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 with Rob Miskosky

More of the Same

The Tweet came from photographer John E. Marriott, an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and owner/operator of Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours based in Canmore, Alberta.

The Tweet read as follows, “When I first began photographing 25 years ago, I never imagined that a day like this would come. Today, I’m extremely proud to announce that I am a co-founder of a brand new wildlife conservation nonprofit, the EXPOSED Wildlife Conservancy!”

Over the years, I’ve seen several of these so-called, non-profit groups pop-up out of nowhere looking to change the way wildlife is managed in Alberta. So, of course, as one who likes to keep up on what the “other side” is doing, I just had to have a look at their website. There, I discovered the same things that so many other groups with “donate” buttons on their websites have been yelling from the rooftops forever – “Ban Killing Neck Snares”, “Stop Carnivore Trophy Killing”, “Ban Wildlife Killing Contests” and, “Protect Our Wild Places”, for animals, of course.

The common theme appears to be that our hunting and trapping regulations aren’t “modern, ethical, or science based.” In fact, they state on their website, “We are EXPOSING current wildlife management practices lacking in scientific basis, ethics and/or social acceptability.” Meaning, our current wildlife managers are Neanderthals that need to get with the times, or at least get onboard with the way these animal-first groups feel that wildlife should be managed, “particularly large apex predators like wolves, lynx, bobcats, cougars, grizzly bears and wolverines.” All critters that appear to be doing very well in Alberta, except in the eyes of the animal-first groups, who really aren’t much different than their brethren – the animal-rights groups.

Of course, I had to respond. My Tweet read as follows, “Just what we don’t need, another group with a ‘donate’ button on their website...”

It took a while but I must have pushed a button. Marriott’s response, “Haha, feeling the heat a little, are you, Rob? Sorry, but the days of hunters and trappers getting the entire say in wildlife matters is slowly coming to an end (thankfully).”

I always get a little confused when hunters and trappers are viewed in a poor light by the animal-first, animal-rights groups that fail to acknowledge the incredible work hunting and trapping organizations do for the betterment of wildlife. That list entails everything from protecting thousands of acres of land for wildlife and people, to on-the-ground projects such as antelope friendly fencing and the trapping of fishers for translocation, among so many other projects undertaken by hunters and trappers year ‘round. Why is there never any love for what hunting and trapping organizations do?

I’m going to end this column by bringing your attention to the photo at top. There’s nothing animal-first, animal-rights groups will stop at to further their causes. Instead of taking preventive measures to help stop the coronavirus pandemic, these folks feel that huddling together in close quarters, regardless of their masks, is a risk worth taking because their way is “the right way.” Much as the Exposed Wildlife Conservancy feels that their way to wildlife management is the right way.

Good luck with that!

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