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Author Topic: Nikon sponsors predator slaughter?!  (Read 10423 times)
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2009, 10:17:06 AM »
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Quote from: Josh-H
The point is that they are being shot for nothing more than the pleasure of it - and that is sick.

How do you know this? Have you examined the population data for the various species of animals involved and proved that no hunting is necessary to maintain optimal balance between predators and prey? Do you even have a clue what the optimal ratio between predator and prey populations would be, or what the optimal population levels should be, given the local availability of food, water, etc.?

People like you getting involved in wildlife management on the basis of an emotional response are responsible for more environmental problems and animal cruelty than hunters. Let me cite an example. A few decades ago, cougar hunting was outlawed in California because the treehuggers and animal rights people like you thought it was inhumane and disgusting. As a result, the cougar population mushroomed, and the deer population in California was pretty much wiped out. So the cougars weren't able to hunt in their normal wilderness areas any more due to lack of food, and they began moving int urban areas and snacking on stray dogs and cats, small children, and the occasional jogger/hiker--things they wouldn't usually hunt but were forced to due to the circumstances. When I left California in 2005, there had been a string of attacks on humans, and the wildlife management people were concerned about some endangered species being wiped out by the cougars. I don't know how the debate ever turned out; being California, it wouldn't surprise me if the stupidity is still continuing. But if the cougar population had been managed properly via controlled hunting from the beginning, the deer population wouldn't have been nearly wiped out, and several people wouldn't have become cougar attack victims.

Another example: when I was growing up, I lived in northwestern Wisconsin for a few years. During that time, there was a large spike in the starling population. Huge flocks of tens of thousands of starlings were common to see. If one of them passed through your area and stopped to feed, your driveway (and anything parked outside) could go from blacktop to whitewash overnight. It even affected the population of other bird species, like robins, cardinals, blue jays, etc. After a few months of this, the consensus of the community was that the population needed some serious thinning out--it was more or less a civic duty. So I spent most of my allowance on .22 ammunition, and spent much of my free time wandering the woods near my house shooting starlings with a rifle my dad gave me for Christmas. I don't know how many I killed, but I would guess somewhere in the hundreds. That may sound indiscriminate to you, but I can assure you it was a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands that flew by every day. After a year or two, the starling population went back to normal, (as did the other birds) and I moved on to other activities--thinning the starlings out was no longer necessary.

I haven't hunted in years, mostly because I haven't had the free time. But I have no problem with hunting, even if done primarily for sport, as long as it is controlled to keep populations in optimal balance. Believe it or not, most hunters are conservationists--you can't hunt indefinitely if you go overboard and wipe out the animals you hunt. Hunters have done more work to protect and rebuild habitat for game animals than PETA and and the animal-rights activist crowd.

To reiterate my original point: I'm not going to rush to judgment on the "predator derby" hunt. If there is an overpopulation of predators in the area and they need thinning out, then it's a good thing for the long-term survival of both predator and prey populations. If the participants have fun while doing what needs to be done, I don't care. OTOH, if there isn't an overpopulation of predators, then it's a bad idea. Either way, the squeamishness or revulsion one might have to seeing animals shot with a rifle is irrelevant, and is more likely to cause long-term damage to the ecosystem (by preventing needed culling from taking place) than benefit.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 10:18:27 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 11:54:58 AM »
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I don't have much to add to this discussion, I am not a hunter but some members of my family have been. I did shoot some birds when I was younger, but never took hunting up as a pastime. I think I would have a hard time shooting an animal for sport these days, but if I were hungry I would kill for food, and if I were in danger I would kill to protect myself and would not lie away feeling guilty about that. In a sense, I kill all the time by proxy by buying meat in grocery stores.

By and large I agree with Jonathan's view on the issue. That is to say, the knee-jerk "I don't want to kill animals" point-of-view is often misplaced. Not always of course, there is gratuitous killing for no good reason and that does bother me, and I see nothing wrong in unmasking it. I have no idea if the event in question falls into this category.  People have been known to stock game farms with living targets for the shooting fun of those too lazy to go out in the bush and stalk their prey. I may have an old-fashioned idealized view of hunting and fishing; it bothers me, for example, that people use sonar to go after fish. At some point, isn't that a little like just buying one in a grocery store. I think people should be forced to outwit their prey, but that is my own personal biased view of the subject, nothing more. Using sonar seems to remove the "sport" from it, for me at least.

Jonathan also referred to hunters being respectful of conservation and that, as a group, they have a self-interest in the perpetuation of the conditions (habitats, animal populations, etc.) for their sport. I can't disagree in general, but after 57 years of living, I find it optimistic to expect that enlightened self-interest will lead hunters, as a group, to behave in sustainable ways. I think they are just as likely to behave stupidly and wipe out the source of their fun. I have come to NOT believe in the innate "reasonableness" of humans. There are plenty of historical examples of humans killing the golden goose, to mangle a metaphor. I know plenty of reasonable folks who hunt as a pastime, but I also pick up a lot of empty beer bottles on bush roads after hunting season.

In my life, the people that I have seen to be most vehemently against hunting have been urban dwellers, and they've been people whose only real experience with rural life was renting vacation cottages. Much of their criticism of hunting comes from ignorance, I find. Like a lot of other groups in society, religious, political, etc., they believe that they know the one true way and expect everyone to agree with them, part of the modern polarized life. A wide-ranging liberal education could help with that, but it's not about to happen anytime soon. Trying to analyse things from someone else's point of view is not something we do well, doesn't mean we should stop trying though.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2009, 03:29:04 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
How do you know this? Have you examined the population data for the various species of animals involved and proved that no hunting is necessary to maintain optimal balance between predators and prey? Do you even have a clue what the optimal ratio between predator and prey populations would be, or what the optimal population levels should be, given the local availability of food, water, etc.?

People like you getting involved in wildlife management on the basis of an emotional response are responsible for more environmental problems and animal cruelty than hunters. Let me cite an example. A few decades ago, cougar hunting was outlawed in California because the treehuggers and animal rights people like you thought it was inhumane and disgusting. As a result, the cougar population mushroomed, and the deer population in California was pretty much wiped out. So the cougars weren't able to hunt in their normal wilderness areas any more due to lack of food, and they began moving int urban areas and snacking on stray dogs and cats, small children, and the occasional jogger/hiker--things they wouldn't usually hunt but were forced to due to the circumstances. When I left California in 2005, there had been a string of attacks on humans, and the wildlife management people were concerned about some endangered species being wiped out by the cougars. I don't know how the debate ever turned out; being California, it wouldn't surprise me if the stupidity is still continuing. But if the cougar population had been managed properly via controlled hunting from the beginning, the deer population wouldn't have been nearly wiped out, and several people wouldn't have become cougar attack victims.

Another example: when I was growing up, I lived in northwestern Wisconsin for a few years. During that time, there was a large spike in the starling population. Huge flocks of tens of thousands of starlings were common to see. If one of them passed through your area and stopped to feed, your driveway (and anything parked outside) could go from blacktop to whitewash overnight. It even affected the population of other bird species, like robins, cardinals, blue jays, etc. After a few months of this, the consensus of the community was that the population needed some serious thinning out--it was more or less a civic duty. So I spent most of my allowance on .22 ammunition, and spent much of my free time wandering the woods near my house shooting starlings with a rifle my dad gave me for Christmas. I don't know how many I killed, but I would guess somewhere in the hundreds. That may sound indiscriminate to you, but I can assure you it was a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands that flew by every day. After a year or two, the starling population went back to normal, (as did the other birds) and I moved on to other activities--thinning the starlings out was no longer necessary.

I haven't hunted in years, mostly because I haven't had the free time. But I have no problem with hunting, even if done primarily for sport, as long as it is controlled to keep populations in optimal balance. Believe it or not, most hunters are conservationists--you can't hunt indefinitely if you go overboard and wipe out the animals you hunt. Hunters have done more work to protect and rebuild habitat for game animals than PETA and and the animal-rights activist crowd.

To reiterate my original point: I'm not going to rush to judgment on the "predator derby" hunt. If there is an overpopulation of predators in the area and they need thinning out, then it's a good thing for the long-term survival of both predator and prey populations. If the participants have fun while doing what needs to be done, I don't care. OTOH, if there isn't an overpopulation of predators, then it's a bad idea. Either way, the squeamishness or revulsion one might have to seeing animals shot with a rifle is irrelevant, and is more likely to cause long-term damage to the ecosystem (by preventing needed culling from taking place) than benefit.

Johnathon,

It is unclear to me wether you are attempting to play devil's advocate and/or launching a personal attack on me. 'If' you consider a personal attack labelling me a 'tree hugger' or 'animal rights activist' then please do continue; these are not insults to me. You see I actually care about what 'we' (being the human race) are doing to our planet. I also care about the need to maintain a balance in nature and the occasional unfortunate need to 'cull' animals. In Australia we occasionally have to cull kangaroos (and more often rabbits as an introduced pest) - I am not against this when its required. For the record, I also eat meat; so dont throw me in your cliche'd box as you insinuate.

Turning my attention to your probable devils advocate stance.. Allow me to flip the coin for a moment...

Do YOU know if this so called 'Derby' is required for legitimate reasons? I could find no evidence to suggest this on the website. And I feel more than confident in saying that should these hunters who are going to participate in this slaughter have this excuse they would be singing it high and low as a justification for their pleasure.

You dont need to respond to my post as I am now done with this thread (I just wanted to clarify my position as you were skewing my viewpoint).
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 03:30:57 PM by Josh-H » Logged

Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2009, 05:14:22 PM »
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Quote from: Josh-H
It is unclear to me wether you are attempting to play devil's advocate and/or launching a personal attack on me. 'If' you consider a personal attack labelling me a 'tree hugger' or 'animal rights activist' then please do continue; these are not insults to me. You see I actually care about what 'we' (being the human race) are doing to our planet. I also care about the need to maintain a balance in nature and the occasional unfortunate need to 'cull' animals. In Australia we occasionally have to cull kangaroos (and more often rabbits as an introduced pest) - I am not against this when its required. For the record, I also eat meat; so dont throw me in your cliche'd box as you insinuate.

If you acknowledge the legitimate need for culling on occasion, you are far more enlightened than many anti-hunting environmentalists. Like you, I care about the environment. Where I differ from many so-called environmentalists is in insisting that environmental policies have a demonstrated positive impact, rather than being mere symbolic feelgoodism. The problem with people who are unconditionally anti-hunting is that they fail to recognize that a total ban on hunting is more destructive to the environment and a greater threat to endangered species than controlled hunting as part of an intelligent wildlife management program. As a result, the anti-hunting crowd (whether environmentally motivated or not) as a whole is responsible for more environmental destruction and animal suffering than hunters.

Quote
Do YOU know if this so called 'Derby' is required for legitimate reasons? I could find no evidence to suggest this on the website. And I feel more than confident in saying that should these hunters who are going to participate in this slaughter have this excuse they would be singing it high and low as a justification for their pleasure.

No, I don't know for sure that the predator derby is needed for wildlife management purposes, which is why I never gave it an unconditional endorsement. But contrary to your assumptions, the fact that it is legal is a pretty good indication that the local wildlife management authorities are of the opinion that there is a predator surplus in that area, whether the event website "sings it high and low" or not.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2009, 06:51:57 PM »
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Population control by comedian Bill Burr ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ35XbW_n0Y

Edit: Warning - Offensive language.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 06:54:23 PM by DarkPenguin » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2009, 08:57:50 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
...insisting that environmental policies have a demonstrated positive impact, rather than being mere symbolic feelgoodism.

Jonathan, Ever see Walt Disney's "Bambi?" That's pretty much the root of the problem. I'm old enough to remember when the "feelgooders" either didn't exist or stayed out of sight. Of course, in those days, a lot more people were farming and were in close contact with the real world. Once "Bambi" came out things started to change rapidly.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2009, 06:56:01 PM »
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Jonathan, Ever see Walt Disney's "Bambi?" That's pretty much the root of the problem.

Yes. I think that there's a lot more involved in the increase of anti-hunting sentiment though, like the transition of society as a whole from primarily rural to primarily urban. City dwellers are far more likely to gravitate to the simplistic feelgood option of banning all hunting; rural people have a better first-hand grasp of the situation and are more likely to see the big picture.
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RSL
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« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2009, 07:08:23 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
Yes. I think that there's a lot more involved in the increase of anti-hunting sentiment though, like the transition of society as a whole from primarily rural to primarily urban. City dwellers are far more likely to gravitate to the simplistic feelgood option of banning all hunting; rural people have a better first-hand grasp of the situation and are more likely to see the big picture.

Yep, If you think milk comes from a bottle and hamburger comes from the meat counter you're able to have all sorts of illusions about how the world works.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2009, 09:47:16 PM »
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The "predator derby" is, of course, not at all about hunting for food.  It is a PREDATOR slaughter, and the foxes, coyotes, bobcats and wolves are just blown away and then thrown away, by people who have no respect and love for their fellow creatures who are just making their way in the world the only way they can.

I do not hunt myself, but I feel that hunting for meat is an honest way to be a carnivore (versus the drive through at Wendy's).  Killing predators for fun and prizes -- that is just sick and twisted.

So please take all the ludicrous discussion about "bambi" somewhere else.  We have a huge problem with overpopulation of deer because all the cougars and wolves were killed off where I live.
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2009, 09:40:15 AM »
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No, I don't think you can disguise the fact of wanton cruelty by calling upon the anthropomorphic as a sort of easy excuse-all counter-argument. Neither can the fact that people eat meat be part of any defence of cruelty for its own sake, which hunting for fun is all about.

I once had the grim task of shooting the photographs for the opening of a new abattoir in Paisley, Scotland for a group of companies involved with the structure and the overhead rails. I didn't want to do it, but couldn't refuse for diplomatic business reasons. Anyway, I can tell you that the experience produced a smell of blood that stayed with me in reality or in my mind for days on end; worse, I remember vividly the eyes of some of the cattle that I has to pass in a holding pen outside the killing area, from where they were driven into a cage/trap strucrture, something like they use in rodeos, where the man did his thing with stun gun and another with a long steel rod.

Anyone who tells me that animals don't know, can't see or smell that they are going to die is deluded.

I can accept that, horrid as it is, man is a carnivore and that his manner of industrialised 'hunting' is done by breeding and subsequent 'humane' killing. A truck-load of guys with guns and funny hats is not something that fits into the dynamic of preserving the human race. As for conservation of the environment, as I said before, that's best left in the hands of professional gamekeepers and rangers.

Rob C
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cmi
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« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2009, 08:03:27 PM »
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In principle, I believe man is not needed to regulate nature. Nature would be fine on itself if we would let it have its way. But, since man influences nature there might indeed be cases where direct population control is absolutely neccessary. (And I also think its ok to kill animals for food supply.)

However, real world animal population regulation attempts had often unintended and undesired - desastrous - effects, think Australia, man attempting to influence a system which he doesnt even understand fully,  and also it is known that "neccessary regulation" is often just a faux argument to legitimate, well, agression, and/or profit.

One example: Chinese people where told by goverment in the 50's or 60's (dont remember) to kill as much sparrows (nests, eggs, etc.) as possible, because these would eat the seeds away. This indeed initially improved harvests, but as a consequence locust population increased wich lead to famine, exactly the opposite of what was intended. (As they figured later, sparrows eat much more insects than seeds.)

So basically a whole nation was killing animals for some made up reason. In my opinion, this was no longer about crowd control but became active destruction of nature under irrational reasons. Agression directed towards nature. Entirely made up reasons for justifying mass killings. Sounds dramatic, maybe horrifying, but is a well known fact if you dig up the right literature.

So, thats maybe one more aspect to consider when thinking about such actions as described in Matthew's links.

And sorry for my English, some formulations probably sound funny.
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Bradley Proctor
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« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2009, 08:29:24 PM »
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While I won't pretended to know whether this hunt is a good thing or not to create a better balance, I am quite sure that if it is necessary, we are the cause of the problem in the first place.    I agree with Christian that nature works very well on it's own and it only needs "correcting" because of our influences.  Unfortunately, I think that all too often we humans, in all are arrogance,  think we know better than mother nature like in Christian's example.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 08:31:01 PM by bproctor » Logged

John Clifford
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« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2010, 05:10:21 PM »
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Quote from: MatthewCromer
The "predator derby" is, of course, not at all about hunting for food.  It is a PREDATOR slaughter, and the foxes, coyotes, bobcats and wolves are just blown away and then thrown away, by people who have no respect and love for their fellow creatures who are just making their way in the world the only way they can.

Au contrare... predator hunting is perhaps the hardest hunting of all, because you are hunting a hunter. And the animal is not wasted, the fur is harvested. Did you know that coyote fur is often used around the hoods of extreme cold weather parkas because it is the only fur that will not ice up from the condensation of the wearer's breath?

Quote
I do not hunt myself, but I feel that hunting for meat is an honest way to be a carnivore (versus the drive through at Wendy's).  Killing predators for fun and prizes -- that is just sick and twisted.

What difference does it make to the animal if the hunter keeps the meat and throws away the pelt (which is what happens to most deer, rabbits, ducks, etc.) or keeps the pelt and throws away the meat (which is what happens to predators)? The animal is still dead. This is the kind of thinking that leads to "Don't wear fur!" bumperstickers on cars with leather interiors.

Hunting animals for their pelts is a pastime that is as old as hunting animals for their meat. The urge to be good at hunting, and take pleasure in it, is instinctive... genetic. Bad hunters don't reproduce. Every photographer who takes satisfaction after acquiring a difficult capture is utilizing the same instincts.

As long as the predator population supports the event, and the hunters act in an ethical manner (so that the predators have a chance), then I see no reason for the moral outrage.

Quote
So please take all the ludicrous discussion about "bambi" somewhere else.  We have a huge problem with overpopulation of deer because all the cougars and wolves were killed off where I live.

Here in Washington we have a huge problem with cougars since they can no longer be hunted with dogs; they're coming into suburbia and eating housepets and attacking the occasional jogger. We have the same problem with coyotes; several people were attacked a few years ago within a couple of miles from the high rise office building I'm sitting in. We can reintroduce grey wolves and grizzlies, and they'll keep the coyote and cougar population down... but then they have to be controlled and these larger predators are much more dangerous to humans.

Of course, we humans are the top predators....
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2010, 04:53:07 AM »
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I find it interesting that those who worship nature are against nature being able to act as intended and that includes the species of predator called the human. Either believe in nature and the natural order of things or believe that humans are above nature in which case you are pretty much denying belief in 'mother nature' by somehow putting human kind outside of the natural order of things. You can't have it both ways. This applies to much more than just hunting of course but it is interesting that those who worship nature are also so often the ones who worship the perversion of nature...
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