IMO,I agree that they should say something.
I don't think that a public apology is needed, but i think that people need to know that Bear Valley is no longer a recommended destination.
Any more and then they may risk lawsuits, and any savvy person would know that they need to do some more legwork to see if they want to hunt there or not.
Good Afternoon. I'm RogerB - Forum Manager and assistant to Keith Warren. I was informed about this forum partly through the person who posted my email reply and through a friend as well.
I appreciate the email I received and the opportunity to respond to it.
I will attempt to respond to the questions asked here so far.
Initially, and on Keith's internet forum he did respond to Donahue. He did tell Donahue he was sorry the hunt that Donahue arranged didn't meet his expectations. However, he was right to not say it was his (Keith's) fault that it didn't work out. Keith has stated, on numerous shows before and after the BVO incident that he does not condone canned hunting, he's also stated (again on multiple occasions) that anyone wanting to go through an outfitter needs to do his/her research and get references, and not take the word of one or two people (his included).
To hold Keith responsible for the changes that occurred between his 2002 hunt and the conditions that existed when Donahue went in 2004 is somewhat like holding the ex-Chairman of General Motors responsible for the current GM vehicles that get recalled due to poor craftsmanship (no offense to GM either [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img])
There's really nothing that Keith can say directly against Bear Valley for the way they conduct business. Their operation is totally legal, and licensed in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. To identify and speak out against something legal like this would invite the same in turn from those who believe hunting with center fire rifles is a crime, or with compound bows, or crossbows, or black powder.
Keith will tell you, and has on numerous occasions on his shows, Outdoorsmen need to stick together, to work together supporting and furthering the life we all love. To condemn something identified as legal and considered ethical by those who participate simply because an individual thinks it's unethical, illegal, immoral or whatever, invites retaliation within the ranks, and fractures the brotherhood of outdoorsmen. PETA doesn't need to attack us, we do too good a job of doing that ourselves.
That doesn't imply carte blanche approval of those things we find overwhelmingly objectionable - like shooting an animal in a cage - but it does mean we need to take a fair look at those things considered legal in the states or countries where they are practiced and determine why it's done the way it is.
It also does not mean you have to participate in a particular activity if you don't approve of it, just don't condemn those who do.
Again, the BVO episode that Donahue went through is unfortunate, the constant effort to somehow tie Keith Warren to it shows someone who refuses to accept blame and responsibility for his own decisions and continues to seek some sort of restitution for his own error in judgement.
I do enjoy what I see here. I will try and stop by from time to time. However, my duties with my own forum, and with working for Outdoor Adventures will limit my ability to participate much. So I would ask that if you have questions specifically for me feel free to email me or pm me. I may not get to them as quickly as I would like to but I will try to answer them.
thank you, I wish all of you a successful and rewarding hunting season and a happy, fruitful holiday as well.
God Bless our Troops.
Roger, I have to disagree with one thing you said.
I think that hunters do have a right to speak out about canned hunts. Yes, we do have many groups against us but these canned hunts are ammunition for them. They teach you in hunters education classes not to do stupid things to turn more people against us.
Canned hunts are not hunting. Period. We should not support them. I was watching a show tonight on the outdoor channel where these guys are sitting in a blind and a deer named "stickers" showed up. Wow, what a deer. Anyway, the guy in the blind was saying how he would love to shoot that deer but it was out of his "price range". These guys are not my fellow hunters and I believe that they do us more harm then good. The idea that we should support them is ludicris.
Buckmaster, I won't enter into a discussion about canned hunts too much other than to say that the definiton of a canned hunt varies from person to person. Is hunting a high fence 40,000 acre ranch considered a canned hunt? I know of several ranches like this in Texas. If it is, then what makes it any different from an island of 40,000 acres or less? there a plenty of these in the Pacific that I hunted when I was in the service.
is there a diffence between a high fence 100 acre pasture with no cover and one with heavy brush? do both fit the definition of "canned"? there are so many different opinions on this issue I will simply say, I look at every legal hunting opportunity I can find and determine for myself if it fits my own personal definition of what I consider ethical and challenging. What I deem unethical (i.e. a pasture, high fenced for example) another may find acceptable. I will agree that as hunters we need to let our Department of Wildlife divisions know how we feel about certain laws. That's what they're there for. In Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife meet every year with the public and determine if the rules, laws, regulations they have in place need to be changed and why. If the public (and in this case it's outdoorsmen) doesn't speak in that venue - all the saber rattling on the internet, threats to outfitters, letters to sponsors and TV shows won't change a thing. That is the venue for anyone who wants to make their concerns known. Doing so influences the hunting and fishing laws. Texas (again, because this is where I live and I know the TPWD rules reasonably well) has instituted a minimum spread rule for whitetail bucks, and has defined what a legal buck is for those counties that fall within this specific regulation. The purpose? to improve the whitetail buck population, reduce the kill rate of 1 - 3 year old bucks and hopefully allow them to mature a little, increasing the chances for a stronger herd.
Texas implements different fishing rules every year to try and manage the various catch limits for different species of fish. All these rules are subject to comment from the public. If the public doesn't make it's voice heard who's to blame? Not the state, they exist because we pay the taxes for them to exist and operate in accordance with what we hope to see.
I would like to comment about the "many groups against us". There's no question that HSUS, PETA, Sierra Club, and an "ad nausem" list of anti-hunting and fishing groups would love to see our heritage destroyed. But you know, with the exception of 1 or 2 anti-hunting/fishing letters we've received at Outdoor Adventures, the bulk of those criticism letters we receive come from outdoorsmen. Criticizing the show and Keith Warren for using a crossbow, or a compound bow, or an in-line blackpowder, or taking an animal at a long distance, or hunting out of blind, treestand, brushblind, etc. you name it - I've seen it, hunters who think their method of hunting is the only acceptable method.
For us, and for our show, we want to provide a show that has several objectives in mind. We want to show the wide variety of hunting options available. Keith has hunted public lands, private ranches, open range, low fence and yes high fence ranches that meet his definition of an ethical hunting opportunity. Why? because all of these are legal, well run hunting opportunities that outdoorsmen may want to take advantage of.
We hope to entertain as well, some take offense to the fun you see on our shows. It's hunting and fishing, it should be fun. If it isn't why bother?
We also hope to educate those who don't have the experience many of us do. We try to bring new products to the table, products that will make hunting or fishing a little more enjoyable, more successful and something you like.
Just so it's understood, the average 24 minute show you see (minus the commercials) takes approximately 40-50 hours of film to create. Hunts for our shows range for 2-5 days in length depending on the game we go after, the conditions of the hunt, weather factors and a host of other factors as well. I don't know if you saw the show or not, but here in Texas Keith went on a Nilgai hunt last year. Nilgai are exotics and are available on private ranches (low fence and high) here in Texas. It took 10 days of filming and hard hunting before Keith got the animal.
What you don't see are the number of trips that turn out to be a bust, several trips each year result in no success at all. It happens, that's why it's called hunting. Please, don't tell me to run these shows, Keith did that several years ago, the ratings fell through the floor, no one wanted to watch. We don't survive in this business unless we provide what the viewer wants to see. A perfect example is the fishing show that used to be on The Outdoor Channel, the host took a different child each week and taught them how to fish, took them fishing, showed them having a blast, encouraged his viewers to do the same. Result? it was cancelled. Why? because no one watched.
Now, I gotta go for awhile, and as I said, time permitting I'll come back here when I can. I would like to add one more thing. Not every show is going to meet EVERYONE's approval, but we do try to show a diversity, we attempt to bring something new to the show every week. I hope those who watch will continue to do so, you can always send an email to the address on the show or the website that's listed at the end of each show with comments or suggestions. But please refrain from foul, abusive, threatening emails (I don't mean to imply that anyone here will send such an email either, but you would be amazed how many of these we get). It really doesn't do any good and depending on whether I've had enough coffee or not [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] I might not respond in a manner you would appreciate.
I hope all of you have a great day. Tomorrow is veteran's day. So, if you see a veteran tell him "thanks".
God Bless our Troops
Roger, I agree whole heartedly with you that we should support each others methods of hunting whether it is muzzleloader or Bow or Crossbow, or over bait etc. Members of this sight know all to well about that stuff since so many other hunters disapprove of long range hunting.
I do, however, think there is a pretty clear view of what a canned hunt is. We all know what these places are and when you pay for a class of animal it is a dead givaway.
Thanks for your input, I personally believe that by shooting a animal in a small inclosure you just shot a canned hunt. of course a 40,000 acre ranch is a hunt it takes a lot of time to hunt an area like this. I have never hunted a ranch because I would rather go up to Wyoming to hunt and spend my money on the chance, because this is why I hunt , to see how good I can get. But I have seen places where guys stand up on the back of the truck and shoot from 50yrds if that and this is not hunting. of course in my opinion. I don't like the baiting thing but this is leagal in many places especially for bear but I will not participate. I have no problem with tree stand hunting but I don't do it this is boring for me I like to glass and stalk and gennerally do. From time to time I have been known to hunt from a make shift blind simply because I didn't have anywhere else to go that year when the money was short. As you may know the taking of a shot from a long distance is very well accepted here on this site and I will take a shot a what some will concider a long distance . I have practiced out to 1200 but I am not confident at this range for hunting unless everthing is just so. 500 on the other hand I will most always take the shot. as the distance increases my requirements go up. I do not like these guys that sight in at 100 and never shot at 4-500 and take the shot I call this unethicial. I have found 3 deer and 1 elk that was porley hit and burnt a tag to finish them off. This may or may not be a dummy taking a shot out of there range. who knows, if its an idiot it would anger me but if it was a youngster then I would be glad to take care of it. I and many others feel an obligation to the ethicial hunting of animals. this is the bottom line. Killem fast and if you can't don't shoot!!
I would hope that in your endevor to capture the shot you folks wouldn't get desperate as to hunt a canned hunt with out telling your viewers.