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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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Saturday, May 21, 2016

LANDSCAPE OF FEAR Biologist John Laundre was once a hunter-----BUT NO MORE.........Over the past couple of years, John has provided us with a series of writings that focus on how in 2016, if you are not hunting to eat, you are simply hunting to kill..................And in our human-centric world with so many animal and plant species getting "squeezed" and "blinking out" due to our growing population, land and weather altering actions, John both articulately and emotionally makes the case that hunters should be honest about their motivations for being in the woods with high powered weapons..............From his perspective, there are all types of ways to bond with your buddies in the back country without killing Griz, Wolf and Puma............., From his point of view, there are all types of ways to feed your family without killing wild animals.................... He holds the outlook that there are significantly better ways of promoting optimum biodiversity than going into the woods and shooting predators in the name of helping their prey animals.........John admits to a bit of a "rant" in his piece below,,,,,,,,,,,,,,But wherever you come out on hunting, I believe most of us can empathize with John's indignation with the Alaska High School Football Player who decided his next chapter of life should be determined by whether he kills a Grizzly when next in the back country................As famed 20th century naturalist Aldo Leopold put it--- "Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal"

Grand View Outdoors On-line story headline: Bear Hunt Helps Alaskan Football Player Make College Decision‏. 

Now we all know magazines (ragazines I call them) like Grand View Outdoors, pander to the killing of things, mainly just for the thrill of killing. This is especially the case for predators and they seem to go to any extreme to somehow justify this killing. The follow-up story with this headline is indeed a case in point. It seems this poor high school football player from Alaska was wracked with anguish about what to do with his future: go to a college just for academics or capitalize on his football prowess to give him a free ride to another college. What to do what to do??? Well the answer is simple, go kill a brown bear and, as he so callously put it, let the bears decide! If he gets to kill one, he does one thing, if not, he does the other. 

Something to be proud about?????

To put it in a common acronym being used lately, WTF? Who in their right mind would even begin to think that a bear would give a flying $%#^ at a rolling donut (to quote Kurt Vonnegut) what a teenage boyshould do with his future? Let alone, enough to give up its life so this poor lost youth could make a decision! I can just see a bear waking up one morning and thinking: Hum, should I go and forage so I can survive another day or should I give up my life so this football jock can make a decision about where to go to college. What to do, what to do?

Of course, this story begs the question of just how many other bears or other large majestic animals have to die so people can make equally tough life-decisions. Should I buy a Chevy or a Ford? Go kill a bear to decide.  Should I get my hair cut short or let it grow? Go kill something! Should I wear socks with these shorts??? You get the picture. It clearly defines a whole new, and in the eyes of Grand View Outdoors, legitimate reason to kill animals…to help us make those tough decisions.

Does killing our largest native mammal with a high power
rifle make you a man?

The fact that Grand View Outdoors ran this story in all seriousness underlies the frivolous and utterly obscene length it and its ilk would go to justify killing an animal, not for food (although I guess the bear the boy killed, yes a bear lost its life to help him decide what to do, could feed him for several years at college!) but just to kill. In this case he killed a 1,000 pound animal just to make a decision about where to go to school!

Wildlife are NOT like a coin that you toss to make a decision. Nowhere in the NAM (North American Model for Wildlife Conservation) does it say a legitimate reason to kill an animal is to help you make decisions! I would think that falls squarely under the area of frivolous and unjustified reasons that the NAM frowns on. As such, Grand View Outdoors should be condemning such actions rather than praising them as a justifiable reason to kill a bear or any wildlife! But then again, it is not about justified reasons to kill an animal, it is about killing for killing sake. For a boy to go and kill a bear just to ease his mental anguish clearly indicates where modern hunting has gone and why I no longer do it.

Is it sexy for this blonde to brag about blowing
away this Griz with what could be an AK47?

 Hunting IS NOT about food. It IS about killing. It is about trophies/bragging rights/machismo, killing just to kill, all those "manly" things that hunters try to disguise with red herrings like "it is for the food" or "we need to control their populations" or, my favorite reoccurring theme, "it is a bonding experience", and many more asinine reasons. It is about the killing pure and simple. Hunters should be honest enough to admit it and not hide behind lame platitudes. If they cannot live with that, then maybe they shouldn't hunt!  

John Laundre

The Landscape of Fear: Ecological Implications of Being Afraid John W. Laundré*,1, Lucina Hernández1 and William J. Ripple2 1 Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, USA 2 Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA 

Abstract: “Predation risk” and “fear” are concepts well established in animal behavior literature. We expand these concepts to develop the model of the “landscape of fear”. The landscape of fear represents relative levels of predation risk as peaks and valleys that reflect the level of fear of predation a prey experiences in different parts of its area of use. We provide observations in support of this model regarding changes in predation risk with respect to habitat types, and terrain characteristics. We postulate that animals have the ability to learn and can respond to differing levels of predation risk. We propose that the landscape of fear can be quantified with the use of well documented existing methods such as givingup densities, vigilance observations, and foraging surveys of plants. We conclude that the landscape of fear is a useful visual model and has the potential to become a unifying ecological concept.

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