Trump Jr.'s prairie dog hunt in Montana prompts backlash

Cheryl Sanders
April 22, 2017

The President's son is on a four-city tour of the state to help Greg Gianforte campaign for an open seat on the US House of Representatives.

Trump an avid hunter, who has been pictured next to slain big game animals including a water buffalo and a cheetah.

The Montana House has moved to accept a scaled-down version of a fuel tax proposal that would raise money to fix highways, bolster bridges and tackle long-delayed roadwork.

The Montana congressional special elections are heating up with both House candidates trying to prove their love for guns by shooting screens in a pair of warring advertisements.

Montana's unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in March. The Montana Department of Agriculture classifies black-tailed prairie dogs as "Vertebrate Pests", but notes that the animal's declining population makes it a "Species of Concern".

The grassland animal is not a game species, which means there are no hunting limits or hunting seasons.

The Humane Society of the United States condemned the hunt.

Their numbers haven't dropped to the point that protective measures must be taken so that they're managed like other wildlife, though, agency spokesman Greg Lemon said.

"Clearly they've never shot a prairie dog".

Other females will still be nursing their offspring and the hunt could lead pups to starvation, warned Lindsey Sterling Krank, the Prairie Dog Coalition director.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, is releasing its second spot in a planned $800,000 buy - a rundown of Democrat Rob Quist's progressive positions.

The Humane Society said shooting the little dogs serves no objective other than using them for a grisly target practice where "the animals can seem to explode or have body parts severed and sent flying". "They don't know how much fun it is", he said.

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