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    Pope & Young Club Position Statement on Captive Cervids
Date Posted: Friday, October 10, 2014 | All News

     
  In April of 2014, the Pope & Young Club released their position statement on captive cervids in response to a story written by Ryan Sabalow and published by the Indianapolis Star.

Though this position statement was written years prior to its most-recent public release, it was timely and on the mark. The Pope & Young Club took a lot of heat for their strong stand against “high fence” hunting and their belief that captive cervids should remain under the authority of a wildlife management agency.

Fast forward a few months and we find another story hitting the news wires. This time it is a massive CWD outbreak in Iowa surpassing the previous “high water” mark in Portage County, Wisconsin. 80% (284 of 356 deer) of the deer tested on this farm were positive for CWD. This outbreak cost you, the taxpayer, 1.4 million dollars including $917,100 paid to the owners of the farm. That should scare every bowhunter, conservationist and taxpayer out there.

Now I know the initial reaction will be harsh, and rightly so. But once the knee jerk reaction has subsided, what then? Will we have learned anything? Do we need to lean over the edge and stare into the abyss before realizing things have gone too far? I am not advocating the elimination of anyone’s livelihood. What I am advocating is an honest discussion about how we find ourselves in a position where captive cervids threaten the health of wild, free ranging deer, elk and moose.

We are all to blame. If you’ve ever purchased a bottle of deer urine, you have helped fund the captive cervid industry. Keep in mind that these are not bad people. They are hard working men and women that are doing what they think is right for their families. However, it is the protection of the wild free ranging deer, elk and moose that needs to take priority here.

The whitetail deer and the hunting culture that surrounds this incredible animal, created the “Hunting Industry.” This is an industry that sprung out of a culture, not the other way around. This industry, of which I have personally been a part of for almost 20 years, has done a lot for hunters, game species and our hunting heritage. But I believe it’s time to do more. I believe it is time for individual companies to stand with conservation organizations and help protect the North American Conservation Model and North American big game.

Hunters are not the only members of this culture that should be conservationists…. every single company that derives its money from hunting North American big game, should be held to that same standard. We need to make wild, free ranging deer, elk and moose as important as teaching kids to hunt, because if they disappear, so will we.

Trophy deer industry linked to disease, costs taxpayers millions

Massive disease outbreak hits Iowa deer farm

List of companies that stand with the Pope & Young Club:
Wild TV • KUIU • Muzzy • Rage • TruFire • Dead Down Wind • Black Eagle Arrows • Mathews
Grand View Outdoors • Sportsmans Guide • Lancaster Archery • Schaffer Performance Archery
Goat Tuff • Bohning Archery • Cabela's
 
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"Lancaster Archery Supply is excited about the future of the Pope & Young Club. We’re proud to be able to assist the leaders and members of Pope & Young as a major voice and representative organization for bow hunting."
Rob Kaufhold, President of Lancaster Archery Supply
"The Pope and Young Club’s commitment to ensuring bowhunting’s existence for future generations is exactly why this relationship is a natural fit for KUIU. We are excited to be a part of such a great organization that has done so much to protect our rich bowhunting heritage and values. As a company, KUIU is thrilled to continue our affiliation with The Pope & Young Club. Their commitment to ethical hunting, conservation, and accuracy of reporting is a perfect match for KUIU's philosophy of tr"
KUIU Founder Jason Hairston.
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