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Hunters Exchange Fire Over What's Fair Game
WSJ ^ | 16 Oct 2010 | LAUREN ETTER

Posted on 10/16/2010 2:31:10 AM PDT by Palter

After hours of scouting the bone-colored badlands at Cedar Ridge Elk Ranch here, hunter David Regal took aim and fired twice from his .300 Winchester Magnum rifle. One shot killed a bull elk that weighed 700 pounds, wore a 12-point set of antlers, and cost the shooter $8,500.

"I like to get the best there is," says Mr. Regal, 72 years old, who owns an excavating business in Michigan. He drove 1,100 miles here with his brother in a motor home, towing his black Hummer behind.

Cedar Ridge is one of North Dakota's dozen or so private hunting ranches, enclosed by high fences and stocked with farm-raised elk and deer. Here, well-to-do hunters like Mr. Regal pay for a guaranteed shot at some of the most majestic prey in the West.

On Nov. 2, North Dakota voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would do away with these ranches. What's surprising is that the battle over Ballot Measure 2 doesn't pit hunters against their natural adversaries, animal-rights activists, who have long opposed the ultimate blood sport. Rather, the debate is dividing hunters themselves.

As private hunting ranches proliferate nationwide, hunters are grappling with what it means to participate in one of the oldest American sports. Fights like the one in North Dakota have broken out elsewhere, and national hunting groups are piling into the debate.

On one side are hunters who say fencing in wildlife for profit is unethical and shifts hunting from its populist American roots. They say the reserves are creating an elitist model reminiscent of "King's hunting" for the European gentry long ago.

Leading the effort to ban the ranches in North Dakota is Roger Kaseman, a lifelong hunter who once lived off the land for two years in a remote Wyoming cabin.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Hobbies; Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Sports
KEYWORDS: hunting; northdakota; privateproperty; property
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1 posted on 10/16/2010 2:31:17 AM PDT by Palter
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To: Palter

“With its vast stretches of golden prairies crossed by ragged peaks,”

I’m not a ND expert, but I’ve passed through a few times. I never saw any peaks, ragged or otherwise. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place.

Shooting a farm raised elk doesn’t meet my definition of hunting. It’s like shooting a cow with antlers. Not sure it should be illegal, though.


2 posted on 10/16/2010 2:45:21 AM PDT by balch3
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To: Palter

There’s a point where you still “hunt” and there’s this other thing called “wannabe-hunting”. I’m for the open market...it tends to make sense. But this pretend-to-hunt is a bit of a joke.

I am reminded of that Alabama story of a couple of years ago...where the kid was proclaimed this big-hunter for killing a wild boar of a 1,000 lbs. In the end, we all laughed over an arranged (and paid) hunting trip by the kid’s dad, with the wild and oversized boar just being a friendly hog raised by a family and sold to a hunter’s club.


3 posted on 10/16/2010 2:46:35 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: balch3

It’s just like buying a side of beef but you kill it yourself for some reason.


4 posted on 10/16/2010 2:52:21 AM PDT by gthog61
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To: Palter

Is this America still? Do we have private property rights?

I doubt this is hunter v. hunter. Sounds more like envious control-freak v. humanity.


5 posted on 10/16/2010 3:09:01 AM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Palter
Property rights......

Also...the effort to ban canned hunts is a dangerous road to travel; and I guarantee it would become theinitial step of an effort to ban the raising & slaughter of other animals...poultry, beef, lamb, emu, pork, etc.

Although a "guaranteed" hunt is not my idea of hunting...why should hunting be limited to "my idea of hunting".....? I slaughter my own beef, pork, poultry, and lamb....it's not a hunt, but it's guaranteed.

6 posted on 10/16/2010 3:27:26 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: Palter
Here, well-to-do hunters like Mr. Regal pay for a guaranteed shot at some of the most majestic prey in the West.

Fine -- let the wannabes with cash out the wazoo shell out for one of these "hunts". Who cares?

They'll come out, get pampered, take a punch in the shoulder from a pristine magnum, get a few pictures, go home, strut. BFD.

Few will ever get up where hunting really is hunting, vice target shooting with a live and reacting target. As long as the animal doesn't suffer from Walter Mitty's misplaced shot, it's little more than a high-priced and exclusive "wilderness" theme park.

Some might make it into a "hunter's" mag, with glossies, but the people who really are hunters are going out and doing their thing. A few might take some of the articles out with them to serve where paper is really needed.

Let the people who have owned the land for years and are trying to find ways to keep their family's ranch going (yes, I know there are some corporations involved, but some are also family-owned) drain some dollars from a gentleman hunter to keep their heritage intact.

7 posted on 10/16/2010 3:28:29 AM PDT by Quiller (When you're fighting to survive, there is no "try" -- there is only do, or do not.)
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To: Palter

this idea could also
be applied to any beef operation.
.......................

the sportsman would pick out
the best looking beef, ....boom....

a day later, a delivery van shows up at your house
with the meat.


8 posted on 10/16/2010 3:38:30 AM PDT by Talf
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To: Palter

Is this really any different from these clowns that set up a deer blind next to their deer feeder and waits for the deer to come for a meal and then “blammo!”?


9 posted on 10/16/2010 4:00:11 AM PDT by Carbonsteel
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To: Talf
the sportsman would pick out the best looking beef, ....boom....

Actually....culling the bull or hog of lesser quality for the family table is the rule here. The elderly chickens get the honor of the soup pot....

10 posted on 10/16/2010 4:01:40 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: Carbonsteel
Is this really any different from these clowns that set up a deer blind

Kinda like the fisherman with chum, a baited hook & a net?

Many are not "clowns"...but keep in mind that the older hunter, the disabled hunter, and those too ill to walk & stalk benefit from a blind. Many have stalked and walked most of their lives and are no longer able...but are still American hunters.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

11 posted on 10/16/2010 4:11:44 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: Palter; All
It doesn't surprise me that this is "hunter v hunter" since the same argument goes on all the time with fisherman as well.

Bait v artificial lure
catch and release v creel limits
gun v bow
flintlock v modern

you name it and I've seen one sportsman look down his nose at another based on differences in personal choices.

and the whole time PETA and the rest of the morons just laugh as we spend money fighting ourselves.

hell, I've seen pretty heated arguments over baiting vs no bait and the use of commercial scents...

sportsman ought to agree to disagree within our community on these issues, but also should agree not to seek legislation that puts PETA's nose under the tent...which is what legislation like this does.

the Trout Unlimited people lobbied in MD and DNR closed off whole sections of streams in Garrett county to bait fishing...without even seeking public comment.

if this goes through, as someone correctly stated, WTF happened to private property rights and individual choice?

I'll be damned if I want some guy telling me how to hunt or fish...and I'm not going to do the same to anyone else. (I'll still have an opinion, I just won't voice it)

I hope this law is defeated.

Regards...

12 posted on 10/16/2010 4:14:36 AM PDT by Abundy
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To: Abundy
Bravo ABUNDY!
13 posted on 10/16/2010 4:18:37 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: cbkaty

Further down that road is using dogs to hunt. Dogs on hogs, coon hunting, etc. Or even having dogs fights. It’s your property, you should be able to do what you want to it. Even if other people think it’s wrong.


14 posted on 10/16/2010 4:21:48 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: Abundy

Good post.


15 posted on 10/16/2010 4:22:17 AM PDT by listenhillary (A very simple fix to our dilemma - We need to reward the makers instead of the takers)
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To: Palter
At least they can get elk in N. Dakota. Here in Idaho, the g**d*** wolves have so decimated the elk herds, elk season is a whopping 10 days this year. I didn't even bother buying an elk tag this year, 'cause there are better ways to waste $30. Wake up, America...Canadian Gray Wolves are the serial killers of the animal kingdom!

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

16 posted on 10/16/2010 4:24:33 AM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
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To: Palter
Further down that road is using dogs to hunt

Think fox hunts in England and the movement to ban....

Agreed.....We use dogs for quail hunting and a well trained dog never harms the bird....

17 posted on 10/16/2010 4:29:35 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: Abundy
I lived next door to a canned pheasant hunt operation once. I could see it in action. They had pheasants raised from chicks that they kept in this big mesh enclosure so the pheasants could fly a bit and develop something resembling flight muscles. They would then take a few of the pheasants and 'seed' them in the field, and then take clients out with a hunting dog that would flush the pheasants that could barely get off the ground high enough to get shot.

Not what I consider sporting. But I also wouldn't want laws to ban it - after all, killing a cow with a bolt gun isn't very sporting either, but I like a good hamburger. And like you said, this gets PETA into the debate, who could care less about what is sporting or not, they want it ALL banned - sporting, non-sporting AND hamburger.

18 posted on 10/16/2010 4:31:21 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Quiller

Yep. Pampered and a guaranteed kill – all for $8,500.
If they can afford it let them spend their money, many are probably once a year “hunters” and it would be safer for everyone else if they’re closely supervised.


19 posted on 10/16/2010 4:34:18 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: dirtboy
Where would the restrictions stop? Keep in mind the world eats farmed fresh water and saltwater seafood..... They have to die somehow....prior to consumption.
20 posted on 10/16/2010 4:36:49 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: Palter
Maybe they should allow these hunting farms, but make them free fire zones with the usual criminal laws suspended on the farm.

That might put the sport back into it.

21 posted on 10/16/2010 4:46:07 AM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: cbkaty

Do these “sportsmen” actually use the meat or do they kill for the antlers?

I plan to hunt again this year. I have several large white oak trees in my front yard. The deer love the acorns. My yard looks like a cattle pen in places with all the tracks. I could open a window and kill several deer from my living room. One is an 8 point buck. He has a nice rack. To me, killing him would be very unsportsman.


22 posted on 10/16/2010 4:48:32 AM PDT by seemoAR
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To: Palter

shooting the “best there is” is short sighted game mgt & depletes the gene pool - im always amazed with rack hunters - its akin to penis envy.....anyone that eats game knows that does are better eating


23 posted on 10/16/2010 4:57:16 AM PDT by Revelation 911 (How many 100's of 1000's of our servicemen died so we would never bow to a king?" -freeper pnh102)
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To: Abundy
One of my favorite subjects, beings I'm an avid hunter of whitetails and in West TX.

No where in the world will you find more feeders both corn and protein than Central and West TX. No where in the world will you find as many hi-fence hunting operations. Hunting is big business in TX and generates much needed revenue to a variety of business's. We have towns that wouldn't even exist if not for hunting and the business it generates. Ranches ain't cheap anymore and trying to pay one off just by running a few cow's won't cut it so most also have a hunting operation and see more profit in that than in cattle.

24 posted on 10/16/2010 5:00:16 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Abundy

Spot ON!!


25 posted on 10/16/2010 5:01:02 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: seemoAR
Do these “sportsmen” actually use the meat or do they kill for the antlers?

I can't answer that question but I believe that the vast majority of Texas hunters know that killing simply to kill is unethical and frankly a sin that is Purgatory-worthy.

In Texas processors donate unclaimed meat to those in need. We kill one buck per year....We kill no more than we will consume. Waste not....

26 posted on 10/16/2010 5:02:37 AM PDT by cbkaty (Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy---W Churchill)
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To: Palter

It’s not the way I hunt, but I wouldnt shut them down.


27 posted on 10/16/2010 5:03:41 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: seemoAR

It’s against the law to take a game animal and not make an attempt to harvest the meat.


28 posted on 10/16/2010 5:03:48 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: seemoAR

After many hours of bow, black powder, rifle, and shotgun hunting (withdogs and without) although I have killed many deer (I can’t remember how many)over many, many years that place of honor on the wall remains bare. I have just never had a good shot at a nice 8 or 10 pointer. Never. Not once. Now as “evening grows closer” and I am hunting less and less it probably will remain so. I sometimes consider “buying a buck”. I haven’t decided yet. I did pay $800 to hunt three days on a farm that was “managed” and exclusive and saw a number of deer but uneven 4 and 6 pointers at best so I never pulled the trigger. That was my last hunt two years ago. Personally, I think I have “put in the time” and I would have no problem shooting a ten pointer that was on a LEASH. LOL. Hell I had a ten pointer in my backyard a few weeks back. Actually, two, they were in a group of 6 bucks and the “third” was a better 6 pointer than I have ever seen hunting. I took pictures and put them on fb. They were still in velvet and hadn’t split up yet. Once they got “angry” I guess they went nocturnal. Haven’t seen ‘em since.


29 posted on 10/16/2010 5:05:33 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Revelation 911

I agree with at least one of your statements, yes does seem to be better eating. Take in mind there are some area’s that don’t allow the shooting of does.


30 posted on 10/16/2010 5:08:04 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Palter
I'm strictly a pheasant hunter and to me the thrill is walking the fields in the crisp morning air. If a rooster kicks up then that's a bonus......chances are I'll miss it anyway.

Here in Michigan pheasant hunting is dying out. My bro-in-law keeps trying to get me to go up north to his son-in-law's fathers place and do some hunting on a private pheasant ranch. I refuse to go, that's not hunting, it's an Easter egg hunt.........That's just me tho.

If a guy wants to fork out the bucks to hunt on a private ranch, then so be it.

31 posted on 10/16/2010 5:12:42 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (There's only one cure for Obamarrhea......)
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To: Venturer
The people who suggest shutting them down have no idea what they're asking for. What purpose does shutting them down achieve?
32 posted on 10/16/2010 5:18:42 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Revelation 911

IIRC, once a buck reaches “best there is” status, his time is almost up anyway and he has done plenty to distribute his genes.


33 posted on 10/16/2010 5:24:17 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (+)
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To: Palter
...private hunting ranches, enclosed by high fences and stocked with farm-raised elk and deer

If they enclosed and stocked it and feed the critters, then for all practical purposes the critters are livestock. If they want to sell the rights to 'hunt' that livestock, it's their ranch.

I don't have a problem with that. It isn't like the state is overrun with wild herds of elk to fence off, anyway.

(If I recall correctly, the breeding stock is brought in from elsewhere.)

As for whitetail and Mule deer, there are plenty and if they are breeding on the ranch and eating there, the property owner should have the same right to lease hunting rights there for as long as they want, be it a day or a lifetime, to whomever they want to lease them.

To assert otherwise is to strip the property owner of their control over hunting rights on their land, and their say-so over who can and cannot hunt on their land.

I really don't think property owners or hunters want to go there, or ultimately the State will exert absolute control over all aspects of hunting and property.

As to the 'sporting' nature of a canned hunt, YMMV, but for those who have a little more trouble getting around or a lot less time, it fills the tag and the freezer, whether or not it has 'B'wanna cred'.

34 posted on 10/16/2010 5:25:42 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: wastoute

Have you thought about getting a few trail-cams to find that elusive trophy?


35 posted on 10/16/2010 5:28:19 AM PDT by Daffynition ("Life Imitates Bacon, but Bacon does not imitate Life. Bacon IS life." ~paulycy)
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To: Dusty Road
No where in the world will you find more feeders both corn and protein than Central and West TX.

Way back when I lived in NW Pennsylvania farm country it was common for farmers to set out a salt block and pile of corn a couple months before deer season. Corn was set out every day until the season opened. On opening day there would be no trace of either – it would be illegal. We’d set on the porch with a shotgun on opening day, take a good size buck and stock the freezer.

36 posted on 10/16/2010 5:32:54 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: All

I am probably too late in this conversation to get many good replies; here goes, though. The question that comes to mind is how do these types of operation effect the conservation efforts in the areas that they are in? By managing the “prey” do the help, or hurt, the local populations which hunters normally help manage?


37 posted on 10/16/2010 5:34:00 AM PDT by Turbo Pig (...to close with and destroy the enemy...)
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To: Turbo Pig

No effect what so ever, they’re hi-fenced and completly seperated from local populations.


38 posted on 10/16/2010 5:39:01 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Revelation 911

My 13 year old son just got his first deer a couple weeks ago. He was so disappointed that it was as small as it was (antler-less tag) he was hoping for a bit bigger. Dang that was the best meat I have ever tasted, I cut it with a fork and even with having 2 teeth pulled earlier that day I could eat it without trouble.
I am in ND so I will be able to vote on prop 2. There is a reason I pay to have a house and land, if I wanted someone to tell me what to do with it I would move to a condo or an apartment. Personally I find it unsportsmanlike and I would not do it, but not up to me to tell someone else what to do with their land.


39 posted on 10/16/2010 5:40:42 AM PDT by momto6
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To: Palter
In my opinion this is not hunting ... it is target practice on pets. Any time you feed an animal it becomes a pet and it doesn't matter to me whether the place is fences in or not, if you use feeders you are creating a pet for future target practice.

With all that being said... it should remain legal for lazy hunters to do this.

40 posted on 10/16/2010 6:00:29 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

“In my opinion this is not hunting”

It is what it is and people are willing to pay for it and others are willing to provide it. Why anybody would want to stop it is beyond me.


41 posted on 10/16/2010 6:08:04 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: cbkaty

I think you misunderstand my post. I don’t want to see hunting condemned.


42 posted on 10/16/2010 6:34:38 AM PDT by Carbonsteel
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To: Revelation 911
anyone that eats game knows that does are better eating

I get 2-3 doe licenses {and fill them} every year and we eat deer more than beef.

The last time I shot a buck {14 point} was back in the 90's.

No question that doe meat is more tender and tastes better than buck.

But, if the guy has the money and wants to go to an enclosed ranch, that's his choice.

43 posted on 10/16/2010 6:52:54 AM PDT by USS Alaska
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To: seemoAR
"To me, killing him would be very unsportsman."

Fine...don't. But if someone else in a similar situation can legally do so, there's no reason to begrudge him that right.

BTW, if you'd ever tasted elk meat, you wouldn't have to ask if people hunt them just for their racks. Elk is better than any beef I've ever tasted.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

44 posted on 10/16/2010 7:03:43 PM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
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To: TexasFreeper2009
"Any time you feed an animal it becomes a pet..."

Hogwash. I have bird feeders in my backyard, and the wild birds who eat from them are not my pets. I have fed squirrels, ducks and geese in the park, and they are also not my pets.

Would I go on a canned hunt? I don't know yet...when I'm older and hopefully wealthier, and can't get out and stalk in the Owyhee County desert like I did today, I may. In the meantime, I don't begrudge anyone who can afford to go on a canned hunt the right to do so.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

45 posted on 10/16/2010 7:09:25 PM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
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To: wku man
It's not just canned hunts I have a problem with, I have a problem with feeders in general.

If I put food out for birds or deer or whatever, and then after training them to eat their and not be scared of me I then proceed to shoot them one day ... that is NOT hunting, it's target practice.

Hunting involves searching. Shooting your dog while it's feeding at it's dish is ridiculous. If you want a trophy, go buy one.

BUT, that's just my opinion, and the government should certainly stay out of it.

46 posted on 10/16/2010 7:36:02 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: TexasFreeper2009
BUT, that's just my opinion, and the government should certainly stay out of it.

Agreed, but the government isn't the underlying issue...the underlying issue is a bunch of "sportsman" who want to tell the rest of the sportsman in their state how to hunt.

Their time and money would be better spent making sure PETA and HSUS are penned up.

47 posted on 10/16/2010 10:59:35 PM PDT by Abundy
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To: Turbo Pig; Dusty Road
"The question that comes to mind is how do these types of operation effect the conservation efforts in the areas that they are in?"

Purely speculation on my part, but I expect that they enhance the local populations, and here's why:

Because the populations on these ranches are "farm raised", I would assume the "farms" on which they are raised can support a higher population density than a natural, unmanaged habitat might support. This means that you have a larger number of elk in the same area, without the pressure of overpopulation that would occur if all of that same population were wild in an unmanaged habitat.

For example (and I'm just making the numbers up, I have no idea what the actual requirements are) suppose you have a 1,000 square mile area of habitat and one adult elk requires 5 square miles in the wild. Unmanaged, that area can support 200 elk. Now, if 250 sq. miles of that become managed habitat and can adequately support 2x the population density, you still have 750 sq. miles (unmanged) that will support 150 Elk + 250 sq miles that now supports 100 Elk rather than the 50 it supported prior to it becoming an "elk farm". This results in a total of 250 Elk, instead of the 200 which that same area originally supported. Of course there are a lot of other variables I'm not considering, but my gut feeling is that the managed "farmed" areas probably support considerably higher than 2X the population density. I only used that factor to present my case, but my gut feeling is that this potentially results in a net increase in the elk population in a given area without the same detrimental effects that would arise from a similarly proportioned population increase in a purely wild population.

Now, I would never participate in a "canned hunt," but, like many others here, I think that the property owners should be allowed to manage their property as they see fit. As long as the animals aren't being abused, and all efforts are being made to ensure clean, quick kills, I see no reason this should be made illegal.

48 posted on 10/16/2010 11:33:53 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: wku man

Works for me. I guess I need to find a farmer that will let me “hunt” a cow in his stock pen.


49 posted on 10/17/2010 5:12:59 AM PDT by seemoAR
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To: TexasFreeper2009
“If you want a trophy, go buy one.”

That's exactly what they're doing. Person A has 8500 dollars he's will to spend for a big bull and person B has a big bull he's willing to sell for 8500 dollars. Everybody’s happy!

50 posted on 10/17/2010 6:08:01 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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