January 16, 2018
Schrader’s Outdoors, located in Henderson, MD, held a horrific live pigeon shoot this past Sunday, January 14, 2018. This obviously cruel, highly controversial slaughter is known to happen in Pennsylvania, but this is the first time it has been proven to happen in Maryland.
SHARK sent an investigator to Schrader's the following day (Monday, January 15, 2018) to locate and film evidence remaining from the shoot. Working undercover, our investigator found and filmed dismembered pigeon body parts, and then a large pit where pigeons from the shoot had been burned. In addition to pigeons, the bodies of geese and ducks were also found inside the burn pit.
Parts of pigeons, ducks and geese were found in a large burn pit at Schrader's Outdoors
This was enough evidence to prove that a shoot had indeed taken place, but what happened next was truly unexpected and dramatic.
As the investigator was leaving, he saw some survivors of the pigeon shoot near the Schrader's clubhouse. As he began to film the pigeons on his cell phone, a Schrader's worker, armed with a shotgun, came toward him. The worker told our investigator that there had been a pigeon shoot there the day before and that Schrader’s holds such shoots at least once a year. He told our investigator that he was going to shoot the pigeons that were near the clubhouse. Our investigator offered to help move the pigeons away, but the worker refused and then said that he was going to shoot the pigeons right then and there because he couldn’t shoot them in front of a clay target shooter who might be an “animal lover.”
• The worker, who was just a few feet away from our investigator, then fired three times, killing two birds. All of this was captured on video.The Schrader's worker firing at pigeons right in front of our investigator
Pigeon shoots are disgusting acts of animal cruelty where hundreds, if not thousands of innocent birds are shot for fun. We believe the people of Maryland will be appalled at this cruelty, just as they were when we exposed cownose ray killing contests in 2015 and 2016, which led to legislation being passed creating a moratorium on those contests.
This is not SHARK’s first time dealing with Schrader’s. Last April, SHARK discovered that Schrader's was set to hold a pigeon shoot, but after we exposed it and said we would be there to film, the shoot was shut down. Following that, it was our understanding that pigeon shoots in Maryland were illegal under existing law. We sought clarification about this from law enforcement and government, going all the way up to the Maryland Attorney General’s office, but no one was willing to give us a final answer about this.
Maryland law enforcement and the Maryland Office of Attorney General must now reveal whether pigeon shoots are illegal or not. If they are, Schrader’s and all who participated in the pigeon shoot must be charged with violating the law. And if these shoot are not illegal, then legislation must be introduced in the state, just as it was for cownose rays, to ban these disgusting acts of animal cruelty.