Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Statement Regarding Arrests in Oregon

Ammon Bundy
One person was killed and several arrested, including Ammon Bundy (R), the leader of an armed group occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon, in an incident with law enforcement Tuesday. img:Getty
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

MISSOULA, Mont. –  -( Following the arrests of armed militants who had been occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:

“Backcountry Hunters & Anglers cannot support the tactics and objectives of the militants in Oregon. We regret the loss of life associated with the arrests; however, the individuals arrested, along with anyone else who participated in the seizure of Malheur, must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“We thank law enforcement officials for their attempts to restore law and order to Harney County. The men and women who manage our national wildlife refuge system, including the staff of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, deserve our respect and support.”

BHA Oregon Chapter Chair Ed Putnam stated,

“Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a public lands gem and haven for migrating waterfowl and other wildlife. The Oregon chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers hopes that this disruption to the refuge and Burns community is resolved quickly and peacefully.”

BHA was born around an Oregon campfire in 2004.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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I see some references to domestic terrorists in the comment section. No one was hurt except the protester who was gunned down. No property was destroyed. Where is the”terrorism”. No heads were cut off or bombs exploded. I will see how you BHA members and supporters react when the eco terrorism of hunting and fishing is banned on Federal land. Killing innocent animals in their natural surroundings by shooting them with a rifle or worse with an arrow and having them bleed out is barbaric. Fishermen use sharp hooks to drag fish into their nets and either hit them on… Read more »


The government keeps saying ‘We want to protect the land for our kids”…but what about us, it is our land too and closures and punitive restrictions take away our current rights to use the land. And is there any sign that the rules will be lifted for future generations? No, personally I think it is part of a long range Federal plan to move the bulk of the population to cities where they can be more easily controlled by the government. Sadly the population is growing but the available land use is shrinking. I don’t necessarily agree with the way… Read more »


Great post the only problem I see is your comment you have fair knowledge of the Constitution Read article 1 which gives the BLM power over territories not with in any state then read article 4 which gives the only exceptions for the BLM which allows them to hold ten square miles inside a state for Military bases Ammo dumps Ports or federal building, This wasn’t about a Game preserve it is about the Federal government committing crimes and failure to listen to federal cases since 1976 that up to 2015 they have lost that have found the BLM can… Read more »


“Backcountry Hunters & Anglers cannot support the tactics and objectives of the militants in Oregon. ”

So you support criminal government instead?

You approve of FBI ambushes in false traffic stop scenarios?

You approve of the killing of unarmed men?

Because I was just wondering where you stand regarding Constitutional Law….?


If the majority of the American public actually wants these lands to remain under federal control, which I think rather unlikely, then the appropriate course of action for them, is to sponsor and support a Constitutional Amendment to make the existence and mission of the BLM legal. At the moment it is not, and the federal government very clearly has no authority to “own” or administer, the federal lands within state boundaries, unless they are military facilities or postal facilities/roads. The Constitution is quite clear on this issue. I note that some posters here consider the Bundy group “domestic terrorists;”… Read more »

Ed Hines

just watched / listened to the video of the shooting. This was an example of the quality of really untrained and cowered actions that many law enforcement take. One of my sons was in Law enforcement for many years and was trained to use common sense and honorable actions at all times. This event was a case of legalized murder, but those who shot this unarmed man that showed them no threat, should all be charged with murder in the 1st degree. Their action showed that the officers were already prepared to kill with extreme predigest screams the worst and… Read more »

Crotalus Maxximus

The BHA website claims to be NON-PARTISAN within the first paragraph of its (about us) page. Any outfit that has to claim nonpartisanship usually IS. And it is usually liberal.

Richard Dillon

So, You support the murder of an unarmed man with his hands up ? What is wrong with you people, murder is murder and all 40 or so thugs hatchet men should be arrested. Funny that you don’t hear about the investigation of the shooting all will be swept under the rug. I would like to see the international court of Hague investigate this. This is a crime of humanity. The government and the press will cover this up or lie about this.I am not that fond of international bodies but in this case we need an out side agency.

Ed Hines

You have all missed the natural point that the protesters were trying to make. The Law makes many mistakes and one of them is taking your land (public lands) away fro you and selling it for money they keep. A good American needs to stand up for what is right and sometimes die for it, that is what our military do out of this country, Do you think that the law will stand up for you…GOOD LUCK…,these people were not in this for selfish reasons, listen to what they said, They were protesting injustice. You can look at this from… Read more »


What a bunch of ignorant socialists. BHA will never get any of my support.


I’m not part of the BHA but as a member of other wildlife organizations I would not want my outdoor opportunities interrupted because a few have a gripe with the Government. This is not how to support your agenda. By doing this the are alienating many who might otherwise support their cause. I have no sympathy for them as they are messing with public land use. Use that’s meant for the general public not to broadcast their agenda. There may be many who don’t like what the Feds are doing but their are many more who do at least as… Read more »


No amount of constitutional zealotry or big brother delusions of persecution can justify what these domestic terrorists did. Thankfully, law enforcement finally acted against this threat, but sadly, some right-wing nutbag will see this as a need to escalate to more violence. This America, we solve our difference at the ballot box and in the courtroom. Maybe they start winning there, instead of “I’m not getting what I want, so I’m ready to get all violent.” What is this junior high? Law enforcement is very clear on what the worst terrorist threat to America is, and they look a lot… Read more »

Fishing Forlife

Millions of Americans cannot be proven to support the abuse and illegal occupation and disruption of access to public lands. However, multiple millions of Americans have spoken out against the illegal occupation. The American public has been saying for ages that they want public lands to remain in the hands of the entirety of Americans. This was not an action against over reaching government, it was an assault on what America values about it’s heritage. The simple numbers prove that this was what is supported by a huge preponderance of people. Sportsmen alone prove that. This is a fringe movement,… Read more »


I think you, your organization BHA, has spoken too soon on a subject sensitive to millions of American Citizens and that is the gross over reach and domination of the government, especially the federal government.


Occupying the Refuge was not wise or legal. They aren’t even doing something the average joe hunter and fisherman is interested in supporting, not even the local hunters and fishermen. This takeover hasn’t been called a powder keg for nothing. The lawmen there are jumpy and they don’t know exactly what to expect from the occupiers. Eventually the law has to move in and take the place back. Personally I think the law has done their best to avoid a violent removal of the occupants for now but eventually they will have to be removed one way or the other.… Read more »


Klinton had Waco now Barry Hussein Soetoro has Malhuer.


This dude continues to spew BS like he was there and saw the incident ! Trey was not there and didn’t see nothing ! Bundy wanted to engage law enforcement for 3 weeks and he lost !


@Trey,were you there ? I didn’t think so !


F*&k the cop suckers at backcountry. The regret the loss of life? He was f&*king murdered, shot in the face with his hands up.