A Crucial Question: Are We Shooting Enough Endangered Species?

posted at 10:45 am on April 1, 2012 by John Hawkins

Let’s say you’re a farmer and you discover an endangered red bellied tree sloth on your property tomorrow. What do you do? Well, you probably look left, look right, and if you don’t see anyone, you immediately run over it with your tractor and bury it in a hole before some government bureaucrat finds out it’s there and makes your life a living hell.

Of course, there’s a better alternative the government could pursue. It could encourage people to own and profit off of endangered species. That’s been happening in Texas, but a facet of the program may be about to come to an end.

This is the African savanna, Texas-style, where the hot climate and hilly terrain mimic parts of the world’s second-largest continent. The land — splayed with cedars, live oaks, low-lying blackbrush and the occasional prickly pear cactus — also is home to something far more exotic: three species of endangered African antelope.

Their very existence here depends on a tension between survival and death. To protect these species, ranchers here argue, we must kill them.

The antelope are magnificent: limber, with large, almost undulating horns, different on each species. There’s the scimitar-horned oryx, the addax and the dama gazelle, whose horns have a gentle, rising S-curve.

They’re nearly extinct in their native habitats of the African savanna. But because of an unusual exemption under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, these animals have thrived into the thousands by being hunted legally on sprawling ranches in the United States. In all, there are more than 5,000 such ranches in Texas, mostly in the south-central region known as Hill Country.

Alongside the antelope exist exotic animals of every stripe, including zebra, African bongos, kangaroo and regal rare Pere David’s deer, which are extinct in the wild.

…The Texas game ranches have the cachet of the wild, providing hunters with the experience, game and trophies of endangered and extinct-in-the-wild animals they want without leaving the United States. A successful trophy hunt can cost up to $15,000, depending on the beast.

…The exotic-ranch owners are in a furious fight with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — and animal rights groups — over having to get permits as of next Wednesday for the three endangered species of African antelope.

The ranchers argue, forcefully, that they’ve saved the antelope because they haven’t had to abide by the Endangered Species Act, which imposes paperwork and accounting requirements, since 2005, giving them the incentive to raise the animals for sport hunting.

Animal activists counter that conservation doesn’t mean raising an animal to kill it and put its head on the wall.

….The fact that the three antelope species went from a few dozen when they first arrived in Texas in the late 1970s to more than 17,000 in the organization’s 2010 census makes the conservation argument a “no-brainer,” said Seale, standing in front of a wall of mounted animal heads.

“They’re challenging animals to hunt,” said Nyle Maxwell, a West Texas rancher who has four car dealerships in the Austin area. “It provides us pleasure to hunt, meat we enjoy and a trophy on our wall.”

Maxwell was getting rid of his scimitar-horned oryx before next week’s permit deadline. Interviewed in late March, he was down to seven of the 12 he had on his ranch.

“If we don’t have an economic purpose, these animals are going to go away,” he said, adding that, “we very much enjoy the meat.”

The conservation argument doesn’t impress the ranchers’ nemesis: Friends of Animals.

“A Texas game ranch is not an ecosystem wherein animals are protected,” said Priscilla Feral, the president of Friends of Animals, which successfully sued the government to force the rule change on the African antelope. “They’re a commercial product.”

You know what other animal is a “commercial product?” Cows. What do you think the chances are that they’re going to go extinct any time soon? If Bald Eagles tasted like chicken, but had less calories, we’d have “Bald Eagle Freedom Burgers” on the menu at McDonald’s and you’d be buying their eggs at Piggly Wiggly.

You want to save any endangered species? Well, just remember that free enterprise works. Incentives also work. Let people find a way to profit off of a critter, get out of their way, and watch that endangered species make a comeback like Tim Tebow in the 4th quarter.

John Hawkins is a professional writer who runs Right Wing News and Linkiest. He’s also the co-owner of the The Looking Spoon. You can hear more from John Hawkins on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, You Tube, & at PJ Media.


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Bishop

angrymike on April 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM

No.

Mimzey on April 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Bmore

angrymike on April 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Spotted owl tastes just like chicken.

Wethal on April 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM

MMMMM,Bongo…

JimboHoffa on April 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Let’s say you’re a farmer and you discover an endangered red bellied tree sloth on your property tomorrow. What do you do? Well, you probably look left, look right, and if you don’t see anyone, you immediately run over it with your tractor and bury it in a hole before some government bureaucrat finds out it’s there and makes your life a living hell.

That is EXACTLY what I’d do. If I owned some land, I’d regularly check it to make sure that any “endangered species” were very endangered indeed on my property.

Not to mention, being a technology person myself, I’d install surveillance equipment so I knew for damn sure whether any Regime stormtroopers were or had been trespassing on my property.

OT: this was one of the things I’d thought of when having fun fantasizing about what to do if I had won that enormous Mega Millions jackpot: I was planning to buy a few SQUARE MILES out in the middle of nowhere in a conservative state (such as Wyoming) and live in the exact center of it :)

wildcat72 on April 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Their very existence here depends on a tension between survival and death. To protect these species, ranchers here argue, we must kill them.

And to get rid of Obamacare’s individual mandate, SCOTUS needs to uphold it, right? Idiocy.

Let’s be honest about why these animals are still alive on the ranch: excludability. Most private goods are considered to be both “rival” (your consumption means others can’t consume) and “excludable” (you can deny access to consumption for others even without consuming yourself).

With animals in the wild, you have rivalry (and hence they become endangered), but with no capacity for excludability, there becomes an instant incentive to kill as many as you can before someone else does and they’re all gone. On a ranch, however, because they’re excludable, that reverses the incentive to kill them quickly because you want to preserve a stream of income.

That’s why this works. Not because killing them somehow saves them.

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

There’s room for all God’s creatures.

Right next to the mashed potatoes.

davidk on April 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I haven’t heard of this in Texas, but in Africa some of the endangered species are having an easier time of it where there are hunts and other commercial activities associated with the species. It gives the villages nearby some benefit from having the animals around, and gives them incentive to prevent poaching.

Kevin K. on April 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

So, the ranches lose a source of revenue, the animals go for-real extinct, and Friends of the Animals and Fish and Wildlife celebrate.

Why does my head hurt like this so early in the morning?

trigon on April 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The real agenda of these people couldn’t be more clear. They would rather these animals face extinction than permit their protection and husbandry if it is supported by hunting.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Grain plants will take over the world one day because they are food that no eco-freak will ever cry over at their harvesting, cleaning and cooking… Meanwhile the rare but deliciously edible mammals will die off due to a bunch of animal rights weirdo’s simplistic and childlike thought processes.
-
It’s a mental problem folks…
-

RalphyBoy on April 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

They’re nearly extinct in their native habitats of the African savanna.

Actually, these are all desert antelope found well north of the savanna country. The two most well-known Indian antelope, the blackbuck and Nilgai, by the way, are also far more common now in Texas than in their native land.

radjah shelduck on April 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Mr Hawkins
You must be a Jets fan like me, the Tebow h/t was sweet!

angrymike on April 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Every da** square inch of Texas is “lease hunt” or high-dollar game ranch. It’s about the one thing I don’t miss. Since me and the Winchester ain’t welcome, fellers, you can fight them hippies by your da** selves

M240H on April 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Actually, grilled bald eagle is pretty good, it tastes like gamey quail.

ray on April 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Speaking of PROTECTED species “Live Eagle Cam” and recently hatched eaglets.

Dr Evil on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

The “tragedy of the commons” is a well known problem in political and economic theory.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Whatever works.

Although eating great apes shouldn’t be encouraged.

A little respect for our kissin’ cousins, at least.

profitsbeard on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Let’s also be honest though about the environmentalists’ concerns.

The problem they’re going to have with this is the very fact that it preserves the animals by domesticating them / penning them. It removes the “wild” element from the animals as human beings become their owners and hence the animals are subject to their control. Environmentalists are trying to preserve areas of non-ownership, which are genuinely left to the auspices of nature and natural selection, rather than any interference from man.

The difference between the environmentalists’ preserve and the ranchers’ market is that under the environmentalist plan, through prohibition you would have greater population growth and more wild ones, whereas with the ranchers plan you would have a continually low population (so as to maintain the high value of the animals) with domesticated animals that lead to human profit.

It all comes down to a question of what do you value more: the preservation of wild animals in great numbers, or a monetary payoff from fewer, domesticated ones? That’s the real issue here.

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I haven’t heard of this in Texas, but in Africa some of the endangered species are having an easier time of it where there are hunts and other commercial activities associated with the species. It gives the villages nearby some benefit from having the animals around, and gives them incentive to prevent poaching.

Kevin K. on April 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

.
Hmmmmmmm . . . . . . I dunno’. That idea sounds suspiciously “Capitalist”.

Are you one of Ted’s friend’s?

listens2glenn on April 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

The “tragedy of the commons” is a well known problem in political and economic theory.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Thank you! That’s exactly what I was thinking of, but the term wasn’t coming to mind.

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Actually, grilled bald eagle is pretty good, it tastes like gamey quail.

ray on April 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

.
Easy, dude.

You might be hearing from the U.S. Wildlife Conservation Service.

listens2glenn on April 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Does anyone know if Bluegill’s are endangered, I know where one is ripe to be gutted!

angrymike on April 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Wasn’t lack of ownership the reason that bison/buffalo were hunted to the point of near extinction? Nobody owned ‘em, so everybody shot em’.

oldleprechaun on April 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I was planning to buy a few SQUARE MILES out in the middle of nowhere in a conservative state (such as Wyoming) and live in the exact center of it :)

wildcat72 on April 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

.
I was going to buy an island – same reason; stay off my island!

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

We do have to remember that just because something makes a profit doesn’t make it right. If we had Joy Behar lie flat on her back on the ground and for twenty bucks you’d get to fart in her face we could raise thousands of dollars. But even if we gave the money to charity, it could be argued this was an inappropriate means of fund raising.

radjah shelduck on April 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

“There’s room for all God’s creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes”

Billboard in Canada.

Zorro on April 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Wasn’t lack of ownership the reason that bison/buffalo were hunted to the point of near extinction? Nobody owned ‘em, so everybody shot em’.

oldleprechaun on April 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

“Nobody” owns wild turkeys, yet their numbers have come roaring back in the U.S. after near-extinction due to proper game management.

M240H on April 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Trophy hunting is both obscene and immoral.
Sorry, but this firearm enthusiast, collector, and good shot, disagrees.
“Great White Hunter” my äss. An enclosed “preserve”? Please, chumps.
(i’d sooner shoot a homo sapiens-sapiens)

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

“Friends of Animals” goal must be to assure that eventually there are no animals…so we can eat each other.

KOOLAID2 on April 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM

The primary problem is that canned hunts are immoral. In many of these places, these animals are fed out of troughs, surrounded by fences, are used to human beings, and, by the time they’re shot, are semi-domesticated. This isn’t hunting; its busting caps in livestock.

morganfrost on April 1, 2012 at 11:16 AM

There’s room for all God’s creatures.

Right next to the mashed potatoes.

davidk on April 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I’m sure that there are many species who would agree that davidk would make a fine meal a la carte. No potatoes needed.

DevilsPrinciple on April 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Does anyone know if Bluegill’s are endangered, I know where one is ripe to be gutted!

angrymike on April 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Unfortunately Mike, Bluegills lay far too many eggs to be endangered. Same for liberals4life; although you would think having a life sentence like that would be an endangerment of it’s own sort.

ghostwalker1 on April 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Hunting is evil, and destroys the natural balance of earth.

Animals should be running wild and free across the earth. Man is the intruder into this delicate balance of ecology. And just because he is the most adept animal does not make it any less cruel that he eats the other animals. In fact, man (like this country) needs to be taken down a few notches.

We need more talking animal movies from Hollywood and in just a few generations we’ll have this country completely chickified and have millions having that peace symbol all over ALL OF THEIR CLOTHES.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=peace+symbol+on+childrens+clothing&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=894&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=OHJ4T8ucBuSa2AWJh6S2Bg

It’s progress baby………

PappyD61 on April 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

spot on, SP. Who do you think these African governments might turn to replenish the DNA when the species are totally gone from their native lands? There could be a dual purpose here. Hunting some for a profit to provide a benefit elsewhere.

DevilsPrinciple on April 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Does anyone know if Bluegill’s are endangered…

angrymike on April 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Most state fish and wildlife (DNR) agencies often stock them even though they can overpopulate a pond. They taste pretty good but apparently breed even faster.

My grandma used to flour them and cook them in bacon grease, yum. Actually, my grandma used to cook everything that way, venison, pa’tridge, quail…

Fallon on April 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM

oldleprechaun on April 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

The classic “tragedy of the commons” example.

There was a time when deer and elk were plentiful across the country. Here in Indiana both species were hunted to extinction. But whitetail were re-introduced, and the population is doing well, because hunting is regulated. Too well, in some areas, as their natural predators had also been hunted to extinction and their numbers threaten both farm crops and habitat.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Some of that is true, but many of the expansive hunting ranches in Texas allow the animals to roam free and have little to no interaction with humans. They put up huge, expensive 12′ fences to keep them on the property, but otherwise leave them be.

stvnscott on April 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM

“Nobody” owns wild turkeys, yet their numbers have come roaring back in the U.S. after near-extinction due to proper game management.

M240H on April 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

…I’m looking at 5 of them in my yard right now! Never saw one until 5 years ago. Because of coyotes…I don’t see pheasant, and I don’t hear anymore quail sounds.

KOOLAID2 on April 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM

They’re nearly extinct in their native habitats of the African savanna.

It’s Republicans’ fault.

Cleombrotus on April 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM

“Nobody” owns wild turkeys, yet their numbers have come roaring back in the U.S. after near-extinction due to proper game management.

M240H on April 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Actually, the people through their state governments asserted ownership of the state’s natural resources and then managed access so as to protect the resources.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

It all comes down to a question of what do you value more: the preservation of wild animals in great numbers, or a monetary payoff from fewer, domesticated ones? That’s the real issue here.

Stoic Patriot on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

It’s a non-issue really….but with the profit motive, at least we can be sure that there will ALWAYS be examples of these animals. In the ‘wild’ they WILL go extinct whether by human expansion or poaching. If they are farmed, we lose the nobility, romance and majesty of the ‘wild’ animal….but at least they will still be around.

I think we are rapidly approaching the reality of the world not having ‘wild animals in great numbers’. That being the case, I would rather have some kept in an approximation of the wild (game reserve) than in some zoo hwere they are nothing more than captives.

Besides…it should appeal to you that ‘rich’ people shell out their robber baron dollars for a taste of exotic game as those dollars help preserve them.

Anti_anti on April 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Alligators were once headed out the door… now the annual tag hunting of them is to keep the numbers down and I don’t hear anyone complaining about that. The State hands out the tags and you get a quota to fill… which can mean most of a year’s income to some folks there… and the hunters prefer the big ones, which means they concentrate on the ones that can threaten humans and human property.

Of course the lobster fishery was going downhill until the feds finally decided to let the fishermen run it… they knew the problems, what was causing the decline and how to limit catches so as to get lobster to prosper. Of course when they put cameras down with lobster traps and found that lobsters could come and go as they pleased… that bemused them, but the idea was that a bit of free feeding kept the population going and any unlucky enough to get caught were just taking their chances.

Want a stable animal population? Make it profitable without intervention and put life interests at stake to make sure they are kept stable. No one bothered to ask the loggers about the best way to keep the Spotted Owl habitat AND continue logging. Ditto other ‘endangered’ species. It’s like we don’t trust human ingenuity or something.

ajacksonian on April 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

“A Texas game ranch is not an ecosystem wherein animals are protected,” said Priscilla Feral, the president of Friends of Animals, which successfully sued the government to force the rule change on the African antelope. “They’re a commercial product.”

Spectacular stupidity. I’ve been on one of those game ranches, and it is an ecosystem where the animals roam free, reproduce, and are hunted in the same way any wild game is hunted.

In African countries where animals are “protected” and hunting is not allowed, animals are poached for food or for horns/tusks, because that is the only way locals can earn anything. Countries where hunting is managed and allowed, the locals earn a lot of money from the hunting, and usually get the meat from the hunted animals, as apposed to letting it rot after the valuable parts are removed.

South Africa allows elephant hunting, and has to have occasional culls to reduce the population. Too many elephants. Kenya doesn’t allow hunting, And they are struggling to increase the population. So which model works?

iurockhead on April 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Some of you folks clearly have the wrong idea about game ranches and so-called “canned hunts”. It is true that some of them care for animals in a way that leads to semi-domestication and permit harvesting in less than sporting situations. But others preserve the animal in near natural environments on huge ranches, and hunting them is every bit as challenging as it is in their home environments.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:31 AM

We do have to remember that just because something makes a profit doesn’t make it right. If we had Joy Behar lie flat on her back on the ground and for twenty bucks you’d get to fart in her face we could raise thousands of dollars. But even if we gave the money to charity, it could be argued this was an inappropriate means of fund raising.

radjah shelduck on April 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

No, it wouldn’t.

Anti_anti on April 1, 2012 at 11:32 AM

You want to save any endangered species? Well, just remember that free enterprise works. Incentives also work.

True. Very true. But this is not limited to animals. The same truth applies to energy, trees, non-endangered animals, etc.

If you want to see $0.92 gas, just get government out of the way. We could have a surplus of oil in this country inside 12 months.

Want more forests? Let them be run by people who understand that the future of the timber industry depends on having lots of future forests.

Outfits like friends of animals will always, a-l-w-a-y-s, destroy the incentive for protecting the very animals they think they are saving; buy putting them under the control of politicians who don’t know beans about the subject.

MikeA on April 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM

iurockhead on April 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Absolutely on the money. Regulations that permit selective harvests and population management have proven to be more effective tools for the preservation of game species than bans on hunting that promote poaching, which is by definition uncontrolled.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Because hunting is so regulated, I almost ran into a wild boar outside of D/FW the other day, two or three miles from the Texas Motor Speedway. I had never seen one in person before, and at first, I thought it was a big shaggy dog. When I realized what it was and that it wasn’t going to deviate from its course, I slammed on my brakes. The only time the stupid animal went a different direction was when it heard my tires squeal.

I don’t think we have to worry about any animals, even if they’re not native, going extinct in this country any time soon.

cebj25 on April 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Too well, in some areas, as their natural predators had also been hunted to extinction and their numbers threaten both farm crops and habitat.

novaculus on April 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

.
That’s the way it is in NW Virginia (Loudoun and points west). The stinkin’ deer are so plentiful they jump in front of cars, kill people, cause property damage in the millions, roam around looking for bird feeders to plunder and have learned that man is no threat to them during most of the year.
.
I know one stretch of Rt. 7 near the HHMI that is a deer “hangout” during the cool mornings, where they graze by the side of the road and taunt drivers passing by in automobiles.

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM

At the National Training Center, Fort Irwin Calif, massive formations battle aggressors in the Mojave desert. Really great training…that comes to a screeching halt if a Desert Tortoise crawls into the battle space. NTC can only accidentally kill X number of these critters a year (I don’t know the current number). And if 1 Tortoise gets run over by a tracked vehicle and the treads chew it up, the tree huggers will say it wasn’t 1 Tortoise but several thus eating into the kill quota. Meanwhile, soldiers are standing around.

And then on many posts/bases (e.g., Stewart and Lejeune) one will see pine trees with a white circle painted on them. Dare not touch them because they are, supposedly the home of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Bad juju comes on a Solider/Marine that messes with one of these trees in the training area.

Dingbat63 on April 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM

It’s hard to believe that just over 100 years ago, one of the Left’s Heroes, Teddy Roosevelt, was clamoring to create a National Park in the Grand Canyon.

But the Dirty Secret the Left doesn’t want to remember? As wiki tells us:

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903. An avid outdoorsman and staunch conservationist, he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve on November 28, 1906. Livestock grazing was reduced, but predators such as mountain lions, eagles, and wolves were eradicated.

“Outdoorsman” = Hunter.

Del Dolemonte on April 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

The “regal rare Pere David’s deer, which are extinct in the wild” would have been extinct more than a century ago had it not been for some British noble who had a small herd on his estate, far from their Chinese homeland. Where it had been existing still only because there was a herd in the Emperor’s hunting park. But I suppose these “friends” wish they all died hundreds of years ago rather than suffer the shame of enclosure and being hunted.

sistrum on April 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I don’t think we have to worry about any animals, even if they’re not native, going extinct in this country any time soon.

cebj25 on April 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Certainly not wild boars! Ask the folks who live out in the Asian State of Hawai’i. Out there, the wild pigs are very destructive to the native birds and the tropical rain forests. In fact they are now classified as “an invasive species”.

Del Dolemonte on April 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Years ago in the late 70′s we were told that crocodile nesting was so important that we needed to be prevented from fishing in some of our favorite creeks in the backcountry of Florida Bay. Mud Creek, Taylor River, East creek and a few others were closed off due to fall crocodile nesting.It was only supposed to be for a few years and only temporary.
Later we learned to never to trust the feds at any level as they always lie.They closed these areas off permanently along with huge areas near the mainland off Key Largo and else where all to protect the dear Crocodile.
Fast forward the clock only a few weeks ago and here is the result of all that nanny state protecting of man-eating crocodiles that need so much of our money and protection when we are short of either.
A 60-80 lb. dog minding his own business standing on a dock in Key Largo was literally attacked by a ten foot crocodile who leaped out of the water grabbed the dog pulling him into the canal in heavily populated neighborhood and then proceeded to eat the dog in front of all the horrified neighbors.
This is the result of too much nannyism and endangered species gone wild.Other examples are endless from snail darters to fish preventing California growers growing crops to the timber industry to oil drilling.
We have an endangered voter problem not an endangered species problem.

http://dogs.ipetlovers.com/keys-crocodile-swoops-pet-dog-from-dock/

rodguy911 on April 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The noton that all these hunts are canned in inaccurate. My grandmother’s Hill Clunty ranch is overrun with axis deer that roam wild all over central Texas. We lease hunts on them. But there are so many that we also sell them to restaurants. They were brought in decades ago and now roam all over the place.
Same for Nilgai in south TX. They have become so numerous they are a pest. I have seen their droppings in the strangest places–they just roam wherever they want to. People hunt them just as they do the native deer.

The money we make from hunting leases enables us to keep from having to sell the ranch, so this keeps it from being cut up into housing tracts. It’s much better for wildlife this way. For those who say trophy hunting is immoral, I say selling hunts on those nice axis racks helps us keep the wildlife habitat intact. No habitat = no wildlife. We have a saying here, hunting = habitat.

Keep in mind that animal rights orgs like the Friends are NOT for conservation. Their goals are opposed to those of wildlife conservationists. for example, the animal rights folks oppose efforts to control damaging introduced feral species like hogs and burros, which destroy habitat for wild species.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hunting is good for wildlife here in the US. About that there is no doubt. Plus wild animals are tasty and better for you. I have always preferred wild game. It also should be a requirement that all citizens should have to field dress a deer, clean a fish etc. It is very informative as to where food comes from. If you are in fact a carnivore.

Bmore on April 1, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hunting is evil, and destroys the natural balance of earth.

Abortion is evil, and destroys the natural balance of earth.

BobMbx on April 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Certainly not wild boars! Ask the folks who live out in the Asian State of Hawai’i. Out there, the wild pigs are very destructive to the native birds and the tropical rain forests. In fact they are now classified as “an invasive species”.

Del Dolemonte on April 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

That is happening all over the US, actually. They are tremendously damaging. Everyone here shoots and traps them whenever possible, but they breed like mice. At least they are a free meat source.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM

It’s Republicans’ fault.

Cleombrotus on April 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM

.
You can effectively and truthfully blame Teddy Roosevelt.

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Del Dolemonte on April 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

That is happening all over the US, actually. They are tremendously damaging. Everyone here shoots and traps them whenever possible, but they breed like mice. At least they are a free meat source.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM

And it’s not just the feral pigs. About a decade ago here in New Hampshire one of our towns had to hire a “professional hunter” to massively cull an invasion of deer on one of the bridged islands on Lake Winnipesaukee. They walked out over the bridge and proceeded to start eating up the entire island, causing great damage.

Del Dolemonte on April 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I’ve always believed that canned hunts are nothing but embarrassing outings for fat white trash billy bobs who need the thrill of the kill in order to feel like real men. These are the kinds of losers who will raise quail, throw them out in a field and then go chase after them seconds after releasing them.

It just doesn’t seem very sporting to me. Many of these losers will then mount the heads of their large game to prove what great hunters they are?

Sorry, I think those people are embarrassing. I prefer hunters who foremost respect nature (and don’t minimize the seriousness of endangered species protection like our second-rate Wally George-wannabe John Hawkins here) and who don’t need to create articifical and favorable hunting conditions for them to make their kills.

Also, this John Hawkins guy is the worst HotAir blogger yet. He sounds like a cliched, cartoony right wing caricature imagined by a liberal. This site is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with this guy.

John Hawkins, your lazy posts are nothing but fluff to rile up like-minded readers. You should stick to WND.

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

That batch of stench coming from you is rich. You are the least creative commenter at HA. Never an original thought, not one. You’re stench is becoming a daily nuisance. If bluegills were a decent eating fish at least you would have that going for you. But you don’t. Bread ball?

Bmore on April 1, 2012 at 12:13 PM

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Oh and there are plenty of other ponds out there for you. Feel free to leave. Bread ball?

Bmore on April 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Wrong, rude and bigoted. You should apologize to John Hawkins.

Fallon on April 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

A Crucial Question: Are We Shooting Enough Endangered Species?

Progressives are endangered??? :-)

coldwarrior on April 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Alligators were once headed out the door… now the annual tag hunting of them is to keep the numbers down and I don’t hear anyone complaining about that. The State hands out the tags and you get a quota to fill… which can mean most of a year’s income to some folks there… and the hunters prefer the big ones, which means they concentrate on the ones that can threaten humans and human property.

Of course the lobster fishery was going downhill until the feds finally decided to let the fishermen run it… they knew the problems, what was causing the decline and how to limit catches so as to get lobster to prosper. Of course when they put cameras down with lobster traps and found that lobsters could come and go as they pleased… that bemused them, but the idea was that a bit of free feeding kept the population going and any unlucky enough to get caught were just taking their chances.

Want a stable animal population? Make it profitable without intervention and put life interests at stake to make sure they are kept stable. No one bothered to ask the loggers about the best way to keep the Spotted Owl habitat AND continue logging. Ditto other ‘endangered’ species. It’s like we don’t trust human ingenuity or something.

ajacksonian on April 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Brilliant post had to be repeated.Same story with Crocodiles.

rodguy911 on April 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM

The YO Ranch West of San Antonio is one of best known hunting ranches in Texas. I am sure that if you could afford to hunt there that you would not be on a canned hunt as it is thousands of acres and the heards roam free.
The YO has also sent several species back to Afica to repopulate heards that have been poached to almost nothing.

rocrio15 on April 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Speaking of PROTECTED species “Live Eagle Cam” and recently hatched eaglets.

Dr Evil on April 1, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Great clip. What does mama eagle do to pass the day? No books, tv, or coffee. What if she has to go take a lib4life?

arnold ziffel on April 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Hunters…the original conservatives.

How’d the Left steal the Conservation thing from us??

coldwarrior on April 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I’ve seen bald eagles on the family ranch on the Llano. Great looking birds – I’ve heard their eggs bestow magical powers akin to deals with the devil. I’m in total agreement, cause I can fly now and my favorite: x ray vision.

DHChron on April 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Patiently sharpening favorite gutting knife………….

Bmore on April 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Let’s say you’re a farmer and you discover an endangered red bellied tree sloth on your property tomorrow. What do you do? Well, you probably look left, look right, and if you don’t see anyone, you immediately run over it with your tractor and bury it in a hole before some government bureaucrat finds out it’s there and makes your life a living hell.

Good plan, but if the EPA Nazis really want your land they will find a way. They’ll come by after a record rain and declare part of your property a ‘wetland’. They might also sneak in at night and plant an endangered species plant on your property, which they have been caught doing.

We have to crush the EPA and scatter the pieces to the winds so it can’t reassemble itself like the liquid-metal Terminator.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

This is what I loathe about you. I cannot abide snobbery ans bigotry. Plus, you can’t even get your facts right. Most of these hunts are not canned. See y toher post, and htkse of others here.

And guess what? The hunts that are canned are very expensive and it’s not the Billy Bobs that you love to look down your nose on that are doing it. It’s doctors and lawyers from Houston and Dallas. They’re very busy so they pay big bucks to fly in for a day, nab a head for the wall, then fly out. I don’t like that kind of hunting either, but it’s not the country boys you hate who are doing it.

Snobbery is revolting enough, but when coupled with st upi dity, it’s just intolerable.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

fun fact – bald eagles aren’t endangered. Whooping Cranes are, but I killed ‘em all. No one’s caught on yet.

DHChron on April 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

.
Quail are the stupidist! I accidentally killed one driving to work one morning. The stupid thing was running back and forth on the roadway, wouldn’t pay heed to my SUV even when I slowed down for the thing. It literally ran back and forth across the road until it got crushed under my tires. The only thing I saw was a puff of feathers as I drove off.
.
In spite of all evidence and study presented by numerous commenters, you are also unwilling to learn and act stupid. You keep running back and forth like you’re all in a dither and upset about who-knows-what. Heed the story of the stupid quail, just above. Then act accordingly.
.
See? You can learn something from nature, if you’re smart enough and not a stinkin’ mindless bluegill!

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I like Hawkins, good to see new blood. Stay on vacation Ed, relax on the beach with some choco milk.

DHChron on April 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

If economic progress justifies wiping out a species, perhaps trophy hunting is the price we pay to preserve it.

Anyway, I have told Miss Cupp repeatedly that she may hunt me anytime, anywhere and for any reason. And I promise not to bite her foot.

Seth Halpern on April 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Sorry about my many egregious typos. I’m terrible about that anyway, but it’s even worse when I’m in a hurry using an iPad.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

You want to save any endangered species? Well, just remember that free enterprise works. Incentives also work. Let people find a way to profit off of a critter, get out of their way, and watch that endangered species make a comeback like Tim Tebow in the 4th quarter.

So true!

Roy Rogers on April 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Snobbery is revolting enough, but when coupled with st upi dity, it’s just intolerable.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

.
WOW! I know this is not the time for “U mad, sis?” ’cause I know you are – and I plan to stay out of your way while you’re irritated but…
I’ve rarely seen typing that reflects anger so well. The only other commenter I remember doing it so obviously is right2bright. When he is PO’ed you can really tell!

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

next on my list – diamond back Rattlesnake. I’m taking the shredder out with a 4-10, gonna kill everyone I see.

DHChron on April 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I suggest a big run on the Delta Smelt.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

A Crucial Question: Are We Shooting Enough Endangered Species?

Like RINOS. No problem.

SparkPlug on April 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

And I promise not to bite her foot.

Seth Halpern on April 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

.
She might, just might, be put off by the drooling you do when looking at her images or thinking about her. She might think you have rabies and be staying away for her own health.
.
Just a thought.

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I suggest a big run on the Delta Smelt.

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

but..but..they are Sea Kittens. (:

SparkPlug on April 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

“It was comin’ right at me!”

logis on April 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I suggest a run on bluegill. There is one too many of them. hehe

SparkPlug on April 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Seems like “Carp” would have been a better choice of screen name for a bottom feeder like you.

Aviator on April 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I’ve always believed that canned hunts are nothing but embarrassing outings for fat white trash billy bobs who need the thrill of the kill in order to feel like real men. These are the kinds of losers who will raise quail, throw them out in a field and then go chase after them seconds after releasing them.

It just doesn’t seem very sporting to me. Many of these losers will then mount the heads of their large game to prove what great hunters they are?

bluegill on April 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Abortion is evil, and destroys the natural balance of earth.

BobMbx on April 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

There are exceptions, Bob

DevilsPrinciple on April 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Animal activists fail economics forever.

BKennedy on April 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Peta kills 95% of animals in their care

just sayin’

DHChron on April 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM

The best thing you can do for the survival of any species is for human beings to enjoy eating them and in many cases, hunting them. There is no shortage of whitetail deer in North America. Duck hunters, through Ducks Unlimited, preserve more wetlands and habitat than all the governmental “environmental” agencies combined.

Those African countries that have legal elephant hunts have much less of a problem with poaching and their herds are growing.

Overfishing and overhunting has been and continues to be a problem but working with the fishermen, trappers and hunters is more likely to find a solution than blanket prohibition.

The same, btw, is true with artifacts. When you turn artifact hunters into criminals, they’re far less likely to want to report their findings to archaeologists.

rokemronnie on April 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I am doing my best to make feral hogs extinct, but I’d need a small army to make a dent.

For the record they are not piggies. They’re f-ing hellbeasts.

CorporatePiggy on April 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Rick Perry is an avowed enemy of those feral tusked killers. Helicopters are the answer.

DHChron on April 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

SparkPlug on April 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Bonus!!!

Cindy Munford on April 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

@ExpressoBold: I should take culinary advice from someone who can’t spell espresso?

Seth Halpern on April 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Ironic that most self-professed “environmentalists” are Neo-Darwinian (look for the Darwin fish on their car) yet they don’t understand the simple concept of “red in tooth and claw”. I wonder how much damage we do to a population’s genome when we “save” an animal that would have died. Natural selection (the hypothesis that Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace postulated) suggests that only the fittest survive and pass along their genes. If we interfere and essentially take over this process with our “do-good” approach aren’t we, in effect, becoming the agent that drives evolution? And don’t we, in effect, inhibit evolution by preventing new species to arise when a population is pressured to adapt or die as it’s environment changes? Another concept these people seem not to be able to grasp is that systems are dynamic and becoming static doesn’t lead to survival but to death.

Robbin Hood on April 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

ExpressoBold on April 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Heh, thanks. Sorry for being so blunt. I have a long fuse, but certain things push my buttons, and I can’t stand the way bluegill constantly puts down people who might have slightly less education or money. These are smart hard working friends, coworkers, and ranch employees that I feel I just have to stick up for. I cant tolerate such bigotry.

juliesa on April 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

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