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USFWS Allows Import of Wild LIon Trophies

10/25/16 -- Last week, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service David Ashe, announced new regulations for the importation of lion trophies into the United States under the Endangered Species Act. The new regulations allow for the importation of wild or wild-managed lion trophies from South Africa - home to many wild lion populations. The regulations do not allow for import permits for trophies taken from captive lion populations in South Africa.

In December 2015, the USFWS listed the African lion under the Endangered Species Act, effectively banning the importation of lion trophies into the U.S. Last week's decision to allow lion trophy importation from South Africa is a reversal from the hardline decision that was certain to undermine conservation efforts for lions by defunding the model of conservation.

"In the past, the USFWS has gone against is own proven conservation polices and succumbed to pressures from anti-hunting groups," said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. "Hunting is an integral cog in the machine of conservation. While small, DSC feels this decision is a step in the right direction. We hope this is not just rhetorical and that the USFWS follows through and actually issues import permits."

The USFWS will allow lion trophy importation if, "exporting nations like South Africa must provide clear evidence showing a demonstrable conservation benefit to the long-term survival of the species in the wild." Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are being considered by the USFWS for issuance of import permits once management plans have been approved and implemented.

Hunting has proven time and time again to benefit species as a whole. Africa's conservation efforts are partially funded through revenues generated from hunters. Sustainable use is a proven conservation model that also benefits local economies and societies. Although demonized by anti-hunting groups, hunting that adheres to proven management decisions provides subsidies for conservation and gives local communities an incentive to protect animals instead of eradicating them.

In last week's announcement, Ashe notes that, "Under certain conditions, scientifically sound conservation programs that include sport hunting of wild lions can significantly contribute to the long-term survival of lions. U.S. hunters - the vast majority of whom strongly support ethical, sustainable game management - make up a disproportionately large share of foreign hunters who book trophy hunts in Africa. Their participation in well-managed hunting programs can help advance the conservation benefits provided by such programs."

Ashe also points out the fact that well-managed hunting does not pose a risk to sustaining lion populations, "...it's important to understand that lions are not in trouble because of responsible sport hunting," Ashe said.

The adage of, "if it pays, it stays," could not be more indicative of the situation in Africa. Without money and incentives to protect these animals, wildlife and their habitats will continue to decline and disappear.

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How much venison do hunters harvest?

Venison Bourguignon (Venison Stew), photo by Daniel Bledsoe, Food.com
06/17/15 -- The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) intends to find out. A study launching in 2015 will measure the actual amounts of venison and other wild protein harvested annually in North America. Researchers will assess the nutritional... Full Story

Pups & Partridges on the Calapooia Prairie

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DSC convention goers raise $1M in 1 minute

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It’s Not over Till the Lady Sings

mountain lion on rocky edge, photo courtesy of UDWR and Carrie Wilson, CA DFW
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01/19/15 -- If you want to avoid being attacked by a mountain lion, conventional wisdom says, you should travel in groups. If you encounter a mountain lion by yourself or with children, stop and make yourself look as big as possible... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
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08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

Where Are All the Pheasants?

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The other day a neighbor stopped by my house after two days of hunting pheasants in the Orland area. He said that he and his golden retriever, Milo, had probably walked ten miles and only flushed three birds. Knowingthat I had grown up... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

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12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Never say never

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Most of you have heard the saying, patience is a virtue, and I would say persistence is a virtue. If you want to fill your deer tag each season you have to put your time in. If you don’t give in and hunt hard you should be... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Deer holding tight in cover during times of heavy hunting pressure as I was about to find out. Francisco Garcia hunting story. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
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