The royals can both hunt and protect endangered wildlife

Why hunting deer and wild boar shouldn’t be such a big deal

I don’t hunt, however I see nothing wrong in hunting, provided it’s legal, safe and doesn’t target animals under threat. I’ve eaten duck and deer meat given to me by friends who do hunt. So I can’t quite understand the fuss surrounding “revelations” that princes Harry and William went on a hunting trip to Spain shortly before they joined their father, Prince Charles, in making a plea to stop the trade in endangered wildlife. “Tonight we are here with a single, shared purpose—to use our collective influence to put a stop to the illegal killing and trafficking of some of our world’s most iconic and endangered species,” William said.

Reports say they were shooting two animals that have become pests—deer and wild boar—throughout large swathes of the West. Everything was legal and above board. Yet most reports don’t make that distinction until around paragraph 15 or 25. Just check out the beginning of the Mirror’s story, which helpfully included a decade-old picture of Harry posing beside a dead water buffalo he killed in Argentina: ”Prince Harry’s pledge to protect wildlife has been dealt a blow over this picture of the royal crouching over the body of water buffalo he shot dead on a hunting trip.”

When pictures of King Juan Carlos of Spain posing in front of an elephant he’d killed were made public, the furor was immediate, intense and justified. He was stripped of his honorary position as head of Spain’s World Wildlife Fund. However, there is a big difference between legally hunting animals that aren’t endangered and gunning down those creatures threatened with extinction. But that got lost in the the Harry-William shooting furor. And that’s a pity.




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The royals can both hunt and protect endangered wildlife

  1. Because they look like hypocrites.

    ‘William and his brother Harry are regular visitors to the estate, which is everything a royal could want; remote,inaccessible, luxurious and lavishly stocked with deer, wild boar and assorted game birds. On a trip there last year, they shot more than 700 of the latter in one day.’

    Does that sound like conservation to you?

    • Teddy Roosevelt would have considered that a fine day. Roosevelt is also called “the father of conservation” for his extraordinary work in a field that hardly existed in his day. Is that a contradiction? Not in the slightest.

      Like many people, you are not distinguishing between conservation of a species and habitats with the killing of individual animals. Thousands of deer can be shot in Ontario, for example, without doing the slightest damage to the species or its habitat. Whether that’s ethical or not is a legitimate question, but a very different one.

      • Teddy Roosevelt died in 1919.

        • His was a very patient and thoughtful response to a very flippant and emotive post on your part. Do try to be a bit more respectful toward those few commenters who still have patience for you. That patience is not infinite.

          • It was a century ago, dude. People don’t think like Teddy Roosevelt anymore.

            And hey….you can stop posting to me anytime. In fact I’d prefer it, if you’re just going to post nonsense. Respect?…..snort!

      • John Muir would have been disgusted. John Muir is THE reason the USA has national parks.

        “John Muir played many roles in his life, all of which helped him succeed in his role as an advocate for Nature. As America’s most famous naturalist and conservationist, Muir fought to protect the wild places he loved, places we can still visit today. Muir’s writings convinced the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier as national parks.”

        http://www.nps.gov/jomu/index.htm

        “How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation!” .. John Muir

    • When it says ‘stocked’ it likely means there are lots of them. Boar and deer are not raised in facilities and then released to be shot. Some game birds are, but seldom are boar and deer, and certainly not in most of Europe where boar in particular are running amok.

      How many are shot is irrelevant if the number is based on a sustainable management plan. That’s why there is a thing called wildlife management, where professionals with college and university training, often with graduate degrees, are employed.

      A question – do you think it’s OK for people who have special status to hunt, but not those who are licensed and abide by rules and regulations?

      • True. It is very seldom you run into a professional wildlife biologist who is anti-hunting. In fact, I’ve never heard of one. Certainly some of them will voice opposition to a particular hunting practice (much debate about the grizzly hunt in AB and BC right now for example), but they are almost never totally anti-hunting. Predation is a natural and necessary part of the ecology. Since we have altered ecosystems over large areas of the planet to the point where top predators like wolves and grizzlies can no longer flourish, we need to replace that top predator with something else. Thus, guys with guns. This understandably offends the humane impulses of many (I myself have not shot an animal in decades, and probably coudln’t if I tried), but it isn’t going to change.

      • The British don’t hunt like us. They wear suits, go to estates that are stocked with wildlife bred for the purpose, and they stand in a row while ‘beaters’ drive the birds towards them. Accuracy isn’t necessary…..just aim high and commence firing.

        It’s ‘fish in a barrel’ style hunting.

        That being said….why is it wrong for black people to kill animals and make money on them to feed their families….but okay for white aristocrats to do it for ‘sport’?

        Wills and Harry have just made a mess of their reputation and image…..and Wills wanting to trash ivory carvings is beyond the pale.

        • Obviously you have little first hand experience in hunting and/or shooting. No matter how many birds are in the air in front of you, it’s vital to pick and aim. Anyone who shoots knows this.

          And I don’t know what you are moaning about wrt black people. I don’t care who hunts, as long as it’s done under auspices of sustainability.

          I’m not a fan of the Royals. But if they like to hunt, good for them. It actually helps conservation efforts. I also think a regulated ivory trade makes sense – I see that people keenly aware of the plight of rhinos want rhino hunts – and rhino horn trade – to be legal. But again, with rules and regulations. Done right, hunting is the best option for ensuring wildlife remains extant.

          • 700 bagged in one day, between 2 guys…with shotguns.

            Riiiiight

          • So what’s your problem? They shot a lot of birds? And you know for sure two people shot 700. Well, I wouldn’t want to do that, but how many fish does a gill netter kill? What’s the diff? Birds are better than fish? I think you think the Royals are hypocrites for expressing a belief in conservation, while being hunters. If that’s your premise, it’s thin gruel. If it’s something else, please explain. If you just hate the royals, I’m OK with that. I don’t like privilege because of ancestry either. But for me, that also extends to groups with nothing to do with royalty, but who think they are special and have ‘rights’ other people don’t.

          • I don’t HAVE a problem….William and Harry do.

          • You really are a twit. And that is not a bird.

          • You lost the plot here long time ago.

            It’s about William and Harry and their world image….not your personal hunting philosophy, and certainly not me.

      • The feral pig problem in the US is the result of pigs raised for hunters. Now they are a huge problem.

        Depredation Problems Involving Feral Hogs

        ROBERT BEACH, Assistant State Director

        Texas Animal Damage Control Service, San Antonio, Texas

        The feral hog population in Texas constitutes an introduced exotic
        species.

        The pig family (Suidae) is not indigenous to Texas. The hog (Sus scrofa)
        was introduced to Texas and became a feral population through a
        combination of accidental releases and intentional stockings (Mayer and
        Brisbin, 1991).

        • http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/03/26/albertas-wild-boar-invasion-widening-says-top-exterminator

          We have a “feral pig” aka Wild boar problem in Alberta but the Wild boars were not brought to Alberta for hunters. They were brought here to be farmed as bison and elk are. Unfortunately, the wild boar aren’t easy to keep penned and now there is a problem with them running wild, multiplying and creating havoc on environment where they have no natural predators.

        • Not just for hunters. There are wild boar ranches all over the place, including Canada, where the animals were being raised for meat, and some escaped. There is a herd of wild boar living right in Edmonton in the North SK River valley. Manitoba has feral wild boar living in swampy areas. They are tough and hardy and adaptable and nearly impossible to get rid of. Another job for hunters.

  2. Hunting is a vital component of wildlife conservation. Any wildlife biologist will tell you as much. For example, biologists are extremely concerned about the population explosion of Canada geese and snow geese, and the effects this is having on their arctic tundra nesting grounds. This population increase is related to the increase in the availability of food all along their migration routes, due to agriculture. If hunting of these birds does not increase, biologists will be forced to do a mass cull of several million birds. You can imagine how much they are looking forward to that. Just keeping the protesters who are sure to show up at bay will be a challenge. Much better to encourage more hunting. This is a tall order however, since fewer and fewer people are doing it. I used to hunt myself, but find it distasteful now. I’d probably weep with guilt if I shot a goose. I don’t even kill spiders anymore. I catch and release them outside. :) Still, I accept hunting as an important part of conservation strategy. This argument is routinely disparaged by people who make statements like, “You can’t conserve wildlife by killiing it!” Such a simplistic argument misses the point entirely, and marks a person as one whose opinion on the subject can be ignored.

      • Many people say just that. I’ve received the exact response quoted by Donny a number of times.

        • http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/15/canmore-rabbits-killed_n_2140377.htmlhave

          I have never hunted and I doubt that I could shoot an animal unless starving but I do know that hunting is not necessarily contrary to conservation. We have a problem with an overpopulation of white tail deer in parts of North America, threatening their habitats with major destruction. Never mind what happens when people turn loose their pets that they don’t want anymore and those pets multiply….

        • …..and that has what….exactly…..to do with Prince William?

          • It has to do with whether one can be a hunter and still be a conservationist. Hunting to avoid letting one species become severely over-populated can actually save other species from becoming in danger of extinction due to destruction of their habitat.
            Given that is the question posed in the title of the article….I would think, the relevance would be fairly obvious…

          • It’s about Royals…..focus.

          • “Royals” are human beings first. They too can be hunters and conservationists without being hypocrites as long as they hunt species that are at risk of becoming over-populated and posing a risk to habitats.

          • No, they are royals…..and they are selling an image.

          • Emily…when a species becomes over-populated, it risks becoming diseased and weak. There is not enough food for all to survive because there are too many for their habitat to support. If there are not enough four-legged natural predators, then culling often becomes necessary for the survival of species. Only someone foolish does not realize that this is true and would believe that hunting somehow hurts the image of a ‘Royal’ or anyone else.

          • Stop trying to explain your excuses to me, and think how this will look to people around the world….especially in Africa.

          • I think you’re the one that needs to focus EmilyOne. The title of the article is “Why can’t royals both hunt and want to protect endangered wildlife?”

          • The subject being ‘royals’……and the concern being image.

          • In case you missed it, the thrust of the article is that hunting and conservation are not mutually exclusive. Which is what the rest of us are talking about. You’re free to live in your own little world, oblivious to everything around you, but we’re not obligated to join you there.

    • “For example, biologists are extremely concerned about the population explosion of Canada geese”…..that is absolutely fricken hilarious.

      The ‘population explosion’ is directly due to the efforts made by government wildlife agencies and groups like Audubon to restock the Canada goose population after hunters killed them to the point of extinction in the early 1900s. They bred them and released them all over North America including places they had never even bred before. It would help if you did a bit of research on the history of Canada geese. It’s actually appalling. Hunters also used to keep live decoys with clipped wings and back in the day when the goose was believed to have gone extinct they were forced to release them…thousands and thousands of poor birds who had been kept as live decoys.

      Their present population is totally and directly due to hunters and wildlife biologists. And since these birds stick to a ‘home range’ which is quite small their population in most areas can be easily managed with egg addling. It’s not rocket science.

      MEDIA RELEASE:
      Egg Addling Controls Goose Population

      “In a continued effort to control the Canada Goose population in the Okanagan Valley, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is about to begin its annual egg addling program. Over the PAST SIX YEARS, this program has prevented the exponential increase of the non-migratory resident goose population that inhabits the valley all year long………Since the program began in 2007, approximately 7,700 EGGS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM HATCHING THROUGH THIS MINIMALLY INVASIVE APPROACH…. ….In order for the program to succeed, new nests need to be identified. The PUBLIC IS ASKED TO REPORT lone geese, pairs of geese or nest locations on private or public land.”

      http://www.okanagangooseplan.com/?p=270

      In addition to ground surveys, aerial surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2011 to estimate the number of geese residing in the Okanagan Valley and to determine what proportion of the population were hatched that year. THE
      CANADA GOOSE POPULATION APPEARS TO HAVE STABILIZED THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY.
      http://www.okanagangooseplan.com/?cat=6

      GOOSE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN.
      http://www.okanagangooseplan.com/files/OVGMP_Strategy_Action%20Plan_2006.pdf

      The Okanagan Valley in BC is a major tourist and recreational area. The
      Okanagan Lake is 70 miles long. Other major industries include orchards and vineyards. The valley is as big as the state of NJ and they have a humane egg addling program which has successfully stabilized their permanent resident Canada goose population.|

      It’s not rocket science and since killers and ‘wildlife biologists and agencies’ created the problem you can keep your hands off now.

      • So killing eggs is OK, but hunting isn’t? Farming animals OK? Are you vegan and if so, believe you don’t indirectly kill animals? If you farm (plants), you remove vital habitat. Say hello to Pontius Pilot.

        • They don’t ‘kill eggs’ anymore than the birth control for humans ‘kills eggs’. And yes, egg addling is recommended by the Humane Society. And please..cut the crap about plants.

      • The population has increased due to grain farming and a decline in depredation, which has made the migration from the arctic to their wintering grounds safer and more far more nutritious. Geese are arriving at their wintering grounds fatter than they were when they started their migration. That’s the main reason for their population increase. And if egg addling works, fine, then we can avoid the mass culls. But it still doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with hunting. As manly a sport as egg addling is, I think hunting in the fall will always be the preferred tradition among sportsmen.

        • Do some actual research…

          One race, the Giant Canada Goose, used to breed in southern Canada and
          the northern United States but disappeared from most of its range by the late 1800s. Early settlers may have gathered Giant Canada Goose eggs
          and rounded up and slaughtered many of the geese during the flightless
          moulting period.

          Beginning in the early 1900s, Canada Geese from captive breeding flocks were reintroduced into the southern parts of their former range.

          This practice continued through much of the 20th century, and Canada Geese were eventually restored in Pennsylvania, New York,
          Ontario, and west to southern Alberta.

          During this period, geese were ALSO INTRODUCED to areas where they may not have bred before.

          http://www.hww.ca/en/species/birds/canada-goose.html

          General Biology

          In Maryland “resident” or nonmigratory Canada geese originated from the
          RELEASE OF DECOY FLOCKS during the 1930′s and government and private STOCKING PROGRAMS.

          http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/waterfowl/geese/ResGeeseProblem.asp

          And I could show you endless factual articles like this….this is where your goose population came from…humans.

  3. Really….you don’t see anything wrong with it? My first thought is who cares what you think? The fact is there are two kinds of conservationists…the killer type and the John Muir type. I am the Muir type. It doesn’t matter if the animal isn’t endangered. the animals are not ornaments or there just to be killed by hunters. The animal has a right to its life. That’s what wrong with this. John Muir…look him up.

    “How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation!” .. John Muir known in the USA as “Father of Our National
    Parks’

    The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual…John Muir

  4. grouping hunters in with poachers, grouping sport shooters in with spree shooters,

    its how legislation against good people is passed

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