Animal Rights Activist Mauled by Bear, Arrested for Failing to Pay Child Support

On August 25 animal rights activist Jeffery Scheu (at the time using the alias Jesshua Aman) was tracking a bison with the Buffalo Field Campaign when he apparently surprised a grizzly bear which proceeded to savagely maul him.

The Buffalo Field Campaign is a group opposed to federal and state efforts to control the number of bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana in search of feed during the winter months. An estimated 50 percent of the bison in Yellowstone carry a bacterial infection called brucellosis which Montana and federal authorities spent decades and tens of millions of dollars eradicating from cattle herds in the state.

After it was revealed that Scheu used an alias and was wanted in Ohio for failing to pay child support, the Buffalo Field Campaign quickly disavowed him maintaining that he did not represent their group (even though he was working with them as a volunteer at the time of the attack) and lied on a volunteer agreement.

Mike Mease, a spokesman for the group, said,

One bad apple slipped through our screen process and it took a grizzly to point him out. This is poetic justice.

As opposed to the 22 Buffalo Field Campaign activists arrested in the winter of 1998-1999 and the 21 activists arrested in the winter of 2000-2001.


Animal rights group distances itself from bear mauling victim. Associated Press, September 7, 2002.

Bruce Friedrich: Hunters Are Like "Nazi Doctors and Slave Traders"

Animal rights activists are having a fit because the Sierra Club recently published an article by Rick Bass, “Why I Hunt.” Bass’ article fits well in a long line of pro-hunting literature which sees hunting as almost a mystical way to connect with nature. Bass writes of taking up hunting after moving to a remote Montana valley in the 1980s,

Only about 5 percent of the nation and 15 to 20 percent of Montanans are hunters. But in this one valley, almost everyone is a hunter. It is not the peer pressure of the local culture that recruits us into hunting, nor even necessarily the economic boon of a few hundred pounds of meat in a cash-poor society. Rather, it is the terrain itself, and one’s gradual integration into it, that summons the hunter. Nearly everyone who has lived here for any length of time has ended up–sometimes almost against one’s conscious wishes–becoming a hunter. This wild and powerful landscape sculpts us like clay. I don’t find such sculpting an affront to the human spirit, but instead, wonderful testimony to our pliability, our ability to adapt to a place.

In response to Bass’ article, Bruce Friedrich fired off a letter to the editor saying,

I have no doubt that society will one day look back of [sic] Mr. Bass and his ilk with he same revulsion we presently reserve for NAZI doctors and slave traders.

But as Sierra Magazine editor-in-chief Joan Hamilton notes in her response to Friedrich, “Since the mid-19th century, sport hunters have been in the forefront of efforts to create laws to save animals from commercial hunting, poaching, and habitat destruction that threatens the very existence of many species. Also, many landmark environmental achievements have relied heavily on the efforts of hunters and hunting (and fishing) organizations.”

Hamilton crosses over into the worst sort of apostasy in they eyes of the animal rights movement when she writes what is obvious to anyone who seriously studies the issue,

Aside form the environmental contributions of hunters, in some cases, hunting is necessary to keep certain populations at sustainable levels and to maintain ecological balance by preventing some species from destroying others. For example, the deer population is now estimated to be double that which existed before the white conquest of North America. Excess deer will overbrowse forests, seriously harming the flora and thereby depriving other species of food and shelter.

How long before Friedrich is out front of the Sierra Club’s offices streaking to bring attention to the suffering of deer? Only time will tell.


Why I Hunt: Stalking wild game in a rugged landscape brings one environmentalist closer to nature. Rick Bass, Sierra Magazine, July 2001.

Animal Rights Initiatives in the 2000 Election

There were about a dozen different animal rights-related initiatives on state ballots around the country last week. Here’s a rundown of some of the more high profile ones:

  • Arizona: A measure that would have required a 2/3 supermajority vote for any initiative relating to wildlife protection failed overwhelmingly (62% opposed the measure).

  • Massachusetts: A measure to ban dog racing and betting on dog racing barely failed 51% to 49%. In this race animal activists circulated heart wrenching pictures of mistreated greyhounds. The tactic backfired when it was revealed that the dogs weren’t from Massachusetts or even the United States, but rather from Italy of all places.

  • Montana: Barely passed a ban on canned hunts, 52% to 48%.

  • Oregon: A measure to ban steel-jawed leghold traps as well as sodium cyanide was voted down 61% to 39%.

  • Virginia: Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment establishing a “right to hunt, fish, and harvest game.”

  • Washington state: an initiative to ban steel-jawed leghold traps and sodium cyanide passed 54% to 46%.