Time for local action: wildlife-killing contest in Marshall MN!
The Petition to “Prohibit Wildlife Killing Contests in Minnesota” has attracted nationwide attention. Interest and signatures have come in from Minnesota residents, natives, relatives, friends, and visitors residing in every State of the U.S.A. (and in other countries around the world). The regional subtotals of Petition signatures show an average response of about 14% per region in the US. Response was higher in the southwest, and lower in the central and northwestern States.
And now it’s time for local action!
Marshall, MN area residents! Southwestern Minnesota residents, visitors, and friends! Let your views be known!
In your own words, or quoting this Petition or other information, please speak up to the following people and organizations (at whatever level you’re comfortable with):
== City of Marshall, MN ==
Mayor Robert J. Byrnes, 507-337-2809, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 2 City Council Member David Sturrock, email@example.com
Ward 2 City Council Member Larry Doom, 507-537-1523, firstname.lastname@example.org
== Marshall Independent (local press) ==
“Story Idea” to request coverage of the issue: http://126.96.36.199/vnr/add_submission.asp?categoryID=993&publicationID=23
“Letter to the Editor” to speak up directly: http://188.8.131.52/vnr/add_submission.asp?categoryID=971&publicationID=23
== Affiliated Organizations (probably not officially in favor of any such contest) ==
National Wild Turkey Federation: http://www.nwtf.org/contact (and while you’re on this page, look in the upper-right of the page for the “search” box, and try a search for the word “predator” for further information).
Pheasants Forever: https://www.pheasantsforever.org/Contact-Us.aspx (and while you’re on this page, look in the upper-right of the page for the “search” box, and try a search for the word “predator” for further information).
Marshall MN Convention & Visitors Bureau, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce: http://marshall-mn.org/main/index.php/about-us/contact-us.html, 507-532-4484.
== Contest Organizer (promoting this contest) ==
Ty Brouwer, 507-430-6473, email@example.com
== Petition Organizer (opposing all such contests) ==
Scott Slocum, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to organize with others in your area, please drop me a line, and I’ll help connect you. Also, if I’ve made any errors or omissions in this Petition Update, please let me know, and I’ll correct them.
== Community Organizers (opposing all such contests) ==
If you’re a member of an animal-protection group like the Minnesota Humane Society or the Humane Society of the United States, please contact your group representative to coordinate action with them. Their involvement depends on yours!
== More information ==
Here’s some more local perspective on contests like these–and their potential, local solutions.
On February 20, 2016, participants in the “Save the Birds” Coyote Hunting Tournament will be bringing in their freshly-killed coyote carcasses to a parking lot in the City of Marshall, MN. There, the carcasses will be weighed–guts and all; fresh, not frozen; jaws blocked open. This is a competition for the most coyotes killed, heaviest killed, and smallest killed. If last year’s photographer is available again this year, contestants will have the opportunity to drop the carcasses onto the bloody sidewalk before them, and pose for “heroic hunter” photos.
The carcasses will be oozing bodily fluids, jumping with fleas, parasitized and infected. Some of their wounds will be gaping, inflicted by multiple, long range shots from high-powered, semi-automatic rifles. Some from close-range shotgun blasts. The animals will have been dropped in distant fields and wetlands. Since time is of the essence, they will have been shot at the first opportunity, by contestants eager for prizes. These contestants won’t necessarily have spent time calling the animals in closer for safer and more species-specific, accurate, and humane shots. The carcasses that are brought in will not include domestic dogs, game that might be taken out of season, or other wildlife that might be taken by way of other violations of hunting regulations or laws (most such animals, when and if they’re shot, are suspected to be left where they fall, or to be dumped in inconspicuous locations, so as not to arouse public anger or invite prosecution).
The numbers of predators taken will not be a significant percentage of the predator population, nor a significant percentage of the potential “problem animals” around livestock-production areas, nor of those that will take the wild turkeys as part of their natural hunting behaviors. The contest will not provide any form of support for non-lethal livestock best management practices or methods of sustainable coexistence with wild-living predator populations.
Although this contest will raise funds for wild turkey habitat restoration and maintenance (the actual goal of the National Wild Turkey Federation and its chapters including the sponsor of this contest); most of the financial activity surrounding the contest will center on door prizes, raffles, and tournament prizes; on the gear that’s on display; and on the “pro-staff” sales reps who are on hand to sell it: firearms, ammunition, optics, calls, clothing and other gear.
So, for residents of a city in which a contest like this is scheduled, the question is this: “what can we ask our neighbors and local officials to do?” Even if we don’t like them, these contests do seem to be legal, according to current City Ordinances and State gambling, game & fish Rules and Statutes.
And in answer, there’s the key word: these contests seem to be legal according to current Ordinances. Residents can request new Ordinances. For example, an Ordinance requiring prompt disposal of carcasses, or prohibiting their public display. A ban on the promotion or operation of killing contests in the City. Or the enforcement of an Ordinance against public obscenity.
Local residents can express their opposition to the local officials, sponsoring organizations, affiliated organizations, news media, and opposing individuals and organizations listed above. For example, the parent organizations–National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever–did not come up with this idea for a wildlife-killing contest; their scientists, staff, and members promote a focus on habitat restoration and maintenance, and a stable coexistence with predators and the natural environment. They should be embarrassed to be associated with this contest.
Any or all of the above issues can be addressed privately or publicly; individually, or as part of a group, depending on what’s comfortable for each person. One secure, private option is to contact this Petition’s organizer, Scott Slocum, at his blog’s email address email@example.com
If you’re not in the Marshall, MN area, your local activism (in your own area) is still needed! Please feel free to adapt any of the materials above to your local situation. Thank you!