Mods can move this if it just has to be in the Varmint sub-heading.
'Just got back from the TWA conference and one of the seminars was on predator contests. There's a big one up the road from my ranch. I really don't have a dog (pun possibly intended) in this fight, partly, 'cause I'm older, lazy, and don't wanna stay up all night trying to pop stuff. I do know a neighbor, sort of caretaker gentleman, said that his son participates in some sometimes and he used to come on the place I now own to get his 5 required fox, in order to qualify for the bobcat category. Even I've noticed, there's a LOT of fox. 'Wanting to get the one quail a year I hear to a point where I can at least see and hear them regularly, this gives me a little concern. (No illusions of hunting them here, just want to see and hear them.)
What I thought was gonna be a discussion was instead a presentation of a film by Project Coyote (you can google it) titled "Killing Games". Both the woman that introduced the guests and the woman that runs Project Coyote have a definite rockstar attitude and the young director is understandably brash and confident, since, as he proudly announced, is able to travel the world with a camera filming wildlife. (He gave us his upcoming itinerary. Yes, impressive, but...
As far as production, it's slick. Gorgeous pics of coyote pups, beautiful bobcat sound asleep in a tree, etc. Gotta give the ACTUAL videographers credit - some incredible shots and inspiring footage. Being an old music major, I listen to how films include sound, music etc. It's very well done. Great music and cool audio of wolf, adult coyotes, and, of course, video and audio of 4 or 5 pups howling without any adults around. 'Gotta be a robot to not think that's cool footage. What I noticed they did NOT include was the audio (or video) of coyotes killing a whitetail deer fawn. I've heard it. More than once. But of course, that would not help their cause. (I've got too many deer and do understand that nature is an ice-hearted witch. And coyotes do, however, play a role in God's
created nature. )
I didn't make any comment during the question period following. I didn't want to be confrontational. The few that know me on here would probably think that's very unusual.
The crowd was very polite and articulate. If anyone was confrontational, it was the introducer answering a TPWD biologist. Some of us can see through your veiled aggression lady.
One thing that struck me was the Project Coyote's founder's use of language during the Q&A period. When someone asked about ground-nesting birds and predators' impact, she answered with a rambling, mumbled response that passingly mentioned "song birds" and included the nebulous term "science". That last word - does it sound familiar to anybody?
If you're gonna reference "science", you need to be prepared to cite actual research, including studies that your audience can actually look up for themselves. That is, if you've done the hard work of research and not just letting your cause be piloted by emotion. Like many other words that are being used during this current period in American history, some expect the use of it to immediately stop all discussion or questions, like a magic wand.
The second thing that struck me was the 4 or 5 times, in the film and in their speech, that referenced what 4 or 5 states have already done to outlaw these contests. Of course, the first state mentioned was...you know it...wait for it...yep...California. Bless their hearts, they just don't have the awareness to realize that, if you want to accomplish something in this state, mentioning what "other" states have done, and especially mentioning the state that people are fleeing like rats from a drowning ship, is only gonna make us dig in our heels more. We have gotten a few things right here. Those idiots laughing and high-fiving when they shoot something may be disgusting, but by golly, their OUR disgusting idiots. And, they're humans
. And we're gonna proceed cautiously 'cause we believe in a man, or woman's right to do what HE or SHE feels is right in this state on private property.
End of rant. Discuss?
(I do credit the TWA for the guts to host a controversial subject and to not just go the easy route. It is something we need to discuss as ethical hunters.)