Predators fang. In general, hunters take animals in the prime of life, while predators disproportionately take out the older, younger, or less fit individuals. As poet Robinson Jeffers has noted, it is the fang that has created the fleet foot of the antelope." By George Wurthner
"Beyond the general hostility towards predators that many hunters hold, state wildlife agencies are not the objective, scientific, wildlife managers that they claim to be. Wolves, mountain lions, bears, and other predators are a direct threat to state wildlife budgets because top predators eat the very animals that hunters want to kill. Because state wildlife agencies rely upon license sales to fund their operations, maintaining huntable numbers of elk, deer, moose, and caribou is in the agencies’ self-interest." By George Wurthner
"Some vested interests, including many hunting advocacy organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Wildlife Society, plus state game departments hoping to sell more hunting licenses, are quick to support hunting over other alternatives. Some suggest that nearby human populations are too high to permit wolf restoration or that wolves won’t stay in the park and will cause conflicts with other interests like ranchers."
Hunters have a place
Do hunters have a place in managing elk and deer herds? Yes, of course they do, but not at the expense of natural predators. Like the wolf and cougar. Fish and Game Agencies are in the business of selling hunting and fishing permits. Their collective idea of game management is to reduce the number of predators = more game to hunt = more money in the States pocket. However, these types of management policies, I believe, may be responsible for diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease. Diseases that have a direct effect on humans.
Why the predator's fang is so important
"Predators can also limit the effects of disease. Diseases like chronic wasting disease found in elk, deer, and moose since infected animals are more vulnerable to predators.” ~ George Wurthner
Lets talk about chronic wasting disease or otherwise known as (CWD), and how to handle your elk or deer in preparation for butchering.
Chronic wasting disease
How to handle your kill if you are concerned with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
- Be alert for deer or elk acting abnormally or that look sick; report any such animals to agency officials.
- Wear rubber or latex gloves when you field-dress your animal.
- In areas reported to have CWD, minimize your contact with a dead deer's brain and spinal cord and wash your hands after contact.
- Don't eat deer brains or spinal cord.
- Bone out your deer meat and discard the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes.
- If an animal is from a CWD-suspect area, unused parts, especially skull and spine, should be disposed of in an approved landfill or incinerator.
- "In many parts of the country the deer population has grown out of control, causing tens of thousands of deer-related car crashes and the destruction of natural habitat." By Sean Page
"If you’re hunting in an area with chronic wasting disease, get the animal tested before it ever hits your plate, and don’t eat meat that tests positive." ~Brent Race - High Country News
The effects of poor predator management
In Idaho, officials have announced they plan to allow hunters to target the 1,000 wolves in Idaho, shooting and killing up to 220 wolves during this hunting season alone.
Manage for and maintain a diverse and healthy Ecosystem, which of course must also include two of nature's historically proven management tools; the Wolf. Wolves by design keep deer and elk populations strong and healthy.
ATV's are a problem
Here is an interesting article on Elk populations and ATV's. Hunters who use ATV's are hurting Oregon's elk population.
What are MME's? Devastating!
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