Save the dates: April 21 & 22, 2012. The 2012 Biennial Staff Seminar, a fundraiser to help save foxhunting for future generations, is rapidly approaching, and as always it is shaping up to be a unique and exciting experience. Back by popular demand, the Seminar will return to the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, where it was held in 2002 and 2006. Only 15 minutes from Dulles Airport, this prime location is nestled right in the middle of beautiful hunt country and less than 30 minutes from historic Middleburg, Virginia. Kennel tours will be available – more than 8 packs of hounds are within an hour’s drive – but you must coordinate your own transportation. Take a tour of kennels on Saturday, attend a Hunt’s races or visit some of the great tack stores in the area. Come early and stay late, you’ll have a ball!
And after your tours, come back to the hotel for Covertside’s Photography Workshop. Learn what camera to carry, how to position yourself for the best pictures, and other technical and artistic tips from the pros!
You must be staff or a Subscribing Member to attend, and unless you live in the area, we request that you stay on-site to attend the Seminar. The Westfields Marriott is a five-star hotel with numerous amenities, including upscale and casual dining, indoor and outdoor pools, gym, sauna, tennis courts, and access to the beautiful Westfields Golf Club. Make your reservations early as the rooms fill up fast – simply contact the Marriott at (800) 228-9290 and request the Master of Foxhounds Associations Seminar rate. We were able to negotiate an excellent rate of $119 per room (up to 4 people), as well as other discounts, by agreeing to fill our room quota. Please help us keep expenses down by staying at the Marriott.
Covertside Foxhunting Photography Workshop 1-3 pm
Special registration required
Vendor fair: 3-7 Sat. 7:30-5:00 Sunday
Seminar Schedule: 8:30 am
Introduction: President Kelly
Hunting the Red Fox (1.5 hour)
(Moderator: Tony Leahy, MFH, 2nd VP, MFHA)
Speakers: Tommy Lee Jones – Huntsman, Casanova Hunt, Toney Gammell – Huntsman, Keswick Hunt and Lt. Col. Robert N. Ferrer, Jr., MFH, Caroline Hunt.
The Unwanted Horse (1.25 hour)
(Moderator: Dennis J. Foster, MFHA)
Speakers: Mrs. Jeri Dobrowski’s powerful presentation covers all the alternatives to a subject dear to all foxhunters’ hearts…horses. It is a huge problem we cannot ignore and continues to get worse. There are 140,000 unwanted horses each year in the United States. Couple that number with 38,000 wild horses in holding pens no one wants and another 37,000 wild horses living on public lands that can only sustain 26,000 and we have a horse welfare problem like never before.
- Situation Report
- The alternatives
Lunch (1 hour)
Managing a Hunt Horse Barn (1.5 hour)
(Moderator: Dr. Jack van Nagell, MFH, 1st VP, MFHA)
Speakers: Clydetta Poe Talbot – VA; Leasa Dowling – Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire, Clare Palmer – Old Dominion, Laura Sloan – Middleburg, Shakerag, Blue Ridge & Loudon West and Karen Kingsley Nutt – Loudon West. These professional horse women are leaders in the foxhunting world of horses.
- Horse care considerations, clipping, stall, turnout, etc
- Rider considerations
- Barn and pasture management
- Keeping horses fit for clients
- Dealing with clients
- Matching horse and rider
- Working with children
- Dangerous people and horses
The Characteristics of Fox Hounds, What they are known for both good and bad, English, Old English, American, Crossbred and Penn-Marydel (1.5 hours)
(Moderators: Albert Poe, Middleburg and Jim Atkins, VA)
Speakers: Geoff Hyde – Huntsman, Elkridge-Harford, (Crossbreds); Larry Pitts – Huntsman, Potomac (American); Martin Blackmore – Huntsman, Loudon West (Old English); Dennis Downing - Huntsman, Blue Ridge (modern English)
Closing Remarks: President Kelly
Remember, this is a fundraiser. The cost of the Saturday night dinner party and the Seminar is $270. The Seminar includes snacks, coffee, soda and a buffet lunch. The cost of the Seminar only with lunch is $200, and if you wish to attend only the dinner party the cost is $100. You will save $30 if you sign up for both. Register soon, as we almost always have to turn people away. You must be staff or a Subscribing Member to attend the Seminar. Professional Staff who are Subscribing Members receive a 20% discount. Register before December 31, 2011 via our website (www.mfha.com) and receive a 5% discount.
HSUS Sets Sights on Religions
It seems that the most dangerous and well-funded group within the animal rights lobby, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is again trying to reposition itself to seem mainstream. That transformation is a new “Faith Outreach” effort. Yes, HSUS is attempting to align itself with religions. This path closely follows the animal rights group’s programs that have thrust its tentacles into school systems and young student minds around the nation. Churches should definitely beware. The programs championed by HSUS outreach efforts include articles promoting a connection between animal rights and the congregations of the Unitarian Universalists and the United Church of Christ.
And the HSUS furthers the connecting efforts by pushing pro-animal-rights statements attributed to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Episcopal Church and others religious affiliations. Seems nearly any sermon can be twisted as promoting animal rights. These twists could have been far from the intent of the speaker or presenter when the materials were spoken or presented. This doesn’t matter to HSUS. Real eyebrows are raised, however, when you discover the HSUS’s St. Francis Day in a Box project. A $15 toolkit promoting the animal rights philosophy includes: the Chronicles of Narnia; Animal Protection Ministries: A Guide for Churches; Eating Mercifully; the CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories (a stab at farming); and many others. These animal rights agenda packets are sold to churches, or congregation members, to raise funds for HSUS. While this propaganda intertwines religion and animal rights as connected crusading causes, there is an obvious lack of religious tolerance in the missing mention of St. Hubertus, the patron Saint of Hunters. And of course the “toolkit” includes envelopes and instructions on how to collect funds in the names of pets, animals and wildlife, and then send those funds directly to HSUS.
USSA Director Sets Record Straight on Federal Public Lands Bill
Newly introduced H.R. 2834 (the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act) is being supported by a “who’s who” of hunting groups for good reason: it is a necessary piece of legislation with a great upside for conservation. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is opposing the bill and is joined by several groups with a history of opposing sound wildlife management and other conservation principles.
House Resolution 2834, a U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance backed bill, was introduced recently in Congress. Those testifying in favor of the Act included Bill Horn, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Director of Federal Affairs.
His testimony revealed numerous benefits for anglers, trappers and hunters. And while there was no mention of roads, jeep, or anything else to do with travel by sportsmen on federal public lands included in H.R. 2834, there was the mention of wilderness. That word quickly triggered opposition from the government in concert with the Wilderness Society.
“The government and the Wilderness Society have publicly claimed this Act will open Wilderness areas to motorized vehicle use,” stated Horn.”A Society spokesman states if hunters are retrieving game on Wilderness lands, you could ride your off-road jeep anywhere you choose. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bill is not about road construction, jeep trails or motor vehicle access. The absurd comments could be to grab attention, or to simply oppose hunting.”
During the hearing, U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Joel Holtrop admitted to being opposed to the bill without fully reading or understanding it.
“H.R. 2834 was only formally introduced three days before this hearing and the Department has not had sufficient time to conduct an in-depth analysis of the legislation as introduced,” he stated.
Predictably, environmental extremists are already misrepresenting the bill that’s specifically worded and designed to ensure continued fishing, hunting, and shooting on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands. These lands total more than 400 million acres in the U.S. and provide critical opportunities for public fishing, hunting, and shooting activities. One feature of the bill declares that fishing, hunting, and shooting are “necessary” to fulfill the purposes of those public land areas designated as Wilderness per the 1964 Wilderness Act.
The provision is needed to counter recent federal court rulings from San Francisco that reinterpreted the meaning of “necessary” while creating precedents that fishing and hunting might be found to not be “necessary” in these areas and be prohibited. The “necessary” section of the bill restores the legal status for hunters and anglers that existed from 1964 until the recent San Francisco rulings.
The jeeps and off-road comments by the Wilderness Society in particular are clouding the real issue and will only confuse the public.
“This statement (about jeeps) is utter nonsense,” continues Horn. “H.R. 2834 specifies that hunting is “necessary” so that hunters (and anglers) cannot be run off Wilderness areas by federal judges deciding that these traditional activities are not necessary. The bill makes no reference to motorized vehicles and will not change existing limitations on motorized access on Wilderness lands.”
Environmental groups and the Obama administration through their opposition are distracting anglers and hunters from the potentially devastating consequences of the San Francisco court decisions along with the need to shield sportsmen from those bad rulings.
“And what’s really ironic is that while the Wilderness Society is complaining about vehicles on public lands, the group is staging a bus tour of a national wildlife refuge in Montana on October 1,” said Horn. ”Nothing will make those elk flee, especially the bugling elk that are being targeted, like a busload of tourists filing off and gathering around or chasing to take a photo. The group should also take note that public lands roads and access make this “event” possible.”
Take Action! Sportsmen and sportswomen should call their Congressman today and urge them to support H.R. 2834. Tell them that this Act will protect the integrity of federal public lands for future generations and deserves their support. To find your Congressman visit the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org/lac.
To voice your opinion of H.R 2834 to the administration, contact U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Joel Holtrop’s office at 202-205-1523.
Following is a list of national organizations supporting H.R. 2834:
American Sportfishing Association
Campfire Club of America
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
Houston Safari Club
Mule Deer Foundation
National Rifle Association
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Trappers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
Orion – The Hunters’ Institute
Pope & Young Club
Quality Deer Management Association
Ruffed Grouse Society
Safari Club International
Texas Wildlife Association
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
Wildlife Management Institute