UPDATED: Sam Girod v FDA

Samuel Girod's all-natural herbal products

By Sally Oh on March 30, 2017 | Comments 4 | Affiliate Disclosure

First, please sign and share the petition here: bit.ly/freeamishsam.

Click here for more details and links to all court documents and the indictment.

Feel free to copy and repost on your blog, social media, or print and handout, use as a cover letter for a printed petition (click here to download petition). Since the Amish don’t use the internet, many of them don’t even know about Sam’s situation! Please share the printed petition, get their signatures, then email or mail to me here.

Samuel Girod [G as in Gee: gi-ROD] and his family have been making and selling three all-natural herbal products for nearly 20 years.

No one has ever been harmed by the products; the Girods have pages of testimonials and scores of repeat customers.

Similar products are currently made and sold online worldwide (including on Amazon) by other people using the same or similar basic ingredients. The recipes are online as well, you can make them in your kitchen.

In 2001, an FDA agent informed Sam that his product labels were making medical claims regarding healing certain conditions. At the time, Sam’s label said, ““[g]ood for all skin disorders. Skin cancer, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.”

Sam had to change his label, removing the skin cancer claim specifically, or do very expensive testing proving the claims. Sam changed the label, removing any reference to skin cancer.

Sam did not receive any further communication from the FDA until 2012 when someone called the FDA and reported that a store in MO was selling Sam’s products and that medical claims were being made.

The “medical claims” were in fact customer testimonials contained in a brochure about Sam’s products! These testimonials are no different than Amazon reviews.

Then the FDA claimed to have found a MO customer who had been harmed by Sam’s bloodroot salve.

In early 2013, during the investigation on that claim, FDA agents went to Sam’s home and demanded a warrantless search. Wanting to be cooperative, Sam said OK on one condition: that no photographs were taken (the Amish are religiously opposed to photography). The agents said no problem, no photos.

Then they got on the property, whipped out their cameras and took photos of everything.

Several months later, the Girods went before a federal judge in MO re the medical claims and the person supposedly injured. Turns out, not only has this customer never been identified or produced, the bloodroot salve this customer used was not even Sam’s!!!

Yet that judge put an injunction on Sam’s products with three stipulations:

  1. none could be sold until all medical claims were removed (referring to the brochures);
  2. Sam’s bloodroot salve could never be sold again EVER (1); and
  3. Sam had to allow inspection of his property where the products were made FOR FIVE YEARS.

Sam complied with 1 and 2: he stopped selling the bloodroot salve and stopped using the brochures. He was not so compliant with the searches.

In late 2013, after the injunction, FDA agents came to do a second search. Sam informed them that nothing had changed since the first search 7 months earlier, and that, since they had lied and taken photos during the first search, they were not welcome to do a second.

Sam had a Bath County Sheriff’s deputy there who witnessed the entire event and told the agents to leave the property.

Unfortunately for Sam, he knows his constitutionally-guaranteed rights and he relied on them to make his next decisions.

These three product sales are how Sam’s family made their living. They had been denied this right via an arbitrary regulation made up by a federal agency with no true jurisdiction in the states — and with NO VICTIM.

So the Girods started selling their products again. Then, in 2014, Sam started a legal private membership club and sold his products to members via that framework. Perfectly legal.

Meanwhile, the FDA started criminal proceedings against Sam for disobeying the injunction (selling his products and refusing the search) plus two other very serious charges:

1. The FDA agents claimed that, when they came for the 2nd search, Sam and his family threatened them with physical violence. That is ludicrous enough on the face of it. Plus, the Sheriff’s deputy testified under oath that absolutely no threats were made, that, essentially, the FDA agents lied under oath.

2. The FDA also charged Sam with witness tampering. The witness who was supposedly tampered with? Read the eyewitness account of Mary Miller’s testimony, link below. (2)

The Trial 2.27.17

The Amish do not use lawyers as a rule and Sam did not. This is a decision made by the community, not just the accused. Apparently the Amish don’t trust lawyers. Imagine that.

Because he barely presented a defense against federal prosecutors for whom money and conscience are not problems, Sam was convicted on all counts. (3)

The judge ordered Sam to remain in jail until sentencing on 6/16/17. He’s been in jail since 2/27/17.

Had Sam had a good attorney, he would certainly have been acquitted on the most egregious counts (threatening federal agents and witness tampering). These charges were clearly manufactured solely to make Sam into a “real” criminal, with the FDA being the only victim.

The only other charges — selling “drugs” across state lines — were manufactured out of whole cloth as well. The FDA’s own tests proved that the products were not drugs, that they were made from all-natural ingredients!!! These charges should have been dismissed from the start.

Sam’s sentencing is 6/16 and he is looking at 68 years in prison. This is essentially a life sentence for charges stemming from an innocent labeling infraction!

Sam should not spend a minute in jail. Please sign and share our petition to President Trump for a presidential pardon: bit.ly/freeamishsam

Burning Questions

  • How does the FDA get away with determining what constitutes a “medical claim” anyway?
  • How are they able to define “drug” so broadly that a topical salve made from all edible ingredients becomes a “drug?”
  • Why are Amazon reviews ok but Sam’s customers’ testimonials a basis for criminal charges?
  • How is the FDA able to create criminal penalties for violation of arbitrary rules?
  • How does this kind of action against an Amish grandfather making salves from all-natural ingredients protect the public, particularly considering that every 19 minutes, someone dies from an FDA-approved pharmaceutical, an actual drug that has been tested and “proven safe”?
  • How will Sam’s incarceration for life make the American public any safer?
  • Considering that no one was harmed by his products, how has spending millions of dollars on Sam’s prosecution and 16 years of harassment made the world a better place?

A SOLUTION

There is a better way to handle this. Let us Americans make healing claims on our products with the disclaimer, “These claims have not been scientifically proven. Please use your internet and library to verify claims to your own satisfaction prior to use.”

Sam’s prosecution is a prime example of bureaucracy run amok, enforcement for enforcement’s sake to justify an agency’s existence. There are literally thousands of people in jail (4) for breaking agency regulations fabricated by the agencies! Their rules and regulations are as arbitrary and illegal as they can be, with the result of making us all criminals in our own homes.

Who exactly is being protected here?


Resources:


(1) In the indictment, bloodroot is repeatedly referred to as “dangerous” with no documentation whatsoever. Bloodroot is from a plant grown in North America, it’s perfectly legal and used by millions of people for centuries for healing purposes. Bloodroot products are sold all over the internet, including on Amazon.


(2) Mary Miller is the 2nd witness called: http://www.kyfreepress.com/2017/03/trial-fda-v-samuel-girod-day-2/


(3) Trial Day 1, Trial Day 2, Trial Day 3


(4) http://thefreedomcoalition.com

Sally Oh

Sally Oh

Sally Oh is a native Kentuckian, wife, mother, blogger, homesteader, chickenista, recovering REALTOR® and Functional Medicine Practitioner. A liberty activist and registered voter, that’s her falling down a rabbit hole.

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In Kentucky, This Is What the War on Abortion Rights Looks Like

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By Lucy Westcott On 4/16/17 at 8:20 AM

Saturday is usually the busiest day for protests outside EMW Women’s Clinic in Louisville, the last remaining abortion provider in Kentucky that came dangerously close to shutting down last week.

As women walk to and from the clinic and the parking lot, volunteers dressed in bright orange vests walk alongside them, forming a human barrier against an angry and increasingly violent mass of protesters yelling hateful remarks and waving signs. One protester likes to shove her sign into the escorts’ faces. Another, known as Backwards Bob, preaches at the women as he walks backwards in front of them, forcing himself into their line of vision.

Kate Lafferty, a graduate student and volunteer at the clinic, says escorts are posted at different points in a one-block radius around the clinic where patients walk, including on street corners or in an alleyway that leads to a parking garage. On a Saturday in late March, Lafferty was one of 45 escorts at EMW protecting the women seeking abortions from roughly 75 yelling, crying and preaching protesters.

“We’re always in sight of one another,” she says. “You see the familiar [protesters] and it’s definitely shocking.”

A federal judge ruled this week that the Kentucky clinic serving thousands of women annually can stay open—for now. But state lawmakers are looking to shut down the facility in a move that would make Kentucky, which already has some of the strictest laws limiting women’s reproductive healthcare, the only state in the nation without an abortion clinic.

The battle in Kentucky reflects renewed efforts across the nation from Republican-led state legislatures and a GOP majority in Congress to limit women’s right to abortion access. The assault is also coming from the new White House, where President Donald Trump signed a bill Thursday allowing states to withhold federal Title X family planning funding from Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortions.

“Those of us who have been involved with access to abortion since the 1970s know that we’re more facing pre-Roe v. Wade days now than making any progress,” says Kate Cunningham, president of A Fund, an all-volunteer organization that has been helping Kentucky women pay for abortions since 1993. “Before Roe, there were women driving through the night to take women from Louisville to New York to access abortion. We hope and trust we don’t have to go back there, to those days, but that’s where we are. It’s so tough.”

In Kentucky, lawmakers argue that the Louisville clinic violates state requirements that such facilities have emergency medical agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service. Abortion rights activists note these kind of rules are excessive and not medically necessary, and in March, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Louisville clinic to try to keep it open.

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers issued a temporary restraining order in March against the state of Kentucky, which had threatened to shut down the clinic on April 3. That move would have made Kentucky the first state without a legal provider. Stivers then signed an order Monday to keep the clinic open until the lawsuit is resolved, and the clinic’s license has been renewed through May 31, 2018. The trial is set to begin in the first week of September.

If Kentucky does become the first state to lose all providers, it would result in even bigger barriers for women, says Elizabeth Nash, state issues experts at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights think tank based in New York. Not only will women have to travel longer distances to receive care, but clinics in surrounding states will have a bigger demand that will likely result in longer waiting times for an extremely time-sensitive procedure.

“Travel costs money, so do hotel rooms,” says Nash. “Not everybody gets paid time off. Essentially, you would be losing out on earning money. It balloons.”

But order or not, getting a termination remains an enormous challenge in Kentucky. Lafferty, 29, has been escorting at EMW for the past four months with her husband, Patrick Danner. Originally from New Jersey, she says it was a jolt to arrive in Kentucky and see how difficult it is to obtain an abortion compared to her home state and most of the northeastern United States.

“Having people preaching at you, holding up signs,” she says. “That was definitely a shock to me.”

Lafferty says she’s been called a murderer and told by protesters that women’s bodies are only good for one thing: reproducing. “Clients are quite shocked” by it, too, she says.

Fausta Luchini, 61, has volunteered as a clinic escort at EMW for the past eight years. During that time, she has seen the situation outside the clinic deteriorate as protesters have become increasingly aggressive. Photos sent by Luchini to Newsweek show protesters shoving large signs in escorts’ face, or getting uncomfortably close.

“The goal of escorts is to hold space for the client so the client is empowered to do what they want to do. That means that we really ignore, or do the best we can to ignore, the protesters,” says Luchini. “Many clients are really upset. Being with somebody and doing that walk with somebody who is crying, who is just in distress; emotionally, it can be difficult that way.”

“Chasers,” or protesters who follow patients and talk, preach or cry at them, all while invading their personal space, are another issue for Luchini and the women she escorts. “One in particular likes to walk in front of them and walk backwards,” she says. “We call him Backwards Bob.”

Once, the protesters discovered Luchini’s name, Googled her and found her mother’s obituary, which was read out to her during an escorting session.

“That was kind of bizarre,” she says. “That was unsettling.”

Related: Kentucky’s last clinic saved from ‘imminent closure’

Part of Luchini’s job as an escort is figuring out the safest way to move patients from their car to the clinic while avoiding protesters who have become increasingly aggressive. Although there’s an eight-foot safety barrier between the clinic and the protesters, EMW opens onto the street, meaning demonstrators can essentially stand anywhere except inside the building. The majority of the patients Luchini escorts come from Kentucky, although some travel from Indiana, which has 11 abortion clinics in all, but only 44 percent of all women live in counties with such facilities.

A spokesperson for the Psalms 82 (P82), a Christian anti-abortion group with a strong presence outside the Louisville clinic, tells Newsweek that its members are “not surprised at all by the judge’s order to keep [EMW] open. We expected it.” The group is known to film clients as they go to their appointments, says Lafferty.

Nash says Kentucky is one of seven states that have a single abortion provider left, joining West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi and Wyoming. It’s part of a decades-long decline in abortion providers, whether it’s due to better access to contraceptives — and therefore fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions — or state-level regulations that have kept new doctors from becoming abortion providers.

“The political landscape has changed in Kentucky and the Legislature has now made it its business to not only restrict abortion access through legislation, but also restrictions to family planning services,” says Nash, citing a recent law in Kentucky allowing the state to withhold state funds to clinics, including Planned Parenthood, that provide only family planning services. “There’s a real landscape change for reproductive health in Kentucky.”

Kentucky women unable to pay for a termination in their home state can obtain help from Cunningham’s A Fund. Last year, the organization helped 416 Kentucky women pay for abortions in seven states, including Kentucky; in 2015, that number was 314, says Cunningham. The average fiscal assistance provided by A Fund last year was $114, ranging from payments of $50 to $2,000.

“Many women find it more geographically convenient to go out of state for an abortion than come to Louisville,” says Cunningham.

Women in western Kentucky might go to Granite City, Illinois, while those in Bowling Green might go to Nashville, Tennessee. Women in northern Kentucky tend to travel to Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio for their abortions, and women in southeastern Kentucky go to Knoxville, Tennessee.

“Those states also have rather arduous so-called informed consent requirements, so women have to go and stay for a couple of days or make a couple of trips,” says Cunningham. “There’s nothing easy about it.”

Don Cox, a lawyer for EMW, is looking ahead to the first week of September, when the court case is set to begin. He says it’s “irrational that we should have to waste our time and effort dealing with stupid regulations and statutes like these.”

Related Stories

Cunningham, in the meantime, says she’s working with escorts and others to try and establish at 20-ft safety zone at the clinic’s entrance to better protect the “heroic” volunteers. Until then, EMW escorts will continue donning orange vests and walking women to the clinic doors, protecting their constitutional right to have a termination.

“When a woman comes to EMW to get an abortion, she has already overcome some tremendous barriers,” says Luchini. “The protesters are just the last hurdle. They don’t see themselves that way, but that’s all they are.”

“It’s the last thing they gotta conquer.”

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Kentucky Reaches Settlement in Radioactive Waste Dumping

Image result for radioactive waste

Kentucky officials have reached a $168,000 settlement with one of the companies accused of being involved in the dumping of radioactive waste in a landfill.

| April 14, 2017, at 4:26 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials said Friday they reached a $168,000 settlement with one of the companies accused of being involved in dumping radioactive waste in an Appalachian landfill.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services said it reached the settlement with Fairmont Brine Processing, which operates a wastewater treatment facility in West Virginia.

Kentucky officials accused Fairmont Brine of arranging to dispose of radioactive waste in an Estill County landfill in eastern Kentucky. The company had appealed its more than $1 million civil penalty order issued by the state cabinet late last year.

The state said Fairmont Brine contracted with a Kentucky company called Advanced TENORM Services to pick up, transport, treat and dispose of the waste. Some of it ended up in Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill County, the state said.

Fairmont Brine denied all liability but agreed to pay the $168,000 civil penalty over a 30-month period, the state said.

“All settlement proceeds will be directed to the Estill County Public Health Department,” cabinet Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said in a release. “The funds will be used for radiation-related public health issues in Estill County, particularly radon education and detection.”

Fairmont Brine was one of several companies targeted with civil penalty orders related to disposal of out-of-state radioactive material in Kentucky.

Fairmont Brine cooperated with Kentucky authorities, the cabinet said.

The company maintained it did not intend to violate Kentucky laws. When it contracted with Advanced TENORM Services to dispose its waste, Fairmont Brine relied on the other company’s claims that the waste would be safely and legally deposited in Kentucky, the cabinet said.

Monitoring and testing of areas at Blue Ridge Landfill have shown no evidence the disposal caused radiation or radioactive contamination above federal and state safety limits, the cabinet said.

When the state announced the penalties in 2016, it was also seeking fines from Advanced TENORM. The company is appealing the penalty order against it, the state said.

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Executive Committee of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs will meet next week in Frankfort.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Colleen Pomper
502-564-2611
cpomper@ky.gov

Meeting Notice

Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs – Executive Committee

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 14, 2017) – The Executive Committee of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs will meet next week in Frankfort.

Who:

Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs

What:

Executive Committee Meeting

When:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
10:00 a.m. (EDT)

Where:

Boone National Guard Center
EOC Conference Room
100 Minuteman Parkway
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

###


Governor of Kentucky

Questions? Contact us

(KY) Senate Week in Review

Submitted By Reginald Thomas

FRANKFORT— It may have been a “short session” in the number of days, but the 2017 Legislative Session was not “short” on important public policy changes. Last week, we completed the 29th and 30th days of the session by voting on significant issues in the areas of education, criminal justice reform, and government accountability.

Some bills were passed and others were defeated in the last two legislative days. The General Assembly had a major victory when we were able to move forward with important legislation that the Governor attempted to halt. We voted to override the Governor’s vetoes – all four of them. In my time in Frankfort, overriding all of a Governor’s vetoes is something that had not happened before.

The Governor’s four vetoes dealt with court-ordered treatment for mentally ill people with a history of involuntary hospitalization (known as Tim’s Law), the regulation of drones, the manner of disbursing funds from a multimillion-dollar legal settlement with Volkswagen, and the naming of roads in various parts of the state. All four of these vetoes were successfully overridden in the Senate and House by wide margins.

With time waning, some new bills did pass and were delivered to the Governor’s desk, including a wide-reaching education reform policy that would change how our public schools are held accountable for student progress and how teachers are evaluated. Among other goals, Senate Bill 1 is designed to place more control and accountability in the hands of local school districts, enabling them to have a stronger voice in how to improve performance by both students and teachers, and will hopefully help school districts to turn their low-performing schools around.

Other bills that passed last week, which will become law when signed by the Governor, include:

· Senate Bill 120 is a criminal justice reform bill that will help people leaving prison successfully rejoin society by providing them with employable skills. The measure includes provisions to remove licensing restrictions that make it harder for felons to find jobs. It also makes improvements in reentry substance abuse supervision.

· House Bill 253 will help protect abused children by allowing unannounced visits by state social services workers to the residences where child abuse or neglect has occurred. The unannounced visits will continue until the welfare of a child has been safeguarded.

· House Bill 524 attempts to help fight human trafficking by requiring public schools to display the National Human Trafficking Reporting Hotline information, and also will require the hotline number to be posted at rest areas. The measure will also provide for enhanced penalties for promoting human trafficking that involves commercial sexual activity making it a criminal offense against a minor if the victim is under 18.

· House Bill 309 enables tenants who are victims of domestic violence to terminate a lease with 30 days’ notice to their landlords without penalties. It also prevents abuse victims from being denied a lease because of their history as domestic violence victims.

Sometimes defeating a bill is a victory as we saw in the last hours of the last day of the session. House Bill 281 would have stripped the power of Attorney General Andy Beshear and future attorney generals to file civil lawsuits or appeals on behalf of the state. That power would transfer to the governor.  No other attorney general in the country would be as weak. For example, HB 281 would have prohibited the attorney general from suing to challenge Governor Bevin’s cuts to public universities. In addition to forfeiting the checks and balances on the governor, HB 281 would have narrowed the avenues for the Commonwealth to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Attorney General is the people’s attorney and this bill would have been a threat to the state and our people.

Soon the dust will settle and the 2017 session will be another for the books. There are some major issues still looming over us and the Governor has said he will call us back to session to address tax reform and pensions. Those are two very complex issues, and, at least in my opinion, for the General Assembly to successfully address them will require the House and Senate Republicans to find a plan agreeable to both.  That hasn’t happened yet. 

In the meantime, I urge you to stay in touch. You can always leave a message on the Legislative Message Line at (800) 372-7181. You can e-mail me directly at reginald.thomas@lrc.ky.gov.

2017 Rice Leach Public Health Hero Award

On a different and a more personal note, I am honored to be selected as recipient of the 2017 Rice Leach Public Health Hero Award from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health. I will be recognized at the April 27 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council meeting and honored at the May 8 Board of Health meeting.

Previously known as the Public Health Hero Award, the Board of Health renamed the award in 2016 in memory of the late Dr. Rice C. Leach, Lexington’s former Commissioner of Health who spent more than 50 years as a public health physician. Leach died April 1, 2016. It is very humbling to receive an award named for Dr. Leach. If you would like to read more about this award, follow this link: http://www.kyforward.com/lexington-attorney-state-senator-thomas-named-rice-leach-public-health-hero-for-2017/.

Prepared by LRC Staff

Legendary pot grower Johnny Boone, leader of Kentucky’s ‘Cornbread Mafia,’ back in U.S.

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John “Johnny” Boone, the leader of Kentucky’s “Cornbread Mafia,” once the nation’s largest domestic marijuana producing organization, is back in the United States after eight years on the lam.

Boone, who was once featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” was apprehended in Canada in December 2016 and was ordered detained Wednesday after appearing in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, about 90 miles south of Montreal.

He had been extradited to the U.S. and will be transported to Louisville soon, according to Kraig LaPorte, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Burlington. Wendy McCormick, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville, said it could be a week or two before he is flown to Louisville on a U.S. Marshal Service flight.

Boone, 73, a legendary figure in central Kentucky, faces charges on a 2008 indictment that accused him of growing and distributing marijuana on his farm in Springfield, where more than 2,400 marijuana plants allegedly were found by Kentucky State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The government is also trying to force him to forfeit cash, vehicles, a handgun and an AR-15 rifle.

He fled after a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he faces up to life in prison if convicted.

►EARLIER COVERAGE: ‘Cornbread Mafia’ fugitive in court

Federal prosecutors in Vermont requested his detention, saying he faces a long prison term and at age 73 has a strong incentive to flee. The motion also noted that he’d lived illegally in Canada for eight years, “which alone renders him a flight risk.”

The Cornbread Mafia, a group of mostly Kentuckians, pooled their money, machinery, knowledge and labor to produce $350 million in pot seized in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, prosecutors said in 1989.

The organization operated on isolated farms in nine Midwestern states, some of which were guarded by bears and lions, and by workers described by the government as a “paramilitary force.” Boone’s exploits were the subject of a book, “Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code Of Silence And The Biggest Marijuana Bust In American History,” by Kentucky freelance writer James Higdon.

U.S. Attorney Joe Whittle said in 1989 that marijuana had been seized at 29 sites, including 25 farms outside Kentucky. Sixty-four Kentucky residents were charged, 49 of whom lived in Marion County.

The detention motion says Boone’s criminal history extends to 1969 and includes a 1985 conviction for marijuana possession with intention to distribute, for which he was sentenced to five years, and another conviction for unlawful manufacture of 1,000 plants or more, for which he was sentenced to 20 years and paroled in 1999.

Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189 or awolfson@courier-journal.com.

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Donald Trump Jr. bagged bull elk on Kentucky hunting trip

Donald Trump Jr. at his father’s estate in Bedford, N.Y., Feb. 25, 2017. The president’s once-wayward eldest son has embraced his new role in business and politics on his terms. (George Etheredge/The New York Times)

By Fernando Alfonso III

falfonso@herald-leader.com

Donald Trump Jr. is an experienced hunter who has stalked elephants in Zimbabwe, pheasants in Hungary and, as of January, elk in Kentucky.

On Jan. 14, Trump used a bow and arrow to kill a bull elk on private property in Martin County, said Mark Marraccini, communications director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. Marraccini said he believes Trump’s elk weighed about 700 pounds.

“It doesn’t really matter what you’re hunting, if you’re an archer, that’s a higher skill level than using a rifle. He made this kill with a bow and was probably 30 yards away,” Marraccini said. “To get close enough to make a kill with a bow, there’s a lot of skill involved in that.”

Trump was able to procure a hunting tag quickly thanks to the unique relationship the department has with certain private landowners, Marraccini said. There are about 40 of these landowner-cooperator tags in Kentucky.

“Say you’re a big coal company or a big power company and you own 40,000 acres of land. The department has entered into an agreement with some of those landowners that for every 5,000 acres that they will deed over to us to be used for public recreation year round, we would let them have one elk tag, and they can use that tag anyway they want,” Marraccini said.

For the rest of the public, obtaining a hunting tag takes luck.

In 2016, there were about 75,000 applications for elk hunting licenses in Kentucky put into a lottery. Nine hundred ten licenses were granted. The license drawing is random, Marraccini said.

This December marks the 20-year anniversary of Kentucky bringing seven elk into the state to establish a population, Marraccini said.

Marraccini said he has put his name into the lottery for an elk tag every year since 2001 and has never been chosen.

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

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