Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reactions to Bull Fight Ends In Death Post


Goring Victim: Photo Courtesy of Ronald J. Saffer- Used by permission
 
The recent post, "Bull Fight Ends in Death" gained national exposure when it was shared on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Facebook Page. The person who shared the post introduced it with the tag, "Nature is not a Disney movie. Here's another real life --and deadly-- example of what can happen in the wild when bulls spar."
 
The reader comments on the blog post seemed to draw the most attention. The one that drew  the most ire was  "It is a shame to see beautiful wildlife of any kind dead. However, I would much rather see a dead elk caused by an elk-to-elk fight than a dead elk killed by a hunter". This was followed by a comment in agreement with that sentiment and then two comments that expressed sadness that the bull died.

The reaction to these comments was all out of proportion to what was actually said.  First of all I will say that I have only personally met one of those that originally commented, but I follow the others  blogs and Facebook pagse and and have read their thoughts on many things. Some if not most have either  hunted in the past and may still hunt at present, or have family members that do-- I do not know and I do not care.  The lady who drew the most negative attention did not say that hunting was wrong and did not personally attack any hunter, she simply would rather  that the animal died doing what bull elk ordinarily do and not be killed by a hunter.  That statement is not pro-hunting, but neither is it an attack on hunting or hunters. I repeat she did not personally attack any hunter, but some of those  that commented later did not return the courtesy and did personally attack her while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity in some cases.

I will post the comments here and follow with a brief bit of commentary about each.
 
Paul Griffin said...
 
"Sure hate to see that meat go to waste. Would have loved to have tagged that beautiful creature and filled my freezer! Roasts, steaks, jerky, salami and back straps galore! MmmmMmm mmm Good!"
November 5, 2013 at 11:23 AM 
 
My Take: Griffin has been on Blogger since January 2012 and has had four profile views in that time.  He shares no personal information.  His comment seems designed to draw a reaction from someone who does not approve of hunting, but is not an attack.
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"Okay, you people make me laugh.The elk are competing with one another for the right to breed. Their fighting isn't meant as a spectacle for those of us watching, it is a life and death struggle and truly defined as "survival of the fittest." It's not "sad", it's the way the world works. There are no second place trophies in nature.

And for you anti-hunting types, shall I remind you that the only reason these elk are in PA is BECAUSE of modern hunters and the value they place on the conservation of natural resources? The Eastern Elk was "hunted" to extinction in the 1800's, not for sport but out of necessity by the farmers whose crops they decimated. As the conservation movement grew at the turn of the century, the herd was reintroduced to the state using stock from western states. All the money used to originally transport them here, to acquire land to support them, to educate the public on their welfare, and to maintain the herd comes directly from the PA Game Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. For you to say that elk shouldn't be hunted is as naive as it is unfair to those who have footed the bill for their very existence.

Oh, and to those of you who have "pet" deer, remember... a fed deer is a dead deer.
November 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

My thoughts: This comment is somewhat of a turn off because the author again hides their identity behind  what appears to be an AOL account number.  It is mostly accurate once one gets past the condescending "Okay, you people make me laugh"  and his attack on feeling sadness at the loss of a bull.  The writer states, " It's not "sad", it's the way the world works. There are no second place trophies in nature".  By the same logic you could say that it was not sad that someone died from cancer or was killed in an auto accident as that is the way the world works.

Now lets look at this part; "The Eastern Elk was "hunted" to extinction in the 1800's, not for sport but out of necessity by the farmers whose crops they decimated."

My Take:  It is hard to tell if this is accurate.  I have always read that it was because of unregulated hunting and market hunting in particular, but I never heard it blamed on "farmers"  Of course some farmers would have participated, but so would persons from other vocations such as loggers, etc.

This commentator says in reference to the re-introduction "All the money used to originally transport them here, to acquire land to support them, to educate the public on their welfare, and to maintain the herd comes directly from the PA Game Commission and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation"

My Take:First a bit of historical background.  The PGC established a elk hunting season in in 1923 with only bulls of 4 or more points being legal.  Twenty -three bulls were killed the first year, but by 1925 the kill was only 6.  In 1931, only one animal was killed and the season was closed the following year. (Harrison: The Elk of Pennsylvania)  After that the PGC lost interest in the elk herd and it was not until the 1970s that another state agency now known as DCNR began elk habitat management work on their lands.  It was only after the herd began to rebound and interest to grow in it that the PGC devoted their attention to the elk herd again.  This is no bad reflection on many of the PGC field personnel at that time  or the agency at present, but the PGC was not always supportive of the elk at upper management levels and not all funding for elk work has come from the PGC or RMEF.  Even to this day  the majority of the public lands in elk country are administered by DCNR , which is not funded by hunting license dollars

"Oh, and to those of you who have "pet" deer, remember... a fed deer is a dead deer."

 My Take: This is a bit of propaganda that has gained widespread acceptance and has a nice ring  to it.  Like most propaganda it does contain a kernel of truth , but one only needs look around a field of corn left standing to see that to a large extent it is not so or else the field would be ringed by the carcasses of dead deer, etc.  It can contribute to the spread of disease, but so can a food plot.  


As to his closing statement, "You should educate yourself on a subject matter before speaking to it"--I couldn't agree with him more on that one.
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Adam Prusinowski said...
"Linda is a very ignorant or naive person to leave that comment
 November 5, 2013 at 11:44 AM

My Take: A personal attack with  no constructive value.
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Delete

Mr. Ego, to you. said...
"Honestly people, stop anthropomorphizing these animals. Yes, you can grieve for the dead, you are human. But don't put your feelings into an animal that does this for shear necessity. For those who do not know what the word is I posted, here is the definition:

an·thro·po·mor·phize
[ ànthrəpə máwr fz ]

treat nonhuman thing as human: to give a nonhuman thing a human form, human characteristics, or human behavior

My Take:
This name is linked to a blogger profile that has had four views since  May 2011. Anthropomorphism is a  subject is for another day, but all in all I don't see that it has much to do with the issue at hand--in fact there was no issue at hand other than reporting the death of a bull as the result of a fight.
November 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Pianoman said...

"To Linda:Just so you know, there wouldn't be any elk in PA unless hunter conservationists had given their money and their volunteerism to transplant them there. You may not want to hunt and that's your choice. But you need to know that hunters spend more money and give more time to wildlife conservation than all other animal groups combined. Without hunters, the elk in this story would likely never have been born."
November 5, 2013 at 5:53 PM

My Take: No abuse or unprofessional behavior here, but the person did not put their real name to it.  It is possible to find that they are a moderator on the Hunting Washington forum.  The part that many that take this stance  never tell you is that they do not want other sources of funding for wildlife conservation. They want to be able to hold it over the head of the non-consumptive user of wildlife that the hunter pays the bill and wildlife should be managed for them alone.
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 weiserbud12 said...
"Yeah because feeding my family is appalling. Your stupid, your an animal remember?
November 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM"

My Take: This comment speaks for itself.

In closing I must say that it never ceases to amaze me how that many who comment on issues of the day do their cause more harm than good by the tenor of their writing.  I cannot help but wonder if they have ever converted anyone to their point of view by calling them "stupid" and "clueless"

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

4 comments:

Melissa Billingham said...

Great article. While I feel bad that such a beautiful animal died as a result of his natural instinct to reproduce, there is no evil here. Hunters feed their families from what they hunt. Most do this in a legal manner with licenses, and limits on what they kill. That is the reason that we have a game commission and licensing. I have only recently become interested in the PA elk population. They are beautiful, majestic creatures.
I have read some of the comments in this blog and most of them have good and bad points. The exceptions are the ones made out of plain meanness.
I don't know a lot about the funding for the elk herd in PA, but am very glad that it is in existence. For those who are against the hunting of elk or any other animals in the state, think about what issues we would have if there was no hunting to control the animal population. Hunting is controlled and keeps disease and sickness at a lower rate than letting the animals just go unchecked.
Please feel free to comment on what I have said. I am not a hunter myself, but have hunters in my family and benefit from the meat that they bring home. I fully endorse legal hunting!

Lindsjö taxar said...

Hi!
I agree Melissa. I am a hunter in Sweden. We do hunt moose, hogs instead of elks from the bigger animals. Its very controlled here in Sweden and we have very strict laws about the hunting, license, shooting training, also feed the animal in the wintertime when they have difficulties to find food.
We saved a lot of roes last year.
Majsan/

Lindsjö taxar said...

Hi!
I agree Melissa. I am a hunter in Sweden. We do hunt moose, hogs instead of elks from the bigger animals. Its very controlled here in Sweden and we have very strict laws about the hunting, license, shooting training, also feed the animal in the wintertime when they have difficulties to find food.
We saved a lot of roes last year.
Majsan/

Willard said...

Thanks for your thoughtful and courteous input, Melissa and LindsjÖ.