This story is about Cheney’s recent “hunting” trip.

The Alternet headline is about the slaughter of animals. It does appear not to be a fair chase hunt, but the thing that I think should impress most folks the most, especially those who live in the West, is that guys like Cheney have no need for public lands. Private clubs are just fine . . . even better because there is no chance of running into some average American like me or you.

Story by Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet.

Note: I posted this to indicate the threat to public lands and wildlife men and women like Cheney pose with their exclusive private hunting clubs

Some very good comments were posted about this, but mostly they are about other aspects of the Chief.

. . . . no I don’t like him either, and for many reasons. Ralph Maughan

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

41 Responses to Dick Cheney goes hunting again

  1. avatar kim kaiser says:

    i would rather hunt with chaney that ride with ted kennedy,,!!

    at least cheney will call the police,

  2. avatar John says:

    Just when I thought the Bush administration couldnt possibly disgust me anymore….

  3. avatar be says:

    “at least cheney will call the police”

    after sobering up ….

  4. My post has nothing to do with Cheney’s general performance as VP. It has nothing to do with Senator Kennedy.

    My observation is that the VP and the class of people he runs with require no public lands to hunt in the manner they seem to enjoy.

    This may help explain his indifference to keeping the public lands public and his unconcern with wildlife.

  5. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    There seems to be a lot of folks that call themselves “hunters” that are doing the canned hunt deal these days. I just think this is the ridiculous. Hunting is supposed to be a survival skill, not a shooting gallery.

  6. avatar Anna says:

    i think this is just typical of Cheney, he’s all about greed,
    and doesn’t seem to care how he goes about getting what
    he wants. Disgusting.

  7. Dan,

    Maybe it’s instant gratification rather than quality. I wonder if this has anything to do with the popularity of the many shoot and kill, and kill, and kill, monster, enemy or whatever computer games?
    – – – –

    Of course, that would not explain Cheney. With him, I think it’s social class prerogative to be able to shoot scores of birds raised in a pen that servants drive towards him while he and his important friends talk about “weighty” matters.

    David Quammen wrote a book “Monster of God.” Among other things, he describes the bear hunts of former Romanian dictator Ceausescu, who would kill scores of brown bears on a hunt (basically grizzly bears). The population of these bears was kept at very high levels by artificial feeding throughout the countryside for the personal shooting enjoyment of the late dictator. . . easy and large hunts as that which are due the powerful. At least Ceausescu took on semi-wild bears.

  8. avatar jimbob says:

    You are correct Ralph. This practice by Cheney does say a lot, especially his lack of caring about the negative publicity surrounding this behavior. Someday, when it’s all said and done, I hope that all of the behaviors of this administration come to light, including the lack of regard for good public policy. It is obvious the Bush Administration was always all about fattening the coffers of themselves and their CLOSE supporters like Big Energy and Defense Contractors, sometimes behind the scenes and sometimes blatantly. So it comes as no surprise that Cheney cares not one whit about what the “American Public” thinks about his bird hunting. Would that be like a mass murderer worrying about a parking ticket? All of this needs to be brought out so that we quit electing people who have no interest in the common good!

  9. avatar Anna says:

    very well put Jimbob!!!

  10. avatar timz says:

    “All of this needs to be brought out so that we quit electing people who have no interest in the common good!”

    That means we need a 99% turnover in both houses of congress as well.

  11. avatar skyrim says:

    “at least cheney will call the police”

    “after sobering up” ….

    and being a thousand miles away from the crime scene………

  12. avatar catbestland says:

    Has anyone ever read the book, “TRANCE-formation of Amerika”, by Cathy O’brien and Mark Phillips. It is the most shocking expose’ government misconduct I have ever heard of. Cheney’s, Papa Bush, and others’ role’s in the most fightening CIA opperation ever to have been concieved are detailed. Most so disgusting I cannot go into them here. One particularly disturbing event takes place on a “hunting” compound in Wyoming. It is so disturbing that one cannot believe it is true. However, if it weren’t true, why is no one being prosecuted for slander? Also, Congressional hearings into the matter and how much victims should be compensated (not IF they should be compensated) were begun in 1996? I believe. They were terminated for “Purposes of National Security”. I’m not saying the reports in the book are true, but if they are, it explains a lot.

  13. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Cat

    I am not familiar with this event on a hunting compound in Wyoming. Technically, such compounds are illegal under Wyoming law, but I know they do exist. Can you enlighten me with some more details? I haven’t heard of the book and I guarantee it isn’t in the local library. Thanks

    RH

  14. avatar catbestland says:

    RH,
    I could enlighten you here but the details are far too disturbing. You can go to the website
    http://www.trance-formation.com/ I think you can order the book there. Cathy O’Brien was a victim of a CIA opperation in which Cheney was a director. Mark Phillips was an agent who was able to retrieve her from a most horrendous existence and together they exposed the program. There is tons of documentation in the book to prove their allegations.

  15. avatar TallTrent says:

    What I fail to understand is the “Sportsmen for Bush” and “Sportsmen for Bush/Cheney” bumper stickers I still around here in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. The environmental policies of this administration have been detrimental to the public lands and water that sportsmen need for hunting and fishing. True sportsmen should see this situation with Cheney as another continued assault on the public lands they should be working to protect.

  16. avatar catbestland says:

    RH
    I was actually able to purchase the book from Amazon about 8 years ago. I don’t know if they still have it or not.

  17. avatar Bob Caesar says:

    Behold the harbinger of things to come! In most of Europe, in fact over much of the planet, the privilege of “sport hunting” now belongs to only the landed gentry and their chosen guests. Animals are the sole property of the landowner, not the people.

    As opportunities to hunt become more limited the less the public, who cannot hunt, gives a hoot. “If I have no hunting opportunities why would I care if you don’t either”? In England, Germany, Scotland, and most other European countries only the wealthy hunt. You see this happening more and more every year in the U.S. of A. Perhaps, the ever-decreasing public hunting opportunities in Texas is a very good example. (Cheney being more Texas than Wyoming).

    I wonder if people like this ever ponder the mystery of the forces of life? Do they reflect upon this power flowing through a carcass, making it more than a pile of meat and bones… be it human or bird. Do they look into the glassy eye of the bird just killed and see the eye of their own loved ones? Do they look into the eyes of soldiers as they go off to war and see anything but the flesh and bone? What respect for the sanctity of life can there be in killing scores of pheasants in a day?

  18. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Cat

    My budget unfortunately does not now include funds to buy books, and the book and supporting CD you refer to are too expensive. Perhaps at least you could tell me where this event took place, and the name of the compound/ranch/facility, if that information is available. Thanks.

    RH

  19. avatar catbestland says:

    RH
    I can do that. If you will ask Ralph to give you my email, I will send you excerpts of the documentations and the parts about the compound. I would be happy to send you the book, but every time I have loned it out, I never get it back. I have purchased several of them. I warn you, the nature of the events are vile, corrupt and gragffic.. I cannot look at Cheney without getting cold chills up my spine.

  20. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Cat

    Thank you. The following email address will get stuff to me:

    info@gravelbar.org.

    Thanks again.

    RH

  21. avatar catbestland says:

    RH
    From what I recall the hunting lodge is near Greybull Wyoming and is guarded by the military.

  22. avatar catbestland says:

    RH
    From what I recall the hunting lodge is near Greybull Wyoming and is guarded by the military.

  23. avatar SAP says:

    Bob Caesar asks (rhetorically, I imagine):

    “Do they reflect upon this power flowing through a carcass, making it more than a pile of meat and bones… be it human or bird. Do they look into the glassy eye of the bird just killed and see the eye of their own loved ones?”

    I’m sure the answer is NO. They lack empathy. “Dominion” to them means we can raise up little sentient beings as meat-making machines with no regard for how they live or die, just so long as these furry or feathered little playthings fulfill whatever purpose WE decide they have.

    In the case of pen-raised birds or ungulates, our purpose for them is they get to be “challenging” targets and sate our desire to make something die. It’s clearly NOT about meat.

    I grew up hunting all kinds of small game and waterfowl and I ate whatever I killed.

    At 40, though, I see how dramatically hunting has changed since I first went afield with my little .22 over .410. I those 30-odd years, the tradition has been infected/corrupted/colonized by the pervasive patholgies of our “culture” — lifelong adolescence, a mania for instant gratification, laziness, consumerism, competitiveness, and so on.

    Canned hunts are the ultimate manifestation of this — golly, who wants to burn up $200 worth of gas and NOT EVEN GET A SHOT? That’s right, we want something for our “investment!” And we sure don’t want to go back to work and face the fellas and tell them that we just WALKED AROUND in nature with our firearms! Nope, we want to look like those steely-eyed men in the Cabelas catalog, closing in our quarry . . .

    [speaking of which, pore over the 2007 Cabelas catalog . . . I’d love to see some cultural studies grad student do a comparison of the 1987 Cabelas catalog with the current ones. I feel like I’m seeing some kind of “militarization” of hunting — get all the right gear and camo patterns and gadgets to make sure THEY DON’T GET AWAY. Let my over-caffeinated imagination run wild here — there’s some kind of connection between early-21st Century American fear (watch Bowling for Columbine), the War on Terror, and the “militarization” of hunting.]

    But my real point is to point out that most of America DOESN’T give a rip what Dick Cheney does for fun, even if it costs a gazillion in security.

    A lot of hunter don’t care if he shoots tame birds. A lot of bird hunting friends would argue that going to a “shooting preserve” is a great opportunity to get a young bird dog some confidence and experience. As a fan of herding dog work, I can kinda-sorta understand that (except getting my Kelpie some work doesn’t involve snuffing any little creatures . . .)

    A lot of the non-hunting public doesn’t care, either. They don’t care about hogs and chickens in factory farms; why should we expect them to care about quail, Huns, and pheasants (the latter two are exotics anyway) that at least got to scurry around under the sky for a few days or hours before getting whacked?

    I watched “Being Caribou” last night; there’s a clip of El Presidente Bush 41 at the beginning going on about how extremists care more about the caribou than about Americans having jobs!

    Maybe, in some perverse way, the “we care more about people than we care about animals” cognitive frame not only excuses Cheney shooting tame animals; maybe Cheney shooting tame animals actually further reinforces this kind of thinking. In addition to indulging his bloodlust, his “hunting” may actually IMPROVE his image with a lot of folks.

    And if the “politically correct extremists” denounce him for it, those folks cheer him even more. No empathy, no connection with the animals they eat or the little brown people we hurt all over the world. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Yuck.

    The trouble with trying to understand someone else’s point of view is that sometimes you feel like you need a shower once you get done.

  24. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Cat

    Thanks. I’ll do some checking.

    RH

  25. avatar Monte says:

    Bird hunts of this sort often differ very little from “wild” bird hunts. The birds fly and you shoot them. Many captive raised birds nowdays are good fliers and can be quite challenging to hunt, although the numbers of birds are certainly higher to guarantee more shooting. I guess my comment should be if you don’t approve of this kind of hunting, fine, don’t do it. I guess many think we should ban this sort of thing, but I don’t. I think too many people these days think that if they find something not to their liking, then no one should be allowed to do it. I say live and let live. As for Bush and Cheney, I don’t support them at all, but that’s another issue.

  26. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    Ralph,
    Instant gratification has got to be part of it, but I would have to agree that the ‘social class prerogative’ that you mentioned is probably the main reason. I guess I’m (luckily) out of touch with these people belonging to higher so-called social classes trying to prove how tough/macho (or how much they need to compensate for “other things”) they are by shooting animals for the sake of shooting them.
    To me the whole point of hunting is to challenge yourself with a survival skill. In fact I kinda hate the whole idea of being called a “sportsman”, because I actually don’t consider hunting a “sport”. To me a sport is something you compete at. I don’t compete when I hunt & fish, it’s the challenge of saying “if I needed to, could I feed my family & survive?”.

    Talltrent,
    I ask the same question to myself all the time about the “sportsmen for Bush” stickers. I guess I may be among the minority of hunters/fishermen in this regard, but I definitely don’t support that man. The damage his administration has done environmentally and for wildlife habitat as a whole is deplorable. However if their idea of hunting is based on keeping captive animals on fenced in ranches and growing them until they have the largest rack possible before they roll out there in a truck and shoot one… then I guess what would they know or care about real hunting?
    Then again I argue this point all the time with friends I hunt and fish with and all they can counterpoint with is things they have been fed by about “liberals” or “environmentalists”, etc. None of them seem to have any facts or figures to back up their arguments, it’s very frustrating.

  27. avatar Monte says:

    I am a hunter and fisherman and vote mostly conservative. I can tell you why I do. I often wish conervatives in general were more interested in conservation than they are, but I don’t vote on a single issue. If the liberals in this country were more respectful of freedom and the constitution and less fond of massive federal government it would be easier to support them. Like most choices in adult life, you have to take the bad with the good, lesser of two evils, etc. It’s not a perfect system and there are no perfect candidates, but I realize it’s the best system humanity has yet come up with. It seems I’m never happy with the people who are elected, maybe I never will be. The best we citizens can do is vote for what we think is the best available option and try to encourage better policies.

  28. avatar Bob Caesar says:

    Monte – I’ve hunted on pheasant farms too. I found it far removed from hunting wild birds. As far removed as one gets from the trout pond at the county fair and a wild river. No matter how one puts it – going to a game farm is simply not sport hunting! It is stampoing the life outn of newly released, unsuspecting birds just for the fun of killing them. The “fun of it” is how this practice differs from Frank Perdue’s chicken factory. The cavalier “fun of it” it what brings us to pointless wars.

    I simply question a civilized society’s 2nd in command killing up to seventy birds in one day. It is the disrespect for life…be it animal or human that I feel this demonstrates. These same good ole boys think nothing of killing three or four hundred doves in a single day either.

  29. avatar Monte says:

    Bob, I understand your point about some operations, but I can’t make the connection between wars for fun and bird shooting. Agreed, seventy in a day is quite excessive for one individual.

  30. avatar Ron Smith says:

    This has to be one of the most twisted threads on Ralph’s website. The stereotyping, hatred and intollerance go beyond the imagination. The article on VP Cheney is one of the most hateful, biased articles I have ever seen in print and takes journalism to a new low. You folks really need to take a deep breath and get out of the city. In all honesty it scares the daylights out of me that people with your mindsets continue to gain more and more control of our judicial system and media reporting. I’m glad I’ll be dead before you are able to completely destroy our wildlife and our country but I feel sorry for our children……..I guess if you build the website the wackos will come.

  31. avatar Tim Z. says:

    “I guess if you build the website the wackos will come.”

    Well,your here aren’t you?

  32. avatar mikarooni says:

    So are you…

  33. avatar Bill Horn says:

    What a disgusting VP we have.

  34. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    Ron,
    Let me guess… Fox News junkie?

    Monte,
    Thanks for your response, I honestly can’t tell you how many of my friends that I have had these discussions with that can’t express themselves as concisely & as intelligently as you just did.

    Myself politically, I’m not in love with either party. I’m actually somewhat of a Libertarian, except for their views environmentally speaking. However I look to vote for what I feel is the best candidate as well. I have tended to vote liberal lately because that’s generally where I tend to lean on social issues & the environment. I like the old republican ideal of being conservative financially, but they seem to be getting away from that recently. Also I don’t see eye to eye with the extreme religious portion of the republican party which has been getting stronger. All things considered though, I’m in the same boat as you not being completely happy with any candidate.

  35. I am also not completely happy with any of the candidates. I agree that no one candidate is perfect, but i sure would like to have a better selection for choosing the “lesser of two evils”. However i am not convinced our votes really count. I feel that the campaign touting that was one enormous farce at best. It certainly put the majority of people’s focus away from other concerns.

    Back on topic—– Cheney’s hunting, no, his shooting spree rather sums up his vice presidency perfectly. At the very least it’s sickening. It further cements my belief that there is an unspoken about, class system. It’s just not as blatent as India’s used to be. Sure, India may not be as vocal as before, but the caste system still exists. With that i’ll quit talking about politics.

    I really like Ralph’s analogy of cheney’s “hunt”.
    In my opinion a person’s character can be determined by their hunting practices.

  36. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Ron Smith – I don’t live in a city, never have, grew up on a ranch, raised livestock, hunted, spend all my free time outdoors is the vast choices of mountains in Central Idaho.

    Where do you live? There’s a Ron Smith in the Stanley area that does carpenter stuff and the like – is that you?

    What do you dislike wolves so much?

    The story about Cheney simply relayed the news that he was hunting some caged birds that finally got a chance to be free only to be shot. Is that your idea of sport?

  37. avatar Ron Smith says:

    Lynne – Just so I don’t get the Ron Smith in Stanley into any hot water, no I am not that Ron Smith. I live in south western Idaho and have posted other comments on Ralph’s website. What prompted me to make the post was all of the hatred based on a very biased report on Dick Cheney’s pheasant hunt. I don’t wish to further inflame the issue but I would expect to see these types of comments on some fringe nut groups website. Regarding farm raised pheasants, with the loss of habitat and modern farming methods, pheasant hunting opportunities for these majestic birds is becoming very limited. It is common practice on all of the WMA’s that farm raised birds are released to provide some opportunity to hunt. I don’t know of any hunter that prefers hunting farm raised over wild birds but for most it is better than no hunting at all.
    It also makes me question the motives behind the posts on a website that advocates wolf reintroduction. This program has cost taxpayer money at the state and federal level and will continue to cost money due to all of the judicial leveraging that has and will continue to take place. (think of salmon and dams). This program also impacts all of us that enjoy the big game hunting opportunities here in Idaho but none of the wolf advocates seem to care about that as most hunters are made out to be slobs or killers. It has also impacted ranchers but again they are made out to be something less than human. I think most people are willing to accept that the wolves are here to stay but now with 800 or so running around the state we still can’t allow the state wildlife biologists to initiate a control program. I could go on but you get my drift. I don’t hate wolves but I believe they should be managed like any other predator. I wonder how the wolf population left unchecked will impact our elk herds and what impact it has had to date on moose numbers? I also wonder about the trends I see in other states like Oregon where cougar hunting methods were outlawed and how that change has impacted wild sheep numbers. I don’t like the federal government shoving programs down a states throat the way the wolves were brought in. So there you go, now you know a little more about where I am coming from. I’m sure we disagree on most areas and I will probably get slandered and made out to be an idiot but that is the way I look at things.

  38. avatar Monty says:

    From one Monty to another Monte, I agree with some of your points. I am liberal on environmental issues because most republican’s tend to ignore or ridicule environmental issues; they pretend they don’t exist. I believe many republican’s, without batting an eye, would privitize all of our public lands. Without public lands their would be no “physical freedom” & only the “King’s men” would have access. I believe they would turn our landscapes into “German Hunting Theme Parks” where all predators would be eradicated and where they would breed “trophy bulls” for the meat & trophy harvest. As the “industrialization of farming and ranching grinds so too does a vision of “industrial hunting parks”.

  39. avatar John says:

    Ron: Hmm..I didnt know it was possible to bias an event that is already damning in itself. Shooting newly released caged birds? That isnt even hunting, its pure sadism. And its funny that you mention that some of of think of some hunters as killers. What a crazy concept…

  40. avatar Monte says:

    Monty, you’re right about public lands. A balance has to be struck between private and public land. There are some real nuts out there who probably do invision some sort of predator-free “industrial hunting park.” I think if everyone would just get out there and take a hike (not an ATV ride) in a wild setting we could all find common ground on that issue.

  41. avatar sal says:

    Monte,

    Nice idea but not likely in the near future. The answers can be found in the fact that this particular culture, the US culture in general, requires the elimination of any/all competition for the sake of our ability to exceed the carrying capacity for our all-consuming traits and we need to change… drastically.

    Unfortunately, social change is slow, especially with the massive numbers of people that cover the planet. Humans don’t contribute much of anything to the environment on a positive level, not since the indigenous peoples were reduced and confined. (This is true on all continents after the Europeans found them.)

    It’s all about domination, and those who wish to dominate will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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