Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good news, everybody!

Once upon a time, Odocoileus virginianus, the North American Hoofed Rat, was extinct in Indiana outside of zoos. Then somebody decided it would be grand to re-introduce them, which strikes me as the equivalent of re-introducing the anopheles mosquito or crabgrass. Every winter since, brave Hoosiers have set out into the fields to beat back the tan menace.

Despite being hamstrung by using only shotguns, handguns, or pistol-caliber carbines, Indiana hunters bagged over 86,000 hoofed rats this season. When you add in the efforts of would-be Dan'l Boones and Robin Hoods, a record 134,004 crop-devouring furry traffic hazards met their demise in the fields and forests of Hoosierland over the '10-'11 season. Great job, everybody! I feel like an absolute slacker for not taking part.

35 comments:

ViolentIndifference said...

I like a little tickle of Farnsworth in the morning.

Anonymous said...

These are the deer that are reported. Does anyone have any figures on how many were poached?
I used to tease one of my co-workers about her husband shooting Bambi, but it was just yanking her chain. They ate everything they shot.

Tam said...

I'm sure that the caliber that collected the most deer this past year was the Chevy Silverado, actually.

OldTexan said...

Well, you can’t eat mosquito’s, it would take about a quarter million just to make one meal for four and I never considered a crabgrass salad and upon consideration, I don’t. Having said that, those ‘hoofed rat’ critters really are tasty and here in Texas we kill’em with just about anything that shoots, that old elephant gun that just made one trip to Africa is just fine for shooting a 150 pound deer down here so you can make sure he is real dead.

My grown son has the same complaint in Colorado where he lives. When folks stop traffic to watch bighorn sheep and elk on the side of the highway. He sticks his out of the window and hollers, “Those are just big squirrels, nothing to see here, keep moving and stop trying to stick your kid on the back of that bull elk so you can take a picture. The elk really don’t want to be petted.”

Of course the real funny part of the resurgence of wildlife is when they move into town to eat the expensive landscape and then earth loving yuppies don’t want to allow folks to kill and eat them. The bunny-huggers want to capture the deer, cut their nuts off and release them out in someone else’s wilderness where they can run free and live naturally.

Ain’t life funny, we have more white tail deer here in the US than existed here five hundred years ago and they do make effective random traffic barriers.

Anonymous said...

What the Bambi lovers fail to mention to anyone is that deer kill more humans than any other animal - as Tam referenced with her Silverado quip. As always, poaching is about control, not about some silly notion of maintaining a strong deer population.

Anonymous said...

Catch the right shot going away, and that anus ain't so virgin anymore...kind of a lateral gut-shot.

In Fla the highway menace is just as bad, but while the damage to the Silverado tends to be less, much time is wasted getting out to be sure it was indeed a hoofed rat and not somebody's hound dog. Upside, if you do hafta shoot 'em, a 10/22 or a Red Ryder will do the trick; saves a bunch on ammo.

They ain't mosquitoes, but it does take about a dozen of 'em to make a good mess for dinner.

AT

BobG said...

Sounds like they need more hunters, that or sell more than one permit per person.
We don't have any of them around here; all our deer are mulies, which tend to be larger, but not as plentiful as the whitetail deer.

Oleg Volk said...

http://olegvolk.net/gallery/d/38719-1/dangerous_1351.jpg

Frank W. James said...

Actually, I left them alone this fall because they pretty much left my crops be.

Normally I just shoot 'em during the season for more or less crowd control reasons.

I'm sure next year will be different because their numbers are still huge. They just visited someone else this past year instead of my fields...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Don Meaker said...

Unfortunately, some of the hoofed rats seem to have taken refuge in Congress...

og said...

Bambi, and bambi's mom, are the yummiest things on earth, preferable to any beef but wagyu, to my palate. Preparation, of course, is everything. Or, well, the lack therof.

One of the good things about the resurgence of bambi is that is has also brought back things like cougars and increased the coyote population, which also helps keep down the yappy housepet population around here. Win-win, for me.

Old Grouch said...

"Indiana hunters bagged over 86,000 hoofed rats this season."

But not the two that have been hanging out in the woodlot behind my house, unfortunately.

DirtCrashr said...

With such an overwhelming number in existence and not being on any endangered list, who cares if they get poached? Wookie-up!

Anonymous said...

venison tenderlions on the grill....ummm.... going to my happy place.

Gerry

theirritablearchitect said...

Flatlander-type law of paranoia about boollets traveling aaaaalllll the way across the entire state, killing the innocent.

Hamstrung indeed.

The Raving Prophet said...

What's the reason for shotgun and pistol calibers only?

I think that's a gap in my knowledge- Missouri lets you use most anything centerfire, so I'm not up on the reasoning.

Blackwing1 said...

Minnesnowta is pretty much overrun with the critters. The insurance companies have done a lot of lobbying for extended seasons and higher bag limits in some areas.

That said, we still have the dumb "centerfire rifles allowed north of this arbitrary line, but shotguns only south of it" rules.

It's my understanding that those rules originated with the old-fashioned Foster-type shotgun slugs that had the ballistic coefficient of a brick, and they felt (Note: "felt", not "knew") that a 12-gauge slug wasn't going to carry over into the next county like a .30-06 round.

Now that most people are shotgun hunting with rifled barrels and discarding-sabot-type slugs, the distinction is (slightly more) moot than it was before.

Blackwing1 said...

Typical Minnesnowta deer conversation:

"What'd ya get yer deer wit'?"

"Hit 'er wit a tree-fitty small-block."

Robert Langham said...

Texas has so many whitetails they ought to be de-listed as a game animal and hunted year-round.

Texas is also more FORESTED than anytime before settlement by human beings, but that didn't stop my city from having a initiative to plant 5000 trees this last weekend. Heck, just quit mowing for a year. You'll get 5000 trees per acre.
But that's life. And government.

Anonymous said...

"What's the reason for shotgun and pistol calibers only?"

Originally it was handicapping, to give the deer a sporting chance. It just sort of stuck despite the stupidity of the rule.

Pistol caliber carbines are a recent allowance.

"12-gauge slug wasn't going to carry over into the next county like a .30-06 round"

You can shoot a .30-'06 at a squirrel up in a tree but a .270 launch down from a deerstand will destroy women, children and minorities.

Shootin' Buddy

Stretch said...

Uncle Jim bagged 3 deer with his Honda. And the Accord still racked up 300K+ miles.
The body shop that repaired his car had stencils of deer (heads, full body) if you wanted to keep score.
In SW Virginia deer were the second leading cause of accidents. Alcohol was, of course, first.

GuardDuck said...

You can shoot a .30-'06 at a squirrel up in a tree but a .270 launch down from a deerstand will destroy women, children and minorities.


Didn't know them ole time hoosiers were so progressive.

DanH said...

Heh you are a slacker. But them I am mostly a slacker as well. I got my only deer 7 years ago with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. At least I think I did. It got up and ran off. My Jeep went 100 yards and died. A big deer at 60mph is hell on the radiator.

wv Hydristl - what you do when the revenuers come around.

DanH said...

BTW here in MO we bagged 260,000 or therabouts.

Anonymous said...

Hoofed rats are delicious. You should have been here for the BBQd steak we had Sunday. Oh, Em, Gee.

Get thee out and harvest one at the nearest opportunity. Take a few walks and discover their traveling patterns. Then snipe one using whatever favorite boomstick is legal, preferably in a season that's less popular. That's why I use a frontstuffer. -- Lyle

Mikael said...

Here in sweden, hunters are responsible for reintroducing an even worse species of hoofed rats, our hoofed rats grow to 2k+ pounds and have tusks... yes, here the hoofed rats are wild boars. Population doubling every year.

Anonymous said...

I quit deer hunting back when I moved out of the parents' house. The fish/game services and local laws have made it so cumbersome and expensive that it's actually cheaper for me to just go buy a half beef from my local butcher. Plus, when I pay for the beef I'm guaranteed to get the beef. When I pay for licensing, ammo, stand(s), plus my time skulking about trying to find non-public land to hunt on, it becomes incredibly expensive for a deer I might not even bag. I'd rather spend the money and time on buying and testing pistol ammo.

Anonymous said...

When you said "hoofed rat" I thought you meant the rodent kind...ya know, long tail, scuttles along at the base of walls, always looking for cheese and wary of cats...those rats.

Okay, color me gullible.

*SIGH*

cap'n chumbucket

Ian Argent said...

Unfortunately, deer don't annoy canadian geese nearly enough

John B said...

I shot my first deer with a '67 pontiac. I had my tag in the glovebox. Nowadays, I just come home with a dozen roses for my fiance, and a 10 pointer comes up and eats them. In all fairness, Bambi appreciates flowers more than Elizabeth.

But people would talk about me if I started having it off with deer, and eating girlfriends.

More than they already do!

WV:ridica Vin Diesel's character, or my banter one :)

ViolentIndifference said...

John B: Giggity.

staghounds said...

How many Indianans did the deer get?

Anonymous said...

I managed to bag Bambi's mom with a Subaru in far western Kansas one night. The deputy said they carry tags in the fall so if you want it, you can fill out the papers right there and take it home. Alas, it was midnight and 80 degrees, and I didn't have the right gear or clothes with me to be cleaning and packing the meat. After the body shop finished, I wished I'd at least skinned the blasted beast and gotten some gloves or a vest out of my $$$$. Rabbits with antlers, that what the beggars are!
LittleRed1

Buzz said...

It doesn't cost me a cent to take a rat or any other critter, since I bought a lifetime license before the state realized, "Hey, we're not making money on this lifetime stuff!" The only cost involved is powder-charged lead projectiles, replacing arrows that get bit and pulled out to speed up the exsanguination, or paying for processing when I won't do it myself.

Rats in your backyard? No problem. Stick the buggers with oversized needles. Many of Indiana's counties have urban deer zones, where the DNR expects us to be protectors of automobiles. The biggest restriction is no firearms. (Sorry, Tam)

I hit my first live deer last week. (I jumped/grazed a dead buck in a dip in the road when I was but a pup in my 67 Mustang. -Good thing I was speeding or he would have ripped a hole in the bottom of my fuel tank, like the other two poor bastards on the side of the road.) Amazing that it took 26+ years of driving for it to happen. I'm thinking the severe lack of proper rest affected my peripheral vision and reflexes. I can say that the 3/16" plate offroad bumper on the front of my Jeep spared me from anything but a slight "whuzzat?" There was a bit of damage to the bumper, however: The tuft of hair wedged in the shackle mount severely affected the pristine appearance of black on black on black. I removed the white and tan keratin to restore and all was good as new.

P.S. Let me know if you have some land in central/northwest-central Indiana that needs its rats exterminated. Plenty of rat pluggers in my family and good hunting ground is getting harder to find.

Beaumont said...

Wow. No actual rifle calibers allowed in Maizeland? Makes me appreciate Tenn., where I can go hoofed-rat hunting with anything from Grandpappy's 4"-barreled .32-20 M&P to a Barrett .50. One guy I knew shot deer with an M14 (no, not M1A). Choice is a good thing. Just sayin'.