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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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To: MEGoody
Dipsville Ohio Petting Zoo opens gates for guided hunts. You to can "harvest" a specimen like Mr. Mortimer Snerd below.

While he did not kill animal with first shot, Ole Mortimer spent the rest of the day tracking his trophy.

Mortimer: "You would be surprised how far a wounded animal can travel in one of them acre pens!


41 posted on 12/09/2003 10:51:10 AM PST by Bluntpoint
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To: presidio9
About a year ago, I was invited to attend a "canned" hunt, no cost to me, through a business contact. I went with some reservations, and will not go again.

Really it is an old farm boy thing. If you already have it caught, why not just chop its head off and toss it in the pot? I understand that this type of hunt is big in Europe, and is gaining in popularity in the US. Personally, I find hunting wild game in the wild a much more enjoyable past time. However this practice SHOULD NOT be banned. For some it is the only way they will get a chance to hunt.
42 posted on 12/09/2003 10:52:56 AM PST by redgolum
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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.

I saw that same film you are talking about, it was on TV a few years back. If I remember correctly, it was a complete setup.

It was filmed by an animal rights group (PETA or USHS) surrepticiously, using "undercover hunters" (animal-rights agents provocateurs) who found some guy running a sleazy exotic game hunting operation in Texas and engineered what they knew would be a very controversial "hunt".

It was really pretty sickening, wasn't it? I mean, I've hunted for boar on game preserves, but I've never seen anything as disgusting as that film.

Even more disturbing is the fact that that leopard was killed so that the "animal rights" people could make the film. It was sacrificed in the name of publicity for PETA.

43 posted on 12/09/2003 10:56:02 AM PST by Kenton (This space for rent)
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To: Kenton
Slob hunters should be executed!!!!


44 posted on 12/09/2003 11:00:08 AM PST by Bluntpoint
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To: Bluntpoint
I wish I could have seen the pic. Oh well, rest assured that I execute them every chance I get.
45 posted on 12/09/2003 11:04:45 AM PST by Kenton (This space for rent)
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To: spectr17; Varmint Al; wardaddy; TEXASPROUD; chookter; Possenti; SLB; Jeff Head; Trailer Trash; ...
Hunters ping...........Stay Safe !
46 posted on 12/09/2003 11:05:09 AM PST by Squantos (Support Mental Health !........or........ I'LL KILL YOU !!!!)
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To: ChrisCoolC
Yeah, just because they can buy the gun doesn't mean they can shoot it. I regularly shoot pigs around here with a .308, sometimes across fields, and 150 grain Barnes X bullets work fine. Up close, I use an old .375 that I am fond of, but I have not lost a pig yet at 150-250 yards. I use high quality bullets and I shoot carefully. I regularly see people with huge magnums with scopes on them that you could use to examine the surface of Mars dump 20+ rounds in the general direction of a pig and hit nothing. Two years ago I knew (socially) several great white hunters who took a bunch of magnums out to hunt "trophy pigs". One of them got nibbled on a bit after running out of ammunition and being to fat to climb a tree. He had taken out 60 rounds of .338 Win Mag. Damn. The landowner found the pig by hearing the shreiking (he though that it was his ten year old daughter, not a 6'2" grown man) and driving across fields to get to the woods in a pickup truck, nearly killing himself in the process. He dispatched the pig with a .30-30. The pig had a few flesh wounds. Now I am not a huge fan of the .338 Win Mag (I hate the sudden recoil), but I have never had one suggest that at <20 yards it will not put down game. The chewed-up fat guy was in the hospital for a few days and his legs still look kind of weird. He has since lost a lot of weight and now hunts with me. After this he learned how to shoot. He does admit that it would have been a good idea to learn before he went out after a 450 pound boar.
47 posted on 12/09/2003 11:23:33 AM PST by bitterTexas
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To: elbucko
I agree, but the author better watch what he prays for because some number of those canned hunt species may be kept off the endangered or extinct list by the breeding incentive provided by the practice...
48 posted on 12/09/2003 11:34:13 AM PST by Axenolith (<tag>)
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To: Squantos
Exotic Hunting Ranches provide an excellent place to preserve the gene pools of rare animals that are losing some of their home ranges. Breeding and maintaining these animals for profit will assure their continued existence. I don't hunt these ranches, but do not want others from doing so.

Like Rush says, if you want an animal species to prosper, harvest it for food. Are cows, sheep, and pigs anyway near becoming extinct? 

The New York Times has become nothing more than one of the scandal check-out-stand papers and this stupid article adds to the proof.

Good Hunting... from Varmint Al
Varmint Al's Hunting Page

 

49 posted on 12/09/2003 11:35:55 AM PST by Varmint Al
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To: Varmint Al
if you want an animal species to prosper, harvest it for food. Are cows, sheep, and pigs anyway near becoming extinct?

Bumper Sticker Material !!!

Agree Al....I harvest game for food , not trophy...... (albeit I do have a Jackalope on the wall at work). The only "trophy" I ever kept was a mountain lion that tried to make me her dinner. She's on the wall of my den now.

I do dislike hunting over bait. If one is gonna do such they may as well just get their venison in the mail IMO. The "hunt" is the experience.....not the "wait".

Stay Safe !

50 posted on 12/09/2003 11:45:06 AM PST by Squantos (Support Mental Health !........or........ I'LL KILL YOU !!!!)
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To: Zansman
Most of Nugent's filmed hunts are at high fence operations, he even runs one himself called Sunrize Acres.
51 posted on 12/09/2003 11:49:51 AM PST by junta
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To: Squantos
I've heard of that "canned hunting" crap but never understood it.
The worst cheating I've ever done was to let brer buck climb to the
top of the ridge before I shot him so I wouldn't have to drag him so far uphill!
52 posted on 12/09/2003 12:32:51 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: ThinkLikeWaterAndReeds
Texas set regulations on the hunting ranches perhaps 10 years ago.

This was done after a film of a particular big cat canned hunt was shown on the local TV stations.

I cannot recall the particulars but somehow the cat ended up seeking refuge underneath the guide's truck. Of course the film showed the hunter on his hands and knees, shooting the cat.

53 posted on 12/09/2003 12:49:58 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Bluntpoint
If that cigarette is lit, in due coarse (pun intended), the gas sources will be blasted out of their seats. Methane is flammable, you know.
54 posted on 12/09/2003 1:00:07 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: Squantos
I do dislike hunting over bait. If one is gonna do such they may as well just get their venison in the mail IMO. The "hunt" is the experience.....not the "wait".

There are many different styles of hunting. I don't like to judge someone's hunting style. Some people like to hunt, but don't have the time or place to hunt. Maybe they just want to go on a "canned" hunt to see if they like hunting. Each to his own.

Good Hunting... from Varmint Al
Varmint Al's Hunting Page

55 posted on 12/09/2003 1:59:10 PM PST by Varmint Al
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To: presidio9
"Animal rights?"

Everything but constitutional rights seem to be ok with the socialists. Canned hunts are not my cup of tea, but they are not abuse.

56 posted on 12/09/2003 8:49:34 PM PST by editor-surveyor ( . Best policy RE: Environmentalists, - ZERO TOLERANCE !!)
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To: Big Midget
"But if we do, where does a guy like me go to kill koalas and pandas?"

Same place you go for sex: the back of your closet.

57 posted on 12/09/2003 9:01:16 PM PST by editor-surveyor ( . Best policy RE: Environmentalists, - ZERO TOLERANCE !!)
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To: dirtboy
Oh!, I agree....I don't want Capitalism killed by a bunch of Pea-brained Marxist chickens.

A Modern Hunting Sport? Man/Spears vs Beast/Horn,Claw

58 posted on 12/09/2003 9:12:05 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :)
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To: humblegunner; Varmint Al
Not really judging folks by their style and understand that some folks are responsible enough to know their limitations and ask for a guide. Heck I do in regions I have never hunted. But ...........some of these hunts are basicly held in the equal to an urban zoo per se.

Good hunting to ya both..........Stay Safe !

59 posted on 12/09/2003 9:56:43 PM PST by Squantos (Support Mental Health !........or........ I'LL KILL YOU !!!!)
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To: Kenton
I knew a guy in California who hunts wild Russian boar in the wild (not on a preserve) with just a knife - now that is real sport where the boar has as much chance as the hunter, if not more. Of course you need balls of steel and have to be braver than Tarzan. This guy has a lot of nasty scars as trophies of his hunting experiences.
60 posted on 12/09/2003 10:00:00 PM PST by ThinkLikeWaterAndReeds
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