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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Carnivore biologist John Laundre is back with us again this holiday season debunking the upside down thinking, flawed logic and political monkey wrenching that is the hallmark of State Game Commissions persecution-focused hunting paradigm for Carnivores............As John states below: "What is the justification for this wanton killing of wildlife?"............... "If we search the "seven sisters" of the hallowed North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (the NAM), which hunters purport is the bible that embodies the hunting ethic they espouse to, we find none(no justification!)"..............."Predator killing has nothing to do with "legitimate" reasons for hunting nor does it have any scientific basis"................ "It is killing for the sake of killing, which brings this blood "sport" to a very depraved level of human behavior".................... "Predator Xtreme feeds off of, encourages this behavior, to the detriment of the most important members of our natural ecosystems".

Predator Xtreme: a ragazine devoted to wanton killing of wildlife

Many of you, the 90% that don't hunt, probably don't know of the magazine, I call it and all its ilk, ragazines, Predator Xtreme.  It is a magazine devoted to articles about killing predators With titles of stories like "An insider look at coyote-hunting contests" or "Become the Ultimate mountain lion hunter", the overall theme of the magazine is to kill, kill, kill.  Because of hunters' influence over game agencies and commissions, they can do just that. Most states have open year-round and now even night-time seasons on many native predators such as coyotes and other "vermin".  To the "men" who partake in this killing frenzy, the goal is to kill as many and as often as they can.  As the title above, often in killing contests to see who can kill the most, the biggest. 

What is the justification for this wanton killing of wildlife?  If we search the "seven sisters" of the hallowed North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (the NAM), which hunters purport is the bible that embodies the hunting ethic they espouse to, we find none

This is especially the case for the 4th "sister": Wildlife can only be killed for legitimate purposes.  What are those legitimate purposes? Well one obvious one, at least for hunters, is for food.  Many hunters supposedly live by the motto of "if you kill it, you eat it".  Beyond food, are there other legitimate reasons to kill wildlife? Not surprisingly, as the NAM is a hunting model, NOT a conservation one, in a tip of their hat to trappers, it seems that killing an animal just for its fur is ok.  However, in contradiction to this, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation interprets the NAM as restricting the casual killing of wildlife merely for antlers, horns, or feathers.  Why we can't kill deer just for their antlers, leaving the carcass to rot in the sun, but can kill and discard a predator after removing its skin, to me defies logic. But then again, the hunters' interpretation of the NAM is far from logical or consistant.

But given this, if we accept that the two legitimate reasons to kill an animal is for food and, I suppose for the sake of argument, its fur, is that what these predator hunters are doing?  It is obvious that few if any, eat the meat of the predators they kill.  How many of these hunters feed their families wolf burgers or coyote stakes? Or yummy bobcat stew? As for fur, although Predator Xtreme gives lip service to the possibility of using the fur of predators hunters kill, e.g. "Selling furs: What the buyer looks for", few predator hunters take the time to skin the animals they kill and in many cases, the fur is just not worth the effort.  Most of what they kill is discarded to rot in a dump or landfill. Most predators, then, are killed not for their meat, not for their fur, but just for the pure "fun" of being able to kill, in most cases, as many as you want, when you want.  It is a chance for modern hunters to do what they abhorred in their ancestors and which gave rise to the hallowed NAM.

So for all intents and purposes, the wanton killing of predators appears to violate all that is held sacred by the hunting society. And it flies in the face of the growing body of scientific knowledge that recognizes the vital importance of predators to ecosystems

  Predators are NOT vermin or "weeds in the garden", they are the gardeners keeping herbivores in their ecological rows (not a misspelling)Science also shows us that predators do NOT excessively kill off their prey.  If they did, they would have died out eons ago! And hunters seem to falsely believe they know "how nature works" more than the non-hunter!  Nor too, are predators, even large ones, threats to humans.  They are consistently less dangerous than many of the other threats facing humans, including, as we all too painfully see, from our own guns!  Given all this, there is no justifiable reason, beyond immediate, but rare, personal danger, to kill predators!  To kill a predator is to kill just for killing and fits the definitions of wanton (deliberate and unprovoked) and senseless (without discernible meaning or purpose). 

Does the hunting society condemn the wanton, senseless killing of predators, as they do their ancestors for shamelessly killing deer, elk and other game species?  No!  They continue to condone it. They encourage it!  In general, as exemplified by the attitude of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the hunting society in America is still locked in the 19th century where the only good predator was a dead predator.  American hunters, in not acknowledging the very tenets they espouse, not only violate the 4th sister but totally ignore the 2nd: there should be a prohibition of commerce in dead wildlife (IF predator hunters are actually selling the furs of the animals they kill), the 6th: "Science is the proper tool to discharge wildlife policy" (the majority of scientific information does not support the uncontrolled killing of predators), and the 1st sisters: "Wildlife is held in the public trust" (the other 90% of Americans should have a say in whether this wanton killing continues)

 And I might say, they step heavily on the remaining three sisters!   Although the hypocrisy of it all flies in their faces, the hunting society, rather than policing  itself, lacks the will, the backbone to stand up and say "this is wrong".  Rather, they seem to think it is their inalienable right to destroy predators and thus the ecosystems predators protect.  Is it their "right" to kill and destroy just for the fun of it?

Predator killing has nothing to do with "legitimate" reasons for hunting nor does it have any scientific basis.  It is killing for the sake of killing, which brings this blood "sport" to a very depraved level of human behavior.  Predator Xtreme feeds off of, encourages this behavior, to the detriment of the most important members of our natural ecosystems.

John Laundré

John Laundré, Ph.D.

John LaundreJohn has done extensive field research on cougars and wolves. He is the co author of the landmark LANDSCAPE OF FEAR paradigm, which brings into light how carnivores through their very presence are a key top down trophic lever that helps maintain vibrant biodiverse ecosystems

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