By Brooks Fahy, Executive Director, Predator Defense

Recently one of our county’s most highly respected environmental organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), proposed that wildlife advocates improve the plight of wolves in Montana by purchasing a special wolf “conservation” stamp for $20. The money raised would allegedly be used to resolve wolf conflicts nonlethally, as well as for public education, habitat improvement and procurement, and law enforcement.

Sounds great, right?

WRONG.

The problem is the money will go directly to the state agency in charge of managing wolves—Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). If you’ve been following our work at Predator Defense for any length of time you’ll know that, for the state of Montana, “managing” means “killing.” It is also worth noting that the state has renamed what the NRDC calls a wolf “conservation” stamp a wolf “management” stamp.

We believe we must speak out against the NRDC’s wolf stamp, and here’s why. The best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators like wolves do not need to be managed.

Asking wildlife advocates to donate funds to a government wildlife management agency is an endorsement of sorts that implies that agency is deserving of and will use your donation in the best interest of wildlife, in this case wolves. Such an endorsement promotes what we would like to call “The Myth,” which is that wildlife management agencies are using current science and conservation biology, as well as ethical principles, to create responsible programs to benefit wildlife, primarily predators. The truth is they are not.

Instead, generous hunting and trapping quotas are the backbone of all agency predator management. The quotas cannot be supported scientifically or ethically. Most hunters and trappers see wolves as competition and “the enemy” and their license fees pay the salaries of wildlife agency staff.

Unquestioning belief in The Myth by lawmakers and the public is precisely how and why wolves lost federal Endangered Species Act protection in Montana and why those protections are now on the chopping block in the remaining lower 48 states. It is also why wolves are at grave risk.

So how is providing additional funding to state agencies going to benefit wolves? Regardless of whether the money is earmarked for killing wolves, it is supporting an agency that is perpetrating The Myth that is leading toward wolves’ demise.

We find the NRDC’s wolf stamp to be unethical, irresponsible, and downright dangerous. It would:

  • Legitimize state wildlife agencies’ methods of managing wolves in Montana and of predator species in general nationwide.
  • Betray the trust wildlife advocates have in conservation organizations to guide their members to support programs designed primarily to benefit wildlife, and to oppose those that are not in wildlife’s best interest.

Based on past experience, it is utterly ridiculous to trust an agency like Montana FWP to actually do what the proponents of this stamp are suggesting—to value and advocate for a predator species.

As an example, let’s look at state management of coyotes. While the Navahos called these predators “God’s dog,” Montana and most states consider coyotes to be “vermin” and grant them no status, no value, and no protection. Most state wildlife laws dictate no limit to the number of coyotes to be killed. But the pesky fact is that, when under attack, coyotes’ predation and reproduction activities increase. This means that state coyote management has actually increased the probability of conflicts—all because they have ignored science. (Learn more at www.predatordefense.org/coyotes.htm.)

Now just for fun, let’s imagine Montana FWP was asked to create a coyote stamp like the wolf stamp. Do you think FWP personnel would be responsible and educate the public about how critically important coyotes are to a healthy ecosystem? Do you think they would invest in improving coyote habitat?

You can easily see it’s pretty unlikely that a coyote stamp would have much value to coyotes. But, how ‘bout that wolf stamp? Keeping in mind that the attitude state agencies have towards coyotes is more or less the same as their attitude towards wolves and other predators, the wolf stamp does not look promising, to put it mildly.

The stamp question begs the following larger and more important questions regarding predators and the role of conservation organization advocating for them:

  • Do wildlife management agencies use sound and current science to create and implement predator management plans, and to educate the public, ranchers and hunters?
  • Do wildlife management agencies protect and procure habitat to benefit predators and ensure their populations occupy their natural and historic ranges?
  • Do wildlife management agencies create and support wildlife laws to protect predator species?

If the answer is NO to these questions—and it most certainly is—then a different approach to predator protection and advocacy is long overdue. It’s time the conservation, wildlife advocacy and environmental community admits and acknowledges that today’s wildlife management agencies are not our friends.

Rather than working within the agency system by promoting stamps and providing other means of supporting marginal improvements for certain species, organizations should apply themselves to an overhaul of the system, starting with state commissions which oversee fish and game agencies.

Commissions should reflect the current attitudes of the majority of the state’s populace and truly represent the demographics of the state. Currently, the majority, if not all, of the commissions are composed of hunters and ranchers, or people in some way tied to those interests. While commissions may have a token individual who holds a moderate stance on these issues, such a person is largely marginalized and doesn’t last long.

The governor of Montana and most other states appoints commissioners. If all advocacy organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and others concerned about wildlife and habitat used their resources to lobby governors to appoint commissioners that truly represent current demographics—which are dominated by non-consumptive users of wildlife—we could make a difference. We could change the paradigm from policies for hunters and ranchers, to policies for wildlife and wild lands.

Influencing governors is nothing new. It’s all about financial and campaign support. Candidates need to know they’ll get support for their campaign when they appoint non-hunters to the critical commissions. Agriculture and hunting interests have made their influence known to candidates, but conservationists represent a lot more votes and can get a lot better at this game. Some NGO’s might be limited to donating money directly, but they are not limited in making suggestions to their membership; many operate sister organizations that are not nonprofit tax exempt and hence not restricted in campaigning.

If science and ethics are to be the foundation of sound wildlife policies, then conservation organizations need to bring the real hardcore message home: NO HUNTING OF PREDATORS.

If we are successful in populating decision-making bodies with people who represent today’s demographics, cultures and attitudes, and provide them with current sound science, we’ll have a chance at success in making critical changes that will benefit entire ecosystems and their inhabitants, starting with changing how wildlife agencies are funded.

Again, the best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators do not need to be managed. On the other hand, habitats need to be managed. Non-native invasive species need to be managed. And last, but not least, people need to be managed.
This message needs to be delivered to wildlife management agencies, their commissioners, and politicians. We, the people, need to stop Montana’s wolf stamp.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE WOLF STAMP: ATTEND A HEARING & SUBMIT A COMMENT
Communities around the state will hold hearings on August 14 at 6 p.m. Comments on the proposal will be taken through Friday, Aug. 22.

Scroll down for details on hearings and comments below.

ATTEND A HEARING – August 14, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Helena
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Headquarters, 1420 East 6th Avenue, Helena, MT

Kalispell
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 Office, 490 North Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT

Missoula
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 2 Office, 3201 Spurgin Road, Missoula, MT

Bozeman
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 3 Office, 1400 South 19th Avenue, Bozeman, MT

Great Falls
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 4 Office, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls, MT

Billings
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 5 Office, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings, MT

Glasgow
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 Office, 54078 US Highway 2 West, Glasgow, MT

Miles City
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 7 Office, 352 I-94 Business Loop, Miles City, MT

Additional details at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishAndWildlife/nr_0681.html

SUMBIT A WRITTEN COMMENT AGAINGST THE WOLF STAMP

View the proposed wolf stamp rule and make your comment on the Montana FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/armRules/pn_0177.html

Comments may be also be submitted by mail, email, or fax to:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Communication Education Division
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701

Email: fwpwld@mt.gov
Fax: 406-444-4952

Tagged with:
 
avatar
About The Author

Brooks Fahy

Brooks Fahy is co-founder and Executive Director of Predator Defense, a national wildlife advocacy organization based in Eugene, Oregon. Also a wildlife film producer, his most recent two documentaries are "EXPOSED: USDA's Secret War on Wildlife" and "The Imperiled American Wolf."

242 Responses to Why the NRDC’s Montana “Wolf Stamp” Must Be Stopped

  1. avatar R. Harold Smoot says:

    Brooks, I have a ton of respect for you and Predator Defense. However, I have to disagree with you on this for one simple reason:
    The anti-wolf side is extremely vocal in their claims that non-hunters contribute absolutely nothing to ‘conservation’ (as defined by them – meaning bolstering ungulate populations at the expense of predators). So here we are stepping up to the proverbial wildlife management plate with potential real dollars to match those by anti-wolf groups like RMEF.
    And they are dead opposed it. Why? Well if you read their blogs, posts and comments they don’t want to share the management of wildlife with non-hunters as they feel that their methods are the only way – science be dammed.
    So here we have a group of violently anti-wolf folks who complain that we don’t contribute and yet when we put a valid offer on the table to do just that, they don’t want to play.
    Given how backwards Montana politics seem to be these days in regards to wildlife management and the influx of dollars and influence from well funded anti-wolf groups I honestly doubt this bill will pass. But even if it doesn’t it is still a victory for wolf advocates as we will have shown that those in opposition to this do not want pro-wolf/animal rights/environmentalists/eco-terrorists or what-have-you to participate in the process and they will have lost a strong part of their argument against us.
    And that is why I am in support of this bill.

    Cheers

    • avatar Scott Slocum says:

      I support it, too, and also with all due respect to Brooks Fahy and Predator Defense.

      Mr. Fahy suggests that “… rather than working within the agency system… supporting marginal improvements… organizations should apply themselves to an overhaul of the system…” He points out that, even if we were to strengthen the ranks of non-biased scientists who currently comprise a minority of fish & game staff and leadership, that this minority would continue to be suppressed by the majority.

      Maybe he’s right, but I think he’s wrong. I think our only practical option is to make marginal improvements. I don’t think we have a real option to overhaul the system.

      I like the wolf stamp idea, and I’m supporting it in Minnesota as well.

    • avatar NeoGeo says:

      When you start with a false premise, everything built upon it is likewise wobbly logic.

      The false premise here, that seems to be widely believed, is that only hunters contribute to wildlife management. Total baloney.

      Every reloader who buys primers, powder, bullets, or brass pays the federal excise tax on those items — the same federal excise tax that funds Fish and Game agencies nationwide. Same for every rifle, pistol or shotgun sold. You may never hunt or kill any kind of wildlife and I have a ton of friends that never hunt anymore, they target shoot, but their taxes are funding Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

      Same for all kinds of fishing gear. There are people out there paying a federal excise tax on the monofilament they use to string beads, hang bird feeders, or picture frames…but they’re paying the excise tax that funds FWP.

      Truth is, which anyone who has followed FWP’s budget for awhile knows, is that these agencies simply do not know how to live within their existing budgets. They ALWAYS want more money, they’re always poor-mouthing, and they really don’t care where they get it and are routinely caught mis-spending it. (see last Legislative Audit Report on Montana FWP for proof)

      Moreover, the wolf fiasco was initiated by Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester, who delisted wolves from Endangered Species Act protections using a rider on an appropriations bill. The first time that has happened in the 37-year history of the ESA. No hearings, no public review and comment, no nothing, just Tester bowing to pressure from the livestock lobby and, of course, those who think hunting wolves should be a legitimate sport. Not only was Tester — and all the Big Green groups that didn’t raise hell over it — wrong, they helped set a horrible precedent which will undoubtedly be used in the future whenever some industry or interest finds a pesky endangered species in the way of their profits. To top it off, Tester also sponsored the measure to allow guns in national parks. And guess what, besides causing the death of at least one park ranger already, just two weeks ago we had a looney Texan shoot a bear in Glacier, AFTER he had pepper-sprayed it. And no, he didn’t kill it, so we now have a wounded bear running around a national park full of tourists.

      You sound like the same kind of people who swallowed the Bush-era “Healthy Forests Initiative” hook, line and sinker. Now we have Democrats (Tester, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Sen. John Walsh, and virtually all of Montana’s top Demo officeholders) supporting more subsidized logging in the ridiculous theory that logging makes “healthy” forests. Once again, they started with a faulty premise, devised by former timber lobbyist Mark Rey while working for Bush, that forests that have endured since time immemorial have to be “managed” by man to be “healthy.”

      Oh well, very tough to turn people off a path once they’ve begun down it and I suspect the same here. Those of you who support this will find any number of rationales to bolster your faulty premise and “logic.” And just like “healthy forests” those who point out the science and the fact that FWP kills wolves, not “manages” them, will be called “extremists” by those who just want to go along to get along while society continues it’s war on wildlife that don’t meet their supposed “needs.”

      • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

        Fantastic post!

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Thank you!

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Regarding the Tester wolf rider , do not forget that it was Wyoming’s rep Cynthia Lummis who inserted the bulletproof language into the rider from the US House side that granted wolf delisting immunity from legal challenge.

        Think about that for a moment. When has any law in the US ever been granted immunity or innoculation from judicial review ? Does this also mean no Constitutional muster testing ?

        That’s the one liner that scares me.

      • avatar Makuye says:

        Yes, Tester was involved with the highly unethical decision of Democrats to throw this vital native species under the bus – or under the crazed guns of sociopaths.
        Both parties knew that MT public lands rancher money, hunting lobby money, (which is a dangerously infective source – trophy hunters are commonly wealthy individuals who desire “big game” trophy bodies for personal examples of social status, outfitters make massive amounts off them, gun /weapons industry profit immensely, and Montana’s game management agencies exist largely on those industries – it is quite an incestuous structure!) and the idea of freedom to shoot anything not “owned” by someone else (a white man thing, seeming derived from the European poor who were the main migrant group to the USA, who wanted to imitate the kings and lords who “owned” all wildlands and animals in Europe – this is the root of the sociopathic status hunt.

        The native tribes, Blackfoot Confederacy, Crow, and others, held the realization that wolves were teachers, other nations with as valid a claim to life as their own, and more, but there is still little vote by this now minor proportion of Montana’s population.

        So you have the cynical sociopathic economic outlook now shared across the world of everything-as-resource” for profit/social status, and that mysterious and ancient social species which taught men so much about how to live (science is in the process of discovering in language you can understand just what they teach, and it would be highly instructive to you to explore it. Here’s just one: Every wolf is altruistic toward every wolf puppy, unrelated or related. Humans fail to live up to this as step-parent violence toward children statistics define extremely well).

        You will support politicians who betray nearly every hope, every ethical value and impulse you have. Remember this next election and every election.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      they will have lost a strong part of their argument against us.

      Yes.

  2. avatar R. Harold Smoot says:

    Case in point to my argument above posted an hour ago on an anti-wolf Facebook page based out of Missoula:

    “Lobo Watch: Here is the comment I left on line – “I am OPPOSED to the so-called “Wolf Management Stamp” as it has been proposed. This stamp is a slap in the face to the sportsmen who have funded Montana’s game department since it was founded. Montana has far too many wolves, which continue to destroy big game herds – and FWP’s ability to sell hunting licenses and permits. We don’t need a wolf stamp. It is clear that FWP is only seeking funding from anti-hunting pro-wolf advocates and organizations. What we need is a “Wolf Control Stamp” – with all proceeds going to the dramatic reduction of wolf numbers in Montana. We also need an “Elk Management Stamp” and a “Moose Recovery Stamp” – and the money from those stamps to be spent on rebuilding the elk herds and moose populations of Western Montana – which will require eliminating a large percentage of wolves, mt. lions and bears in the Western half of the state. FWP has done a lousy job of “managing” wolves and other predators – now it’s time for upscaled predator control. NO to the “Wolf Management Stamp”. “

  3. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    Just posted a comment to Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ website, to its Proposed Management Rules, strongly opposing adoption of the stamp itself, and cited extensively from your article.

    At the conclusion of my comment, I stated, due to NRDC’s egregious bait-and-switch appeal to the public to support the adoption of this wolf “management” stamp, that I am no longer contributing to the NRDC, and encouraged others to also cease contributing.

    It is not an overstatement to say that I am stunned the NRDC did this.

  4. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    If those like the RMEF and Lobo Watch examine how the funds from the proposed Wolf “Management” Stamp will almost certainly be used, they would enthusiastically support it. (In fact, who’s to say they have not done this, and that their ever-strident opposition is little more than public posturing, knowing full well that the FWP will be stepping up its “managing” (qua exterminating) wolves with revenue derived from the Wolf “Management” Stamp?)

    Lobo Watch states, “What we need is a ‘Wolf Control Stamp’ – with all proceeds going to the dramatic reduction of wolf numbers in Montana.” Apparently, Lobo Watch’s “Wolf Control Stamp” is about to become a reality, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the NRDC.

    What’s not to like about this Wolf “Management” Stamp, so far as the RMEF, Lobo Watch, et al. are concerned?

  5. avatar JB says:

    “‘The Myth,’ which is that wildlife management agencies are using current science and conservation biology, as well as ethical principles, to create responsible programs to benefit wildlife, primarily predators. The truth is they are not.”

    Agencies are very much “using current science [of not and] conservation biology” to manage/conserve wolves. The current science suggests wolves can maintain substantial human harvest, so harvest levels have been set accordingly. It is a myth that agencies employ any ethical principles–however, I’ve never heard any agency (or anyone defending them) use this argument, so it appears to be a myth (strawman) you’ve created?

    There are no agreed upon principles in wildlife management (i.e., what should we manage wildlife for; or to what purpose should we manage wildlife) beyond the continued conservation (i.e., persistence) of populations.

    I’m going to NRDC right now to donate. They should be applauded for pushing for much-needed agency reform as opposed to the status quo: i.e., bitch and litigate.

  6. avatar JM says:

    For a bit of balance, it is worth reading Zack Strong’s post from June explaining the thinking on the stamp: http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/06/04/wolf-stamp-would-be-a-step-forward-for-wolves-wildlife-montana/

  7. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Although I do not agree with some of the aspects of the wolf stamp, I will stongly support it as its a step forward for wolves in Montana. Decisions cannot be made based on science alone and human factors must be taken into consideration. Hunters and fishers provide ~80% of state wildlife agency funding and those activities provide significant contributions to the local economies. Pro-hunting groups such as RMEF have protected and restored hundreds of thousands of acres for the conservation of wildlife and then ask what accomplishments (other than lawsuits) wolf advocates have achieved.

    As for management of wolves, currently there are ~700 to 800 wolves in Montana, a far larger population than is required by the ESA de-listing. I would prefer to not allow any wolf hunting and trapping, however I would rather sacrifice the few to save the many. MFWP is providing an opportunity for wolf-advocates to invest in wolf conservation. If we do not take this opportunity we can only blame ourselves when we have no voice in the management of wolves.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      where to start Gary… “Pro-hunting groups such as RMEF have protected and restored hundreds of thousands of acres for the conservation of wildlife and then ask what accomplishments (other than lawsuits) wolf advocates have achieved.”
      These groups “protect and restore” habitats not to conserve wildlife but to guarantee future hunting of the wildlife. There is a big difference.

      “As for management of wolves, currently there are ~700 to 800 wolves in Montana, a far larger population than is required by the ESA de-listing.”
      I’m betting the drafters of the ESA never envisioned using the minimum number of a species required for delisting to be the benchmark goal for maintaining a population at its lowest viable level. And the wolf recovery plan was extremely compromised by politics and pampering of the livestock industry. The ESA was intended to protect endangered species from economic considerations and the special consideration that was given to ranchers in the case of wolves. I think that was a tragic compromise. Furthermore Montana is not using actual counts and I don’t believe they really know what the population is now.

      I would prefer to not allow any wolf hunting and trapping, however I would rather sacrifice the few to save the many. ” Its not just a few really and allowing them to be hunted for sport just perpetuates a vicious cycle and the argument that sport hunting manages wolves, which does not. when wolves depredate, if lethal action is called for then sports hunting does nothing to help and nor does it seem to help to boost elk numbers.

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        Louise

        ++where to start Gary… “Pro-hunting groups such as RMEF have protected and restored hundreds of thousands of acres for the conservation of wildlife and then ask what accomplishments (other than lawsuits) wolf advocates have achieved.”
        These groups “protect and restore” habitats not to conserve wildlife but to guarantee future hunting of the wildlife. There is a big difference.++

        If you are in disagreement with the mission of the RMEF, why don’t you start a similar foundation for the conservation of all wildlife and the protected lands would exclude all forms of hunting and trapping. There is no way that you or anyone of your ilk could ever start an organization that could compete with the RMEF.

        If you want an eye opener this January go to the Dallas Safari Club, Safari Club International, RMEF of the Wild Sheep Foundation conventions either in Dallas or Reno. These conventions are huge and raise millions of dollars some put to good use and some put to questionable use. There is no way wildlife watchers, NGO or non consumptive users could ever compete.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Elk can you keep it less like a personal attack?

          “you or no one of your ilk” comment is not appropriate. what does that mean of my ilk….

          This just came out by Bob Ferris http://www.cascwild.org/of-farmers-hunters-oil-money-and-the-double-secret-deja-vu-shuffle/ and is a good discussion about the corruption of money in the wildlife management game. so no I can’t compete with this kind of money but not many could.

          it doesn’t mean reform is not possible and should not be attempted.

        • avatar Larry says:

          Elk375,
          I think you stated your position quite well. Those of your ilk, RMEF, Safari Club, etc., do spend a lot of money. Not for true wildlife concern but for their selfishness to fill trophy rooms and receive killing rewards for doing so. It is a charade and many hunters in those groups have worked tirelessly to find ways to manipulate killing endangered species in other countries by using large sums of money as grease on the shoulders of foreign officials for permits. I write this because I have had experience following the money.

          • avatar Elk375 says:

            Larry, there is a difference between the members of the RMEF and SCI. There are a number of hard core safari hunters that do not belong to the SCI because of the organizations leadership which is ALL about the board of directors, and the officers of the club.

            One of my childhood friends use to be head of advertising for “SAFARI” the magazine of the SCI. He told me stories of some of the back room dealings. That is the International organization.

            The local chapters are able to raise approximately $100,000 a years which is spend on local and regional projects.

            • avatar Larry says:

              Elk375,
              I admit my brush is very broad when it comes to SCI. It is because of my experience with covert investigations within SCI. Some of my dealings would make most people sick but some would ask where do I sign up? Unfortunately the latter folks can have powerful influence.

      • avatar Gary Humbard says:

        Louise, the writer of the article opposes the wolf stamp and instead proposes to overhaul the commissions of state wildlife agencies to improve “wildlife management” decisions. I’m not willing to wait for a possible overhaul of these commissions and instead I’m going to support the wolf stamp. I believe the wolf stamp will provide dedicated funding for wolf conservation in Montana and thus I will strongly support it.

        I do not agree with RMEF’s policy on predator management but I greatly appreciate their efforts in protecting and restoring wildlife habitat. There are many areas where “no trespassing” signs have been removed and are now available for the general public to hike and recreate in (and yes hunt too).

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Gary there is no ignoring that RMEF is geared toward wolf eradication and that their main concern is not conservation but preserving elk habitat and elk to hunt….its not conservation at least not in my mind.

          • avatar Elk375 says:

            Isn’t elk habitat wolf habitat. Without a food source wolves would cease to be.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              true true but the elk hunters don’t want to share elk and therein lies a problem.

            • avatar CodyCoyote says:

              You are right Elk…the mirror image of the elk-wolf painting also expresses the face value : ” By conserving habitat for future elk herds, we of the RMEF are also conserving wolf habitat for the future “. ( Until the Caniside begins by bullet and trap)

              I seem to recall that RMEF was not opposed to wolves being reintroduced in the beginning. If not proactive about wolves, they were no worse than neutral or ambivalent about them . That may have been because they understood wolf and elk were two factors in the same ecological equation .

              The RMEF policy reversal and public anti-wolf prosletyzing came later with changes in leadership and the expressed clout of certain high dollar funders. Some of the other blue chip hunting clubs were never in favor of wolves ever, and have only gotten worse, so the whole wolf policy landscape was tectonically shifted with a lot of help from those anachronous cattlemen.

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            Louise is absolutely correct about pro-hunting organizations and their conservation catch-cry. It begs credulity that this one still sees the light of day, and is expected to be met with anything other than rolling one’s eyes, or a facepalm — or both.

            Hunters, since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, have told anyone within earshot of this extraordinarily amazing spin-off benefit to hunting down wildlife — and it goes like this: hunters almost single-handedly fund conservation efforts, and thus hunting down wildlife is absolutely essential to conservation. In fact, you simply cannot have conservation without hunting; simply can’t do it — it would be like trying to save money without spending it like it’s going out of style (and then saving whatever’s left).

            A few years back, David Allen repeated this hunter’s fractured syllogism-cum- mantra once again, as if he’d just brought it down from Mount Sinai, etched on a tablet with a lightning bolt:
            “The North American model of wildlife conservation is built around the sportsman, since the days of Teddy Roosevelt.” Well, as has been pointed out time and again — “This is misleading. [This putative conservation funding]is not a donation nor charitable act, it occurs indirectly through licences and [fees]. Hunters would hunt, purchase licences and pay [fees] if none of the money was redistributed to conservation. The funding in fact is mostly used for habitat manipulation and ‘management’ for hunters, to protect their game species. True conservationists would push for all the revenue to be used for habitat protection, not manipulation to overpopulate target animals.”

  8. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    “The current science suggests wolves can maintain substantial human harvest, so harvest levels have been set accordingly.” Citation?

    In fact, while “management agencies [such as the FWP] have claimed that the recovery and the public hunting is based on science[, a] review of their statistics demonstrated that data collection methods did not follow a scientific protocol which resulted in flawed and often incorrect data. Consequently, agencies do not know the total number of wolves in Montana, a major reference point used by wolf managers. Therefore, the quotas proposed for public wolf hunts are completely arbitrary, and management decisions in general have not been based on facts. This has produced a wolf management system that lacks scientific perspective and does not utilize what is known about the wolves’ role in supporting healthy ecosystems. Instead, the absence of verifiable data suggests that management decisions are often based on opinion and politics rather than science.” For supporting data, see: http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/natureandscience.pdf

    • avatar JB says:

      “…agencies do not know the total number of wolves in Montana…”

      You’re correct. Agencies have, in fact, never known the total number of wolves. That’s because the approach used was quite conservative–i.e., to count the minimum number of confirmed animals. These data are often mis-represented as an estimate of the total number of wolves. We could have a lengthy conversation about what constitutes an acceptable scientific protocol for estimating total wolf populations, but FWS from the very beginning was interested in minimums. Personally, I trust that state management agencies are capable of addition.

      “The current science suggests wolves can maintain substantial human harvest, so harvest levels have been set accordingly.”

      Citations:
      Adams L.G., Stephenson R.O., Dale B.W., Ahgook R.T., Demma D.J. (2008) Population dynamics and harvest characteristics of wolves in the central Brooks Range, Alaska. Wildlife Monographs 170, 1-25.

      Ballard W.B., Jackson S.W., Gardner C.L. (1987) Ecology of an Exploited Wolf Population in South-Central Alaska. Wildlife Monographs, 3-54.

      Fuller T.K. (1989) Population dynamics of wolves in north-central Minnesota. Wildlife monographs, 3-41.

      • avatar timz says:

        All written and researched before re-intro and MN and Alaska are not the NW U.S.

      • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

        JB, I little doubt that there are those employed at the state management agencies who know how to add. I never implied that but, as you have agreed, the agency in question “has never known the total number of wolves in Montana.” As you state, “from the very beginning” the FWS “was interested in minimums.” But “counting the minimum number of confirmed animals” and estimating is one of the main reasons why “quotas proposed for public wolf hunts [have been] completely arbitrary,” having been based “from the very beginning” on a model or methodology that estimates rather than determines the total number of wolves in Montana.

        Thank you for your citations. I was hoping since Montana’s wolves are at issue, you would supply citations in that regard. Whatever the “population dynamics” of wolves in south-central Alaska and north-central Minnesota, I think we can agree what is of consequence here, if we are going to speak of “current science” is: what “current science” has concluded that a “substantial” killing off of Montana’s wolves will not impact their and Montana’s future (as one commentor noted, “The constant breakup of packs from human sources has to take an evolutionary toll eventually.”)– will not impact pack cohesion and ultimately survival, or will not threaten their health and genetic viability, or will not gravely harm the health of the ecosystem they inhabit and play a critical role in sustaining — in Montana.

        • avatar JB says:

          Mark:

          Using the minimum number of wolves provides the MOST CONSERVATIVE estimate of the population, while counts are the most transparent. The fact that people resist these and call them ‘unscientific’ is absolutely baffling to me?

          Re: MT vs. Alaska

          The question is: how much human-caused mortality can a population of wolves sustain? Unless you, like the nutty, wolf-haters, believe that Montana’s wolves are somehow different, then I think it’s relatively safe to assume that wolf populations in MT will respond similarly to AK or MN?

          • avatar timz says:

            “I think it’s relatively safe to assume that wolf populations in MT will respond similarly to AK or MN?”

            I don’t think it’s safe at all to assume that, given the huge difference in the populations.

            • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

              I agree with timz, not only the huge difference in populations, but a host of other variables. Not to mention subspecies such as the Yukon wolf in Alaska’s interior. Pack size in Alaska can be as large as 30 wolves, while in Minnesota the average pack size is from 4 to 8 wolves. Pack size in Montana ranges from 6 to 8, although packs in Yellowstone have been larger (at one time, the Rose Creek Pack counted as many as 22 wolves). Pack size and cohesion cannot just be ignored if looking at research from other states, and each state discussed presents significant differences in environment and ecology.

            • avatar JB says:

              Okay then, let’s use NRM data:

              “Over the range of recruitment rates observed in the NRM during the 1999-2009, this model predicted that the sustainable human-caused mortality rate increased from 0.29 to 0.77. These sustainable mortality predictions correctly identified every wolf population increase in the NRM during 1999-2009 and correctly identified 1 of 3 observed population declines…”

              Gude, J.A. et al. (2012). The Journal of Wildlife Management 76(1)108-118.

              —-

              So there you have it. Believe me yet? No, of course you don’t.

  9. avatar Larry says:

    JB,
    I certainly respect and enjoy your intellectual posts but if I read you correctly, I disagree with your position. I don’t think the stamp will do anything to “reform” the agency. If there are no agreed upon wildlife management principles for agencies to follow then they work behind a very thin veil. Are not universities and well run research teaching sound management principles? If one were to survey the general public I believe the results would show that most people think agencies are doing what is best for wildlife. Albeit the farther we get from surveying participants in wildlife activities the more people would assume that. Seems the closer to the action the more people want their own interests in the management goal. Reasonable assumption. But in truth the mission statement of agencies would not hold up if compared to what comes out of universities and research. Back in the 60’s or so when employed by IDF&G they created a nongame biologist position and I paused to reflect. I wondered why we needed a nongame biologist in addition to a regional biologist. I asked myself, doesn’t a regional biologist make decisions with all wildlife in mind? And if not is this a developing competition? I think it is one thing to say that wolves can withstand substantial harvest and another to say they can do it in a healthy way. The constant breakup of packs from human sources has to take an evolutionary toll eventually. Is not keeping the human hand out of the evolutionary role of nature a worthy mission statement if we are truly concerned about wild things for our 7th generation yet to come? I fully support Brooks Fahy’s reasoning and respect yours.

    • avatar JB says:

      Larry:

      You pose a number of philosophical questions that deserve thoughtful reflection–and far more time than I have today. If I understand you correctly, you believe that agencies are controlled or ‘captured’ by hunting and trapping interests? If so, you and I do not disagree. However, recognize how they got that way–i.e., hunters and trappers paid for conservation and management.

      I don’t expect that non-hunters paying for a wolf conservation stamp will suddenly and dramatically change an agency’s priorities. Reform isn’t going to happen over night. However, I am convinced that it will happen, albeit slowly, when non-hunters begin to contribute directly to agency-based conservation efforts, show up at meeting to voice concerns, and more generally, act as partners in conservation rather than opponents.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      +1 “But in truth the mission statement of agencies would not hold up if compared to what comes out of universities and research.”

      + 1 and why should a somewhat unique social, intelligent, pack dependent canid have to withstand “substantial harvest”. They are a species just recently delisted and still experiencing the same prejudicial treatment shouldn’t that and their biological considerations be a warning that these animals should not be hunted as trophies.

      “I think it is one thing to say that wolves can withstand substantial harvest and another to say they can do it in a healthy way. The constant breakup of packs from human sources has to take an evolutionary toll eventually.”

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      and Larry you are correct hunting wolves for sport does affect wolves. This is one recent article on impacts
      Broken link
      Its bizarre in a way that research has to prove negative effects when I think it possible to extrapolate between a human situation and animal. what would happen to a human family if it suddenly lost its primary bread winner, and a brother or sister or aunt. Grief, financial instability, role reprisals and psychological harm. Why do humans expect wild animals would not experience similar problems, especially when it is known how social and dependent on one another they are.

  10. avatar Derek says:

    Wow. I respect Brooks and his work, but he is clearly ill-informed and short-sighted on this.

  11. avatar Jerry Black says:

    “Rather than working within the agency system by promoting stamps and providing other means of supporting marginal improvements for certain species, organizations should apply themselves to an overhaul of the system, starting with state commissions which oversee fish and game agencies.

    Commissions should reflect the current attitudes of the majority of the state’s populace and truly represent the demographics of the state”

    Exactly….it’s easy to say the wolf stamp is the answer without knowing what’s going on in the minds of the legislators who, in one way or another, will be the ones determining the outcome.
    Without going into the relationship between MFWP, the commissioners, and the legislators, there should be awareness that if not enough wolves are killed to satisfy the ranchers and hunters, the legislature will simply reclassify wolves and put them under the control of the Dept of Livestock similar to the bison.
    This issue is much more complicated than just selling stamps and as Brooks said “the system needs to be overhauled”
    Also… where is the support for a stamp from Defenders, WildEarth Guardians, Sierra Club, CBD, etc?

    • avatar JB says:

      Jerry:

      I agree with you regarding wildlife boards/commissions and legislatures — this is where the political decisions are made, and it is where criticisms should be aimed. However, what you apparently miss is that one can simultaneously keep up top-down, political pressure on those that ultimately make the decisions (politicians), while supporting bottom-up conservation efforts (designed to reduce wolf conflicts and the “need” for lethal control) through the agency by purchasing the stamp. And you may actually engender some good will for wildlife advocates in the meantime!

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        I think that the success or failure of the wolf stamp is something we can’t entirely predict yet but that given Montana’s recent and prior history with wolves, Predator Defense’s concerns are valid. I am hoping that some good comes out this but its hard to have faith just yet. I suppose we are about to discover effect it will have. Regardless I agree with Brook’s points that a complete overhaul is needed in wildlife agencies and their management of wildlife.

  12. avatar Ian says:

    Ian Courts
    Wow, there is so much political posturing & bs coming out over this issue. It has been proven in other states that income from eco-tourism & general wildlife watching far outstrips income from hunting tags/licenses. The bottom line is that the controlling body who administers the funds & how they are used is essentially in league with the hunting/ranching fraternity, either through ‘tradition’ or personal interest. The ‘conserved & managed’ environments this authority provides are ARTIFICIAL eco-systems, not NATURAL. They are ‘managed’ with one thing in mind, the hunt, & all efforts go towards that which will maximise the hunters bag. This HAS to stop! Wildlife conservation & management should be exactly that. Managed (if it must be managed) for the benefit of ALL wildlife, not just for those species hunters/ranchers have a vested interest in. If they can’t do that, the organisation need to be completely restructured.

  13. avatar rork says:

    “apex predators like wolves do not need to be managed”
    I think they will get themselves into trouble from time to time and folks will want to educate or kill them. Maybe they don’t need to be hunted or trapped if that’s what you mean. I don’t want managed to be a synonym for hunted, leave that to the folks who benefit from the euphemism.
    I actually think my agencies (MI) aren’t all that bad.
    Also “no hunting of predators” is so vague, perhaps apex predator was intended, and even then I want a list (are Raccoons included? Lake Trout?). Also, you won’t get far with natural resources managers revealing that you are that far out there from them, so it must be to rally the already converted.
    I also wondered if Larry’s “evolutionary toll” is mostly rhetorical fireworks (for “suffer” and perhaps also “decrease in number”), rather than an actual prediction of genetic deaths by selecting for deleterious genes artificially (what I might mean by such a phrase), but it’s a very small point.

  14. avatar Immer Treue says:

    “If you’ve been following our work at Predator Defense for any length of time you’ll know that, for the state of Montana, “managing” means “killing.” It is also worth noting that the state has renamed what the NRDC calls a wolf “conservation” stamp a wolf “management” stamp.”

    This is the crux of the issue. JB has pointed this out before, the wolf management/conservation has been synonymous with killing wolves. Those who advocate for wolves see the hipocracy in this. Yet, and a big yet, the management/conservation of all game animals involves killing some of them. The difference for wolves,however, is a much longer season, and the killing of wolves for punitive reasons.

  15. avatar Kevin Bixby says:

    I suspect the stamp won’t be able to compete with this (from the RMEF Montana website):

    In the last two-plus years alone, RMEF awarded more than $240,000 in grants specifically for wolf management.

    I agree with Brooks. Trying to match license revenues (and lobbying $) with voluntary stamp contributions to gain political clout is a losing game.

  16. avatar Joanne Favazza says:

    Right on, Brooks:

    “Again, the best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators do not need to be managed. On the other hand, habitats need to be managed. Non-native invasive species need to be managed. And last, but not least, people need to be managed. This message needs to be delivered to wildlife management agencies, their commissioners, and politicians. We, the people, need to stop Montana’s wolf stamp.”

    There’s no way I’ll ever give my money to any agency that needlessly kills predators as a “management” tool. The fact that MTFWP is now calling this a “management” stamp rather than a “conservation” stamp speaks volumes.

    I am sick and tired of so-called conservation groups supporting the “management” of predators. The groups that are promoting this stamp (and thus condoning predator “management” ) don’t speak for me, and they certainly aren’t speaking for wolves or other predators.

  17. avatar GEorge Wuerthner says:

    I think people supporting a wolf ‘MANAGEMENT” stamp are naive about how state wildlife agencies are run.

    There is simply no reason to kill predators at all (except for the occasional surgical removal of individuals). But you will never get a state wildlife “management” agency to concede such a change in philosophy. Not to mention they jump whenever ranchers say something and all they do is ask how high–look at how they help to kill bison. Do you think that if bison advocates contributed money to the agency they would stand up to the livestock industry. Dream on.

    Heck MDFWP wants to trap wolverine, a candidate for ESA listing, with less than 300 animals in the entire lower 48 states, and they can’t resist the idea of continued “management” in some way.

    All this wolf stamp will do is allow MDFWP to continue to kill wolves. Mark my words, this is a bad idea and the wrong approach to changing getting attitudes towards wolves.
    As a former hunting guide, and someone with a degree in wildlife biology, I can attest that agencies like MDFWP (who have some good sympathetic biologists to be sure) will never be able to override the demands of hunters and anglers who largely control agency agenda. I think it’s foolish to think that a wolf stamp will somehow change these institutional habits and attitudes.

    The guiding philosophy of state agencies is that wildlife “needs” management. They disregard a lot of science that suggests predators in particular are perfectly able to regulate their own numbers–usually in response to social interactions between other predators and prey availability.

    But state agencies will never accept that idea. All a wolf stamp will do is help the agency be more effective at killing wolves.

    • avatar JB says:

      “There is simply no reason to kill predators at all…”

      I disagree.

      Reason: Livestock depredations.
      Reason: Providing predator hunting opportunities.
      Reason: Providing the ability to gain utility ($) from pelts.
      Reason: To control depredation on other animals, including endangered species.

      What George means is that there is no reason for kill predators that he agrees with. There are certainly “reasons”–some more justified (in my opinion) than others.

      “But you will never get a state wildlife ‘management’ agency to concede such a change in philosophy.”

      I disagree again.

      California’s game commission is set to ban predator derbies; and the agency has proven adept at managing cougars without a hunting season. F&G agencies are run by commissioners, and those that appoint them (usually governors); and, in many cases, their policies are dictated by state law (as passed by their legislatures).

      “I think it’s foolish to think that a wolf stamp will somehow change these institutional habits and attitudes.”

      And I think it’s foolish to think that you’re going to get anywhere in the federal or state courts.

      “The guiding philosophy of state agencies is that wildlife “needs” management.”

      Agreed–though they would call it “impacts” management. And the first step in getting them to focus on the “impacts” you desire is to show them that you’re not a bunch of crazy extremists (so far, that ain’t going so well).

      —-

      BTW: What’s the alternative here, George? What approach do you advocate? It’s pretty easy to criticize from the sidelines when you’re not offering a viable alternative.

      • avatar Joanne Favazza says:

        Supporting biodiversity does not make one a “crazy extremist.” I would argue that the real extremists are those who think it’s perfectly okay to kill and torture wildlife for fun, profit, trophy, and so-called “sport.” And, I might add that killing and torturing predators in order to create ungulate farms is pretty extreme as well. All of this killing is done under the guise of “management,” and shows an “extreme” ignorance and lack of respect regarding how nature works.

        • avatar Elk375 says:

          ++shows an “extreme” ignorance and lack of respect regarding how nature works.
          ++

          Like it or not nature changed when the west was settled and the land was patented. Settlers, cattle, crops, schools and churches followed, altering the natural world forever. Biodiversity is going have to compromise with private landownership and the desires and demands of the population.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            The only trouble is that it is going to continue to be altered according to the desires and demans of the population, and someday there won’t be any animals left for you to hunt. (boo-hoo). Unless agriculturalized games farms are created I suppose.

            Biodiversity has already been compromised. But, thanks to the Wilderness Act, and that hasn’t been completely undermined yet, there will still be some of the natural world that hasn’t been altered forever.

            For example, how can trapping continue with only 300 wolverines left?

            • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

              Good post, and the “desires and demands” of the population, of course, are not uniform, and in fact, are in clear conflict with one another.

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            Nature didn’t “change.” If you want to anthropomorphize, narrowly defined and short-sighted economic interests forced nature to change and left her with no choice, and the rest of humankind and nature are now faced with the consequences, and to try to halt any further such forcing.

            “Biodiversity is going have to compromise with private landownership and the desires and demands of the population.” Quite the contrary, irresponsible private landownership and the desires and demands of a narrow subset of the population (for example, despite the heavily-financed efforts of the hunting lobby to attract more hunters, only 6% of Americans hunt, and considerably fewer trap) is either going to have to compromise with biodiversity and sustaining and preserving nature rather than extirpating species, clear-cutting forests, and destroying habitats, etc., or what they “desire and demand” is going to be moot. If you “desire and demand” to hunt wildlife, and you’ve hunted it to extinction, and destroyed the wilderness, you can “desire and demand” till Hell freezes over — your desires and demands will not matter. Hunters may “desire” to go out and gun down a few passenger pidgeons, but however much they desire or demand to do so, that’s just not going to be possible — forever.

        • avatar JB says:

          “Supporting biodiversity does not make one a “crazy extremist.”

          Of course it doesn’t–and I never said it did. No, refusing to compromise–even just a bit, insisting that it’s ‘my way or the high way’, and inventing wild conspiracies to justify your ideological opposition to anything an agency does–those make for crazy extremists.

          Here’s what it boils down to for me: If you think the whole system is broke and state-led wildlife conservation doesn’t work, then keep you’re money. If you believe that government works when people invest in it–rather than constantly attempt to undermine it–then take a chance.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        As a Californian, I can say that YES, the California Fish & Game Commission is different from Montana. The big difference is that The Department is funded about 50% – 50% by hunting & fishing licenses and the General State Fund, which is paid by all taxpayers, not just hunters and fishermen. If Montana would contribute 50% of wildlife conservation funds from the General Revenue funds, then you would see a difference in the Commission behavior. By the way, the California Commission just put the wolf on its Endangered Species List, waiting for that great day when the wolves will arrive via Oregon, Washington, and Idaho (if there are any left in Idaho by then).

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          What would we do without the great, progressive state of California!

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            With all due respect, and I do mean that sincerely, without the well-documented, billions of dollars in federal taxes transferred every year from states such as “the great, progressive state of California” (and New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Mass, etc.) to those such as Montana (in 2002, Montana ranked sixth of the top ten net tax-consuming states), I would expect Montana would have to seek elsewhere for money and funds than Washington, DC, while listening to that “giant sucking sound” of federal-tax wealth from California et al. leaving Helena.

        • Exactly, the Great State of CA does take 50% of public funds to support Hunting. The tax payers are unaware of this fact, as are some who are misinterpreting this as a positive for the Wildlife, my estimates, give or take, are that Hunters are all of only 3% of CA’s 38,332,521 population, but the Fish & Wildlife and Fish & GAME agencies use public funds to “Enhance Habitats” “Conservation and Land-use Agreement” by paying out private land owners to plant certain plants that attract the animals to their property to then again pay this land owner to have an exclusive right to Hunt on their property. They take all sorts of grants that are are given to the state of CA for income to fund their own agendas including “$12 million in youth grants”, one for example, came from a PG&E lawsuit to be paid to CA lands, is used to “teach and encourage vulnerable kids to hunt, that would not otherwise have been exposed to such ideas, yeah, great my tax dollars going to a system of corruption to fund the very thing I hold as evil in society. The agencies have very cleverly hid most of these programs in a sea of agency programs filled with propaganda and lies. So to believe that a state like Montana, which has a population of 1,015,165 and wants to deny the right to live to a lousy number of 800 Beautiful Wild Dogs is pure propaganda lies to convince the public a need to kill, how can anyone with half an ounce of intelligent compassionate common sense trust that this would benefit the Wolves in any way.

      • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

        Actually, I think Mr. Wuethner has offered viable alternatives, certainly so far as responsible animal husbandry and livestock management. I think it’s nothing other than dismissive to say “there is no reason for [sic] kill predators that he agrees with,” having just referenced, for example, livestock depredation as a reason you disagree with him when killing off wolves contributes to livestock depredation. “Ironically, predator control, as well as sport hunting as advocated by state wildlife agencies, often leads to greater livestock losses by disrupting predator social ecology of predators. A study by Hayes and Harestad found evidence that packs experiencing control and/or hunting had higher mortality rates as a direct consequence of reductions, thus pack sizes are smaller, home ranges were less stable and occupied at variable times, and more young are produced in the population. Wolf populations dominated by younger animals with less stable territories are far more likely to attack domestic livestock.

        “Younger animals may breed earlier, and in exploited populations produce more young. Young growing pups consume more biomass (meat) than adults, creating a greater need to obtain food. Typically in exploited populations, pack size is smaller, with only the breeding adults to raise pups, putting greater pressure on adults to obtain easily available meat. Plus young pups reduce the mobility of the pack, limiting the area where adults can seek prey. Thus predator control and indiscriminate hunting puts increased pressure on the few adults to obtain meat, often by attacking livestock.

        “The effects of lethal control and/or hunting on pack stability can lead to social disruptions and loss of territory. A study, which pooled data on 148 breeding wolf packs, showed that the loss of adult breeders (from any causes including natural mortality) often leads to the dissolution of the pack and loss of pack territory, and/or limited breeding in the following season. For instance, in 47 of 123 cases (38.2%), groups dissolved and abandoned their territories after breeder loss. Of dissolved groups, territorial wolves became reestablished in 25 cases (53.2%), and in an additional 10 cases (21.3%) neighboring wolves’ usurped vacant territories.

        “Thus any increases in mortality caused by human hunting and/or lethal control may disrupt social interactions between packs, and lead to the loss of social/cultural knowledge including knowledge of prey habitat use, migration routes, and so forth that long time residency by family lineages may provide. Again this increases the chances that wolves will turn to livestock as a food source. While almost no one would begrudge the occasional and surgical elimination of a chronic livestock killer, the indiscriminate killing of predators as part of a systematic predator control program and/or as a consequence of sport hunting, only exacerbates conflicts between livestock producers and predators.” — excerpted from George Wuerthner’s “Welfare ranchers,
        wolves, and the externalization of costs”

        “Reason: To control depredation on other animals, including endangered species.” So far as wolves predating on endangered species, I would expect the numbers (and since this is one of your reasons, JB, perhaps you can supply those figures) — like the relatively miniscule number of annual livestock deaths due to wolves as opposed to deaths from various diseases that afflict livestock, weather, less-than-stellar animal husbandry and livestock management, other animals (such as domestic dogs)– pales in comparison with the numbers of those endangered species killed by hunters; poachers; trappers (especially since any animal which happens by — someone’s beloved pet, an endangered animal — will end slowly mangled till it dies or the trapper gets around to checking his traps and either kills it or taunts it and then somewhat later finishes what his trap initiated — traps being the epitome of indiscriminate predating); habitat destruction or “manipulation” by logging, ranching and various “development” interests; and various human recreational larkings (e.g., snowboarding).

        • avatar JB says:

          Mark:

          George suggested there was “no reason to kill predators”. I indicated that there were plenty of reasons, some of them better than others. Your review of some of the literature suggests, as I stated, that some of the reasons are not as good as others.

          You say: “Ironically, predator control, as well as sport hunting as advocated by state wildlife agencies, often leads to greater livestock losses by disrupting predator social ecology of predators.”

          True, but you’re citing per capita rates of depredation. Let’s look at real data in the NRMs, shall we? The correlation between the total number of wolves and wolf depredations in the NRMs from 1995 to 2012 is 0.87. The average number of confirmed livestock losses to wolves when wolf populations were 150-500 (years 1996-2000) was 100; the average number of livestock lost to wolves during the years whne the population was over 1000 (my data go through 2012) was 572. So sport hunting of wolves may indeed increase per capita depredation rates, but a smaller wolf population–reduced via sport hunting–is likely to kill fewer livestock overall.

          Most wolf advocates fundamentally miss this point; others understand it, but are disingenuous.

          I’m sure someone will point out the travesty of managing for 150-500 wolves; they will claim it is not sustainable, it jeopardizes the population, is morally reprehensible, etc. Even if I grant these points (which I’m inclined to do), that doesn’t change the fact that there are REASONS for controlling wolves and other predators. As I stated before, the difference here is whether or not folks see this as good/legitimate/justified reasons.

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            Thanks for your response, JB —

            –Bozeman, Mont. (03/11/2011) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2010 Interagency Annual Report today, which includes the latest wolf population estimates as well as a summary of annual livestock losses to wolves.

            The following is a statement from Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain director for Defenders of Wildlife:

            “This latest population report should put to rest the idea that the wolves in the Northern Rockies are out of control. Wolf populations won’t grow forever. They will stabilize and restore a natural balance in the region.

            “At the same time, the total number of confirmed livestock losses to wolves has decreased substantially since 2009. In 2010, about 200 head of cattle and 250 sheep were confirmed as losses to wolves across the entire region, where there are more than five million cattle and half a million sheep. For those losses, ranchers were compensated more than $450,000—an average of $1,000 per animal. The situation is not out of control, no matter what some politicians and special interest groups would like us to think.–

            I believe your figures include 2011 and 2012 but reflected only the “total number of wolves and wolf depredations in the NRMs,” but no mention of the total number of livestock in the region, total compensation and compensation per animal, nor figures for other causes for livestock loss during the years you chose to focus on — respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving problems, weather, unknown, mastitis, other disease, lameness/injury, or other predators (e.g., domestic dogs).

            I will post a link from the 2011 USDA-NASS figures for illustrative purposes, since the figures do not represent, but include the NRM. Out of an inventory of approximately 90 million cattle, 0.23 % deaths were attributable to carnivores, with dogs accounting for over twice as many deaths as wolves.

            http://www.wildearthguardians.org/images/cattle/CATTLE_2001-2.jpg

            With respect to your dismissive statement: “I’m sure someone will point out the travesty of managing for 150-500 wolves; they will claim it is not sustainable, it jeopardizes the population, is morally reprehensible, etc.,” my overarching concern, and this is true for any species, is whether its numbers are robust or not, given the ever-possible threat of extinction from disease.

            As recently as eight years ago, “6.5 million Little Brown Bats lived in the eastern U.S. in 2006, making them the most populous wild mammal species in America at the time. Since then, millions of Little Brown Bats have died, leaving them a ‘threatened species’ in many states.” Nearly 8 million bats have been killed by white-nose syndrome (WNS), “a fatal fungal infection with no treatment or cure. The fungus, which kills bats in hibernation during wintertime, has been quickly spreading throughout the eastern United States” for nearly a decade, since when it first appeared in a cave in upstate NY, likely introduced by accident from Europe. “11 of the 47 American bat species are currently affected, with four of those being listed as endangered. As WNS affects hibernating bats, that means that just about half of all American bat species could be affected in the future.”

            I point to this example because it, more than any I can think of, underscores the fact that even if a species numbers made it “the most populous wild mammal species in America” a very short while ago, there is no guarantee against its extinction. God forbid, were a comparable scourge to WNS to attack North America’s wolves. With their numbers at current level, likelihood of extinction would be almost certain.

            Among the issues I have with wildlife “management” as practiced, is that it does not anticipate for the possibility of something like WNS. Quite the contrary, this is not part of any “management” calculus that kills off a species until it hovers in the mere thousands nationwide. And, in my opinion, to not consider such a scenario is the height of mismanagement, since that’s the operative trope. If I owned a business and my manager was so transcendently negligent and asleep the proverbial switch as to not take into account future projected trends, I would fire him rather than face the possibility of my business going under because some putative “manager” decided that my business had no need of this or that or other in its inventory/warehouse stock, and liquidated inventory (to back out the trope, wantonly slaughtered wild animals). That in essence, is the current model for wildlife “management” in North America.

            As stewards of preserving our wildlife, it is up to each of us as Americans to become far more proactive, and to fully, or as best as possible engage ourselves in exactly how this nation’s wildlife can be preserved, not wiped out, thanks to special interests by fiat “managing” various species to near extirpation, only to have one or the other of those species dissipated numbers completely wiped out by some pandemic like WNS.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              I point to this example because it, more than any I can think of, underscores the fact that even if a species numbers made it “the most populous wild mammal species in America” a very short while ago, there is no guarantee against its extinction. God forbid, were a comparable scourge to WNS to attack North America’s wolves. With their numbers at current level, likelihood of extinction would be almost certain.

              Myself and others bring this up repeatedly and just get reassurances about human scientific management. With hunting and other forms of ‘management’ proceeding now totally unrestrained since the mistake of delisting, I do worry that extinction for wolves could be only a bad winter or disease epidemic away.

              Regardless of facts to the contrary, deliberate misrepresentation of the facts about depredation, decreases in elk, and threats to human safety continue, when just the opposite is true.

              Regarding your post about hunting and male sexuality, the big difference is that hunting is not mutually life-giving and affirming, but a one-sided life-taking.

              • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

                Thank you for your response, Ida —

                “Regarding your post about hunting and male sexuality, the big difference is that hunting is not mutually life-giving and affirming, but a one-sided life-taking.”

                Bingo! I very much hope you will take a glance at Mr. Luke’s essay because you have hit the proverbial nail on the head, as to what distinguishes healthy human sexuality, which IS “live-giving and affirming” from eroticizing a wild animal as prey — becoming increasingly excited and titillated by stalking it, catching sight of the kill, with the excitement steadily mounting and increasing until the release of the trigger and killing the animal (or failing to properly culminate the act, which hunters refer to as “target panic” or “buck fever,” and “is common enough among hunters to have generated its own extensive literature”), then eroticizing the animal’s carcass by touching it in the manner one touches one’s lover after sex (“Hunters take great pleasure in stroking the fur, antlers, and horns of the large mammals they kill.”), and finally fetishizing parts of the animal’s body — antlers being the most obvious, but certainly not the only example.

                Thanks again for your comment.

                http://www.brown.uk.com/brownlibrary/luke.pdf

            • avatar JB says:

              Mark,

              My objections were to the George’s statement that there is ‘no reason’ to kill wolves, and your follow up statement that livestock losses actually go up when wolves are hunted. Both of these statements are disingenuous at best, flat out false at worse.

              Your *new* arguments can be reduced to the following: (1) We don’t need to hunt wolves because livestock losses to wolves are very small; and (2) We should maintain a larger wolf population because the smaller populations states desire are more susceptible to disease and other impacts.

              I firmly agree with both of these positions, though I would note that underlying both of these arguments is the concept of risk tolerance. Ranchers and some hunters have low tolerance for the risks associated with wolves (decreased game, increased depredations) while wolf advocates have low tolerance for localized extinction risk (but I’m sure the irony of this will be mostly lost on this crowd).

              The points I made were not designed to undermine wolf advocates, but rather, to make sure that advocates were using intellectually honest arguments. The arguments that there is no reason to manage wolves and that depredations will increase with wolf hunting are not intellectually honest.

      • avatar Kirk Robinson says:

        Having dealt with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on a variety of wildlife management issues over a long period of time (25 years), especially predator management issues, I find that I cannot seriously believe that the Montana wolf stamp will do anything significant to bring about ethically and scientifically more sound wolf management. George is right about the culture of wildlife management agencies – all except California’s. But the reason California has a more progressive wildlife commission than the other western states is that they have a more progressive citizenry. When the citizenry of Montana and Utah and the other western states begins to look more like that of California, then we’ll see the kinds of change begin to take place that we seek. I think it is politically naïve to think it will happen before then. In Utah, thanks to Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, we even have a change to the state constitution (Proposition 5) requiring a 2/3 super-majority to win a ballot initiative on wildlife takings. It was a successful pre-emptive strike.
        Does this mean I am opposed to the Montana wolf stamp. No. For one thing, I’ll be happy to say “I told you so” to Derek, Zack and JB when it turns out to be a failure. How many years shall we give it, three years, five? What will count as progress? It’s up to NRDC and other wolf stamp supporters to make sure they (and other donors) get their money’s worth from this. All I can say, is good luck. But still, I admit that I could be wrong. As Yogi Bera is reputed to have quipped, “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” And if it turns out some day that I was clearly wrong, I’ll admit it. (And let me hasten to say, that I really admire and respect and like all three of the guys I mentioned.)
        But the most important reason I am not opposed to the Montana wolf stamp is that I frame the issue as a logical dilemma, neither horn of which offends me: Either the stamp gambit will work or it won’t; if it works, great!; if it doesn’t work, people will abandon it and turn with even greater vigor to the necessary work of helping bring about a widespread scientifically informed ethical affirmation in favor of true conservation – one that overturns the most basic premiss of state wildlife management as it currently exists almost everywhere, which is “If we can hunt it sustainably, we should.” That simply needs to change. So “Great!” again. Either way we will move forward.
        I imagine I can hear some skeptical voices saying “No, there is a third alternative, which is that it won’t work and conservationists will be unwittingly co-opted into supporting status quo wolf management with their pocketbooks, perhaps by being given tempting tidbits now and then: maybe wolves won’t be killed adjacent to YNP, but more will be killed in the Pioneer Mountains instead – or some such – and conservationists will feel that they just have to accept the bargain. However, I don’t think this is a realistic scenario – not because Montana FW&P wouldn’t propose such a thing, but because I don’t think real conservationists will be willing to accept such bogus deals for long.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Kirk wrote “If we can hunt it sustainably, we should.” That simply needs to change.”

          Perfect, thank you

        • avatar JB says:

          Kirk:

          Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I absolutely concur that this ethical premise (i.e., “If we can hunt it sustainably, we should.”) needs to be challenged. The “North American Model” that is so touted by hunting organizations contains a principle that is being ignored: “wildlife should not be killed without a legitimate purpose.” I suspect few people would identify ‘because we can’ as a legitimate purpose.

    • avatar Joanne Favazza says:

      Great post, George.

  18. avatar Elk375 says:

    I guess it real simply if you want to buy a wolf stamp, buy one and accept the policies of the MFW&P’s. If you do not want accept the policies of the MFW&P’s do not purchase a wolf stamp.

    There are those who think if they purchase a wolf stamp that they will have some type of enhanced input in the MWF&P’s, that is not going to happen. Whether one purchases a wolf stamp or not they will always a chance to comment at commission meetings and those comments recorded and evaluated.

    From reading and participation on this form for the last 4 years the majority of the participates are not from ID, Mt and WY. These non residents want a sit at the table and to have the state commissions listen to and adopted they recommendations and ideas. It is not going to happen now, next week or in the next 10 years but change will happen in time, whether it is what one wants that is in the future.

    • avatar Jerry Black says:

      ELK 375….once again, we agree on something!!
      “There are those who think if they purchase a wolf stamp that they will have some type of enhanced input in the MWF&P’s, that is not going to happen”

    • avatar JB says:

      “These non residents want a sit at the table and to have the state commissions listen to and adopted they recommendations and ideas. It is not going to happen now, next week or in the next 10 years…”

      Interesting, Elk. If I were to ask your average Idahoan or Montanan hunter who state game agencies manage for, I suspect many (most?) would snicker and then say ‘non-resident hunters’. Why? Because non-residents pay more (way more, on average) than residents, and the agencies are perceived to be catering to their views. I bet they would’ve given a different answer 15 or 20 years ago.

      You’re right. Change takes time. But change won’t happen without change agents who are willing to work within the system, rather than trying to undermine it.

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        JB

        ++Interesting, Elk. If I were to ask your average Idahoan or Montanan hunter who state game agencies manage for, I suspect many (most?) would snicker and then say ‘non-resident hunters’. Why? Because non-residents pay more (way more, on average) than residents, and the agencies are perceived to be catering to their views. I bet they would’ve given a different answer 15 or 20 years ago.++

        From what I have read that is wrong. It is the non-resident fishers who are the largest source of revenue state wide.

        There are approximately 1500 people landing at the Bozeman airport everyday in the month of August. It seems that every 3rd person this time of year has a fly rod in had. If 500 fishers spend $50 for a non-resident fishing license per day that is $25,000 per day in revenue, hunting license can not compete.

        Source of data: people arriving, newspaper; number of fishermen, observation; total revenue generated, multiplication. Is the $25,000 accurate, close enough.

    • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

      “I guess it real simply [sic?] if you want to buy a wolf stamp, buy one and accept the policies of the MFW&P’s. If you do not want accept the policies of the MFW&P’s do not purchase a wolf stamp.” Rather than the MFW&P offering one stamp, the proceeds from which will fund killing off more wolves, why doesn’t it offer two — one for those who support slaughtering wolves, its Wolf “Management” Stamp, and another for those who support maintaining and opening up more wolf habitats, as George Wuerthner has suggested — something along the lines of a Wolf Habitat Stamp. For the MFW&P to say to the public, you can either buy our stamp that supports killing more wolves, or buy no stamp at all when the public is clearly divided on this issue is not “really” so “simple” — unless you think “my way or the highway” as in buy a Wolf “Management” Stamp, or per Seinfeld’s soup Nazi, “No stamp for you!!” is “really simple.” (Of course, in one way, it “really” is.)

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Even those of us that do not live in MT, WY, or ID have a say in wildlife management practices with the potential to adversely effect wildlife on public lands.

  19. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    There are those who think if they purchase a wolf stamp that they will have some type of enhanced input in the MWF&P’s, that is not going to happen.

    Oh no, I fully expect the Montana legislature to block this in some way. But what will be really interesting is what kind of legal weasling (no offense to the real weasels!) they will use to do so, and as Gary said, they won’t be able to use the ‘they don’t contribute’ line anymore, because they will not let us contribute.

    I doubt Idaho and Wisconsin will become like California as far as predator derbies or hunting, in this lifetime anyway.

  20. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    “Change” has already happened, but it just wasn’t in the direction most had in mind. Now we need “change” just to get us back to where we were before. I don’t call that progress. Hunting may be your ‘cultural heritage’ but if there are no more animals because you’ve hunted and fished them out of existence, then your cultural heritage goes down the tubes also. It’s not the same world as it was 200-300 years ago.

    After that backroom deal that was wolf delisting, many are understandably mistrustful and skeptical of anything these people do. And the travesty that is MI.

  21. avatar GEorge Wuerthner says:

    Here’s an idea. One of the arguments is that a wolf management stamp would pay for purchase of “wolf habitat.” This is a foolish thing to support if wolves are permitted to be killed.

    So here’s a solution. Have all wolf stamp funds go towards acquisition of wolf habitat. However,that habitat can only be designated as additions to existing state parks or new state parks. These are places where wolves cannot be shot, trapped, and killed. I guarantee you that MDFWP would reject the proposal immediately. They are not interested in protecting wolves, nor really wildlife habitat except to the degree that it promotes more wildlife for killing.

    If wolf stamp supporters can get all the funding to buy new state parks you would get my support. See what happens if you suggest that.

    • avatar JB says:

      “Here’s an idea. One of the arguments is that a wolf management stamp would pay for purchase of “wolf habitat.” This is a foolish thing to support if wolves are permitted to be killed.”

      Why? We used excise taxes on hunting equipment and hunting licenses to purchase habitat for deer, elk, rabbit, waterfowl, etc., and the system worked quite well for reestablishing animals that once were on the brink of extinction. In fact, it worked so well that in many places these species have become so abundant that they’re creating problems.

      The purchase of habitat is the one thing that all conservationists–whether hunters or non-hunters–should agree on.

      • avatar CaptainSakonna says:

        That assumes you think that many individuals dead before their time are an acceptable price to pay to achieve increased territory for a species. Would you apply that standard to our own species? Frankly I would rather see a small number of humans settled on one continent, who had peace and success and all lived to be 100, than a large number of humans sprawling across the globe who were mostly killed before their 25th birthday. As far as I’m concerned, the same goes for wolves.

  22. avatar topher says:

    Why not buy one just to have one. Kinda neat. I’m interested to see what they look like. I wonder if they will be similar to a waterfowl stamp with a nice painting on them.

  23. avatar Sam Parks says:

    With all due respect to Brooks Fahy (and I respect him and his organization greatly), I think his opposition to the wolf stamp is short-sighted. He writes:

    “Rather than working within the agency system by promoting stamps and providing other means of supporting marginal improvements for certain species, organizations should apply themselves to an overhaul of the system, starting with state commissions which oversee fish and game agencies.”

    An overhaul of the system? Not asking for much, are we? While that should certainly be the end goal, it makes sense to support this stamp as a step forward, albeit an incredibly small one, for wolves in Montana.

    The above statement that I quoted from Mr. Fahy should not include the word “Rather.” There is absolutely no reason why we can’t work within the agency system when we can to achieve small, yet not insignificant, changes, while at the same time working to overhaul the system as a whole, as he puts it. Wildlife conservationists should not see those two ideas as being mutually exclusive, because they are not.

  24. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    No worry, the hunters don´t like it anyway:
    “I’m against anything that would allow these guys to have a seat at the sportsmen’s table,”

    http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/wildlife/article_a5ff5b28-2445-11e4-9f37-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=story

  25. avatar Elk375 says:

    They had the wolf stamp meeting last night in Bozeman and here is the Bozeman Daily Chronicle article on the subject.

    http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/wildlife/article_a5ff5b28-2445-11e4-9f37-0019bb2963f4.html?utm_medium=desktop&utm_source=block_650017&utm_campaign=blox

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Thank you for posting

    • avatar Yvette says:

      “Wildlife is a public trust, it is owned by everybody so everybody should have a say,” said Montana Wildlife Federation spokesman Ben Lamb. “For the hunting community to say that ‘We don’t want this’ ignores an opportunity to have a new group of people who love wildlife to stand up and fight with us. For us to say ‘We don’t want your money’ is incredibly short-sighted.”

      Ben Lamb sounds like a reasonable man and one with common sense.

  26. avatar Rocky Sehnert says:

    I have a mixed reaction to the wolf stamp idea. I do not think that MTFWP can be trusted to use the money for non-lethal management of wolves as long as there are laws on the books in MT that allow ranchers to kill up to 100 wolves a year in addition to the annual :harvest” if they feel threatened, what ever that means, by the sight of a wolf near their property. Also , MT law provides that predators have to be managed to produce ungulate targets for the license buying hunter regardless of ecosystem needs. It also seems like having to pay additional monies to buy back what the public already owns under the public trust in wildlife sets a bad precedent for the future management of many other species.

  27. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    ‘Pay to play’ policy-making is a corruption.

    Wildlife is a public trust belonging to all citizens in common. Commissions have a fiduciary duty to set policy on behalf of all citizens’ common interest in that trust within a given jurisdiction.

    That a few (of which I am a member) contribute resource to an agency by virtue of licenses and tags in order that we have opportunity to ‘take’ from that public trust, and in order that we may do so in a sustainable way that does not irretrievably offend the citizenry’s common interest in that public trust, should not grant those of us who buy licenses and tags greater influence, access, or representation to determine the policy question about what the citizenry’s common interest is, and how agencies’ are to manage such, than any other citizen within a given jurisdiction.

    That it does is a corruption.

    Fahy’s rationale is sound and wise in suggesting that wildlife advocates should pursue channels of advocacy that are consistent with clean democratic principles.

    ‘Buying in’ to the very corrupt mechanisms responsible for menacing perversions of policy – even with the aim of leveraging countervailing policy outcomes – misappropriates the very real tensions and grievances that mount as a result of policy failing to responsibly balance the interests of the public at large.

    I believe that if the commissions exercised their responsibilities on behalf of the public at large with integrity, many objectives of wildlife advocates would be largely realized.

    That leads me to conclude that it is better to use the energy enjoyed from those very real tensions and grievances to push for a cleaner shop – one that’ll be more likely to do the right/fair thing in the future concerning any number of promised controversies.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Brian,

      “Wildlife is a public trust belonging to all citizens in common. Commissions have a fiduciary duty to set policy on behalf of all citizens’ common interest in that trust within a given jurisdiction.

      That a few (of which I am a member) contribute resource to an agency by virtue of licenses and tags in order that we have opportunity to ‘take’ from that public trust, and in order that we may do so in a sustainable way that does not irretrievably offend the citizenry’s common interest in that public trust, should not grant those of us who buy licenses and tags greater influence, access, or representation to determine the policy question about what the citizenry’s common interest is, and how agencies’ are to manage such, than any other citizen within a given jurisdiction.”

      Very well said.

    • avatar Marc Bedner says:

      I completely agree, Brian. This is the true nature of the so-called North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. By accepting the legitimacy of this “game,” NRDC and their fellow influence peddlers are merely increasing the power of organized hunters, ranchers and other special interests.

    • avatar JB says:

      “I believe that if the commissions exercised their responsibilities on behalf of the public at large with integrity, many objectives of wildlife advocates would be largely realized…it is better to use the energy enjoyed from those very real tensions and grievances to push for a cleaner shop – one that’ll be more likely to do the right/fair thing in the future concerning any number of promised controversies.”

      That’s a great stump speech, Brian. You sound more and more the philosopher-politician (a side-effect of law school, I gather?). So I’ll play the reporter and ask the question politicians hate: how? It’s all well and good to claim that we should ‘push for a cleaner shop’–but until you offer a viable alternative on how to get there, you’re just peddling pipe dreams.

      • avatar timz says:

        A good start would be to quit electing buffoons like Obama.

      • avatar Brian Ertz says:

        legislative or ballot initiatives that capitalize on commonality between interest groups without need for polarizing language – i.e. enforcement mechanisms on the public trust doctrine mounted in the heat of moments when controversies split traditional alliances between livestock & hunting groups (see: bighorn sheep, canned-elk/CWD, etc.)

        • avatar JB says:

          Commonality? With the people with whom you refuse to compromise, even just a little?

          Ballot initiatives may work in places like California or Massachusetts–maybe even Washington and Oregon, but you simply do not have the numbers in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Not even close. And the more you alienate hunters, the less likely you are to find commonality (which requires trust).

          • avatar Brian Ertz says:

            i’m sorry – am i missing something ? refuse to compromise ? with hunters ?

            what are you talking about ?

            you’re way off base.

            ballot initiatives can work in places like idaho as well, but the metric by which we decide what “works” has less to do with passage or not passage – it’s an application of pressure.

            for example, animal rights activists (of which i sympathize, but differ on many issues) started collecting signatures for a ballot initiative in idaho that criminalized animal cruelty/abuse. fearing that the language of that ballot initiative may impact agriculture, idaho legislators responded … they responded by passing their own bill criminalizing animal abuse but exempted agriculture.

            some might suggest that the ballot initiative failed because it never passed as a ballot initiative. some might say it failed by preventing criminalization of animal abuse with agricultural production. i would suggest that animal rights activists were successful – albeit there’s still work to do.

            if a group of people whose enfranchised adversaries likened to PETA and the Humane Society can gain political traction enough to prompt positive legislation in the Idaho legislature – then I don’t think anything is impossible.

            this is a pretty straight-forward example.

            a similar thing happened with bighorn sheep. it didn’t take coming together with the Woolgrowers, it happened that a very politically able group of hunters just so happen to appreciate bighorn sheep. It didn’t take press conferences holding hands with this group of people. Nobody had to abandon their respective corners. Interests were aligned and a whole bunch of ill-stuff was prevented and a bit of positive signed into law as opportunity unfolded.

            it’s about finding common interests that resonate, applying pressure from any number of angles, and then seizing the opportunity at the right time.

            • avatar JB says:

              “i’m sorry – am i missing something ? refuse to compromise ? with hunters ?

              what are you talking about ?”

              Now you are being disingenuous, Brian. For seven years I’ve posted here and during that time you’ve never had a positive word for collaboration or compromise. Indeed, just a few days ago we argued about it. Now you act as if I’m off my rocker for suggesting you’re opposed to it?! Good grief!

              Listen, here’s what it boils down to: collaboration and compromise earn you the trust of people who may be adversaries on one issue, but would gladly work with you on others. When you spurn collaboration for the courts you piss away the good will of folks who might otherwise work with you. Perhaps they will still work with you if they see a common cause–perhaps. But I’ve too frequently seen people act against their own expressed self interest to spite someone who has spited him in the past– tit for tat.

              Good luck in the courts.

              • avatar Brian Ertz says:

                Now you are being disingenuous, Brian. For seven years I’ve posted here and during that time you’ve never had a positive word for collaboration or compromise. Indeed, just a few days ago we argued about it. Now you act as if I’m off my rocker for suggesting you’re opposed to it?! Good grief!

                critiquing the collaborative model’s efficacy toward realizing sound administration and enforcement of existing policy given the model’s unique susceptibility to political interference does not in the least bit demonstrate an unwillingness to compromise in the political arena. political compromise is entirely appropriate in the political arena. it is not appropriate in the application (administration) or enforcement of existing law. when i’ve leveraged concerns about the collaborative model, i’ve done so because i maintain that administration and enforcement are arenas where-in hyper-politicization is inappropriate and continue to argue the (i think fair) belief that the degree to which we can encourage and establish administrative and enforcement decision-making that is insulated from politicized interference is largely a measure of the degree to which wildlife and environmental interests are benefited given the existing legal landscape.

                collaboration and compromise earn you the trust of people who may be adversaries on one issue, but would gladly work with you on others. When you spurn collaboration for the courts you piss away the good will of folks who might otherwise work with you. Perhaps they will still work with you if they see a common cause–perhaps. But I’ve too frequently seen people act against their own expressed self interest to spite someone who has spited him in the past– tit for tat.

                if you think the Woolgrowers, Cattleman’s Association, Stockgrowers, NRA, or RMEF are ever gunna join hands with folk pushing meaningful environmental/wildlife policy then i’m going to suggest we’ll just have to agree to disagree. we’re never going to pacify those actors, let alone win their allegiance on policy – they are not operating from a rational interest-based space. that’s the nut of the reason why collaboratives don’t work in places where they are conducted under a political shadow, and it’s the reason why rational, interest-based policy initiatives (like compensation programs) are wholly ineffective in the west. it’s also the reason why circumventing the appropriate political efforts by introducing our own ‘pay-to-play’ politicized minority interest voice at the administrative table won’t work with a stamp.

                wolf advocates need to do the political leg work or all of our efforts at tweaking the administrative levers will continue to be outflanked by those who hold the reins at the political level. that’s the point. there are many pro-hunting interest groups that have been burned by the same breaches of responsibility as have wolf advocates. that’s where to start.

  28. avatar Brett Haverstick says:

    Proud to call Brooks Fahy an ally, a friend and a damn good conservationist. I’d equate giving the MFWP money for a “management stamp” as giving a drug addict “food money”.

  29. I have to say, it takes alot to calm down and focus sometimes on these hunting issues, just because it is such insanity that these “hunters: spew, and they should have never been given any ligitimacy to use Wildlife as their personal canned hunts, while society was distracted and didn’t realize these thugs did not evolve, and that they actually were gaining a heavy hand in politics to support their blood lust. I also realize that it is in the nature of most of the ones now speaking up for the Wildlife, in this cast the Wolves, that we are naturally loving and peaceful humans, which can be a flaw when in these fights, we are going to lose, our voices are getting louder everyday now, but these bastards are well versed in how to manipulate the law. So it is highly important that we remain vigilant to speak up, in petitions, phone calls, if you have the chance talk to media, get a booth at a fair…ect, and or support other initiatives. One that I am going to suggest again, is I am asking all leaders, semi-leaders, well informed Activists for Wildlife do something here… The Hunters are an organized group supported 100% by NRA, a very powerful, well funded org, which though is under fire right now because of the gun issue, This article mentions a sub group, “Citizens For Professional Wildlife Management, a hunting and conservation coalition”, I have been asking that we form our own Wildlife Board, comprised of Biologists, Preservationists, Knowledgeable Anti’s to be a very loud voice for a different style of Wildlife Management supported truly by all anti’s and a voice for all campaigns against all Wildlife management. I can see a FT job from this foe some, rotating board members for many to take turns?

    • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

      Dominique, I agree with much of what you write in both your posts. A few items:

      1. Thank you for mentioning petitions — pro-conservation, pro-wildlife (as in anti-wildlife “management), pro-habitat integrity, pro-responsible usage of our public lands, pro-species sustainability. Petitions, even when they don’t achieve their objectives, do “work” — they serve to help publicly frame an issue or a specific depravity (such as videoed instances of sadistic cruelty of a wild animal by a trapper or hunter, including government wildlife agents); those which petitions are aimed at are not unaware of the numbers of signees whether the petition achieves its intended objective or not; and petitions help to shift public opinion, despite what their detractors are wont to say. The next time you hear someone dismiss petitions by saying, “I don’t sign petitions because they never work,” realize that in fact, petitions even those that do not “work” so far as achieving their intended goal, galvanize public awareness. Often enough detractors are anti-wildlife and anti-true conservation, and thus, very much want you to think that pro-wildlife, pro-ecology petitions are ineffective — it is in their interests that the public is deluded into believing this.

      2. Notice above that I framed what I said in positive language — pro-wildlife, pro-conservation, pro-ecology, pro-responsible use of our public lands, pro-species sustainability. To let the anti-wildlife (e.g.,anti-wolf), anti-conservation, anti-ecology, anti-responsible use of our public lands interests frame the discussion so that they are “pro” anything other than pro-canned hunts, pro-wildlife killing contests and “derbies” and slaughtering and trapping species either to near extirpation or to satisfy some foregone “quota” vis a vis duplicitous misapplication of the word “management,” semantically cedes the high ground to those who advocate, support, and rationalize killing wildlife while wreaking havoc on biodiversity, destroying ecosystems with impunity, and doing irreversible damage to our public lands (e.g., overgrazing). Pro-wildlife, pro-biodiversity, pro-conservation interest need pay much more attention to avoiding framing their cause, which is life-affirming, as “anti” anything other than anti-killing and anti-destruction of what remains of the wilderness. People react, often almost viscerally to those two little, seemingly innocuous suffixes — positively to “pro,” and negatively to “anti.” For example, and SOLELY by way of example, consider the phrases “pro-life” and “anti-abortion.” Essentially so far as objective, they mean the same — but do they really illicit the same reaction?

      3. You astutely point out “while society was distracted [] it didn’t realize [hunters] actually were gaining a heavy hand in politics to support their blood lust.” To some degree, society was not such more “distracted” as either unaware or under the sway (and still is, though less and less) of the rhetoric the extremely powerful (as in well-funded), pro-wildlife killing lobby (which as you observe includes the NRA, as well as a myriad of pro-hunting organizations, not to mention various lobbyists and flaks representing ranching, logging, recreational, and RE “development” interests) — that one, wildlife must be “managed” (killed to serve their own overlapping economic and psychologically questionable agendas), two, that the myth that large predators pose a significant threat to livestock must be sold as Gospel ( http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6871#.U_SkQnl0zcs), and three, that the myth hunters kill wildlife because they must to provide for their families must also be sold as Gospel. (See below). It bears mentioning that while the pro-wildlife killing lobby is backed by disparate interests, hunters, as a subset of American society, are an extreme minority — not even 1 in 10 Americans hunt, about 6 percent of Americans kill wild animals, nearer to 1 out of 20. A perfect example of how an extremely small minority, backed by an extremely well-heeled juggernaut of special interests advocating for that minority’s raison d’etre (slaughtering wild animals), can seem other than peripheral to society itself.

      You bring up the phrase, “blood lust,” the true nature of which the public still remains largely in the dark about. As Brian Luke cogently establishes in his groundbreaking study, “Violent Love: Hunting, Heterosexuality, and the Erotics of Men’s Predation,” hunting, as it is overwhelming experienced by “North American white is structured as a sexual activity. … Hunters unfailing describe their relation to their prey in terms of sex and affection.” http://www.brown.uk.com/brownlibrary/luke.pdf From thrill hunters derive from stalking their prey to their fetishizing of various body parts of the slain animal as well as performing eroticized rites or acts upon the animal’s carcass, “blood lust” (and “thrill killing”) is extremely applicable to the psychology of the hunter, which has been extensively documented, and is arguably addictive in disposition.

      Because the specious rationale that hunters slaughter wildlife to feed their families remains a go-to favorite in the pro-wildlife-killing lobby’s arsenal, and because a significant swath of the American public still fall “prey” to this myth, it is critical to expose its gross inaccuracy. The following is an excerpt from Brian Luke’s study:

      “North American men do not hunt out of necessity; they typically do not hunt to protect people or animals, nor to keep themselves or their families from going hungry. Rather, they pursue hunting for its own sake, as a sport. This point is obscured by the fact that many hunters consume the flesh of their kills with their families, thus giving the appearance that hunting is a subsistence tactic. A close reading of the hunting literature, however, reveals that hunters eat the flesh of their kills as an ex post facto attempt at morally legitimating an activity they pursue for its own sake. The hunter often portrays himself as providing for his family through a successful kill and ‘harvest.’ This posture seeks to ritually reestablish a stereotypical masculine provider role less available now than may once have been. In reality hunting today is typically not a source of provision but actually drains family resources. Deer hunters, for example, spend on average twenty dollars per pound of venison, once all the costs of equipment, licenses, transportation, unsuccessful hunts, and so forth, are calculated.”

      • avatar rork says:

        Hunting is mostly recreation – I agree. The sex stuff is too easy though. Blueberry pickers fawn over their blueberries. I admit that shroom hunters are perverts, though some deny their homoerotic tendencies. Wearing and handling my climbing gear without excitement is nearly impossible, even when I’m using it out of doors.

        • Living breathing, feeling animals are not blueberries to be “harvested”!!!

          • avatar Elk375 says:

            Dominique

            There is no better eating than an Alaska Black Bear who has been eating blue berries for several weeks. Try it, you would like blue berry fed bear.

            • I would be afraid of the prions and contamination in all flesh, but Wildlife flesh esp, I can already see the results with some people, besides the fact that I don’t believe in killing any animals, but you already knew that one, yous a smart one!

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            Thanks, Dominique. Nor have I ever heard of any blueberry pickers stalking berries the way hunters stalk a wild animal to shoot or bowhunt her or him, or the way rapists and serial killers stalk their victims.

          • avatar rork says:

            “feeling animals are not blueberries” is true, but the reasons to kill either are similar I think. You get to experience sights and feelings that are ten thousand years old, stuff our ancestors experienced, including sharing old-fashioned food. It is atavistic. You can nearly see the old ones doing it through the fog if you squint just right. Simply observing is all most of us want when it comes to bears, coyotes, wolves, badger, weasel, snake, bat, though some want the bear meat. It often seems a sort of competition – who is the most bad-ass hunter. I’m not so fond of that either, but don’t think it that sexual. Maybe I’m insufficiently butch.

        • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

          With all due respect, Rork, read Brian Luke’s study. Thanks for your response.

          • avatar rork says:

            I read it last night. I’ve never seen so much true but irrelevant stuff offered in a so-called study in my life (e.g. we grunt to get a buck closer). Many writers have used sexual metaphors about almost any topic you could name is most of what it shows, along with that hormones (adrenaline for example) affect human behavior in many ways, and lots of different experiences alter the same hormones (cause we only have a few of them). I think I could write about the same paper about vegetable gardening.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              You probably could. It is one of the biggest motivators humans have. Just ask Madison Avenue.

            • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

              Rork,

              Brian Luke is not “using sexual metaphors” — go back and read his study. He specifically hypothisizes what motivates the North American white middle-class male to hunt, and provides both quantitative data, and considerable testimony as well as anecdotal evidence from hunters, to support his hypothesis.

              I was unaware that vegetable gardeners eroticize and fetishize in the manner that hunters have been documented doing, and hunters have openly acknowledged doing with wild animals, as borne out in Brian Luke’s study.

              Let me know once you have written your “paper” on vegetable gardeners.

              • avatar Larry says:

                Speaking of sexual metaphors and hunters; here is one example that I would not have believed had I not been standing there. Working covertly into a group of unlawful hunters, mostly from California, I was with a former L.A. cop when he unlawfully killed a mountain goat using archery equipment. He had alerted me a day or so ahead of time that if he was successful he has a routine that he does with his kills that I might not have seen before. Sure enough it was astonishing and sickening when the first thing he did at the goat carcass was to detach the testicles, embrace them to his face and kiss them. The human species, having the advanced thought processes, is capable of anything! From ISIS to sport hunters.

              • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

                Thank you for your post, Larry. What you describe, and other similar instances of paraphilia by hunters with body parts from the carcasses of wild animals they have slain are not uncommon.

              • avatar Larry says:

                A little off the subject of the stamp issue; I came out of my job with an observation most don’t see. I came to know that a surprising percentage of people, when they go on an outing, be it hunting or fishing, become a person that is not seen in their normal Monday-Friday associations. I have been surprised by the conduct of clergy, boy scout leaders, fire, police and even natural resource professionals when they leave their normal life and become a hunter or fisher for a weekend or week. In times when such persons or groups have had their confidence gained by in-depth covert investigations they show their true colors resulting in some really shocking statements or conduct. From the L.A. cop example to the former New Jersey Game Commissioner guilty of conspiracy to smuggle polar bear. Maybe some of that experience brings me to distrust how much wolves would benefit from wolf stamp money. If the stamp is approved someone prowolf better be, “Following the money”.

              • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

                Larry, thank you for your response.

                Your description of what you have witnessed is hardly isolated — how “a surprising percentage of people, when they go on an outing, be it hunting or fishing, become a person that is not seen in their normal Monday-Friday associations. I have been surprised by the conduct of clergy, boy scout leaders, fire, police and even natural resource professionals when they leave their normal life and become a hunter or fisher for a weekend or week. In times when such persons or groups have had their confidence gained by in-depth covert investigations they show their true colors resulting in some really shocking statements or conduct.”

                What most who get to know hunters come to realize is that hunters, as you point out, come from all walks of life, and are typically respected members of their communities, often with families and friends, churchgoers, working at responsible jobs, etc. The transformation once they are bonding with one another out in the wilderness, pumped up and excited by stalking wild animals to kill them can be extremely unsettling, and that is putting it mildly, indeed horrifying to someone who has never witnessed a hunt before, especially if an animal is maimed and crying out in pain, which happens more than hunters admit, even (or maybe especially) those who pride themselves on being good shots. (This doesn’t even take into account hunters who intentionally wound so that the animal dies slowly and agonizingly — such as those who deliberately gut-shoot a wolf, or other large predators.)

                Yes, “really shocking statements and conduct,” as you so aptly put it, are as much the norm as the exception once hunters feel secure in their ranks, that no one is around who would take issue with their behavior.

                Thanks again for your response.

      • avatar JB says:

        “A close reading of the hunting literature, however, reveals that hunters eat the flesh of their kills as an ex post facto attempt at morally legitimating an activity they pursue for its own sake.”

        I’m not sure the author’s “close reading of the hunting literature” is actually an accurate reading of the literature. The reality is that different hunters have different motivations for hunting. Where I live, we have a substantial Amish and Mennonite population, and I can assure you, they hunt to fill the bellies of their families. I have also never seen any literature that indicates that the obtainment of food is an ‘ex post facto’ justification. Some hunters hunt mainly for food, some hunt mainly for trophies, some for enjoyment of nature, others hold multiple motivations.

        In my opinion, your hunters hunt because they enjoy killing argument is just as disingenuous and inaccurate in its portrayal of hunters as the hunters hunt because they’re interested in conservation or hunters hunt to provide food arguments used by pro-hunting groups. Each oversimplifies and inaccurately portrays the multiple reasons people engage in hunting.

        • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

          Thanks for your response, JB.

          I did not quote Brian Luke’s study at length, nor supply his copious citations. I did supply a link to “Violent Love: Hunting, Heterosexuality, and the Erotics of Men’s Predation,” which I will it post again and the conclusion of my response.

          A couple of points:

          1. Your statement dismissing Mr. Luke’s “close reading of hunting literature” with: “I’m not sure the author’s ‘close reading of the hunting literature’ is actually an accurate reading of the literature,” is simply your opinion, couched in the word, “accurate, which is meaningless in the contest you use it — accurate to you may be a completely subjective, off-kilter reading of hunting literature that cherry-picks information to arrive at foregone conclusions in the manner you did with NRMs wolf predation data, no more reflecting fact-based reality than your anecdotal reference to the Amish and Mennonites where you live hunting for subsistence.

          2. You intentionally ignore Luke’s opening statement (have you read his essay, because if you haven’t you should before commenting on it, or dismissing it) — “In this essay I show how contemporary hunting by North American white men is structured and experienced as a sexual activity,” by focusing on how hunting is practiced in two highly insular religious sects, which certainly are not representative of North American white middle-class males, the hunters which Mr. Luke’s essay analyzes.

          3. Rephrasing of what I had written in discussing Luke’s essay to my “hunters hunt because they enjoy killing argument” sugar-coats and considerably softens the the real reason the typical North American white male hunts, which Luke copiously documents in his essay. And simply saying, without a shred of proof that an argument, any argument is “disingenuous” or alleging it to be “inaccurate” doesn’t make it so.

          http://www.brown.uk.com/brownlibrary/luke.pdf

          • avatar JB says:

            Mark:

            1. My reading of the literature is based upon SCIENTIFIC inquiries into hunting motivations; Mr. Luke’s (take a look at his ‘copious’ references) appears to be based upon quotes from various news stories, books, and opinion pieces. If someone is being subjective, it is Mr. Luke. Note, the literature on motivations for hunting and fishing is relatively robust. Here are a few to get you started:

            Decker D.J., Connelly N.A. (1989) Motivations for deer hunting: Implications for antlerless deer harvest as a management tool. Wildlife Society Bulletin 17, 455-463.

            Hayslette S.E., Armstrong J.B., Mirarchi R.E. (2001) Mourning Dove Hunting in Alabama: Motivations, Satisfactions, and Sociocultural Influences Human Dimensions of Wildlife 6, 81-95.

            Chipman B.D., Helfrich L.A. (1988) Recreational Specializations and Motivations of Virgnia River Anglers. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 8, 390-398.

            Knopf R.C., Driver B.L., Bassett J.R. (1973) Motivations For Fishing. pp. 28-41 in J.C. Hendee, C. Schoenfeld editors. Human Dimensions in Wildlife Programs. Mercury Press, Rockville, MD.

            Schroeder S.A., Fulton D.C., Currie L., Goeman T. (2006) He Said, She Said: Gender and Angling Specialization, Motivations, Ethics, and Behaviors. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 11, 301-315.

            2. You’re right, I do intentionally ignore Mr. Luke’s opening statement, which really constitutes his opinion on hunting–again, supported by statements he has dug out of the popular press. I’ll pit the science I cite against Mr. Luke’s scholarship any day.

            3. Yes, you are again correct. Alleging something to be inaccurate does not make it so; which is exactly why Mr. Luke’s essay rings hollow.

            • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

              JB,

              I think you and I will just have to agree to disagree.

              Your string of cites are all from pro-hunting flaks-cum-“scientists,” and it’s no surprise whatsoever you agree with their “research,” in which hunting qua hunting is already a foregone assumption as above reproach so far as motivation.

              The abstract of the first “study” you cite reads like a pro-hunting political manifesto, setting out what must be proved which turns the scientific method on its head: “Successful lobbying against certain hunting practices by animal-welfare and animal-rights groups and a steady decline in hunter recruitment, retention, and numbers raise legitimate concerns regarding the future of hunting and its relationship to wildlife management. The nonhunting, non-animal-rights-advocate majority will determine the fate of hunting.” This is simply an attempt, and knowingly a rather desperate one, to “justify hunting or place it in a shared context with modern society,” not analyze what motivates hunters. Then, there is this from the organization that published this pro-hunting tract: “…Today hunting is principally useful for recreational purposes, for utilization of the harvestable surplus to benefit man, and for controlling populations…” Wildlife Society.

              Your second cite’s ephiphanic realization that “[c]hildhood socialization was important in developing hunting behavior among dove and non-dove hunters,” does not in any way undercut anything in Luke’s essay, focused upon what motivates North American white adult male hunters. (Your other cites are to pro-angling “research,” which for some reason, you find relevant to Mr. Luke’s study on hunting — likely because they are pro-angling.) And last time I checked, putting the word, scientific, in all caps doesn’t make for science, JB.

              So far as Brian Luke’s references, a “look” is all you took at them — a “look,” JB is not reading. I will give you credit, however, for writing “appears to be based” because you did not take the time to find out what his cited sources say.

              Your statement “[a]lleging something to be inaccurate does not make it so; which is exactly why Mr. Luke’s essay rings hollow,” is nothing other than another of your typically baseless dismissals of something you have not read, but have decided you don’t agree with regardless. When I stated that saying something is inaccurate doesn’t make it so — here, let me help you out, JB, on this one (to borrow one of your favorite condescending phrases) — I was referring to you, and to your modus operandi. If you think twisting what I said to apply what I said about you to Mr. Luke passes for a response — nice try, but no cigar. (Either that or the clever-as-shit hurdle in your neck of the woods is set about as low as the untied laces on your footwear.)

              Nor does anything you have written, once again, serve to inform or establish what makes anything you have already written in any way, shape, or form accurate.

              • avatar JB says:

                “Your string of cites are all from pro-hunting flaks-cum-‘scientists’…”

                Logical fallacy #1 – Ad hominem attack. If you don’t like their conclusions, rebut the science, not their position on hunting.

                “The abstract of the first “study” you cite reads like a pro-hunting political manifesto…”

                The abstract does what abstracts do–sets the stage for the study by describing the “problem”. That you don’t perceived hunter declines as a problem is fine, but it does not in any way invalidate the basic premise of the research which is to understand why people hunt. And of course, disagreeing with the reason for a study does not de-legitimize the study’s findings.

                “Your other cites are to pro-angling “research,” which for some reason, you find relevant to Mr. Luke’s study on hunting — likely because they are pro-angling.”

                My last two responses apply here as well.

                “Your statement “[a]lleging something to be inaccurate does not make it so; which is exactly why Mr. Luke’s essay rings hollow,” is nothing other than another of your typically baseless dismissals of something you have not read, but have decided you don’t agree with regardless”

                Wrong again. Actually, I read Mr. Luke’s essay in graduate school, I skimmed it again last night after your post and spent some time looking at those ‘copious references’ you allude to.

                “Nor does anything you have written, once again, serve to inform or establish what makes anything you have already written in any way, shape, or form accurate.”

                I’ve cited multiple empirical studies; I’ve also conducted a few of my own that agree with the findings of Decker, Connelly and others. You’ve cited a single essay.

                Look I can see that I’m not going to convince you–that much is obvious. So I’m not going to waste any more of my time attempting to show you what should be obvious (i.e., there are multiple motivations to hunt and fish, and individuals are capable of holding more than one motive). (I have yet to find an empirical investigation that claims any type of sexual motivation for hunting or fishing.)

                So I’ll make you a deal, Mark? You keep right on preaching about how hunting is an act of sexual domination, and I’ll keep chuckling to myself about the depths to which some people will go to justify their philosophy.

              • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

                JB,
                I read over the hunting research cites your provided, and while the methodology involves of the first feigns that of a scientific inquiry, the abstract is critically flawed. The abstract does not do “what abstracts do.” The abstract does not “set[] the stage for the study by describing the ‘problem,’” – quite the contrary, it advocates for legitimizing an ethic that will “justify hunting or place it in a shared context with modern society, “ which the author views the ethics he lists, as “failing” to do. This is not “setting the stage for the study by describing the ‘problem’” – this is, as the author clearly points out, an effort to undergird “[a]n approach to demonstrat[e] the social legitimacy of hunting,” to sway as the author observes, “[t]he nonhunting, non-animal-rights-advocate majority [which] will determine the fate of hunting. Thus, a successful hunting ethic must be logically consistent and intuitively appealing to this moderate majority.”
                You erroneously state because I “don’t perceive hunter declines as a problem is fine, but it does not in any way invalidate the basic premise of the research which is to understand why people hunt.” My views on hunting do not invalidate the basic premise of the “study” you cited — the views of the author who “designed” the “study” more than invalidate any possible suggestion of an unbiased inquiry on his part into why hunters hunt — an unbiased inquiry being intrinsic to scientific inquiry. Since you have seen fit suggest, actually more than suggest that the “study” in question objectively and in an unbiased fashion proposes as its “basic premise” to “understanding what makes people hunt,” letting the study’s title and abstract speak to your claim as to the unbiased objectivity of its “basic premise” is relevant:
                –“An approach for demonstrating the social legitimacy of hunt” M. Nils Peterson
                Abstract
                Successful lobbying against certain hunting practices by animal-welfare and animal-rights groups and a steady decline in hunter recruitment, retention, and numbers raise legitimate concerns regarding the future of hunting and its relationship to wildlife management. The nonhunting, non-animal-rights-advocate majority will determine the fate of hunting. Thus, a successful hunting ethic must be logically consistent and intuitively appealing to this moderate majority. This shared ethic could encourage cultural, political, and economic support for wildlife management from both hunters and nonhunters alike. In light of this goal, I argue that 3 dominant hunting ethics—the naturalness hypothesis, the land ethic, and the sporting ethic—fail to justify hunting or place it in a shared context with modern society, and I suggest an alternative ethic that combines Aldo Leopold’s vision of an expanding community with traditional utilitarian and rights-based evaluations of ethical criteria within an n-dimensional moral framework. This conceptualization of an ethical system would allow the use of tools applicable to systems analysis in analyzing moral issues and would foster communicative practices capable of creating a more inclusive community. Further, it can both create and elucidate the ethical space shared by the moderate majority and hunters.–
                This is not and actually makes no bones about not being an objective, unbiased scientific inquiry into “understand[ing] what makes hunters hunt,” as you falsely claim, JB. From the study’s title on, this is an attempt “to demonstrate the social legitimacy of hunting,” to actually come up with an ethic “to justify hunting or place it in a shared context with modern society, [by suggesting] an alternative ethic” to those the author lists, which do not suffice to “place [hunting] in a shared context with modern society.” The study’s goal or basic premise is not “to understand why people hunt,” as you falsely claim, but to come up with what the author construes as a defensible ethic in order to “elucidate the ethical space shared by the moderate majority and hunters. “ In short, this “research” is nothing other than a glorified pretext to advance some “legitimizing” common moral ground between a putative “moderate majority” in the US and hunters, not to “understand what makes people hunt.”

                The opening sentences of the author’s Abstract are nothing other than a salvo across the bow of “animal-welfare and animal-rights groups.” This is a call to arms, couched in rather inept pseudo-science, essentially a haplessly desperate rear-guard action to shore up, as the author observes the “steady decline in hunter recruitment, retention, and numbers [which for him, hunters, and the hunting lobby] raise legitimate concerns regarding the future of hunting.” To dare call this science falls somewhere between being intellectually dishonest and obtuse, and to suggest that “the basic premise of the author’s research [] is to understand why hunters people hunt” reads into and misrepresents the clearly stated purpose of his “research,” which is to discover a “social legitimacy for hunting” — to suggest “an alternative ethic” for hunting, chiefly one that might prove morally palatable to “[t]he nonhunting, non-animal-rights-advocate majority,” which the author theorizes “will determine the fate of hunting,” but which he fails to understand is not a solid, immutable majority, but being comprised of individual s, whose views on hunting vis a vis animal rights change daily so that majority is constantly in flux. (Many of this presumed “moderate majority” has become highly receptive to the long overdue needs to protect the welfare and rights of wild animals, and to do something to attempt to reverse the deleterious effects hunting has on biodiversity, healthy ecosystems, public land usage, etc., as well. Many have, and more will follow suit in abandoning the ranks of the author’s “moderate majority,” as each day more and more individuals via social networks witness the horrific consequences to wild animals from hunting and trapping. Increasingly, people are realizing that standing over, or kneeling beside the carcass of a wild animal which moments before had its own home, its own family, and social network – in the throes of satisfying the lust to stalk and kill, leering and grinning from ear to ear, having violently and gratuitously ended a life (or more often, many lives) is not what our Nation is all about.)
                JB, you have what I am gathering is a chronic and likely unalterable penchant for assuming that because of your use of certain words, that usage makes what you have stated true. You write that you a have “cited multiple empirical studies; I’ve also conducted a few of my own that agree with the findings of Decker, Connelly and others. You’ve cited a single essay.” First, JB, using the adjective, “empirical” to describe research doesn’t magically render it empirical. Second, this is not a wildlife-killing contest, where the most cites wins the the equivalent of a few pieces of silver, or another gun, or a shiny belt buckle for how many wild animals have been wantonly slaughtered (not counting those maimed to crawl off and slowly and painfully die) – the number of cites you bring to the table does not “prove” anything , JB, let alone your point — any more than typing the word, science, in all caps – as you did in an earlier post, does.

                “ I’m not going to waste any more of my time attempting to show you what should be obvious.” What is “obvious” to you, JB, is what you already agree with – that is patently obvious to anyone who reads.

                “So I’ll make you a deal, Mark? You keep right on preaching about how hunting is an act of sexual domination, and I’ll keep chuckling to myself about the depths to which some people will go to justify their philosophy.” I will make you a deal, JB – as I said, if you agree to disagree, I will. What you mislabel “preaching” is simply sharing an essay, well-documented, regarding what motivates the North American white male to hunt. And if you honestly would enjoy a chuckle, read the title and Abstract you cited to me as unbiased science — so far as the “depths to which some people will go to justify their philosophy,” and to attempt to influence and sway public opinion under the specious and reprehensible guise of calling such “research.”

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “Where I live, we have a substantial Amish and Mennonite population, and I can assure you, they hunt to fill the bellies of their families”

          And where I live JB (Montana) all sorts of strange things happen relating to the “bagging” of prey animals each year, come hunting season.

          Some literally weep (especially out of staters) over the size of the head/rack and yeah, okay (an after thought) the meat and many spend time at the local watering hole bragging….

          And I’ve got to say, I’ve seen more than my share of locals who like to run around town with their head/rack (and yeah, okay the meat) in the back of their pickup….. for hours… like some kind of heads up, that THEY knew where to go and THEY got their head/rack and okay, well yeah, then there’s the meat too.

          Montana, Idaho, Wyoming? My guess would be the testosterone levels in these states, come hunting season, is down right frightening for most wildlife :)

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            wow I must really be missing out; but I hunt exclusively by my self at the very end of the season (except my daughter, who is progressing nicely, and grand-son who I hope to take this year), when 90% of the “hunters” are getting ready for x-mass.
            And just to be clear I have never hunted for any thing other than the goal of putting food in the freezer. Any other reason is stupid, IMO.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              It’s too bad there aren’t more out there like you.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                I also buy a half beef every year that is 100% raised on private land only gets the worm shot required by federal statute, nothing else and is 100% finished with organic corn.

                I also get a whole pig with the same parameters.
                and last year paid 4.50$ lb.
                This year will be a little more, probably around 5$ a lb.

                Its not that hard.

            • avatar TC says:

              “…other similar instances of paraphilia by hunters with body parts from the carcasses of wild animals they have slain are not uncommon.”

              “Yes, “really shocking statements and conduct,” as you so aptly put it, are as much the norm as the exception once hunters feel secure in their ranks, that no one is around who would take issue with their behavior.”

              I don’t hunt anymore for my own reasons, but I did hunt for a long time, and over the years spent time hunting with a pretty diverse group of people in the many states I’ve called home. I hunted to get outdoors, I hunted to see wild places and wildlife, and yes, I hunted for food. I did not hunt for trophies. I often did not fire a shot, and that never lessened the experience. I hunted with some people that very MUCH needed that meat, and I supported them in their efforts. I’ve never observed behaviors like these that you describe, and I’ve never heard stories alluding to behaviors like these that you describe, even late at night when socially lubricated minds send tongues flapping and inhibitions are scarce. I have no doubt it happens. Everything imaginable, and some things beyond the imagination happen. They are not “norms”.

              There are unethical hunters, there are slobs, there are hunters that seem to lack any empathy, and there are hunters that lack any knowledge of ecology and conservation, but this entire thread has veered into some very strange territory and is painting with a brush entirely too broad and unsubstantiated.

              I respect and support people that are anti-hunting when they’re honest about their reasons and make logical arguments. This sort of creepy and sleazy ad hominem attack on hunters as a whole, based on some very footloose and fancy-free “science” is beyond strange, and certainly does nothing to advance meaningful discussions. I’ve read Brian Luke’s published work, both the article cited and his book. And I’m sorry, much of it does not stand up to rigorous scrutiny. It could be powerful. Instead it’s emotive narcissism and self-righteousness, lacking credible data and data analysis. Some of the best evidence for my argument? Who cites his work, and where. And more importantly, who does not. Life is too short to pass up useful and credible sources/references in scientific writing. When your work is not cited, well, the sound of crickets has meaning.

              Other hunters on this site? Any thoughts?

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                It actually isn’t the first time this type of bizarre behavior has been discussed. Someone linked some information about this kind of deviant behavior, and I think there’s a Facebook page with certain of your ranks who do brag about and suggest certain things about their hunting.

                You’ve got to admit, the choice of terminology common to both activities is interesting, and that testosterone is the driver of aggression and violence and sex drive.

                Hunting used to be about survival which is understandable, but it isn’t about survival today.

                So what is hunting about in modern times?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                TC,
                The bit of hunting I have done, and those with whom I have associated are all in accord with what you have very eloquently written.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                So Immer you would say that hunting isn’t violence?

              • avatar rork says:

                TC: I hunt deer and turkey. Mostly to get out. But I want some meat too, so I don’t bring just a camera, though that might be in my future. My expenses are few and I’ve managed 3 deer/year, and almost never buy meat cause I trade work/salmon/deer for lamb/turkey/chicken/rabbit.
                I think deer creating arousal must be very rare – never heard of it from any hunter, even second hand. I did once hear a duck hunter say he got two mallards and a woodie though, but I did not make inquires.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Ida,
                The hunting, seeking part no. The impact of bullet, shot or arrow, why are you even asking? Nature is violent, and when man participates in nature, violence often is part of the equation.

                When predators take prey, there is often times much more violence. Supposedly endorphins kick in, and little pain is experienced, if the kill is allowed to proceed. Why would it be any different for the devices used by man?

                Went fishing yesterday. Released everything I caught. The strikes by some of the fish were violent. I’m sure, if any cognizant abilities reside in crappies, perch, bluegills and pike, they did not appreciate the end result of their violence, yet their was no apparent Pisces appreciation upon their immediate release either. :-)

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                It just seems like we humans like to think that we are above all of the more base instincts of the so-called other creatures on the planet (except when it is convenient for us not to be). But we are no longer natural creatures or part of nature at all.

                Why are you saying ‘Nature’ is violent? Yes it is, but humans are supposed to be above all that, we’re told. I was asking if you think mankind is inherently violent. You make it sound like the animals and nature provoke hunters into shooting them – were the deer and salmon dressed too provocatively I wonder?

                Since there were no answers to my question of whether hunting is necessary in our modern world, here’s my take on it. I think that hunting has no purpose in modern society, except maybe as a reluctantly sanctioned outlet for the human propensity for violence. We certainly can’t have people harming each other, but nobody cares if they harm abundant wildlife and so-called ‘vermin’. They’ll reproduce like rabbits anyway.

                Only the wildlife isn’t so abundant anymore, and the human vermin is.

                It’s interesting that all of you fine gentleman hunters here are shocked and appalled by the behavior of your fellows and quick to deny and ridicule, blame and deflect – but it isn’t difficult to find examples of bad and unethical behavior, which seems to be happening with much more frequency, or maybe because of modern information technology is more accessible.

                And to have a hunter call someone else a narcissist is not eloquent, but rather humorous.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Oh, I almost forgot to address the subject of conservation!

                Hunters and anglers are not really conservationists directly, they are because without hunting and fishing areas, they couldn’t hunt! It’s not conservation for conservation’s sake. For example, there’s a lot of opposition to putting land aside for conservation alone, unless it can be shown to have some use for humans.

              • avatar Larry says:

                Ida,
                And that’s the basic premise of why hunters are against the wolf stamp, because it doesn’t serve THEIR purpose. As opposed to why I am against it, in that it will be twisted to NOT serve wolves 100%.

              • avatar JB says:

                “Since there were no answers to my question of whether hunting is necessary in our modern world, here’s my take on it. I think that hunting has no purpose in modern society, except maybe as a reluctantly sanctioned outlet for the human propensity for violence.”

                Ida:

                As I tried to explain to you elsewhere on this thread, human existence requires energy. Although it doesn’t necessarily require animal protein, it does require agriculture (at least at current levels). Agriculture means habitat is destroyed, animals are displaced (and some are never born).

                Hunting (a) allows a person to gain protein naturally–without alteration to the environment; (b) hunted animals (as opposed to animals raised for slaughter) live better lives (free from captivity, mistreatment, hormones, etc.); and (c) hunting forces people (or at least allows them) to confront the fact that their existence requires that other organisms die–and to take ownership of that death, rather than to pass it off to another.

                None of these factors make hunting absolutely “necessary”; rather, they make it better (for some people) than other alternatives.

              • avatar topher says:

                I hunt a every year, usually with one or two close friends,and have never witnessed anything remotely resembling what was described. No bloodlust or creepiness. Just good time spent with good friends in amazing country.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Ida,

                “Why are you saying ‘Nature’ is violent? Yes it is, but humans are supposed to be above all that, we’re told. I was asking if you think mankind is inherently violent.”

                No, that’s not what you were “asking” me. You were trying to put words in my mouth (where have I read that before)”would I say that hunting isn’t violence? I answered that.

                Now, are humans inherently violent? That’s a good question. Why do some people from childhood through adulthood never lay a hand on another, while a child from the same family may bite scratch and hit and carry that behavior into adulthood? Same parents…

                That has no connection with hunting.

              • “Epigenetics studies the way that DNA is expressed: that is when the code behaves in a way that is not exactly what the DNA program says. DNA itself, the fundamental code, is inherited from the person’s biological parents and remains fixed through a person’s lifetime.

                But the genes in the DNA are coated with a layer of chemicals called DNA methylation. These chemicals influence how the DNA is interpreted and they can be affected by changes in the environment, especially in early life such as when the new embryo is made, in the womb, and then later in childhood.” I personally believe that some humans inherit this DNA alteration, either from their parents or from someone in the chain, that has come from a violent environment, and passes this as a propensity to be a killer, weather they have been nurtured in their own upbringing or not. And I can see that N. American History of white men, show them to be violent, and power hungry, singling out the hunters as addicted to the adrenaline of the chase and kill is obvious,and most hunters I have observed demand a male dominated home life with plenty of abuse towards the women and children. I see the killing of animals as all a part of this very mentally/emotional ill equation that has come by them honestly through the DNA chain.

              • “Epigenetics studies the way that DNA is expressed: that is when the code behaves in a way that is not exactly what the DNA program says. DNA itself, the fundamental code, is inherited from the person’s biological parents and remains fixed through a person’s lifetime.
                But the genes in the DNA are coated with a layer of chemicals called DNA methylation. These chemicals influence how the DNA is interpreted and they can be affected by changes in the environment, especially in early life such as when the new embryo is made, in the womb, and then later in childhood.” I personally believe that some humans inherit this DNA alteration, either from their parents or from someone in the chain, that has come from a violent environment, and passes this as a propensity to be a killer, weather they have been nurtured in their own upbringing or not. And I can see that N. American History of white men, show them to be violent, and power hungry, singling out the hunters as addicted to the adrenaline of the chase and kill is obvious,and most hunters I have observed demand a male dominated home life with plenty of abuse towards the women and children. I see the killing of animals as all a part of this very mentally/emotional ill equation that has come by them honestly through the DNA chain.

      • Thank you Mark for giving such an eloquent description of my points, and this is a great analogy, “Violent Love: Hunting, Heterosexuality, and the Erotics of Men’s Predation,” hunting, as it is overwhelming experienced by “North American white is structured as a sexual activity. … Hunters unfailing describe their relation to their prey in terms of sex and affection.” I have witnessed this, over and over again in video’s that these hunters post of their kills, this brag and display of their victim. It is so Forensic Science 101, the profile of a killer, personality traits and behavior patterns “A disproportionate number exhibit one, two, or all three of the Macdonald triad of predictors of future violent behavior: They are involved in sadistic activity; especially in children who have not reached sexual maturity, this activity may take the form of torturing animals.[7]” The FBI, however, states, “Serial murderers often seem normal; have families and/or a steady job.”, “Serial killers may be more likely to engage in fetishism, partialism or necrophilia, which are paraphilias that involve a strong tendency to experience the object of erotic interest almost as if it were a physical representation of the symbolized body.” Could this be why they display the animals Heads or Hides on their walls, just saying…

  30. Time for Anti-‘s to challenge the existing structure of F&W/G. Facts against our Civil Rights, are that this is a PUBLIC agency being run by a small percentage of a “special interest group”, the so called “conservationists” do not and should not use hunting licenses to fund our managing and saving our Wildlife. There are many subsidies from public funds that support this mis-managed agency. Proven research by many, but one that I have seen for myself is by Peter Muller, this research proves Wildlife Watching has and will generate 7-10 times the revenue for that dept, than “hunting” does. Hunting, as is this “Task Force”, is antiquated, barbarically cruel and is sociopathic in nature.

    • avatar rork says:

      Your cruel, sociopathic type words help pro-wolf-hunt folks near me paint all skeptics as loons. Folks near me killed animals for food for thousands of years, and biologist near me near-universally want more deer killed.

      • Awww, poor babies… so sensitive, aren’t you and your buddies.. I saved this one for you, “Criminologist Jose Sanchez reports, “the young criminal you see today is more detached from his victim, more ready to hurt or kill … The lack of empathy for their victims among young criminals is just one symptom of a problem that afflicts the whole society.”

        • avatar JB says:

          Good grief, Dominique. You do realize people have been killing their food since the beginning of time? And those that don’t hunt have someone else kill their food for them–so they don’t even have to worry about any sad feelings they might have for the poor animals they eat. Convenient, eh?

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            You can’t be shielded (by society) from the sad feelings about what goes on in these places on the edges, and when we do find out, some of us won’t eat meat. People have been questioning eating sentient beings since the beginning of time too. And it is not out of the question for those who do eat meat to expect that animals will be treated as humanely as possible, and their welfare considered.

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            JB conveniently assumes for the sake of his “argument” that everyone is eating animals. And most hunters in North America don’t need to hunt for food. As cited previously, “North American men do not hunt out of necessity; they typically do not hunt to protect people or animals, nor to keep themselves or their families from going hungry. Rather, they pursue hunting for its own sake, as a sport. This point is obscured by the fact that many hunters consume the flesh of their kills with their families, thus giving the appearance that hunting is a subsistence tactic. A close reading of the hunting literature, however, reveals that hunters eat the flesh of their kills as an ex post facto attempt at morally legitimating an activity they pursue for its own sake. The hunter often portrays himself as providing for his family through a successful kill and ‘harvest.’ This posture seeks to ritually reestablish a stereotypical masculine provider role less available now than may once have been. In reality hunting today is typically not a source of provision but actually drains family resources. Deer hunters, for example, spend on average twenty dollars per pound of venison, once all the costs of equipment, licenses, transportation, unsuccessful hunts, and so forth, are calculated.”

            • avatar JB says:

              JB conveniently assumes for the sake of his “argument” that everyone is eating animals.

              I made no assumptions at all, Mark. Animals die because of your existence–whether you are a vegetarian, or not. Going to the grocery store for meat lets people shy away from the dissonance created by the fact that an animal had to die so that they could have a sandwich. But even if one chooses to be a vegetarian (s/he) is responsible for animals dying, albeit indirectly. Hunting at least forces people to confront this reality.

              By the way, did you know that only 5% of Americans identify as vegetarians?

              http://www.gallup.com/poll/156215/Consider-Themselves-Vegetarians.aspx

              “…men do not hunt out of necessity; they typically do not hunt to protect people or animals, nor to keep themselves or their families from going hungry.”

              Such authoritative claims! And you accuse me of making assumptions, LOL!

              “A close reading of the hunting literature, however, reveals that hunters eat the flesh of their kills as an ex post facto attempt at morally legitimating an activity they pursue for its own sake.”

              Really? Perhaps you could cite some of this “literature” you reference? I’m curious to see the study designed used to falsify the hypothesis that men are not motivated by food provisioning…?

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                But even if one chooses to be a vegetarian (s/he) is responsible for animals dying, albeit indirectly. Hunting at least forces people to confront this reality.

                No it doesn’t! This is terribly unfair, black-and-white thinking. Being indirectly responsible, and I doubt it without some real world example or proof to show it, is a lot less than willfully and directly killing animals in addition to the ones the ones the hunter may have indirectly killed/displaced. Don’t try to make hunting redeemable, because for many it is just as mindless a pursuit as anything else humans do.

                Are you referring to farming or homebuilding? A lot of people take great care to minimize their effects on the environment within the confines of society, don’t buy the biggest McMansion they can find with a 3-car garage, drive gas guzzlers, use pesticides and herbicides on their lawns, waste water, and fence out wildlife, buy local, organically farmed produce, and animals that have to be displaced or lose their lives because of our needs.

              • avatar JB says:

                “Being indirectly responsible, and I doubt it without some real world example or proof to show it, is a lot less than willfully and directly killing animals in addition to the ones the ones the hunter may have indirectly killed/displaced.”

                Ida:

                People get energy via food; the production of food requires modification (and sometimes outright elimination) of habitat. Changing that habitat converts energy that would otherwise be used to produce flora and fauna used by wildlife into products (i.e., crops) we use for food. There is no doubt that that conversion of energy directly impacts some animals (i.e., those whose habitats have been modified) and indirectly impacts animal populations–because there is less energy is converted to forms they can use (see the law of conservation of energy).

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                JB, but it is not all equal. Our existence and needs does effect other creatures we share the planet with. Some people affect wildlife more than others do, hunters and most especially poachers. You cannot equate the impact of a socially conscious vegetarian with that of a poacher or hunter. A hunter is not confronting the reality of it in every case, they rationalize what they are doing by saying it actually ‘helps’ the wildlife. You know ‘if it wasn’t for hunting the poor thing would starve’, ‘hunting keeps the herd healthy’, etc. The reality of hunting is many times wasteful.

              • avatar JB says:

                “You cannot equate the impact of a socially conscious vegetarian with that of a poacher or hunter.”

                First, who said anything about poachers? Second, I actually can equate the two insomuch as their existence requires that animals die.

                Let’s have a thought experiment: What do you think happens to animals when their habitat is plowed up to plant crops or build homes for people (vegetarians included)?

              • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

                “But even if one chooses to be a vegetarian (s/he) is responsible for animals dying, albeit indirectly.” We all bear some indirect responsibility to animals dying — it’s a matter of degree, but to suggest that some level of indirect responsibility is no different than slaughtering animals and making your diet out of them is absurd.

                “By the way, did you know that only 5% of Americans identify as vegetarians?” By the way, did you know that only 6% of Americans still hunt?

                “…men do not hunt out of necessity; they typically do not hunt to protect people or animals, nor to keep themselves or their families from going hungry.”

                Such authoritative claims! And you accuse me of making assumptions, LOL!”

                Luke’s claims are well-cited. You allege that you read his essay in grad school, and have reread it, but your flagrantly disingenuous side-cracks would strongly suggest otherwise.

                “ ‘A close reading of the hunting literature, however, reveals that hunters eat the flesh of their kills as an ex post facto attempt at morally legitimating an activity they pursue for its own sake.’

                Really? Perhaps you could cite some of this ‘literature’ you reference? I’m curious to see the study designed used to falsify the hypothesis that men are not motivated by food provisioning…?”

                Read the essay, JB, including the cites, rather than taking pot-shots without the slightest merit.

              • avatar JB says:

                Okay, Mark. Let’s take a closer look at that ‘copious’ list of citations shall we? I went through them one-by-one this evening after re-reading the essay.

                First thing I noted was that 10 of the 89 references were attributed to Ted Nugent (an academic powerhouse to be sure). Then I got excited when I saw multiple citations to Playboy (including Playboy’s Book of Lingerie)! Sadly, there were no pictures.

                Next, I decided to count citations to actual scholarly journals–not science journals, mind you, I included humanities journals too (hey, I’m a fair guy). There were three–that’s 3 of 89, or 3.3707% or about 1 in 30. Two of the articles were published in the journal “Environmental Ethics” (one by the author, himself) and the other in a journal called “Animals’ Agenda.” This journal is published by the Animal Rights Network (no doubt they’re very objective on the subject of hunting).

                Something you might want to take note of when you bring up this article in the future–there was not a single citation to a peer-reviewed scientific journal (let alone an empirical study) in that essay. Just an FYI; may not be important at all.

                Oh! You know, I almost forgot that as I was reading through the notes of this essay and I came across the following (it’s note #26 for your reference):

                “I have not attempted to insure a representative sample, as this essay aims to explore the meaning and significance of hunting as a sexual experience not to quantify the prevalence of such feelings among hunters.

                Yeah, you’re right. I was way too dismissive of this copiously documented, rigorous and important study. Clearly it shows without a doubt that hunters are motivated by sexual dominance and power. I really don’t know what I was thinking? I’d apologize, except you’ve wasted an hour of time that I’ll never get back, so if you don’t mind, we’ll consider it even?

                El fin.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              lol
              playboy; really.
              I would read those scholarly articles.
              No, really I would.

          • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

            ‘Man the Hunter’ theory is debunked in new book
            http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/4582.aspx

            You wouldn’t know it by current world events, but humans actually evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social animals.

            …primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.

            …poses a new theory, based on the fossil record and living primate species, that primates have been prey for millions of years, a fact that greatly influenced the evolution of early man.

            Our intelligence, cooperation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator, says Sussman.

            The idea of “Man the Hunter” is the generally accepted paradigm of human evolution, says Sussman, who recently served as editor of American Anthropologist. “It developed from a basic Judeo-Christian ideology of man being inherently evil, aggressive and a natural killer. In fact, when you really examine the fossil and living non-human primate evidence, that is just not the case.”

            Since the process of human evolution is so long and varied, Sussman and Hart decided to focus their research on one specific species, Australopithecus afarensis, which lived between five million and two and a half million years ago and is one of the better known early human species. Most paleontologists agree that Australopithecus afarensis is the common link between fossils that came before and those that came after. It shares dental, cranial and skeletal traits with both. It’s also a very well-represented species in the fossil record.

            ”Australopithecus afarensis was probably quite strong, like a small ape,” Sussman says. Adults ranged from around 3 to 5 feet and they weighed 60-100 pounds. They were basically smallish bipedal primates. Their teeth were relatively small, very much like modern humans, and they were fruit and nut eaters.

            But what Sussman and Hart discovered is that Australopithecus afarensis was not dentally pre-adapted to eat meat. “It didn’t have the sharp shearing blades necessary to retain and cut such foods,” Sussman says. “These early humans simply couldn’t eat meat. If they couldn’t eat meat, why would they hunt?”

            It was not possible for early humans to consume a large amount of meat until fire was controlled and cooking was possible. Sussman points out that the first tools didn’t appear until two million years ago. And there wasn’t good evidence of fire until after 800,000 years ago. “In fact, some archaeologists and paleontologists don’t think we had a modern, systematic method of hunting until as recently as 60,000 years ago,” he says.

            “Furthermore, Australopithecus afarensis was an edge species,” adds Sussman. They could live in the trees and on the ground and could take advantage of both. “Primates that are edge species, even today, are basically prey species, not predators,” Sussman argues.

            The predators living at the same time as Australopithecus afarensis were huge and there were 10 times as many as today. There were hyenas as big as bears, as well as saber-toothed cats and many other mega-sized carnivores, reptiles and raptors. Australopithecus afarensis didn’t have tools, didn’t have big teeth and was three feet tall. He was using his brain, his agility and his social skills to get away from these predators. “He wasn’t hunting them,” says Sussman. “He was avoiding them at all costs.”

            Approximately 6 percent to 10 percent of early humans were preyed upon according to evidence that includes teeth marks on bones, talon marks on skulls and holes in a fossil cranium into which sabertooth cat fangs fit, says Sussman. The predation rate on savannah antelope and certain ground-living monkeys today is around 6 percent to 10 percent as well.

            Sussman and Hart provide evidence that many of our modern human traits, including those of cooperation and socialization, developed as a result of being a prey species and the early human’s ability to out-smart the predators. These traits did not result from trying to hunt for prey or kill our competitors, says Sussman.

            “One of the main defenses against predators by animals without physical defenses is living in groups,” says Sussman. “In fact, all diurnal primates (those active during the day) live in permanent social groups. Most ecologists agree that predation pressure is one of the major adaptive reasons for this group-living. In this way there are more eyes and ears to locate the predators and more individuals to mob them if attacked or to confuse them by scattering. There are a number of reasons that living in groups is beneficial for animals that otherwise would be very prone to being preyed upon.”

            • avatar JB says:

              Interesting reading, Mareks. I can’t take issue with the idea that we were prey, but rather, would point out that the either/or construction creates a false dichotomy. It is, of course, possible to be both predator and prey.

              I found the use of a chimp on the cover somewhat ironic, given the fact that they, like men, are occasional hunters.

              “One of the first and most significant discoveries made by Jane Goodall was that chimpanzees hunt for and eat meat. During her first year in Gombe she observed a male chimpanzee, David Greybeard, an adult female and a juvenile eating what she realized was a young bushpig. Before this, scientists assumed chimpanzees only ate fruit and leaves.”

              From: http://www.janegoodall.org/chimpanzees/tool-use-hunting-other-discoveries

            • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

              Great post — thank you, Mareks. “M]any of our modern human traits, including those of cooperation and socialization, developed as a result of being a prey species and the early human’s ability to out-smart the predators. These traits did not result from trying to hunt for prey or kill our competitors, … .”

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              You wouldn’t know it by current world events, but humans actually evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social animals.

              I wouldn’t know it by any events in human history. I’m a little skeptical, no offense, Mareks! :)

              Wolves live in social groups too. Primates, aside from eating meat, can be violent.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              So what happened? We know that early man probably was prey, and that it lingers today in our irrational fears of predators and overreactions to them and other animals, even though we have evolved today into the most destructive force the world has ever seen.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                Ida,

                it’s not necessary to have irrational fears of and overreactions to predators if one is the prey. Look at elk etc. who are not running away from wolves, confront them and survive.

                People can be brainwashed to the point of hysteria (predators included) and remember that in primitive societies / tribes humans had far better diets and nutritional value than modern men at the beginning of the 20th century. And to secure that quality food took few hours on a daily basis – the rest of time was leisure.

                I mean, it’s harder to brainwash happy people to the point of hysteria than neurotic ones trapped in the rat race to the bottom.

                I’ve read it in Clive Ponting’s book :
                “A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations”
                http://www.amazon.com/New-Green-History-World-Civilizations/dp/0143038982/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                I mean that today, humans are not prey for the most part – except by each other. We’ve contained most predators to very small numbers in very small areas. For examples, to claim that people are in danger of wolf attacks in the Southwest because of the introduction of the Mexican wolf, and that wolf attacks are not rare is not supported by facts.

                Who has poisoned the air, earth and sea? Not wolves. Who created nuclear bombs and used them? Not grizzly bears. Who has created climate change? Not snakes.

                I think to say that one branch on the evolutionary tree who did not appear to be aggressive means that humans originally evolved to be peaceful is a lot like the trend to say that since people modified their landscapes in the past justifies what is done today. Self-serving science.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      ” Hunting, as is this “Task Force”, is antiquated, barbarically cruel and is sociopathic in nature.”

      Yes and no. But as rork says, there are too many deer in too many places, and if not taken by bullet and arrow, they will be taken by auto, winter, and disease.

      They fit nicely into the “if you’re gonna kill it, eat it” category.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        You have to ask yourself why there are too many deer in too many places (and I know we have asked ourselves that and do not like the answer). Because there are too many people taking up too much habitat and driving too many automobiles and we’ve wiped out predators due to our own subjective reasons, that exist only in our own minds. As an aside for JB, if a ‘reason’ can’t be backed up by scientific fact and is just a stubbornly held belief, is it still considered a reason?

        So now, all of our problems are compounded – deer, ticks, drought, disease. And yet we still arrogantly think we can improve things.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          “You have to ask yourself why there are too many deer in too many places (and I know we have asked ourselves that and do not like the answer). Because there are too many people taking up too much habitat …
          No! At least for deer, we have created perfect habitat, with our agriculture, logging, and forest preserves.

          • avatar JB says:

            “…we have created perfect habitat, with our agriculture, logging, and forest preserves.”

            Exactly. And we’ve also created de facto reserves by eliminating predation–both by humans and wildlife.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              JB,
              Perhaps splitting hairs, but as critters like deer were once all but eliminated, they were allowed to replenish to the point of agricultural and woodland/forest nuisance, plus highway hazard. Predators were omitted/not allowed to replenish. There is so much meat out there now. Think of the influx of small predators like raccoons, fox, coyote… Shivik as much as said we have created oasis for these predators and all they had to do was find a conduit to the promised land.

            • avatar JB says:

              Immer:

              I’m confused about which hair you’re splitting? I agree with you–we’ve created the perfect habitat for deer. We’ve also made reserves by killing predators and devising ‘suburbs’ that are both great deer habitat and largely prevent (or at least greatly reduce) human and animal predation.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                JB,
                Sorry about that. What I meant was, in regard to hairsplitting, was omission rather than elimination of predators in recovery of ungulates/prey species. Predators were not allowed/invited back into the “club”. But they invited themselves back in.

                Same thing probably would have happened in the NRM with wolves if natural “recolonizers” had been left alone. Not until the reintroduction was the area put under a magnifying glass, and protection from elimination provided.

                So in a long winded convoluted sort of way, I agree with you.

              • avatar JB says:

                Ahh, I see! Thanks for the clarification.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Well yes, that’s another way of saying what I said. That’s just more of too many people taking up too much habitat, isn’t it. For our needs, and/or the result of our needs. And no predators ‘allowed’, except for the human kind, who are today in modern times unnatural and inadequate.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              For example, an unethical outfitter had to hamstring and cripple the mountain lions in order to insure a successful hunt for some of these skilled ‘hunters’, or rounding up animals with a spotlight to shoot. These are not admirable qualities.

  31. avatar mandy says:

    Until that perfect world comes along when no animals are killed by man, I’m going to support the stamp. It’s some funding for protection and research for wildlife. I don’t know what world some people live in, but purists may hold out for the perfect and massage their own egos in the process but in the long run, don’t advance the bigger cause.

    Wildlife “management” will always be a euphemism for killing predators and that’s just the way it is; haven’t we seen enough of that already? We can trust the NRDC, which is an effective organization with a lot of credibility and integrity — and successes. To my thinking, for as long as I’ve been paying attention to the their work, the NRDC has not put a single foot wrong on any issue.

  32. avatar Bill says:

    I largely agree with Mr. Fahy’s article, but not his conclusion. Mr. Fahy says it himself: “If we are successful in populating decision-making bodies with people who represent today’s demographics, cultures and attitudes, and provide them with current sound science, we’ll have a chance at success in making critical changes that will benefit entire ecosystems and their inhabitants, starting with changing how wildlife agencies are funded.”
    There needs to be someone in the decision-making bodies that represents money, money for conservation, and saying exactly the things Mr. Fahy says in his article. The Stamp is one way to do this. If it fails, then we can unleash the dogs of hell against the failed decision-making bodies, but let’s give them a chance to do something right for a change, however improbable we think that may be.

  33. I don’t believe in conceding to a flawed system that does nothing but lie and kill, I believe it to be a waste of precious time for the animals, the time is now to speak up, we have lost countless lives already to an agency proven to be killers, how much time and energy do we waste looking the other way because we are afraid of confrontation, there is no other way, they advocate violence and death for the innocent.

    • avatar CaptainSakonna says:

      I don’t think anybody is afraid of confrontation. We (including myself, personally) have confronted MFWP and other decision makers over and over, with written comments, rallies, media pressure, lawsuits, and occasional civil disobedience. None of it has worked very well. Short of violence, what sort of additional confrontation did you have in mind?

      • Thank you CaptainSakonna for your actions, my comment was not meant for you then, it is directed at others here that advocate for the Wolves, but seem to think that this “Stamp Program” will be honored to save any wolves, it sounds to me to be a total scam to get good intentioned people to give more money for the hunters to have their bloody kill sprees on the Wolves… and to answer your question, by any means necessary, whatever that means to you. I am personally very disgusted with these corrupt, sick games these Hunters play.

  34. avatar Michelle Musillami says:

    Hello I just found this site because I recently made friends with a man who informed me he was authorized to trap wolves. This drove me to educate myself more for it just didnt sit right in my heart or mind. Now I am not against hunting for I live in Wisconsin and especially if the animal is used as a food source. However, trapping of animals is inhumane all the way around. There is nothing good that truly comes from such a thing! We nearly eliminated wolves a key predator to the health of our ecosystem in our National Parks and we learned that was a bad choice. I know call me a tree-hugger if you like. I don’t now why I am so suprised about the cruelty mankind can inflict on animals for we very often show each other no compassion. A wolf pack is a far more complex than a herd of deer or elk. We can come up with more intelligent solutions to a problem if we can send a man to the moon. Think of all the incredible technology we have created that has made life better for much of the world. It is my belief that we have an obligation to human-kind and all the creatures of this planet to exercise our creativity. Killing, torturing and brutalizing living beings is just simply the behaviour of a sick destructive mind. It takes no time at all to destroy something impress the world and create something better! Trapping is not a skill either. Plus other animals fall prey to what is set for a wolf. I often get down on bended knee and ask for the forgiveness of those individusals on our planet who just dont get it. Again I am not against hunting for a purpose. But allowing animals to be brutually and cruely trapped then beaten to death is simply wrong. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. Yet again I think of all the horrible things we do to each other in the name of some cause we feel is our right. I am ashamed to admit at times that I am part of the human race of this planet. Quite frankly with all our intelligence we are just plain ignorant and down right wasteful too.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Nothing wrong with being a tree hugger. Got some old trees up here where might take five or six (perhaps more) of your friends to link hands to hug .

      Think you’ll not be low some in this site with trapping sentiments.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Michelle – would suggest you continue to research, research, research on the subject of why predators (big & small) are very important to what’s left of ecosystems.

      And, ask your new friend, why he thinks wolves need to be trapped?

  35. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    While it may not be true in every case (but I’d venture to say it is true in many), there is a mindset akin to, if not rape, then a callous disregard for the ‘other’ to satisfy their own desires.

    Even the terms to describe male/female interaction and hunting have much in common – the ‘thrill’ of the chase, conquering and then moving on to the next opportunity, skin, tail, ‘trophy’ wife, etc. all kinds of common vulgarities. Hunting certainly is not all utilitarian, and calling killing recreation and sport is something I cannot understand. What was once done for food and could be understood and tolerated is now boiled down to the element of killing. No amount of whitewashing can remove the killing aspect or make it acceptable.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the biggest thing they have in common, power and control over another living thing, which seems to be a human trait – slavery and subjection of others.

      Why don’t we just admit it and be honest – some people like to kill for pleasure, and some people are so greedy they want to make money off of it. Talk about whores and pimps.

    • avatar JB says:

      Are thrills and trophies now “vulgarities”? Really? I get a thrill in each time I score a goal in my morning hockey group (how vulgar!). On my wall my (very feminine) wife displays trophies (medals) from the marathons and half-marathons she has run (how disturbing!).

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Oh please – you know I am referring to the term being applied to living and once living creatures. You can call an inanimate object a trophy all you want, and a real competitive sporting even such as hockey, just not the animate and sentient ones.

        Those ultra rich types who devote entire rooms to beautiful, dead animals is just plain creepy.

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          And hockey players and others willingly sign up for and consent to physical abuse and are paid quite handsomely for it.

        • avatar JB says:

          You just compared hunters to rapists and slave owners and now have the audacity to act like you’re the one being insulted!? Unbelievable!

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            No, it’s a discussion. I’m not insulted, but there’s no denying the power and control factors at work in all of them. There are laws against those that relate to humans, and I’m convinced someday there will be better laws to protect non-humans also.

            I do hope you realize that people do think radically differently than you do. What you would find, as most likely a decent human being, incomprehensible – I can assure you that there are others out there who do not.

            • avatar JB says:

              “What you would find, as most likely a decent human being, incomprehensible – I can assure you that there are others out there who do not.”

              Oh the incredible irony…

      • avatar CaptainSakonna says:

        The part that is vulgar and disturbing is treating a living being (whether a woman or an animal) as a trophy. Calling someone a “trophy wife” carries the implication that one married her not because of mutual love and interest, but in order to obtain a high-value or hard-to-get woman, thereby gaining bragging rights, social status, wealth, etc. The concept of being a “trophy” reduces her from a woman to a thing to be possessed. Seeking to possess trophies is fine when they’re actual inanimate things. It’s not okay to ignore or override someone else’s interests, consciousness, or personhood in order to make them your trophy.

        I thought the context of Ida’s statement was fairly obvious, but I guess not. If the subject of viewing conscious entities as trophies comes up, and analogies to harmless hockey and marathon accomplishments immediately present themselves to your mind, I would say you need to take a hard look at your ethics and think about whether these things are really all that similar. I see light years of difference.

      • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

        Last time I checked, no wild animals were being openly slaughtered or maimed at hockey games, or at marathons.

  36. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    I want folks to know I just posted a defense of the wolf stamp by Zack Strong. This is his second rejoinder to articles criticizing it.

    When this is through I think the issue will have been thoroughly aired.

  37. avatar Justin Forte says:

    It is obvious that everyone has forgotten just how these wolves lost ESA protection and how it was done.

    It was done by a budget bill rider that was forced through in Congress. This budget bill rider not only made these wolves exempt from the ESA, but it also took away our constitutional right to judicial challenge on the issue. I don’t want some phony conservation stamp! I want the budget bill rider repealed!

  38. I left my comment, “I disagree with your Wolf Stamp Proposal. Unless and until you could prove that the program had any legitimacy to be used to not kill the wolves, which by judging past behavior of the Montana Fish & Wildlife, I am sincerely not convinced, nor do I trust that funds taken from the public would used appropriately in the Wolves favor or to benefit the wolves in any way. In fact this program proposal has me highly alerted to what the true intentions that you might have to futher harm the Wolves, not acceptable. “

  39. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    “Those of us living within the rarified atmosphere of Western civilization presume that our superior position in the hierarchy of the animal kingdom is unquestionable.

    The human species excels in duality of thought. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has read the work of the famous anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. He theorized that all human cognition was based on dealing with binary contrasts or opposition – left vs. right, low vs. high, night vs. day, them vs. us. We also
    seem to carry this duality into our feelings about predators. On the one hand, we humans – at least those of us in Western cultures – have a conception of ourselves as superior entities who exist on a plane above the rest of the animal inhabitants of our world. And yet – here is the duality – we worry ceaselessly that inferior beings, such as predators, may harm us.”

    Or at least species we deem as inferior.

    I’m lovin’ it so far –

    I’m also skeptical about the theory of early man driving animal life into extinction. We were just too few in number, and not as technologically advanced. That is the problem with hunting today I think – too many of us and weapons don’t give what is left much of a chance.

  40. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    JB, you cannot. Give it up. A poacher is not the same as a vegetarian, because they do no deliberately, with intent, take life. You do not want to admit that many go to great lengths to avoid harming any other living thing. For others, they couldn’t care less about other living things. A poacher considers him or herself a hunter, do they not?

    A poacher goes one step further in that he or she must believe the law do not apply to them.

    • avatar JB says:

      Again you put words in my mouth. I never compared poaching to vegetarians, Ida.

      “You do not want to admit that many go to great lengths to avoid harming any other living thing.”

      What? Sorry, but I didn’t say this either. I’m happy to admit that there are many people (some vegetarians) who go to great lengths to avoid harming animals. (BTW: I don’t know anyone that goes to great lengths to “avoid harming any other living thing.” Plants are living things to, you know?)

      Rather, what is said was that despite any lengths they go to, their very persistence requires energy. This energy is taken from a system that could produce other animals–but instead goes to keep them alive. Do you understand the difference, Ida? Your persistence requires that animals die–whether you are a vegetarian or not, whether you take actions to protect them or not.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Yes, but what I am saying is the degree. The degree is much different. If we are to live, some conflict is unavoidable, especially with the foundations civilization is built upon, and to some degree this is natural for every living thing. But humans have gone way over the top.

        I will put a struggling insect outdoors, I encourage wildlife and provide some habitat for them. I don’t destroy plants. I respect life.

        • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

          Agreed.

        • avatar JB says:

          I don’t think the degree is different at all. Your body requires energy; energy that, were it not for your existence, would otherwise be available in the environment for other organisms (wildlife included) to use.

          I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I *think* what you really object to is the act of people killing animals? That’s fine, it’s your choice. But you need to realize that animals are going to die anyway, and ‘natural’ deaths are often less ‘clean’ than a well-placed shot.


          We have a non-hunted population of deer in a metro park here in my area. Several years ago the population increased to the point that they were literally starving (animal rights activists in the community managed to prevent any lethal forms of management). The park tried to use a variety of non-lethal techniques (over a decade or so) including birth control, but it never worked reliably. The results was a bunch of malnourished deer that eliminated 80+ species of native fauna from the park. When they began to starve, public perceptions finally turned and lethal control commenced.

          Eliminate hunting and there will be much, much more of this sort of thing. The very animals you seek to protect (as well as many others) will be negatively impacted.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            JB,

            But hunting can alter the environment severely – as we can see by the effect removing predators has on other animals, trees, streams. It also takes an animal out of the environment who would reproduce, especially if they are threatened and endangered, and sometimes the fittest and best. Being careless with lead shot.

            I do see what you mean about if a hunter does eat the meat, it might possibly be better for you and the animal than factory farmed meat, if you’re careful about cooking and handling it because of disease and parasites – if the hunter actually does eat it, and with more and more chemicals being dumped carelessly into our rivers and streams, it may be less likely. The same or similar can be said about organically farmed animals that have freedom to roam, eat what nature intended, and live a life free of abuse and undeserving of moral consideration.

            But that small subset of decent, respectful of nature hunters who do not go out and waste life for kicks I don’t have a problem with.

            • avatar JB says:

              “But that small subset of decent, respectful of nature hunters who do not go out and waste life for kicks I don’t have a problem with.”

              This is fundamentally where we disagree, Ida. It isn’t a “small subset” of hunters that respect nature. When we survey hunters, typically the most-reported motivations are ‘nature appreciation’ and what we sometimes call ‘social affiliation’ (interacting with friends and family). You need to spend some time out with hunters rather than reviewing the youtube videos of a few miscreants online.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                :) I don’t view them, believe me. Whoever they are seem to like to use the power of suggestion. :(

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Good read, good comments Ida. To kill or not to kill……..

          I often feel like I’m surrounded by “killing fields” where I live. Wild ungulates following historic migratory routes, get “picked off” come fall (hunting season) and from the various ranches, cattle get “picked up” (by semis) destinations to be determined by how the price of beef might be.

          http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201210/do-some-people-simply-kill-other-animals/comments

    • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

      I have been blocked from responding to JB’s inflammatory reply to me from yesterday. Nice.

      • avatar JB says:

        You’re probably trying to post to many lines of text. I attempted to post all 89 references in Luke’s essay, but the site blocked me as well.

        Fire away.

        • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

          JB,

          Once again, you have cherry-picked your way to your own foregone conclusion. Yes, there are cites to Ted Nugent and Playboy, (and one to Bon Jovi as well!), all providing what’s referred to as anecdotal evidence to underscore the thesis or purpose of Mr. Luke’s essay: “In this essay, I show how contemporary hunting by North American white men is structured and experienced as a sexual activity.”
          He also states with regard to women’s hunting: “To be sure, women’s writing on hunting remains relatively free of the frenzied, highly sexualized accounts men frequently give of their hunting. But even if sportswomen do tend to experience hunting differently than do sportsmen, this by itself would not invalidate any given analysis of men’s hunting. If some women hunt in nonsexualized ways, this certainly suggests the possibility that some men might also hunt in nonsexualized ways. This abstract possibility notwithstanding, sportsmen’s self-descriptions, sampled below, indicate that among them sexual experiences of hunting are very common. [26}” And it is in this context, Luke states: “26. My sources are a selection of prominent books written by hunters to describe their experiences hunting. I have not attempted to insure a representative sample, as this essay attempts to explore the meaning and significance of hunting as a sexual experience not to quantify the prevalence of such feelings among hunters.”

          Mr. Luke is very clear about his purpose, as well as the nature, approach, and scope of his research. His essay is not duplicitously couched in the faux trappings of putatively scientific research, then published in some “scholarly” publication such The Wildlife Society Bulletin, which you listed in an earlier comment, funded by an organization, The Wilderness Society, which is on record as avowing hunting “legitimate”: The Wilderness Society “recognizes hunting as a legitimate use in wilderness areas.”

          Along with those sources to hunters, Luke cites copiously to scholars, to essayists, to philosophers, to journalists, etc., along with presenting quantitative data, though as he states, within the prescribed focus of his essay. (See above.) To single out cites to one or two sources which, out of context, become cheap shots is just that. And again, tallying up the number of references to any one source (JB –“I decided to count citations to actual scholarly journals … .”) as per your prior tallying up cites themselves as if counting the number of animals slain in a wildlife-killing contest, does not obscure the fact that the relevance of each cite, and each reference thereto is what is significant. And that is something you took no time to explore.
          When you write “ I’d apologize, except you’ve wasted an hour of time that I’ll never get back, … ” I would agree that you (not I) “wasted an hour of time” because you, JB, intentionally chose to “use” that time not to examine or even consider the relevance of sources to which Mr. Luke cited, but to see if you could, in your typical manner, cherry-pick and “count” your way through his footnotes in order to cull cites, which you could clownishly misrepresent as the substance of Luke’s research in toto, or make pitifully condescending comments about (JB: “I included humanities journals too (hey, I’m a fair guy)” or: “This journal is published by the Animal Rights Network (no doubt they’re very objective on the subject of hunting).” The irony deafens, coming from one who in all seriousness cited to a publication funded by the hunting-friendly Wilderness Society.) — and in general, once again, embarrass yourself.

          Yes, you did waste your time. I’m beginning to see that, for whatever reason, that’s something you greatly enjoy. But who knows, maybe you will prove me wrong about that. I certainly hope so. (And in your defense, as my grandmother used to say, “It takes two to tangle.”)

          As to your baseless “peer review” allegation: First, the review in which Luke’s essay was published is peer-reviewed, as is every other journal cited to. Second, having worked for a major academic publisher, I take the phrase “peer review” with enough grains of salt to keep Morton’s afloat. Peer-review is hardly above reproach, to put it extremely mildly. (I would fully expect among the journal cites you provided, the articles submitted to some or more than some of those journals are “peer-reviewed.”) Third, scholarly books, such as those Luke cites to (see below), do get reviewed, but “peer-review” typically refers to articles submitted to scholarly journals. Fourth, articles in newspapers, essays and articles in news magazines such a Newsweek, essays and writings by the likes of Ortega y Gasset and Aldo Leopold, and the works of Plato – none of these are subject to “peer review,” JB, and while hardly surprising, not a single one of these sources do you so much as mention.

          Since you already noted certain cites to Brian Luke’s essay in your peanut-gallery ditherings, below I have listed those which you chose to overlook (I should amend this since it appears that you did try to copy all 80-some footnotes.)

          [I owe my adversary, JD, a debt of thanks, and am myself embarrassed to discover that the reason my response has not been posting is because I, as he earlier unsuccessfully attempted and has informed me, have been trying to post the balance of Mr. Luke's footnotes to bear out, or demonstrate the range and depth of Mr. Luke's research. I am going to see if I can post his other sources as a second reply.]

          JB: “I’d apologize, except you’ve wasted an hour of time that I’ll never get back, so if you don’t mind, we’ll consider it even? so if you don’t mind, we’ll consider it even?” JB, absolutely no need for you to apologize. As I earlier pointed out, you wasted your own time, by deliberately mismanaging it to cull and cherry-pick, not unlike the deliberately irresponsible manner in which anti-wolf interests mismanage Montana’s wolves (and wildlife, period) — except in their case, to an ongoing and horribly tragic outcome not just for the species, but across the board.

          “[W]e’ll consider it even?” Of course! As I stated at least twice before, I would be most happy to say let’s simply agree to disagree. If I could, I would shake hands on that.

          • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

            Robert Wegner’s Deer and Deer Hunting; James Swan’s In Defense of Hunting, Louse Erdich’s “The Wandering Room” in Women on Hunting; Robert Frankin Gish’s Songs of My Hunter Heart; Ted Kerasote’s Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt; Aldo Leopold’s Sandy County Almanac; Andre Collard and Joyce Contrucci’s Rape of the Wild: Man’s Violence against Animals and Earth; John Mitchell’s The Hunt; Paul Shepard’s The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game; James Whisker’s The Right to Hunt; Eveyln Pluhar’s “The Joy of Killing” in Between the Species; Matt Cartmill’s A View of Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature through History; Dena Johna’s “Why They Quit: Thoughts from Ex-Hunters”; Thomas McIntrye’s The Way of the Hunter: The Art and Spirit of Modern Hunting and his Dreaming Like a Lion: Reflections on Hunting, Fishing, and a Search for the Wild; Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women; Thomas Beneke’s Men on Rape; Linda Chinn’s “Where Does All the Money Go” in Traditional Bowhunter; Marti Kheel’s “License to Kill: And Ecofeminist Critique of Hunters’ Discourse” in Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations; Stuart Marks’ Southern Hunting in Black and White: Nature, History, and Ritual in a Carolina Community; Jay Massey’s “Why Traditional” in The Traditional Boyer’s Bible; Valerie Geist’s Mountain Sheep and Man in the Northern Wilds; Plato’s Euthydemus; Archibald Rutledge’s “Miss Seduction Struts Her Stuff” in The Field and Stream Reader; Cathryn Ayars’ “Coming to Terms with Hunting” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Jim Posterwitz’s Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting; Larry Fischer’s review of White-Tail Magic by Roger Rothhaar in Traditional Bowhunter; Ann Causey’s “On the Morality of Hunting” in Environmental Ethics; Alfred Lubrano’s “Canned Hunts’ Become Target of Controversy” in the Philadelphia Inquirer; Sheila Jeffreys’ A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution; George Hackett and Peter McKillop’s “Opinions, But No Solutions” in Newsweek; Jack Henry Abbot’s In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison; Andrea Dworkin’s Right-Wing Women; Joan Dunayer’s “Sexist Words, Speciesist Roots” in Animals and Women; Joreen’s “The Bitch Manifesto” in Radical Feminism; Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider’s The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing Mr. Right; Lisa Riva’s “The Secret” in Remember; Richard Halliburton’s The Royal Road to Romance; Kathleen Barry’s The Prostitution of Sexuality; Andrea Dworkin’s’ Pornography: Men Possessing Women; Sydney Lea’s Hunting the Whole Way Home.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mark,

            The fact that you too wasted your time trying to post Luke’s references is music to my ears! What a gift! Indeed, we areeven my friend. :)

            You’re right, the Wildlife Society (not Wilderness Society, btw, they’re different [so I suppose you're actually wrong, but whatever]) does support hunting as a legitimate activity. As do all 50 US states and approximately three-fourths of the US population. (Do you want me to provide citations? I’m happy to…just let me know, okay? I’m trying to be sensitive here. I don’t want to offend you by citing something that might have been published outside the animal rights ‘literature’.)

            But you know what (this is really amazing)? I think we’re actually nearing agreement, here!

            Let’s go through what we’ve established:

            (1) Mr. Luke wrote an essay in an attempt to “show how contemporary hunting by North American white men is structured and experienced as a sexual activity.”

            (2) Mr. Luke did not attempt to collect a representative sample, as any communications scientist attempting to disprove a hypothesis would.

            (3) Mr. Luke’s citations include three peer-reviewed journals–and no science.

            (4) Mr. Luke’s essay has “copious” citations to several hunters’ (should I count them?) writings.

            If we can agree on those things, Mark, then I’m happy to rest my case? I’ll stand behind the peer-reviewed, empirical science I’ve cited (as well as my own work), and I’d hold it up against Mr. Luke’s attempt to “show how contemporary hunting by North American white men is structured and experienced as a sexual activity” any day.

            • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

              JD,

              “(2) Mr. Luke did not attempt to collect a representative sample, as any communications scientist attempting to disprove a hypothesis would.” Mr. Luke wrote an essay, and acknowledged such from the outset: “In this essay, I show how contemporary hunting by North American white men is structured and experienced as a sexual activity.” He was under no requirement to provide “a representative sample,” and in fact, fully acknowledged that he had “not attempted to insure a representative sample, as [his] essay attempts to explore the meaning and significance of hunting as a sexual experience not to quantify the prevalence of such feelings among hunters.” And significantly, at least to my mind, Luke states “[i]f some women hunt in nonsexualized ways, this certainly suggests the possibility that some men might also hunt in nonsexualized ways.”

              “(3) Mr. Luke’s citations include three peer-reviewed journals–and no science.” Again, you’re bean-counting, in the case, peer-reviewed journals, which obscures that it is what each source contributes that “counts.” (As an aside, Paul Shephard’s The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game and less so James Swan’s In Defense of Hunting, are not absent of science, both of which Luke cites.)

              So far as “science,” I’ve been reading an essay by Dr. Priscilla Cohn, who’s attempting to research any possible correlation between domestic violence and hunting — and observes how little information, other than anecdotal, is available. As she comments, “While I could find articles discussing the relationship between domestic violence, including spousal violence, violence to children or elders, and violence to domestic animals, there was not much mention of wildlife. Furthermore, when the relation between animal abuse and human violence was discussed, the animal abuse or cruelty to animals was almost entirely illegal. Hunting, of course, is legal.” I am increasingly coming to realize that the legality of hunting plays a major role in researching it, and needs to be factored in far more than it has been.

              When Luke refers to the hunting literature, he is not referring to scientific studies in any significant number because what he is examining does not yield much of a paper trail of empirical research. Obviously, I wish there were more in the way of science, but at this juncture, that is somewhat like wishing there had been more in the way of heliocentric theory prior to Aristarchus of Samos. This is all relatively recent (e.g., Linda Kalof, Amy Fitzgerald, and Lori Baralt, Animals, Women, and Weapons: Blurred Sexual Boundaries in the Discourse of Sports Hunting, Society & Animals 12.3, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2004).

              I hope we can come to some agreement to disagree. I have enjoyed this back and forth with you, JD, — your critiques have sharpened my own thinking about this subject, and led me to read work I might not have otherwise.

              Thank you for your response.

        • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

          I neglected Luke’s first two foonote sources, in trying to pull just the authors and the titles to shorten things.

          Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in The Complete Sherlock Holmes” and Jose Ortega y Gassett’s Meditations on Hunting — if I skipped any others, mea culpa.

          (Oh, yeah, and I did leave out the Bon Jovi cite, but yeah, it’s FN 79., citing to “That’s the Story of Love”.)

  41. Our organization has been suspicious of the true intent of Montana’s “Wolf Stamp: from its inception. While we do not always agree with Fahy, in this case he is absolutely correct. Wolves and apex predators do not need to be “managed” The Gold Old Boys in too many “Fish and Wildlife” agencies, are just wildlife killers. Montana went on public and federal record as opposed to wolf recovery. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are doing all they can to exterminate wolves again. When Montana gets educated and experienced scientists and environmentalists on their wildlife commission, perhaps the matter can be readdressed.

    • avatar JB says:

      “Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are doing all they can to exterminate wolves again.”

      Sigh. No, they aren’t. They are hunting, trapping and “controlling” wolves more than many people would like. And there policy could reduce wolf populations to a point that makes localized risk of extinction more probable. But as yet, an honest assessment of their policy objectives suggests they are within the letter (if not the intent) of the law, and there is no indication (in terms of policy) that these states are attempting to eradicate wolves again. Indeed, they even have set up limitations on harvest to ensure wolf populations are maintained.

      Advocates on both sides of this issue lose my respect when they result to unfounded hyperbole.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “Sigh. No, they aren’t. They are hunting, trapping and “controlling” wolves more than many people would like”

        Like say coyotes, over the past how many decades, without results, JB?

        Would like to see Jon Way, weigh in on that comment.

  42. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    –common. [26}” And it is in this context, Luke states:–

    should read:

    –common. [26]” And it is in this context, Luke states:–

    –listed those which you chose to overlook (I should amend this since it–

    should read:

    –listed those which you chose to overlook. (I should amend this since it–

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Calendar

August 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jul   Sep »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Quote

‎"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."

~ Edward Abbey