Last weekend, Donald Trump Jr. - the President's oldest son
Businessman Greg Gianforte, Republican nominee for Montana's House of Representatives seat, invited Donald Trump Jr. to hunt Black Tailed Prairie Dogs.
The Black Tailed Prairie Dog is not endangered or threatened and is the same species of prairie dog found here in Colorado.
Animal rights activists were disappointed that the President's eldest son spent his Earth Day weekend hunting Montana prairie dogs.
“I was disappointed I guess that any national or international politician or celebrity would have the opportunity to come to Montana in the spring and their first choice of things they want to do is shoot prairie dogs,” said Dave Pauli, a Senior Advisor for Wildlife Policy at the Humane Society.
“Prairie dogs are an important keystone species with myriad other species dependent on their survival, including the burrowing owl, black-footed ferret and nesting birds. People do not hunt these animals for food or any legitimate wildlife management purposes,” the Humane Society's Prairie Dog Coalition released in a statement. “We have a duty to protect them to ensure that every species within the ecosystem continues to thrive.”
Animal rights activists assert that there is no legitimate wildlife management reason to hunt prairie dogs. Landowners and ranchers tend to disagree.
It is common for horses or cows to step into a prairie dog holes and break their legs. When this happens, ranchers have no choice but to put their animal down. For people who rely on livestock to make a living, prairie dog burrows are literally a threat to their livelihoods.
Demand for prairie dog hunting is sometimes so high that hunters will actually pay landowners for permission to clear their land of prairie dogs.
- traveled to Montana to hunt prairie dogs and animal rights activists are none too happy.
As an avid outdoorsman, Donald Jr. sees hunting and fishing as vital to ensuring that these outdoor opportunities are preserved for future generations. Proceeds from Federal and State hunting and fishing licenses are put back into wildlife preservation efforts. Additionally, a percentage of each firearm and ammunition sale goes towards these wildlife programs.