Protesters occupying the Malheur wildlife refuge in remote eastern Oregon have been killing and eating the waterfowl the reserve was created to protect. Two weeks in the novelty of the anti-government occupation has worn off as bitter cold temperatures and meager rations have had an impact on morale. The men came north to protest the treatment of two ranchers who were convicted of setting wildfires in the sensitive habitat of the reserve. The protesters, led by Ammon and brother Ryan Bundy, scions of Nevada scoflaw rancher Cliven Bundy who infamously has refused to pay grazing fees on the cattle he ranges on BLM land began hunting the Malheur’s protected birds when their dogs were running low on Ol Roy dog food. Faced with having to desert their command and run to town to keep the hounds fed, Ammon and Ryan took one look at the proliferation of guns and ammo they had brought to the party and both had the same thought, “We can manage these resources way better than them government wildlife scientists can!” whistled up the mutts and went for a stroll on the boardwalk. Too eager, most of the early duck they shot were just mallards and gadwalls, but good enough for the dogs. Soon all the protesters were dining on duck and canadian goose. The birds at the refuge were unfazed by the gunfire, accustomed to being harmlessly observed by the tourists, international and local, who normally stroll the elevated walkway casually observing and checking new species in their life lists, and failed to take wing. But after a couple of days of pot-shotting by the Bundys and their rough and ready cohorts most of the birds took flight. Hunting became more of what is expected in the rest of the continent, the game was wary and only the restricted species, which are used to being overlooked were left, defenseless. The protesters have now commandeered the portable blinds once used by the research biologists and are laying in wait for trumpeter swan, north Americas largest waterfowl, it looks as big as a carnival ride afloat and a B-52 flying by, and are hoping to feast on roast swan soon.
The protesters have stated that they will stay as long as needed for the government to accede to their demands, which include:
- Freeing the two Oregon ranchers convicted of arson. ( Who do not agree with the protesters and are currently serving their prison sentences.)
- Returning control of all public lands in the US to the states and regional authorities where they are situated so they can be bought, abused and plundered as is man’s god given right to do
- Cessation of persecution of their father, Cliven Bundy so he can continue to sell pizza and make a profit running cattle when other honest ranchers are unable to do so.
- A continual, rotating bus tour of visitors from the Las Vegas Strip, male and female between the ages of eighteen and twenty four along with soap, towels and liquor for the protesters at each visit.
- Cancellation of the debt for the $530,ooo SBA loan Ammon Bundy took out in 2010 for his Arizona-based truck maintenance company, Valet Fleet Services
- Hostess Snowballs, they are wanting some dessert with their duck