Stop Canned Hunting in Martin County, Florida

Posted Sep 28, 2009 by lauraallen

J&R Outfitters offers canned hunts on property located in Martin County, Florida near Indiantown.

Recently, the county Land Planning Agency voted 4-1 to allow the operation to continue despite that it had been in business without proper zoning, a site plan, building permits, and a business license.

And, despite the cruelty of a business akin to shooting fish in a barrel. 

The animals are often captive bred and raised for the “hunt”.  They may also have been pets abandoned by owners or animals dumped by breeders and dealers, exhibitions or zoos. Regardless, they are likely used to living in captivity.

These animals are then released into a fenced area where there is no chance of escape. To make the killing easier for the trophy “hunter”, the animals may be gathered in an area ostensibly for feeding. Or they may be drawn to bait set out to bring them to a particular area. They are probably familiar with the humans herding them and also accustomed to walking through gates and into fenced areas.

The “hunters” then blast away at the trapped, frightened animals.  The shooters avoid the head and upper torso, of course, the vital organs, because that would mess up the look of the trophy.

That means the shooters aim for non-vital organs, causing a slow death. After the animals die what is many times an agonizing death, the shooters then leave with their “trophies”.

A sort of drive through, if not drive by, shooting. The shooters pay a fee based on how many animals they kill, a “no kill, no pay” operation.

J&R Outfitters offers “hunts” of native or exotic mammals.  For a $2000 hunting fee, for example, a shooter can kill and take home as a trophy an exotic black buck antelope. J&R offers 19 exotic species at varying prices.  Native whitetail deer, quail, dove, wild boar and turkeys can also be slaughtered at point blank range for a price. J&R says it will even arrange an “African game hunt” for the right price presumably with imported animals.

Many states do ban canned hunts or at least regulate them. Florida is not one of those states. The federal government has no problem with canned hunts. In fact, this past summer a federal judge had to order the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to stop allowing canned hunts of endangered species.

The Martin County Land Use Planning Agency has voted to amend the zoning restrictions to allow canned hunts in what has been an agricultural district. The canned hunting operations like J&R Outfitters can have overnight accommodations. J&R has also filed a site plan asking for a variance in order to continue to operate its canned hunt business.

Aside from the horrific cruelty that will be allowed in their own backyard, farmers and other residents wonder how safe they will be with a commercial canned hunt operation in their midst. They have asked about safety for children playing, the types of firearms and other weapons allowed, background checks on people allowed to have these weapons to kill animals in their county,  health concerns from imported animals, and also how such a seedy business will affect the operation of their farms.   

WHAT YOU CAN DO 

The Martin County, Florida Board of Commissioners must still approve the zoning changes and the site plan for J&R Outfitters. Write (faxes are best) or call and urge them to vote NO to canned hunting in Martin County. Don’t wait. Do it now!

Also, contact the Martin County Administrator and County Attorney’s office and tell them you oppose authorization of a canned hunt operation in the county.

There is a bill pending in Congress, the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act, H.R. 2308, that would put an end to this.  Go here for information and how you can help pass this bill!

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Write my Congressman Adam Putnam about this, his contact info is on this site just do a search for him. I had no idea this was common practice in Florida or I might not have moved here. O I am ticked off now!

The first movie I ever saw about animal cruelty I was 8 years old and saw “Bless The Beasts and the Children” about fenced in areas where they stand and shoot buffalo. In the end some kids released the buffalo but were shot and killed. This is what started me on this mission in the first place. I cried for months after seeing that and vowed that one day I would take part in stopping this for good.

District Office:
650 East Davidson Street
Bartow, FL   33830
Phone: 863-534-3530
Toll Free: 866-534-3530
Fax: 863-534-3559
Washington Office:
442 Cannon House
Office Building
Washington, DC  20515-0912
Phone: 202-225-1252
Fax: 202-226-0585
I just called and let them know how angry the thought of this has made me.



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