The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter
Fall-Winter 2014 Issue
Ask Uncle Joe
Dear Uncle Joe:
I follow you guys on Facebook and the thing that strikes me is that
you’re missing the part about hunting that makes it like nothing else. I’m a
father of two adult children, one hunts with me and the other is not
interested. I have been hunting with Harlon for almost 20 years and I can
still see the love of the outdoors and of doing what has been passed down
through thousands of generations from father to son. When we hunt he still
looks like the 10-year-old wide-eyed child I took on his first hunt years
We’re conscious of the obligation we have toward wildlife now and in the
future. We are also safety conscious and nothing happens if it does not
happen safely. We both know that we will not always take home a deer, and
that’s OK with us.
We’re responsible, respectful, and mindful of the role we play in
managing the balance between nature and civilization. We’re not the mindless
Neanderthals you write about and we’re not decimating the deer population.
Just like you we’re trying to make the world a little better, we just do it
in a different way. Hopefully you’ll be able to see one day that some of us
actually care about nature.
We understand the way hunting can be a bonding experience between father
and son, but for us it always comes down to the devastating effect hunting
has on wildlife and habitat. You and your son are but a tiny part of the
larger issue, which is that state-sponsored “wildlife management” is abusive
by its very nature. Assuming you’re not the kind of hunter who leaves
garbage all over the place, and who doesn’t trespass on private property,
your impact is little. By yourselves you’re not affecting the wildlife
population much (though you’re needlessly destroying the lives of
individuals, and that is inexcusable), but when your actions are combined
with those of thousands of other hunters you become a significant problem
that needs to be stopped. We know that many hunters care about nature and
habitat, but you’re missing the most important thing – that habitat itself
doesn’t mean much without the life it supports. Individual lives do not
matter to hunters, but individual lives are what wildlife and habitat
protection is all about. It’s about the mother who cares for and raises her
kits, or the lone adult who enjoys the sunshine and goes about his day doing
the things he does. Hunters do not see individuals as having any value, and
that’s why it’s so easy for you to destroy them. Hopefully, you’ll be able
to see one day that individuals do matter, since without individuals there
is nothing. The next time you see the love of the outdoors in your son’s
eyes, think of the love of the outdoors that each individual animal has as
Dear Uncle Joe:
I’m a conservationist who knows that hunting is not the problem, urban
sprawl is. One of the worst things for wildlife is the game of golf. Now you
probably support golf because golfers do not kill animals (trying to use
your terminology here) but golf is bad for the wildlife and the environment.
Golf courses are 150 acres or more of clear cut property, sprayed heavily
with pesticides and aside from the animals that are present in the early
morning hours before any Tiger Woods wannabes show up it’s a huge area that
is no good for anything. Local governments love golf courses because country
clubs pay taxes but conservationists despise them because we see habitat
that has been destroyed and turned into playgrounds for the rich. So Joe,
why does your Committee not campaign against golf?
You’re right – golf courses are not wildlife-friendly areas, and we’ve
actively opposed the efforts of golf clubs that have instituted
extermination campaigns against geese and coyotes. Golf courses do take land
away from wildlife as does development, and they do contribute to the
toxicity of the soil. Golf is not, however, a sport whose purpose is to kill
as is hunting. There’s hope that one day golf courses will go “green,”
and provide better and cleaner habitat, but there’s no hope that hunting
will modify itself to stop killing.
Dear Uncle Joe:
Humans have been hunting forever and unless you don’t believe in
evolution or natural selection you have to acknowledge that we’re been a
part of the natural world since the time when land animals crawled from the
sea. The wildlife you see today while camping is here because of hunters’
stewardship of the land and its animals. I get it – you don’t like seeing
animals hurt. Neither do I. But we’re a part of this web of life and like it
or not wildlife is here because we’ve protected it and nurtured it to be
here. Sportsmen benefit wildlife. I wish you could understand that.
West Fargo, ND
We were here when land animals crawled from the sea? Did we get pictures?
Yes, it’s clear that humans have played a hand in how wildlife has
evolved over the last 10,000 or so years, but that’s not necessarily a good
thing. Let’s think about how hunting techniques have changed, and let’s look
at how that has changed wildlife.
When people were hunting animals with rocks and spears, animals who were
fast afoot and ran quickly and boldly through open spaces often survived.
Quick moving targets are difficult to hit and wind gusts through open spaces
changed the trajectory of thrown stones and spears.
But with today's high-powered rifles and bows, animals that speed off in
the open do not have the advantage they once did. Those who are shy and
timid hide more and often elude hunters.
Now, for a study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. [Simone Ciuti
et al Human selection of elk behavioural traits in a landscape of fear],
researchers outfitted 122 elk with GPS collars, and tracked their movements.
They found two different 'personality' types: "bold runners" and "shy
"Shy hiders" were more likely to avoid hunters and survive, but they were
at a distinct disadvantage when hunting season ended. Because of their shy
and secretive nature, they became easy prey for wolves and grizzlies. So
when human hunters kill off the fast and bold animals, they leave those to
breed who are likely more vulnerable to their natural predat ors.
moral of the story is that hunters interfere with the natural process and do
not benefit wildlife in any way.
Go on to Peter’s Humor?
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