WHEREAS, the term “wanton waste” is broadly defined as “to intentionally waste something negligently or inappropriately” and this term is most often used in relation to hunting or fishing activities;
WHEREAS, “wanton” is adjectively defined as “merciless, inhumane, malicious, extravagant, mischievous, undisciplined or unruly” and certainly not the character of a true sportsman;
WHEREAS, Federal wanton waste regulations are defined in code 50 CFR 20.25 “Wanton Waste of Migratory Game Birds” and is the precursor to all individual state statutes adopted separately and only a handful of states have adopted their own tailored waterfowl regulations in parallel with Federal Codes prohibiting the willful waste of any usable part of wild game or fish;
WHEREAS, existing Federal waterfowl regulations for wanton waste are very broad, short and simple, with focus on the actual collection, transport and field activities associated with hunting of migratory birds and other than deliberate discarding of whole birds or failure to attempt to retrieve birds in the field, the statute contains only vague guidance for prosecution of other mutilation or unethical activities with bird carcasses, which makes it difficult to enforce beyond field dressing;
WHEREAS, the practice of “breasting” waterfowl (and other game birds) for consumption has become common place and removing only the most preferred and easiest to take (breast) portions of the bird, while discarding the very edible remaining wings, legs, backbone, neck and skin, is simply mutilating many of our most beautiful and prized game birds; and most ethical hunters would agree that every wild bird, or every wild animal, taken by any true sportsmen, should be afforded the respect and effort to assure it is utilized to the best means possible;
WHEREAS, it is understood that removal of the breast of game birds as part of table preparation is acceptable, as long as other useable parts are retained likewise and also minimizing waste for proper disposal;
WHEREAS, in the state of Montana, it is illegal to “breast out” any waterfowl and discard the other edible parts of the carcass because legally, all edible parts of the bird must be used;
WHEREAS, the state of Maine’s regulations affirms that “a person may not waste a wild bird or wild animal that has been wounded or killed while hunting” and any act that results in wanton or needless waste of the animal or otherwise intentionally allows it or an edible portion thereof to be wantonly or needlessly wasted or fails to dispose it in a reasonable and sanitary manner amounts to an offense that is punishable;
WHEREAS, it has been recognized that Louisiana’s population of migrating waterfowl are in decline from a number of uncontrollable natural forces along with many man-made decisions that, over time, have altered the terrain of our coastal wetlands and our traditional wintering grounds and flyway routes are changing while the number of hunters and hunting pressure has been steady and now is the time to assure that all our natural resources are being managed properly;
WHEREAS, many coastal parish marinas, private docks, over the water boat sheds and dock side camp communities on the bayous have posted notices prohibiting the dumping of fish heads, entrails and bones from fileted fish into the local bayous, canals or waterbodies; and residents regularly complain, and rightly so, because of the stench, aesthetics, and fostering possible infectious diseases, while attracting flies, seagulls, brown pelicans, nuisance alligators, coyotes and bald eagles who routinely scavenge for discarded waste on these waterways; and
WHEREAS, many of these same communities are similarly plagued during the hunting seasons with hundreds of floating waterfowl carcasses, skins, feathers and pieces, adding to the same concerns the dumping of fish parts creates.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation urges the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Louisiana State Legislature to develop a state specific waterfowl regulation statute, with enforceable penalties, to include “wanton waste” infractions for “breasting” migratory birds and discarding remaining edible parts of Federally managed game birds;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation urges the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Louisiana State Legislature to develop and enforce regulations to prohibit the littering of all adjoining state waters with any (floating) waste carcasses or parts of any wild game or waterfowl; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all hunters should display ethical and humane standards in taking and preparing their kill, utilizing all edible portions and, though Louisiana’s bag limits are quite liberal, moral standards should apply in taking only what is needed while conserving some for another day and for the future of waterfowl hunting in our state.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation Board of Directors by electronic vote on September 6, 2018.