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View Diary: Why I Hunt: Thoughts from a Wolf-Loving, Elk-Killing Tree Hugger (45 comments)

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  •  Some of the most ardent environmentalists and (7+ / 0-)

    treehuggers are hunters.  Real hunters respect what they kill and know the Circle of Life.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:11:44 AM PDT

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    •  As the author says, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      there are fewer and fewer 'naturalist' hunters.

      He's got a great post called The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wolves and the Abandonment of Science, Reason and Logic that's well worth reading.

      It kinda says it all. RMEF has become the biggest proponent of hunting wolves, based on nothing but greed and fueled by the hunting "industry".

      Q: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” A: “Anonymous”

      by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 11:41:06 AM PDT

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      •  You malign the RMEF needlessly. David Stalling (0+ / 0-)

        according to many who know him is a real nice guy. He worked for the RMEF for ten years as conservation editor of the magazine they publish called Bugle.

        The RMEF as well as David made some pretty bad mistakes during those years, no one is perfect and hindsight is 20 20, but the RMEF moved on. David seems to have remained in the same place he was, and to talk too much about his former employer. The RMEF vacillated between being tree hugging bow hunters, and Republican functionaries demanding allegiance to Bush operatives. That was in the past.

        Currently the RMEF is probably the largest, most well funded, hunting advocacy group in the US. Their purchases for habitat are nothing short of inspiring, over 6 million acres preserved and often just given to the people of the US to be incorporated into existing Forest and Wilderness. David Allen President and Rodney Triepke COO both sit on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, the only and congressionally sanctioned advisory council to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

        To date the RMEF has spent over $600,000 dollars on basic, scientific, wolf research. They take part in funding University studies to advance basic scientific understanding of the relationship between elk and wolves and also just to help understand wolves themselves. Just last month they donated to Wyoming for GPS collars. On those charity giving web sites they always score in the stratosphere. All money goes to habitat and science, mostly raised through member banquets and raffles.

        I'd suggest a re read of the North American Model. Scientific Wildlife Management, and that includes all wildlife, is at it's core a set of ethical values. Wildlife may only be "taken" for a reason, reducing excess predation on elk populations certainly fits into that model, as do all predators.

        Amongst many ethical hunters and fishermen, catch and release is considered a very controversial type of fishing. Kind of like those pigeon shoots. Though I guess someone eats the pigeons. I'm not sure hooking a fish for fun is an ethical reason to inflict pain.

        Every time I read something by David I feel sorrow for him. History has proven him wrong, he should move on.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 05:21:17 PM PDT

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        •  These, from 2012.... so, not so "moved on' (0+ / 0-)

          In a sad, but justified move, the family of Olaus Murie recently demanded that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) cancel the organization’s Olaus J. Murie Award because of the RMEF’s “all-out war against wolves” that is “anathema to the entire Murie family.”

          I conceived and created the Olaus J. Murie Award (with coordination and approval from the Murie family) on behalf of the RMEF in 1999, when the RMEF was a science-based conservation organization. The award recognized scientists working on behalf of elk and elk habitat in honor of Olaus Murie, who is widely considered the “father” of modern elk research and management for the ground-breaking work he conducted at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the 1940s. He also wrote “Elk of North America” in 1951 – the first, most thorough and comprehensive scientific treatise on elk and elk management, which has since been updated several times by the Wildlife Management Institute.  (I have read Murie’s book several times, and was honored to have written a chapter for the most recent edition, North American Elk: Ecology and Management.)

          Since then, the RMEF got rid of all the good leaders who not only helped create and shape the RMEF, but had solid, impressive backgrounds in wildlife biology, ecology and science-based wildlife management.  The organization now ignores and defies science and panders to outfitters, politicians and hunters who have little understanding of wildlife and, in particular, interactions between wolves and elk.  The group has abandoned principle for income and popularity.

          and, from Cascadia Wildland's magazine, this past Dec.

          I could go on, but while you and I both enjoy hunting and fishing, on the issue of this current fad promoting wolf hunting and de-listing, I am immovable. The current head of RMEF is akin to  'Heckuva job Brownie' when it comes to knowing anything about the latest science / bio-diversity interaction driving the many groups seeking to keep wolves listed and endangered, and as a necessary component to good stewardship and land managment.

          •  when someone claims to be "immovable" on an (0+ / 0-)

            issue scientific I understand they are seeing it from an emotional or belief system perspective, and you or anyone else is certainly entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, but the scientific community of wildlife management doesn't operate that way.

            Predator management has been a part of responsible wildlife science since at least the time of Aldo Leopold. He wrote and taught on the subject extensively.

            Olaus Murie did not remove his award from the RMEF, nor did his family, one, very elderly, daughter did after much guidance from Bob Ferris, another disgruntled former employee.

            Bob, and David, and perhaps others I'm not aware of are bitter. For a long time the RMEF just coasted along, they did no harm and raised some money. If you could string ten words together in a sentence about elk hunting they were real glad to have you. Some worked there who truth be told weren't realy interested in hunting. Going out a couple days a year with a bow and coming back empty handed is barely hunting. They wrote feel good nature articles that were fun to read amongst the rifle advertisements.

            When the idea of wolf reintroduction first took root RMEF and many others (myself included) said "cool". It sounded like fun, more animals in the woods. We were terribly wrong. Some of us have owned up to our mistakes, others, for whom hunting elk wasn't that important anyway, clung to disproven ideas. History is what it is.

            The damage that wolf reintroduction did to elk populations in Wilderness and public lands across the Northern Rocky Mountains is undisputed amongst scientists or the public of the states or the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Unhuntable elk out on private land farms don't count. State programs from endangered species to enforcement have been devastated along with elk herds. Decades of careful stewardship have been destroyed in a few very short years.

            A once lethargic club for old hunters and spouses was suddenly faced with declining opportunities to hunt the very species they were formed to protect. The RMEF hired an extremely competent manager, former rodeo promoter David Allen has done a terrific job. That's why the FWS chose him twice to be on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, he guides the FWS in making the decisions that are important to hunters.

            By any measure the RMEF of 2013 is far superior to the one David Stalling left in a hissy fit. (or maybe he was shown the door) Much more funding for research, many more acres protected, a much more public and influential image, membership is increasing at an accelerated rate. The RMEF represents elk hunter conservationists, not dilettantes.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:47:48 AM PDT

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