Wasted Abundance

Most Americans live in suburbs and cities where we observe but do not participate in the natural world. Our ancestors used resource around them and understood their connection. Today we get food & resources from far away and ignore those our fingertips. Our cities and suburbs are teaming with wildlife, trees and useful plants. It would be educational and proper to use them.

In the 1920s the whitetail deer population in the U.S. was down around 300,000. They were effectively extinct in many places. Today we have more than 25 million of them chewing on suburban bushes and eating the future forests, not enough of them being hunted.

We have a similar problem with geese. Many of us remember when seeing a gaggle of geese was rare treat. Now they are all over the place. They love suburban lawns and the food they find around people so much that many of them no longer bother to migrate. We essentially have a permanent goose population. Their populations can grow 10-14% a year and each bird craps a pound of very large and slippery turds every day.

What about the alligators? When I was young, people told us that we might never see an alligator in the wild. You do not have to that far today. There are probably a million alligators in Florida alone and they seem to do very well in urban areas. Think of all the handbags and shoes crawling along suburban streets. Why waste them?

Even wild turkeys have come back remarkably and are beginning to adapt to city life.

What about the urban forest? Urban landscapes are full of large trees. Some of these trees must be removed every year. Currently, we put them to very poor use. When we take down a big tree it usually just ends up in a landfill or chipped into mulch. There is a significant challenge using urban trees. They often are too spread out to be commercially viable. But it would be a useful learning experience for HS or community groups to use the timber, just to show the urban kids where their floors and tables come from.

As for the wildlife, we need to extend hunting seasons and encourage new hunters. We enacted most wildlife laws when there was a shortage of most of the game species. It is time to recognize that we have succeeded in bringing them back and now we can enjoy a sustainable harvest at higher levels.

Thanksgiving is coming in a couple of days. Geese and turkey make good Thanksgiving dinners, so does venison. Hunters are already helping with the harvest through programs such as hunt for the hungry and related programs.

Maybe it is time for us to see nature in a little more natural way and see ourselves as part of it by making it - literally - part of us.

Posted by Jack at November 21, 2006 9:59 AM
Comments
Comment #196005

Jack,

“Our ancestors used resource around them and understood their connection.”

Our ancestors over-hunted the resource, and with the exception of the alligator, killed off most of the natural predators that were competition.

You fail to mention that it is we that have moved into the natural habitat of these species.

Outside of Tucson, AZ, they have had problems with mountain lions, as development, along with the current drought, have brought humans and the cats into competition for space. The outcome has been predictable.
In Apache Junction, AZ, bears have been seen outside their natural habitat because of the drought as well, and the human habit of leaving their garbage where the bears can get to it has only exacerbated the problem.

But these are suburban, not urban problems. Children aren’t taught about the world outside their cities, probably because of budget cuts to schools and youth programs.

Basketball, after all, is more important than science anyway.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #196009

Rocky

We have deer in downtown Washington and geese every place there is grass. It is true that we have moved into animal habitat. It is also true that animal populations have sky rocketed in the last couple of decades. This includes deer, geese, turkeys and even bear.

An urban kid sees deer or geese and just thinks they are cute. He does not see them as part of his world.

We have a big problem with people seeing nature in one compartment and themselves in another. Listen to that Throeau lecture. It is very interesting and very enlightening.

BTW - I do not really miss cougars anyway. We spent 200 years controlling that population. There is no need to invite into the city. People can mix with deer, geese, even with wolves and coyotes to some extent, but cougars will prey on us. They are inherently dangerous.

I do not want any confusion about who eats whom.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #196011

Jack,

I read “Walden”, dull as dishwater, and I never found Thoreau particularly interesting anyway.

Animals thrive where there is food. If it isn’t found where they live, they move to where they will find it.
Like it or not, cougars are a part of the natural scheme of things. If we don’t move into their habitat, they will do what they do and leave us alone.
Curiously, it is multi-million dollar homes that are being developed in the cougar habitat, and the rich, who would never use the area otherwise, are the only ones affected.
So you could probably guess who will win that fight.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #196013

In my residential neighborhood in Eastern Tennessee, I see deer, racoons, skunk, possums, and lots of birds. Sometimes it’s freaky — a few weeks ago something bounded down the round directly at my car; it wasn’t until it veered off that I recognized it as a deer.

Yet we do know that many species have been rendered extinct in the last 100 years. We need to bear that in mind.

As for using residential, suburban, city flora and fauna to teach our kids — yes, great idea, and in some places that occurs.

As Wordsworth said, “The world is too much with us” and “we lay waste our powers” “getting and spending.” I’ve never before lived in a neighborhood in which deer come into my backyard. It’s pretty damn cool.

Posted by: Trent at November 21, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #196014

Rocky

Walden is boring. The lecture is interesting. It talks about how human relations with nature have changed.

I am rooting for our side, not the cougars BTW. There is not much chance of cougars going extinct and I hope there is not much chance of having a bunch of them living near me.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #196015

Trent

These deer will start to look a lot less magical as you see more of them and you will get the like the guy with the gun and the pickup truck better.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #196017

Jack,

Have you seen or read the “Foxfire” book series?

They are survival manuals for the wild.

On the subject of deer, they say if you are having problems with deer in your garden, build a fence, if that doesn’t take care of the problem, buy a gun.

The deer overpopulation problem is our (humans) fault. We have provided them with an overabundance of food sources and have removed the natural predator species from the equation.
I don’t hunt because I don’t need it to feed my family, and I live in the city anyway.

I don’t decry hunting, and if I needed to, I would.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #196020

Rocky

Deer are not a problem. Their abundance is an opportunity. Let’s harvest it.

Not everyboddy wants to hunt. I do not hunt myself. But we should encourage hunting and make it easy for hunters. I worry that lots of kids grew up on bambi and see hunting in negative terms.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #196024

Jack,

If you mean to harvest deer like cattle, maybe.

I just don’t want to see a bunch of drunken yahoos shooting deer from the front seat of their trucks and leaving the carcasses to rot.

In Idaho, for example, my brother in law signs up for both bow and rifle deer hunting tickets every year, but it is a lottery, and not every hunter gets a tag.

Anyway, I’m out the door to California and won’t have access to the Internet.
Have a pleasant Thanksgiving.
Back on Saturday.

Posted by: Rocky at November 21, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #196032

Having lived on a lake for 30 years I can say first hand that wildlife is back in abundance. Geese and Ducks inhabit the lake almost year round. In the past they were a joy to see fly over and occasionally land. Now they are a nuisance, and there are nuisance hunting seasons that deal with this. Before any of you go off the deep end, this is a man made lake. Not sure where they went before, but we created this habitat. I wonder where the barn owl lived before barns were built? Deer and Turkey
are everywhere as well. We eat venison all summer. Good stuff, as is wild Turkey meat.

Posted by: InfoMan at November 21, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #196036

Jack, I have a vision of a bunch of druken hunters maurading down the street shooting at the geese in the park by my house. Am I gonna have to start wearing an orange vest just to walk to the store?

In the early ninties I lived in the montains of Colorado, where we regularly had racoons and the occaisional bear getting into the trash and Elk were also passing through (except for some unknown reason, during hunting season). Spraying amonia on the trash stopped the problem.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 21, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #196039

Rocky

“You fail to mention that it is we that have moved into the natural habitat of these species.”

A true liberal. Just where is our natural habitat? We moved into their habitat, where was the habitat that was ours that we came from?
Are we not sopposed to move into any animals habitat? Are there animals whom habitats we can invade, and those we can’t?


QUIT! Just tell me once! Where is MY natural habitat? I need to find home! Oops gotta go. Steak needs to be flipped.

Posted by: littlealphie at November 21, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #196042

btw I Just read my post to my cat and he told me that his habitat is my pillow and that there would be no debate on that!

Posted by: littlealphie at November 21, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #196044


I haven’t heard this argument for a while but there used to be a saying that if those starving Hindu’s would eat their cows instead of worshipping them, there would be no starving Hindu’s. If the Hindu’s ate their cows, they would consume all of them in a week or two.

We can harvest the deer for a food source. We could even start selling deerburger and roasts in the supermarkets. Once we develop a taste for deer, we can eliminate or round up the deer remaining in the wild and replace them with deer feed lots where we can pump them full of growth hormones and steroids. How many wild cows are there on the Earth today.

A century ago, Americans began leaving the wilds in droves for the jobs and the comforts of the cities. Now we can take the comforts of civilization and the jobs back to the wilds. We can tame the wild land and change it into what we call suburbia.

Now that we are doing this wholesale we are comming into contact with certain species that are becoming so abundant they have become a nuisance that must be culled. By creating a environment enjoyable to us so to we created the environment for the animals.

Jack in his own ingenious way has come up with a unique idea. We can kill these animals and provide the poor with a food source.

What Jack is actually saying is that the value of the poor as a commodity is not great enough, in a capitalist socity, to warrant the expenditure of other resources to provide for their needs. When your value as a resource is less than the resources you consume, the best thing to do is cut off the resources to you. But, since we have these mamby pamby do gooders that say we have to provide for the poor, then fine, let them consume natural resources that the capitalists haven’t found a way to exploit yet.

Posted by: jlw at November 21, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #196045

Littlealphie-

You miss the point. Obviously humans have no other option but to spread into areas that used to be animal habitats. But to then complain about the “nuisances” the animals end up being is kinda stupid, no? Its like building a house near the airport and then complaining about the noise. There are better solutions to the problem of having to share the limited space we have with animals than increased hunting, though in some areas extended seasons, higher limits and more licenses issued will help dramatically. Other options are dedicated, controlled sanctuaries, better city planning and a simple understanding that animals are part of the world we live in.

Posted by: David S at November 21, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #196046

Thoreau is boring? Maybe his journals; I didn’t get far in them though I have a friend who has read every word. But Walden is wonderful. “Simplify, simplify, simplify”: Good advice, even if you don’t wear a path to the pond.

Posted by: Trent at November 21, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #196048

And Jack-

There is no shortage of food in this country. You could do a lot more for the hungry at your local supermarket than ten of you could do in a forest with guns.

Posted by: David S at November 21, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #196049

The biggest problem with animal/human interaction is the complete lack of any zoning or restraint in suburban sprawl. Europe, Korea, and Japan don’t have this problem because most of the easily farmed/developed land already has been farmed or developed. We have a huge amount of space compared to our population, we simply mismanage it in an almost criminal fashion. Its too bad, a little management would simultaneously reduce the incidence of “pests” living alongside of us, reduce commutes and, by reducing the amount we drive, the amount of oil we consume, while preserving our beautiful natural wealth and heritage.

Oh, my high school mascot was the cougar, and if you’re dumb enough to go into cougar territory alone and unarmed, whose fault is it when you end up on the losing end of large, nasty claws?

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #196054

DAVID

“You miss the point. Obviously humans have no other option but to spread into areas that used to be animal habitats”

No, you miss the point.

I beleive that it makes more since that there was a creator for this world than that it kind of fell together by chance. It was created for all of us to enjoy. Man and Animal.That argument is for another day.

The point is that in order for the far left extremist to forward their environmental agenda, and I am an environmentalist and an animal lover,they had to create the red herring:
“moving in to their habitat”

Animals also spread into other “habitats” over time. It is all one habitat. We all live together.
Sometimes the animals get out of control and hurt man, sometimes with whole plagues.
Sometimes man comes in without concience, and hurts the animals.
Most of the time we do a pretty good job of getting along. I know that my cat is spoiled rotten.

The point is “Give peace a chance.” We all live in one habitat. Cant we all just get along!

Posted by: littlealphie at November 21, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #196058

Only a capitalist would equate the environment of our cities and suburbs with say, Yellowstone National Park or ANWR in terms of teeming with plants and animals.

Those who love and revere nature, would never equate the two environs as teeming with plant and animal diversity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 21, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #196061

littlealphie, as we encroach upon formerly uninhabited by humans land we find that those creatures that have lived there for a long period of time all of a sudden become nuisances to the newcomers. Then the newcomers beleive the problem is those that have been there for years and feel the need to blame them (the oldtimers) for the encounters they(the newcomers) have with the oldtimers. Thats all, no big agenda no extremism just a simple little fact.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 21, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #196062

1 LT B-

That sounded very Democrat, maybe even Green. You feeling OK?

Posted by: David S at November 21, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #196064

David,

Another red herring, I never equated those different ecosystems.

Posted by: littlealphie at November 21, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #196070


These nusiance animals are indeed a resource that needs to be exploited. But not by increasing hunting in suburban areas. Many inocent people could get shot in the face or somewhere else. Giving this resource away to the poor that don’t deserve it is no good solution either.

The best solution is for the federal and state governments to give the title to these resources to a private enterprise that can exploit this resource and put it up for sale on the open market. There are profits and investment opportunities here so let’s not engage in silly notions of just giving it away.

Posted by: jlw at November 21, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #196073

DavidS,

Maybe its the stress getting to me, or perhaps other factors that involve long seperation from my girlfriend and the deprivation of certain stress relieving sanity re-affirming things that tend to go along with it, I don’t know. I would like to believe, though I’ve encountered people who say differently, that I am an intelligent person with common sense. Its not like I completely disagree with the Democrats or even the Greens on everything, just a lot of things. Because we have so much land, we don’t seem to think that we need to regulate its use. This is idiotic and shortsighted. On the other hand, I don’t think we as a society are willing to live like neanderthals, so there does have to be some level of compromise on environmental issues.

I don’t like the kooks of the environmental movement who try to stall any and all human progress at the expense of our standard of living, nor do I think we should just glibbly ransack nature. What we need to do is manage our resources, to include land for the benefit of all of us, nature included. Where practical, nature should be left alone. Where this isn’t practical, we should be very careful about how we meddle while at the same time recognizing that human beings are part of the environment and have needs as well. I’d like to believe this is something that everyone could agree to regardless of party lines, but sadly this isn’t the case.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #196075

j2t2,

I’ve read an interesting article a while back about how newcomers from urban or suburban areas keep pissing off the pest natives. These clowns seem to think that when the move into the middle of nowhere that their streets will be plowed, they can still get sewage, water, and phone and cable lines, that they shouldn’t have to smell the cattle, and a whole other litany of arrogant stupidity. I grew up in an older suburban development surrounded by young forest. We have deer, turkey, even a bear once in our backyard. I had the best of both worlds, all the convieniences of modern suburban living with a forest for my back yard. Its something I hope to have again when I get out of the Army and settle down. I also have enough sense to know that if I want to live in the middle of the wilderness that these convieniences aren’t going to be there and I’ll have to deal with wildlife. More’s the pity that so many idiots will go out and wreck a piece of nature to build a house they end up moving out of a couple of years later to have less of a commute to the gap.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #196082

Jlw

I don’t suppose there are enough deer to feed all the poor all the time (although if you add in squirrels and raccoons …)

Anyway, I do not propose that this is going to solve any great food problems. I think of it as a cultural thing. It would be nice to have a thanksgiving, for example, where the main courses were game such as turkeys, geese and venison.

Re wood, it is the same thing. There is not a marketable amount of wood in the urban forest most of the time. It is more cultural. One of my friends built a house using the oak from the site for the hardwood floor. I am sure it ended up costing him a lot more, but it is distinctive.

I guess it is kind of like owning an heirloom or a baseball signed by a famous player. It really isn’t any better than what you can get in the store, but it has more value.

We all have a related experience. I laid a tile floor in our kitchen a while back. It is not quite as good as a professional would have done, but I brag about it and it somehow feels better when I walk across it. It is not logical.

David S

Actually we spread into these habitats a while back. The deer you see today were not there in such abundance 30 years ago. Their populations have grown. The same goes for geese etc.

Re food shortages, please see above. It is a cultural thing to help us keep contact with our environment. Actually, if we gave the street people a snare and some training, they could probably catch pigeons rabbits and squirrels and kill two birds (or maybe a squirrel) with one stone.

Littleaphie

I was just saying that to my kids yesterday. They just do not like veggies. I told them to just give peas a chance.

1LT

The other problem is the right to farm. People move into the country because it looks so pretty. Then they want to stop the local farmers from raising stinky pigs etc. A lot of people try to set up a “nature preserve” on their land and ban hunting. There are lots of those 5 acre nature preserves springing up. Of course a deer tends to run over more than 5 acres, so they are not very preserved (except if they are salted)

I also like the Euro zoning better. You need not be a socialist to like compact cities and country that is country. It is hard in the U.S. Ironically, we have “too much democracy”. In Europe, bureaucrats more easily rule and make up the rules they like. It has the one good aspect and lots of less good ones.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #196088


Jack: You forgot a lot of animals. There are possums, ground hogs, snakes, turtles, lizards, mice, rats and frogs. There are those nasty song birds that wake you up and crap all over you SUV. Plus you have starlings, crows, hawks, owls and eagles. When the poor have eaten all the animals, there will be billions of tasty insect vermin to consume.

People complain little about hog farmers. What they complain about are hog corporations that raise hogs by the thousands, create mountains of waste and billions of flies that they don’t want responsibility for. Perhaps we can find a way to make pig crap and flies palatable to the poor.

Here is another good idea that could help the poor. We could bring back the old Aztec Gods and pyramids. We could have flower wars and chop of a leg or a foot of the enemy soldiers. We could drag them up on our pyramids, cut their hearts out and stuff them into the mouth of one of our concrete Gods. Then we can throw the carcass over the side and let it trickle down to the poor to be used as a food source.

Posted by: jlw at November 21, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #196092

We are dealing with this problem right now in my home town of approx 6500 people. Deer are entering the city from all directions and feeding on people’s gardens and scaring the hell out of kids and old folks in the middle of the night.

I’m on the city council, and have been bombarded by letters and phone calls demanding action. Believe it or not, there are organizations out there who will handle this problems for you, safely and cheaply. A local bow hunter’s club has volunteered to conduct a night hunt with about 20 very skilled hunters to remove the deer. No guns, no noise, less risk to those living in the area. The meat will be sent to a local butcher who has volunteered to butcher the meat and send it to the local food pantry.

Unfortunately, this is a temporary fix, unless we authorize this action year after year. But I don’t see the harm in ridding a nuisance derived from vast overpopulation in such a way that satisfies the humans in the area, reduces the deer population by about 75 to 100, and feeds some less fortunate than us…all free of charge to everyone including the taxpayer.

In this case, I don’t buy into the “encroachment onto their habitat” argument. These neighborhoods being affected have been there over 100 years, but have only had this deer problem for 3 or 4 years. It just doesn’t hold water.

Habitats vary and range and change yearly depending on food availability. The competition will always be there. So, as the “responsible adults in the room,” humans can either ignore it and live with it or take action in a responsible manner to alleviate the nuisance without going overboard.

Posted by: Chi Chi at November 21, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #196097

Jack

I am pretty sure that hree in Illinois deer tags are issued each year according to estimated deer population. I am not a hunter myself. But friends who do hunt have to get their tags early in order to be able to get one. This tells me that there probably are not enough available tags to go around. I am pretty sure the amount available varies from year to year according to population. Like everyone else the populations here have increased dramatically over the last 30 years. I live in the middle of cornfield county, they are everywhere and nice and plump due to the grain diet.

I worked for the state highway dept for 27 years as highway maintenance. Our eighty mile stretch of four lane road probably averaged 3 to 4 road kills a day every day of the year. The ones we were able to pick up were taken to a couple of wild animal shelters and fed to the lions and tigers. But many vanished into the backs of pickups before we could get to them. We also had a few people that liked us to give them a call no matter what time of day if we had a good one.

The problem with giving them to the poor is all the formalities one has to go thru. The meat has to be inspected and certified plus it has to be refrigerated and I am sure processed within a reasonable amount of time. Of course all this would require a staff and funds. I think you have a great idea but I am not sure it would be econmically feasible.

Posted by: ILdem at November 21, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #196098

jlw

They complain about hogs and cows. Whenever there are more than a few of them. A farmer has to have a decent number of animals. When he gets more than a couple, the local lefties claim it is a big business.

Chi Chi

You cannot “solve” the deer problem. You can just control it. But if those guys are willing (probably eager) to hunt the deer and the meat goes to good purposes, it seems like there is no problem.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #196102

j2t2
“Thats all, no big agenda no extremism just a simple little fact.”


You are very right! But these are extermist:
“A dozen empty houses in a new Maryland subdivision that is the focus of a long-running environmental dispute were destroyed and numerous others were damaged Monday in what officials said were more than 20 coordinated, methodically planned arsons…Environmentalists assert that the houses will damage Araby Bog, a 6.5-acre wetlands area that is home to endangered insects and such rare plants as the halberd-leaved greenbrier and red milkweed. “

On Saturday, June 4, over 300 demonstrators participated in a tractorcade-demonstration, and property rights rally, in Bakersfield, California, an “All-American” city in the southern end of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Five yellow bi-plane crop dusters, followed by three black and white helicopter dusters, flew over the parade of tractors, farm equipment and horses. City, county, state and federal representatives filled the hour long rally with five minute speeches. Each called upon the federal government to restore private property rights in America.

The protesters and politicians were outraged into action by a forfeiture initiated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife enforcement officials. On a Sunday morning last February a squadron of more than two dozen state and federal agents and several helicopters raided a Bakersfield area farm. They seized a $50,000 tractor and disc that farmer Taung Ming-Lin, an immigrant from Taiwan, recently purchased. The United States filed suit for civil forfeiture, alleging the farm implements criminally ran over a species of rat that may appear on the endangered species list.


Demanding Six Flags Suspend Cockroach Eating Contest


And I could give too many other examples.

Posted by: littlealphie at November 21, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #196113

POPULATION OF U.S./ DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH

1% 3 million own 33.4%

5% 15 million own 59.2%

10% 30 million own 71.5%

20% 60 million own 84.4%

The rest of us

80% 240 million own 15.6%

60% 180 million own only 4.2%
the bottom
40% 120 million own 0.3%

Is it any wonder we are discussing feeding our poor the deer, possums and skunks. We definately can’t have skunks in suburbia. Then again, most of the skunks are residing in the Hamptons.

Posted by: jlw at November 21, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #196114

First: We can look at a bunch of certain species coming back in abundance and say that’s good ecology, but the truth is, the ecological balance of any given places is highly complicated, and removing longtime and native species from the mix can cause instability in the environment.

When I say it’s complicated, we’re talking in terms of there being no telling what might happen. Competitors, predators, prey and scavengers are locked tight at the seams in their relationships. Reduce the predators, and a prey species you’re looking to increase may eat itself out of house and home, remain in check or get overrun by its now less hunted competition, or it may just get killed by the predators now less hindered competition. Other creatures you weren’t looking to make suffer might get hit by the effects.

We really aren’t suited to playing God with nature. And yet we can’t just not develop. We’re born with all the same imperatives as any creature.

In the end, Environmentalism about one thing: survival. We depend upon the ecosystem and its stability to survive. We are creatures of the environment, same as anybody, only we have the intelligence to make things much harder on ourselves. If we don’t want to put the hurt on ourselves big-time, we’d better figure out how to be less of a dysfunctional component of the ecosystem.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #196121

jlw

I am not proposing hunting as a poverty relief measure. I didn’t even mention it or even use the word poverty. I use “poor” once, but only to refer to poor use, not poor people. My link is meant to show a good use for food produced from hunting. Most of the hunters probably are not among your rich people, although many are property owners.

If you listen to the lecture linked in the post, you will hear how people in the old days lived closer to their environment. They walked past their food, wood and fuel everyday. Now we have forgotten.

Stephen

We have already destroyed the old balance. We can never allow predators such as cougars to return to places with large human populations. On the other hand, we certainly will have deer, geese etc. We have to manage these populations. Forunately, we have some experience managing game species. We just have to adapt that experience to similar circumstances.

Posted by: Jack at November 21, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #196137


Jack: Ok, I will discuss wild animals as a food source. How many people on this blog have ever eaten wild game? Of those who have, how many of you liked the taste?

Posted by: jlw at November 22, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #196139

I have eaten deer, moose, wild bore and wild turkey. The only one that is really good is wild bore. It is better than ordinary pork. But lots of people do like venison and they love too hunt turkey and deer.

I do not see it as replacement food source. It is a supplement, but mostly a cultural connection with our local environment. Somebody has to hunt the deer and geese. We can make it a problem or a benefit.

When I talk about using wood from the urban forest, it is strictly cultural. Producing saw timber from urban trees will cost a lot more than getting similar wood from rural areas. But it is much more interesting to point to your hardwood floor and talk about the trees that used to grow on or near your property. It is a connection.

Think about the people who spend big money to salavage old barns made of chesnut to make their hardwood floors. It would be much cheaper and easier to get new wood, but not as cool

Posted by: Jack at November 22, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #196151

There are an estimated 600,000 white-tailed deer in Ohio. More than 45,000 were taken during bow season which just ended. Nearly 8900 deer were taken by youth under the age of 17 in a special 2 day hunt. An estimated 400,000 hunters will participate in gun hunting season which opens next week. The state estimates that 120,000 will be killed during gun season. While deer can live to be 15 years old, the life expectancy in the wild for males is 2 years and three years for females. One would think that we would wipe them out but we don’t seem to be puting a dent in the population.

Deer hunters in ohio donate thousands of pounds of meat to less fortunate Ohioans each year.

I do not like deerburger at all. A deer roast with potatoes, onions, carrots and celery is excellent. Many people like venison and many people don’t. Americans are used to their store bought grain feed meat.

Our pioneering ancestors may have loved wild turkey but they couldn’t go to the supermarket and buy a butterball. There is no comparison.

The largest non-typical antlered white-tail ever taken by a bow hunter in Ohio was a 39 point buck taken in Green county (Dayton) in 2000. It is also the world record. Ohio is well known for large racks.

Posted by: jlw at November 22, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #196155

Jack
Right on. In my area there is an island that became overpopulated with deer. After trying conteceptives to no avail it was decided to re-locate a bunch of them at considerable cost to the taxpayer because letting some guys put a little meat in their lockers was inhumane. They moved them to a remote area called Couger Mountain. Guess what happened. In months every one of them had been eaten by cougers.
I am a liberal,lefty,enviormentalist kind of guy. I also remember learning how to appreciate natural beauty and the value of good resorce management while hunting with my Uncle Ben in Oregon. I wish more kids had an Uncle Ben.

Posted by: BillS at November 22, 2006 3:06 AM
Comment #196188

Jack,

I agree with you that wildlife is becoming more and more abundant in the urban areas as well as the rural areas. It is actually to the point that you have to watch closely driving past the neighbor’s garden or corn field that you’re not side-swiped by a buck.
But, your idea that we should kill them and use them for resources is just a bit too vicious and simplistic. I propose we do what we humans do, set up Planned Parenthood locations near cornfields, and pass out condoms to their teenagers!

JD

Posted by: JD at November 22, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #196203

JD

It is not vicious to kill animals for food. It is a postive good.

This is the essence of the cultural disagreement. I believe in treating animals humanely, but they do not have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I like your idea about passing out deer condoms. I would add however that if it does not work we reserve the right to hunt the populations back into line.

BTW - I once witnessed an interesting talk between an animal rights person and a farmer. The farmer had installed a ramp that took the cow manure down to a holding area when the cows crapped while in their stalls. The problem was that cows kind of arch their backs when they crap and they would miss the ramp. The farmer installed a live wire that shocked the cows when they arched their backs and they quickly learned not to do this. This outraged the animal rights person. The farmer told her that it was up to the cows and that he had verbally warned them on many occassions. They simply ignored him.

Posted by: Jack at November 22, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #196214

Only someone who is a strict vegetarian has the right, in my opinion, to condemn hunters. I’m not, so I don’t, though I’m not sure I could actually pull the trigger myself. If I were ever forced to, maybe then I would be able to clarify my conflicting feelings. C’est la vie.

Posted by: Trent at November 22, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #196264

Jack,JD
We should not pass out condoms. That only encourages them to be promiscious. We need to teach them that abstinence is the only solution. Probably work with them better than human teenagers.

Posted by: BillS at November 22, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #196271

Remember the old adage that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish. A bedrock conservative idea,is it not? So instead of hunters giving meat to the poor perhaps we should just give the poor rifles and bus them to rich nieborhoods being over run with deer.

Posted by: BillS at November 22, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #196278

Bill S

Some of the poor places have a good share of both deer and guns already.

I repeat that this is not primarily a way to feed the poor. What I mostly want is longer hunting seasons and possibilities to cull herds in big parks.

All joking aside, it is pretty silly to try to give deer birth control when we can get hunters to control the population for nothing. What’s next? Deer old folks parks?

We cannot have open hunting in suburban parks, but we can allow hunters to hunt at night. Our goal would not be “sport” but harvest.

Posted by: Jack at November 22, 2006 11:48 PM
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