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« Weekly Roundup -- Week ending 1/29/12 | Main | A good day for the pit bulls »

January 30, 2012

Comments

YesBiscuit!

I am not a hunter so this is perhaps beyond my grasp but I have never understood how hunters could consider an animal killed in what is essentially in a large fenced yard as a "trophy". If I understand the bragging aspect of the scenario, it seems to me that most hunters would be at least embarrassed to show off such a "trophy".

Lisa in OH

In my opinion, this is like selling one baby into the sex trade in order to be able to continue funding an adoption agency for other babies. Or a dog rescue running dog fights to fund their rescue. Blood money, pure and simple

Brent

YesBiscuit -- I definitely hear you on the "Canned hunts" -- but based on the video footage and the 60 Minutes Reporter, this doesn't sound like that is necessarily the case here. But I definitely get what you're saying.

Brent

Lisa - I definitely understand the distaste for it. Recognizing that this is a very costly enterprise, how would you recommend funding this? Or, is extinction of these species ok?

H. Houlahan

I AM a hunter.

This. Is. Not. Hunting.

Not to mention (and I didn't see the 60 Minutes, so I don't know whether they did), the ecological impact of exotics on the Texas biome.

Escaped exotics are a real problem in Texas. Their game laws essentially say "shoot on sight" for these mostly African and Asian exotics. The don't belong in that ecosystem, and can do real damage to native species.

Again, I did not see the 60 Minutes episode, but I am highly skeptical of claims that these canned hunt providers are doing a damned thing to conserve endangered or threatened species in their natural habitats. Are their animals enrolled in the SSPs for their species? I doubt it. Sounds as if the fish-in-a-barrel crowd has hit on a kind of window dressing that will distract a lazy teevee journalist who has been directed to present "balance" rather than truth.

YesBiscuit!

Lisa - You have put an idea in my mind: Hooters Adoption Agency!

Heather - Now I have to go look up "biome".

Brent

H -- I do encourage you to spend the 13 minutes to watch the segment. I'm 100% with you on the canned hunt aspect and at least one person they talked to was helping reintroduce a species back into Africa. I'm sure that is not always the case though and this may have been the exception to the general rule.

They did not touch on the environmental impact at all.

Ted Moore

You're right. This is off topic.

H. Houlahan

Okay, got the video to play on other computer.

The "animal rights" group ended up giving the best -- though still very incomplete -- account of the *ecological* issue.

But they didn't interview anyone from the USFWS, from an accredited zoo that is participating in the SSP for the scimitar-horned oryx, or, say, an African conservationist. (A game-park owner who lives in Texas and has an Afrikaans accent doesn't count.) The game ranch owners' assertions that they have donated animals "for reintroduction" is never researched and verified/falsified.

By the way, one way that you know something isn't a hunt? When the "hunter" pays -- and only if he gets to kill the animal he wants.

A real hunter invests whatever time or money she's going to into the hunt -- for me, that's taking a morning to go sit in my tree stand after investing some time in patterning the deer movements on my own land, and of course, buying my licenses, practicing with my rifle, etc. -- for someone with different ambitions, that may be airfare, out-of-state licenses, paying a guide/packer -- and if she comes up snake eyes at the end of the day or week, well, she has *hunted.*

A trophy seeker exchanges cash for a corpse. It is no more hunting than is buying a moose head at an antique store.

kmk

"Canned hunt" is an animal rights term. Kind of like "puppy mill".

I don't even understand why this is a story. It's private land. They aren't doing anything illegal.

One of my high school classmates went on a similar hunt in New Mexico - they were hunting some sort of African antelope or gazelle.

There are lots of things that are "distateful". But they aren't illegal. Yet.

Dianne R.

I find it distasteful, too, but as long as there is a demand for it, and people with money to burn to pay for it, it will exist. Make it illegal? Feh. I think it would only drive it deeply underground, which is certainly what has happened with dog fighting in the DC area. The last big bust came about because the surveillance cameras they were using were spotted.

Lisa in OH

Brent I don't know how to fund it. How are zoos funded? I would think there would be a better way possibly making it a safari type attraction without leaving with a carcass and teaming it with grants and private donors

Brent

Most zoos are mostly funded by a combination of local tax dollars as well as private donations. Possibly viable -- but, I'm not sure there would be enough public support for it. Maybe. We talked about the Safari thing last night too -- but if one hunt can garner them $50,000 -- that's a lot of safari rides too -- even though I do think there would be quite a bit of demand for it.

kmk

I'll tell you how the zoo in Kansas City is funded - they get tax money from the city, and then there's a 501C3 group called "Friends of the Zoo" that raises private donations. Plus there's admission fees and whatever they make from concessions.

And now there's a county-wide sales tax that voters approved to pay for the zoo. I voted against it - I don't live in Kansas City but I get to pay the tax.

Good grief, don't turn those private hunting refuges over to government. The government will turn that into another money-sucking enterprise and I'll be paying for that as well!

I suspect my husband is right - the city will stop giving the zoo any money due to the sales tax and they'll end up with the same amount of money.

Brent

Oh, I suspect your hubby is right about the zoo money from the city going to other things so it will solely get money from the tax -- which is probably fine, it's projected to be more than the city was giving them anyway. Kinda hoping that zoo money gets re-appropriated toward building a new animals shelter. At least the money will continue going to animals.

H. Houlahan

Yes, well "puppy mill" is a term coined by dog fanciers back in the 60's or 70's, well prior to the animal rights movement. "Canned hunt" goes back at least as far, and came from real hunters who saw yahoos paying to shoot captive animals inside a fence and had to go puke.

Central Ohio Dog Blog

Interesting post. It reminded me of a conversation I'd had with a vegan friend some time back. She was arguing the obvious animal rights perspective, and the point came up that if it weren't for humans wanting to eat them, domesticated farm animals would be extinct in no time. They're dependent on us for survival, and so it's a sort of symbiotic relationship: their species survives, and we are fed. Of course this overlooks the atrocities of factory farming, but it seemed like a pertinent argument here.

In order for the species to survive, a small number of them are killed.

Ted Moore

I stand corrected after reading the many rational posts here. In so many other venues, your post would have prompted the anti-hunting, save Bambi at any cost (to Bambi) raving that drives so many otherwise sympathetic potential supporters away from participation in mainstream animal welfare causes. Instead, "outsiders" now know there is at least 1 blog that isn't frequented by people who perceive all hunters to be beer-swilling, chaw-spitting rubes firing on whatever rustles a branch in the forest. Well done, Brent. (Are you really that smart ;-)? )

Brent

Ted - -I don't know that this blog caters to the far left animal rights folks and I've always been happy that I think for the most part this blog has catered to a more rational group of readers than that. That said, there is always that risk when I post something like this -- but the problems usually come a couple of days after the post when someone finds it and post it on a chat room board or something. But I do like being able to have rational discussions about topics like this because I do think there is merit to discussing the pros/cons of this type of issue.

Ted Moore

Agreed all around, Brent.

Therese

I also saw the story and this was my take away. The animal rights group would rather these three rare antelopes go extinct than anyone be allowed to shoot 10% of the thousands of them being raised on U.S. soil. That seems a bit radical to me since extinction is forever and the animal rights group admits it has only a very small population of these antelope living in their home range. Wouldn't it make more sense to see if the herds reintroduced to their home ranges thrive first, before creating a situation in the U.S. where "hunting" of these animals is prohibited? As the one rancher said, with the new laws, no one will take the time and the money to ranch these animals and in 5-10 years they will all be gone. If the tiny herd in their natural environment fails to thrive, or meets with too many poachers, or a devastating herd-wide illness, the animals will simply go extinct. That would be such a shame.

A Facebook User

I am not a hunter but I am smart enough to recognize that without game hunting our specie would never have made it this far. Hunting, humanely, as long as one uses the meat is all right we me personally. I'm big on killing something just to have a trophy but to be quite honest I can see the logic of this enterprise. In fact ALL fish and game departments, no matter what state you are talking about, depend on the revenue from hunting/fishing licenses to fund the very programs that save endangered species.

Personally I feel that humanity has gotten far too far from understanding our relationship with killing animals. It's necessary (vegans will disagree but we are omnivores until we evolve into something else) to eat meat/animals and it's necessary to kill in order to eat these animals so we can survive. The animals we kill for food are killing plants in order to survive. We humans need to begin to make that connection with nature and we need to begin to understand that no matter how much we don't like it or it turns our delicate little disconnected from nature stomachs in order for ANY of us to live, vegan or not, something must die. It is how life works on planet earth...

A Facebook User

Oops typo. I meant to say that I'm NOT big on hunting for trophies...

kmk

Brent, I would like to think the money the city was giving the zoo will go to the animal shelter. We can dream, can't we?

Jennifer Brighton

@ Ted re rational people on this site: While not a hunter, I do find this sort of hunting distasteful. However, I also know way too many wonderful folks who hunt (one of whom is a member of the Rocky Mt. Elk Foundation) to point fingers. That's like someone calling me a gang banger or drug dealer because I love pit bulls. If there's one thing I've learned about owning pit bull type dogs it's that you must judge people (animals) individually, not as a whole, and don't stereotype.

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