Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Game Harvesting in America
I have touched on this from time to time. It is becoming necessary to plan for a harvesting system for wild game. The present situation is well on the way to running out of control. Letting nature take care of itself is not an option for any length of time on land committed to human agriculture and habitation.
The herds of deer and flocks of turkeys have already become large. They are already large enough to support a recovery of carnivore predation and a natural acceleration of human carnivore confrontation. The woods I walked as a child were free of deer and cougars. They are no longer free of deer and in time cougars, bears and coyotes will follow.
The secret is to have a fall harvest that limits the winter opportunities of the carnivores. It is easily accomplished by the expedient of supplying some winter fodder to the wild flocks and herds and then splitting of the necessary portion to harvest as the snow flies.
This will require a licensing arrangement for selected operators as well as harvesting tenure so that the operator can somewhat know his numbers.
The problem has arisen simply because boots on the ground has dropped ten fold over the past sixty years. That farm boy who originally wiped out the wild stocks is not there anymore.
Bringing Bambi under control is not too difficult as is solving the turkey flocks. Both have natural commercial markets for their meat. A wild turkey at thanksgiving will be in high demand.
The real difficulty will be to keep carnivores under control since no market exists for their meat, leaving no incentive to do much except to drive them to extinction. Again the best avenue will be to supply winter fodder and secure refuges with protective dogs to keep the carnivores away. The winter will starve most out.
I have thought that the present regime for game control to be unsupportable. Sport hunting under license, poaching by the farmers and all that meat been restricted to private consumption is hardly a way to manage anything.
A proper licensing situation as described would avoid sport hunting on agricultural lands and much bounty hunting of carnivores.