The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter
Selected Articles from our
Fall 2011 Issue
Hunters and Game Managers - Look Out: Exposing the Big Game is Soon to be Released
Upcoming Book Reviewed by Peter Muller
Jim Robertson is best known for his breathtaking wildlife photography as
well as his clear and thought-provoking articles about wildlife and the
cruel, repulsive and altogether perverse nature of hunting. Many of these
articles have appeared in the C.A.S.H. Courier over the years.
Photo by Jim Robertson, www.animalsinthewild.org
Now Jim is putting it all together: his spectacular photography, the
indisputable facts and clear reasoning in a soon-to-be published book
titled, “Exposing the Big Game.” The book takes the form of a series of
accounts about how different species of wildlife are part of the great web
of life that unites the brotherhood of mortals on Earth. Yet this harmony is
disturbed by a few psychopaths from our species who interrupt this unity by
the perverted compulsion to kill for pleasure.
Jim does not mince words in describing and judging the senselessness and
depravity of hunting and its practitioners.
Only an inkling of the depth of the book can be gleaned from these few
excerpts from Chapter 8, “Prairie Dog Nation: Critical Cornerstone of a
…All across the globe, humans have enslaved those animals they deemed
worthwhile and set out to eliminate the rest. As John Muir noted, “The
world, we are told, is made especially for man—a presumption not
supported by the facts. A numerous class of men are painfully astonished
whenever they find anything…which they cannot eat or render in some way
useful to themselves.” To the vast majority of people living in their
realm, prairie dogs fall into the category of ‘not useful’ and so have
suffered the wrath of the gods.
Yet, as Dr. Jane Goodall observes, “Nine different wildlife species
depend on the prairie dog and their habitat for their survival. The
prairie dog is a critical component to healthy North American
grasslands.” And Terry Tempest Williams adds, “If the prairie dog goes,
so goes an entire ecosystem. Prairie dogs create diversity. Destroy them
and you destroy a varied world.”
……People in “cattle country” entertain themselves by using the few
remaining prairie dogs for target practice.
One such thrill-killer describes his sport this way: “Prairie dog
hunting is a blast…on both private and public lands. I like to start by
clearing everything within 0-50 yards with an AR-15, then switch to my
.223 Remington for anything out to about 150 and finally trade up to the
bull barrel .22-250 for the longer shots.”
Longtime candidates for ESA protection, black-tailed prairie dogs
were removed from the waiting list in 2004, their fate left up to the
states which manage them for “recreational shooting opportunities.” This
glib game department jargon, loosely translated, means states like
Wyoming have an open season on prairie dogs, allowing for unregulated,
year-round shooting without limit or regard for their future.
Adding insult to injury, the latest threat to prairie dogs comes from
the pet trade. To satisfy captive animal collectors’ appetites for the
latest fad, prairie dogs are vacuumed out of their burrows, separated
from their relatives and shipped to markets as far off as Japan.
If we ever completely decode prairie dog language, we’re likely to
find that the word for human is, at best, unflattering.
Jim Robertson is an ethical photographer, which means that he photographs
animals in the wild both respectfully and unobtrusively, and uses no lures
to attract them.
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