“How about if wildlife managers had not created artificial unnatural populations for hunters? …What should be culled are wildlife mis-managers.” ~ Marion Ambler
Deer deserve us to be better than this.
The annual “traditional” nine-day deer kill Nov. 22-30 is a gruesome celebration of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s killing business. Children and women killing our wildlife are prominently featured on the website. New in the past few years: the rise of the crossbow and the addition of the Sept. 13 – Jan. 4 period to the kill. An upbeat “enjoy the bloodlust” message from Scott Walker and his cheerleader appointee Secretary Cathy Stepp adds to the macabre “tradition.”
Wisconsin’s deer strategy is similar to New York’s, which is explained by New York big game state wildlife biologist Jeremy Hurst. “When we want to manipulate the population, we increase or decrease the number of antlerless permits available.” Trophy-killing bucks not only pleases the recreational hunters, but leaves plenty of does to produce the next crop of fawns that hunters can then mow down in the future.
Deer deserve better. We deserve better.
The March 5, 2014, National Geographic article “Killing Wildlife: The Pros and Cons of Culling Animals” was followed by a number of wildlife-friendly, educated comments. David Karopkin contributed, “The overwhelming majority of ‘culls’ are done to protect the interests of ranchers, sport hunters, the aviation industry, and property owners — not to protect an ecosystem or biodiversity. Tax dollars are used to execute these wild creatures, but the public is largely excluded from the decision-making process.”
On the same thread, John Eberhart added that natural predators cull out the sick and elderly animals but “hunters do the opposite. They pick out and subtract the best, most robust animals, the genes of whom their populations need most for survival and success. Hunting is unnecessary. Recreational hunts are held, not for wildlife population control, but to dish up furred and feathered targets to hunters.”
He explains, “Game managers of the federal U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and at the state game departments are in the business of growing target animals like deer and ducks (“game”) for shooting by the greatest number of hunters that they are able to license. An antiquated federal law mandates that paychecks in state wildlife agencies come from license sales. These agencies are effectively salesmen on commission, selling out the lives of America’s wild animals. … He who pays the piper calls the tune.”
Science and wildlife management agencies have parted paths. State agencies are now just bargain-basement sales departments hawking death to our wildlife. Notice in the Walker/Stepp video/ad referenced above: “New hunters — $5 licenses.” Hundreds of thousands of mangled beavers and foxes and bobcats, muskrats, and fur “bearers” — 19 cents each, based on trapper reporting of over 500,000 animals killed in traps, divided the $98,000 paid that year by trappers in fees to the DNR.
But for you, if a wildlife lover — no purchase whatsoever.
Nov. 18 of this year was the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Hunting Act in the United Kingdom. That legislation “prohibits chasing wild mammals with dogs for sport.” The practice was banned in Scotland in 2002, ending the “traditional” fox hunt as cruelty to animals. This video is graphic but if you turn away, you cannot fully realize what our wildlife is suffering. Although this is filmed in England, the use of dogs in Wisconsin on bears, bobcats, coyotes and wolves (and any wildlife along the way) is the same crime against wildlife and nature.
Public support for the prohibition of hunting is high in the United Kingdom. The latest 2013 poll:
• 80 percent of people think fox hunting should remain illegal.
• 85 percent think deer hunting should remain illegal.
• 87 percent think hare hunting and coursing should remain illegal.
Wisconsin has regressed to vastly increased blatant animal cruelty on public lands. John Muir’s words in defense of wildlife urged change even a hundred years ago: “Now, it never seems to occur to these far-seeing teachers that Nature’s object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them, not the creation of all for the happiness of one. Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation? And what creature of all that the Lord has taken the pains to make is not essential to the completeness of that unit — the cosmos?”
Muir believed that all creatures are brothers and man’s domination a tragedy and loss not only for the animals and nature, but also for man.
We are allowing the riches of relationship and animal teachings to go untapped and squandered in a short-sighted, endless killing spree. Every street should be graced by neighborhood deer, our woods with bears raising their young, beavers building water-keeper dams, foxes playing with their kits, and the beautiful birds flying safe and free.
Why are men so determined to cause suffering with packs of dogs and traps? Why so determined to kill? Why aren’t you, the majority, determined to save our wildlife? It would be easy if you cared enough to help them.
And here is a list of action alerts for caring citizens from the Center for Biological Diversity.