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“Gopher Fest,” Killing Contests, and the Defiant Culture of Savagery

Photo by Leonardo Weiss

Photo by Leonardo Weiss

Like “Squirrel Slam,” an annual killing contest in Holley, New York, in which participants slaughter as many squirrels as they can for the chance to win guns and cash, “Gopher Fest” encourages the same kind of savage behavior among residents of Lima, Montana. Each is billed as a fundraiser — the former for the local fire department, the latter to support the upkeep of the local swimming pool. “Gopher Fest,” named after its target species, includes a gun raffle and barbecue.

In a column published yesterday in the Lake County Leader (Polson, Montana), Kylie Richter explains, callously, that “Gopher Fest” took place earlier this month on properties whose owners welcomed the massacre. Richter supports her claim that “hunting is a Montana culture” by pointing out that a “few years back, a reporter from Bozeman wrote an article about how terrible it was that people were shooting these rodents in mass quantities. Apparently, the next year, Gopherfest almost doubled in size.”

If that’s true — and let’s assume that it is — it’s because violent knuckle-draggers are predictably defiant in the face of rational scrutiny. They use the word “culture” because it allows them to play the victims and to cast their critics as antagonists. The real victims, of course, are, to their killers, nameless, faceless interlopers — “furry nuisances,” as Richter describes the gophers targeted in Lima and elsewhere.

The smug refusal of the Neanderthals among us to recognize their evil hypocrisy is an ugly and destructive posture. That they frame killing contests as fundraisers through which their communities are enhanced is obnoxious. Town officials in Holley have declined offers to help raise money through nonviolent means. That’s because they won’t be told that their “culture” is backward and vicious.

This year in Lima, according to Richter, more than 100 psychopaths showed up on June 6 to kill as many gophers as they could. Each paid a $10 entry fee. Those 100 lowlifes could just have easily donated to the community-pool fund without killing any animals. And it’s worth pointing out that the town could raise $1,000 for upkeep of the community pool by asking each member of the community, which numbered 226 in 2013, for an annual $4 contribution.

But that’s all beside the point, which is that killing contests are about killing, and not about making their host communities better places to live. Certainly not for the nonhuman residents who call those areas home.

Contact information for the Town of Lima’s mayor and councilmen can be found here

Related commentaries:
“Squirrel Slam”: The Holleycaust Continues
Protest Song Condemns “Squirrel Slam,” Supports Animal-Rights Group
Holley “Squirrel Slam” is a Neanderthal Custom of Evangelical Barbarism

Hunter Population Numbers One Fewer

Photo by Albert Kok

Photo by Albert Kok

Once in a while, in addition to giving us reason to celebrate, news of a fatal hunting incident can provide a decent grammar lesson.

First, the news.

According to the Associated Press, an inebriated dimwit in Florida, while taking a break from killing fish, checked to see if his handgun was loaded by putting the thing to his largely empty noggin and pulling the trigger. A fatal head wound revealed the answer.

I learned about the incident when my good friend Monty Gelstein called to suggest a headline.

“Hunter Population Numbers One Less After Fisherman Blows Head Off,” Monty shouted, gleefully, into the receiver.

“One fewer,” I said.

“What’s the goddamned difference, dude?” he asked.

It was a rhetorical question, as far as Monty was concerned. I, on the other hand, felt compelled to refer him to Paul Brians’ excellent website and bookCommon Errors in English Usage.

“You’re such an annoying geek,” Monty said. “You should be dancing, not quibbling about grammar, of all things.”

“I’ll dance when all the hunters are gone,” I told him.

I found the AP story on the WPTV website and immediately took issue with the report’s description of the incident as being an “accident.”

“Can’t you just enjoy the moment — and the fact that at very least the deceased will never again kill another animal?” Monty asked.

Mentally unbalanced as he is, Monty had a point. And so I danced …

Montana Officials Kill, Blow Up Orphaned Moose

Photo by Veronika Ronkos

Photo by Veronika Ronkos

If you don’t think hunting agencies are the enemies of wildlife, you don’t know much about hunting agencies.” — Joe Miele, president, Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

That comment was posted to the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Facebook page last week, along with a link to a sickening news story published by The Dodo about an orphaned moose calf whom Montana wildlife officials killed because that’s what they do. After the newborn moose was put to death, members of the U.S. Forest Service used explosives to get rid of the calf’s lifeless body and those of the animal’s deceased mother and a sibling.

According to a report in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, U.S. Forest Service staff “used explosives to get rid of the carcasses of all three moose, spreading the proteins that might attract predators like grizzly bears to the campground.”

A camper from Bozeman, Montana, named Josh Hohm had encountered the orphaned calf and alerted local authorities, whom he figured would help, not slaughter, the young animal.

Andrea Jones, a spokesperson for the Montana wildlife gestapo, told various media outlets that her agency had no choice but to destroy the calf in order to prevent the possible spread of chronic wasting disease. Plus, Jones offered matter-of-factly, the newborn moose probably wouldn’t have survived anyway.

Only a useless fool could possibly believe that Jones and her jackbooted colleagues care about the well-being of wildlife in Montana. Their objective is to provide a user-friendly experience for humans, particularly those who delight in killing animals. Indeed, as far as the Montana wildlife gestapo is concerned, animals and their habitats exist for human use.

The bastards believe they know what’s best for other species and ours. And they’ll stick to their insulting story that what was best for the orphaned calf was to be put to death. Blowing the bodies of three dead moose to smithereens was, in state officials’ eyes, in the best interests of humans who might want to use campgrounds, like the one in which Hohm encountered the calf, without having to share the space with animals who might call the area home.

This is so-called “wildlife management” in action. This is a snapshot of the taxpayer-supported war on animals that rages on, as a policy and a business, from state to state. This is what a newborn moose got for losing her mother.

Tell Connecticut Gov. Malloy to Veto Sunday Bowhunting Bill

Loathsome members of the Connecticut Senate have approved HB 6034, which would allow bowhunters on certain state-identified private properties to slaughter deer on Sundays. The bill, which the state House approved on May 27, is now headed to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk. Please call the governor at 800-406-1527 and tell him to veto the odious legislation, about which I wrote on Tuesday.

Connecticut Bill Would Allow Bowhunting on Sundays

Photo by David Baron

Photo by David Baron

A heinous piece of legislation is pending in the Connecticut Senate that would lift the state’s longstanding Sunday hunting ban and give the barbarians among us additional opportunities to kill. Specifically, HB 6034 would allow bowhunters to slaughter deer on private property in Department of Energy and Environmental Protection-identified “management zones.”

“Wildlife management” is, of course, a euphemism for “sanctioned slaughter.” On May 27, HB 6034, championed by 22 heartless and sycophantic sponsors doing the bidding of a ruthless industry, passed a Connecticut House vote by an insulting 113-32 margin.

Should the House-approved bill pass a Senate vote before the regular session of the General Assembly concludes on Wednesday, it would move to the desk of Gov. Dannel Malloy, who should know there is nothing right about supporting more merciless brutality than is already inflicted on animals by state-enabled, bloodlust-full savages for whom killing is a sport.

He should oppose recreational cruelty and reject the dangerous belief that man is entitled to “manage” other species. He should refuse to jeopardize more animals’ lives just so the state can open for bloody business on Sundays. He should say no to more atrocities against wildlife and join the fight to stop the war on animals.

The text of HB 6034 can be found here, and the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research’s analysis can be found here. At the time of this writing, the Connecticut Senate had not voted on HB 6034. Connecticut residents should contact their state senators and tell them in no uncertain terms to vote against this loathsome piece of legislation. Connecticut Senate members’ contact information can be found here. Should the Connecticut Senate pass HB 6034 before its regular session ends on Wednesday, the legislation will be placed on Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk. The governor’s contact information can be found here. Tell him, if the legislation is before him, to veto HB 6034. 

Hunter Being Killed by Elephant Was Not a Tragedy

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

On Wednesday, an individual named Graydon posted a response to a commentary I published here nearly three years ago headlined “Hunter Killed by Buffalo in Zimbabwe.”

“Hunters who obey the laws, who are the vast, vast majority, are in fact helping more animals than they kill,” Graydon wrote.

That, of course, is a nonsensical, self-serving rationalization rooted in arrogance. Brutally slaughtering animals is in no way altruistic.

Graydon would have us believe that Owain Lewis — the professional hunter who was killed in Zimbabwe by the buffalo he was helping to murder — and other serial killers like him, “help save these magnificent animals from extinction.”

One cannot be the problem and the solution. It’s an asinine argument.

According to Graydon, “Much of the money from gun, hunting gear, and hunting fees go to wildlife reservations and funds for endangered animals.”

Let’s be honest, the only reason hunters don’t want to see “magnificent animals” go extinct is because they want to maintain a supply of trophies.

At the time of his death in June 2012, Lewis was working for a sinister operation called Chifuti Hunting Safaris.

The same day that Graydon posted his ridiculous response to my commentary about Lewis’ death, Chifuti Hunting Safaris lost another member of its commercial death squad.

Tim Danklef and Dave Fulson from a Dallas-based company called Safari Classics, which represents Chifuti Hunting Safaris, posted a comment on a website called that reads, in part: “It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Chifuti Safaris professional hunter Ian Gibson. Ian was tragically killed by an elephant bull earlier today while guiding and elephant hunt in Chewore North (lower Zambezi Valley).”

Huffington Post UK report points out that “it is not known if the animal was injured or killed in the incident.”

In 2012, Paul Smith, of Chifuti Hunting Safaris, told The Daily Telegraph that Lewis’ death “is a tragedy.” On Wednesday, Danklef and Fulson used the same word to describe Gibson’s death.

“What is tragic,” I wrote in my 2012 commentary, “is that magnificent creatures suffer violent deaths at the hands of savage men seeking spiritual and financial reward.”

Neither Lewis nor Gibson was an altruist. Neither was acting in the interest of another species, as Graydon would have us believe. Neither’s death was tragic.

Each was a heartless butcher driven by bloodlust and greed.

“Wildlife Management,” As Sickening a Euphemism as There Is

Photo by Stephen Jones

Photo by Stephen Jones

A loathsome knuckle-dragger named Ian Clark took to the pages of the Belfast Telegraph on Tuesday to whine about “animal rights extremists,” and, not surprisingly, to betray his own monstrousness.

“The animal rights extremists are beginning their annual spring rant about shooting — full of the tired old cliches about how cruel it is to kill things and equally full of stupid mistakes which only show how little they know about running the countryside,” Clark complains in a poorly written and unreasoned letter to the editor.

Clark, who serves as the director of the Scottish Association for Country Sportstells us that predatory species and those on which they prey suffer terribly in natural death, as if gunning them down is doing them a favor. Then he explains that since human behavior has upset the balance of nature, he and his like-minded ilk have taken it upon themselves — “at no expense to the public” — to make sure their fingers remain on the scale.

Finally, Clark boasts that serial killers like him “do not inflict unnecessary suffering on anything — if something has to be killed, we do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Clark’s arrogance is breathtaking.

He claims in his ridiculous op-ed to “love” wildlife, while in the same letter he refers to animals as things that sometimes have to be destroyed.

This is nothing new. It’s what government agencies in the United States describe as “wildlife management,” as sickening a euphemism as there is.

Callous bureaucrats and the violent thugs (like Clark) for whom they bend over insist with straight faces that killing animals is an act of altruism — that their murderous interests are in line with what’s best for all species. In fact, the only beneficiaries of sanctioned slaughters are those humans who derive spiritual or financial reward from the suffering and brutal deaths of animals.

As The Dodo reported on Tuesday, citing government documents, USDA killing squads slaughtered more than 2.7 million animals in 2014. Those animals were just living their lives when they found themselves in the crosshairs of the humans who’re “running the countryside,” to borrow Clark’s obnoxious words.

Killing is cruel, and there’s no way for Clark and his like-minded ilk overseas or here in the United States to get around that, no matter how many lame euphemisms or what self-interested rationale they use to excuse their violent and bloodlust-full behavior.

It is the height of arrogance to believe that man is entitled to make the all rules. If there is a population that should be “managed,” it is ours.

Hunter-Education Instructor Grooms Generations of Serial Killers

Photo by Jeremy Weber

Photo by Jeremy Weber

For 50 years, Leonard Howke has been teaching young people how to kill without hurting themselves or other humans. Howke is a 72-year-old Whitefish, Montana, resident who, along with other degenerate lowlifes, was recently honored by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency for his half-century of volunteerism.

The Daily Inter Lake, a Kalispell-based newspaper, saw fit on Sunday to publish a story about what reporter Samuel Wilson described as Howke’s “service” as a hunter-education instructor. Not surprisingly, the piece is a narrow-minded encomium that presents Howke as some kind of hero who triumphed over adversity nearly 35 years ago, when a tree he was cutting down fell on him, to spread goodwill around the hunting community.

Wilson quoted a man named Jack Cochrane as saying, “Leonard’s an example of a guy who just gives and gives and gives.”

Meanwhile, the aspiring serial killers that Howke and his fellow volunteers have trained go on to take and take and take, violently ending animals’ lives and feeding the twisted belief that nature and wildlife exist to be used and abused by our wretched species.

According to Wilson, Howke finds reward in seeing young killers with their first victims.

“Their excitement keeps me going,” Howke was quoted as saying.

That he’s still “going” is very bad news for the area’s animal populations. In addition to teaching youngsters how to kill responsibly (a sickening notion if ever there were one), Howke, Wilson’s article explains, teaches people how to drag fish from their natural habitats and helps the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency exercise brutal control over other species.

“I do anything I can to volunteer with wildlife,” Howke is quote as saying, by which he means he does all that he can to exercise the dominion over animals that so many humans believe our species is entitled to.

And for that Howke has been identified by the monsters at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency as a model human — and by The Daily Inter Lake as an altruist — when in fact he’s a twisted old man who’s dedicated his life to grooming future generations of serial killers on behalf of a government agency that caters to and profits from bloodlust.

There’s no way to know just how many brutal deaths Howke has contributed to, or how many psychopathic smiles he’s worn watching young people celebrate their first kills.

Shame on The Daily Inter Lake for giving the loathsome old man a pat on the back.

“Squirrel Slam”: The Holleycaust Continues

Photo by Laura Perlick/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo by Laura Perlick/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As I write this, numerous barbarians in Holley, New York, are on a killing spree, each slaughtering as many squirrels as he or she can for the chance to win cash and guns. They do it every year as participants in a killing contest called “Squirrel Slam,” a fundraiser for the local fire department, whose slogan might as well be “saving lives through slaughter.”

According to WHEC-TV, the Rochester, New York, NBC affiliate, tickets to participate in the killing contest sold out earlier this month. Fran Gaylord, the president of the Holley Volunteer Fire Department, is quoted in the February 19 WHEC-TV report as saying, “We sold 600 tickets since the beginning of February and people want more tickets but we can’t sell any more because of the size of the venue. We just don’t have enough room.”

“We’re told $6,000 has been raised for the fire department from ticket sales alone,” the news report tells us.

As I wrote in a February 2013 commentary, the animal-rights organization Friends of Animals “made an offer to town officials, prior to the start of the family friendly competitive slaughter, to take over the fundraising effort – that is, to keep the fire department’s coffers full, but free of blood money.”

Edita Birnkrant, Friends of Animals’ New York director, said at the time that the offer “was completely rejected.”

That’s because, for the Neanderthals who participate in “Squirrel Slam,” it’s not about raising money. It’s about the chance to kill for guns and cash. It’s about killing, period. It’s a way of life for those who participate in and defend the competitive slaughter, as they remind their critics. Live and let live is essentially the mantra they so insultingly espouse, in much more mangled English, of course, while gunning down as many squirrels as they can for the chance to win cash and killing tools.

They don’t like light shining on their sadistic culture, preferring to practice barbarism in the relative dark obscurity of Orleans County, New York. But exposed they are, marauding about their town and unleashing all the violence their led-filled phalluses will allow.

Today is a day that many squirrels will die and a few residents of Holley will be declared “winners.”

It’s a twisted and backward society that lets this kind of savagery stand.

Ask your state legislators to support or introduce legislation that would outlaw wildlife-killing contests, and support the efforts of organizations like Friends of Animals and the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting to bring an end to such savagery.

Listen to and download “A Holleycaust Story,” a protest song produced in February 2014 by The Daily Maul.

Actor, Not Fish, Should Have Been Used for Asthma Ad

Perhaps you’ve seen the 30-second television commercial included above. In it, a child’s voice, describing what it’s like to experience an asthma attack, says, “I feel like a fish with no water.” The voice-over plays while an actual fish out of water struggles to breathe.

The ad was produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which insists that “no fish were harmed during the making of this public service announcement. Fish handlers were present at all times during the shoot to manage the care and well being of the fish on hand.” That same language appears on the website to which viewers are directed,

The EPA’s claim that “no fish were harmed” is as absurd as it is insulting. The fish in the ad is struggling to breatheThat’s the whole goddamned point.

The creeps behind the PSA tortured a fish to show people what it’s like to struggle for breath and then hid behind a pile of total nonsense.

Obviously, the heartless bastards who created the ad weren’t about to film and show a child having an asthma attack. They chose instead to cause another species to suffer, needlessly, and for that they ought to be ashamed. The very inclusion of the above-mentioned disclaimer is an acknowledgment of exploitation. The language itself is an outright lie. The fish in the commercial certainly isn’t acting — which begs this question: Why didn’t the folks who made the PSA simply hire an actor?