Tuesday, 01 July 2008 00:00

Clint Bentley…Gone At Last!

Sold out the sportsmen right to the end

 

For the last six years, HUNTER’S ALERT has told you how bad Clint Bentley has been as a Wildlife commissioner. He should never have been appointed to the Commission. HUNTER’S ALERT isn’t going to waste any more ink and paper on his many past failures to represent sportsmen.

 

It should be noted on his way out that he needs credit for the following: as chairman of the Heritage Committee, he approved of giving a student funds to do a study in another state! Heritage Fund money is supposed to be used for Nevada projects. The state of California will now ‘benefit’ from the $30,000 Mr. Bentley pushed to be approved as part of the total $171,122 funding for a 10 year project to find out why there are almost no deer left in the California Mohave Desert. Our government removed the cattle ranchers from this area. They had previously been maintaining water sources, which of course dried up because ranchers weren’t around to maintain them. One might think that instead of spending the $30,000, Mr. Bentley might have realized that your average 4 year old could tell you that if cows can drink, so can deer. No ranchers = no water = no deer.

 

The next giveaway was even worse. He pushed the approval of giving $40,000 to start a 4 year mountain lion study. This was just the tip of the iceberg.  The proposed project is to pay a graduate student to get a doctorate by giving the student a total budget of $472,040 to complete the study, including paying a salary and “fringe benefits” of $87,600 to the student. This project will include genetic analysis of 700 lions in Nevada (these 700 lions alone will kill at least 36,000 deer in the state each year). Nice study, Mr. Bentley, unfortunately your subjects have just consumed most of our deer population. Your study may be a success, but the deer will be dead.  What (or who) will your lions eat then?

 

And finally, in his last meeting on June 28th, he voted to make the wolf a big game animal in Nevada. Great! That’s just what Nevada hunters need, more predators! The mountain lions have decimated our deer.  All we need is for wolves to start killing elk, livestock and the small number of deer we have left. Clint must be really popular with the Nevada ranchers.

 

It is quite apparent that Clint Bentley had not done any due diligence on any of these issues. Just on the wolf issue, he would have realized that the wolves have pounded the elk herds in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. It’s so bad in Wyoming that in 88 percent of the state, wolves are classified as predators like coyotes and can be killed without regard for fair chase rules, seasons or bag limits. Nevada should have followed Wyoming’s lead on this issue. But Clint’s answer to predator control was to build another water hole for the sheep. With that way of thinking, no one will miss Clint as a Wildlife commissioner. If it hadn’t been for former Commissioners Tommy Ford and John Moran who were responsible for getting Bentley on the Wildlife Commission, Clint wouldn’t have had the chance to sell out the sportsmen for the last 6 years.

Published in HA Newsletter 33

Larry shoots best shot and misses

 

Larry Johnson did everything possible to keep “his boys” on the Wildlife Commission. It didn’t work. Governor Gibbons wanted people on the Wildlife Commission who want to bring back those once famous Nevada mule deer herds. “Larry’s boys” were more concerned about the 150 people hunting sheep than the 51,011 who used to hunt deer.  Larry went so far as to send the following notice to all the county advisory game boards and sportsmen’s groups.

 

Published in HA Newsletter 33

Reprinted from: Opinion column, The Nevada Rancher, June, 2008, Winnemucca, Nevada

 

The question is:

“Should Governor Jim Gibbons reappoint the current Wildlife Commissioners, who were selected by fomer Goveror Guinn, or should he appoint his own people?”

My answer is:

Governor Gibbons can appoint anyone he wishes to the Game Commission. This is his call, and his alone. Who should he appoint? Whomever he finds to be the best candidate for the job. If he needs help finding names, I am sure he will ask for it.

Our governor does not need to take into account everything everyone in the world tells him before selecting his appointees. That is not the way it works here in America. Our governor is a highly intelligent, experienced and competent man who knows the issues and knows how to get things done. We have lost our Mule Deer herd under the current Game Commission and NDOW leadership. It is time for change if we are ever going to bring back our Mule Deer and Governor Jim Gibbons is the man who can make this happen. What we should do to assist our Governor in making his decision on appointees is to support his appointments and not second-guess him.

Sincerely,

Mike Laughlin

(Retired) Professional Wildlife Biologist, Bachelor of Science, Wildlife Management Degree, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Longtime Nevada resident, rancher and sportsman

Published in HA Newsletter 33

In the 2001 Legislative session, HUNTER’S ALERT, working with Nevada Hunters Association and Assemblyman Jerry Claborn were successful in passing Assembly Bill 291. This bill enacted a $3.00 predator fee for every big game tag that hunters applied for. It should be noted that no other so-called sportsmen’s organization helped in the passage of this bill which was desperately needed to restore our deer.

 

This bill provides over $300,000 a year for predator control. The original intent of the bill was to do predator control to bring back our deer. However, former governor Kenny Guinn’s appointments to the Wildlife Commission, Tommy Ford, John Moran, Clint Bentley, Jack Robb and Jim Jeffress decided to do more sheep projects than deer projects. The reason for this is that the Wildlife Commission was stacked with sheep club members. It shows that they could care less about people who want to hunt deer.

 

To them, it was more important for 150 people to hunt sheep than the 35,000 hunters who want to hunt deer. I guess nobody in the sheep club hunts deer. Nothing like being a selfish bunch! NDOW has refused to do any predator control on its own. So with the money provided by sportsmen, they farm it out to Wildlife Services.

Published in HA Newsletter 33
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 00:00

A Spoiled Little Brat And His Coalition!

At the Wildlife Commission meeting at Reno on June 27 and 28, Chairman Bentley publicly thanked the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife for inviting the Commission and staff to its dinner on the evening of the 27th.  Wildlife Commissioner Scott Raine publicly announced that he had called to purchase an $80 ticket to the Coalition’s fundraiser. After Scott had identified himself, he was referred to call Coalition president, Larry Johnson who called back June 25th and told our Wildlife Commissioner whom he had never spoken to before in his life, “You are not invited to attend our dinner.” When asked why, he was told that before he could be invited he first had to prove his views to not be in opposition to those of Mr. Johnson and his board.

Published in HA Newsletter 33

Reprinted from The Nevada Rancher, June 2009

How free of politics is science? During a legislative hearing, the idea of not allowing laymen—in this case the nine members of the Nevada State Wildlife Commission—to have mandatory authority over a “professional biologist” was debated.

Published in HA Newsletter 34

Out with the old, in with the new was in order for the Wildlife Commission appointments.  The last of former Governor Kenny Guinn’s appointments to the Wildlife Commission have finally run their course. For Nevada deer hunters, that’s a good thing. Former commissioners David McNinch, Dan Swanson and Ron  Lurie did nothing to bring back our deer.  Quite the contrary. Most predator control projects to benefit deer were opposed by them.

Published in HA Newsletter 34

NDOW director Ken Mayer has held the post for almost three years. During these two plus years, he has done nothing to bring back our deer. Quite the contrary, in the last two legislative sessions, there were bills proposed to enhance our mule deer. He opposed both of them.

 

Recently, a bolt of lightning must have struck the director. On July 8, chief of big game, Mark Atkinson announced that Tony Wasley had accepted the new position of Mule Deer Wildlife Staff Specialist. This is the same Tony Wasley, Elko based biologist, who recommended killing 987 does this year. But it gets better with this mule deer specialist. A 2004 press release by Kelly Clark on NDOW’s website quotes some of Wasley’s mule deer studies and comes up with this conclusion: “Most hunters ask what we can do to achieve higher numbers of deer. Pray for good summer rain. Nevada is the driest state in the Union and water is key in wildlife management. Without rain and snow to keep creeks running, springs fresh, grasses, forbs and brush tender and green for food and cover, deer numbers dwindle.”

Published in HA Newsletter 34

This Wildlife Commission has proven itself sportsman friendly and has accomplished many new things for sportsmen in Nevada that no other Wildlife Commission has done. Here are some examples:

  1. Despite opposition from the agency and director Ken Mayer, and some county Wildlife Advisory Boards, the tag drawing results will be available online for all sportsmen within 48 hours after the drawing has occurred. This enables all sportsmen the ability to see if they were successful in drawing a tag and for planning their hunts much sooner. The Commission felt this was a much needed and long over-due regulation.
  2. Now sportsmen are getting a definition of edible portions of big game mammals, game birds, and game fish. This regulation was badly needed to avoid wanton waste citations and to clarify what portions of game must be kept.  The definition of ‘edible’ had previously been left up to the interpretation of law enforcement.
  3. The Commission passed hunter friendly regulation for 2009 that allows for the return of big game tags without having to give a reason.  Hunters can now return deer, antelope, and elk tags as long as they are received by NDOW at least one day before the start of the applicable season.  Hunters will have bonus points reinstated and receive an additional bonus point as if a tag had not been issued and as if the applicant had been unsuccessful in the draw.   Bighorn sheep and Mountain Goat tags have an earlier deadline for return so that they can be re-issued to other hunters.
  4. A regulation is in the process to allow Online Hunt Application changes/amendments after an application has been submitted. Currently, once you submit your application, you cannot change or withdraw it. Last year, there were dozens of emails in Nevada by hunters who had made a mistake in the application process and wanted to make a change. This new regulation will be a win-win solution and will be very popular.

These accomplishments demonstrate this Commission’s attempts to make NDOW a more user- friendly agency and are well received by most sportsmen.

Published in HA Newsletter 34
Thursday, 24 April 2008 03:28

SCURRILOUS POLITICS OR ?

The current argument in Nevada about whether a Governor should appoint an advocate of "managing" wildlife or an advocate of "saving" wildlife to a State Wildlife Commission is a scenario being replayed all over the nation.  The gross stereotypes and character assassinations are part and parcel of the scenario, and the hidden agendas and distortions of facts present in one article would take pages to decipher.  The following brief explanation is based on 30 plus years with the US Fish & Wildlife Service; nearly ten years of writing and speaking about such matters, and two appearances before the US House of Representatives' Natural Resources Committee concerning the theft of $45 to $60 Million by the US Fish & Wildlife Service from the hunting and fishing excise taxes that, by law, could only be used for state fish and wildlife programs.

Published in 2008 Online News
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