Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Hey Dick Cheney - Come Hunt In Illinois!

Hey Dick Cheney--Come Hunt in Illinois!


State breeding pheasants for Dick Cheney style canned hunting at tax payer expense
By Martha Rosenberg

Illinois, like many states, is in debt.

In fact Governor Rod Blagojevich has even looked at selling the Illinois lottery to pay for basic education, transportation and health care and for pensions for public employees.

But he could look a little closer to home at Illinois' own Department of Natural Resources' $675,687,000 budget.

Up 14.3 percent from 2005, the IDNR budget includes 41 new employees and budgetary provisions to hire 103 more.

It also include "Celebrity Quail Hunts" at Illinois resorts and lodges and youth dove, duck and pheasant hunts for kids as young as ten. (Now if Johnny could only read.)

But one program the IDNR doesn't like to talk about is its breeding of pheasant chicks for Dick Cheney style hunting on public lands.

The State running its own battery hen and canned hunting operations doesn't look good to the general public.

In fact when asked about the IDNR budget for "controlled" pheasant hunting, Terry L. Musser, Program Manager of Hunting Preserves, Controlled Hunting, & Field Trials wrote in an email, "Information requests of this type need to be directed to the Department's Freedom of Information Act Officer."

Maybe that's because, in addition to the ethics of raising day old chicks to be pulverized by children and skill-less hunters, there's the math.

The State of Illinois spent eight dollars a piece for 65,000 pheasants to be bred and released at 14 state or state run hunting areas and at youth hunts in the 2004/2005 season, according to Illinois Department of Natural Resources Advisory Board minutes.

Officially, this $520,000 a year breeding program should be funded by hunters' fees.

But according to the State's own minutes it isn't.

Fees would have to be raised by 2/3 to cover "the costs of operating the wildlife propagation centers," reveal minutes from the April 18, 2005 Board Meeting at Rend Lake Resort.

And if fees were raised--right--tax payers would STILL pay for the program.

Because the IDNR would then "increase the number of pheasants, add new areas and have longer seasons" say the Board minutes and STILL let Illinois tax payers pay.

Are you listening State auditors?

Raising birds for canned hunting has been popular since wild bird populations began disappearing from habitat destruction.

But real hunters disdain the pre-ordained slaughter.

"The big birds look like real, honest-to-goodness wild pheasants," wrote Plain Dealer outdoors reporter D'arcy Egan, "but they're not. They have little chance of surviving in the wild, and are simply expensive fodder" for hunters.

John Husar, the Chicago Tribune's late outdoor reporter agreed.

"If they're off in some dumb spot, like the middle of a cut milo strip, hopping around and wondering at the fuss, you can figure they arrived in a basket."

Some game bird breeders even debeak the birds or attach "peepers" to their eyes to keep them attacking each other in the packed pens. (see: caged hen egg operations.)

The State of Illinois' current debt, $106 billion, comes down to $9000 per citizen.

What part represents the recreational opportunity for citizens to blast away hand raised birds for the afternoon?

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>



Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>



Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>