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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, January 30, 2014

If you think that there is chaos and confusion in Washington D.C. with our Senate and House of Representatives, it is bi-polar mania in the State House in Pennsylvania where this truly clueless "Body Politic" is calling for there to be a bounty on Eastern Coyotes....................They use the excuse that deer are being decimated by Coyotes.........Then, this same group of clueless men and women want a bill that allows hunters to kill even more deer because as Jeff Grove, Director for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau said loudly the other day,,,,,,"THERE IS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF DEER DAMAGE" taking place .....................Geez Louise!!!!!! Leave the Coyotes and Bears alone and bring in the Pumas and Wolves...............The Farmers of the "Keystone State" have it right,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Deer are decimating both our forests and our fields!!!!!!.....................These two articles below merit being turned into a Saturday Night Live skit on tv portraying the utter ignorance of our Politicians as it relates to wildlife issues and the outright manipulation of our elected leaders by folks who do not have the "greater good of America in mind"

Pa. game commission asked to expand deer hunting

Updated 9:21 am, Monday, January 27, 2014
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Members of thePennsylvania Game Commission are being urged to expand deer hunting opportunities in the commonwealth.
Deer were the game species most talked about Sunday at the start of the commission's annual winter meeting in Harrisburg, Lancaster Newspapers reported ( ).
Farmers complained in a survey about "a tremendous amount of deer damage," said Jeff Grove, local affairs director for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
He asked commissioners to consider opening the firearms deer season on Thanksgiving weekend, rather than on the following Monday, saying it would allow more people — especially youngsters — the chance to hunt deer.

House bill would place bounty on coyotes

In cartoons, Wile E. Coyote never had a chance against The Roadrunner. In real life that bird is lunch.
"If the world was wiped out, cockroaches and coyotes would survive," quipped Game Commission furbearer biologist Tom Hardisky.
Uniquely equipped to prey on foods of almost every type and size, the coyote is considered by many biologists the most adaptive predator in North America. In the last 20 years, coyotes have spread to every county in Pennsylvania. Quietly, they've moved into urban neighborhoods, often without the knowledge of residents. There's no evidence of a direct threat to people, but many unwittingly let their pets roam outside in unfenced areas. Sometimes, Fluffy doesn't make it home, and although only 25 pet deaths due to coyote predation were confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2012, the actual number is probably huge.
Last month, with bipartisan support, the state House approved a bill that would pay hunters and trappers $25 for a coyote pelt. The Game Commission calls that a "bounty," however, and cites 100 years of wildlife management science claiming that bounties are a bad management tool.
"They've been proven to not work. At least 50 to 60 years ago we ended the bounty system [in Pennsylvania]," said Hardisky. "With bounties you don't manage a species, you wipe it out, and there are repercussions on every other species. It's happened over and over. There's often fraud and the waste of taxpayer money. There is no science behind wildlife bounties."
One of the most prolific voices against bounties was that of Roger Latham, Pittsburgh Press outdoors editor from 1957 until his death in 1979. With a Penn State doctorate in zoology and wildlife management, Latham worked as a Game Commission biologist from 1937 through 1957 and ran the agency's Division of Research for six years. In 1959, while working for the Press, Latham wrote a rebuke of the bounty system, "Bounties are Bunk," that was published in a National Wildlife Federation publication.
"According to the many, many surveys and studies made, the payment of bounties on the smaller predators is one of the most inefficient and ineffective methods of all," wrote Latham. [... Fraud is synonymous with all bounty systems. Animals are brought in from other states and even other countries and pawned off on untrained officials."
Hardisky backed Latham's assertion that the bounty-funded removal of one predator inevitably results in a population explosion of another, disrupting natural prey-species population cycles.
"The money spent [on bounties]," wrote Latham, "can usually be used to better advantage in other ways."
"But this isn't a bounty, it's an incentive," said state Rep. Mike Peifer, R-Honesdale, sponsor of House Bill 1534.
An avid outdoorsman from the Poconos and member of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, Peifer said the Game Commission's open-season, no-bag-limit approach to coyote control isn't working.
"Aside from during the February coyote derbies, nobody goes out hunting for coyotes," he said. "When a bow hunter sees one, he doesn't want to shoot it and ruin his chance to take a buck; bear hunters don't want to spoil the drive by stopping to shoot a coyote. Hunters like to eat what they kill, and you can't eat coyotes so they don't shoot them.
"What this [bill] does is incentivize the killing of more coyotes, get hunters to take an interest in hunting this species that has grown out of control."
It's true, the population of this extremely adaptive species has exceeded management goals, said Hardisky. In recent decades, eastern coyotes that were descended from wolf-coyote crossbreeding in Canada -- larger than their western cousins -- migrated south through New England into Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. New DNA research, he said, proves that most coyotes in Western Pennsylvania were descended from western coyotes that migrated eastward.
"Hunting can only do so much to control such an adaptive predator. But bounties fail on multiple levels -- there are better ways to do this," Hardisky said. "A lot of it is cultural. Farmers can reduce livestock predation through better husbandry practices -- good fencing, no free-ranging. And pet owners, they just have to accept that they can't let their pets out anymore."
House Bill 1534 has the support of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. Having passed the House, it has moved to the state Senate.
Read HB 1534 and Post-Gazette coyote articles at the PG Rod & Gun Club blog (

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