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Nov 01 2012

Wolves: please visit Canada this weekend

Since Chris wrote about “wildlife services” being one of those oxymoronic names for a department dedicated to exterminating wildlife, I am compelled to mention Minnesota’s shame.

Minnesota has the largest population of wolves in the lower 48 states: a whole 3000, most in the North (none live near me). That’s something that should make us proud, that we can actually bring populations in balance naturally. Deer are experiencing a population explosion right now, and are also expanding their ranges farther north, where they’re also causing problems for moose.

The response of our legislature, though, has been to gleefully pass a law allowing thuggish motherfuckers to slaughter them. The first wolf hunt is scheduled for this weekend.

It’s always dismaying to hear “hunters” talk openly and proudly about their tactics.

Deer come for the food, and Smith said wolves come for the deer. He said where the tracks are, and which cameras the wolves show up on, help him determine where to hunt for the night.

Smith said he’s been a deer hunter for decades, and does it for the challenge. But he said he is hunting wolves because they’re killing the deer on his land. “Seventy-five percent of our does are without fawns this year,” he said.

The day before we spoke with Smith, we met Rep. Dave Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, on his hunting property just south of International Falls. Smith’s still hoping to take a wolf, but Dill told us he’s done it three times.

“Theres a thrill that you were able to conquer this,” Dill said.

Dill said he shot all three of his wolves in Canada over the course of many, many years. He authored the bill creating a wolf hunt in Minnesota, for recreation, and population management. He called them the most elusive animal in the state. “It’s a survivor because it’s the top of the food chain, and it knows exactly what to do when to do it.”

So this guy has hunting property where he maintains a population of deer that he kills “for the challenge”. He’s angry that wolves are killing his deer for food and survival. And he’s killing wolves (under a law he authored!) for recreation and “population management”, that universal euphemism for killing. He’s tracking them with hi-tech camera gear and shooting them with high-powered rifles, and calling it a “thrill”.

What an asshole. What a great big flaming asshole.

There are rational people opposing this hunt, but bigwigs of both parties (DFL, you win no brownie points with me on this one) are endorsing it, so it’s going to go on, and probably expand in later years as more happy sadists report their joy. But right now, the Humane Society, the Fund for Animals, the Center for Biodiversity, and Howling for Wolves all oppose the hunt. Unsurprisingly, the Department of Natural Resources and the US Fish and Wildlife Service all support it…but of course they would, because they might as well retitle themselves the Department of Blowing Miners and Cattlemen.

Some good news: the White Earth Nation has declared their entire reservation a wolf sanctuary, with no hunting allowed. The Red Lake tribe has done likewise.

I have a suggestion: let’s give the whole state back to the Indians. They seem to be the only ones with a sensible appreciation of what “wildlife” actually means.

156 comments

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  1. 1
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    What an asshole. What a great big flaming asshole.

    Yes. I’m grinding my teeth into dust after reading this. What a disgusting piece of shit.

  2. 2
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    It’s so depressing for me that the reality of the situation is that we’re going to only see wolves in picture books and taxidermy.

    “See this beautiful, majestic creature? It was a brilliant, intelligent hunter. It attacked in packs, tiring out its prey before going to the kill. It was important in the ecosystem of North America where it was one of the few species that routinely culled an overpopulation of deer and elk and caribou. We killed it, because we’re assholes.”

    I call it now. The Grey Wolf is the next Tasmanian Tiger.

  3. 3
    rq

    Stewards of the earth, we are… Too many wolves? Shoot them. Too many deer? We’ll have deer reserves for hunting.
    Do they not make the connection between ‘too many wolves’ and ‘too many deer’? Probably the fault of seeing things only locally and not thinking on a larger scale, where each wolf matters, and all those does without fawns actually make a big, big difference in the overall population of deer-as-pests.

  4. 4
    Julie

    I find the entire “I hunt for the challenge” (insert manly Tim ‘the tool man’ Taylor grunting) with my high powered rifle, sickening. You want to say you did something challenging, go out there with a knife or a rock and take on these animals on even ground. Written with my bias against hunting for fun and not necessity fully engaged.

  5. 5
    Matrim

    You know, I’m not opposed to responsible hunting for the purposes of legitimately thinning the numbers of an invasive species or food or other things of that nature. But every time I hear someone say they hunt for the “sport” or the “challenge,” I just want to slap them. Sitting in a tree stand waiting for an animal to wander into your “cunning ambush” isn’t sport and isn’t challenging. It just takes patience and beer. Go spear hunting; or better yet, knife hunting. Then you can talk about the “challenge of the hunt.” Or maybe you’d quit after you realize that a deer can straight up kick your ass in close quarters.

    That aside, isn’t the gray wolf still a protected species in Minnesota? I thought they were considered “vulnerable” there.

  6. 6
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Matrim:

    My uncle actually hunted for food. He was up in the far north, freezing his ass off. If he bagged a caribou he was lucky (once he bagged a black bear, because it was him or the bear.) He didn’t hunt in a tree stand or with high powered equipment. He HUNTED.

    And the meat was quite tasty.

  7. 7
    =8)-DX

    Dunno – the two important points here seem to be that the deer population is too big and that wolves are endangered worldwide. Don’t shoot endangered species and don’t shoot the predators of overpopulated animals.

    That’s what is problematic – human influence is unbalancing the wolf-deer ecosystem.

    Otherwise the general amount of suffering – is a wolf going to die being shot or are several dozen fawns going to die horribly? Don’t see why there’s a need for righteous indignation.

  8. 8
    Marcus Ranum

    “I killed it because it was beautiful”
    and that says all you need to know about hunters.

    I did know one guy who used to “hunt” using a rifle-stock modified to support a 20 megapixel DSLR and a huge lens. That way he could get the fun of stalking up on wildlife and for trophies he got really good clear pictures.

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    BTW- the “population control” angle is just a scam hunters use. Out where I live in Pennsylvania someone imported a few elk and released them, so now there’s a large population of them. Perfect excuse to shoot a few, huh? After a while the elk (which weren’t being hunted) got so used to humans that you could pretty much walk up to them… I’m sure it was a horrible surprise for them when the humans suddenly stopped being so nice. :( There are rumors of mountain lions having been imported from Colorado for similar reasons. :( It’s just disgusting vicious predators pretending to “love nature” so they can later blow a few holes in some of it and watch it kick and bleed out.

    Remember a couple years ago in New Jersey, the hunters lobbied intensely about the “bear problem” – there were so many wild bears eating garbage, having loud parties, taking bus seats and not paying, and stealing low-paying jobs from local kids, that they had a single day bear hunt, and raffled off the licenses to eager hunters who were desperate to “get” a bear. A lot of vocal opposition made no difference – the whole thing was set up long before. When the big day came, nobody “got” a bear, because apparently there wasn’t that big a problem with the bear population after all. What New Jersey and Pennsylvania have is a “hunter problem” not an animal population problem. :( Every first day of hunting season I have to patrol my farm in my jeep and inevitably I’ve got to turn away rifle-toting idiots. I’ve been threatened (“you wouldn’t want to have a hunting accident…”) and had the pleasure of walking back to my car after turning my back on big stupid assholes holding guns. It absolutely sucks, but when you call the cops and game wardens and ask that their licenses be pulled for hunting on posted land, all you get is, “yeah, right, that guy’s a friend of my cousin and he’s really a good guy, you won’t have problems with him again.”

  10. 10
    sailor1031

    I’m fine with hunters being able to hunt other species as long as I can hunt hunters. I’d willingly pay the cost of a big-game license for that. Better still if it were just a Varmint license!

    I can just imagine the thrill of taking a hunter at close range with a .308 or .30-06, you know – a real hunting weapon. Wow – how great would that be. Of course one would have to track it and put it out of its misery if one only wounded it, but that would just be an added satisfaction, knowing one hadn’t left a wounded animal out there to die slowly and miserably in a thicket. And it needs to be done; they’ve severely overrun their range and are threatening the survival of many other species.

    Just think how much more thrilling it would be to go hunting if there was something out there equally well-armed hunting you! Now that would be exciting wouldn’t it? I suggested this many years ago in a letter to the director of our fish & game department. I never got a reply but I think my mail is still being monitored……

  11. 11
    Gregory in Seattle

    There was a bit in Scientific American a month or two ago, which looked at the ecological webs. One example they gave is how wolf “culls” was causing huge damage:

    1. Without wolves to keep the number down, the elk population had exploded.

    2. When they grow new antlers every year, elk rub them against trees remove the velvet, causing damage to the bark. With the explosion in elk population, there were an increasing number of elk damaging a fixed number of trees.

    3. The damage to many trees was so extensive that the trees were dying, leading to an increasing number of elk killing a dwindling number of trees.

    4. Animals that rely on the trees for shelter and food were forced to move elsewhere to find that shelter, resulting in less prey for other predators such as hawks and eagles, who had to either find new hunting grounds or starve.

    5. As trees died and fell, they would rot. The natural breakdown of cellulose pulls nitrogen out of the soil, reducing the fertility of what is already marginal land. The loss of leaf litter because of the decreasing number of trees, and the loss of droppings because of fewer animals, further depletes the soil.

    6. The loss of soil fertility results in fewer plants able to grow in the area, reducing the soil’s ability to stay in place. It becomes more suceptible to water erosion, and the decreasing number of plants makes it more suceptible to wind erosion.

    7. With fewer plants, the elk have nothing to eat, and they are forced to find new territory or else die of starvation.

    8. Within a few decades, what was once thriving forest has become prairie, able to support only a fraction of the life it used to.

    Alas, the nursery rhyme is true: for want of a wolf, the forest was lost.

  12. 12
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    He just needs to see what an unchecked ungulate population can do to an ecosystem. Yellowstone pre 1995 is a good start. Riparian areas were wrecked which has massive impacts on the ecosystem as a whole.

    Granted hunters replace some of predation but not in the same way top level predators like wolves do. And it doesn’t just effect deer or elk it has wide impacts on the entire ecosystem.

  13. 13
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    ugh

    affect

    *grammar self flagellation

  14. 14
    rork

    Point to a wildlife biologist who has a proposal for the state that you think good, if possible.

    I’m in Michigan, hoping we will do better than your state at solving any issues, since perhaps the ranchers hold less sway over our politicians. Hurling insults will not be my method. Argument about actual wildlife (or ecosystem) management are preferred.

    PS: I wouldn’t assume decreasing wolves will increase deer in areas where coyotes are abundant. We don’t know very much.

  15. 15
    bortedwards

    Yah, the “challenge” my ass. What heroes. I thought the only challenge was hunting a fair match:other humans. Why don’t we round up all these nutters, put them in a large fenced area, provide them with all the munitions they could ever dream of, and let them have at it, while film crews watch. We could call it ‘hunger games’ errr, hang on, ‘survivor,’ crap… Whatever, it would be a win for natural un-selection.
    ***For any government surveillance of potential homocidal maniacs reading, parts of the above comment was intended to be read with a modest degree of snark…***

  16. 16
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    I have a suggestion: let’s give the whole state back to the Indians. They seem to be the only ones with a sensible appreciation of what “wildlife” actually means.

    In the case of the Anishinaabe, wolves are seen as a brother to humanity. There’s a lot of cultural importance in that relationship.

    There’s already a lot of unrest over here in Wisconsin over this, too. I’m heartbroken that an animal we celebrated returning here is now being hunted. There were over 20,000 applications for wolf hunting permits here. There were an estimated 762 to 832 animals in the state last winter.

    We did have a surprising victory, though: all Anishinaabe reservations within Wisconsin are officially closed to wolf hunting, with the state’s support. Some of the Wisconsin hunting permits were also reserved for the tribes (not to be used, but to lower the number of permits available overall). While the White Earth Nation can declare their reservation a sanctuary, the tribe doesn’t own all of the land within that reservation and without Minnesota backing them up, it’s not truly safe for the wolves.

    This whole thing just disgusts me. It’s not for food. It’s not for protection. Not for a warm fur through the winter. It’s simply for a dead wolf.

  17. 17
    bradleybetts

    @Matrin

    Yes. All the yes. I fully agree. I have no problem with people hunting providing that they put all of the carcass to good use, and they cause no ecological damage. Even if your primary reason for hunting is “sport” (which is a shit reason) I still don’t mind that much providing you, or at least someone, eats the kill and puts the body parts to use. I do accept that culling is sometimes necessary and obviously since this serves a genuine ecological purpose I can live with that. It’s when people “hunt” for the “sport”, and then mount the head on a wall and burn the carcass that I get mad. And since we all know that no one is going to to eat the wolf and it serves no legitimate ecological purpose, this makes me mad.

  18. 18
    bradleybetts

    @Marcus Ranum

    Yeah, that sort of thing is gaining popularity in Scotland (big deer hunting up there). They have purpose built high-pixel, long-range cameras shaped like rifles, with the trigger activating the shutter. I think it’s a great alternative. It also allows you to instantly recognise who genuinely hunts for “the challenge of stalking” (a hunter’s favourite excuse) and who just wants to kill things.

  19. 19
    zb24601

    I just don’t get this mentality. Last year I visited relatives in West Virginia, and one of my cousins had visitors from North Dakota. (Zack was in the Air Force, stationed in ND. I don’t know where he is originally from.) Zack was so excited because he shot a groundhog. He was bragging that now he is a real hunter. I remember thinking that a real hunter would only have killed what he was going to eat. Zack just threw the dead groundhog away. He is not a hunter, he is just a killer. That is nothing to be proud of.

  20. 20
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @zb24601:

    Can one even eat groundhog?

  21. 21
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    @Katherine Lorraine:

    Sure can. You need to clean and skin it quickly and remove the scent glands, then leave it to cure for a few days, though. I have never personally eaten groundhog, so can’t say how it tastes.

  22. 22
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    The Mellow Monkey:

    This whole thing just disgusts me. It’s not for food. It’s not for protection. Not for a warm fur through the winter. It’s simply for a dead wolf

    QFT.
    I’ve never hunted. I can’t foresee myself ever doing it. Certainly not for “the sport” or “the thrill”. If I ever had to, I hope it’s for protection, warmth or food.
    I live in NW Florida, and so many people down here *love* to go hunting. I see people I know on Facebook proudly displaying pics where they’ve shot a deer or other animals. Now, I don’t know the full context of the pics, so I cannot speak fully to the motivations for killing these animals, but I’m inclined to think it was for fun.
    Which makes me sick.
    I wonder how much shooting “for fun” would occur if humans didn’t consider ourselves at the top of the food chain. What would these people do if we were the natural prey for some species? What would these people do if there were some intelligent species (ala Predator) that hunted *us* for fun and sport?

  23. 23
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    @19:
    That kind of thing is sickening.
    I wonder how much value these type of “hunters” place on human life if they’re so uncaring and callous about the lives of animals.

  24. 24
    jehk

    I hunted when I was younger. It’s not my thing anymore. My dad still hunts though. He doesn’t use HD cameras but instead uses good old fashioned tracking to find deer. It’s not that easy. He’s gone over 4 years without killing a deer and over a decade without a turkey. These animals are elusive creatures. The sport of the hunt comes from tracking and finding the deer and the patience involved. I imagine wolves are even worse.

    I think a lot of people have no idea what they are talking about in this thread.

  25. 25
    harvardmba

    Yep, it’s very sad and the wolf killers are – as pz says – flaming assholes.

    Almost as much as these flaming assholes, these “scientists” only a few hundred miles away from pz’s stomping grounds.

    Good people, these “scientists. Just ask PZ. He’ll also tell you what a “nutjob” Ingrid Newkirk.

    Silly Ingrid. Why does this “nutjob” alert us to such horrific cruelty? Doesn’t she know it’s in the name of science?

    http://www.peta.org/features/uw-madison-cruelty.aspx

  26. 26
    rork

    I speculate that most hunters do not want to hunt wolves – I and my friends certainly don’t, but we do want a share of the deer meat running around in over-abundance on the local landscape (we kill domestic animals too). But some will show up, just as some will show up to hunt cougars, or to ride destructive engine-powered machines on valued ecosystems – if you permit it.

    So why do we let them? Near me (MI) I think it’s mostly deer hunters thinking the deer are down due to wolves, ranchers who want things to be easy and cheap, and ordinary citizens scared about their kids or pets (whether rational or not). It’s not the few people wanting to hunt wolves that really matter I think. But I will accept lessons.

    Education along the lines of #11 help – thanks for that Gregory.
    Wolf issues are pretty well covered by “The Wildlife News” btw.

  27. 27
    laurentweppe

    So this guy has hunting property where he maintains a population of deer that he kills “for the challenge”. He’s angry that wolves are killing his deer for food and survival [...] He’s tracking them with hi-tech camera gear and shooting them with high-powered rifles, and calling it a “thrill”.

    I’ll admit, I can’t help but love the unintended subtext:
    They’re breking my toooooooooooooys: They will pay for this. and I used modern equipment and weaponry to kill an animal much stronger than me and I feel Manly
    Someone should start filming and selling “hunting” porn: there’s a market here.

  28. 28
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    laurentweppe:

    Someone should start filming and selling “hunting” porn: there’s a market here.

    There are a ton of “real life hunting” videos put out every year. Here’s a bunch for sale on Amazon.

    jehk:

    These animals are elusive creatures. The sport of the hunt comes from tracking and finding the deer and the patience involved. I imagine wolves are even worse.

    And this simply isn’t how most people hunt in the United States. I don’t really care how it’s done if suffering is minimized, there is no detrimental impact on the environment and it’s for food, but tracking/stalking is a very rare form of deer hunting in America.

    Stand hunting is the most common type of deer hunting in the United States. Crops are planted or corn is laid out to attract deer to the area. A man sits in what amounts to a tree house and shoots them when they go by. There is no sport.

  29. 29
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Let me correct my own subconscious sexism: Women and people of non-binary genders can, of course, sit in tree stands and shoot deer, too.

  30. 30
    Matt Penfold

    The sport of the hunt comes from tracking and finding the deer and the patience involved. I imagine wolves are even worse.

    I think a lot of people have no idea what they are talking about in this thread.

    It would be a sport if the hunter ran the risk of being killed by the wolf.

  31. 31
    jehk

    The Mellow Monkey: Caerie:

    And this simply isn’t how most people hunt in the United States.

    I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Let me drop some evidence for you supposed evidence based thinkers.

    First of all those fields are pretty clean of feed by the time hunting season rolls around. Anyway its significantly less effective in attracting deer than placing salt lick (which can be done anywhere).

    I do agree about stands. However, a large part of the difficulty is scouting for a stand (often multiple stands because of wind changes). Finding a good one takes patience, knowledge and luck.

    One other thing to clear up.

    Most deer hunters don’t use high powered hunting rifles. The high powered ones do too much damage to the animal often destroying portions of the meat.

  32. 32
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Here in WA a pack was recently “culled” because they were allegedly causing problems with livestock. It had been a huge fight over reintroduction of gray wolves until it was finally permitted in 2008, and we had a solid 8 packs already (now seven I guess, with the “elimination” of the Wedge pack). The excuse was that they had become so accustomed to the ease of catching livestock that they couldn’t be moved elsewhere. Of course, the ranchers could always have employed livestock guardians with the herds (domestic dogs, llamas, etc) or had more herdsmen but no, the answer is always to kill the wolves. I quite literally felt sick when I read about the cull.

    Now, even as I type, my dad is up at elk camp. His health doesn’t permit him to trek through the woods anymore, but he goes up to be with the guys for their once-a-year get together. Thing is though, they aren’t trophy hunting. If they do get an elk, it generally is divided up between everyone. They only shoot to eat, and we have a healthy elk population in the state. Not something I would choose to do, and I don’t get the hunter mentality, but I can at least understand shooting a prey animal to eat it. Getting your rocks off killing for the sake of killing is beyond sick.

  33. 33
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Silly Ingrid. Why does this “nutjob” alert us to such horrific cruelty? Doesn’t she know it’s in the name of science?

    Newkirk isn’t a nutjob. Newkirk is a manipulative asshole who supports terrorism.

  34. 34
    Matt Penfold

    First of all those fields are pretty clean of feed by the time hunting season rolls around. Anyway its significantly less effective in attracting deer than placing salt lick (which can be done anywhere).

    I thought you said that the sport was in tracking down the deer ?

    The sport of the hunt comes from tracking and finding the deer and the patience involved.

    Do try to be consistent, because otherwise we really will know you have no idea what you are talking about.

  35. 35
    jehk

    spamamander, internet amphibian:

    Getting your rocks off killing for the sake of killing is beyond sick.

    I agree it is sick if that’s the only thing someone enjoys about hunting. However, I don’t think its at all representative of the hunter mentality. I knew a lot of hunter growing up and it certainly wasn’t representative of anyone. It’s an unfair generalization.

  36. 36
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk:

    I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Let me drop some evidence for you supposed evidence based thinkers.

    You didn’t provide evidence. You just said some stuff in a comment. Do you have a citation for what you’re claiming?

    Your anecdotes are as valid as mine: I tagged deer for the DNR and heard the stories of hundreds of different “hunters” and their methods were almost all exactly as I described. Oooh, evidence! I had no idea how easy it was to create out of thin air.

  37. 37
    jehk

    Matt Penfold:

    I thought you said that the sport was in tracking down the deer?

    A method of tracking deer is placing multiple salt licks in an large area and seeing how many nearby deer get attracted to them. That’s usually one of the first steps.

    It’s takes time to setup and check the salt licks.

  38. 38
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk:

    A method of tracking deer is placing multiple salt licks in an large area and seeing how many nearby deer get attracted to them. That’s usually one of the first steps.

    It’s takes time to setup and check the salt licks.

    So it takes slightly more effort than setting up and checking your Farmville account every day, since you have to walk outside instead of doing it from your smartphone.

  39. 39
    Matt Penfold

    A method of tracking deer is placing multiple salt licks in an large area and seeing how many nearby deer get attracted to them. That’s usually one of the first steps.

    The thing about deer tracking is that you are not supposed to do anything that attracts the deer. Indeed, not know where the deer are is the whole point of tracking.

    In tracking you go to the deer, you do not get the deer to come to you.

    It is obvious you are pretty clueless.

  40. 40
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    Ug. You’re so wrong. The salt licks give you an idea of where to find the deer. If one is pretty much gone and another one has barely been touched you have a good idea of where to start tracking. Deer cover a pretty large area.

  41. 41
    jehk

    The Mellow Monkey: Caerie:

    since you have to walk outside

    Hahaha. Have you actually been in the wilderness before? Navigating can be pretty difficult depending on the area.

  42. 42
    Matt Penfold

    Ug. You’re so wrong. The salt licks give you an idea of where to find the deer

    If one is pretty much gone and another one has barely been touched you have a good idea of where to start tracking.

    You are supposed to go looking for the deer, not know where they are already.

    Deer cover a pretty large area.

    Again, that is whole point. The hunter is supposed to go looking!

  43. 43
    Nutmeg

    Reminder: Many hunters, including myself, eat everything we kill. We hunt in accordance with local laws, and our license fees contribute to conservation efforts.

    You can criticize those who don’t eat what they kill, or criticize stupid hunting regulations like the wolf hunt, all you want. But this knee-jerk “All hunters are evil!” reaction bothers me.

    I happen to get some of my meat from hunting. The animals I hunt were free in nature until that moment, and I do my best to make a clean kill. This is undoubtedly a more ethical source of meat than factory farming. Unless you are vegan or vegetarian, you don’t really have a leg to stand on when criticizing me.

  44. 44
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk:

    Hahaha. Have you actually been in the wilderness before? Navigating can be pretty difficult depending on the area.

    I live in a forest, next to a national park, about three hours away from a decent sized city. Bear and cougar are a serious concern when I go out in my “yard”, which is the strip of cleared gardening area before the woods begin. Yes, I have been in the wilderness. If you think walking outside to put out a salt lick is hard, you suffer from a serious lack of perspective.

  45. 45
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Nutmeg:

    I don’t think anyone is criticizing the hunt-to-eat crowd. We’re criticizing the hunt-for-sport or hunt-for-challenge or hunt-to-leave-dead-bodies-in-the-woods types.

  46. 46
    jehk

    Matt Penfold:

    You are supposed to go looking for the deer, not know where they are already.

    That’s exactly what’s happening with the salt licks. I think you’re being intentionally obtuse about this. Let me explain.

    You know (or hope) there must be deer within X miles of wilderness. You go out and place the salt licks to narrow down the search. After that you go look for tracks, tree scrapping and bedding areas. You can then place more salt licks to draw the deer (often the other salt licks that weren’t in high traffic areas) to give them incentive to return to a specific area. That’s were you setup your stand.

  47. 47
    jehk

    @The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    You should try it here in Minnesota (its the land of 10,00 lakes for a reason). If you think that all wilderness is the same and its all easy to navigate then you suffer from a serious lack of understanding.

  48. 48
    Matt Penfold

    That’s exactly what’s happening with the salt licks. I think you’re being intentionally obtuse about this. Let me explain.

    You know (or hope) there must be deer within X miles of wilderness. You go out and place the salt licks to narrow down the search. After that you go look for tracks, tree scrapping and bedding areas. You can then place more salt licks to draw the deer (often the other salt licks that weren’t in high traffic areas) to give them incentive to return to a specific area. That’s were you setup your stand.

    No, the whole point of stalking is that you do not know where the deer will be. And what do you mean by stand ? You go to the deer, where ever they are. Since you do not know where they will be the only way to get near enough is to use natural cover and make sure you are downwind.

    What you are describing is culling. The aim of culling is quite different. There is no sport element to it. It is something that needs to be done by professionals to control deer numbers when there is no natural predation. A quite legitimate thing to do, but it is dishonest of you to call it hunting.

    The hunting comes in finding the animal in the first place.

  49. 49
    jehk

    @The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    Also, the idea that you think bear and cougar are issues when navigating wilderness just speaks more to your ignorance.

  50. 50
    Matt Penfold

    Also, the idea that you think bear and cougar are issues when navigating wilderness just speaks more to your ignorance.

    Says the person who’s idea of hunting is to have the prey come to him since he is too lazy and too incompetent to go looking for it.

  51. 51
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    A deer stand. Do you not know what that is? And you’re arguing with me on tracking techniques.

  52. 52
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk:

    That’s exactly what’s happening with the salt licks. I think you’re being intentionally obtuse about this. Let me explain.

    You know (or hope) there must be deer within X miles of wilderness. You go out and place the salt licks to narrow down the search. After that you go look for tracks, tree scrapping and bedding areas. You can then place more salt licks to draw the deer (often the other salt licks that weren’t in high traffic areas) to give them incentive to return to a specific area. That’s were you setup your stand.

    This is not tracking. This is “setting up a deer stand in a high traffic area, and then sitting on your ass with a gun.”

    Let me describe tracking to you:

    Two middle aged men from the rez, who’ve been hunting together since they were kids, have been given the honor of finding an elk for an intercommunity feast. They go out together and look at signs that are naturally occurring: they don’t do anything to lure the elk or test where the elk is. They track by using their knowledge of the area and the habits of the animals to narrow down where they should look. They keep going out, day after day, following the signs of the elk.

    At long last, they sight one. They follow on foot, quietly, until they get close enough to take it with a bow. They lash together a sledge to drag it back out of the woods. There’s celebration and gratitude bestowed upon them, then every bit of meat is eaten and all parts of the animal are used, to help commemorate this event and the great skill of these two men.

    That’s the kind of hunt that still goes on today. Here. Where I live.

    If someone hunts for food and is doing it humanely and responsibly, I don’t care if they sit in a tree stand with a high-powered rifle. But if you want to act as though it’s difficult, as though there’s some sort of sport to it, as if there should be honor bestowed on the hard work of the hunter, then take a lesson from from those elders.

    That is a sporting hunt.

  53. 53
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    You’re right. I shoot deer from the comfort of my living room couch by placing a salt lick next to the TV.

  54. 54
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    jehk:

    What you keep describing is known as baiting. You are setting out salt licks to attract deer to your tree stand. In many states, this is not a legal way to hunt. Even if it is legal, baiting is not ethical nor is it, by any definition of the term, sporting.

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    A deer stand. Do you not know what that is? And you’re arguing with me on tracking techniques.

    I know what one is, but they not used in tracking deer. They are not very portable, so not much use in tracking. Or do you think hunters carry portable versions around with them ?

  56. 56
    Matt Penfold

    Even if it is legal, baiting is not ethical nor is it, by any definition of the term, sporting.

    I would quibble about it being unethical. If is is necessary to control deer numbers, and where there are no natural predators and they are an introduced species anyway it probably is, then it can be an effective and humane way of culling.

    Of course, it is not hunting in any real sense of the word, and it should only be done by those trained to do so.

  57. 57
    Matt Penfold

    You’re right. I shoot deer from the comfort of my living room couch by placing a salt lick next to the TV.

    You might as well go an shoot a deer that has been tied up for all the skill required in tracking one down.

    You would not last five minutes deer stalking in the Scottish Highlands. I wouldn’t either, but I do not delude myself into thinking I am a great hunter.

  58. 58
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Or do you think hunters carry portable versions around with them ?

    Maybe they’re like dropbears and climb the trees to fling themselves on top of unsuspecting prey.

  59. 59
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Matt:

    You are correct. If baiting is used for population control it is ethical. For a sport hunter? No way.

  60. 60
    nooneinparticular

    I am not opposed to hunting per se. Deer anyway. Long legged rats, IMO.

    Anyway, one of the problems I do have with arguments for hunting is that they are “managing” the population of whatever animals they are killing. Implicit in that argument is that that management is healthy for the population of animals targeted, whether it is hairy or scaly. But the problem is that the killers do not take the animals that ought to be culled; the weak, the sick, the young and the old. In fact they (generally) take the healthiest members of the population.

    How is that good management? If a state issued “baby deer” or “sick trout” or “old elk” or “injured wolf” permits, that particular pro-hunting argument might go down easier.

    Anyway, it is my hope that at least some MN wolves can read and will alert their kin to head north this weekend.

  61. 61
    jehk

    The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    This is “setting up a deer stand in a high traffic area, and then sitting on your ass with a gun.” If you’re elders don’t use a salt lick (or some other similar) to narrow down their search then they are fools.

    It takes a significant amount of tracking to find those high traffic area. This is especially true in deer in bed in multiple area over a few nights.

    Even hunters that use stands and salt licks have to do the some things you’ve descried. They are simply tools used to hunt.

    The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    At long last, they sight one. They follow on foot, quietly, until they get close enough to take it with a bow.

    No they don’t. If they don’t build a stand to sit in they build a blind to sit behind (a shallow hole). This idea is a fantasy. A large part of stalking is finding a good spot then being absolutely still and silent while your prey gets into a good position.

  62. 62
    Matt Penfold

    No they don’t. If they don’t build a stand to sit in they build a blind to sit behind (a shallow hole). This idea is a fantasy. A large part of stalking is finding a good spot then being absolutely still and silent while your prey gets into a good position.

    This would come as news to those who go deer stalking in Scotland. They might make use of natural vegetation, or the lie of the land, to provide cover, but if they started trying to dig a hole, or build some kind of hide the deer would be off and gone.

    You really do talk bollocks.

  63. 63
    Jadehawk

    No they don’t. If they don’t build a stand to sit in they build a blind to sit behind (a shallow hole). This idea is a fantasy.

    lol. so very lol. what would one call this? it’s obviously a form of whitesplaining, but a very specific one. non-nativesplaining? that sounds clunky

  64. 64
    LykeX

    I never quite understood what the “challenge” was in hunting animals using automatic weapons. Killing a bear in single combat, armed only with a spear you’ve made yourself? That’s a challenge. Mowing it down from fifty yards away, using a clip and a half? Not so much.

    If you’re going to be a macho-asshole, at least do it right: Grab the wolf by the scruff and rip its throat out with your teeth.
    But no, we can’t have that, can we. It might fight back. It might scratch us. We might chip a tooth or, worse yet… get blood on our designer camo-vest. The HORROR!

    These people want the show of being big hunters, fighting the elements; braving the wilds and bringing home meat to the adoring family; protecting the village from the rampaging beasts.
    But, they don’t actually want to take any of the risk. They don’t want to face the discomfort. They want the glory of the victory without the battle.

    Let’s face it: They’re LARPers. They’re like those people who do civil war re-enactments and insist on being called “General” even after the event is done. They’re little kids playing pretend that they’ve slain the dragon and saved the kingdom.
    That’s probably it, really: They’re living out a childish fantasy about what it means to be a [deep, masculine voice] MAN. It’s sad that they feel the need to kill animals to do so.

  65. 65
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    They are not very portable, so not much use in tracking. Or do you think hunters carry portable versions around with them ?

    What? Yes they are. Most deer stands people use are portable. Think super duty folding chairs. Hunters do carry them to and from their hunting spot each day. Seriously. Google deer stands.

    It used be that a hunter would nail a bit of wood into a tree. That practice has fallen out of favor. Not only doesn’t it damage the tree is an eyesore.

  66. 66
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    This would come as news to those who go deer stalking in Scotland. They might make use of natural vegetation, or the lie of the land, to provide cover, but if they started trying to dig a hole, or build some kind of hide the deer would be off and gone.

    That’s why you setup them up when the deer are not there. Deer move around a lot.

    You really have no clue how hunting deer works at all.

  67. 67
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk, you don’t seem to understand what the word “stalking” means. Building a structure–be it a tree stand or a blind–and then sitting in one spot isn’t stalking. Stalking involves movement.

    There are multiple ways in which people hunt an animal without sitting in a stand or behind a blind. Multiple hunters can split up and control the movements of the animal while they move into position. This is how the hunting team from the rez described above does it and they’re admired greatly for their skill at it because they’re keeping traditions alive.

    An ambush from a stationary hiding spot is not the only hunting strategy.

  68. 68
    nooneinparticular

    LykeK @64

    That is a silly caricature of most hunters. To be sure, some are like that, but most are not. I have many friends and relatives who hunt, some who hunt bear (and NOT with automatic weapons), and not a one is anywhere close to this. Most of their arguments FOR hunting are bogus, but none of them hunt for the reasons you seem to think they do.

    FTR, I am not a hunter and have no wish to be one.

  69. 69
    chigau (違う)

    I hate the word “wilderness”.
    It’s so … James Fenimore Cooper or Karl May or whoever.

  70. 70
    Worldtraveller

    I think there are too many politicians.

    Not sure how ‘challenging’ they are though.

  71. 71
    Matt Penfold

    What? Yes they are. Most deer stands people use are portable. Think super duty folding chairs. Hunters do carry them to and from their hunting spot each day. Seriously. Google deer stands.

    It used be that a hunter would nail a bit of wood into a tree. That practice has fallen out of favor. Not only doesn’t it damage the tree is an eyesore.

    So the deer just stand there whilst the hunter erects his stand ?

    Are these deer deaf and blind ? And seriously, hunting whilst
    sat down ? Lying down maybe, but carrying a chair about when hunting. Stop being a fucking idiot.

  72. 72
    harvardmba

    Rev. BigDumbChimp said: “Newkirk isn’t a nutjob. Newkirk is a manipulative asshole who supports terrorism.”

    I love this response because it perfectly summarizes the pathetic mindset of the “A+ movement”. Selective morality, lies, standard run-of-the-mill stupidity. Basically, the mindset of the average American, minus the religious fervor. Dumb, just no religious. Not much difference, but wholly unsurprising.

    Oh – love the intellectual rigor here.

  73. 73
    Matt Penfold

    And given the deer stands I have seen used are about 20ft tall, measure about 6ft square at the top and probably weigh a ton, the idea they are portable is pathetic.

    Seriously, if you think you can carry this around you are a fucking idiot:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elevated_hunting_blind.jpg

  74. 74
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    Also, natural vegetation, lie of the land works to provide cover too. There’s many different techniques that can be used. A key part of stalking is not being heard or seen right before that kill. They will be sitting in once place waiting not moving around on foot.

  75. 75
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    Because all deer stand are the same right? I’m looking at a bunch of portable deer stands on Google right now. You are so /facepalm.

  76. 76
    nooneinparticular

    Matt @71

    Several friends and relatives of mine hunt with portable deer stands. These stands are easily carried and are designed, by way of cantilevers and cables, to support the hunter up in a tree. Some of them wear those telephone climbing boots (don’t know what they’re called, but they allow workers to climb poles using a strap and sharp spike like things on their boots).

    Basically they do exactly what jehk says (minus the salt licks which are illegal where they hunt); they track the areas where deer are -deer move quite a bit but some live their entire lives within a small area…hunters need to find the areas they frequent, then the climb a promising looking tree, install their portable stand and wait. Quietly.

  77. 77
    LykeX

    That is a silly caricature of most hunters.

    I don’t know how accurate it is. It’s my impression, but since I don’t hunt and don’t hang around hunters, it’s admittedly based on limited experience.

    Chalk it up to me trying to make sense of an activity that sounds completely idiotic, barbaric and sadistic.

    Most of their arguments FOR hunting are bogus, but none of them hunt for the reasons you seem to think they do.

    OK, why do they? If it’s not for the meat (people who actually live by hunting are few and far between) and it’s not for the challenge (which you can get in a million other ways that don’t require killing) and it’s not for the self-image it provides (which is what I, perhaps impolitely, argued above), why is it?

  78. 78
    Matt Penfold

    .Also, natural vegetation, lie of the land works to provide cover too. There’s many different techniques that can be used. A key part of stalking is not being heard or seen right before that kill. They will be sitting in once place waiting not moving around on foot.

    But the whole point of stalking is that you are moving. Only once you have found the deer do you wait, and only then to ensure you get a good shot. In stalking you go to the deer. You do not sit still waiting for the deer to come to you. Stalkers will sometimes spend hours crawling into a position where they can take a shot only for their deer to see, hear or smell them at the last minute.

    Now please stop spouting this crap. There is no sitting around in stalking.

  79. 79
    jehk

    @nooneinparticular

    Yep, that’s how my dad does it every year.

    The best part about portable stands is they can be moved if the spot isn’t working. Its hard to judge where deer bedded for the night and where they will go to feed. Like I said you have to track the deer to find out where the good places are to hunker down.

  80. 80
    Matt Penfold

    Several friends and relatives of mine hunt with portable deer stands. These stands are easily carried and are designed, by way of cantilevers and cables, to support the hunter up in a tree. Some of them wear those telephone climbing boots (don’t know what they’re called, but they allow workers to climb poles using a strap and sharp spike like things on their boots).

    Again, do the deer just stand around whilst all this is going on ?

    If you make a noise when stalking, the deer run away.

    What you are talking about is a hide, and they are not part of stalking deer.

  81. 81
    Matt Penfold

    The best part about portable stands is they can be moved if the spot isn’t working. Its hard to judge where deer bedded for the night and where they will go to feed. Like I said you have to track the deer to find out where the good places are to hunker down.

    Again, do the deer just watch you ?

    If you have found the deer, why do you need a stand ? Lie or kneel down and take the shot. Why all the messing around ?

  82. 82
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    There is no sitting around in stalking.

    QFFT

    You wanna call it ambush hunting, stand hunting, sitting-in-a-car-on-stilts hunting, go ahead. But that’s not stalking.

  83. 83
    nooneinparticular

    LykeK@77

    “OK, why do they? If it’s not for the meat (people who actually live by hunting are few and far between) and it’s not for the challenge (which you can get in a million other ways that don’t require killing) and it’s not for the self-image it provides (which is what I, perhaps impolitely, argued above), why is it?

    A most excellent question and one I’ve asked many times of my friends and family. It is not because they are poor and need to feed their families, though they DO eat the meat. It is not for population management (IMO), because they take exactly the wrong members of population to do that effectively, though they claim that reason, it is also not (IMO) because they just want to get out into nature and hone their tracking skills- if it were they ought to bring a camera instead of a gun or a bow.

    Personally I think most of them do it because it is something they grew up doing. It is an activity that they love doing. Yes killing is an important part of that and there is no doubt a feeling of power and control that a gun or a bow can give you. But it really can’t be cast (more most hunters) in the way you did. And they REALLY do like the difficulty and the arduousness and they really do love being outdoors.

    I just wish they’d be more honest about why they do it.

  84. 84
    Matt Penfold

    Just to be super clear on this.

    Deer stalking is the act of creeping up on deer unawares.

  85. 85
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    But the whole point of stalking is that you are moving.

    No. Not its not. Where did you get this silly idea?

  86. 86
    chigau (違う)

    people who actually live by hunting are few and far between

    Depends on where you live.

  87. 87
    Matt Penfold

    No. Not its not. Where did you get this silly idea?

    Because that is what the term means.

    Stalking is the act of creeping up on deer unawares. It is not sitting hidden waiting for the deer to come to you.

    Now this has been explained to you repeatedly, so you have no excuse for your continued ignorance.

  88. 88
    Rutee Katreya

    No they don’t. If they don’t build a stand to sit in they build a blind to sit behind (a shallow hole). This idea is a fantasy. A large part of stalking is finding a good spot then being absolutely still and silent while your prey gets into a good position.

    If this is true, then hunters suck at language.

    I love this response because it perfectly summarizes the pathetic mindset of the “A+ movement”. Selective morality, lies, standard run-of-the-mill stupidity. Basically, the mindset of the average American, minus the religious fervor. Dumb, just no religious. Not much difference, but wholly unsurprising.

    A Harvard MBA supporting PETA wants to talk about ‘intellectual rigor’.

    I’m going to go have my laughs of the day now.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39tcgd-pYGo

    Seriously though, PETA pretty trivially supports terrorism. You know what the word means, I trust? ’cause the grants to the ELF and ALF were found.

    I mean it’s hardly PETA’s only problem, but.

  89. 89
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    Again, do the deer just watch you?

    Sometimes yes. Most deer hunting starts early in the morning before sun up. You’ll walk out to the deer stand with flash lights and the deer will sometimes come to check out what’s going on. You will see the light reflected in their eyes. Its kinda frustrating to spot a deer early in the morning before its light enough to shoot and not see one for the rest of the day.

  90. 90
    Jadehawk

    stalking (v.) to pursue or approach stealthily

    moving is part of the definition.

    when you’re hunkering down, what you’re actually doing is “spot-and-stalk” hunting, rather than the still hunting that actually requires tracking and stalking prey.

  91. 91
    Jadehawk

    and even in spot-and-stalk hunting, it’s obviously not “part of stalking” to be sitting in one spot. that’s the spot part, not the stalk part.

    stupid idiots not understanding the words they use

  92. 92
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Oh for fuck’s sake. This is basic hunting terminology, accepted and used across the Anglosphere.

    Look, a deer hunting glossary.

    Stalking- Stalking is the slow, silent pursuit of an animal that allows the hunter to get close enough for a good, clean shot.

    Sitting in one spot is not stalking. It’s stand hunting. An ambush tactic.

  93. 93
    Matt Penfold

    Sometimes yes. Most deer hunting starts early in the morning before sun up. You’ll walk out to the deer stand with flash lights and the deer will sometimes come to check out what’s going on. You will see the light reflected in their eyes. Its kinda frustrating to spot a deer early in the morning before its light enough to shoot and not see one for the rest of the day.

    You really do seem to be clueless if you think that is deer stalking.

    However, if the deer move off before a stalker is able to take a shot the stalker follows the deer. That is the whole point of the exercise. In stalking the hunters follow the deer. I am not sure quite why you find that so hard to understand.

  94. 94
    jehk

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Deer_stalking

    If you say so. Check out the stalking versus hunting subsection. Maybe that’s where our disagreement come from.

    Either way it doesn’t matter. Hunters don’t stalk deer in the manner that you mean.

  95. 95
    Matt Penfold

    I have been deer stalking (not to shoot mind), and it is not easy. I spent most of the time lying down in damp grass being told to keep quiet, and the rest of the time either crawling or moving in a crouch.

  96. 96
    Rutee Katreya

    You know in retrospect it’s kind of refreshing for some fool to whine at A+ for not being eco-terrorists. It’s a nice change from feminazi stasi in black-rainbow helicopters shooting whitey mcstraighterson.

    Shine on, you crazy diamond you.

  97. 97
    Matt Penfold

    Either way it doesn’t matter. Hunters don’t stalk deer in the manner that you mean.

    They do in Scotland.

    You really seem intent on being dishonest.

  98. 98
    nooneinparticular

    Matt

    I don’t think there is any need to tell you but there are many ways to hunt deer. Stalking them is, I imagine, really fucking hard. They are really skittish and humans are generally noisy and really stinky. I don’t know about other areas or other hunters but my friends and family live in New England which is very densely populated. A hunter there would be quickly frustrated by trying to stalk a deer because it wouldn’t take long before you’d walk right out an area where hunting is allowed.

    Using a stand is not at all easy. I’ve accompanied many hunts, but without a weapon. Because that kind of hunting is how most deer are killed in NE the deer there have adapted (so my bro-in-law says) in ways that makes stand hunting hard. Although deer often spend much, if not all, of their lives in a small area (sometimes less than 1 mile square), they have learned to be very wary about routine. It is hard to figure out where they bed, where they feed, what routes they take between areas, etc. My friends and family who hunt in NE very often come back empty handed, even in areas they know are lousy with deer. They also very often decide NOT to shoot a deer that comes within range. The reasons for this vary tremendously, but sometimes it is because, like my bro-in-law, they do not want to shoot the large buck or the healthy doe.

  99. 99
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Hunters don’t stalk deer in the manner that you mean.

    From your own link:

    …”deer stalking” is a cautious creeping up by one or two men (or women, of course) with (almost always) a rifle, or (rarely) a crossbow.

    Is it really so difficult for you to grasp that the method of hunting you’re used to is not universal?

  100. 100
    Matt Penfold

    I don’t think there is any need to tell you but there are many ways to hunt deer. Stalking them is, I imagine, really fucking hard. They are really skittish and humans are generally noisy and really stinky. I don’t know about other areas or other hunters but my friends and family live in New England which is very densely populated. A hunter there would be quickly frustrated by trying to stalk a deer because it wouldn’t take long before you’d walk right out an area where hunting is allowed.

    [snipped for brevity]

    I take your point, but if you are putting out salt-licks to attract deer it would seem to make things much easier. As I have pointed out, in the UK hides are used along with putting out food but as part of a program of culling. Such culling is not an appropriate activity for the public to get involved with. Stalking is something the public get involved with, but the vast majority of land-owners will require a person show they are competent with a rifle first.

  101. 101
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    It’s certainly not how its done in the states. At best stalking, as you define it, is rare. It’s not very effective. A lot of it has to do with terrain. Certainly not effective in Minnesota.

  102. 102
    anteprepro

    lol. so very lol. what would one call this? it’s obviously a form of whitesplaining, but a very specific one. non-nativesplaining? that sounds clunky

    At very least, there’s some serious Sophisticated Hunterology goin’ on here.

  103. 103
    jehk

    Matt Penfold

    As I have pointed out, in the UK hides are used along with putting out food but as part of a program of culling.

    It’s the same in the US. In Minnesota all deer hunting/stalking/whatever is part of a culling program. Hunters enter into a lottery and obtain a license to hunt certain deer based on population studies. Not following the law can land you in deep trouble. Its no joke.

    You can stalk deer in the manner you’ve described but its ass all effective for white tailed deer in the upper midwest.

    The hunters in The Mellow Monkey: Caerie little fiction are fools if that’s how they hunt to put food on the table.

  104. 104
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I love this response because it perfectly summarizes the pathetic mindset of the “A+ movement”. Selective morality, lies, standard run-of-the-mill stupidity. Basically, the mindset of the average American, minus the religious fervor. Dumb, just no religious. Not much difference, but wholly unsurprising.

    Oh – love the intellectual rigor here.

    You’re complaining about rigor?

    What this has to do with A+ I have no idea, but you obviously have some bone to pick with this site and it’s keeping you from being objective (but I’m sure that’s not your only problem.

    If you think or are trying to suggest Newkirk and PETA have not been tied (that’s being generous) to supporting domestic animal rights terrorism, you are either blind, stupid or lying.

  105. 105
    Jadehawk

    The hunters in The Mellow Monkey: Caerie little fiction are fools if that’s how they hunt to put food on the table.

    that whitesplaining again.

  106. 106
    jehk

    Only half. Want to guess what the other half is?

  107. 107
    Jadehawk

    i don’t think you understand what whitesplaining means, if you think your other “half” is relevant.

  108. 108
    jehk

    Guess not. Doesn’t change the fact there’s more successful ways to hunt when trying to put food on the table.

  109. 109
    Jadehawk

    since “successful” wasn’t the point, that’s irrelevant (the point, since you’ve forgotten it, was “challenging”). nonetheless, I daresay a method that worked for millennia is superior in terms of success than one that needs ever-increasing levels of regulation to avoid ecological collapse. just sayin’

  110. 110
    jehk

    Jadehawk:

    since “successful” wasn’t the point

    Did you read her story? The hunters were asked to put food on the table. Success was at least part of it.

  111. 111
    Nepenthe

    For those not familiar with the sort of North Woods terrain that jehk is talking about, some helpful notes. Deer use trails in the woods, about a foot wide and very obvious. They leave large piles of scat in the vicinity, so you can easily tell if a trail is being used. They lay down at night and completely flatten the vegetation. During the rut, which is when our hunting seasons are, male deer scratch up trees and leave huge, obvious scars on the bark.

    Deer are not difficult to track, in the sense of knowing where they are. Picking a stand site is a skill approximately commensurate with being able to read a chapter book. Using salt licks is like listening to books on tape because reading is too hard.

    Yours,

    An Upper Midwestern lady who was in the woods with her dad since she was old enough to walk through a raspberry swamp without falling over too many times, though she’s never hunted because that’s a man(!) thing.

  112. 112
    nooneinparticular

    “a method that worked for millennia is superior in terms of success than one that needs ever-increasing levels of regulation to avoid ecological collapse. ”

    Wait.

    What?

    I thought the question was about the most effective way to hunt deer in order to put food on the table. Hard to imagine a harder (more laborious, less successful) way to do that than by stalking a deer. Better to figure out where they are and use a blind or stand, which is (IIANM) how most deer are hunted, at least here in the U.S. For the very reason that it is less difficult and more successful.

    I guess I’m confused about your point.

  113. 113
    nooneinparticular

    Oh wait. Never mind. I didn’t see Caerie’s post far up thread.

    I get what you’re saying jadehawk. My bad.

    Carry on.

  114. 114
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk, you mentioned you live in Minnesota. There are often classes offered at tribal community colleges on traditional hunting methods. Why don’t you take one? You’ll find that the methods practiced have been far more diverse than you realize.

    Snares, traps, controlled fires, stalking, there’s a huge number of methods to be used when hunting on foot and without the aid of a stand. People are still hunting this way.

    One of the reasons why hunting that way doesn’t lead to people “starving” is because they usually have a lot more to eat than just big game. In your region of the world, that would include a huge wild rice harvest every year, native vegetation, fish and small animals that could be caught via snares.

    Another reason why the hunting was so successful before Europeans showed up was because of the large amounts of land that were wild. In winter, Anishinaabe hunting camps would be set up with just a few hunters to each one, so that they wouldn’t overlap their hunting territory because they spent so much time on foot and covered so much range. Those in more open areas would use traps and fires to herd animals for larger kills.

    And despite wolves living in the area and eating the same prey as the people there, the Anishinaabe people didn’t hunt them then. There was meat enough to support both populations. The wolves are brothers, not prey.

    Killing an animal for “sport” when your sport involves baiting and laying in ambush is not much of a sport and it sure as hell has nothing to do with protecting the local ecology or putting food on the table.

    I checked and I was wrong about the elk hunt, however. People love to gossip and I should have known better than to trust the romanticized version of it. My apologies:

    They scouted the area for quite some time while preparations were made, but after the ceremony for the hunt it only took thirty minutes. Not hours like I’d thought. No stand. No blind. Just two men familiar with the area and the animal.

  115. 115
    jehk

    @The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    Elk are hunted very differently from deer. I apprentice the article and information you provided. Very interesting.

    Stalking elk is a lot more effective than stalking deer. Especially white tailed deer.

  116. 116
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jehk, that’s fair. They’re different animals.

  117. 117
    Jadehawk

    Did you read her story? The hunters were asked to put food on the table. Success was at least part of it.

    did you read that post? it was about how to make a hunt something that is actually challenging, which most “sport” hunting isn’t despite claims by assorted hobbyists to the contrary.

  118. 118
    jehk

    @The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    I will admit, I’ve never been elk hunting. Maybe the differences are not as pronounced. I know there a huge difference between hunting/stalking red and white tailed deer.

    @Jadehawk

    Yes and the arguments I’ve been making have been in regard to “The Mellow Monkey: Caerie’s” story that can be read here: http://www.haywardwi.com/article_24167b9c-0268-11e2-98c0-001a4bcf887a.html

    It’s not about sport. It’s about successfully completing a hunting ritual.

    One of the reasons I don’t hunt anyone is because its boring. Also, I don’t enjoy killing anything ever (except for spiders).

  119. 119
    unclefrogy

    I am getting tired of using the term hunting to describe what is really harvesting of animals. We like to use the romantic language and images of hunting to describe what is really going on.
    If you really live in an area all the time and depend on the food that is also living on that same land then you know what to eat and where to find it. like our “defenders of hunting” here we romanticize what is really happening. How is hunting for that pair of blue socks in my bedroom really different to hunting prey out in my local hunting area? If I am not mistaken when the various departments of fish and game talk about the yearly hunt they use terms like harvest or cull to describe the yearly kill.
    It is the language of agriculture that is really more appropriate. The story about the Tribal ritual hunt is a great example. As was said they first learned all they could about the animals as they were at the time on their own hunting land and then in traditional means went on a hunt and in essence went and sacrificed an animal and feasted on the animal with many symbolic activities involved. not really very unlike thanksgiving.

    If we could really be honest about what we are trying to do and be effective we would really look management of our wild lands and their populations with real knowledge of how the ecosystems really work. No, we do not however we tend to approach the natural world like ignorant peasants with magical thinking and in the heroic romantic language of the “hunt”
    it’s BS all the way down

    uncle frogy

  120. 120
    madscientist

    I just have to laugh my ass off when I see things like “hunting deer for the challenge”. Deer are one of those things which pose absolutely no challenge (unless perhaps you’re tracking endangered species). Using cameras to see where to hunt them? Hahaha – what sort of idiot needs cameras to help hunt deer? I’ve never had trouble getting deer – worst case would take me 2 days in an unfamiliar area and for the areas I know I can just walk in and bag ‘em – with a goddamned bow even, not a rifle. I guess it just goes to show what sort of idiots call themselves hunters – it’s no wonder they believe such stupid things such as wolves being a problem. Personally, in some areas I’m more worried about deer than wolves. Hell, look at the statistics for annual maulings/killings of humans by deer (most killings are via vehicular collisions) vs. wolf.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    Hunting.

    Okay. Manute Bol was a tribal African, well over seven feet tall. He was scouted by the NBA and brought over the to U.S. to play. In an early press scrum, he was asked, wouldn’t he be upset by the rough play in the NBA, with the guards yelling at him, and elbowing, and other “tough” play. Bol laughed out loud. He pointed out that when was eighteen he went out by himself onto the savannah on foot, armed with only a spear, and killed an adult male lion.

    Now *that’s* real hunting! (Even though, yes, I decry tribal traditions which are part of the ongoing slaughter of lions in the wild).

  123. 123
    Matt Penfold

    It’s certainly not how its done in the states. At best stalking, as you define it, is rare. It’s not very effective. A lot of it has to do with terrain. Certainly not effective in Minnesota.

    Fine. Just don’t claim what you do is stalking because it is not.

  124. 124
    jehk

    @Matt Penfold

    Fuck off, asshole. That’s often how the word is used in the states. Now you know what I mean when I use the word.

  125. 125
    Tethys

    jehk

    I live in MN, and I know many avid hunters. Most of them are bow hunters, and several do stalk hunt deer successfully.

    To be very clear, they do not sit in a stand. They creep very quietly through the woods on deer trails, and spend long periods of time standing very still, hoping to get within 10-15 yards.

    You misused the word, and no amount of splaining by you is going to change the meaning of the word stalk. Perhaps it is you who should be fucking off now, hmmmm?

    p.s. Salt licks are considered baiting under MN law, and must be removed from the field 10 days prior to any hunting activity.

  126. 126
    mechanoid

    Pacific NW hunter here.

    I’ve very little experience hunting in Oregon coastal rainforest (very wet – I do better for chanterelles than for blacktail deer). Some people drive around on logging roads from clearcut to clearcut or sit in blinds with their heaters and hot coffee. Not really my thing.

    My father has hunted a lot of elk on the coast (I have not). Apparently it’s exhausting work due to terrain and very long days. This is still hunting:

    (Still hunting is the continuous movement of a hunter through an animal’s environment in hopes of finding the desired game. The hunter takes a few steps, stops, looks around – sometimes with binoculars – and listens for the slightest sound of the game animal being hunted.)

    @92 – The Mellow Monkey: Caerie – Thanks for the glossary link!

    When you find elk track or spoor (it’s very easy to tell it’s elk), this transitions to active stalking. Elk are big, but they fatigue easily and you can effectively chase them down. When a herd gets moving… look out! Very big animals make lots of noise.

    Cascades and east of The Cascades is where I’ve spent most of my time hunting mule deer. This is a bit different. Best times are at first light (before they bed down for the day to avoid the heat) and near dusk. Solo strategies are 1) sitting a stand (generally not a tree stand) and 2) still hunting. If you have a group, you can use terrain and people to drive the deer – often to someone sitting a stand at the far end of the area you are hunting.

    “Hunters” are a diverse lot indeed. Not as easily typified as some would think. I’ve encountered truly detestable individuals as well as some of the friendliest and responsible humans I’ve ever met – like any population. The hunters I know and respect are some of most responsible custodians of their private and our public lands. The ideological divide too often prevents us from recognizing the humanity of the other.

    Myself, I come from a conservative family in rural Oregon. Now, I live in Portland and have departed from both my parents politics and religion. I still hunt.

    Why? Tradition. I grew up eating venison and ate very little commercial beef. This has informed my ethics as well as my palate. I’m repulsed by modern factory cattle/chicken/pig/you-name-it methods of production. I know where (most of) the meat that I consume comes from – no distancing here.

    We also purchase 1/2 or 1/4 cows from local farmers. I know that the hamburger in my freezer came from a single cow – rather than thousands. I like to name it too. ;)

    I’m positive that if people had to kill what they eat, there would be for more vegetarians in this world.

  127. 127
    jehk

    Tethys:

    You misused the word, and no amount of splaining by you is going to change the meaning of the word stalk. Perhaps it is you who should be fucking off now, hmmmm?

    Yeah, my fucking mistake. It didn’t matter in the context of the argument anyway. You know as well as I that hunting isf often used here in MN to describe all culling of deer including stalking.

    Tethys:

    Salt licks are considered baiting under MN law, and must be removed from the field 10 days prior to any hunting activity.

    Yeah, I know. They weren’t when I used to hunt over 5 years ago so we used them.

  128. 128
    jehk

    Tethys:

    I live in MN, and I know many avid hunters. Most of them are bow hunters, and several do stalk hunt deer successfully.

    To be very clear, they do not sit in a stand. They creep very quietly through the woods on deer trails, and spend long periods of time standing very still, hoping to get within 10-15 yards.

    Cool on them. I never said people didn’t stalk successfully. My dad tries every year. What you describe here is certainly difficult imo.

  129. 129
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    The hell is up with the gleeful fantisizing about murdering people up in comment 10? I guess it’s okay to happily describe killing people when noble and majestic wolfies and deerses are involved.

    I always thought it was kind of weird when hunters who talked about the importance of deer population management in places where deer predators had been extirpated/greatly reduced, then turned around and said it was important to cull predators because they kill off too many deer. Uhhhh huh? I figured out pretty quickly that was a good way to figure out if a hunter was worth hanging around.

    The politics in a lot of hunting circles were usually such a turnoff, which was pretty disappointing since I’m kinda sentimental about hunting and conservation and really want to take it seriously. Mostly a bunch of old white conservative dudes who didn’t give a shit about anything except what’s theirs, where I came from. I remember asking questions about the legal minimum width of broadheads in my state (there weren’t any written, that I could find, but I wanted to be sure and not inadvertently do something illegal) and I was immediately accused of being an animal rights activist. Wut?

  130. 130
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    “Hunters” are a diverse lot indeed. Not as easily typified as some would think. I’ve encountered truly detestable individuals as well as some of the friendliest and responsible humans I’ve ever met – like any population. The hunters I know and respect are some of most responsible custodians of their private and our public lands. The ideological divide too often prevents us from recognizing the humanity of the other.

    Myself, I come from a conservative family in rural Oregon. Now, I live in Portland and have departed from both my parents politics and religion. I still hunt.

    Why? Tradition. I grew up eating venison and ate very little commercial beef. This has informed my ethics as well as my palate. I’m repulsed by modern factory cattle/chicken/pig/you-name-it methods of production. I know where (most of) the meat that I consume comes from – no distancing here.

    We also purchase 1/2 or 1/4 cows from local farmers. I know that the hamburger in my freezer came from a single cow – rather than thousands. I like to name it too. ;)

    Can I just…

    Hug you?

  131. 131
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Cool on them. I never said people didn’t stalk successfully. My dad tries every year. What you describe here is certainly difficult imo.

    Wait, why do you tell the dude from MN props for hunting by stalking but say the Native Americans to switch your supposedly more successful technique of sit and wait? You called them fools for stalking!

    You fucking asshole.

    And if your father tries every year how come it took you so long to recognize you were using the wrong definition of stalking? Or are you using the wrong definition again since earlier you said your father uses a portable blind?

  132. 132
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    mechanoid:

    Why? Tradition. I grew up eating venison and ate very little commercial beef. This has informed my ethics as well as my palate. I’m repulsed by modern factory cattle/chicken/pig/you-name-it methods of production. I know where (most of) the meat that I consume comes from – no distancing here.

    And this is why when someone is hunting humanely, responsibly and for meat, I really can’t fault them. It’s tradition and for many people it has important cultural background. I think it’s far healthier to be connected to where your meat is coming from than to distance yourself from it, too. Meat is animals and it’s good to understand that and deal with it.

    Sport hunting a non-food animal, on the other hand, is something entirely different. So long as someone is eating what they kill and hunting ethically, I’m not going to pass judgment, but to kill just to have a trophy, just to be able to say you got a wolf? That doesn’t even have the monetary incentive of fur trapping going for it, for crying out loud.

    It’s wasteful and seems to come from a rather disturbing mindset and relationship with the natural world.

  133. 133
    Nepenthe

    I always thought it was kind of weird when hunters who talked about the importance of deer population management in places where deer predators had been extirpated/greatly reduced, then turned around and said it was important to cull predators because they kill off too many deer. Uhhhh huh? I figured out pretty quickly that was a good way to figure out if a hunter was worth hanging around.

    This. My family’s hunting land is in pretty rough shape. There’s a sharp browse line, almost no plant growth outside of the really swampy areas, etc. A wolf pack and some lone wolves have been sighted in the area, and the local hunters and farmers are already chomping at the bit to shoot them. It’s like if they don’t trip over an eight pointer every time they go into the woods, the wolves have trampled on their gawd-given right to shoot a trophy with minimal effort.

  134. 134
    jehk

    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Wait, why do you tell the dude from MN props for hunting by stalking but say the Native Americans to switch your supposedly more successful technique of sit and wait? You called them fools for stalking!

    Stalking is difficult. If your goal is to put food on the table you’re foolish not to use a more successful method.

    You fucking asshole.

    Fuck you too.

    And if your father tries every year how come it took you so long to recognize you were using the wrong definition of stalking?

    I’m not perfect? Stalking is hunting as far as the US is concerned. I understand now that hunting and stalking are two different things in the UK. I misspoke because of that.

    Or are you using the wrong definition again since earlier you said your father uses a portable blind?

    He hunts bow and shotgun (or rifle I forget which). I actually talked to him today. Apparently he stalks with a bow and he hasn’t gotten a deer in a long time doing this. He’s getting to old for it. He then goes rifle hunting using a portable stand and has gotten a deer for the past three years.

  135. 135
    mechanoid

    @130 – Mak, acolyte to Farore
    Hug accepted! :3

    Something else I wanted to add…

    Taking an animal is very emotional (for some of us); a complex mix of feelings wash over you. I bawled my head off when I shot my first deer (I think I was 15 at the time). Blood on the ground, the spark of life fading in it’s now glassy eyes, guts, shit, and piss. It’s dirty work. You are taking life so as to feed your own.

    Are there cruel people in this world? Clearly. But the ethic I was taught was not to shoot unless you’re sure of success.

    I crippled a deer once and will never forget the sound a wounded animal makes. Truly chilling. One imperative takes over – end the suffering of the animal.

  136. 136
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    My family’s hunting land is in pretty rough shape. There’s a sharp browse line, almost no plant growth outside of the really swampy areas, etc. A wolf pack and some lone wolves have been sighted in the area, and the local hunters and farmers are already chomping at the bit to shoot them. It’s like if they don’t trip over an eight pointer every time they go into the woods, the wolves have trampled on their gawd-given right to shoot a trophy with minimal effort.

    Ahahaha pretty much.

    Where I used to live, we had a lot of problems with deer strikes on the highway and we always had several close calls every year, whether we were close to town or not. You could actually get multiple county tags and fill those up, and then move to the next county and get more county tags to fill up, if you wanted to pay the money for it. Archers were being welcomed near urban areas to help clear out the deer. You’d think that’d mean there’d be plenty of deer to go around and some help from predators would be welcome, but apparently not.

  137. 137
    Tethys

    If anyone would like to rail at educate the author of the legislation that made the wolf hunt legal, you can find his stupid opinion on his website.

    Tom Hackbarth

    He is using the false OMG wolves kill livestock!!!elebenty!! argument. Then he displays some circular reasoning;

    The DNR indicates owners of livestock, guard animals or domestic animals may shoot or destroy wolves that pose an immediate threat to their animals, on property they own or lease in accordance with local statutes.

    I guess he thinks the existing laws that allow for destroying a problem wolf are not good enough to protect the livestock, only a long hunting season and quota are good enough for Mr. Hackbarth.

  138. 138
    Tethys

    I would also like to note that Mr. Hackbarth’s district does not have any wolves. It overlaps with Michelle Bachmann’s senate district. Coincidence?

  139. 139
    jehk

    Next up him claiming the deer on his land are domesticated.

  140. 140
    Tethys

    Two clips from a good movie that also happens to have a lot of correct information on wolf ecology.

    The mouse* clip is gross, and comedic. You have been warned.

    Never Cry Wolf

    *the mice are actually meadow voles

  141. 141
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Tethys:

    I went to high school with Farley Mowat’s nephew. Pretty good trombone player.

  142. 142
    Nepenthe

    I crippled a deer once and will never forget the sound a wounded animal makes. Truly chilling. One imperative takes over – end the suffering of the animal.

    And you damn well better. We’ve had more than one deer limp into the woods behind our house and die. I have no fucking respect for someone who can’t take responsibility for their own mistakes like that. I was taught that if you* wound it, you* follow it, even if it takes 5 miles through thick forest covered with two feet of snow.

    *The general “you” and certainly not me, since, as mentioned above, hunting is for the menfolk.**

    **Plenty of women hunt, of course, but that’s not the way my family Does Things.

  143. 143
    davem

    I have never personally eaten groundhog, so can’t say how it tastes.

    According to the film, it repeats on you.

  144. 144
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    When I was a kid my dad came home from work badly shaken. He’d hit a deer on the road, but it ran off. He knew it was badly hurt, because there was blood on his car. He called the game warden to alert them of an injured deer in [area], and fortunately the warden thanked him and said that an alert would be put out.

    I just do not get the “ZOMG THE WOLVES ARE EATING THE DEER KILL THEM” argument when the deer population is already exploding out of control. I’ve run into hunters upset over the fact that all the deer in the area are undersized and visibly undernourished, and they correctly connect this to the dearth of underbrush – the deer have run out of food. They say – correctly – that the deer are overpopulated and that there is a terrible need for a cull. But then they get all pissy over the very idea of wolves, coyotes, bears, etc killing deer.

  145. 145
    sadunlap

    When my father was a boy in the 30s he and my grandfather were poachers. Hunger has no season. My grandfather acted more like a conventional predator: he did not want the buck with the largest antlers. The only hunt-related item he ever put over his mantlepiece was the one time he got caught he framed the citation from the game warden. He and my father wanted a small buck that they could run off with quickly, the runt, not the biggest deer. During the depression, for dirt poor people, ammunition was far more affordable than the butcher shop.

    “Hunter” was a dirty word when I was growing up. To my father “hunter” meant the amateurs from the city who made too much noise, scared the game away and sometime shot each other because they were too drunk to shoot straight. One almost killed my father when he was 12 – he shot at a doe and missed.

  146. 146
    mechanoid

    I have a suggestion: let’s give the whole state back to the Indians.

    Really? “Indians”!?

    Don’t you think it’s a bit gauche at this point to refer to American first nations as “Indians”?

    I don’t get what you’re going for PZ…

  147. 147
    chigau (違う)

    mechanoid
    In the USA “Indians” is still an acceptable term.

  148. 148
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    mechanoid, Indian is the word people use to refer to themselves within the USA. PZ has shown himself to be well-educated in such things, as far as I’ve ever seen.

  149. 149
    chigau (違う)

    and First Nations is a Canadian terminology

  150. 150
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    That too. If you talk about the First Nations in Indian Country around here, you’re talking about people in Canada.

  151. 151
    Nepenthe

    I think Tom Lehrer’s “Hunting Song” might be apropos if we’re gonna start making fun of the city hunters (an activity I support whole-heartedly).

  152. 152
    Jadehawk

    Stalking is hunting as far as the US is concerned.

    no, it isn’t. stalking is one hunting method, but not even in the US are these terms synonymous. That some hunters use stalking as hyperbolic self-aggrandizement for their sitting-around-style hunting does not change the fact that they’re not synonymous terms.

  153. 153
    mechanoid

    @147, @149 – chigau (棒や石)
    @148, @150 – The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    Thanks for the clarification folks.

    It was always stressed to me that the proper term was Native American. Was totally unaware that NAs prefer to refer to themselves as American Indians or Indians.

    According to a 1995 U.S. Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as American Indians (or simply Indians)…
    Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Americans_in_the_United_States

    Objection retracted.

  154. 154
    mechanoid

    Stalking is hunting as far as the US is concerned.

    Agree w/ Jadehawk.

    This hunter has always considered stalking as one of many approaches to hunting game animals.

    To be fair, I’ve lived in the Pacific NW my entire life and don’t know what the coloquial usage is in other parts of the nation…

    The obstinate pedantry from jehk is getting a bit old…

    Y U NO USE LANGUAGE LIKE ME?

  155. 155
    Madmaxine

    I’m just going to throw this out there – for an amazing, well-written and nuanced look at hunting (for subsistence, food, the challenge, protection of crop land…etc) read The Mindful Carnivore by Tovar Cerulli.

  156. 156
    mechanoid

    @155 – Madmaxine

    Looks like a really interesting book. Thanks!

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