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View Diary: The truth about Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (331 comments)

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  •  Here is the urban/rural divide. Predator and Prey (9+ / 0-)

    Just by the comments in this diary I can determine with a high degree of certainty who lives in an urbanized area and who is in the country.  The perspective of the two sides is skewed so wildly in opposite directions that there is very little middle ground to even argue about.  What really troubles me is that the urban perspective is so detached from the reality of what happens in rural areas (I've lived in both, but am currently rural).  No divide is more evident than the perception of predators and what it is like to live with them.

    Several years ago, I lived in Oregon.  An initiative was put on the ballot by urban residents to outlaw the use of dogs to hunt cougar.  From the urban perspective, every hunter that used dogs killed cougars.  That simply is not the case, because I've known several hound men, and only ONE (yes, ONE) had ever shot a cougar out of a tree.  The sport of a large percentage of the hound men was in the chase, and after the dogs had treed the cat they simply pulled the dogs off and let the cat go about its way.  Some killed cats, but most did not.  This hound hunting served an important purpose, and it wasn't just the controlling of the cougar population, but being treed by dogs conditioned the cats to avoid dogs and to avoid humans.  Think about that for a minute.  The anti-dog-hunting initiative passed with strong opposition in rural areas and strong support in the urbanized Portland area.  Within a few years the cats, which were no longer conditioned to avoid humans, began to hang out closer to civilization and predation on livestock and pets increased.  The rural residents, who have to deal with this were forced to modify their behaviors to lessen the losses, and some people that I know with children stopped allowing their kids to walk to the end of their driveways in the late evenings and won't let their children wait in the early hours for the bus.  If you think cougars aren't a possible danger to children, I will tell you that if a cat will attack a horse (that happened within a couple of miles of my place) it will attack a kid.  Now, cougars are regularly sighted within city limits of small towns and they will sometimes walk into the yards of farmhouses in daylight.  Easy pickings and no conditioning to avoid is a recipe for resentment of rural residents who feel that the urban dwellers are sticking their noses into things they only think they understand.  Rural residents are angry and feeling disenfranchised, and they are blaming the urbanized portion of the population, and it is not only about predator control but a myriad of other issues, as well.  You can figure out for yourselves what those issues are.

    •  Trouble is (7+ / 0-)

      only 15% of the population is rural. 85% is urban. When things are put to a vote, urban is going to win every time. I'm not saying that's good or bad. It just is what it is. Also as time goes on rural populations are going to shrink even more.

      •  Rural Trouble (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Mywurtz, ypochris, Scott in NAZ

        Rural populations are vastly overrepresented in Congress, where the actual voting that actually governs the country happens. Between the gerrymandered House and the disproportionate Senate, we don't have a democracy, we have a ruralocracy. Because that thin population is easier to control by corporate people.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 10:15:05 PM PST

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        •  I think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark Mywurtz, dewley notid

          My last sentence is important. We will never eliminate the small states having equal power in the Senate without changing the constitution, and I don't see that happening. While predominately rural states will still have over representation in the Senate, as more and more people live in urban areas, even with gerrymandering, rural areas will continue to lose influence in the house. Don't have a clue if this is true or not. It's just my feeling for what it's worth.

        •  Fantastic comment n/t (0+ / 0-)

          The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

          by Scott in NAZ on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 10:06:34 AM PST

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    •  So true reddog1 (10+ / 0-)

      And the end result of that decision is that more cougars get killed because they do come into cities.

      The best place to see the rural/urban divide is Yellowstone, IMO. You can bet that the guy who walks up to a bison like it's animatronic is from a city. They think they are in Disneyland.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:18:17 PM PST

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      •  And more mountain lions live (the normal title for (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, high uintas, Just Some Guy

        those my age), because there are more. To me, that's, at best, a wash for you.

        (I respect you, because of what you write about what you do. I was at the College of Natural Resources, USU, with majors in Wildlife Biology, and Fisheries Biology in the late sixties. I also had a couple of professional jobs, in the field, with The State of Utah, at that time. Flaming Gorge, and Lake Powell, specifically. RKBA? KV and his crowd are zealots, in the worst sense. You, it still looks to me like are not.)

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:29:40 PM PST

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        •  There is nothing I want more (4+ / 0-)

          than the chance to see a mountain lion in the wild. For all the time I have spent in places where they hang you would think that I would just once get a chance. No. I guess it's not my fate.

          I don't think that KV is a zealot. He believes what he believes, but his biggest goal is to evangelize not to the left about guns but to gun owners about the left. He believes as I do that there are many gun owners who would be a fit with the Democratic party if they would just quit listening to the fear mongers.

          When I first joined RKBA those fear mongers were all on the right, now sadly too many are on the left and are fueling the fear that the NRA likes to instill in people who have and enjoy their firearms.

          When you step out for an issue sometimes that is the only thing you are about here. There is much more to the people in RKBA than most give credit for. ban nock for instance is a very interesting dude and one of our most talented and evocative writers.

          Thank you, btw.

          And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

          by high uintas on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:45:31 PM PST

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          •  I've gone head to head with bannock. You don't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo, Scott in NAZ

            look for controversy in this area. I do. I was instrumental in helping to get K9K run out of here, and we're all better off for it. And I still can't force bannock to disclose who he really is, but I'll agree with you that he's very sophisticated.

            I've been gang attacked by RKBA three times in the last couple of years. They gave me, what, 50, 100 HR's (I don't remember you in there). That was under the old rules. Since then, zero.

            But, anyway, bannock shills for RMEF, and that should say all that's necessary for anyone really willing to do the research.

            Have a good one.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 09:00:53 PM PST

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      •  Disneyland (0+ / 0-)

        I think a better place to see the rural/urban divide is in a real city, like Chicago or NY. The spectacles of them in trouble are so well known I won't bother to pick one.

        But hey, you want nothing more than to see a mountain lion in the wild. Be careful.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 10:17:46 PM PST

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    •  You exaggerate (7+ / 0-)

      I'm not aware of any evidence that hunting cougars causes them to avoid humans (if you have some, please share).  Also, the danger from cougars to humans is minscule.  From what I could find, there has been an average of less than 1 fatal attack per year in the US over the last few decades.  You are FAR more likely to die from bee stings, lightning, or dog bites than mountain lions--and none of those causes of deaths are common to start with.

      So, please don't try to tell me that we need to hunt predators for safety.  It's bullshit.

      The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

      by Scott in NAZ on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:40:37 PM PST

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      •  No study or no experience (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, 43north, dewley notid

        Hunting animals moves the animals and changes their habits. I hunt elk and kill one, the elk in that group change their habits.  You kill a coyote and they avoid your yard for six or seven months. You kill squirrels in your yard and they change their habits.

        You kill some cougars or even just harass them in an area and they are going to change their habits.

        •  Your stories don't convince me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          Sorry, I'm a scientist.  I might change my opinion if I saw scientific evidence backing up what you say.

          The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

          by Scott in NAZ on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:11:02 PM PST

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          •  Been collecting data for 30+ years (0+ / 0-)

            I'm a successful hunter because I observe the animals habits. There might be a little science in my notebooks. Data and isolating variables makes for science doesn't it? How many years do you have in the field? Do you wear out a pair of boots a year? Your seem to have the knowledge that comes from a few weeks a year in the field and lot of book learning. I don't trust that sort of knowledge. Too theoretical.

          •  And... you'd call BULLSHIT on any finding (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            that supports a change in wildlife habit.
            Kill or no-kill methods.

            "Not sufficiently peer-reviewed."
            "Flawed methodology"
            "Conclusions drawn from too small of a sample to have scientific validity."
            "Insufficient use of Control verses Variable."
            "Anecdotal is never Evidence."

            So, without scientific support for your position, our directed response is to declare Scott in NAZ correct.
            Both Kenevan McConnon and reddog1 are bullshitting.

            Gotcha.
            No doubt you have a handful of peer-reviewed studies you can footnote for our perusal.
            Oh, wait.  YOU don't have to.  
            You're already "right on the issue".

            I feel like I'm watching Fox News.

            •  Tell you what (0+ / 0-)

              If you find me one good study that contradicts what I say, I'll go back and update the original diary to mention it.  Fox News?  You and Kevin and reddog haven't provided a single shred of evidence yet in this thread.

              Don't you dare accuse me of being like Fox News if you can't bring any evidence to the table.  You wanna make stuff up and say it's true?  That's what you guys are doing--and that's what Fox News is doing.  Show me the evidence.

              The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

              by Scott in NAZ on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 08:09:49 AM PST

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      •  Thorndike's Law of Effect (4+ / 0-)

        Are you being deliberately argumentative?  Do you leave food out for your cat or do you bring the food in to keep from attracting the raccoons?  Do you leave your cat out at night to attact the coyotes?

    •  Why not propose no-kill hunts? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, reddog1

      Urbanites are satisfied that cougars are not getting killed, you get the thrill of running your hounds, cougars get scared.

      But that would require you to work with groups to plan the initiative, the communication, and details like enforcement, license to hunt, etc.

      It's always easier to complain about how "they" don't get it and are messing things up for "us"

      But we are all us and need to talk to instead of about the rest of us.

      "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith

      by Urban Owl on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:59:19 PM PST

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    •  I have (4+ / 0-)

      a farm in rural Ohio where I grew up. I've lived in the country all of my life. My family relied on wild game to stretch our food bill. We had a bounty of rabbits, quail, pheasant and squirrels when I was young. Deer were never seen back then, but as the years passed they became more and more common. Then the coyotes appeared. The rumor was the insurance companies introduced them to control the deer explosion. Whatever. Now the problem is all we seem to have is coyotes, deer and squirrels. The coyotes found that rabbits, pheasant and quail and their eggs are a lot easier to catch than deer. We have a couple of groups in the area that raise and reintroduce pheasants and quail to the wild, but with the explosion of coyotes it's a losing battle. It use to be you would see lone coyotes but more and more we're seeing them pack up. And they are getting bold. Use to be you had to intentionally look for one and maybe you'd see it way off in the distance. Now they come right into the yard. I won't let my grand kids go back to the woods to play anymore because of this. Environmentally and other wise, being overrun with just deer and coyotes pretty much sucks.

      6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

      by fugwb on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:49:29 PM PST

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      •  Coyotes in Boulder (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, 43north, fugwb, dewley notid

        Started attacking folks every Spring three years ago along the Creek path. It is really rare....except in March in Boulder.

      •  Coyote attacks are incredibly rare (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, caul, Miggles, MJ via Chicago

        Look up the numbers.  You're depriving your grandchildren of a potentially nice experience.

        The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

        by Scott in NAZ on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:16:27 PM PST

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        •  except when they kill your cat or dog (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dewley notid

          That is not uncommon around here, or even in the city.  When I lived in San Diego I was walking my dog near a canyon, Sunday morning, 8AM, when two coyotes ran out of a housing development and crossed the road in front of me.  One was carrying a cat in its mouth.

          •  That does happen (4+ / 0-)

            Which is why cats and dogs should be indoors if unsupervised.  As for people, the risk is miniscule.

            The next Noah will work a short shift. - Charles Bowden

            by Scott in NAZ on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:41:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The point is, though (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fugwb, dewley notid

              that the coyotes were accustomed to living with humans and using humans (in this case, their pets) as a source of food.  Perfectly normal for the animals, but undeniably it is undesirable, because acclimation to humans leads to consequences that we do not want.  Attacks on humans are rare, but when they do happen it is in an urban/semi-urban setting.  I don't mind living with the coyotes out here next to the wilderness, but if I see one in daylight I will shoot to scare it away.  If it doesn't run I know it is acclimated to humans and then I'll kill it because I don't want it using my dog or my livestock as a food source.  One crossed my back pasture a couple of weeks ago (tracks in the snow).  No harm, no foul, but he did walk by the paddock next to the house, the paddock with the wethers in it, but left them alone.  This time of year it was probably a youngster kicked out by the parents so they can have another litter in the next couple of months.  As long as he doesn't start taking livestock he's welcome around here, but if he kills my sheep or goats he'll be dead.

            •  For white tail deer the coyote is (3+ / 0-)

              an under-sized predator.  

              They can, with success kill goats, newborn calves, fawns and small deer - all in the <60 pound weight class.

              When attacking adult deer in deep snow, or on ice, the coyotes working in-concert will "hamstring" the deer.
              Being incapable of a crushing, or suffocating bite to the neck, coyotes then chew-out the stomach and intestines while the deer screams.
              They chew at the haunches.  The deer screams.
              They may succeed on biting-off a nose, some of the face, and when the deer weakens more, breach the diaphragm and remove some vital organs.  The deer whimpers... then dies.
              80% or more of the deer remains uneaten.

              Death is a half-hour or longer torture.
              There's no "beauty" in it.  No "humanity".
              I have no peer-reviewed study.  
              I suggest you visit a New York City watershed reservoir this winter and ask a few of the Trout Troopers where the carcasses are.  Or look for the crows and seagulls.

              Maybe you'll luck into seeing a pack in-action.  
              Hear the "beauty" of an agonizing death by dismemberment, first-hand.

              Packs of domestic dogs do much the same.

            •  Have you ever been to a farm? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus

              We have 2 dogs that stay outside and God only know how many cats in or around the barns and livestock. No, we don't keep our dogs and cats tucked away all cozy in the house. They're well fed and well taken care of but they live outside. The cats keep the rats and mice away and the dogs let us know if something is going on. I don't worry about the dogs because they're as tough as they come. But I know we've lost cats when they go on the prowl too far from home.

              6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

              by fugwb on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 09:00:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Except in Boulder in March the last 3 years n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fugwb, worldlotus, dewley notid
        •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          I'll tell that to my daughter at one of her kids funeral. You worry about your kin and I'll worry about mine. When the kids want to go to the woods the wife or I go with them.
          Oh, and my cousin was bow hunting last year and was confronted by a pack. He said they circled him why to close for comfort all the while barring their teeth. He started yelling and they ran but still circled him at a distance for awhile. Very bold around here.

          6% of scientists are republican. Scientists have no explanation why that number is so high.

          by fugwb on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 08:52:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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