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    Why do hunters and conservationists dislike each other?  It wasn’t always that way.  In fact, the modern American conservation movement that appeared in the 1880’s was started by hunters, chief among them our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. In the many books and articles that he authored about hunting and wilderness, Roosevelt tried to find a balance between conserving wilderness to protect animal habitat, while also allowing economic development of the frontier to move ahead.  
     But the world has changed and so have the battle lines between hunters on the one hand and conservationists on the other.  Or have they?  To answer that question, go below the fold.

    For a moment, let's put aside the vitriol and passion surrounding the proposed legislation in California to ban all lead ammunition, a bill that that is on its way to Jerry Brown's desk and will shortly become law.  There are arguments to be made on both sides.  The conservationists have data to prove their point of view; likewise the hunting lobby can roll out their set of facts.
     The problem is that nothing in nature is that easy to understand; nothing can be reduced to a simple take-it or leave-it explanation, no matter what proponents on either side would like you to believe.  And Roosevelt keenly felt the need to unite both sides, as he said in a letter written in 1902: "the lover of big game and wilderness [is] an instrument against, instead of in favor of both."
     The degree to which hunters and conservationists should be fighting the same battles is remarkably underscored by the data found in the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation newly published by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Department of the Interior.
     In 2011, more than 90 million Americans either fished, hunted, watched wildlife or did all three.  Of the total, 26 million went hunting and fishing, 64 million looked at birds or animals either near their own residence or by taking a trip.  Together, all three groups spent $144 billion.
     Three-quarters of the people who went fishing engaged in fresh-water angling, bass being the catch of choice.  For the hunters, 60% went after big game: deer, elk, bear and wild turkey.  As for the wildlife watchers, three-quarters did it primarily around their home, but more than 25 million took trips away from home. Both groups primarily watched (and fed) birds.  
     When we break down fishing, hunting and wildlife watching by size and location of community, all of a sudden the three types of activities blend into one.  The highest proportion of residents engaged in fishing, hunting and watching are found in rural locations. Break it down on a state-by-state basis, the north-central and deep-southern states have the highest proportion of people who do all three.
     You can discard the stereotype that hunters are blue collar and birders are the educated, upper-class elite.  The same communities where hunting is most popular are also the communities with the greatest number of people who enjoy wildlife. When you stop to think about it, why shouldn't this be the case?  After all, people closest to nature tend to get out into nature.
     Hunters and conservationists would do everyone a big favor if they would sit down together and figure out what they have in common, rather than always arguing about what keeps them apart. There may be competing claims about what to do with natural spaces but these spaces belong to all of us.  
       

Originally posted to Mike the Gun Guy on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 08:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunting and Fishing Kos and Liberal G Club.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually hunters are about 100% behind most (7+ / 0-)

    environmental issues, like climate change, or protecting public lands, and we do the lions share of caring and protecting endangered species.

    The flip side of the coin isn't often true. Are environmentalists 100% behind most hunting issues? No, some of the most prominent environmental groups work to end hunting, and year after year make the dirty dozen anti hunting list.

    1. Humane Society of the US (animal rights actually)

    2, Center for Biologic Diversity

    3 PETA (more animal rights)

    4 Defenders of (certain kinds of) Wildlife

    5 Sierra Club

    the other 7

    Just today CA signed into law a measure to not allow their specialists in managing wildlife, their own Fish and Wildlife Department to not be able to make their own decisions on how best to manage mountain lions.

    In short, anti hunting, anti science based management, those are the types of activities that earn the ire of hunters.

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

    by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:15:42 AM PDT

    •  Animal Welfare not Environmentalism (5+ / 0-)

      The Humane Society, PETA, and most of the others on the 'dirty dozen' list are not environmental groups at all. They are animal welfare groups. Their mission is to (supposedly) reduce suffering of individual animals. This is different than caring about environmental health and biodiversity/ecosystem preservation. Environmental goals often conflict with animal welfare goals, especially when it comes to control of feral domestic animals or exotic invasive species.

    •  Hyperbole (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smokeymonkey, grover

      First, nearly all environmentalists are OK with regulated hunting.  In fact, I wish you would come out and shoot more of the deer that are overgrazing Illinois and Wisconsin.

      We differ on a few things.  I personally think it would be good for hunters to stop using lead bullets in areas in which lead toxicity is the leading cause of death for California Condors.  And yes, that is true - actual biologists with the AZ fish and game have determined that lead poisoning is the lead cause of death of this species.

      We differ on the wisdom of shooting more than half of all the wolves in Idaho. What happened last year was not rational management.

      I don't see anything 'fun' about shooting a skunk or coyote, or other animal that you're not going to eat.  Some species may need to be "managed", but I reserve teh right to feel contempt for people who get off on killing what they don't eat.

      But you want to shoot elk, migratory waterfowl, deer, etc? You want to enjoy the wilderness along with those of us who don't hunt?  Sure.  We have common cause.  I would avoid this red herring that environmentalists are out to get hunters.  When it comes to endangered species conservation, well, we may differ.  On most other things, we're allies.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:08:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read up to the point where you started telling (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd

        me what to do. Like in your third sentence.

        Do you support hunters or not? Just because you don't understand modern wildlife management that's not my fault. You are contemptuous of hunters. There is the issue in a nutshell.

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

        by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:14:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry you feel that way (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, Mark Mywurtz

          But I disagree.  I am not contemptuous of hunters.  I think the contempt, actually, is coming from the other direction.  We've played this game before:  You claim to be the expert on what you call "modern wildlife management" but when people produce actual studies that rebut what you say, like the AZ state study that conclusively demonstrates the link between condor morality and lead munitions, there's crickets.

          I want evidence-based wildlife and land management that protects and preserves biodiversity. That's consistent with regulated hunting.  

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:41:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And furthermore (5+ / 0-)

          there is a long tradition of subsistence hunting.. a long and honorable tradition of respecting the animal that you then eat.  I am not at all contemptuous of that - in fact, I respect it. This is a deeply, fundamentally human activity.  A lot of what and who we are as a species is related to our being hunters during our evolutionary history.  I actually take offense at you stating that I am contemptuous of hunters who are conscious of what they are doing, who are hunting with some degree of respect for the animal.

          Now, that's a different matter than "hunters" who look at animals as targets and enjoy the challenge of target shooting - without much concern or knowledge or respect for the thing they shoot - well, that is a modern disease.  That's a kind of alienation from nature that I find a bit pathological.  

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 11:11:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you say, (0+ / 0-)
            I reserve teh right to feel contempt for people who get off on killing what they don't eat.
            There are very good conservation reasons to hunt or trap any animal that is legal to do so, otherwise it wouldn't be legal. State Fish and Wildlife Agencies implementing policies developed with their extensive background in science based management are the people I look to for guidance in what is the best policy.

            Single studies can and often do represent the opinions of the person conducting the study. I leave it to professionals to look at all the studies in their totality and come up with good laws and policies.

            Some report from Arizona, or someone's opinions about which species, just don't measure up against very successful and eight decades long methods of science based management by Wildlife Biologists. Yet you reserve the right to feel contempt, your words.

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

            by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:02:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's true ban nock. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivorybill
          A comprehensive study led by environmental toxicologists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shows that California condors are continually exposed to harmful levels of lead, the principal source of that lead is ammunition, and lead poisoning from ammunition is preventing the recovery of the condor population.
          http://news.ucsc.edu/...

          This species was virtually exinct with less than two dozen birds in existence.

          We brought them back from the edge. But that massive effort is for naught as long as we allow them to be be poisoned by lead now that they're back in the wild.

          "We will never have a self-sustaining wild condor population if we don't solve this problem," she said. "Currently, California condors are tagged and monitored, trapped twice a year for blood tests, and when necessary treated for lead poisoning in veterinary hospitals, and they still die from lead poisoning on a regular basis."

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:06:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm fully aware of the study from santa cruz (0+ / 0-)

            are you aware of the lawsuit arising from efforts to make their data available to the public?

            One study from one University, who won't show their data doesn't convince me. The CA Dept of F+W was doing their own review, a bill was introduced in a hurry to take advantage of anti gun sentiment via Newtown before CA could even give their recommendations. The National Audubon Society and the Peregrine Fund failed to support the latest CA lead ban bill last I heard.

            I'd suggest a look at the link the diarist provided. There are two sides to the story. In CA when you can't get scientists to support you, or not scientists charged with caring for species, you go to the ballot box and referendum.

            Jerry Brown also signed into law legislative rules about how the CA FandW is to manage mountain lions yesterday or today.

            If you look at who funds the advertising for this legislation it's the top five or so folks on my list of dirty dozen. Animal rights, and reactionary anti hunting orgs.

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

            by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 03:24:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Lead shot is a worse problem in wetlands (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        surfbird007, ivorybill

        everywhere there is a lot of hunting.

        Time to get rid of lead shot.

        •  I think lead has run its course (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LakeSuperior

          I voluntarily gave up lead shot and use steel even for upland birds where it is not required.  Haven't had any problems.  

          As I replace fishing tackle I'm also converting all of my sinkers to nontoxic metals as well.  Unfortunately, that really hasn't caught on much, so it's very difficult to find non-toxic weights at smaller shops around here.  Believe it or not, Wal-Mart (blah) is about the only place in my area you can find a variety of nonlead alternatives.  

          I have personally bagged and tagged loons and eagles that were autopsied as lead poisoning victims, so I know it's happening out there.  

          Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

          by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:49:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  ivorybill: a skunk or coyote is a threat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill, ban nock

        in human areas. Both destroy livestock (eggs, chicks or other poultry, and pets) and both carry rabies. Inappropriate behavior by either is a danger sign.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:12:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure. I'm not against shooting problem coyotes (0+ / 0-)

          Controlling populations is fine, necessary, etc. I reserve the right to feel discomfort at people who take pleasure in shooting animals just for the sake of shooting them - because it's fun or because its a challenge to shoot at a moving target. To each his own, but I have the right to think that's disordered. I'm not going to try to make it illegal.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:50:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the coyotes will run (0+ / 0-)

            if you interrupt their depredations. To my mind that's not enough to ensure future livestock won't be at high risk.

            Otherwise I don't think we're in disagreement.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 02:48:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I wish you were right about (0+ / 0-)

      the climate change thing.  I actually think hunters have a long way to go on this one.  Lots of conservative-types hunting.  

      Personally, I'd imagine that if you polled hunters and asked them whether anthropogenic climate change is a problem, you'd get lower numbers than you would with the general population and certainly much lower than among non-hunting environmentalists.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:41:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess the same reason snowmobilers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, BlackSheep1, Utahrd

    and snowshoers will always butt heads.  Sailors and jetskiers.  Both share the resource, but with different aims/agendas.

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:15:57 AM PDT

    •  I'd disagree. Not only do I consider myself a tree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, grover, Mark Mywurtz

      hugger as well as hunter but a photographer, writer, snowshoer, hiker, camper, wildlife watcher, X country skiier, rock climber, canoeist, and fisherman, but I welcome all those others as well as RVers, ATVs, mountain bikers, snowmobilers, off roaders, etc, onto our public multi use lands. There is plenty for all especially if we agree to not conflict.

      Hunters always have advocated for land to be available for all user groups, with the caveat that the more destructive or intensive uses, that disrupt wildlife, be managed to do as little damage as possible.

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

      by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:25:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  they're not mutually exclusive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NorthCountryNY, Shotput8, ban nock
    In Defense of Hunting: Yesterday and Today by James A. Swan (1995) Swan argues that understanding why people hunt involves understanding humankind's fundamental nature. Hunting is a spiritual ritual, he claims, an ancestral tie to our human history. He advocates seeking common ground with animal welfare activists in areas such as habitat development and antipoaching.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:22:59 AM PDT

  •  I've always pointed out to hunters that - (6+ / 0-)

    The biggest threat to hunting is development, not "tree huggers".

    It's pretty tough to hunt in a subdivision or a Walmart parking lot.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:23:58 AM PDT

    •  Out west most hunt public land, and the group I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Utahrd, Mark Mywurtz

      belong to buys private land or gets it donated then gives it to the govt to be turned into National Forest or Wilderness Area for all to enjoy (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

      The private ranches are being bought, and ending access to wintering grounds, but the vast areas of public land are intact.

      Our major worries are public campaigns for ballot initiatives which have already ended two types of hunting in my state. Ballot initiatives are not scientific, but they are democratic.

      More difficult than a Walmart of a subdivision is being made illegal.

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

      by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:53:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your group is donating land to the public? (0+ / 0-)

        If so, that's fantastic.  If I could wish just ONE fantasy public policy initiative, it would be to see us expand our public land base and properly fund its management for wildlife and multi-nonexploitive-use.  

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:58:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  hmm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shotput8, 88kathy

    Interesting to come and read this just after getting linked to a thing on a new Maine park which would allow hunting.

    I'm a tree-hugger, and an ethical vegetarian, but I don't have any more issue with hunting than I do with people raising animals for food, and neither is a windmill I have any plan to tilt at.  

    In parks, though, it terrifies me -- I'm scared of being shot, even if it's not likely, and I just don't want to go into a park where hunting is allowed during hunting season.  

    •  It is impossible to tell the direction of a bullet (0+ / 0-)

      flying through the woods by the initial blast sound. Well unless you are the one doing the blasting, then most of the time it would be traveling away from you.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:56:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DBAD (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

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

        by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:59:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  QCMN (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BRog

          quit calling me names.
          I was talking to someone who didn't go into the park during hunting season. I agreed with that poster.
          TDMMAD
          that doesn't make me a dick.

          For winning this round in Colorado, the RkBA certainly hasn't missed a beat with the name calling and insults.

          give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

          by 88kathy on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:04:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this isn't the sort of place for your anti gun (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grover

            schtick. Why not give it a rest eh? have a nice day.

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

            by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:09:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Anti gun is another insult. I am not anti gun. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BRog

              That is your insult name for me. Why aren't you happy with your victory? Why does it just make you more insulting and mean.

              This diary is nothing about guns [Hunters Versus Tree-Huggers) and I, being labeled by you as anti-gun, need to stay away. Yeah, I can't even agree with another poster.

              Because you forbade it.

              give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

              by 88kathy on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:14:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Not an Us vs Them up here (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, ban nock, grover, Mark Mywurtz

    In the North Country of NY there are a lot of people who would be characterized as 'greenies' who hunt, fish, and cut firewood. It is part of the back to the land lifestyle, along with gardening, supporting CSA'a etc.

    There are lots of sportsmen/women who are not 'environmentalists', and some loathe the 'greenies'. But other outdoor  sportsmen/women fit most of the tree-hugger greenie stereotype. It comes down more on how one feels about land use regulation, public land acquisition, and pollution regulations.

  •  Did a conservationist ever start a fire by (0+ / 0-)

    accident?

    Rim fire started by hunter who lost control of campfire
    Official says it's unclear if hunter will face consequences. The blaze has burned 370 square miles and destroyed 111 buildings. [here http://www.latimes.com/...
    Can't find any accidental conservationist. Different attitudes towards the wilderness maybe?
    •  Oh please. Campers and hikers do plenty of stupid (6+ / 0-)

      Things too.

      How do we know when a camper is a conservationist?  Does he have a sticker on his pack?

      That hunter did something incredibly stupid, and they may file charges.

      But to hold hunters responsible for the actions of one guy is ridiculous.

      A trucker started a large wildfire off I5 at the Grapevine  last month. All motorists should know --and truckers better know -- you don't park a hot vehicle overgrown weeds.

      Structures burned in that fire too.

      Colossally stupid

       Let's ban truckers on  freeway shoulders  too.

      One thing that bugs the heck of me on this site is when people with whom I generally agree in principle -- I'm not a gun fan at all -- are so black and white and unfair that I feel it's necessary to defend the other side.  

      We go camping often, often  several times a month. We tend to be the last ones out. We always walk our dogs right before we leave.

      We always find campfires that are left untended. Folks just checked out and left. Not hunters. Just nice families, couples, groups of rafters, whatever.  We bring the dogs back to camp and one of us goes back out and kills the fire.

      People are ignorant about fire danger. People are inexperienced. People don't understand. People get distracted. People are lazy. They're in a hurry.

      It has nothing to do whether they're birders, rafters, campers or hunters.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:23:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  as a matter of fact backpackers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Utahrd, grover

      were blamed for the Los Alamos area fires several years ago, not hunters. The destruction exceeded the Rim fire and endangered parts of the national atomic laboratory site ... but of course, that wouldn't be in accord with the "no guns in civilian hands" agenda.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:16:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Opposition by greens is to poaching (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    primarily, anyways, and poaching is everywhere hunting is. There are shades of gray on both sides, obviously, and as always, but I think for the most part the problem is poaching, which both responsible hunters and open-minded greens are completely against. The black-and-white purists butt heads over that, while the rest of us are cool with each other.

    Where interests diverge most is outside of this realm of sportsmanship. Greens focus on environmental justice these days is outside of the nature sportsman's sphere. They still intersect on issues of development and wildlife habitat preservation, but that hasn't been the focus of environmental activists in recent times due to much more existential threats related to global warming, mass pollution of air and water, and natural resource exploitation.

    Think of it like a Venn diagram. Nature area preservation and species conservation intersect between the two. Outside of that, their interests are neither in opposition nor convergence, necessarily.

    To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

    by RadicalParrot on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 09:59:58 AM PDT

    •  The word poaching covers a lot of ground (0+ / 0-)

      From a game officer's viewpoint it is the illegal take of wildlife. I use the same definition. My personal ethical view is in addition to any legalities.

      It is for that exact legal definition that I differed so sharply from so many here at DK over the confinement and illegal take of a deer named Giggles.

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

      by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:05:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yes.. (0+ / 0-)

        poaching means more than the simple legal definitions, but the law seems to be rather well caught up on species  that need protection and poaching techniques in most states. I'm not sure what case you're referring to specifically so I won't comment on that. I must have missed it.

        To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

        by RadicalParrot on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:11:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  some uninformed folks took a fawn home (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          after a couple of weeks they crossed state lines to bring it to an animal shelter that kept it a couple of weeks and wouldn't give it up to Fish and Wildlife. The animal shelter had a long history of very radical animal rights advocacy. Fish and Wildlife went in with Sherrif's deputies and took the deer and sedated it and euthanized it. The animal rights folks two weeks later led a very good anti Fish and Wildlife propaganda campaign. Giggles was the name of the deer.

          It's unlawful to keep any wildlife as pets, crossing state lines breaks federal law. No charges against anyone, but deer euthanized. There are extreme disease issues.

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

          by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:26:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well good intentions and all that. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            A bit of nuance on the part of law enforcement might be in order in some cases if the shelter is acting in good faith. I still don't know the details of that incident so I don't know. Wildlife refuges on private land exist in a lot of places for wildlife that cannot or should not be released into the wild. If it is a good environment for the animal and the animal isn't a risk of escape and/or spread of infection, maybe the refuge should have a bit of a benefit of doubt.

            On the other hand, there are generally legal routes to gain custody of an animal in cases like that that would avoid such situations.

            To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

            by RadicalParrot on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:50:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, no. A bit of non-stupid on the part of the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grover

              fawn nappers would have been helpful.

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:18:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There should be a test for non-stupid before (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                People are allowed more than 5 miles out of city or town limits.

                We'd save lots of aggravation and resources that way.

                © grover


                So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 03:50:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Holy moly. Really? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1, ban nock

            I hadn't heard about that.

            See? That stuff makes me nuts. Wild animals belong in the wild.

            Don't feed them. Don't pet them. Don't take babies home because you think the mother abandoned them.

            Ugh. Humans.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:53:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If that is the case, sure... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ban nock

              though again, private refuges do exist for animals that should not or cannot be released into the general population. Euthenization seems extreme if there are people and places willing to essentially quarantine those animals in humane conditions. I would rather see wild animals free, as well, but for the greater good, the choice is killing them or housing them. If they can be housed humanely, why not do that?

              To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

              by RadicalParrot on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 11:06:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because it's not ethically right to make pets out (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                of wildlife, but that's just my own opinion. Many states have anti feeding or confinement laws for issues of disease. In this case Chronic Wasting Disease, in that state it's impossible to legally harbor formerly wild deer, at all, anywhere.

                Fish and Game officers routinely euthanize very many species. There are established humane ways of doing so with many studies as to efficacy, safety, etc. Many officers dislike euthanizing large mammals, but it's part of the job.

                There are established, licensed, and monitored, wildlife rehabilitators whose goal is to re establish injured wildlife into the wild after they are well. That job is impossible after a young animal has been bottle fed by humans for a month. That deer was a walking dead deer for probably more than 3 weeks. The animal shelter was fully aware of the end game.

                Animals not able to be put back in the wild are either euthanized or rarely kept as tourist attractions to generate funding.

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

                by ban nock on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 12:29:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  i'm not talking about pets :o (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ban nock

                  Apologies. Like I said, I don't know the case you're talking about specifically, but the idea of having refuges where non-domestic animals who are not fit to be released into the wild can be housed humanely is appealing. They absolutely should be licensed and regulated, and taking custody of any animal should be done through legal channels. These places already exist, and are especially important for protected territorial species and non-native or invasive species. We could kill them all, but where the means exist to house them humanely, why should we kill them?

                  I also I admit do not know much about deer, so I'll defer to you there.

                  To tweet or not to tweet. I tweet therefore I am.

                  by RadicalParrot on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 12:44:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Most hunters & fishers oppose poaching too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover

      since it degrades the biodiversity and resources ... not to mention being stupid as well as criminal.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:17:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you're going to call environmentalists... (0+ / 0-)

    ....'tree huggers,' you should call hunters "gun nuts."

    •  Well, many environmentalist tend to call (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      Themselves treehuggers.

      It's not nearly as perjorative. Do you think it is?

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:56:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it sort of is perjorative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover

        It plays into the stereotype that environmentalists as 60's counterculture.  It gives the sense that environmentalists are emotional, non-rational.  We don't understand "modern wildlife management", for example.

        There are hunters who embrace the term "gun nut", I suppose. That does seem a bit perjorative to me.  

        Truth is, there are hunters who respect what they do and the wilderness in which they do it, and there are idiot hunters.  Same goes for environmentalists. The sooner we don't feel compelled to defend all of one group or another, the better.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 11:17:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a hardcore environmentalist. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm always in the backcountry. We camp. We backpack.  I don't have issues with bonafide hunters.

    When the back country has too many deer and elk, it's harmful to the ecosystem. Ideally, we'd restore more predators, but ranchers would never go for that.

    Overgrazing, over foraging and erosion are a big problem where herds get too big. It's something that armchair Bambi lovers don't understand.

    And don't  get me wrong, I love Bambi too. I could never kill an animal. But I'm glad that we have state and federal authorities that manage herds.

    Forest Service, BLM and Fish and Wildlife lands are open to hunting (in season, with licenses). National Parks aren't.

    It's easy to avoid hunters. Don't go where they are.

    Report poachers if you see hunters on NPS lands.

    I hike and camp mostly with my dogs so I tend to stay on land where hunting is permitted.

    I have NEVER in decades of traipsing around America's back country had a bad experience with a hunter. I let them know we're there. Even when we totally disrupt them, they acknowledge, wave, are normally friendly and let us pass  until we are far outside their range.

    In the same way, when I hear mountain bikes coming down a trail, I shout "hiker! Dogs!" They usually slow down and we pass each other, exchanging greetings. When I'm snowshoeing, I keep my dogs off groomed trails, and when I see someone fishing in a river, I don't let them splash up and disturb the guy's fishing hole. We cross somewhere else.

    It's not nearly as contentitious out there as many people think.

    "Land of Many Uses."  Indeed.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 10:44:35 AM PDT

    •  I've only had one problem with supposed (0+ / 0-)

      hunters.  I was actually out grouse hunting by myself.  I was parked at a trailhead getting my shotgun out and vest on when 3 guys wearing orange in a truck pulled up.  They saw the Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker on my vehicle and started harassing me and yelling insults to the effect that no hunter would vote for Kerry--obviously they were dipshits since they hadn't figured out by 2004 what a numbskull Bush the Lesser was.  

      Other than that, no probs.

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 06:07:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ecosystem services (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    An important concept in environmental studies is that of 'ecosystem services'.  In other words what do we get from ecosystems?  In addition to fundamentals like water, oxygen, and so on we can important emotional/aesthetic/cultural benefits from nature.  Both hunters and non-hunting environmentalists get these benefits which might broadly overlap.  I suspect that conflict comes into play in areas where they don't overlap.

    I can think of a few obvious examples

    1) Animal rights environmentalists.  Obviously if you are a vegetarian because you believe that it is unethical to eat animals because they have rights then you are going to be in some level of conflict with hunting.

    2) Ecosystem game production.  Ecosystems have changed dramatically over the last few centuries and, based on archaeology and paleontology, have been changing in North America since the arrival of humans many thousands of years ago.  There isn't really any such thing as a terrestrial ecosystem that has not had some human modification.  Hunters seem to want ecosystems that sustain large populations of the animals they want to hunt.  Non-hunters might have a different perspective.  For example, if you asked me which I would rather see if I went into the woods today, a Florida panther or a deer, there is no question which would give me more joy.

    I think the groups have much to offer one another but I think the differences should not be ignored but rather used to come to decisions based on both data and realistic appraisal of goals.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 12:02:07 PM PDT

    •  I've had some interesting conversations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      matching mole

      With animal rights absolutists.

      All I have to do is explain supply and demand and that foiliage is not in unlimited supply.

      Is it better that deer and elk die of starvation? Or that they die of injury or asphyxiation caused by mudslide due to erosion?

      It's amazing how people who hate the idea of hunting can come around to the idea of herd control. It's just that no one ever explained to them that there is no Elk Whole Foods Market full of greenery up in Yellowstone.

      Animal Rights people don't want animals to suffer at all.

       It's part of what makes PETA so dang extreme with regard to shelter pets.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 01:24:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's great that you've been so successful (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover

        I once knew a theoretical evolutionary biologist (i.e. he knew lots of math) who was opposed to culling deer herds despite the fact he obviously knew it was necessary.

        "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

        by matching mole on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 02:12:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. That must've been a surreal conversation. (0+ / 0-)

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 02:56:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  When did hunters start to dislike conservationists (0+ / 0-)

    Well, the good ones don't.  The good ones ARE conservationists.  

    However, somewhere along the line, hunting became a marketing tool.  Gander, Cabelas, Bass Pro, and all the brands they sell made hunting all about "manhood".  It became about selling clothes and truck decals to the bubbas who are more concerned with telling you about the deer they shot than with actually shooting and processing the deer.  The ones who wear camo as a fashion statement.  Hunting has become more about an identity than an experience.  Accordingly, it's attracted a lot of macho dipshits who haven't figured out that deer come from the forest, so you might want a forest if you want deer.  

    My view has always been that I can't be a hunter if I don't have wildlife and don't have wild places to go.  The "bubba" view is apparently, 'slong as I got a gun, I'm a hunter!  

    I've known some so-called hunters who were as anti-environment as it gets.  Some of them actually want to less public land and more exploitation of land for profit--basically just your average short-sighted RWNJs.  I despise these people.  Fortunately, they are usually pretty easy to get away from--just walk 50 feet from the last point you can drive a truck or ATV to.  Most of them are pretty lazy, which is why you find this baffling class of people who claim to be hunters but are staunchly opposed to roadless and nonmotorized areas.  

    It's really refreshing and reassuring to interact with those hunters who are true conservationists--not the just ones who claim to be conservationists, and they are many--but the ones who actually understand conservation and support true environmental protection, who are also many.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:15:45 PM PDT

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