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Which idea will win out for long term wildlife management. The sportsman's camp of managing game for hunting opportunities, or

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  • Which idea will win out for long term wildlife management. The sportsman's camp of managing game for hunting opportunities, or

    Which idea will win out for long term wildlife management. The sportsman's camp of managing game for hunting opportunities, or the Enviro camp managing game based on natural balance using predators instead of man to control populations.

  • #2
    Well, considering the fact that we've overrun just about all the places where those predators used to rule, hunting is the only way to go.

    I'd actually like to let the hippies try the natural predator method. When the deer eat their weed, the wolves gobble their pets, and a cougar eats their child, they might just leave the hunting up to us.

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    • #3
      Hunting. Using natural predators wouldn't work in this day and age. Enviros would disagree, but the Natural World ain't what it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, heck 20 years ago! Many predators still have their natural instincts to kill, but a starving, hungry predator won't know the difference between an elk calf, angus calf, lamb, colt or household pet, let alone a small child! In California (Enviro heaven), you can't hunt a mountain lion, yet people and children are getting mauled and attacked more than any other state!

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      • #4
        The biggest flaw I see in the enviro's vision is that man has been a dominant natural predator for hundreds of thousands of years, so taking us out of the equation is not natural.

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        • #5
          Hunting, not because we can replace the predators but because we pump so much money into the government. Whether or not it is siphoned off for other programs, without us there would be no hunting dollars for license fees going directly to governmental coffers or indirectly through sales taxes for all the guns, ammo, hotel fees, etc. If we go the way of the tree hugger you would see a dramatic drop in state revenues and a lot of small towns that live mainly from hunt season revenues completely dry up. Governments are too addicted to the money to cut us off.

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          • #6
            Last i checked the predators don't pay the bills. WE DO!

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            • #7
              Looking at what most Wildlife Management and Forestry Schools turn out now I would say a slow run downhill to the latter.

              To clarify my point, I see more environmental management types both teaching and enrolling now more than ever.

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              • #8
                I thik I have to go with the hunters. Hey, the preditors can over-populate too; so they need hunted.

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                • #9
                  Hi everybody!

                  Since I'm pretty sure I sparked this with my ranting about wolf de-listing I might as well weigh in.

                  First off lets get some things strait:

                  ->I do believe that we should try to preserve the natural world as best we can. Apparently this makes me an "enviro" I thought all outdoorsmen shared my view, but apparently I was wrong.

                  ->As for me being a hippie, I love cheeseburgers, strongly believe in limited government, and have been continuously employed since my early teens. I don't think any of these things would make me welcome in the hippie community.

                  here is a quote from one of my earlier posts accurately describing my position:

                  "Populations naturally go through cycles.
                  i.e. every spring more fawns are born than the foliage in the ecosystem can support. Then when winter rolls around only the strongest individuals survive and the population "excess" is trimmed off.

                  Predators work in a very similar way; just replace the concept of winter with that of dropping prey populations.

                  Properly managed hunting works by harvesting that "excess" population before winter (or dropping prey populations) get the chance. Thus, when spring rolls around the population is the same as if there were no hunters at all."

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                  • #10
                    Idahooutdoors-

                    You made this point about humans being natural predators both here and on the wolf blog posting.

                    Unlike a lot of opinions on this topic, that one is at least logically sound.

                    Here's my opinion on the point:

                    When we humans were hunter-gatherers we were governed by the same predator prey relationships as the other animals. I imagine ancient history is full of stories of Native American tribes dieing off because the buffalo or elk populations they depended on rapidly dropped. Those people were literally part of the environment, so your point holds well when applied to them.

                    We modern humans are a different story. Our technology has separated us from the environment. Our populations are no longer governed by predator-prey relationships. Unlike the ancient humans, most modern humans could (and do)lead healthy, successful lives while the environment around them was being destroyed.

                    Since we are no longer part of the environment and our population is no longer governed by predator prey relationships I don't think your point really holds water any more.

                    I try to keep my arguments pretty scientific, but that one definitely swayed in philosophy. However, I think that's acceptable since the nature of your question is really philosophical.

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                    • #11
                      some more thoughts:

                      Fact #1-> An Ecosystem is an extremely complex, heavily coupled, highly nonlinear system. What this essentially means is that nobody can 100% accurately predict the outcome of any one action.

                      So, we can predict general trends but anyone who says they can spell out all of the exact consequences of an action is either lying or doesn't know what they are talking about.

                      There are countless examples of people doing things with the best of intentions, and then unintended consequences having very bad effects on the environment.

                      opinion #1->Therefore, whenever possible we should let mother nature manage ecosystems. She has 4.5 billion yrs of experience and has done a pretty good job so far.

                      Opinion #2->It is easy to look at this issue on the surface and think that natural predators and us hunters play the same role in the ecosystem. We both kill game species. This is a flawed, oversimplified notion.

                      Reason #1->The populations of natural predators are directly coupled to the populations of their prey species. As prey populations rise, predator populations rise on a slight delay. Then when predator populations peak, they eat so many of the prey that the prey populations drop. This causes some of the predators to die of starvation and the whole cycle repeats. This is an incredibly interesting dance that gets even more complex when you consider predators with multiple prey species, effects of harsh winters, etc...

                      The way that us hunters interact with game species is much less complex. Granted, each state's conservation agency determines the number of tags to hand out roughly based on game population. We are kidding ourselves if we think this is anywhere near as complex as the system described above.

                      Reason #2-> Natural predators and us hunters apply pressure to game populations in very different ways. Predators want to choose targets that give them the most food for the least amount of energy expenditure. This leads to them commonly taking fawns (or calves), young does (or cows), or sick individuals. They almost never take the kinds of big, healthy bucks (or bulls) that we hunters crave.

                      Granted, we occasional use our doe tags to take big, healthy does, but this is also something that predators rarely do. It is clear predators and us hunters apply very different kinds of selective pressure to game populations. This would lead to a very different genetic makeup in herds that have only been hunted long term versus herds that have only been preyed upon long term. True, some game ranches practice "management hunts" but we are kidding ourselves if we think that applies the same kind of natural selection that predators do.

                      My point is that reasons #1&2 show that us hunters effect the ecosystem in very different ways than predators do. Fact #1 shows us that we cannot predict how these differences will effect the ecosystem long-term. There are likely to be unintended consequences of this. Some of them we can predict, but the bigger issue is that there are likely many more that we can't predict.

                      When managed properly us hunters, predators, and a healthy, natural ecosystem can all coexist. This is a better situation for everyone in the long run.

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                      • #12
                        I am willing to change my opinion if someone can present logical arguments against the points I have made.

                        I welcome a healthy debate free of name-calling and reactionary arguments about having to pay for hunting licenses.

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                        • #13
                          Agreed with Beekeeper answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

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