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Will shooting shooting exotic animals on Ted Turner's Ranch help Gov. Richardson "bag" the party nomination?

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In an apparent bid to cozy up to hunters and gun lovers, presidential candidate New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson shared his adventure killing an exotic oryx on Ted Turner's ranch in 2005 with the Associated Press. 


Richardson killed the long-horned African antelope with one shot from 100 yards on a "guided" outing at Turner's  360,000-acre Armendaris Ranch in New Mexico, though he didn't skin or gut it. It was his most memorable hunt he says.


Turner's operation of hunting ranches where "sportsmen" pay to kill bison, deer, African antelopes and turkeys that have no escape is the dirty little secret behind his Endangered Species Fund and other green activities.


Canned-hunting trophy ranches like Turner's usually offer "no kill, no pay" policies says the Washington Times, providing guides who know the location and habits of the animals, permitting the use of dogs, and supplying "feeding stations" that lure unsuspecting animals to food while hunters lie in wait. Animals are even drugged according to some reports.  The operations are strictly legal.


 "Unless there's a big problem with exotics reported to us, we don't seek out regulation," says Gary Young, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent in Texas a state known for its exotic trophy ranches. 


Richardson also enjoys shooting doves, now illegal in Michigan. "You know I'm a little impatient and when you're doing oryx and elk, you tend to get one or two shots.  You've got to find them," he says. "But with dove, you have a lot of opportunities." 


But hunting will probably not catapult Richardson into the White House.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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