DNR response to questions about coyote/fox hunts

Dateline: Fri 12 Nov 2010

I apologize for being slow to share this information. I spoke to Phil Bloom of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources a few weeks ago re: the coyote/fox hunting issue. I was in a place where I could not take notes, so I asked him to send me an email to summarize the DNR position. He did so.

For those of you not familiar with "the facility," I understand it is in the western part of Indiana.

Here is Mr. Bloom's email:

"To recap what we spoke about on the phone, DNR investigated the one known pen in Indiana that is used for dog training purposes and field trials and reported its findings to the Natural Resources Commission. Those findings include:

"--The facility is 300 acres and consists of natural habitat with both natural and artificial escape areas for coyotes, plus plenty of food and water.

"--Coyotes and foxes in the wild are chased by dogs when being hunted. Dog owners want the ability to train their dogs for this purpose without trespassing and without fear of their dog being hit by a vehicle.

"--The facility is used to help train dogs to chase coyotes so they will be ready for the coyote hunting season (mid-October to mid-March). It also is used for field trial events.

"--All field trial events and dog training opportunities allow for escape of the coyotes. The dogs chase the coyotes in the 300-acre enclosure, which exceeds the normal home range for a coyote in the wild.

" As a result of the DNR findings, the Natural Resources Commission asked the DNR to write rule language that would establish regulations governing this training facility that will provide for the welfare of the coyotes, establish fair chase requirements, and prevent new pens from opening in Indiana.

 The agenda for the next NRC meeting has not been set, so I’m not sure if this will be one of the topics. However, the meeting is at 10 am Nov. 16 at The Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park. Once the agenda is set, it will be on the NRC website at http://www.in.gov/nrc/

The procedure for administrative rules has numerous steps, beginning with presentation of the proposed language. If the NRC chooses to give preliminary adoption, it begins the public comment phase (online, at public hearings). An administrative law judge from the NRC’s Division of Hearings would then review the public comments and make a recommendation to the NRC on whether or not to approve final adoption. Additional procedural steps then follow before a rule becomes official.

" Hope that helps.

 Phil Bloom

Director of Communications

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

402 W. Washington St. W255B

Indianapolis, IN  46204

317/232-4003

pbloom@dnr.IN.gov

Thanks to Mr. Bloom for taking the time to get this information together. Now, let's speak out...and please look at the previous post, which is an excellent editorial comment from the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne on this issue.

 

Comments

CeAnn lambert [unverified] said:

Mr Bloom has one of his facts wrong. The normal territory for a coyote in the wild is 10-12 miles. 300 acres is less than 1/2 mile. He also fails to inform the public that there are two other pens that used to be open and could probably be open within a matter of weeks. The DNR is trying to sound as if the Linton pen is the only one that will be in operation. The proposal the DNR is submitting does not reflect that. Escape routes and hiding places for the coyotes and foxes in the pens are often blocked during an event. Also, any "safe" place a coyote can get in can also be entered by a dog. Logic should show people that. These pens are used to train "kill" dogs. That is what the dog runners call their dogs that have been trained in the pens. The DNR and the NRC are resorting to lies and half truths along with changing the name of a running pen to a " training ground" They think we are stupid and trusting. I am not the trusting person that I was in 2007 when this issue first started.

2010-11-12 08:48:34

Florida Girl [unverified] said:

Florida tried to regulate this and they could not! Are officers going to be at these pens 24/7 to make sure the coyotes and foxes are not being killed by the dogs? What about the :"resocking" of these pens? If the wildlife is not being killed within the fences, why is there such a need for resocking the game? Rabies? I haven't found a single vet in Indiana that vaccinates coyotes or foxes for rabies! Truly sickening that Indiana may make this bloodsport legal!

2010-11-12 09:21:38

Florida Girl [unverified] said:

Sorry, I meant "restocking"!

2010-11-12 09:23:53

hendy [Member] said:

The DNR is trying to legitimize pen hunts in the name of training. That the facts are wrong, cited above, seem to corroborate the 'justification'. IMHO, the DNR is simply capitulating.

Foxes and coyotes are a destructive part of nature, as are deer, and even groundhogs. While I'm pretty sure that you won't find a way to make hunting illegal, there has to be a way to make it at least more humane and non-torturous. The DNR seems compromised in its attitude, where it's supposed to protect wildlife. Seems there's a Humane Society mission that ought to intervene and inject some sense into the process.

2010-11-12 09:27:32

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

So true, hendy. So true.

But in almost every community in Indiana, the Humane Society's mission has transformed into "dog pound."

I don't know why their mission can't be more strictly defined. Their name says it all--they ought to be an advocate-spokesman for all animals and simple humane treatment of them.

Instead, they farm out dogs and cats,and, sadly, too many are handed over dead, to rendering plants.

Anyone see any good deep-undercover stories on those rendering plants? It would turn your stomach. Almost no regulation.

I grew up on a farm. My cousins hunted and trapped. I tried to get into it; I really did. But I never understood the need for it, or the "sport."

And the above comments regarding territory are spot-on. A coyote alert 15 miles away usually meant we'd see them in our barns or fields within the day. They stay thin for a reason--they roam wildly, over miles and miles of territory. Daily. Mr. Bloom ought to be embarrassed by his ridiculous under-informed comments.

Doesn't the DNR Commission have better things to do? If not, they ought to sunset and go into oblivion.

Peace to animals.

2010-11-12 10:37:51

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

When a coyote is trapped and introduced into a strange and hostile environment, the cards are already stacked against him. His natural instincts are totally screwed, he may be drugged, he doesn't know the terrain, and he may be injured, and he is shortly to be chased and killed by dogs.

I know fellows who shoot coyotes. I have the means to do that myself, if they threaten my dogs and cats. (Coyotes tore up my favorite Black Lab a few years ago, about 400 yards from my house. But I still don't seek them out so I can kill them.) I don't regard running them down with dogs in an enclosure any sort of hunting. The sorts of things that humans do in the name of entertainment truly mystify me.

And furthermor, what the f**k sort of person does this as a business?

2010-11-12 13:53:35

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Florida tried to regulate this and they could not! Are officers going to be at these pens 24/7 to make sure the coyotes and foxes are not being killed by the dogs?"

The only way to stop really reprehensible behavior is to turn practitioners into pariahs with their peers. The wankers who participate in canned hunting respond to ridicule from genuine hunters.
Cigarette smoking has become sociall unacceptable not through any work by the American cancer interests, but because smokers became social outcasts.

Penning participants should consistently be described as mouth breathing, knuckle dragging, trailer trashing, meth cooking, wife beating thieves who steal from the collection plate in church. Take the machoism out of penning and you will lose its adherents.

2010-11-12 14:01:19

ruthholl [Member] said:

This is from Lynn Hopper,

"One of the problems with DNR is that much of the funding comes from hunting licenses...so they don't dare antagonize hunters; indeed, they do everything they can to accomodate them and sell more licenses. Been running up against this for years."

2010-11-12 20:58:10

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Hunters buy licenses, but the last time I checked, which was during the Bayh administration, this myth was debunked.

Licenses, at that time, accounted for about 20 percent of the DNR's budget. The rest was admission and user fees, tax revenue and misc. fees.

2010-11-13 06:08:41

CeAnn [unverified] said:

It is not so much the hunting and trapping licenses they sell. It is the money they get from the Pitman-Robertson Act. The amount of money they get from that act depends on the number of licenses sold. A form of "double dipping." Now, I am seeing they also claim to have funds from a "fuel usage" tax for boats. My understanding that the DNR put that tax for boats to be used for the boaters. They have now grabbed that money to use in their General Fund. It is something like when the Red Cross took money that was for survivors of 9/11 and transfered it to their General Fund. The head of the Red Cross lost her job over that.
Who is going to pay to monitor the running pens? Tax payers, of course.

2010-11-13 07:35:34

Local Lawyer [unverified] said:

Didn't we just go through this exact same scenario a few years ago with canned deer hunts? Didn't the DNR finally put those out of business? And for all the reasons described above? Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it; apparently we have a very short memory in this state.

2010-11-13 17:21:58

CeAnn [unverified] said:

Local Lawyer, we still have canned hunting in IN. The DNR gave the canned hunt facilities something like ten years to close, so they could recoup their loses. Canned hunting is alive and well in Indiana, now along with running pens. Which they have changed to ground training pens.
Are we really so stupid that they thing by changing the name we will ok the running pens?

2010-11-13 17:38:40

Local Lawyer [unverified] said:

Thanks for that clarification. However the point remains the same: it was determined that these canned hunts were a bad idea so the state took steps to shut them down, eventually. Now they want to revisit the idea? Perhaps since the dog runners are chasing (and killing) Wile E. Coyote instead of Bambi they think the public won't care. And if the coyotes and foxes have "escape areas" then what will keep the pursuing dogs from also "escaping" right after them? I have an idea; instead of coyotes and foxes we stock the pens with pit bulls and make it a fair fight.

2010-11-13 17:58:38

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Well, that took an ugly turn, didn't it? Pit bulls in pens?
I think Michael Vick tried that.

2010-11-13 19:11:01

hendy [Member] said:

In some circles, lawyers would be the prey.

And so would liberals like me.

I'm heartened to see the concern in the thread. Living in Monroe County, it's sometimes difficult to find anyone that's anti-hunt-something around here. Caged/staged hunting would likely get support here, and the dog-training propaganda probably plays well among the gr(h)unters here. After all, Greene County is only about five miles from where I live now. You can hear the weapons firing across the valleys now that the trees are barren of leaves. Bang bang.

2010-11-13 22:21:03

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Caged/staged hunting"
Don't dignify this by calling it "hunting." It is target practice using live targets. The droolers who then keep the racks or pelts somehow imagine they have accomplished someting special.

As fas as "dog training" is concerned, every year the Autum Oaks participants abandon "unsatisfactory" coondogs in Wayne County. I know because I rescued one and know of others. Eaxctly what are penners "training" dogs to do except kill wildlife?

2010-11-14 06:17:55

Local Lawyer [unverified] said:

Ugly? I was thinking more along the lines of irony. And yes, I did have Michael Vick in mind when I wrote that.

There are plenty of my colleagues that I would like to see "penned", only I have a different kind of "pen" in mind.

I have long enjoyed reading the posts on this blog and have decided it was time to get in the fray. If my opinions seem off-base you can just respond by saying "that dog won't hunt." Now excuse me while I get on amazon.com and order Dick Cady's new book...

2010-11-14 10:33:24

Nature Lover [unverified] said:

This is not hunting and it is not sportsmanship. It is a bunch of incompetent lazy rednecks who don't have the intellect or aptitude to properly train a hunting dog. So their next best option is to train a dog to fight and maul.

You think a coyote took your beloved cat or small dog? Wait until these fighting machines get loose. You will have uncontrollable dogs with idiot owners. What a sad gene pool they are propagating, both human and animal.

DNR, you really need to look at your core mission and sponsoring, condoning, allowing any type of enclosed captive hunting is not protecting our natural resources.

2010-11-17 08:32:02

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Ditto what Nature Lover said. Especially the part where the hounds get out and don't know the difference between a coyote and your Sheltie.

2010-11-17 14:29:20

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