Monday, September 10, 2012


It is with great distaste that I have to bring up this issue.  The first sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee was overturned two years ago and put on the back burner for a two year period.  The state Ornithological Association and bird clubs across the state combined with thousands of letters from bird and wildlife watchers who passionately exclaimed dissatisfaction with the idea of shooting sandhill cranes and drove the issue off the table.  The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduling hearings on a new sandhill crane hunt proposal in the near future.  I will post times and dates as I find them out.  Everyone needs to know that the Tennessee Wildlife Resource's Commission has been dismantled and a new entity has been restructured and it is named The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission.  Some of the old commissioners have been retained and some replaced by new representatives.  It's duties remain the same which is to provide oversight and direction to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource's Agency (TWRA).  The chain of command follows:  The TWRA is answerable to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission which is answerable to the State Legislature, which is answerable to the state's voters.  Many of the Commissioner's phone numbers and emails probably are the same but, it's possible they have been changed. I'll keep my ear to the ground on it.  This information is necessary as I'm certain many citizens across the state will want to voice their opinions through phone and email as well as hard copy letters.  Again, the phone numbers and communication data is currently not in my possession at this time.  I will post that information as I discover it.

I made this statement during the first crane hunting proposal and I'll make it again.  This battle for the cranes is about money.  The reasons supporting the hunt are from hunters who have paid the bill for the propagation of the cranes and the purchase of hunting licenses.  (research, feed, the creation and upkeep of the Hiwassee Refuge).   The hunter and TWRA factions didn't have their ducks in a row last hunt proposal. They number over 750,000 strong.   They, however, have a stronger mobilization for this current proposal and I fear this will be an uphill struggle.  Unless something monumental has occurred in the birding community that I am not aware of, I believe this proposal will be passed.  Impassioned pleas for mercy from bird and wildlife watchers won't get it.   It's a money VS resource issue.  It's who puts their money where their voices emit from.  Bird stamps won't get it.  I made some suggestions two years ago as to how birders and wildlife viewers could contribute to the TWRA, thereby gaining a strong lobbying voice but, the suggestions were not seen as favorable I guess.  Below is a link that says it all.  It says nothing about justifying a hunt in the name of sportsmanship or necessity.  Nor does it state a reason to have a hunt.  The whole of the information refers to who spends the money on the cranes.  In short - he who spends the money has the right to kill.  The  biological or even the logical reasoning for taking the lives of cranes appears secondary if it exists at all.   I hope the birding community has an ace up it's sleeve.  I sincerely do.  They're going to need it this time around.