The Humane Society of the United States' mission is to end hunting everywhere, and they've never been closer to realizing this goal than they are today. Can hunters shut down their scheme?Article by Tony Hansen, Frank Miniter, and Alex Robinson
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Illustration by Viktor Koen
The Muck Boots Company waded deep into a quagmire this summer and emerged on the other side soiled, smeared, and worse for the wear. The outdoor footwear company announced via Facebook on August 1 that the Muck Team had raised more than $2,000 for the Humane Society of the United States. Its customer base of farmers, ranchers, and hunters went ballistic.
One customer identified HSUS as “the sworn enemy of hunting and the outdoors lifestyle.” Scores more declared they would never again buy a Muck product. A #WhatTheMuck hashtag lit up Twitter. When the dust settled, it turned out the announcement was written in error—employees had intended to identify a local animal shelter—but the damage was done.
This incident made it clear that HSUS’s anti-hunting agenda is common knowledge within the outdoor community, and that sportsmen and women throughout the nation refuse to support HSUS.
Which raises the question: If we are so staunchly united against HSUS, why is this organization of antis creeping closer to shutting down hunting?
The answer lies in the virtually inexhaustible financial resources HSUS has at its disposal. After paying the bills, HSUS reported $195.4 million in net assets on its 2012 tax returns, which includes nearly $178 million of investments in publicly traded securities. That means HSUS is largely liquid—it can convert those investments into cash essentially whenever it wants.
Those public tax documents also reveal HSUS collected nearly $113 million in contributions and grants in 2012. That’s $7.8 million more than the previous year. HSUS capitalizes on its ability to suck up dollars from animal-lovers who think they are donating to local pet shelters, and it pours those donations into anti-hunting crusades.
The Humane Society of the United States reported $195.4 million in net assets on its public tax documents in 2012.
HSUS has a long list of victories against sportsmen and wildlife conservation in its ongoing battle to destroy hunting.
Today, HSUS continues to lead a multi-pronged attack against America’s hunters. The antis are deploying their political contacts and financial assets to strike at both state and federal levels. Current campaigns seek to overturn wolf hunting in Michigan; ban lead ammunition on public lands; and outlaw bear baiting, trapping, and hunting with hounds in Maine. If successful, these unwarranted restrictions will cripple wildlife management and hunting as we know it.
It’s no easy feat to disable such a well-funded, well-connected, and well-oiled political machine. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done...
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