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If you're like me you probably grew up hearing "shoot only what you eat". I learned it from my dad and he was taught the same from his dad.

The idea is not to be wasteful. If you are going to kill something it's for a purpose, to eat it. Of course that didn't include porcupines which eat tool handles. My grandpa fell down chasing one with a hoe and caught a face full of quills for his efforts, he was in his eighties, took them out with pliers. I don't know if you've ever been quilled but they are hard to get out. My dad shot another porcupine out of the pine tree down the end of the field.

And then there are all those mice that come into the house in the fall. I even remember something about a weasel at my grandpa's favorite trout pond that he wished to assist on it's journey to weasel heaven, but couldn't due to furbearer laws.

At a blog I read regularly,  Fair Chase Hunting, a blog that widely discusses ethical issues surrounding hunting, I read an interesting essay by the contributer Phillip Loughlin called Ends and means - ethics versus wildlife managment.

Phillip posits the idea that more important than our individual goals as hunters of obtaining food or overcoming difficulty, are conservation goals. No matter the motivation of the individual whether it be to come closer to nature or to achieve some level of difficulty more formidable than one's fellows, often it is the end result that concerns the biologist or wildlife manager.

Further the wildlife manager changes the rules of the game as it were, to achieve specific conservation goals. Some changes hunters adapt to easily, longer seasons or increased "take" for instance. Others such as hunting doe deer still meet resistance. People have been brought up for generations to only take buck deer so that the does can repopulate. Yet doe are the most efficient way to control overpopulation.

Every species, hunted or trapped, has a conservation reason, even varmints or species with unlimited take and no requirement for food, such as prairie dogs, coyotes, and feral hogs.

At the end of his article Philip ask us...

And if you honestly feel wrong killing an animal you’re not going to eat, then you don’t have to go out and start hunting varmints and predators, or trapping for furs.  If you live in a place overpopulated with deer, but instead of filling all of your tags you really only need one deer for your larder, you don’t have to go shoot more just to donate to the food bank.  

Here’s the thing, though.  Other hunters will do these things.  Many want to.  Don’t condemn them or their methods simply because their moral compass points a few degrees askew of your own.  It is legal for a reason.  If one of the valid justifications of the hunt is our role in wildlife management and population control, then someone has to do the things you may not want to do.

I went west as a very young man, and adopted the accepted ethics of the local. All of my friends who grew up on ranches and farms didn't even consider prairie dogs or coyotes in the context of hunting, they were simply something that needed constant culling. I've since expanded my thinking to include most other types and forms of hunting that I might not choose to participate in or even feel a dislike for such as baiting or hunting with hounds, trapping or trophy hunting. I've come to understand that my view is not the only legitimate one.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:19:38 AM PDT

  •  Good points, thanks! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, ER Doc, salmo, chimene

       Here in south central Illinois, bobcats are moving in, and apparently doing well. A neighbor reports he has a friend with a wildlife camers trained on a bobcat den. The guy claims that bobcat dragged in 14 fawns while raising her kits, or whatever the offspring are called....

       That, if accurate, sounds like a lot of deer for one litter of cats. Don't you inagine that will be an awful load on the white tails?

    Compost for a greener planet.............got piles?

    by Hoghead99 on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:30:46 AM PDT

    •  No. These days deer hunters are a dying breed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, ER Doc, sturunner

      Besides, lots more are lost to traffic.

      Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

      by Ice Blue on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:54:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually the latest census showed an increase (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Ice Blue, salmo

        in big game 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 Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:10:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ??? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sturunner, 43north

          Is that nationwide? Because I live in prime deer hunting country and you could have fooled me. Now, in terms of incompetent amateurs who want to act like tough guys...maybe. But in terms of responsible deer hunters it seems to me there's fewer youngsters who want to learn every year.

          OTOH, it may only be because property owners are cracking down even harder on trespassers. There's a lot of knuckleheads out there, you know.

          Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

          by Ice Blue on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:54:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I see fewer vehicles toting deer carcasses. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner

            D'oh.

            Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

            by Ice Blue on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:57:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That last post sounds pissy. That was not (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sturunner, Kasoru

              my intention. It simply meant my brain is not engaged this morning. Need. More. Coffee.

              Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

              by Ice Blue on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 10:02:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no offence taken, yes it was a nationwide census (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ice Blue, Kasoru

                most of the increase was women and they young. I blame the clean food movement.

                Most hunter ed classes teach people to cover carcasses so as not to offend anyone who doesn't like to see dead critters.

                “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 11:04:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well that (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ice Blue, ban nock

                  And wild game processors prefer you bring your animal in not covered in sand and dirt from passing trucks.

                  I passed through Wisconsin during deer season 2 years ago. On the interstate, lots of bucks with big racks 'displayed' on trailers and SUVs, apparently hunters who took does felt little need to display them.

                  Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                  by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 11:19:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I guess I posted too soon. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ban nock

                  I just saw a bow hunter walk through the corn field across the street. I think she was the farm owner's niece.

                  Re: clean food--if you're going to eat meat there's nothing leaner, "cleaner" and more wholesome than properly dressed & butchered deer, elk or moose. IMHO, the best place to get one is right next to a cornfield. They tend to have the best tasting meat.

                  Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

                  by Ice Blue on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 12:11:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, I forgot bison. I can't hunt anymore (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ban nock

                    --rather, I'm too old to drag a deer carcass a half mile and tie it to the hood of my Ford Taurus--but being disabled I can get some ground bison at the local pantry. It's my favorite wild meat. It tastes like beef only leaner and more flavorful.

                    The sharing of fresh killed meat used to be extremely common among the Indians. The best hunters were always popular guys. I can tell you any meats that go to food pantries are very much appreciated.

                    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

                    by Ice Blue on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 12:32:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  In a lot of areas (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner, ban nock, Ice Blue, maregug

            It's almost impossible to find a place to hunt. Overdevelopment and loss of public land are greater threats to the future of hunting (at least for the non-wealthy) than PETA or gun control will ever be.  

            But it makes hunters feel good to bitch about PETA and "gun grabbers".

            Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

            by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 10:19:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We've got 26 million acres of public land in our (0+ / 0-)

              state. Granted much of winter range is private but our state is buying land as fast as PR funds allow and all the land they buy is fully accessible.

              Anti hunting groups have been very effective and are no joking matter here. It doesn't take much to put issues on the statewide ballot and then management becomes a campaign funding issue not a scientific one. CA has the same problems. When a species and season is closed to hunting the problem is very real.

              “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 06:34:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Odd (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OldJackPine, ban nock, Joy of Fishes

                Political processes may work differently in Colorado, but you can be sure it's different out this way.

                Minnesota is a very progressives state, yet contrary to progressive stereotypes, we have added several hunting seasons recently (wolf, dove, crane) and we are losing public land.  

                However, there are states east of the Mississippi where public hunting land is very sparse.  If you don't know somebody or can't pay hundreds of dollars to hunt, you might not be able to find a spot.  A lot of those little public tracts that do allow hunting are overrun with other hunters, they require a lottery, or they hold very few game animals.  It's this situation that will drive current hunters away because the expense and hassle isn't worth it, and make recruiting new hunters extremely difficult.  

                I don't lose sleep over PETA or HSUS.  I know hunters who drone on about PETA endlessly as if they are an actual threat to anything; meanwhile, those same hunters are silent when a thousand acres of public land is turned over to a mining company like we're staring down in Minnesota.  Any hunter more worried about PETA or anti-gun groups than mining companies is a complete bonehead in my book.  

                Politicians who are complicit in the reduction and deterioration of our public land base are immoral criminals stealing from future generations.  

                Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:06:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Howling For Wolves a MN group made #7 on the (0+ / 0-)

                  Sportsmen's Alliance Dirty Dozen list this year. Pretty impressive for what is only a state of MN group. http://www.ussportsmen.org/...

                  “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 02:58:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Who? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ban nock

                    You'd think I'd have heard of them.

                    I saw a group of 20 people in Virginia, MN last winter freezing their nuts off holding signs with pictures of bleeding wolves and such.  If that was them, they didn't look like much of a threat to my ability to hunt; more like a small group of people willing to be very uncomfortable to express their First Amendment rights in a location where most passers-by were probably extremely unreceptive to their message anyway.  

                    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                    by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:11:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree, they are very local, not that effective (0+ / 0-)

                      and certainly not worthy of the list let alone #7, Western Watersheds isn't even on there and they are regional and have a fifteen year history. Howling did get a huge infusion of cash as I remember, from some national group, almost their entire funding for some referendum, or maybe I'm confusing the states and the groups. Wisconsin? Michigan? It's all kind of this side of Chicago right?

                      “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 06:24:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Muzzleloader just opened today (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock, Mark Mywurtz

            to 65ºF temperatures.  Deer stayed-put, saw not one track.
            That'll change monday when it's 19ºF @ dawn.

            I categorize muzzle loader hunters into two groups.
            Traditionalists shooting under 75 yards, with iron sites and a musket-style firearm - or inline hunters, who have a saboted projectile which must be placed down a barrel, fired by a pellet of pre-portioned powder and a 209 shotgun cap.
            With scope.  150 yard gun... the equivalent of a 375 Winchester, without the lever.

            The first group "hunts" and "killed".  The first shot, was all that's needed.

            The second group often use phrases like "hits", "tracked", and "put-down".
            The notion that the first shot will likely be followed by others, is gunning for a deer, not hunting.

            The first group can ask to hunt the property, the second is put-off property.  Every. Shot. Counts.

            •  Out here there are laws limiting Muzzleloaders (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mark Mywurtz, 43north

              to traditional only.

              CO and MT I'm sure of, other states I don't know.  I've recently relearned  to use iron sites, rear one is kinda blurry. he he

              “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:04:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm deer hunting with iron sights this fall. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ban nock, 43north

                I've had a few people try to sell me on the virtues of a scope, but I have no intention of taking long shots, I've been very consistent when shooting targets, and I feel more comfortable shooting with iron sights than with a scope.  

                Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:13:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              43north

              I'm never terribly impressed to hear about people taking very long shots with any rifle, let alone a muzzleloader.  

              I know that some people will take every technological advantage they can legally take, but at some point you aren't actually engaged in the same activity, right?  In your second scenario, you are barely even describing muzzleloader hunting anymore.  I've never done it, but I was under the impression that getting close to the animal--like with bowhunting--is part of the challenge and limitation of muzzleloader hunting.  It would be kind of like using a crossbow but claiming that you were bowhunting.  

              Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

              by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:17:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hunt with a Leupold scope on a .270 win (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mark Mywurtz, 43north, ban nock

                My typical shot is less than 50 yards.  I do find the scope really handy when head-shooting grouse along old logging roads (legal here in Washington).  It's also good for a final antler check before thumbing off the safety...just to ensure you really saw 3 legal points instead of 2 plus the imagined third one.

                "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                by DaveinBremerton on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:22:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I believe in scoped rifles or slug shotguns (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ban nock, DaveinBremerton

                  for those exact reason.  Target confirmation.

                  My distances are < 200 yds in all instances, so a non-magnum is preferable.  

                  Eastern hunting is a real mixed bag of firearms.  Lever-action rifles still are popular, though not as prevalent these days as semi-auto, pump-action and bolt action rifles in more modern calibers.
                  Rarer still are the single-shots, often in odd/old chamberings.

                  •  I prefer under a hundred yards, but the terrain (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DaveinBremerton, 43north

                    here forces us to shoot out to 200 anyway. Often shots are 100 yards in the trees, 200 in the open with work to get close. Saw where someone took a 400 yard shot the other day. 308 lodged just under the skin on the far side. Couple old guys, the one was complaining because he didn't want to carry the meat out.

                    I'm intent on getting better this winter. I've got an 06 so it should still have the power out there. Maybe pronghorn next year.

                    “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 02:53:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Go +150 grains in a -06 (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ban nock, 43north

                      I think the military spitzer is a 168 grain.  At 150 grains and below, you might as well be shooting a .308.

                      I grew up on the .30-06 and took my first several deer with it.  I moved to the .270 because the -06 had a tendency to punch right through the target.  I once shot a rutting 5x5 whitetail 3 times, solid in the chest and neck with an -06 before I anchored it.  Never had that problem with a .270 and 135 grain slugs.  In addition to switching calibers, I switched from Remington to Federal hi-shock ammo.  I think the Federals are a tad slower, which IMHO results in less bullet fragmentation and better performance.

                      I inherited a .243 that I have yet to use hunting.  "Loaned" (gave) it to my brother, who took it to Montana for some mule deer hunting.  He was impressed.  I can't wait for him to let me use my gun on blacktails.

                      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                      by DaveinBremerton on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:02:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I've been shooting 180 on everything. Don't like (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DaveinBremerton, 43north

                        learning new tricks. Might switch to 165 for some more speed though. Also might switch from Barnes to Nosler Partitions. The copper seems to not expand as much as I'd like. I reload.

                        I finally have a place to shoot that I found while hunting. A range longer than 100 yards was a problem.

                        “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 06:29:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nosler partitions always looked good to me (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          43north

                          180 grains is a fine load in the .30-06.  I went to 150 grains but found the extra speed resulted in bullet fragmentation--hence my move to the .270.  I fell in love with the .270 and will likely stick with it unless someone gives me a 7mm-08 in a Ruger #1 (not likely).

                          Nosler partitions have been around since I was 10 or something.  Lots and lots of performance history.  Good bullet.  I have a reloading press but, to date, I've only reloaded 12 gauge.

                          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                          by DaveinBremerton on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:17:47 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Never taken a liking to the stainless #1 (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DaveinBremerton, ban nock

                            Every 7mm-08 I've seen was a short-run/distributor-special, in stainless only with laminate stock.

                            This appears to be a production rifle, one I doubt you'd be too embarrassed to show your friends.  I'd try and strike a same-caliber deal/discount.

                            Sadly the 7mm-08 and the 280 Remington seem to face the same fate.  Great cartridges, available in great guns, just not mainstream-enough; nor magnum-wiz-bang-superduper-oohwow sufficiently to capture the press and shelf space required to be popular.

                          •  Wow, spendy (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            43north

                            But then I was surprised to see the current sticker on my Browning A-Bolt.  I bought it back in the late 1980's for less than $400.

                            I lost my love of magnum whiz-bang the first (and only) time I bench fired a .300 magnum.  I stuck with smaller calibers and learned when not to shoot.

                            Thanks for the info...I'll check it out.

                            "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                            by DaveinBremerton on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:34:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But you do see them around, and the 08 is easy (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DaveinBremerton, 43north

                            to get brass for, and bullets. No idea why the guns are so pricey. People here go for the 25 06 too for the same sort of thing, deer, pronghorn, carries a long way.

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

                            by ban nock on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:42:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Almost nothing seems spendy after you price (0+ / 0-)

                            Weatherby® firearms and ammunition.  The .25-06 is nearly half-priced these days!

                            40+ years ago, an old friend had a pre-64 model 70 come his way that was a victim of abuse and neglect.  Half-immersed in water, the stock and barrel were scrap.

                            A winter of sanding, checkering and finishing a R. Fajen inletted stock; a custom barrel and die set later, Joe sported a 6.5mm-'06.

                            Seemed he was impressed with the 264 WinMag as an Idaho sheep hunt gun, but didn't like the accompanying nuclear blast.

                      •  Dave, I've seen the same results. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        DaveinBremerton

                        The "stock answer" when sold a Remington 700 was to be issued boxes of Remington 180 gr ammo.  Particularly from a clerk who's sparse on actual knowledge.

                        A solidly constructed bullet, which would punch-through whitetail deer like a pencil.
                        That thick jacket is good for black bear and elk.
                        Adequate on Moose and Brown Bear, though a 200 or 220gr would give me more confidence.

                        For 30 caliber, I'd recommend either Federal or Hornady 150 or 165 gr rounds for whitetail and mule deer.
                        Both are enough for a surprise encounter with a black bear, being twice the medicine of a .30-30 WCF.  

                        When Elk hunting with an '06, I'd opt for the 180gr. Federal Premium Nosler Partition.

                        I use 140gr Partitions in my 7mm Mauser, 120gr in the .257 Roberts.  They load both a 130 and 150 for the .270 Win..

                        Federal loads a 100gr Partition for the 243 Win, and I've shot dime-sized groups @ 100m with both a Ruger M77 and Ruger #1A.

                        •  My .30-06 was a bursitis special (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          43north

                          Model 03-A3 with a sightless barrel that I think was 24" long.  Full walnut monte carlo stock with a really nice cheekpiece.  With the Leupold Vari-X II parked on it, the thing must have weighed 10 pounds but it shot really nice and didn't kick much (for an -06).  The problem was carrying the damn thing at port arms while sneak hunting through neck high salal brush.  I gave that outfit to my brother (minus the scope) and bought the Browning A-Bolt.

                          I see two guns in my future:

                          (1) A CZ .22 Hornet to go with the 1,200 rounds of .22 Hornet ammo I inherited from my stepfather.

                          (2) The 7mm-08 or similar single shot just because the older I get, the less I give a shit whether or not I actually shoot anything.  A clean miss with no critter to pack out isn't all that awful of an outcome. On the other hand, I still really like back strap.

                          I'd be perfectly happy if Washington State would legalize crossbow hunting.  I used one in Arkansas and came to appreciate the weapon.

                          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                          by DaveinBremerton on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:50:43 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  hearty recommendation on the CZ (0+ / 0-)

                            I've a 452 American in .22LR for rodent depopulation.
                            The Hornet, 218 Bee, and .222 remain my favorite trio in .22 cal.

                            The Ruger #1A is more easily found in 7x57 and 6.5x55 both are blessed with moderate recoil, even in the comparatively light rifle.  For a 7x57 shooter, I'd look for a 1990s or later "black pad" model.  The 6.5x55 are all recent production.

                            The earlier rifles used an excessively-long military-style throating, which tosses the Federal 7B 175gr RN well, but not the more common 139/140gr loadings, which tend to pattern in a 2 MOA group.
                            Handloading with bullets in the 160gr+ weight, seated-out so the base was level with the bottom of the neck proved accurate as-well.

                            The newer rifles should group sub-moa, right from the box.
                            If not, check to see if the fore-end is free-floating ahead of the scope base.  Doing so, helps.

                            Don't ignore a Browning Hi-Wall, or Dakota if they land in your lap in appropriate calibers!

                  •  I hunt in pretty thick stuff (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    43north

                    We call 2nd growth "reprod" or "doghair".  One has to move very slowly and concentrate on what is happening ahead.  I've been as close as 7 yards to whitetailed deer.  If they're more than 50 yards, I probably don't see them.  Mulies are hard as hell to hunt in doghair, but are approachable in the open.  I use a big-bore rifle with a good scope in the off chance that I'll see one in a clearcut.  It's only happened a few times.  I killed a big 3x4 mule deer at about 90 yards with my .270...and for me that is a longish shot.

                    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                    by DaveinBremerton on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:07:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  I heard the exact same story only it was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      from Minnesota.  A friend of a friend said...........

      The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

      by bgblcklab1 on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most fawns die before reaching adulthood. (7+ / 0-)

      The population biology of deer is designed to offset wide variation in fawn mortality. In productive areas like the Midwest predators have mostly trivial impacts.

      Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

      by OldJackPine on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:02:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the normal state (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, ban nock, elmo, Piren

    doesn't necessarily require hunting.  There's a huge part of the world, made up of places that are remote or generally inaccessible to people, where there is no hunting.  The population of predator and prey animals just keeps itself in check.

    •  that's a common misconception (5+ / 0-)

      We now know there is no balance of nature. On our continent we've been managing or worse wildlife for over 13,000 years.

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:42:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "managing or worse"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        Is that shorthand for "managing or hunting to extinction"?

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:16:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, almost all the large mammals were hunted (0+ / 0-)

          and went extinct around 12,000 years ago. Many of the species we think of today as being N American actually came across the land bridge at the same time we did. Elk, grizzly bear, moose, gray wolf. I think something like 60 large mammals went extinct. I haven't studied much, they no longer exist.

          “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 11:07:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  further.. Off the top of my head I can't think of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, Tailfish

      anywhere in the world where the human isn't that top predator. Even the oceans.

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:44:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, I was saying that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        there are a lot of places where there are generally very few human hunters.  An example would be a forested area in America that is a couple hundred miles away from the nearest town.  You might get a human hunter here or there, but generally speaking the other predators and prey in the area will be functioning on their own, per the natural balance of things.

        I agree that any location in which people are in fact hunting, they are the top predator.

        •  In every state with large wilderness areas human (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, salmo

          hunting is still closely controlled so to avoid over harvest. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, etc. Even Alaska has more subsistence hunters than animals to hunt. Counterintuitively the developed mid Atlantic states, Virginia, Delaware, and so on, with lots of  suburbs are the places with little to no wildlife management. Partly due to local sensibilities, partly due to lack 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 Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:17:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Two years ago, I drove across Labrador (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            I drove around Newfoundland and Labrador with my pickup camper in 2011.  There is a lot to recommend that trip, but wildlife viewing isn't one of them.  We saw two moose and some snowshoe hare on the Island, and nothing at all in Labrador.  No moose, bear, or caribou, in fact nothing much larger than a squirrel.  It seems that a slaughter of caribou has been going on, with populations in the hundreds of thousands now dwindling to less than 50,000 in just a few years.  With off road vehicles and snowmobiles, almost nowhere is beyond relatively easy access.  I was told by a couple of First Nation's women at a Goose Bay museum that substantial portions of their people shoot them on sight, year round.  Part of the problem was that while First Nation rights are being hammered out with the Canadian government (slowly to be sure) there are five ethnic groups laying claim to that land, and the responsibility for stewardship seemed to involve standing in a circle and pointing left.  

  •  It's all about the balance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    If there are not enough predators to cull the herd, or whatever, then it's good for humans to do it.

    Bringing in other predators is better, though, since they take out the sick, the weak, and force the herds to more open places so that the fauna can flourish in pockets to keep the new going. That's what happened in Yellowstone with the elk and deer. The wolves kept them out of the more closed in areas, allowing the trees and other fauna to flourish, making a better ecosystem.

    Nature can do it by itself if we don't kill off the predators like we have so much in the past.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:42:27 AM PDT

    •  there is no balance of nature (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      The Yellowstone elk/wolf story is a repeated tale that even in repetition doesn't make it true.

      Most early grandiose pronouncements about wolves and Yellowstone have proved at best untrue, and some notable scientists ended up with egg on the face. Particularly those from say... Oregon. Not naming names mind you.

      You should take a read of this summation of research to date by the worlds foremost wolf researcher, founder of the international wolf center, and lead scientist on wolves for the IUCN http://www.scribd.com/...

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:52:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No balance of nature? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        Really?

        You know, I'm not against hunting, but this statement is ludicrous.



        Women create the entire labor force.
        ---------------------------------------------
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:09:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Google it (0+ / 0-)

          Hasn't been taught in university level ecology courses in 3 decades. "Nature is in flux only reaching temporary states of equilibrium"

          I diaried about it once and it got lots of discussion by the scientists on this site, I understood half of what they were saying. http://www.dailykos.com/...
          Many common perceptions we have about wildlife are simply untrue. It doesn't help when media repeats these errors. Others are repeated because they are how we wish life to be.

          “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 08:38:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In the sense that there's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, salmo

          no equilibrium in "free markets" either, maybe? Some things sound nice as theoretical concepts, but don't actually mesh with reality.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:21:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not true at all, unfortunately. (6+ / 0-)
    Every species, hunted or trapped, has a conservation reason, even varmints or species with unlimited take and no requirement for food, such as prairie dogs, coyotes, and feral hogs.
    Hunters put enormous pressure on agencies for "hunting" that serves little conservation value apart from generating funds from license sales and PR taxes on hunting equipment.

    Some species' populations like deer and feral hogs are overabundant almost everywhere (deer) or non-native and disruptive (hogs) and need to be controlled for the sake of other resources.

    Others are hunted for the recreational value of hunting almost exclusively and regulations are designed primarily to allocate them as a recreational resource in a sustainable fashion - not to address a compelling conservation need for reduced populations.  Some of these are eaten as a consequence of widely accepted ethical standards (eg ducks, grouse).

    Other animals are hunted simply for the recreational value of shooting at them and most "varmint" and predator hunting falls into that category. Yes, there are areas where livestock producers and farmers need pest control but these are very small relative the vast ranges of animals like coyotes, bobcats, prairie dogs, and gophers and these discrete areas are far more efficiently dealt with by professionals (eg. USDA Wildlife Services).

    Youtube is full of high-fiving yahoos celebrating the "red mist" phenomenon when a prairie dog or gopher is vaporized by a high-powered rifle. There's no pretense of using the meat of claiming the pelt and claiming that this is somehow an altruistic example of conservation because they're helping with pest control is a fig leaf - nothing more.

    I reject the "we all need to hang together or we'll hang separately" line of reasoning in defense of hunting. So-called "hunting" that simply reduces living animals to a fun target to shoot at demeans us as hunters and those of us that care deeply about hunting and its role in conservation need to be the first ones to police our ranks.

    Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

    by OldJackPine on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:32:38 AM PDT

    •  I'm suggesting an open mind, not hanging together (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes

      rather than separately. Also not to impede the conservation efforts of others simply because it is distasteful to you.

      My state and many others have a long standing issue with prairie dogs. Thier colonies can cover tens of thousands of acres making range and farmland unproductive. I'm not saying cows are better to raise than prairie dogs, but that's the reason they are listed as a varmint here. Motivations are variable, and immaterial to conservation.

      Bobcats have valuable fur, and might I add an increasing population countrywide, they also affect rabbit population (another varmint in Vermont) and fawn survival. Animals with no or very little reason to hunt, such as song birds, chipmunks,  or raptors are not hunted because there is no conservation reason. Further by licensing and controlling take our wildlife agency makes funds available for species such as black footed ferret which we are reintroducing and which feed exclusively on prairie dogs.

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 08:53:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Motivations do matter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Mywurtz, sturunner

        You've written before about the North American Model of wildlife conservation. A pillar of the model is that wildlife should only be killed for legitimate reasons. Motivation speaks to legitimacy. Is it legitimate to kill solely for recreation? ...because one hates the animal? ...because one just bought a new gun and is itching to use it?

        I think society expects more of us hunters...

        Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

        by OldJackPine on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:14:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The North American Model is the reason for our (0+ / 0-)

          game laws. Motivations of individuals are totally beyond the scope of any law, and rightly so.

          You might stop at a stop sign because you hate your tires and wish to wear them out sooner, as long as you stop we're cool. Similarly with psychopathic duck haters.

          In real life I've yet to meet a hunter that hates any animal, of course helping to perpetuate false stereotypes helps not at all.

          “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 06:41:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Motivations are how game laws get implemented (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark Mywurtz, ban nock

            Why do you think most states have game laws that prohibit "wanton waste" of game when the game is a duck or a turkey or an elk but not when its a coyote or a crow or a pocket gopher? Its because somewhere along the line killing a duck became associated with motivation for obtaining food in a way that killing a crow is not. We sanction killing of ducks in a different way than we sanction killing of crows. Killing of crows is OK for any reason. Killing of ducks has to be associated, at some level, with a motivation for eating them.

            And if you don't think that some "hunters" hate certain animals, poke around on the websites and facebook pages that celebrate wolf hunting in the US.

            Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

            by OldJackPine on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:27:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  rabbits are a varmint in Vermont, no need to eat (0+ / 0-)

              them, likewise feral pigs everywhere.

              I read web pages where people voice displeasure over wolves.
              A nuanced read reveals a displeasure over people from other places forcing them to accept what they consider to be harmful populations of wolves. I read no more hate in their posts than in any posts about any species. They like hunting, and they also like pissing off wolf advocates.

              A kossack who isn't on this thread just sent an email about Hornady zombie killing bullets guaranteed to create a "red mist". I don't think he hates coyotes at all, he's just a Westerner.

              “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 04:57:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't necessarily use "hate" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock, OldJackPine

            But if you are making a fortune on a TV show that involves you acting like an obnoxious asshole, slaying a bunch of ducks to a thrash metal soundtrack to make the kill shots entertaining, then you sell T-shirts with your likeness and the slogan "If it flies, it dies.", you can't then turn around and tell us how much you love ducks and care about them.

            At the very least, you can't cry when people say you make hunters look terrible.  Same goes for Uncle Ted and shooting feral pigs from a helicopter with an assault rifle.  

            Personally, I'd rather we didn't recruit anyone new into hunting if all we're going to get are the goons who have been spoonfed yelling and high-fiving, tactical rifles, and glorified kill shots by these immature bozos who care not one bit about the living creatures they slaughter for ratings like The Nuge and the Duckmen.      

            It's guys like that who almost make me ashamed to admit to being a hunter around non-hunters.  

            Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

            by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:30:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I questioned that statement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldJackPine

      you boxquoted as well.  I couldn't have addressed it better myself.  Thanks.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:34:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We did change the balance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, sturunner, Joy of Fishes

    When people channelized the streams for shipping, salmon had no place to hide on their migration upstream.  Seals now devastate the salmon run.  We must control the seal population to save wild salmon.  The best way is to protect the orca whales that eat the seals.  Second best is to shoot the excess seals.

    My town is over run with deer.  Cougars are the natural control, but not in town.  Can't hunt in town.  Trap & relocate?  Sterilize?  

    •  Considering the price of venison (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, ban nock, Joy of Fishes

      why not trap and sell the meat (subject to health inspection)? Wild meats often fetch a higher price than pastured.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:26:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The graybar hotel waits for those who try (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy of Fishes

        Sale of game has been illegal for a very long time.  Here in Maine, serious prison time should be expected by those caught.  

        •  If there's overpopulation, then (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, Joy of Fishes

          it's time to adjust the laws. It used to be illegal to sell alligator skins and meat after they became a threatened species in the 70s--but over the decades as their numbers came back and gators started showing up in people's swimming pools, the laws were changed: those with the proper credentials to trap nuisance gators get to sell the skins and meat.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:18:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  People are discussing it, I believe in another (0+ / 0-)

        article on the blog I linked to.

        “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 06:43:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  away from the computer for most of the rest of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine

    the day, looking for something edible to hunt.

    “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 09:08:55 AM PDT

  •  A few random thoughts... (5+ / 0-)

    (1) Porcupine is edible.  I have recipes.
    (2) Ditto for mountain lion.

    I generally don't hunt what I can't eat, and I don't think it is a good idea to hunt predators that control ungulates (cougar, wolf) unless there is a legitimate need to control the predator population in a given area.

    Coyotes and various other varmints are in a class unto themselves...more of a farming / ranching problem than anything.  I'm not going to fault some farmer who shoots coyotes to protect chickens.

    I've hunted deer over bait in Arkansas.  In the South, thick woods and an over-abundance of deer make bait a legitimate technique.  I would not do the same in Washington State.  Local context matters in judging the ethics of baiting.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:36:49 AM PDT

    •  Porcupines edible? Not so much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveinBremerton, ban nock

      I don't know about mountain lions, but I tried to eat a porcupine once (described in my comment below).  One small taste was enough.  They are the only animal that beds on their own feces.  Maybe a Dakota porcupine living on cattail roots and not denning up would have a tolerable flavor, but here in the Northeast, I would have to be starving to try one again.

      •  I never said they were tasty (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, salmo

        If you survived the experience, then porcupine is in fact edible.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 01:03:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  New England porky, who'd a thunk it :-) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaveinBremerton, salmo

        “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:00:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're everywhere here in northern Minnesota. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          And they wreak havoc on tamarack, jack pine, red oak, white pine, and a few other trees, so a lot of landowners have low tolerance for them.  

          Personally, I leave them alone other than maybe sneaking up to one to take a photo once in a while.  I lump them in with raccoon, muskrat, and woodchuck as species I would have to exhaust all other food sources before considering making a meal of one.  

          Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

          by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:37:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I work overseas with a guy from Lebanon.... (0+ / 0-)

        Just came back from his leave talking about how delicious porcupine is...lots of pictures of the hunt (at night).  Either a different porcupine, or a different recipe!

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 12:25:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've eaten porcupine that was delicious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveinBremerton

      haven't tried mountain lion but I've heard it's good. I'd hunt it more for controlling it's predation on ungulates but I'd also eat the meat.

      Predators actually don't control ungulates. They prey on them. They will continue to prey on them as long as they can find them. There is no deal worked out between ungulates and predators where predators will only eat so many and then leave the rest. Only humans make conscious wildlife management decisions about hunting.

      Predators are valuable simply for biodiversity reasons, and indeed we need no more reason than that. That's why we support the establishment of cougar, wolf, black bear, wolverine, black footed ferret, lynx, and uncounted other species reintroduction. Two "good attributes of all predators is to eat the sick or infirm, and to keep prey species vigilant and smart. There are also "bad" attributes such as depleting game populations that we'd rather eat. It's for those reasons we manage predators. Coyotes are also predators as well as a nuisance, they can have as deleterious effect on fawn survival as bears.

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 06:59:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's kind of like pork, or maybe veal (0+ / 0-)

        It's not that uncommon for west coast cougar hunters to eat the meat.  I've only been in on one cat kill--my brother shot one in self defense, which seemed eminently more sensible than being killed and eaten.  After the shot he walked up to my deer stand looking ghost-white and shaking a lot.  I helped him track the thing down and verify he'd killed it (he did, with a single shot through the lungs).  Beautiful animal.  We buried her where she lay.

        For the rest of the hunting season he'd get creeped out by every squirrel in the woods.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:33:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One problem with claiming that hunting nonfood (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, sturunner, OldJackPine, maregug

    animals contributes to some "conservation goal" is that we seem to always define those goals with an outcome that justifies shooting the animals we want to shoot.  

    I.e., "Our goal is fewer wolves."  Now we can shoot wolves.

    "Our goal to have more snowshoe hares."  There ya go...now get out and trap some bobcats.  

    The goals are all an artificial construct.  If our goal is truly a healthy ecosystem, the means certainly wouldn't be, "Shoot whatever tastes good, whatever looks cool on the wall, or whatever makes a fun AR-15 target."  If that were the ACTUAL goal, the species we were allowed to hunt, the bag limits, etc would be extremely varied from year to year and place to place.  But they aren't as much as would be expected.  The allowed game and the bag limits are based almost entirely on pleasing the hunting constituency, not on ecosystem health.

    If hunters are concerned about conservation goals, they should take that money spent popping prairie dogs and give it to The Nature Conservancy or some other land conservation organization.  Nobody really believes they are providing a "service".  

    For the record, I spent most of the day yesterday hunting and this morning scouting and preparing for next weekend.  And I'm one of those guys who only hunts what he intends to eat.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 09:44:56 AM PDT

    •  A healthy ecosystem is a given, all management (0+ / 0-)

      must have that. There is all kinds of decisions to be made beyond healthy. How many of which species for instance.

      Out here all ecosystems are healthy ecologically. We don't even need half the species we have to achieve that goal. What we strive to do is have enough of all species to make our forests enjoyable to all who like all species. We have thousands of cougars and bears and moose and elk and pronghorn and deer, and if allowed to manage them we'd be glad to have wolves too and grizzly.

      If you hunt only what you eat you should thank the next predator hunter you meet, because he makes it 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 Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:10:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Mywurtz, ban nock
        If you hunt only what you eat you should thank the next predator hunter you meet, because he makes it possible.
        You know better.  

        Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

        by OldJackPine on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:33:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Out here it's very true, (0+ / 0-)

          whether you care to look at it or not. We have lots of history of unmanaged compared managed wildlife. I for one am thankful to those with more skill and will to hunt predators. Look at CA and their completely unmanaged cats, and now bear. Severely declining blacktail population and cats wandering into cities and being destroyed by salaried employees.

          “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 04:45:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You are starting to make Colorado (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldJackPine, ban nock

        seem like an alternate universe where none of the human behaviors or biological phenomena observable across the rest of the continent apply.  

        Even with the largest population of wolves in the lower 48 (not to mention countless other deer predators), deer hunting was perfectly fine in Minnesota even while wolves were protected by the ESA.  I don't need to thank a wolf hunter if I see a deer....though I might thank a wolf if I see a healthy deer.  

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:41:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How are your mooose doing? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not aware of any predator making much of a dent in whitetail populations. The world however doesn't begin and end with whitetail.

          There is a whole 1/2 more continent past the midwest. I'm glad you have plenty of deer, and I wouldn't presume to know much about Minnesota, even though you've experienced one of the largest and fastest moose population crashes known to scientists.

          Imagine for a second that you lived in NE Minnesota and there were no deer. You would be bird hunting. Or fishing. For sure you'd have no red meat because moose hunting is over, no more tags. I'll guarantee you one thing, you wouldn't be joking about thanking wolves.

          You might be proud to have wiped out a large iconic ungulate in your state's NE, but I wouldn't be. It was a complete failure of game management.

          As the statistics role in from your first comprehensive mortality study that has come way way way late, scientists are starting to call the cause of mortality "predators". They've given up on calling it ticks or global warming or worms, but they aren't yet ready to say wolves. Give it a couple months.

          Very basic predator science holds true across all species and all instances. There is no magic.

          “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 02:48:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Moose (0+ / 0-)

            were never a very important game animal in Minnesota with very few once-in-a-lifetime tags offered by lottery every year.  They never were numerous.  Even if the moose population were what it was a couple of decades ago, if deer disappeared, I'd still be hunting birds, not moose.  I actually did find a fresh pile of moose shit when I was hunting grouse on Friday.  

            I'm not sure what you mean by me being proud to wipe out moose.  I don't have anything in that regard to be "proud" of, and I'm certainly not happy about their decline.  

            You are quick to blame wolves for the decline of wolves and continually cite the current study which I am very familiar with.  It's very clear alreadythat wolves alone are not the problem.    

            Even if wolves are the official COD for a number of these moose, I do wonder why you wouldn't question why an increasing wolf population (actually, it's down in recent estimates) would be devastating the moose population and not really hurting the deer?  You've ruled out magic.  Have you considered that if a wolf kills a moose it is likely already in bad shape?  Poor nutrition, overheating, liver flukes, brainworm, winter ticks, etc would all make what would typically be a formidable prey for a wolf pack much easier to take.  I suspect you'll find there is no such directly proportionate relationship between wolf numbers and moose decline.  

            If I had an immune disease, I might die of the common cold.  But to say that means the common cold is deadly and the immune disease was not the true issue is disingenuous.  Even without wolves, moose are being assaulted by multiple problems and would certainly be in decline here.  

            Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

            by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 04:07:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  read the statistics and your own DNR (0+ / 0-)

              your magazine article gave a very slanted view. What the scientists are saying is pretty hard to sugar coat. The last study done in 95 to 2000 tried the liver fluke/tick/starvation spiel, except they kept finding healthy moose dying, and that didn't match their story, that's why this new much more precise study, eliminate the guess work. And no one is disputing the numbers.

              http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/...

              2/3 the calves and over half the adults. Healthy moose, well fed moose. If you figure in some of those "unknown predators" etc you've got a very damning set of statistics.

              I like big animals. Shoot one and feed the family for a year. Would take me five or six deer to make one elk. I like woods with big animals too, they're fun to look at, support many other animals.

              Those guys doing the study in 95 to 2000 blew it big time. They allowed their prejudices to get in the way of science. Your state is projected to have just about no moose by 2020. If I lived there I wouldn't be real happy.

              Wolves don't like deer anywhere near as much as moose. I think they like moose better than elk.

              above blue wolf, red wolf infection from bite, green there's your ticks, orange brain worm, purple unknown but probably health related, bacterial, traums. So you got more than half the adults getting eaten by wolves, not other reasons.

              It's a friggin mess.

              “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 Nov 03, 2013 at 06:05:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Don't be afraid to try different meats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine, ban nock

    My comment is a little off where you were taking your diary - tolerance among the hunting community.  It's true that we are a small minority.  How small was brought home to me in some research I did to exchange information with you a  month or so ago.  There are only 14 to 23 million of us distributed among 325 million total population.  That's enough of a minority right there, without engaging in purity purges.

    I was taken, however, by your dismissal of some non-traditional game as food.  Audubon ate almost every type of bird he catalogued.  On some of it, you are right.  I tried to eat a porcupine once.  I was 14, out with my Explorer scout troop on a winter camping trip and snowshoe hare hunt.  One of the guys shot a porcupine.  I thought it was wrong to just shoot something and make no effort to eat it, and I had always heard that porcupine were one of the few animals that a lost hiker could kill with a stick and eat.  So, I gutted and skinned it (very carefully), and roasted the hindquarters over the fire on a stick.  The first sign that something was amiss was the smell of that roasting meat.  Wow, did it stink.  Then I and several others cut off a bit of meat for a taste.  The stink wasn't the worst part.  I do not know what it would taste like if I was starving, but I would have to be awfully hungry to try it again.  

    I have eaten Florida feral hogs, shot out of an orange grove.   They were gutted and cooled promptly, and barbecued.  All were delicious.  It wasn't just me who thought so.  Women, children, and assorted guys who never ate wild game and saw no connection between where they came from and how they were presented enjoyed the nutlike flavor and lean cuts.  OTOH, my sister-in-law's East Texas feral hogs are said to be inedible.  I do not know why that would be, beyond the observation that diet and the care in preparation make a great deal of difference in the taste of game.  She's eating the axis deer that have over-run her 300 acre ranch instead, which might explain why she is picky.

    Fur bearing animals should not be overlooked as food.  I have eaten roasted haunch of young beaver, with bits of garlic inserted as though it were mutton.  With a good claret, some roast sweet potatoes, and some brussel sprouts, it was a meal to be remembered.  I have also enjoyed muskrat soup, with parsnips as I recall.  Cooling and preparation of the meat, and the time of year probably made a difference.  "What's your favorite part of the squirrel" might have been a Bob Newhart punch line, but they're actually pretty good.  Someone who is going to shoot them anyway to clear out the attic should try Brunswick Stew the way it was meant to be made.  Young ground hogs in the spring are good too, and while I haven't tried it, I have a recipe for raccoon.  It is a shame that more of those animals are not eaten.

    •  I don't know what the story on porcupines is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo

      I was given some already cooked that was great. Don't know what was wrong with yours from the boy scouts, stressed maybe?

      I've eaten many strange meats in Laos, and most tasted very good. Of course they were cooked by people who had been hunting and cooking them for a long time. I don't' like civet which I think was the original vector for Sars or something, it tastes very strong. I don't like bile either, or the soup from the cows second stomach.

      I don't' hunt predators (lazy) but I have a friend who told me to bring him any coyotes I get.  

      I'd guess that every single animal has a way it can be cooked.

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:17:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you tried skunk? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, ban nock, Mark Mywurtz

        I've got a polecat recipe, but never had the guts to try it.  The only other critter I've been too biased to eat is coot.  Something about those lime-green feet that I just can't get around.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:39:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No skunk for me, I'm not that brave (3+ / 0-)

          I shot a coot once.  While edible, it was not very good.  Once was enough.

          I have cut the tails off road killed skunks, as long as they were dispatched cleanly and haven't sprayed.  They yield excellent fly tying material.  Care is needed to avoid squeezing the carcass for obvious reasons, use game shears.  Keep the tails in the freezer when not in use.  I probably won't be exploring uses for dead skunks beyond that, even though they might be quite tender.

  •  Trophy Hunting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    I know a lot of people despise trophy hunting - and to be honest I don't really get those kind of hunters - but it should be noted that in Africa there are a lot of private reserves  that depend on it to remain viable. This is land that wouuld otherwise be full of cows or goats, but is now set aside  for wildlife and is usually sustainably managed. The owner has a big stake in keeping numbers steady. These animals  go for thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. That's a lot for poorer countries. And there are also economic benefits for the wider economy.

    Also, personally, I think if hunting is sustainable,  that's by far the most important thing.

    Lastly, I  don't think an animal cares whether you kill it for food, for fur or a trophy, because  it's a pest or for wildlife management (which is necessary because in many places we've already screwed up nature so much we can't just leave it alone).

    PS I am not a hunter. I have killed mice and ants and flies etc. in my home, however.

    •  There's a Kossack that trophy hunts in Africa (0+ / 0-)

      I've forgotten who now but I ran into him on one of these threads.

      I'm a meat hunter, but I try to keep an open mind especially if it involves the conservation of a species.

      “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 Nov 02, 2013 at 07:19:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I agree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, DaveinBremerton

        I said I don't get trophy hunters, not that they're evil or wrong. I mean I don't get someone spending 10,000 dollars on a suit or 100k on a ring either.

        And I would add two more things:

        Hunters seem to be held to a much higher standard than others that use/consume animal products. Vegetarians can criticise hunting as much as they want, and not be hypocrites. But it bothers me when people who eat meat that comes from animals who have fairly miserable lives, complain about shooting something. Animal suffering is ok as long as it's not wild animals suffering. Sorry, but I'd much rather be a White-tailed Deer or Wood Duck that lived wild all it's life, and then maybe - maybe - suffers for a bit longer than humanely slaughtered domestic animal, than be a factory farm pig or chicken.

        Secondly, the same kind of people will gladly contribute to the extinction of say Bluefin Tuna at their local sushi bar, and then rail about the evils of sustainable beaver-trapping or someone who hangs a trophy head on their wall, even if it was also taken in a sustainable way. It's ok to plunder the oceans and destroy ecosystems, but killing wild animals sustainably for reasoons other than food is wrong. It just makes no sense.

        Full disclosure: I do eat meat.

        •  Agree - I've made this point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaveinBremerton, ban nock

          too many times to count:

          Hunters seem to be held to a much higher standard than others that use/consume animal products. Vegetarians can criticise hunting as much as they want, and not be hypocrites. But it bothers me when people who eat meat that comes from animals who have fairly miserable lives, complain about shooting something. Animal suffering is ok as long as it's not wild animals suffering. Sorry, but I'd much rather be a White-tailed Deer or Wood Duck that lived wild all it's life, and then maybe - maybe - suffers for a bit longer than humanely slaughtered domestic animal, than be a factory farm pig or chicken.

          Secondly, the same kind of people will gladly contribute to the extinction of say Bluefin Tuna at their local sushi bar, and then rail about the evils of sustainable beaver-trapping or someone who hangs a trophy head on their wall, even if it was also taken in a sustainable way. It's ok to plunder the oceans and destroy ecosystems, but killing wild animals sustainably for reasoons other than food is wrong. It just makes no sense.

          Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

          by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:01:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Logic and reason are often unpopular... and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark Mywurtz, ban nock

            sometimes outlawed. I personally feel that hunting is often a scaoegoat and subsequently an excuse for not taking real measures to prevent ecological damage. The opposite is also true, certainly some will insist on hunting the last xwhateverx.

            Sorry I wasn't there to support you. Somehow I suspect you didn't need me. :-)

            Anyone who is not an idiot or ideologue should realize that sustainable hunting and fishing is one way to keep more places wild, if it's done right - we humans can screw anything up of course.

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