Kent Greene said we could share this letter he sent to the Illinois Governor. Please feel free to use in your efforts to ban bobcat hunting.
Please veto SB 106 / HB 352 a bill to allow over hunting of Illinois bobcats.
I photograph wildlife, including bobcats. Below video was shot in a SW Florida swamp while sitting on a bicycle. On another occasion, I talked quietly to a Bobcat and it fell asleep while I was filming.
I hunted in deep forests (PA/VA) 50 years and saw one bobcat. Killing these animals outdoors is no more difficult than shooting them in a petting zoo. Decide for yourself whether this is a sport.
Today is Jacquie Norris’ birthday…but she doesn’t know it. She is my maternal grandmother, although until the end she would insist that she was my mother because she didn’t want people to think she was old enough to BE a grandmother. She was beautiful and smart but after losing my grandfather in 1997, she was never the same. Depression took her body and mind over the past 15 years and for the last couple of years she has barely known who any of us are. My mother has been her primary caregiver, while running our real estate business, keeping the books at Big Cat Rescue and caring for my father through his triple bypass surgery, pacemaker and repeated scares since then. It would be easy for all of us to fall into despair at the ravages of old age and all that we have to do to stave off the final deep sleep, but then there were KITTENS!
Jack Talman, founder of FosteringIsCool.com mentioned that one of the saddest things he sees is that people dump newborn kittens off at Animal Services to be euthanized. Without their mothers the kittens have no chance of survival or adoption. Even when the mothers are dumped too, they all stand very little chance of walking out alive because cat diseases are often airborne and spread so quickly that the cats become too sick to adopt out before the clock runs out and they are euthanized.
We have volunteers and interns who are happy to be surrogate mothers until the adoption agencies and groups can find suitable homes for them. Today the first two kittens were brought and named Jack and Jewel after Jack Talman and his wife. At 8 weeks they will go to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay for adoption into a loving family. We love saving these precious kittens, and it helps us deal with the harder aspects of the circle of life. – Carole
Ask Nikon to Discontinue their Riflescope
Hope u are all well and still championing the cause for animal welfare.
The url below is self explanatory. As wildlife continues to be decimated from all walks of life the last thing we need is what Nikon is now up to, or has been for sometime it seems. Nikon produce a riflescope specifically designed for killing ‘large game’ and I would be grateful if you would please sign the petition on the website to encourage Nikon not to continue doing so. It is a disgrace that a company which encourages people to photograph beautiful wildlife keeps hidden the fact that they also encourage hunters to destroy that beauty.
I would ask you all to please get this message out as far and as wide as you can, through whatever means you can, such as your social networks.
Lets let Nikon know that their cameras will no longer be an item that people, who love photography over killing, will want to purchase in the future.
Thanks as always.
Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan
Campaign Against Canned Hunting, Sec 21 NGO
Kalahari Dream www.kalahari-dream.com
For the love of Wildlife www.fortheloveofwildlife.com
Recent Reviews of Big Cat Rescue
Lexington, South Carolina
1 helpful vote
“Highlight of our trip!!!”
Reviewed April 1, 2013 NEW
We swam with the manatees, walked on a Top 10 beach(Clearwater), and went offshore fishing in Tampa, but the highlight of our trip was the private tour at Big Cat Rescue. The dedicated people at this cat reserve pass on their knowledge to you while you get to view the cats up close in a serene environment. Many of them were rescued from small, inadequate cages or basements that never saw the outdoors. They run and play in a more natural environment and have balanced diets and great care. They don’t treat them as pets and encourage us not to see them as such. Just magnificent creatures to behold.
Visited April 2013
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes
“It’s a magical story of stories”
Reviewed March 30, 2013 NEW
As you get this expert tour through the well-protected habitats, beyond looking at animals, the thing that got me was the stories. There is the story about the owners and how they came to start this place, growing from ignorance, gaining vision, and developing passion. Each resident (cat) has it’s story of how it came to be there. The stories of the tragedies from their previous homes, along with miserable stories of breeding, cross-breeding, and in-breeding. Then there is the stories of the interns who live on site, some 100 of them, who barely get anything to follow their dream of working with these animals. My heart was touched along with having enjoyed a tour of a fabulous place.
Call ahead for tour times. It is worth the $29 and I am considering taking the keeper’s tour next for $160. The 90 minutes of the regular tour flies by. You’ll be glad you did it.
This is a great thing to do for local residents who have not seen something that is right under our own noses.
Visited March 2013
Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2013 NEW
The tigers are huge!! This is not like going to a zoo, you’re actually very close to them. Loved the cat that said “wow” lol. Our tour guide was well informed and funny. Such a great “retirement” home for these cats. Great place, would love to visit again and take one of the other tours offered.
Visited March 2013
Salem, Massachusetts, United States
1 helpful vote
“Big Cat Rescue”
Reviewed March 26, 2013
Big Cat Rescue not only has a variety of big cats, but visitors also learn about the different species, the habitats and you get to see the cats up close. There is even a white tiger that we were able to see up close. If you are a cat fan you should definitely go. The tour guides are knowledgeable and the animals are beautiful. It is a great place to stay cool on a warm day.
Visited March 2013
Rochester, New York
Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes
“Great family outing!”
Reviewed March 26, 2013
Matt our tour guide was very knowledgeable. My son lives in Tampa and suggested the tour to my daughter and me since we were both visiting from out of town. We got so many amazing photos but wished we had known about the feeding tour- there is always next time. I was nice to see how well taken care of all the cats are. As for another post saying it was a little pricey – we got a discount showing our AAA card and we are helping the cats. Thanks for a great afternoon.
Author: Chris MERCER Published: June 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm
US Hunters Sucking Wildlife Out of the Wild
Hunting, along with dealing in wildlife trophies, has been banned in Kenya since 1977. Trophy hunting was accurately described by the new Kenyan democratic government as ‘a barbaric relic of colonialism.’
Unfortunately, other assaults on wildlife have been at work.
A wave of migration from strife-torn Somalia and Sudan has aggravated the human over-population. The Kenyan birth rate is among the highest in the world. The population has risen from five million in 1946 to thirty million in 2006. This has resulted in massive human encroachment into range land areas which surround the game parks and that in turn causes human – animal conflict,and the snaring of wildlife on an unimaginable scale. Kenya’s wildlife has declined over 40 percent in general terms in the last few years with some species such as buffalo declining over 90 percent in numbers. Roan Antelope are down to 900 (from an estimated 20,000.)
Photographer, Rob Carr Hartley believes that within a few years Tsavo West National Park may be denuded of it’s wildlife. Poaching is completely out of control. Deforestation in all six watershed areas of Kenya is causing the rivers to dry up and even some lakes and rivers such as the Mara, are expected to run dry soon. Kenyan wildlife is in deep trouble. With wildlife woes of such magnitude, adding hunting pressures will simply aggravate the problems, and could properly be described as environmental terrorism.
In 2004 a lavishly financed campaign by Safari Club International involved flying Kenyan conservationists and officials to exclusive, elite hunting farms in South Africa and Zimbabwe in order to persuade the Kenyan government to resume trophy hunting. The President decided to refer the hunting issue to a national public participation process, starting with a Wildlife Symposium, which took place in September 2006. The government appointed a Steering Committee, who asked me to attend, as I have campaigned against canned hunting for years.
The reason for holding the Symposium was to test Kenyan public opinion on the issue. However the hunting industry never sleeps and the conference was sponsored by USAID, an American Foreign Aid agency with close links to Safari Club International, and greatly involved in using U.S taxpayer’s funds to benefit the hunting fraternity through schemes such as the notorious Campfire programme in Zimbabwe. The incontestable fact is that American tax funds were used to finance an expensive international conference in Nairobi whose sole relevance to Americans was to enable the trophy hunters to devastate wild lion prides and other animals in East Africa – for fun.
One of two men found guilty of illegally shooting a mountain lion near Mount Rushmore National Memorial in January 2009 lost his hunting privileges for one year and was fined $750 on Wednesday.
A jury convicted Shannon D. Homan, 40, of Box Elder, last week of unlawful possession of big game.
Homan’s co-defendant Tyler Krebs, 22, was also found guilty, but his sentencing was continued to a later date.
Homan and Krebs are still awaiting trial in federal court for violating the Lacey Act by illegally killing the animal on federal property. A federal jury trial was previously scheduled for August 2010, but the federal case has been waiting for the resolution of the state charges.
Homan and Krebs were charged after authorities determined that the lion they brought in for inspection during the state’s 2009 mountain lion season was actually shot within the boundaries of the memorial.
Homan’s attorney asked for suspended jail time because his client is still facing an additional state charge for driving under the influence and considerable attorney’s fees.
“He’s had no prior hunting violations,” Bryan Andersen said.
At the most, Homan helped load the animal and operated a predator call, Andersen said.
Pennington County deputy state’s attorney Josh Hendrickson reminded the judge that until 2007 a conviction for the unlawful possession of big game included a mandatory three-day jail sentence.
“I think there’s been an extreme lack of acceptance of any responsibility in this case,” Hendrickson said.
Magistrate Judge Scott Bogue did give Homan a 90-day suspended jail sentence for the Class 1 misdemeanor. Homan was also ordered to pay $149.04 in court costs and court-appointed attorney’s fees of more than $800.
HARRISBURG – For decades, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has been an insular agency, operating within the narrow confines of a constituency of hunters and trappers. But over the past few years, with demographic changes in society, a migration of deer to the suburbs, a raging and long-standing battle over gun control, and a clash over the use of public lands, the Game Commission has increasingly come under the public spotlight.
The independent state agency is housed at a modern-looking building on Elmerton Avenue, a few miles from the state Capitol. The headquarters building, as you might expect, is decorated with racks of antlers, stuffed birds, and animal heads, even a full-size black bear.
The agency itself operates on an approximate $62 million budget. It has about 700 employees. One of its key functions is law enforcement, overseeing the regulation of hunting. About 7,000 cases each year are prosecuted. The Game Commission controls 1.4 million acres of state game lands.
Most of its decisions, until recently, have been of interest largely to hunters, who pay license fees to the commission.
But the agency’s decisions sometimes affect all of us.
At its April meeting, the board overseeing the Game Commission voted 5-1 to allow killing and trapping of bobcats in north central and northeastern Pennsylvania, a region comprised by all or parts of 20 counties. The agency says it will be providing 290 permits, by lottery, w
ith a “harvest objective” of 175 bobcats. The season will run from October to February.
Lynx Rufus. That is the name of the subspecies with a target on its back this fall.
It is an animal protected by the Game Commission for the past 30 years.
There are about 3,100 bobcats in Pennsylvania. The wild, elusive cats are 28 to 37 inches tall. They typically weigh 15-24 pounds. They have stubby 6-inch tails.
They are found in significant numbers in southwestern Pennsylvania, where no hunting will be permitted. The number of bobcats is on the rise in portions of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington Fayette counties and other portions of the southwest, according to the Game Commission.
The problem with the Game Commission’s decision is that it appeared to be made with blinders – devoid of the reaction from the general public.
The decision makes one think the agency has “lost its instincts for self-survival,” said Mike Young, a political science professor at Penn State University’s Harrisburg campus.
“The Game Commission itself may well be on an endangered list with a few more decisions like this,” said Young.
The issue surfaced at the Capitol last week with a bill by Rep. Gaynor Cawley, a Lackawanna County Democrat, that would establish a three-year moratorium on killing and trapping bobcats.
Animal rights’ groups, predictably, attacked the Game Commission’s decision. Heidi Prescott, national director of the Fund for Animals, said the agency “thumbed its nose at the wishes of Pennsylvania residents” and demonstrated that it is a “rogue agency.”
Much like the abortion debate, arguments over protection of certain animal species, or hunting in general, are dominated by extremes on both sides.
The significance of the bobcat decision was that it sparked a reaction “among just ordinary people,” Young said.
“Here, they (game commissioners) have stepped way out of bounds,” said Young. They have permitted limited hunting of an animal that “looks awfully like” a domesticated cat.
“Politically, it was a bonehead move,” said Young.
While some defend the Game Commission by attacking the critics – animal rights advocates – Young is neither anti-gun nor anti-hunting. He’s been a hunter his entire life.
The Game Commission told legislators the opposition is a “thinly veiled attempt by anti-hunting groups to restrict a legitimate pastime.”
The problem is that the Game Commission doesn’t see that in a new era, decisions can’t be made devoid of the larger context.
“This agency has developed its entire operating culture outside the spotlight,” said Young. “But a confluence of pressures has opened them to more and more scrutiny. Then they alienate large segments of the public, with these policies.”
Vern Ross: Handpicked by Ridge to lead Game Commission.
Gov. Tom Ridge’s handpicked man, Vern Ross, has been running the agency for about a year. Ross has certainly helped moved the agency forward. But the bobcat debacle raises serious questions about the agency’s collective sanity.
What is the rationale for allowing the hunting of what had been a protected species?
There is no overabundance of bobcats requiring a “thinning out” of the population, the Game Commission agrees.
For the most part, people don’t hunt them for food. “There are some people that do (eat them) – very rare,” said agency spokesman Jerry Feaser.
The goal apparently is to collect pelts.
Feaser said the decision was made in response to hunters and trappers who have been asking about it for years.
Practically speaking, there is likely to be more trapping than hunting of the cats.
Ross says that unlimited hunting and trapping of bobcats was allowed in Pennsylvania until 1970. Until 1937, the state paid a bounty for bobcats.
With the bobcat population declining, the Game Commission called a halt to bobcat hunting seasons in 1970. The agency has conducted extensive study of bobcats since the mid-1980s, Ross said.
“It is important to understand that the Game Commission would never have approved or endorsed such a proposal if we did not have the scientific data to support this highly limited and regulated harvest,” Ross told lawmakers in a May 4 letter. “In fact, the commission’s decision to allow the first limited hunting and trapping opportunity in 30 years is a success story that signifies that the species has recovered to the point that it can now sustain a highly regulated season.”
Ross said those who disagree with the decision should know the agency is “dedicated to the protection and responsible management” of all wildlife as well as the “preservation of our hunting and trapping heritage.”
Brad Bumsted is a state Capitol reporter for the Trib. His analysis appears Sundays.
I’m a freelance writer from Pennsylvania. On April 3rd & 4th, 2000, the PA Game Commission voted to issue over one hundred permits for the hunting and trapping of bobcats in the state of Pennsylvania between the months of October and February, (2000/2001). I emailed everyone I believe is an animal rights activist along with querying an editor to cover an article and also wrote up a petition letter which I had received numerous signatures on and mailed it to the PA Game Commission office. A friend of mine emailed over 300 people through her AOL account and several other folks in the region went business to business gaining signatures for their petition letters .
I printed up a copy of the Shambala Act 2000 and also the Sample letter on your web-site. I am again determined to receive as many signatures as I can so that I may send copies of the letters to state Senators and Representatives. If you will, please send me any other information that might be influential in this war to stop the hunting and trapping of PA bobcats. I don’t know if or how you can help, but I would appreciate it if you can point me in some direction. Thank you for your time and I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon. You can contact me at Confamily@yahoo.com or (570) 876-2951.
Sincerely, Donna M. Condida
Please ask to have these permits revoked.
Buy Big Cat Books and Videos
Concerned Residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Vernon Ross, executive director
Pennsylvania Game Commission
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797
Dear Vernon Ross,
This letter is written in regards to the proposal made in January concerning the hunting and trapping laws for bobcat, in Pennsylvania. We strongly oppose the possible act of issuing permits for the hunting and trapping of bobcat. There has been no hunting or trapping of bobcat in the state of Pennsylvania for almost thirty years now; to pass a law that would again allow the unnecessary hunting and trapping is uncalled for. In addition, the proposal asks that the hunting and trapping season would run from October through February.
Just to remind you, February is the usual mating season for bobcats. On rare occasions, the mating will take place in December. Young bobcats stay with their mother well into winter of the following season; this would leave ma
ny young bobcats motherless.
Humans rarely see bobcats, due to their coat coloring and incredible feline hiding ability. Bobcats hunt during the night; sometimes beginning their hunting at dusk. The bobcat is not a threat to humans, at present time or in the past. The bobcat’s diet consists mainly of small rodents, rabbits, squirrels and the occasional young deer. The number one reason why many humans will encounter a bobcat in the wild occurs because of human need to “own” an exotic cat. Many people, who adopt bobcats while they are cubs, will soon find that the novelty wears off and the cat becomes abandoned, abused or neglected. Many bobcats are let go in the wild by ignorant humans.
When this occurs, the once domestic bobcat finds it difficult to hunt for food and find shelter. Upon the first appearance of another human, the bobcat will approach hoping to find a warm home and full food dish. Unfortunately, tales are woven into horror stories because of human fear of wildcats. When in all actuality, there was no reason to feel threatened by the bobcat.
In the 1970s, bobcat pelts were in great demand; due to the popular “fur” coat that many women adorned. Because of the need to wear animal “fur” or hang animal hide on the “mighty hunter’s” wall, the proposal to hunt and trap bobcat has come forth once more. There is already one subspecies of bobcat that is endangered; please don’t let another subspecies become threatened by human ignorance. We live in the year 2004; we, as humans, have no need to hunt or trap for food anymore, let alone for fur. If someone needs a coat, there are millions of stores to shop. If someone needs food, again there are millions of stores to shop. There is no such thing as a “poor” person in today’s society. (Although, some are financially insecure) With so many programs out there helping people obtain food and clothing through government agencies and non-profit organizations, the need to hunt or trap has just become a need to legally kill.
We ask you, as pet owners to pet owners, can you really pass a law that would allow for the merciless killing of cats that have the ability to act as a house-cat? Bobcats are quite shy creatures and provided they are not threatened, starving or rabid they will not attack or endanger humans. (Consider, if a human felt threatened, was starving or rabid wouldn’t they too attack or endanger another human).
In conclusion, we find that there is no need to jeopardize the bobcat to lead it to possible endangerment. Again, we ask that you please consider who made the proposal and why. Remember that we no longer live in a society that needs to hunt or trap for food or clothing. (The inconsiderate snob-nosed men and women in our world can do without that fur jacket, just as well as the unethical “sportsman” can do without the Neanderthal hunt).
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Below are the signatures of those who oppose any law allowing the hunting and trapping of bobcat in the state of Pennsylvania.
E-mail your representative and tell them how you feel about exotic cats being killed for sport in your state: Find them at: CatLaws.com
Stop Cruelty Like This:
Mike Marsh took this bobcat during a deer hunt in Pender County. Bobcats are not rare, and are classified as furbearers and game animals in North Carolina, with a long hunting and trapping season. Photo by Mike Marsh
Bobcats are not rare animals. In North Carolina, they are classified as furbearers and game animals. As such, there is a long open season on bobcats for hunting and trapping.
Despite the fact that they are not rare, few people see them. Those who are observant can spot the signs of their passing, though. Clawed marks on trees, deer kills with partially eaten hindquarters and grass kicked on the carcass, scent posts on scratched up mounds along sandy trails and tracks are indicators of bobcats. I trapped them when through my early 20s, selling their beautiful tawny furs with the spotted undersides to help pay for college.
While I had always wanted a bobcat rug, I sold every one I trapped and have allowed those I saw while hunting deer to walk away. I have found one doe deer and several wild turkeys that had been killed by bobcats and actually witnessed a bobcat killing a yearling deer. They are efficient predators.
Bobcat signs had been evident around my duck ponds this year. A few feathers were all that remained after some animal had dined on wood ducks. Eating everything, including the feet and skull, of a small prey animal is characteristic of a bobcat kill. Therefore, I was not really surprised when one made an appearance, stalking wood ducks along the edge of a pond 150 yards from my tree stand. But it seemed surreal, watching it silently hunting, using a tiny fallen branch with a few leaves as cover while it sneaked within leaping range.