The Sale of Wild Venison

woodsman

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Mar 12, 2012
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Folks I am seeking some guidance before making the 4 hr. drive to the state capitol to testify (first time testifying) against a bill permitting the sale of wild venison. I do not post a lot on here but do check Hunt Talk daily to see whats happening and would appreciate your input.

The Maryland DNR has agreed to support a bill this session that would permit the sale of wild venison and define deer as "livestock" when taken under the authority of a crop damage permit. Which to me, will mark the beginning of the end for hunting whitetails, not just here in Maryland, but possibly nationwide, as our deer project leader chairs some national organization of deer biologist and he has stated that this is a topic of discussion there as well.

I was planning to base my testimony around the damage caused by market hunting in the late 1800's, which as you know, put many species at risk of extinction. However I do not feel this is enough and would like to have your input/ideas on other issues relative to this issue.

Please give me some ideas as I don't mind doing some research to find facts.

The bill number is SB0748. Thanks for your input.
-Joe
 

Big Fin

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One of the tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, a system I believe your state officially adopted, is the prohibition on commercial markets for wildlife. I suspect that legislation would create some issues for your agencies. Thanks for your effort on this. I can see some problems with that idea as presented and a big bag of snakes down the road, if enacted.
 

Muskeez

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Any time you put a monetary value on something it will bring out the dishonesty in people. I can see this turning into a situation where other deer not killed with depredation tags could easily be marketed as well. The wardens can not possibly monitor all of those tags and determine which venison came from which tag, etc. NOR should they have to. Don't your wardens have enough to do, like PROTECT your resident's many natural resources instead of investigating which deer are legally taken and which deer are legally sold? There has to be plenty of places where they can take those "extra" deer from the depredation tags and donate that meat to those that are needy that could really use it. Check out the HUSH program in Iowa. I just think it opens the door to more poaching if someone can put a little money in their pocket for the meat. It happens enough for trophy deer antlers/heads. there's my 3 cents.
 

Corax

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DNRs all across the country are short on funds, but this sounds like a slippery slope. Sell the depradation tags, the shooter sells the meat, etc. Similar to the law that allows law enforcement to seize assets from someone charged (not convicted) of a crime - the result is a lot of assets seized but few convictions resulting. It gives the wrong incentive to the DNR.
 

katqanna

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Woodsman, prohibiting the sale of wild game is legislated with the Lacey Act.

There has been a big recent move to get this changed by the Tea Party. Some of it involved logging (raid on Gibson Guitars), but some have decided they dont want the Lacey Act at all - government overreach bs. In fact the Texas Republican Party made the Repeal of the Lacey Act part of their Party Platform.

I kept hearing this crop up on my news feeds and then in Nov., at the IBMP meeting DOL's Dr. Marty Zaluski brought it up as a way to take out bison. I think it is akin to the efforts to privatize our public lands, that there is this concerted effort to abolish and chip away at the laws that protect our public trust. They want the land and whats on it.

Looking at the increase of conservation issues arising from a disconnect with the land. from my perspective, I have to agree with Roosevelt,
The professional market hunter who kills game for the hide or for the feathers or for the meat or to sell antlers and other trophies; market men who put game in cold storage; and the rich people, who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own exertions - these are the men who are the real enemies of game. Where there is no law which checks the market hunters, their inevitable result of their butchery is that the game is completely destroyed, and with it their own means of livelihood.
 

Jwill

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Worth the trip in my opinion. Totally against the north american model.
 

roadhunter

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Woodsman is there are specific need this is addressing in Maryland?

It just seems strange that it would only apply to deer killed with specific tags like this if there was not a reason. From my understanding deer overpopulation is a major issue in Maryland with places that have deer densities that are out of control.
 

roadhunter

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DNRs all across the country are short on funds, but this sounds like a slippery slope. Sell the depradation tags, the shooter sells the meat, etc. Similar to the law that allows law enforcement to seize assets from someone charged (not convicted) of a crime - the result is a lot of assets seized but few convictions resulting. It gives the wrong incentive to the DNR.

What if it is a program that allows the meat processors to recoup some of their costs for processing these animals when the landowner does not want them and DNR is out of FHFH funding can't give them away. Considering their overpopulation problems that seems more reasonable than game wardens shooting deer and selling the meat for extra cash to all the "venison heads" in Baltimore. But I could be wrong. Probably another tea party conspiracy to end hunting for poor people.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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This passes and the next thing you know yoga pants are banned. Then what? No more Lattes?

Seriously this goes against the NA model for wildlife management and is a slippery slope for more states to copy poor legislation.
 

roadhunter

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This passes and the next thing you know yoga pants are banned. Then what? No more Lattes?

Seriously this goes against the NA model for wildlife management and is a slippery slope for more states to copy poor legislation.

LOL.

I don't disagree with that but this might be a situation where a law in one area does not make sense in another due to different circumstances. If western states had elk at over 100 per sq mile in places and could not control them with hunting we might look at things differently. More like prairie dogs in some ways.
 

huntRme

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So who's doing the shooting? Is it the landowner or folks with room in their freezer and mouths to feed?

I see a cost involved in something like this and wonder who pays for it. Seems like something like this would have to pay its own way through kick-backs to DNR from the sale, or have a price to obtain a tag. Something like this would have to have an air-tight plan.

Kind of goes against the idea that wildlife is owned by the public.
 

BuzzH

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You create a legal market for venison, and instantly a black market emerges. One of many problems with captive elk and elk farming.
 

James Riley

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I'm agin it. In fact, I would include wild ocean stocks in their too. Carrier Pidgeon and Bufallo: we could never kill them all! There's just too many of them!
 

katqanna

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This isnt just Maryland trying this - New Jersey.

There are a number of Foodie/Chef blogs advocating that this would be a good thing so they can prepare and sell these wild game meals.

The curios thing is The Wildlife Society brought this subject up in 2013 at their annual meeting, reported by the WSJ, "But times have changed. On Oct. 7, scientists at the Wildlife Society's annual meeting in Milwaukee broached the idea—heretical to many—of allowing the limited sale of wild venison again as an incentive to reduce deer numbers and damage."
 

hank4elk

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Well hell,look at where we're talking.Those folks don't know keilbasa from sqwat anyway...
Lacey Act violation for sure.
Most in congress also don't know how to follow their own laws,"one Congressional Act does not and cannot supereceed another,and must work in congunction with existing Acts"

But then it's the east,they'd sell their left nut for a right one....
 

woodsman

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Oakland, Maryland
RE:

To clarify:

The Maryland Farm Bureau and DNR have teamed up on this issue to both reduce deer numbers and allow farmers a means of recouping money lost from crop damage. The farmers and their appointed shooters would be doing the killing. The problem is that these large commercial crop farmers allow few hunters access to help control the herd. Additionally, these high density areas are very limited and not statewide. Here in the mountains where I live, DNR has reduced the population by over 50% since 2000 with liberal antlerless harvests and our county continues to have one of the highest numbers of harvests by farmers using crop damage permits. This makes for very difficult hunting on public and private grounds around those areas. I will also point out that the damage permits are pretty much unlimited and can be easily acquired online. No crop damage inspections are required.

My big concern here is the fact they want to classify deer as "livestock" and the doors it will open for the black market. In our area it is common practice for farmers to have their own slaughter houses. They currently sell beef, hogs, chickens etc. without state/federal inspections so it will be very easy for them to take all the deer they want and profit from it. Deer are a natural resource belonging to the public, not livestock belonging to the farmers.

Rest assured, if one state can accomplish this, it will grow like wildfire across the country for deer and other species. Its not about the crop damage as much as it is about the profit from a free resource.
 

cur dog

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Why allow any public hunting on your farm, when they can harvest it and sell for a profit? Sounds like the begining of the end of deer hunting in Maryland.
 

johnp

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sourthern wis.
Meat inspectors would be having to work overtime . I cant imagine this meat would be sold without state inspection .
When the buyers of this meat become sick, who gets sued?
 

James Riley

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Wolves, mountain lions and archers. That's the ticket. Teach your kids how to walk on the land and keep little Fluffy and Kit Kat in the house.
 

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