed out that taxidermists charge up to $2,000 to turn a dead crow into a trophy. Crows killed for sport will be used for nothing; they will be left on the field or thrown in the trash, which makes the hunt essentially illegal.

 

Some referred to the high intelligence of crows, their beauty, and their complex social relationships. They live in families and form life-long monogamous relationships.

 

Some mentioned the dangers to families and children from illegal hunting which may take place within municipalities, since crows are congregate in residential areas.

 

A representative of the State Department of Agriculture said that because all of us are consumers of food, it is important to stand up for the interests of agricultural producers.

 

Continued in part two….

To read part two, click here.

 

Photos: Utah wilderness

 

Text and photos, © Coalition for American Wildbirds. Permission is given to crosspost or reproduce this. Credit given and a link to this website will be appreciated.

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To read part one first, click here.

For information about the July 29 Public Hearing and how to send a comment, please see below at the end.

Here is another of the many comment letters that have been sent to oppose the Utah crow hunt. It was written by a Utah resident and was signed, but the name has been withheld here, by request.

 

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

 

I was disappointed when I learned that the Utah Wildlife Board approved the Crow Hunt. The fact that the vote was 3 members in favor of and 2 members opposed to the hunt, and the time allotted for further comment suggests that there may be the possibility of changing the decision.

 

I have read many convincing arguments in opposition to the hunt, and none that would explain why it is an acceptable proposal. No doubt you have done the same – with perhaps a different perspective. I appreciate your efforts to fully understand the impact of allowing the hunt to take place and the time you may have spent reading comments from interested individuals like myself. This letter is sent with the hope that I might change your perspective.

 

In researching articles about hunting crows I was struck by a comment that appeared more than once. Apparently crow hunting is thought to be a good introductory hunting experience for children.  That point of view led me to further research, and to question why any agency in the state of Utah would consider approving an activity that could endanger the well being of its young people.

 

Every year there are approximately 800 to 1,000 reported non-fatal hunting accidents and approximately 100 fatal hunting accidents in the U.S.  Some of those accidents and fatalities involve children.  The two main causes of those accidents/fatalities are hunters’ failure to properly identify a target, and shooters “swinging” on game.  That occurs most often in bird hunting when a shooter uses an arc pattern combined with spreadshot in order to shoot over a wide area. A bystander in the arc can be shot or injured by falling shrapnel.  Hunting crows would undoubtedly involve shooting in a swinging pattern.  Crow hunting has an innate danger unlike other hunting practices and allowing it to happen in Utah will endanger children’s lives.

 

An Online article from About.com Pediatrics written by Dr. Vincent Lanelli directly addresses the dangers children are exposed to in hunting:

 

Childhood gun and shooting accidents are not rare. [In the U.S.] they are one of the top ten leading causes of accidental death for all age groups outside newborns and infants. In 2007 there were 122 unintentional firearm deaths in children, and an additional 3,060 non-fatal gun and shooting accidents, which resulted in an estimated 1,375 children needing to be hospitalized for their injuries. Unintentional firearm deaths in children have remained at about the same levels since, with 144 deaths in children less than age 18 in 2010. How many childhood hunting accidents are there? That is hard to say, as there doesn’t seem to be a national database with hunting accident statistics. The Hunter Incident Clearinghouse of the International Hunter Education Association, which hasn’t been updated recently, reports 27 hunting-related shooting accidents in 2007 in children and teens less than 18 years old.  This includes at least one death.  In 2006, the Hunter Clearinghouse reported 3 deaths and 38 hunting-related shooting accidents in kids and teens.  The youngest victim was just 5 years old.

 

Why risk the well-being, even the life of one Utah child by introducing a new, unwarranted, and inherently dangerous hunt that encourages the participation of children?  How could any one of us not be shocked at the thought that a child might die in an accident that would never have happened if the crow hunt had not been allowed in our state?  Please reconsider all the comments in opposition to the crow hunt, and give special consideration to this additional viewpoint. The vote needs to be rescinded and the justifications for doing that are valid.

Sincerely,

(Name withheld by request.)

 

Photo: Michael Migos / Dreamstime.com

 

Public hearing: A special public hearing on the crow hunt has been called and will be held on Tuesday, July 29, in Salt Lake City at the DNR Salt Lake office auditorium, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, from 10am – 12 noon. Please attend if you can.

 

How to comment on the crow hunt

The comment period is for Utah residents only. Please indicate, along with your signature that you are a Utah resident.

Please send a polite comment, in your own words, before July 29, to

Staci Coons

UDWR Wildlife Coordinator

by phone at 801-538-4718

by FAX at 801-538-4709

or by email to stacicoons@utah.gov

 

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The public comment period on the Utah crow hunt is taking place now and will effectively end on July 28. Here are two of the many comments sent opposing the crow hunt. Both letters were written by Utah residents and were signed, but the names have been withheld here, by request.

For how to send a comment, and for information on the July 29 Public Hearing, please see below, at the end.

Here is the first comment:

 

Dear Staci Coons,

 

Thank you for taking comments on the Crow Hunt.

 

I am opposed to the crow hunt (Rule change 657-6) for many reasons. Here are a few of them.

 

There are fewer resident crows in Utah than in any other state.

 

A look at a 2012 map by the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, a center of the U.S. Geological Survey, shows clearly that Utah has the lowest number of crows of any other state, with the possible exception of Arizona. You can see the map at http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/ra2012/ra04880.htm

 

Utah ornithologist and professor at Utah Valley University in Orem, Dr. Wayne Whaley, who has studied crows for decades, has stated that “the crow hunt would definitely hurt crow populations,” that the crow hunt is “unethical and unscientific,” that when the crow population is just beginning to grow that is “absolutely not the right time to start hunting it.”

 

No one believes that most hunters will eat the crows they kill.

 

One or two hunters in Utah may eat crows or save them as trophies, but most will not. Crows are not part of the culture of what Americans eat or what Utahns eat, and it takes decades to change a culture, it does not happen overnight.

 

Just to look at this closely – when a young hunter goes home with the ten crows he or she has killed, who will prepare, cook, and serve these crows? Will his mother do all this and serve them for the family dinner? That’s hard to imagine.

 

Blair Stringham, who is certainly an expert on the crow hunt, has repeated, both in RAC meetings and at the June 5 Wildlife Board meeting that crows hunted must be eaten. He is very clear about what the law requires, and it requires that crows that are hunted and killed must be consumed.

 

What will actually happen to the dead crows? They will most likely be left in the field, along with other dead and dying birds. If they are picked up, as is required, they will be taken home and thrown in the trash because there is no use for them.

 

This is the worst kind of “wanton waste of wildlife.” It is illegal; it is against any principles of ethical hunting, and it is inevitable – not just as isolated incidents – but on a widespread, systemic scale. “Wanton waste of wildlife” is intrinsic to a crow hunt.

 

What lessons will youth learn from crow hunting?

 

One of the two main reasons given for allowing a crow hunt in Utah is that it will provide an opportunity for youth to hunt. But what will these young hunters learn from a crow hunt that does not follow any of the normal rules of hunting?

 

They will learn that it is okay to say one thing and do another. That it is okay to break the law, since everyone else does it – and that authorities will wink and turn a blind eye. They will learn that the tradition of ethical principles in hunting is a farce and is not taken seriously. They will also learn to despise, instead of respect, wild birds – since they are killed and thrown away or left to die.

 

Is this how we want to teach Utah youth to hunt?

 

Crop depredation is not a reason to hold a state-wide crow hunt

 

Crop depredation is the other primary reason given for holding a crow hunt.

 

Two incidents have been mentioned of crop depredation in Utah. One in Perry where someone’s fruit trees were damaged by crows and another incident also in northern Utah.

 

Are there only two incidents?

 

And are these two incidents a reason to hold a state-wide crow hunt, especially since legal provision already exists for farmers to kill birds that harm their crops?

 

I have lived in Kane County for twenty years, and am an avid wildlife watcher. I have never seen a single wild crow in Kane County. If a hunter hunts crows in Kane County, he or she will not be killing crows. The “crows” he will be killing are ravens, a protected species. I see ravens every single day. Why will hunting crows be allowed in Kane County and in other counties where there are no crows, when it is clearly known that the only birds that will be shot are ravens and other black birds?

 

If the hunter who has mistakenly shot a raven turns in the raven he has shot (which is improbable), he will be given a ticket. But this will not prevent the deaths of protected species – when it is absolutely clear that ravens and other black birds will be shot during a crow hunt.

 

What steps will be taken to bar hunters from hunting “crows” in counties and regions where there are no crows? This is not a rhetorical question. I would be grateful for a reply.

 

A crow hunt will be a mistake and will have very harmful consequences.

 

A crow hunt, especially where inexperienced young people are hunting, will lead to accidents and even deaths. Crows are a hard target to hit, and it is known that when hunters swing their firearms, as they do when aiming at birds flying or going from branch to branch, they can lose focus and not see people who are in the background.

 

There is also a much greater likelihood of people doing illegal backyard hunting in suburbs, since crows frequent built up areas. There will be accidents and gunshots around people’s homes.

 

Because people in Utah are very rightly respected for being honest, above-board and law-abiding – this is not the right kind of hunt to hold in Utah.

 

It is legally flawed and will entail flouting traditional and ethical rules of hunting.

 

Because the Division of Wildlife Resources and the Wildlife Board wish to do what is right and what is best for Utah, the crow hunt should be postponed until

 

  • a proper scientific study can be carried out of the resident crow population and how it will be affected by a crow hunt,

 

  • the rule allowing a crow hunt can be reconciled with the “wanton waste of wildlife” provision in Utah law,

 

  • the rule can be reconciled with federal law and also with the fact that protected species will be killed, especially where the crow hunt is allowed to take place in areas where there are no crows,

 

  • it can be demonstrated that a crow hunt will not pose an increased danger of hunting accidents.

 

 

My thanks to you, the DWR, and the Wildlife Board for reconsidering the crow hunt (Rule change 657-6).

 

Sincerely,

(Name withheld by request)

 

Photo:  © Oliver Perez / Dreamstime.com

 

Public hearing: A special public hearing on the crow hunt has been called and will be held on Tuesday, July 29, in Salt Lake City at the DNR Salt Lake office auditorium, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, from 10am – 12 noon. Please attend if you can.

 

How to comment on the crow hunt

The comment period is for utah residents only. Please indicate, along with your signature that you are a Utah resident.

Please send a polite comment, in your own words, before July 29, to

Staci Coons

UDWR Wildlife Coordinator

by phone at 801-538-4718

by FAX at 801-538-4709

or by email to stacicoons@utah.gov

 

 

To read the second comment, in part two, click here