Predators are wiping out deer and elk herds |

Predators are wiping out deer and elk herds

Out On A Limb
Ross L. Talbott
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Having been raised in farming and ranching, I have seen many changes in wildlife management over the years. Some of the policies seem to be totally irrational. It would seem that these policies are created by people living in cities with zero actual experience with wildlife.

Walt Disney totally messed up people’s perception by creating an image in children’s minds of humanized animals. They talk and reason and care about each other, supposedly. In fact, their relational skills exceed those of humans.

The craziest thinking of the so-called animal lovers is their determination to bring back lots of predators. Obviously, they have never watched a pack of coyotes hamstring a deer and then rip its entrails out while it lies there crying.

Maybe Bambi needs to negotiate with the lions, coyotes and wolves or maybe a land-for-peace deal.

Now someone has come up with the notion that animals should have legal rights. That sounds like PETA and the lawyers are cooking up a new racket to be paid for with our tax money. Just visualize the Supreme Court hearing a discrimination action brought by the coyotes against the wolves, or maybe the pheasants suing the hawks for cruel and unusual eating.

Maybe we can legislate a more humane way for predators to kill. How about making them all vegans? Remember the couple who were developing a personal relationship with some Alaskan bears? Being killed and eaten by the bears is about as personal as it gets.

A bear just killed 34 of my laying hens. I am searching for a venue for the chickens to sue the bears. It sure looked like a hate crime to me. In fact the bear was black and the chickens were red. Maybe we’ve got a racial issue here.

Some years back, deer were plentiful in Western Colorado. My brothers and I could get a deer license for $7 and a second deer for $5. If you filled these, you could go back and get a third tag for $5. When evening fell, some 300 deer would drift into my hay fields. As I was pruning in the winter, they would follow me and nibble the buds off the cuttings.

Times have changed. Last season I hunted several days in units 33 and 42. I never saw a deer or an elk. In fact I never heard a shot from other hunters. Now people are wondering where the deer and elk have gone. It must be lack of forage, or global warming or something George Bush did.

I have no intentions of buying a deer or elk license this year, and that’s the first time in my life. Several hunters have shared the same frustration. I am concerned because the out-of-state hunters spend a lot of money, which gives a much needed boost to our local economy.

Also, Colorado Parks and Wildlife might need more tax support if license revenue drops off.

This may sound radical, but back in the days of deer abundance we had government trappers. In fact, there was a bounty on lions and coyotes. If my memory serves me correctly, there was a lion and a bear tag that came with your deer license.

If the concept of wolf packs and coyotes excites you, maybe you have some repressed gang tendencies and should seek therapy.

Consider the fact that the common house cat is the No. 1 predator in the United States. Chipmunks and rabbits desperately need legal counsel.

Now take your cat and enlarge him several hundred times and bingo, you have a cougar. An adult cougar will kill, on average, one deer a week. Ten cougars then consume some 500 deer a year. Throw in the fawn-eating coyotes and, but don’t give me a blank look when I ask where all the deer have gone.

What the heck, all those out-of-state hunters can just keep their money and stay home.

“Out On A Limb” appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Ross Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.

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