Saturday, April 1, 2017

Heart wrenching apology

I am cross posting a comment from Bait.  It is a heart wrenching apology from one of Merlin Benner's former employees. 

Hello all, sorry to hear your deer. My position has just been terminated at Wildlife Specialists so I thought I could inform you of the absolute debacle and sickening display of so called professionalism from this company. I was apart of the job that only took 6 deer from your township. I would like to officially apologize to all residents whether you were for it or against it. What I was apart of will haunt me forever. I do hunt legally and feed my family by doing so but what WS did in your township was horrific and an absolute display of arrogance and should not represent real hunters. I witnessed 5/6 deer taken that year. I never once did any of the shooting bc I was against using a weapon I had no practice with. The so called "professional shooters" were definitely not trained nor professional. They are basically your average hunter with big heads and chips on their shoulders. On the very first night there were 11 shots fired for 3 deer in those stupid corrals. That was the most horrific thing I've ever witnessed in all my life. The first 3 shots were fired while Benner's little brother was literally saying "I can't see" and fired anyway. There should have been a law suit filed against that BS of a company. Only one deer was shot somewhat humanely where it only took one bullet but all the rest had to be shot twice or more. The memories will haunt me for the rest of my life and those responsible are not professional nor do they feel like they did anything wrong. I spoke up many times about it and have since spoke up about it and that is one reason I was terminated. It's a sad world we live in. Good luck Mt. Lebo, I feel for you and your deer. Again, I'm sorry for ever being apart of that and if I regret anything in life, it was working for that P.O.S. company.


E. T. Gillen said...

I tried to go to sleep, but I have just been tossing and turning, thinking about this comment. It stirred up a lot of old feelings. Bad feelings. Angry feelings. And lots of unanswered questions.

First, thank you for your apology. Our commissioners owe us a huge apology for hiring Merlin Benner. That is why I always put "sharpshooting" in quotations. I know that people thought we were hiring Navy Seals, when I knew what we were getting with Merlin the Magnificent.

Those corrals were horrible. That is what Tony DeNicola wants to do next. I can't take another season of that horror. Taking Mt. Lebanon to court doesn't seem to make a difference. Ask me how I know.

I am hoping you will answer some questions for me.

Merlin Benner was seen down at McNeilly Park with the Game Commission and he was pretty angry. He was yelling and throwing things. Would you be able to tell me what had happened?

I spent a very cold Sunday afternoon, raking up old bait - corn, that was left at Bird Park. Were you aware that it was an Allegheny County Health Department violation? I see that you are not from Allegheny County and that is why I am asking.

Merlin made some pretty awful accusations of our residents. The police were called on several occasions, just because residents were walking through a church parking lot or over by the golf course, when a police officer blocked a man's car over by Thornycroft, when he was with his elementary school daughter around 3:30 in the afternoon.

Even hunters have wondered why there is hunting going on, right in Mt. Lebanon. We were standing next to hunters, protesting in front of the municipal building.

I am not against hunting, but I am against hunting in Mt. Lebanon Firing lethal weapons to kill deer in this community is horrific.

Again, thank you for coming forward. I do hope to hear more from you.

Anonymous said...

I think a couple important points to take away from this honest and revealing apology are:

That these shooters apparently had no experience, practice, or training to use the AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, which have a maximum range of 2.20 miles using the .223 caliber ammunition. In addition, Benner upgraded (I think w/o approval) to more powerful ammunition after the initial inhumane debacle of 11 shots to kill 3 trapped and traumatized deer in the corral. The ex-employee states, "I never once did any of the shooting bc I was against using a weapon I had no practice with. The so called 'professional shooters' were definitely not trained nor professional." This revelation is basically saying that the Mt. Lebanon Commissioners put the safety of all Mt. Lebanon's families, children, and pets at risk.

Laura Simon, The Humane Society's wildlife biologist, repeatedly warned Mt. Lebanon's Commissioners directly and in her letter published in The Almanac, "Killing Deer Won't Solve Mt. Lebanon's Issues" (1/29/15), that this project would be an inhumane debacle.

Killing Deer Won't Solve Mt. Lebanon's Issues

I included a few excerpts from Laura Simon's letter below:

"Third, this plan is inhumane. When the corral gate shuts, the deer will panic and slam into the fencing. The result will be broken legs and necks. If the city goes ahead with this misguided plan, we highly encourage residents to demand that an objective observer or the press be allowed to see this spectacle. ... Fifth, it is worth questioning the safety of any plan in which deer are shot, night and day, with rifles in areas so close to human dwellings. ... Overall, the city’s decision to allow deer to be corralled and shot is inhumane, reckless and doomed to fail. Let’s hope community leaders have the good sense to call it off."

Of course, the commissioners didn't have the good sense and ignored all of Laura Simon's warnings and advice, which they have done consistently over the years. This ex-employee confirms the inhumane slaughter and suffering that Laura Simon, HSUS' wildlife biologist, predicted.

"The first 3 shots were fired while Benner's little brother was literally saying 'I can't see' and fired anyway."

If that quote doesn't make chills run down your spine, I don't know what will.

Bottom line, these commissioners continue to demonstrate a total lack of due diligence, common sense, i.e. negligence, and continue to put the safety of all Mt. Lebanon's families, children, and pets at risk.

E. T. Gillen said...

I hope that you and others would share this with these commissioners.

E. T. Gillen said...

I was checking the "historical deer management information" on the municipal website and found this.

Wildlife Specialists, which was contracted to cull up to 150 deer at $500 apiece, began the program March 10 and chose to end it early because of several factors, according to a letter from the firm’s president, Merlin Benner, which thanked police for their cooperation and urged that a deer management plan continue.

The factors Benner cited that made it impossible to achieve the program’s goals included the fact that the cull began much later than the expected early February start date. In addition, the weather warmed almost as soon as the program began, leading to an immediate drop in the number of deer entering the corrals for food. Finally, direct sabotage of the corrals and disruption of the animals in the areas surrounding the corrals led to fewer deer entering the corrals.

Funny how the excuse is always warm weather.

Also listed is Wildlife Specialists' proposal.

Talk about sending chills down your spine, I am hoping that the State Supreme Court hears my case because as of now, we are not to know the identity of any of Tony DeNicola's volunteers who are "donating their time" to fire cross bows in Mt. Lebanon. Are you starting to see why I have been pursuing this issue? Do you see who the commissioners are really protecting? I'm not spending thousands of dollars for the heck of it. It isn't an issue of none of my business.

Anonymous said...

Elaine this letter would never hold up in court unless you could get the person who wrote it to testify in person. I think you know that, too. This letter changes nothing with your case

E. T. Gillen said...

I cannot present any new evidence, 9:59 AM. I think you know that, too.

So what you are saying is that I should not share anything on this blog unless it changes something with my case? Got it.

Anonymous said...

9:59, unfortunately or rather fortunately there is another court, the court of public opinion.

Anonymous said...

...and this blog and its court of public opinion is the perfect foil to the "official" public information office that has had a monopoly for too many years.

We shall see how the jury votes in the upcoming elections.

Keep the evidence coming Lebocitizens.