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View Diary: How Wildlife Is Thriving Because Of Guns and Hunting (245 comments)

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  •  The feral hogs are an ecological disaster. (1+ / 0-)
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    On my land alone I have seen the treeline retreat about a mile down the mountain in thirty years.  The topsoil is very thin, over a saturated clay base, and the pigs cut the resulting shallow roots so the trees fall over. I have seen a two foot diameter tree uprooted in a night. Only lower on the mountain, where the soil is deeper, can the roots go deep enough to escape the pigs, and so there are still big trees there.

    They also love to eat the hearts of tree ferns, one of the foundation and nursery species in our forests. It is nothing for them to tusk down a thirty foot tall tree fern. Then mosquitoes breed in the hollowed out trunks, and spread avian malaria which wipes out all the native birds. And everywhere they root up the native groundcover while shitting out the seeds of the exotics they eat, planting the invasive species.

    On the bright side, we have about half a million in grants this year to fence some of the best of the native forest. And luckily we are far enough from the roads that the damned hunters won't cut our fences (conservationists my ass! All they care about is the maximum number of game animals.). If you fence the land into reasonable sized blocks and eradicate the pigs inside the exclosure, the native vegetation comes back pretty quickly if it isn't too badly disturbed. In fact, it looks like you fenced the plants IN, and they are bursting through trying to get out. It's really quite impressive what a difference it makes.

    •  same disaster here where they get established (1+ / 0-)
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      We're lucky here in Az in that most of the state doesn't have enough surface water to support any feral hog at all...

      Game and Fish admits to a small population in unit 13b up on the Arizona Strip and scuttlebut has it there's a sounder down here on the border on the Buenos Ares Wildlife refuge due to the water from Arivaca creek and lake....

      Here they want them gone if they exist and badly....You don't even need a hunting license of any type to take hog, no limit and no all year with all hunters in 13b encouraged to attempt to take a hog, esp a sow, while hunting anything else in that unit.

      Buenos Ares is much harder to hunt and being Federal don't have a complete eradication policy for some reason....I'm tempted to take a weekend trip up to the Strip see what the possibilities are....I'll keep my distance though...Just got a new 280g Keith Wadcutter mould for my 45LC carbine. ....being disabled it's impossible to move fast enough to get out of the way close...from a distance, I have faith in my loads and if it's a big big piggie, 45-70 instead....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:40:03 PM PDT

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