Welcome to Pieter Kat's official LionAid blog. Here you can follow Pieter's opinions, thoughts, insights and ideas on saving lions.
Monday 9th December 2013
The walls still seem a bit bare to me
You might not have heard this woman’s name before, but they sure have in Michigan, where she (centre) and her husband Dan (right) were voted (by whom?) “Michiganians of the Year” in 2013. The stuffed wolf (left) did not vote.
However, Charlotte is really making the news these days not for that award but because she was convicted by a federal court in Fairbanks, Alaska for illegally killing a grizzly bear in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge four years ago. Her son Mark was also convicted and they were ordered to pay fines of $25,000 and $30,000 respectively. They were also ordered to apologize to the Safari Club International, and I’ll come to that a bit later.
In court, it was mentioned that the Peyerks tried to alter the date on their camera so that the trophy pictures would show that the bear was shot during the hunting season. The Peyerks also falsified the date of the kill on a state harvest tag and on a Safari Club International trophy entry form.
According to the Alaska Dispatch, big game pursuits in all corners of the globe soon became this woman's passion, and her list of accomplishments is truly impressive. Charlotte’s hunts include 26 countries and five continents. To date, she has taken 174 animals of which 149 are registered with SCI, and she has taken 17 species of sheep in five years.
As a result of the bear entry to the Safari Club, Charlotte Peyerk was awarded the club's Diana Award in 2010. According to the Safari Club website, the Diana Award "honors the female hunter."
"Named for the huntress of Roman mythology, it recognizes the women of SCI who have excelled in international big game hunting. Nominees will have shown exemplary ethics in the field, remained committed to the mission statement of SCI and have personally given of their time and energies to enhance wildlife conservation and education," according to the award description.
Charlotte is also listed as vice chairwoman of the award selection committee.
It is to be hoped that the Ethics Committee will censure Charlotte, strip her of her Diana Award, and cancel her membership. I will not hold my breath.
The Safari Club International promotes this “stamp collector” approach to hunting with various levels of awards. There are dark mutterings within the hunting community that SCI members regularly flaunt rules by engaging in shady hunts and even buying trophies from taxidermists. Why?
The awards are terribly important it seems. For example, a Humane Society USA expose of the practice had this to say:
“Safari Club International offers dozens of awards for killing an assortment of its more than 500 different "record book" animals, ranking the biggest tusks, horns, antlers, skulls and bodies of hunted animals.
Hunters receive "Grand Slam" and "Inner Circle" award trophies, among others, for shooting a prescribed list of animals. For example, the "Trophy Animals of Africa" award requires the hunter to kill 79 different African species to win the highest honour.
SCI has an award for "Introduced Trophy Animals of North America," glorifying hunters who frequent captive hunting ranches.
To earn every SCI award at the minimum level, a hunter must kill at least 171 different animals. Many members go well beyond that number. One has more than 600 different animals listed in SCI's record books.
SCI has dozens of award categories. A handful of the awards that SCI presents are:
The C.J. McElroy Award, which paradoxically requires that nominees show exemplary ethics.
The Diana Award to encourage women to hunt.
The Young Hunter Award to encourage children to hunt.
The International Hunting Award, based on the number and quality of trophies, the number of countries hunted in, total number of hunts taken and the level of entries in the record book.
The World Conservation & Hunting Award, which has nothing to do with conservation. Rather, hunters must kill more than 300 species on six continents.
World Hunting Award Rings require 11 Grand Slams, 17 Inner Circle Awards at the Diamond Level, the Fourth Pinnacle of Achievement and the Crowning Achievement Award—which amounts to a huge menagerie of dead animals.
Inner Circle Awards include Trophy Animals of Africa, Spiral-horned Antelopes of Africa, Pygmy Antelopes of Africa, Wild Turkey Trophy Animals of North America, Introduced Animals of North America, Trophy Animals of South America, Antlered Game of the Americas, Trophy Animals of Europe, Trophy Animals of Asia, Trophy Animals of the South Pacific, Wild Pigs and Peccaries of the World, Antlered Game of the World, Mountain Game of the World, Wild Sheep of the World, Chamois of the World, Red Deer/Wapiti of the World, Predators of the World, Ibex of the World, Gazelles of the World, Wild Oxen of the World and Wild Goats of the World.
Grand Slams, including the African Big Five, Dangerous Game of Africa, African 29, North American 29, Cats of the World, Bears of the World, North American Wild Sheep, North American Elk, North American Caribou, North American Deer, White-tailed Deer of the World, European Deer, Moose of the World, South American Indigenous Animals and Wild Turkey.”
So there you have it. Charlotte must have been under sufficient pressure to win awards to shoot the bear illegally. High time for the Safari Club to stop encouraging such excesses and the endless quest for awards and “Inner Circles” by those who have lots of spare money. They are “conservationists” after all?
Picture credit: http://bit.ly/19bJ1AA
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Posted by Chris Macsween at 12:43
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