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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

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, May 5, 2016

Biologist and ground breaking Predator/Prey dynamics LANDSCAPE OF FEAR co-author, John Laundre, is back with us today with a very timely missive on how not all hunters are the environmentalists that they always claim to be............John's excellent analysis below is so timely with the USFW Service seemingly hellbent on turning over management of the Greater Yellowstone region Grizzly Bears to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho whose Game Commissions cannot wait to set up both Fall and Spring hunting seasons on the still recovering bruins............Paraphrasing John's observations as he states the following------ "Once a hunter gets his trophy, his interest in the animal is done.......... "He spent his $$ for the right to kill the creature"................."He has his trophy"............ "That is all he wants or cares about"................. "Hunters continue to brag about the millions of dollars they pay via fees and excise taxes that go toward what they call wildlife conservation"..................... "And therein lies one of the great fallacies of the myth".................. "This money is NOT for wildlife conservation"..................... "It is specifically earmarked for…the MANAGEMENT of species they hunt"....................... "This money is used to set up and support hunting oriented game agencies across the nation"................. "These agencies are bought and paid for by these fees with the prime directive of providing “more game in the bag” for hunters"....................... "Hunters not only don’t care about most carnivore species, they have self-justified incentives to kill as many as they can. Why?"......................... "Because hunters think it will “save” those favored game species…so they can kill them!"..................... "One recent coyote killing contest in southwestern Minnesota used the phrase “save our pheasants” to advertise this uncontrolled killing spree of a native species to “protect” an exotic one!"................ "Regardless of the fact that study after study has demonstrated “game” species don’t need protecting from carnivores that they have evolved with over 100’s of thousands of year!".................... "Regardless of the fact that science now has shown that carnivores and many other varmint species, e.g. prairie dogs, are actually valued keystone species, critical to ecosystem health"...................... "Regardless of “if I can hunt it, I will care about it”, uncontrolled the killing goes on"

Hunter myth #1: If I can hunt it, I will care about it

If I can hunt it, I will care about it. How many times have we hear this timeworn adage from hunters? One of the more recent times was to justify the killing of a “trophy” rhinoceros, with the hunting industry pointing to the fact that the killer would pay $350,000 for the “privilege”! And the argument being that somehow this hunter would become a great rhinoceros conservationist and all that money would somehow help rhinoceros conservation. On the first point, once that hunter gets his trophy, his interest in rhinoceros are done. He has his trophy. That is all he wants or cares about. The same with the killer of Cecil, do we really think this dentist cares about African lion conservation? All they care about is the trophy. In fact the rarer the species the better the trophy. That is what makes them such great trophies! Imagine what some “hunter” would pay to kill the last rhinoceros, the last lion!!  And all that money would go to the conservation of….??


How does participating in coyote killing contests make you a conservationist?


























Speaking of the money, hunters continue to brag about the millions of dollars they pay via fees and excise taxes that go toward what they call wildlife conservation. And therein lies one of the great fallacies of the myth. This money is NOT for wildlife conservation. It is specifically earmarked for…the MANAGEMENT of species they hunt. This money is used to set up and support hunting oriented game agencies across the nation. These agencies are bought and paid for by these fees with the prime directive of providing “more game in the bag” for hunters. So the largess of the hunting industry is mainly earmarked just for these few favored “game” species. Because they can’t or aren’t allowed to hunt the other 99% of the wildlife out there, hunters and hunters’ money aren’t really concerned about them.



Whether in 1870 or 2016, Hunters hunting to kill, not caring about the land or the species hunted









The selectivity of their “concern” for a few favored wildlife can also be seen in the organizations hunters form. They point with pride to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation RMEF, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS), Ducks Unlimited (DU), White-tails Forever (WF), and many many more acronyms devoted to favored species. All this in support of the basic myth that the only way to protect a species is to allow them to hunt and kill it. Only then will it get the protection needed to thrive. Killing the few for the many as it were.

Hunters may try to convince us that the other 99% of the species will benefit through the management of these favored species. It is kind of like the economic trickledown theory, these other species benefit from the “care” given the preferred species, especially relative to habitat management. However, like the economic version, it is a lie and is a system designed to enhance the favored species at the expense of the rest. With the prime directive to produce more game for the bag, anything interfering with this maximizing of game populations, will not be tolerated. Managing habitat for the maximization of “hunting opportunities” of game species populations often excluded the habitat needs for many other species. They rarely, then, benefit and are often harmed by these maximizing efforts. On a species level, this model is better described as “enhancing the few at the expense of the many”.

Apart all of this “hunter-conservation” model not benefiting the other 99% of the species, probably the greatest lie of this myth is that it does not even protect many species that hunters CAN hunt! Being able to hunt and kill a species does NOT insure that the hunting industry will care about them. Case in point are the “varmints”, many of them carnivores, but also include a whole host of native birds, mammals and even reptiles. Hunters are allowed to kill these species and to paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, they don’t give a flying F#$% at a rolling donut about their welfare.


Why is this different then killing lions in Africa that we get outraged about?








Unlike favored hunted species, these species, don’t have organizations designed to protect them. What they have are magazines such as Predator Extreme, Varmint Hunter, or Varminter! The only “care” these and many more “ragazines” focus on is how to kill as many of these varmints as you can! Much of the killing of these species is totally uncontrolled, a hunter can kill as many as he wants whenever he wants, now even at night! Even where there is the false appearance of control, seasons are long and “bag” limits are high and don’t correspond to any scientific principles of sustained use. In many cases, there are organized killing contests to see who can kill the most and/or the largest. And of course, as in the past, there are certain backwards states today where hunters actually get paid a bounty to kill them!

Where is the concern, for these species? Where is the crap of “If I can hunt it, I will care for it”?? What is the justification for this obvious dismissal of this hallowed myth? Again, it is related to those “favored” species. This can be best seen regarding the carnivores, of all sizes. It is obvious that, though they can hunt them, hunters not only don’t care about most carnivore species, they have self-justified incentives to kill as many as they can. Why? Because hunters think it will “save” those favored game species…so they can kill them! One recent coyote killing contest in southwestern Minnesota used the phrase “save our pheasants” to advertise this uncontrolled killing spree of a native species to “protect” an exotic one! Regardless of the fact that study after study has demonstrated “game” species don’t need protecting from carnivores that they have evolved with over 100’s of thousands of year! Regardless of the fact that science now has shown that carnivores and many other varmint species, e.g. prairie dogs, are actually valued keystone species, critical to ecosystem health. Regardless of “if I can hunt it, I will care about it”, uncontrolled the killing goes on.


Killing lions in Africa,,,,,,,,,,,,,Killing Pumas in America----Nonsensical







So it is myth. It is based on lies and erroneous perceptions…from a group who thinks they know best how nature works! It is a myth used to justify selective pampering of a few favored species at the expense of not only the rest of the wildlife species but the actual health of ecosystems that we all depend on. It is a myth that must be challenged. Hunting a species does not insure its survival nor the survival of the other 99% of the species of wildlife. It is a self-serving myth used by hunters to justify the killing of animals in the name of conservation. It is a myth that is scientifically and morally wrong.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hesitated to EVEN poke-the-bear on this subject, but, well, here goes.....I REALLY like most of John Laundre's stuff, too, but this anti-hunter rant is rather polarized. What he is saying in this article is absolutely completely 100% correct, about SOME hunters. But really, really WRONG regarding many others. Hunters are like anybody or anything--there's all kinds. I know of some that ARE great, knowledgable conservationists, and others that are SLOBS. Of the good ones, OF COURSE they come to respect and, ironic as it may seem to anti-hunters, have real affection for the animals they hunt. How is this different today from the same respect/love indigenous peoples had for the animals that supported their livelihood for eons? Even if many modern hunters today(in most "sport" scenarios) don't actually NEED that meat or hides to survive, it still connects them to Nature in ways overly civilized urban anti-hunters cannot fathom. I, personally, do NOT hunt unless I have no choice but to EAT(and that scenario has occurred a time or two in my financially challenged life!), BUT, I want to SCREAM at the anti-hunters to SHUT UP! As they seem to have NO IDEA the damage they will cause to many, many animals by wanting to eliminate hunting! Regardless of one's personal morals regarding hunting, there is NO QUESTION hunting has saved LOTS of animals, simply because it gives a VALUE to them, and HABITAT is preserved that otherwise wouldn't be. Where I live, the "deer leases" would have been "developed" into housing developments or strip malls years ago, except for the worshippers of dead deer! And for what few deer they get, buhzillions of other wildlife survives and has a place to live! So I can grit my teeth and tolerate hunting for the OVERALL good it does much wildlife, even if it IS inadvertent, in many cases! You really, really MUST look at THE BIG PICTURE in regards to hunting......L.B.

Rick Meril said...

strong points LB...........I do think the points made by John overall do have merit in terms of it being time to go to Game Commission 2.O..........Meaning, ok, we have habitat,,,,,,,and deer and bear and Elk are there............Can we not have the whole matrix, meaning those creatures who eat some of these other creatures seen and protected with the same zeal...........This will only come when hunting tags are not the only means of financing state game commissions,,,,,,,,,,,,when the hiker, bird watcher and just plain old American who goes to the movies is also as strongly represented in management paradigm as are the hunters.