August 20, 2014 – by Dominic Aiello, President
The days of environmental, anti-hunting, and animal rights groups claiming science is on their side against predator management is over!
Before we get to that, as you’ve likely heard – the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has proposed a 30% budget increase to fill the budget gap for 2015 and beyond. They claim it is because hunting and angling is down. While hunting participation is up nationwide, they are right – hunting participation in Oregon is down. However, hunting isn’t down because people don’t want to hunt; rather, at least partly, because hunting in Oregon is not what it could, should, or would be with responsible management. ODFW must shoulder a large portion of blame for this, but that’s not to say some of the staff doesn’t do great work.
At our symposium on August 9th at the Wildhorse Casino & Resort, we began the day by delivering data from board member Mike Morris showing the negative economic impact to rural Oregon due to lost hunting opportunities. ODFW biologist Mark Kirsh then followed up by presenting his study proving, scientifically, the negative impacts on our elk herds due to Oregon’s overpopulation of cougars!
The goal of the study was two fold:
1- To find out what was causing the low calf recruitment, which was clearly determined as cougars.
2- To reduce the density of the cougars enough to release the pressure on the elk to see if they produce more calves, with the ultimate goal of 31 calves per 100 cows.
What was the result? Find out in part 2.
Just as renowned Alaskan wildlife biologist Pat Valkenburg declared at our June 14th symposium in Albany, the scientific evidence from Oregon is also very clear: without predator management you cannot have sustainable hunter harvest!
What Does This Mean?
This means the story the general public has been sold by animal rights, anti-hunting, and radical environmental groups is false. They claim that wildlife agencies do not need to participate in predator management, and any such action is simply to make it easier for slob or lazy hunters. This couldn’t be further from the truth, you and I both know it, and science proved it!
This is why the OOC will continue to push back through the democratic process and ensure proper, scientific, sustainable wildlife management is put in place in Oregon!
Dominic Aiello, President
P.S. You want better wildlife management in Oregon, right? You want proper predator management, right? You want your kids or grand kids to experience what many generations have experienced before them, I get it! That’s why I work tirelessly on your behalf. Show me your support, show your kids and grand kids your support, join the Oregon Outdoor Council today!! Click here!