WE KEEP SCREWING WITH MOTHER NATURE
AND WE ARE LOSING: She has already eliminated about 98% of the life forms that have existed on Earth.
SPOTTED OWLS: Have not fared well, so we are spending tons of money protecting them. Each timber harvest costs about $2,000 more for their protection and we pay for that cost as it is passed down to the consumer. Federal Wildlife (PD 7/24/13) wants to shoot 3,600 Barn Owls who are bigger and are displacing Spotted Owls for about 3.6 million, $800 each. If it is a bright idea, why not put a bounty of $400 each in those specific areas? We don't have to worry about them shooting Spotted Owls as there is already a huge fine for doing so. I recently read where they are now shooting them for about $800 each.
WOLVES: I stated hunting S/W Montana abut 1982. I became friends with a rancher who lived on the large ranch his father and grandfather bought in 1900. About 1938 he imported Irish Wolf Hounds and concentrated on wolves in an area of about 300 square miles around his sheep ranch. By 1942 he had eliminated them. Prior to that the locals virtually never saw deer or elk. Starting in 1947 they killed their first bull elk. When I arrived in 82 I usually saw about 1,000 elk a week and 500 or so deer. I regularly harvested both my elk and deer until 2008 when I was seeing about 7 elk and 3 or 4 deer per week. The only change I know of is re introducing wolves into Montana. I no longer hunt in Montana.
MOUNTAIN LIONS: Were sport hunted until 1990. Before that you never heard of one near town. Now they are getting common. One was even killed on 101 in Santa Rosa. They also like Labradors on Fitch Mountain or goats in Kenwood.
COYOTES: Were trapped until the mid 80's. The cyanide stick was outlawed. Coyotes are extremely smart and trap shy. The cyanide stick shot a blank with a pill into their mouth. It also took raccoons and fox. It was also 99.9% effective. Until then we had sheep herds here. Soon again coyotes were eating 10 to 20% of the sheep and we no longer have sheep herds. Losing pets in the edges of town is a fairly recent event.
I happen to be lucky enough to live in the country behind Lake Sonoma. At 75, I have been a hunter since I could carry a sling shot, gun, bow or rifle. I have a lot of hindsight. 20 years ago I would expect to see 20 to 25 deer in 2 to 3 hours around our ranch. Now I see 4 to 6. The ratio used to be 1 buck to 22 or 24 does. Now it is 2 bucks to 1 doe. Lions and coyotes will take a doe first as it is safer for them. If you live on the edge of town, you now have more deer near you than we in the country do. The deer population is now down 75 to 80% from a few years ago. The tags from hunting do not show it because we are not hunting does. The normal mortality of fawns runs about 50%. We are possibly reaching the tipping point where deer could become endangered. Biologists with Fish & Game say they have no money for research. The predators are following the dwindling food supply. People or pets being attacked near town were unheard of a few years ago.
MOST CONSERVATION: dollars come from hunters and fishermen or women. $882 million was raised in excise tax revenues that went directly to fund wildlife and conservation in 2012.
We are the perfect predator. By eliminating lion hunting, we again messed with nature and guaranteed the death of thousands of deer. Could anyone hear them scream if there was no one there? I no longer need deer warning whistles on my cars. I hardly ever see a deer in the 25,000 miles I drive in West Sonoma County each year unless I am near a population center like The Sea Ranch.
The Human Society is now operating off a war chest of about 180 million dollars. Their objective is eliminating hunting in little steps. Catherin Bigelow is a lady who has talents that I respect. She has also been sold a bill of goods that has caused her to create an animated short story and she repeats what she believes that elephants will be extinct in 30 years. In some areas where Boko Harem and other war lords operate that might be true. That is not true in most of Africa. I have spent about 5 1/2 months is Zimbabwe. My most probable accident is driving at night which I avoid. The second is an elephant charge as I see them EVERY DAY I am in the field. The recent probation of elephant trophy's from Africa is actually hurting their survival as hunting guides actually are their best protectors as they are an important cash crop and their sharing it with villages helps support the elephant survival.
We have made huge changes in the world in the last 200 years. Much of it was good. We are getting better but the anti hunters obviously do not want to look at some of their results. Do we really want to sit still while they talk of spending money to bring wolves back in California?
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