Tuesday, September 04, 2007

News: Hunters dwindle as hoofed rat population soars.

The common whitetail deer remains the most deadly non-primate mammal in America, killing more people than grizzly bears, mountain lions, or scary-looking dog breeds. This is because mountain lions don't usually hop into suburbanite's laps at 60mph after jumping through their windshields.

In a development perhaps not totally unrelated, the number of hunters over the age of 16 has declined in this country by 10% over the last decade. Reasons claimed for this decline range from the reasonable, such as a loss of available hunting land and the suburbanization of the American East, to the bizarre, like the thimble-headed gherkin in Maryland who blames the Triangle Of Death NRA. Of course, since it usually (but not always) takes hunters to raise hunters, the decline will be hard to reverse.

This, however, has not stopped professional liars politicians from making their every-four-years ritual forelock-tugging obeisances to hunters, which are frequently the comedy highlight of Election Season. Last time 'round, we had Kerry's ludicrous claims of going after deer by wriggling around in the woods on his belly with his trusty double-barreled shotgun like Elmer Fudd having a gran mal seizure, which could only have been successful if Bambi laughed himself to death. This year we have Mitt Romney claiming to be a lifelong poacher, which is what you call someone who hunts without a license in most states. With any luck, we'll get a candidate offering up an hilarious photo op, too, before all is said and done.


the pistolero said...

And I would just about lay money on that photo op coming courtesy of Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney.

Anonymous said...

The only real hunter is Cheney (who was last seen shooting a lawyer, the perfect game animal)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out that suburban sprawl actually makes more deer habitat.

Deer live in the forest and feed in pasture. So cutting down some trees while leaving a buffer-zone just creates more deer friendly habit. I ought to blog post a picture I took last year of a deer nuclear family chowing down on crabapples from a landscaped tree in the neighbor's yard.

Subdividing land down into sub-acre lots doesn't help either, as at least around here you can only hunt on 10 acres or larger. Well, all the parks are off limits and anyone with 10+ acres has deep pockets, so the only natural predator around here to control the population that almost doubles every year is the native SUV.

Do all those tree-huggers think that owning a SUV for the sole purpose of increasing your chances of survival with a venison collision is a valid purpose? Do they even consider their anti-hunting philosophy as being part of the problem?

Billy Beck said...

They're overrunning the village of Dryden up here in The Vampire State.

I expect to see one pushing the crosswalk stoplight button on Main Street any time now.

Tam said...

"I'd like to point out that suburban sprawl actually makes more deer habitat."

Indeed it does.

Hardly a week goes by that I don't spot a hoofed rat or four somewhere in my environs, here near the Kroger and the interstate overpass.

I remember driving home from Oleg's one night when I-40 east looked like an abbatoir for about a two mile-stretch...

Anonymous said...

They've swam across the Kill van Kull, into Staten Island, where a small herd(including at least 1 eight pointer) of them lives on the western area where the dump used to be.

That's right - NYC has a wild deer population.

Anonymous said...

One of the ironies of suburban sprawl that's usually missed even by greenies is that it has been EXCELLENT for not just deer, but a great many songbird species. The "edge" habitat is as perfect for them.

Unfortunately, it's been just as good for cowbirds and cuckoos, which has hurt others, but still.

Most people have also not got the slightest clue just how much wildlife they live with. When we scouted out the back yard in this property (the lot's about two acres), we found tracks and scat from elk, coyote, deer, cougar, and black bear. The place was a virtual freeway for every large mammal in the region until we finished fencing it. (We saw huge bull elk and the bear in the flesh a few times before then, too.)

The original owners, who had lived here for decades, were flabbergasted to find out they'd been visited by anything other than the deer. People are fucking clueless.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing my part to reduce the problem, one bite at a time..... with a family of 7, we eat 2 1/2 of the critters a year.

Anonymous said...

You mean like Huckabee shooting over the Press Corps while chasing pheasants??