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Stacking the Hunt (canned hunting is more than crass it's cruel)
New York Times ^ | December 9, 2003 | WAYNE PACELLE

Posted on 12/09/2003 7:11:23 AM PST by presidio9

W

ASHINGTON — This fall, more than 10 million Americans went hunting. Some met with success, maybe even managing to bring home some ducks or geese or a deer. Of those who returned empty-handed, many did so with the knowledge that a fair hunt comes with no guarantees.

A growing number of people, however, are embracing a different set of rules — they're taking part in hunts that are largely rigged. In the United States, there are at least 4,000 "canned hunting" operations, where people may pay thousands of dollars to pursue trophy animals that have little chance to escape. Bird-shooting operations offer pheasants, quail, partridges and mallard ducks, sometimes dizzying the birds and planting them in front of hunters or tossing them from towers toward waiting shotguns.

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At ranches catering to big-game enthusiasts, hunters can shoot exotic species native to five continents — everything from addax to zebra. "Tired of traveling, spending money and coming home with nothing to show for it?" reads an advertisement on the Web site for Old Stone Fence Hunting Adventures in Rensselaer Falls, N.Y. "Book your successful trophy hunt today! . . . No license required; no harvest — no charge." Though enterprises like this claim to offer "fair chase" hunts, the promise is hollow, since the animals are confined in fences and the money changes hands only if the hunter gets a trophy.

How does an Arabian oryx or a Russian boar find its way to a hunting ground in Pennsylvania or Texas? Many are obtained at exotic animal auctions. A sale at one auction last year included zebras, camels, ostriches, kangaroos and lion cubs — some destined for canned hunts, some for private collections. The three-day sale of 3,225 animals brought in more than $1.5 million.

Of course, no one would expect someone like me — a person who works for the Humane Society — to support canned hunting. But in this fight, animal advocates are not alone. A good many hunters also find the practice abhorrent. In its 2003 national hunting survey, Field & Stream magazine asked readers what they thought about hunting animals "in enclosures or fenced-in ranches." Sixty-five percent of those who responded opposed the practice; 12 percent endorsed it and 23 percent said they had no opinion. Game ranches have also been denounced by a number of outdoor sporting groups, including the Izaak Walton League of America, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Boone and Crockett Club, which oversees national hunting records.

The hunts go on, though, in part because they have the support of the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International, a pre-eminent trophy hunting organization.

In fact, it's the Safari Club's award program that helps to drive patronage of canned hunting operations. To win the club's Africa Big Five award, for example, you have to go to Africa to shoot the elephant, the rhinoceros and the leopard, but you can pick off the Cape buffalo and the lion in the United States. There is even an award for Introduced Trophy Animals of North America, in which you can do all your hunting for 18 different species right here at home. In fact, you can shoot all of the species for an award category at just one place. It's one-stop shopping. No more expensive fortnights in the wilds of Africa — and no one to know whether the head mounted above the mantel came from Asia or Oklahoma.

But canned hunting is more than crass — it's cruel. Animals are sometimes drugged, shot in their cages or at a feeder, or killed slowly with spears. Despite this, only 13 states have passed laws to ban canned hunts involving mammals. This year, New York almost passed such a law, but it was vetoed in August by Gov. George Pataki. New York lawmakers should try again. And so should legislators in other states and in Congress, which has the authority to ban the interstate transport of exotic mammals destined for canned hunts.

Canned hunting belongs in the same category as other forms of animal abuse, like cockfighting and bullfighting. It's hard on animals and easy on people — and it should be against the law.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: animalrights; hunting
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1 posted on 12/09/2003 7:11:24 AM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Oh, Wacko Wayne Pacelle, the biggest "animal rights" nut in the country after Ingrid Newkirk.

How predictable.

2 posted on 12/09/2003 7:13:34 AM PST by Kenton (This space for rent)
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To: presidio9
Frankly, canned hunting is an apt metaphor
for the way the mutual fund sharpies skimmed
all the widows and orphans.
3 posted on 12/09/2003 7:16:51 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: presidio9
A good many hunters also find the practice abhorrent.

So do I. The process is as important as the product.
It's the hunting equivalent to buying a hooker because your too inadequate to snag a female.

4 posted on 12/09/2003 7:25:16 AM PST by elbucko
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To: Kenton
I'm sure you know this, but for everyone else's information, Wayne Pacelle is a senior vice president of the Humane Society.
5 posted on 12/09/2003 7:25:48 AM PST by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does)
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To: presidio9
canned hunting is weak.
6 posted on 12/09/2003 7:27:29 AM PST by Pikamax
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To: presidio9
Wayne Pacelle is a senior vice president of the Humane Society.

I didn't...thanks for the info.

..their a crop, like corn/soy beans and the Hunters are paying a high price for the hunt, thereby providing a range for other animal species....besides the animals don't know it.

7 posted on 12/09/2003 7:31:53 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :)
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To: presidio9
>A growing number of people, however, are embracing a different set of rules



8 posted on 12/09/2003 7:32:23 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: presidio9
Wayne Pacelle is a senior vice president of the Humane Society.

I didn't...thanks for the info.

..their a crop, like corn/soy beans and the Hunters are paying a high price for the hunt, thereby providing a range for other animal species....besides the animals don't know it.

9 posted on 12/09/2003 7:35:23 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :)
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To: presidio9
While I don't agree with the drugging, shooting in cages, etc. It needs to be noted that these are not in a small fenced area, they are on large acreage parcels of land that are fenced to keep the dangerous animals from roaming onto someone elses land and attacking a person.

I couldn't afford to hunt at one of these places, let alone in Africa, and I don't think I would anyway. However, these places may become the only places to hunt if the environuts get their way. Of course, they could also get closed up by the environuts.
10 posted on 12/09/2003 7:36:17 AM PST by looscnnn ("Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils" Gen. John Stark 1809)
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To: skinkinthegrass
..their a crop, like corn/soy beans and the Hunters are paying a high price for the hunt, thereby providing a range for other animal species....besides the animals don't know it.

My neighbors raise pheasants in a large netted enclosure and then release them in a field the day of the hunt. These birds are fairly tame and often don't bolt until the hunters are right on top of them, making for a rather easy shot. In a way, it's not any different from raising a chicken to chop off its neck prior to dinner, but I don't consider the hunting involved very sporting.

11 posted on 12/09/2003 7:37:25 AM PST by dirtboy (New Ben and Jerry's flavor - Howard Dean Swirl - no ice cream, just fruit at bottom)
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To: elbucko
So do I. The process is as important as the product. It's the hunting equivalent to buying a hooker because your too inadequate to snag a female.

I agree, insomuch as the term 'hunting' is used. It's a rather "girly-man" way to bag a beast.

I don't find it particularly cruel, however - and anyone who does has bought into the PETA dogma. Anyone who claims this is cruel has to then be upset about animals raised in pens for slaughter. And I'm not giving up bacon.
12 posted on 12/09/2003 7:40:05 AM PST by beezdotcom
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To: presidio9
What's the sport in hunting cans? Reminds me of that scene in The Jerk, "...he hates these cans."
13 posted on 12/09/2003 7:40:53 AM PST by dfwgator (Are you blind with an IQ under 50? Then you too can be an ACC football referee.)
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To: dirtboy
If you know a kid in 1-3 grade, read this book to him or her:


14 posted on 12/09/2003 7:54:47 AM PST by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does)
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To: beezdotcom; elbucko
This is classic divide-and-conquer by HSUS. The concept of hunting "fenced" animals is naturally repugnant to ethical hunters, yet the reality is that the "fences" contain hundreds and frequently thousands of acres.

If you value hunting, don't fall for this nonsense and support a ban on so-called "canned" hunts. Like "assault" weapons, it's part of an incrementalist strategy.

15 posted on 12/09/2003 7:56:39 AM PST by d-back
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To: beezdotcom
I saw a film of a black leopard that had been declawed and released from a cage in front of some "good ol' boys" with a dozen dogs. The dogs promptly tore the leopard apart and the owners cheered and stood with one foot on the leopard in victory. Now that is a real bunch of men.
16 posted on 12/09/2003 8:03:06 AM PST by ThinkLikeWaterAndReeds
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To: beezdotcom
I saw a film of a black leopard that had been declawed and released from a cage in front of some "good ol' boys" with a dozen dogs. The dogs promptly tore the leopard apart and the owners cheered and stood with one foot on the leopard in victory. Now that is a real bunch of men.
17 posted on 12/09/2003 8:03:14 AM PST by ThinkLikeWaterAndReeds
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To: ThinkLikeWaterAndReeds
I saw a film of a black leopard that had been declawed and released from a cage in front of some "good ol' boys" with a dozen dogs. The dogs promptly tore the leopard apart and the owners cheered and stood with one foot on the leopard in victory. Now that is a real bunch of men.

No argument. Nonetheless, I'd rather be THAT leopard than a pig in a slaughterhouse. More than that, I'd rather just eat them both.
18 posted on 12/09/2003 8:05:30 AM PST by beezdotcom
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To: d-back
I say anyone that would go on one of these hunts is a mouth-breathing girly man no matter how much land the animals are fenced in.

The analogy of the nerd using hookers because that's all he can get is extremely accurate. These clowns would soil themselves on a real hunt.

Personally I adhere to the "Nugent Doctrine" when it comes to my hunting. I much prefer the crossbow to a rifle and the process of tracking the beast is where I get most of my enjoyment. I even think the use of feeders really reduces the challenge, but hey, if you're not up to it, you're not up to it.

19 posted on 12/09/2003 8:07:59 AM PST by Zansman
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To: beezdotcom
I don't find it particularly cruel, however

I don't either, in general, except that some (perhaps most) of these people are horrible shots, and end up mangling the animal before it finally dies. When it takes you 3 or 4 shots at 10 feet to kill a pheasant on a short leash, that's pretty lame.

I love hunting, but if you're going to do something like that, why not just beat it to death with a baseball bat?
20 posted on 12/09/2003 8:08:06 AM PST by non-anonymous
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