December 12, 2019

Designating Predators as “Big Game Animals” is Counterproductive to Game Management

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Most state’s fish and game departments are required, either through constitutional regulation or legislative mandates to manage game species for surplus populations to provide harvest opportunities for the citizens. This was something that was learned shortly after the turn of the twentieth century when unregulated and commercial hunting reduced game populations to levels that became dangerously close to unsustainable.

The establishment of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation became the foundation of how states should view fish and game species and manage accordingly.

Through history, fishing, trapping and hunting, while never specifically referenced in the U.S. Constitution, were to most people, an inalienable right. It was never questioned that people would always hunt and fish and who would have thought that one day they would be prohibited from participating in these special and necessary activities. Unfortunately, as with most rights, people seem to find pleasure in appropriating one person’s rights to bolster the agenda of their own special interests.

The idea of fishing, hunting and trapping was founded in the need and want of people for sustenance. Our inappropriately twisted society has systematically gone about convincing the masses that hunting, trapping and fishing are a “sport”, some kind of perverted activity to kill innocent animals and that there is no longer a need or want to fill one’s freezer. After all, there are grocery stores. With this manipulation of minds, over time our fish and game departments have become infiltrated with those who think exactly as I have described. This has resulted in management goals and objectives that have moved away from those created years ago.

While some in their progressive thinking might believe that the new way of doing things is better, there is lacking the good and proven science to support it. Where once fish and game departments managed for surplus supplies of fish and game for harvest, there now exists the mindset that harvest is secondary, that hunting, trapping and fishing are mere recreations. This has become intertwined with the badly taught myth that nature balances itself out. Along with the preaching of this myth is that hunting, trapping and fishing are no longer needed and thus we should not be concerned with surplus supplies of game animals. Instead predator protection as taken center stage, perhaps for the direct purpose to end these activities.

Man is a predator. It really is that simple and man is a part of the ecosystems that many environmentalists seem to want to rid him from. When predators are protected, the competition for prey species increases and thus, this diminishes this once thought of inalienable right to hunt and fish.

Whether we like it or not, the hunting and fishing industries provide billions of dollars to businesses and bolsters the tax base of the states and federal government. It is integral. To destroy these industries would be detrimental to a lot of people.

So why then are fish and game departments working so hard to protect predators? Do these departments fail to understand that if the hunting and fishing industries die, more than likely they will be out of a job? Yes, these agencies have worked for decades to move fish and game departments into environmental agencies and use general tax dollars for funding, in order to further remove the power of the sportsman from the decision making processes.

If states are going to perpetuate fishing and hunting opportunities for its citizens, the only way this can be done effectively is through predator control and not predator protection. What has always bothered me is when states opt to designate a predator as a “big game” animal. With such distinction, this animal then achieves the status as a species that is managed to provide hunting or fishing opportunities for the people. By doing such, the same mind set exists to manage for surplus harvests. This is a complete contradiction in managing traditional fish and game species (elk, deer, moose, caribou, sheep, etc.) for surplus.

Nobody is ever going to convince me that placing the hunting value of a predator like a bear, wolf, mountain lion or coyote, over that of a deer, moose, elk, caribou, etc. is a good thing. And yet, our fish and game are designating varmints like coyotes and wolves, as “big game” species, selling permits to hunt them and these creatures are in direct competition for the same prey species man is seeking. How does this make sense? It would seem that only a person opposed to man’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness would perpetuate such nonsense.

I understand the need, when necessary, to regulate the control and killing of predators, and thus the need for season and permits…..as I say, when necessary.

If your state no longer seems willing to manage game species for surplus harvest, perhaps it’s time to let the people know about it. If your fish and game department is protecting predators and managing them to perpetuate a hunting, fishing or trapping season on them, you know they probably have lost interest in managing real game for surplus harvest.

For me it just seems a really stupid thing to over protect the very creature that destroys your industry.

Tom Remington

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