Hunting News

Friday, June 22, 2012

Louisiana Hunting Outfitter Sentenced to Prison for First Felony Conviction for Illegally Hunting Protected Alligators


WASHINGTON – Gregory K. Dupont, 38, of Plaquemine, La., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, La., to serve six months in prison, to be followed by four months in a half-way house and two years of supervised release.  Dupont was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.  Dupont’s sentencing, handed down by U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson late Thursday, was the first ever felony conviction and prison sentence resulting from the illegal hunting of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), in violation of the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, and Louisiana law.

Dupont has owned and operated Louisiana Hunters Inc., a hunting outfitting company, since 2001.  His clients hired him to take them on alligator hunts in Louisiana, and they included out-of-state residents who were required to hunt with a licensed resident alligator hunter.  Dupont took some of the out-of-state clients to hunt alligators on property where he was not authorized to hunt.  On Feb.10, 2012, Dupont pleaded guilty to selling American alligators by providing outfitting and guiding services, knowing the alligators to have been taken illegally, on a hunt in September 2006. 

In 1967, American alligators were listed as an endangered species because the total population size in the United States reached drastically low numbers due to severe poaching and overharvesting.  The conservation effect of this protected status and of the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of Louisiana led to the recovery of the size of the American alligator population in the United States, and American alligators were down-listed to threatened status in 1987.  The success of the American alligator conservation program is second only to that of the Bald Eagle.

Because American alligators remain federally protected, alligator hunting is regulated by federal and state rules and regulations, which require, among other things, the tagging of all harvested alligators.  The integrity of the tagging system is crucial to Louisiana’s alligator management program because it enables the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to monitor harvest areas, alligator size and the number of alligators taken.  This system depends in significant part upon the honesty and self-regulation of Louisiana’s licensed hunters for its continued success.

In Louisiana, an allotted number of alligator hide tags are issued to licensed hunters.  Each tag may be used for one alligator only, and Louisiana law requires alligator hunters to hunt only on property for which hide tags are issued.  The areas where alligator hunting is permitted are determined on a yearly basis by wildlife biologists, whose decisions are based on the need to maintain a healthy alligator population.  If hunters poach alligators from areas for which they do not have tags, then the integrity of the entire alligator management system is undermined, thereby threatening Louisiana’s alligator population and alligator industry, which is a significant component of Louisiana’s economy.

According to court documents, Dupont, in violation of law, guided his clients to places in Louisiana, regardless of whether he had tags for the areas, where he hoped his clients would kill trophy-sized alligators so that they would pay him a trophy fee in addition to the guiding fees. 

The case was prosecuted by Shennie Patel and Susan L. Park of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.  The case was investigated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division and by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NRA Life of Duty Features Lt. John Nores


NRA Life of Duty Features Lt. John Nores in
Documentary Reclamation: The Battle for Terra Firma

FAIRFAX, VA – The National Rifle Association (NRA) is pleased to release the latest documentary for the NRA Life of Duty online network, presented by Brownells.

This Patriot Profiles video, brought to you by Smith & Wesson, shares the compelling story of Lt. John Nores, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Game, and others within the multi-agency team at war with drug cartels over illegal cultivation sites.

RECLAMATION is a documentary about those engaged in a constant fight to thwart the reckless abandon of violent and evil criminals: those engaged in the drug trade who’ll stop at nothing to establish and protect their illegal growing operations. Hidden almost in plain sight some 450 miles inside America’s southern border, these growers poison people, wildlife, the land, and pristine waterways in the pursuit of their cartel cultivations. In so doing, they risk the lives of the fragile ecosystems of communities they infiltrate. This is not a battle against marijuana but a war against those at war with Mother Nature and mankind.

RECLAMATION follows the California Department of Fish and Game, the sworn deputies of the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office, and other law enforcement entities assigned to a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional team established to fight this growing problem. Lt. Nores says, “Nothing in 20 years of service to Fish and Game has been more fulfilling than these last 10 years on the Marijuana Eradication Team or MET.”

From observation to interdiction, eradication to restoration, these professionals take the fight directly to those engaged in illegal “grow operations.” Their story of service and sacrifice will inspire you as you learn the truth behind their fight for terra firma. Eye-opening and utterly compelling, this Patriot Profiles documentary will shock you with the stark realities of this escalating problem and provide a front-row seat to the violence that surrounds these sites which operate mere feet from schools, gated communities, and citizens going about their daily lives. “Stories like this define the heart of America itself – our national strength, valor and sacrifice for freedom and justice and Smith & Wesson is proud to help tell these stories,” says Paul Pluff, Director of Marketing Services for Smith & Wesson.

Learn more about those at war with the Mexican drug cartels deep inside America’s border at: www.nralifeofduty.tv/reclamation

About NRA Life of Duty

The NRA Life of Duty initiative encompasses a new class of sponsored NRA membership, a state-of-the-art online network and a brand new digital magazine—all designed for those who make their living defending the American way of life. In addition to all regular NRA benefits, NRA Life of Duty members receive special discounts on gear through brand partnerships, a subscription to NRA American Warrior digital magazine and access to all three NRA official journals.

Those who wish to step forward and sponsor NRA Life of Duty memberships for the brave men and women who fight for our freedoms and our American way of life can do so by visiting www.NRALifeofDuty.tv/sponsor.

NRALifeofDuty.tv is presented by Brownells and features Patriot Profiles sponsored by Smith &Wesson. Frontlines with LtCol Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) is sponsored by FNH USA and offers never-before-seen footage and reports with American heroes abroad. NRA American Warrior is an exclusive digital magazine with interactive media, videos and articles detailing the latest tactics and technology. Colt has provided its support to the “Warrior Features” of the magazine. The LOD Gear Channel, sponsored by Brownells LE Division: PoliceStore.com, showcases the latest and greatest gear and tools of the trade.

About NRA

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, the NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. For more information, visit nra.org.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

25, 35, 45 - Mental Performance – It’s Affect on Fitness & Training


Research has proven that stress, anger and anxiety, when triggered in an athlete, can tighten muscles, tense up the body, hamper and negatively affect breathing, and generally act as a hindrance to performance. This result is no different if you are 25, 35 or 45!

In short, many athletes don’t reach their performance potential because of thinking too much and improper breathing.

For 10 months I have been lucky enough to be working with one of the most respected sports psychologist and mental performance experts in the world.   On Saturday morning May 26th, 2012 I acted as kind of bio-neuro feedback test subject to show how our thoughts translate instantly into emotions, and emotions into physiological responses.

That day the team from the mental performance training center gave a demonstration of the biofeedback/neurofeedback techniques used to train athletes in things like mental toughness and proper breathing and I was the test subject.

Hooked up to sophisticated transmitters that registered a number of indicators on a screen, I  was questioned by a relaxation and stress management consultant. The questions evoked reactions in my mind and body. Graphs on a screen would rise and fall as I got my thoughts under control by moderating my breathing and relaxing my mind.

One basic concept is that when tension builds up in the upper body and shoulders it makes it very difficult to breathe properly from the diaphragm. Tension in the shoulders slows an athlete down.

The question is; why does tension build up in the shoulders?

There are a number of reasons this can happen:

1.      Previous injuries
2.      Worrying about the expectations of a coach
3.      Worrying about the expectation of a parent
4.      Fear of failing

 This can all lead to a “busy brain”, or thinking too much.

While a busy mind might be good for multi-tasking activities, it’s not good for sports or activities that require focus. In high focus sports a busy mind is the last thing you want.

I can honestly say that the techniques I learned from my mental performance coach, have helped me calm down, breath better, and conserve more energy. In an endurance sport like weightlifting, such skills are indispensable. I also sleep much better now that I have more control over my thoughts.

The mental and breathing aspects of sports and non-sports activities are key in elite performance. Learn to respect and use them to setup your game.

I should mention that I used this training and testing as part of my training for my Guinness World Record for the most squat-lifted weight in one hour, hoisting 127,000 pounds.

To find more information on Walter Urban and his World and National records please visit www.walterurban.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CBP Seizes Live Bird Hopping Onboard Plane from Asia


Los Angeles—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) seized a live song bird that started hopping inside the plane cabin two hours before landing on a 10-hour flight from Taiwan. CBP officials suspect a failed animal smuggling attempt. 

On May 26, CBP agriculture specialists were notified that a passenger reported to airline personnel that an animal was hopping around his area. A member of the flight crew captured the bird and put it in a plastic bag inside a white Styrofoam box.

CBP agriculture specialists met the plane upon arrival. Passengers were instructed to remain in their seats while the bird was removed. The animal was transferred immediately to a cage approved to handle birds and was provided with water and bird food/seeds.

All the passengers, crew members and their carry-on bags were screened and sent to agriculture secondary for x-ray inspections of their belongings. No other birds or any signs (bird droppings, feathers, etc.) were discovered.

“By preventing the introduction of foreign animal diseases, CBP agriculture specialists protect America’s agriculture resources. Animal diseases such as avian influenza (AI) can affect other avian species and be potentially fatal,” said Todd C. Owen, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

The bird was identified as the same species as one of the song birds seized by CBP at LAX in the past. On June 8, 2010, a Garden Grove man was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay $4,000.00 in restitution after pleading guilty to illegally importing 14 song birds strapped to his legs as he arrived at LAX from Vietnam.

The seized bird was turned over to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinary services.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.