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BrendanClaude
April 2, 2006, 02:35 AM
I was taught (under threat of harsh penalties) that I should never shoot anything unless I was prepared to eat it. Because of this, "varmint" hunting has always seemed somewhat wasteful and distasteful to me. Mabey I'm just ornery because I'm missing out on some entertaining shooting. Anyway, this is a challenge to all you varmint hunters out there. Tell me why it's OK.

2rugers
April 2, 2006, 02:55 AM
Because of the destruction they cause.

CALNRA
April 2, 2006, 03:41 AM
pest control....

People get paid to extermnate bugs and insects. We volunteer to rod of the pests that cause property damage...

sanctified
April 2, 2006, 08:30 AM
my father also taught me to not shoot anything i would not eat. i still go by that, except with varmints. my grandmothers angus farm is loaded with groundhogs. they hurt the crops, ruin the garden, and the cows can break legs by stepping in their holes. if i where to just let them go it could be nasty.;)

BUNSAJB
April 2, 2006, 09:27 AM
:) Hi, Varmint Hunting Is Extending Your Hunting, Gtting Rid Of Animals That Distroy Young Of Outher Game, Like Deer, Rabits, Ringneck, Etc. If You Want To Eat It You Can, Just Make Sure It's Cookd Good, Use Italion Seasoning. Bon Apotete. Chow.

Art Eatman
April 2, 2006, 11:12 AM
Bunsajb, if you hit the Caps Lock key before you start a post, the words won't all be capitalized in the sentences. :) That'll make it easier to read. That's what I'm told, anyway.

No biggie.

Art

Shorthair
April 2, 2006, 12:35 PM
Well, I think the damage caused by porcupines to my norway pines and to my bird dogs is more than enough justification to ventilate their livers at every opportunity.
Possums, skunks and raccoons raid nests of turkeys, woodcock, and grouse, and can be carriers of rabies. Feral cats destroy songbirds at a rate many find incredible.
No-one would consider eating a fox or coyote, but coyotes will eat spring fawns, and both make for nice clothing.
Basically, I do it in an effort to limit the populations of critters I wouldn't eat in favor of those I do. In addition to the occassional varmint culls, I plant and improve the habitat as best I can to further improve the environment for the deer, turkeys, grouse, etc. For the most part, varmint shooting is purely a utilitarian exercise.
But admittedly, I shoot procupines for the sheer visceral joy of it.

22-rimfire
April 2, 2006, 04:44 PM
Most hunters have no quams about shooting a "varmint" and leaving it along the edge of a field for the vultures to eat. All animals have a niche in the environment, but when they over populate, they cause damage to that environment from a human perspective. The only animals that I think of as varmints are groundhogs (or similar species), wild pigs, and coyotes. Wolves used to be in that catagory. Fox, opossum, racoon, skunk usually are trapped and hence I don't shoot them unless it would be for the fur. Not eating them either. Deer can cause a lot of damage to farmer's fields/crops also. But there are seasons to reduce the population. Notice I say reduce the population. I don't believe in exterminating any animal just for the sake of calling them a varmint.

Varmint hunting is a way to hone your shooting skills duing the warm months. I hunted groundhogs a lot and I can say that it clearly made me a better rifle shot. I loved hunting them and did it frequently... several times a week during the summer months. I never wanted to eliminate them, only reduce the population. Like trapping, you always want to leave a few for "seed".

sparkysteve
April 2, 2006, 06:41 PM
It's about population control and damage control. You can't look at a field full of thousands of prarie dogs and tell me they all should be there. I was in Wyoming last fall and was told that the primary predator of prarie dogs (the black footed ferret) was almost extict there. That's where we came in. The ranch we leased had thousands of these little critters just making a mess of his fields and pastures. So after our muley tags were filled.....prarie dog time. If the Fish & Game Dept. has NO rules pertaining to the shooting of these critters they must be a problem. We also had a guy drive up when we were shooting them and asked if he could take a few home to eat. I thought he was crazy. I'm not eating anything that ugly.

bergie
April 2, 2006, 07:45 PM
Ugly aint the problem. Those in the know wouldn't dream of even touching let alone eating a prairie dog. Well substantiated fact that bubonic plague as well as a few other nasties exist in p.d. towns throughout the west. A couple of years ago, there was a small outbreak of monkeypox traced back to people with "pet" p.dogs.

bergie

Twycross
April 3, 2006, 01:03 AM
Yup. Varmints, prairie dogs and ground squirrels in particular, can carry disease. Plague, relapsing fever, tularemia, and endemic typhus are all spread by the ticks and fleas which live on varmints. The critters also damage property, and coyotes will kill deer. Plus the fact that since many natural predators are at lower-than-optimal levels, someone has to fill in the role of keeping populations at a manageable size.

taylorce1
April 3, 2006, 01:23 AM
It is more of a form of pest control than anything else. If you have a mouse problem in your house you set traps and if you catch one does that mean you have to eat it? My father said the same thing about hunting animals when I was young and learning how to shoot. I think this was more to keep me from shooting and killing animals needlessly until I could make that decision on my own. Varmint hunters do fill a niche that while unpleasant to some, is extremely helpful to others.

Vermin come in all shapes and sizes and when we talk about hunting them we should try to explain the benefits of controlling the population. Take coyotes for example they generally stick to small animals, carrion and human garbage for food. But when times are tough for them they can pack up to bring down larger animals, when this happens things can be hell for the farmer and rancher. I've seen a coyote run through a flock of sheep and come out the other end with a lamb in its mouth and never break stride. This kind of property destruction affects the lively hood of the person raising livestock.

Prairie Dogs are another example these little rodents move onto a piece of property and literally destroy the land. The eat the grass so short around their towns that nothing is left for cattle or other like animals to eat, and erosion of the land by wind and water can become a problem. Prairie dog towns also seem to explode over night, it doesn't take long for their infestation to spread to cover several hundred if not thousands of acres. I would just like to point out that my parents who run cattle and who have been fighting prairie dog infestations for years have never lost any livestock to a broken leg caused by one of the prairie dog holes.

I think the biggest misunderstanding with varmint hunting comes from the videos that are being sold. Many people hunters and non-hunters find the videos of Prairie Dogs and other like varmints being killed by bullets that expand so rapidly that they seem to explode as distasteful. The best thing varmint hunters could do to promote their sport is to stop producing the videos and educate the public to the service they do for livestock and landowners.

Just my 0.02 worth.

Scorch
April 3, 2006, 12:40 PM
I was also raised to the same ethic of not shooting anything unless you were going to eat it. I understand the need to eliminate the animals that overpopulate, particularly since man has exterminated the predators that used to control them. The predators were eliminated because of the damage they cause, both to livestock and people. The prey animals, mainly rodents, have been trapped, poisoned, shot, whatever in an effort to control them. The control measures themselves harm the products the farmers/ranchers are raising. I also know that many farmers, ranchers, etc., are limited to how often they can poison the animals that are causing so much damage to their crops. Hence, varmint hunters.

The government used to (and still does in some cases) pay people to go out and hunt certain species, but rodents are mainly controlled with poison grain. One problem with poisoned grain is it can affect a lot more than just the target species. Rifles are much more selective (hopefully), and do not harm as many of the animals you would want to preserve (again, hopefully).

You can refuse to hunt varmints on principle, but know you are not saving those animals from harm because they will likely die of disease due to overpopulation. You can hunt them and damage the population or select for traits that are counterproductive to the species. You can shoot anything that moves, or choose your species of interest. Either way, you are contributing to their death.

Ethics are messy, aren't they?

Wild Bill Bucks
April 3, 2006, 01:21 PM
BC,

Almost every part of the country has a different kind of pest. Here in Oklahoma, a squirrel, is considered to be quite a tasty meal, but if you tell that to a guy from New York City, he will likely throw up:barf:
They are a real pest in the city. Other parts of the country consider Armadillos to be a pest , but in Texas, they have BBQ cook offs for them.
Wild Hogs, are a big pest here in Oklahoma, even though they are great hunting and eat very well.
Even the Whitetail deer, become a pest if the population goes unchecked.
California has laws that protect certain species, even though those species are a danger to human life, case in point, the Mountain Lion.
Your up bringing was right, and you shouldn't kill just anything that comes by, but take into account, that left unchecked, these pests will be in your yard, your cities, your house, and probably in your bed, before long.

Jack O'Conner
April 11, 2006, 07:13 AM
I'm not assuming to be anyone's Judge at all. Ethics is a variable concept these days.

I don't approve of shooting crows or buzzards in the arid West. They're doing a great job removing animal corpses. Yet where corn and other crops are prevelant in the East, I comprehend the need to thin crows each year.

Prairie dogs are pests. They produce at least three litters each year. Doesn't take long for a dogtown to double in size. Shooting these critters is not as effective as poison, but provides food for other critters.

Coyotes and wolves are a menance to cattlemen. We shoot them on sight and don't give this a second thought. I'm certain someone will make a case for wolves. But from the Stockman's view point, any large predator is a menace to profitable business.
Jack

chemist308
April 11, 2006, 08:20 AM
Ethics is a non issue if you like groundhog stew :D

Scorch
April 11, 2006, 12:38 PM
Jack-
Yes, I understand the issue of large predators roaming around helping themselves to whatever quadruped happens to be in their area of operation. Not a pretty picture.

There was some very interesting and controversial research done about 10 years ago regarding shooting coyotes on sight. The researcher discovered that there was less depredation in areas where people did not shoot coyotes on sight. The reason was that if the females raising young are killed, the young pups form packs and roam around attacking anything they want to. A mother coyote will teach the pups to avoid man and establish a balance. Not exactly what we expected, is it? So, you could say that shooting coyotes in spring and summer causes more coyote problems, whereas just harvesting them for pelts in the winter reduces the breeding adult population without the side effect of producing coyote "gangs".

Ethics are messy, aren't they?

Jack O'Conner
April 11, 2006, 05:04 PM
Scorch:

A few years ago, trappers snared many coyotes each Winter for their prime northern furs. But prices dropped and very few guys trap much anymore.

Shooting them from the air is not cheap when you figure in cost per operating hour of a small plane. But its great fun! I went out with a "pro" couple times. He uses a Browning (humpback) 12 gauge autoloader with extended magazine and full choke. He swoops down to telephone pole height and I hammered 'em with high base #2 shot. The coyotes often change direction when the plane comes within range and the shooting is challenging. The corpse is left for the crows; hey they need to eat too.

Another guy I know got two free greyhounds from the racetrack in Denver. They were scheduled to be put down. With very little training these fast dogs work together to chase down a coyote and they kill it. He has made many friends among area ranchers with his fast dogs.
Jack

Scorch
April 11, 2006, 05:13 PM
Jack-
Yes, hunting them for their pelts is not very appealing right now at $15 per pelt. I hunted coyotes through most of college back in the 80s when pelts were $60+ each for a tubed and stretched pelt. Made quite a bit of money at it.

Hunting them from the air is chancy at best. Like you said, they are pretty slippery little devils. And there is nothing wrong with an A5. I shoot one myself. It is one of the most reliable shotguns ever built.

I talked with a guy in Reno who got a couple of greyhounds and coursed coyotes with them. He said it was spectacular to watch! Then the coyotes started to learn that if they ran along barbed wire fencelines they could outmaneuver the greyhound. One of the greyhounds actually hit the wire at top speed, and it was a long time before it could run again.

Coyotes are smart, adaptable, and elusive. They are a blast to call in and hunt. The original point was why hunt them during denning season rather than hunting them for pelts? It supposedly only causes other undesirable problems.

UniversalFrost
April 11, 2006, 06:02 PM
I shoot varmits to prevent the over population and spread of disease along with their damage of property.

Where I come from (SD, NE border area along missouri river) we have a bad problem with coyotes spreading mange, killing livestock and the deer population. I hunt them not to erradicate, but to control their poulation size. I also shoot prairie dogs because they destroy the farming and grazing land. We had to put down a good horse once because it stepped in a prairie dog hole and it broke it's leg so bad that the vet could not fix it. A $5000 registered american quarter horse!!!:mad:

You tell me what's worth more a horse or a prairie dog. I can shoot all day and the little dumb buggers are still standing there for me to shoot at.

Dave R
April 11, 2006, 08:03 PM
I hunt varmits to "save the prairie."

Jack O'Conner
April 12, 2006, 05:34 PM
I don't want to sound critical but I'm not understanding this denning time issue at all. Please explain why coyotes should be protected during this period.
Jack

PSE
April 12, 2006, 06:20 PM
uh, cause theyr "rascally"?

Anthony2
April 12, 2006, 06:44 PM
"Please explain why coyotes should be protected during this period.
Jack"

Unfortunately I know the answer to this question...

The talented politicians of (INSERT YOUR STATE HERE) have deemed that it is an unfair and inhumane act to shoot adult coyotes, while they are rearing/raising young.
This is the answer I received from my state rep 3 yrs ago..."Would you kill a rabbit while it's raising young? No. Then why do you want to shoot other animals during their raising season?"

To which I respond "If a rabbit becomes a disease carrying, pet killing, nusiance creature, that substantially impacts beneficial wildlife in my neck of the woods...then I would not hesitate to exterminate them on sight."

To this he had no response...:D
Isn't it great when logic leaves the uneducated speechless?:)

Scorch
April 12, 2006, 11:32 PM
The original point was that killing the adults when they are tending young leaves the young without guidance, and supposedly they do much more damage to property, animals, etc, than if they had an adult to instruct them. Remember, this was according to research done abck in the late 1980s, not my idea. I simply said that if it causes more problem to shoot the adults while they are raising young (leaving the pups orphans) than to shoot them before they breed, why wait?

I know one answer, that is they are much more active during daylight hours when they are tending young because of their increased food needs. This makes them much easier to spot and shoot than at dusk/twilight.

I'm not trying to say they are cute and cuddly and we should hug them to our chests (now there's a disgusting thought). I just like to use what I shoot, that's all.

PPCLI 2 can.
April 13, 2006, 12:59 AM
here is a question
what gives us the right.
we should be more concerned with the filth of society ie rapists and murderers

another question
why do they call it tourist season if we cant shoot them:D

Twycross
April 13, 2006, 01:34 AM
here is a question
what gives us the right.
What prohibits us?

we should be more concerned with the filth of society ie rapists and murderers
What does criminal justice have to do with hunting?

Jack O'Conner
April 13, 2006, 08:56 AM
Seems to me that shooting an adult coyote with pups in the den is very good. It leaves the pups suseptable to being killed and eaten by other predators. Less coyotes is better, in my opinion as a Westerner.
Jack

Anthony2
April 13, 2006, 09:12 PM
"here is a question
what gives us the right.
we should be more concerned with the filth of society ie rapists and murderers"

Yes, but I have small problems with that:
1-They won't allow us to hunt rapists, murderers, and sex offenders...
2-Coyotes have no other predators to control their numbers...
3-If we allow populations of coyotes, coons, skunks, etc. to reach epidemic numbers. we would have the same problem we had in the early 80's (Kids getting attacked by rabid dogs.)

IMHO, the less disease carrying creatures, the better.;) :)

swampdog
April 13, 2006, 09:45 PM
Varmints in northeastern NC usually means crow or nutria. Crow hunting helps keep my rifle skills tuned in the off season and nutria hunting gives me an excuse to go stomping around in the swamp. There's a very long crow season but it's open season on the nutria. I guess you can eat either one of them but I don't know if I'd suggest it.
I've only seen one coyote around here. I understand they are becoming more numerous and it's open season on them too.
I was also taught to only kill what I'm going to eat but for any of the above species, I'll make an exception. I enjoy hunting and I enjoy exploring the swamp. Varmint hunting allows me to do more of both. If I'm doing a public service at the time, great.
I've taken plenty of nutria and a couple of crows with revolvers. I've got a friend that bowhunts nutria and garfish with a bowfishing rig.
While they're not varmints and we eat them, I used to enjoy taking bullfrogs with .22 cb longs. They've changed the law and I'm not sure if that's still legal or not. Maybe we can expect a plague of frogs soon. Thanks, PETA.
I know a few folks that shoot snakes and turtles. I do find this practice distasteful. I have no problems with taking out snakes that present a threat but I think it is unethical to just shoot every snake you happen to see. I did get a pretty big mocassin last summer that was living in a duck blind I fish by, though.
I'd say give it a try. If you find it distasteful, quit. You'll be missing out on a lot of fun, though.

rwilson452
April 13, 2006, 10:42 PM
Here in PA there is no season and no bag limit on coyote. Every one I have seen or shot had mange. big problem here abouts. Every farmer around treats coyotes as S.O.S. They are less tolorant of coyotes than groundhogs.

UniversalFrost
April 13, 2006, 10:54 PM
One way to get on the good side of farmers is to thin out a prairie dog town in their field/pasture or to bag a couple of yotes that have been pestering the livestock. Heck, I even had a farmer come up to me once when I was back home and offer to pay for my ammo if I would spend a few days clearing out his pasture of prairie dogs. I told him that I would do it for free and come next deer season he let me hunt on his land and even todl me where a monster buck like to bed down. bagged the buck and every year I go home I stop by his place and thin out the prairie dog population.

Last year I even took along his kid and got him into varmint shooting. I got an old stevens bolt action with 4X32 scope on permanent loan to the kid. So that he can work on the 'dogs while I am not around. Take a kid shooting/hunting because they are our future. (also don't teach them anything stupid/ bad habits)

Also about the snakes. I shoot all on site (don't care if it is a bull snake or a diamond back), had a close call once (big diamond back went for my bow with out warning instead of my leg when I was stalking a buck) beat the sucker to death with my bow (broke a limb on a new PSE cost me the hunt and 200 to replace) and hate em ever since.

PPCLI 2 can.
April 14, 2006, 12:19 AM
iagree and have done my fair share of pest control back on the farm
what i dont agree with is the inhumane way some go about doing it, that is
what i meant by what gives us the right.
true a yote will chew on a calf while its still alive but thats nature, wounding a yote, skunk ect and leaving it to suffer when its costs an extra thirty cents to put it down proper with another shot.

Art Eatman
April 14, 2006, 11:07 AM
I've always figured that any killing oughta be clean and quick. That's just part of the basics of the whole deal, whether it's a legal game animal or a pestiferous critter.

Art

Smoke Screen
April 14, 2006, 04:37 PM
I have been controlling pest populations on various plots of land for years. California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Nevada........It does develop the shooting skill quite a bit. I find a lot of pest critters to be slightly more challenging than other game animals. :cool:

We DO need to excercise caution and not blast just to eradicate the species, but in a recent experience, because of a mild winter here in OR, many natl forest campsites have been overrun by ground squirrels which chew holes into peoples tents, back packs, get into their food, and destroy the campgrounds. Who wants to camp in a place like that?? Not I! So guess what I'm doing tommorrow? :D

Sssssssmmmmmmmooooooooookkkkkeeeee

gdm
April 15, 2006, 08:40 AM
I would not consider eating a groundhog...mostly because most of them here are rather disgusting and have mange.game animals are different,squirrels and rabbits, I will cook and eat.

varmit hunting seems different than regular hunting because eliminating varmits is doing a favor to all the other animals...buzzards gotta eat too.:cool:

FirstFreedom
April 15, 2006, 09:44 PM
Buzzards gotta eat; same as worms. --the outlaw Josey Wales

Ethics of varmint hunting.... it's not an easy question, really. I think that some of the justifications are nothing more than rationalizations or BS, like livestock supposedly breaking their legs in groundhog holes - from what I understand from those who actually ranch for a living, that just doesn't happen - so that's but one example. But, OTOH, there is good reason in many cases, esp. rodents whose numbers can boom out of control in certain weather conditions like mild winters. But it gets into more of a gray area when justifying killing coyotes only because they kill your other game, like deer - for example, if you yourself are not a farmer with livestock subject to coyotes. I personally think it's OK, but it's not so clear-cut, ethically - I should say, I can see both sides of it.

Art Eatman
April 16, 2006, 10:58 AM
FirstFreedom, I'm not in the sheep&goat bidness, so I'm not particularly hostile toward coyotes. But, since Ol' Wily and I both like quail, I tend to figure that if the number of coyotes around my place isn't too large, we can get along okay. I want the "balance of nature" to tilt a bit toward my stomach, not Wily's.

That attitude doesn't mean I'm going out regularly to try and shoot coyotes. I like to hear them yodel at night, and enjoy having them wander occasionally through my yard.

Shifting toward the local-area deer herd: Between predators and desert, we run about one deer to 150 or 200 acres, which is way below the carrying capacity of the land. We'd have more deer if folks shot more cougars and coyotes. But, with over a million acres of park lands, lions have a nice sanctuary--as do coyotes.

I don't see myself as separate from nature. I see no reason not to do some amount of management to suit me and my views about what's right for me.

What I want is for there always to be deer and coyotes and javelina and cougars and quail and raccoons and whatever else wanders around my pasture. (And my front porch--danged raccoons! :D)

Art

Bigfatts
April 19, 2006, 12:40 AM
I like to hear them yodel at night, and enjoy having them wander occasionally through my yard.

I hear coyotes yapping occasionally in my area. This is NOT a good thing as I live in what I guess could be considered the 'burbs. I have no beef with them persay but that they're coming into the developements now. They started off eating garbage, but have now graduated to dogs and cats. I have a dog that I love very much and that is a good enough reason for me to shoot a coyote on sight, not to mention all the little kindergarteners down at the corner waiting for the bus every morning. I have only seen one in my developement 1 time and by the time I got a gun it was gone.

A friend of mine has a bit of land 40 miles or so from where I live and he has had a problem with the coyotes eating his goats (not a problem for me 'cuz I hate the little beasties, but he takes it seriously). He's taken to spotlighting them and hammering them with a .308.

My point is there are needs for keeping the populations down, whether it is because of livestock, or another valid reason. IE A $5000 registered american quarter horse!!! would be a good reason to shoot groundhogs, however I have no experience with them, the only one I've ever seen was a pet. They do carry diseases, and Coyotes can become quite brave as some people seem to think they are cute and feed them. This is when they become dangerous. Better safe than sorry IMHO.

leadcounsel
April 19, 2006, 01:59 AM
It's no secret that I'm against the wholesale murder of these "varmit" creatures so "man" can get his kicks or whatever he says to justify their destruction.

To answer a questions raised, "What gives us the right?" The answer is nothing. Nothing gives us the right to be so wasteful with natures' gifts of life and resources. Yet, we are. I understand the food chain and partake in it too. But I am not wasteful. Waste is a concept of greed and selfishness and it's just a shame.

Yes, we humans continue to really **** up nature, don't we. We've done a fine job of overharvesting the oceans of fish and polluting the seas, lakes and streams with poisons produced from much of the garbage we don't and never did need. And, we are extremely wasteful. Over the last 100 years we've been particularly grand in the US of eliminating the larger animals of the food chain such as coyotes, wolves, and predatory birds, etc. due to our careless waste of these "varmints" lives. They were inconvenient and in the way. So, instead of studying them and peacefully co-habitating with them, our ignorant ancestors killed them; much like we slaughtered the Native Americans and enslaved Africans. What a proud history, huh? In just a couple hundred years we stole this nation, destroyed its human inhabitants, over forested the landscape, and polluted the air, water, and soil with our filth, and have driven into near extinction any species which didn't serve a purpose or taste good. So, since we've murdered in cold blood all of the natural predators, it's no surprise that their food (the smaller varmits) begin to overpopulate. So our reaction could either be to reintroduce the natural predators OR more wholesale murder of the smaller varmits. Seems that our collective failure to understand the food chain will aid in our downfall, or at least succeed at the extinction of all but a handful of animals that we keep in cages to study or eat.

I implore any of you to consider your individual actions on a larger scale. Imagine you were your ancestors looking out over the great plains seeing amazing wild buffalo and scores of other wild animals. At one time beautiful wolves roamed the land; now they are fighting extinction becuase they were plentiful varmits. It's really quite shameful that we've practiacally destroyed so many of the beautiful resources which we have been given.

Before you judge me as anti-American or a PETA member, let me put your mind at ease. I"m as red blooded of an American as they come. I'm just not always proud of the actions of my fellow man. Am I guilty. Yes. Am I a consumer who uses harmful products. Yes. Am I a carnivore? Yes. Am I proud of it. No. Do I make attempts to NOT consume as much, to not be as wasteful and to recycle and help sustain the lives other creatures and also to eat food that is humanely processed where possible. Yes. For example, last week I rescued an injured Malard Duck which had a broken leg and delivered it to the Avian Rescue in Denver. Some of you would kill a mouse in your house. I am of the viewpoint that if I can capture it alive with a live trap, I'll do just that and release it into a field. I have to say that I've rescued a handful of injured animals in my life and that golden feeling of SAVING a life is a feeling that no amount of money can buy; it's a feeling that some of you will never understand. I pity those of you who truly enjoy murder of any creature for the sake of murder. Your wasteful attitudes mirror those of our ancestors which have delivered us to the point in history where we lose a species of animal to extinction at an alarming rate. Someday there will be no more of X animal that you so courageously shot. I hope you'll be satisfied.

Being one to objectively see both sides.... I propose that where there is a problem with rodents or varmints the solution is to reintroduce the varmints natural predators e.g. owls, snakes, birds of prey, coyotes, wolves, etc. Problem solved. Teach people to be able to co-exist with nature rather than exterminating it. As humans we have a great responsibility to pass along a pleasant world to live in and I, for one, would like my ancestors to be able to see wild animals outside zoos and menus.

Lastly, Websters dictionary defines "Varmint; Vermin: a person or animal regarded as troublesome or objectionable." Interesting.

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 09:52 AM
lc, I fully understand your concern, but until you are the Big Boss we're gonna be living where we want to and having as many kids as we want to and we'll continue to have a growing population and occupy more of the land.

People's individual attitudes, manners, morals and mores really don't have all that much to do with the problems with interactions with wildlife. On a societal basis, yeah.

Cities grow. The greater Houston area along I-10 is now fifty miles across. forty years ago it was around twenty miles.

For all that, the populations of deer and wild turkey are greater now than at any time in history. habitat that will support those species also supports all those non-game critters.

I say societal: You can't get people to understand that feral housecats kill many tens of millions of songbirds every year. "I love poo-tats!" wins out over buntings and cardinals. The bird kill from antenna towers is much less, although appreciable. You have a cell phone? You're a bird killer. Watch TV? You're a bird killer. Want "renewable energy" in the form of wind generators? You're a bird killer.

Is it allowed for people to raise crops? Raise livestock? Make enough money to lay by for the future, eat food, have clothing, drive a car and pay school taxes? There's no socialistic subsidy for losses to pests and predation...

I've been "messing around" in this Great Outdoors for some 65 years. I spent four years in the 1970s brain-picking on the "bug and bunny boys", the wildlife biologists, as part of my professional work. I like to think I have a fair amount of understanding of eco-systems, animal behavior and people's interactions.

:), Art

rem33
April 19, 2006, 09:53 AM
Never argue with <those who don't know the facts>

Its sunny and nice out for a change, think I will go see how this new 223 works on ground squirrels;)

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 10:15 AM
This is The Firing Line. We have standards of behavior, and they apply to our comments to an Ingrid Newkirk as well as to "normal" members.

Art

Wild Bill Bucks
April 19, 2006, 12:08 PM
lc,
I to, am a lover of nature, and do what I can to help save as much of it as I can. I have helped to raise several orphaned deer, and several other animals that have been hurt or orphaned.
I don't beleive in destroying animals just for the simplicity of it, but we must realize that left unchecked, the population of certain species, would eventually take over.
The problem isn't as easy as just bringing in natural predators, as they to, become a problem to humans down the line.
Australia has had problems for years because of that type of thinking.

I can't explain, nor do I except the blame for, my ancestors thinking and actions.
I have no problems with the buffalo, people of color, or the American Indian.
But I don't think it should be my burden to bare.
Like Art said, if I were the top dog , things might have been different, but since I'm not, I just try to do the best I can, and try not to repeat mistakes made by my ancestors.

leadcounsel
April 19, 2006, 01:13 PM
Please understand: My point IS NOT that incidental killing or killing for food is wrong. If you build a home, it requires cutting trees, plowing over animals habitat, etc. This is impossible to avoid. If you eat anything, you're incidentally harming or killing other creatures or their food supply. Do I directly or indirectly kill creatures. Of course. We all do by our existence. I understand this and am not a naive bleeding heart...


MY PRIMARY point is that killing for the pure thrill of killing, even under the guise of 'population control' is demented and wrong, plain and simple. If you really enjoy inflicting pain, suffering & loss on some other living creature, then there is something wrong with your soul. If population control is your motiviatio, there are ethical ways to let nature handle it by small changes in human behavior. We're pretty creative and smart creatures and I find it remarkable that the answer to a "vermin" problem is simply to kill 'em. I give people more credit than that as far as ingenuity.

Trip20
April 19, 2006, 01:19 PM
MY PRIMARY point is that killing for the pure thrill of killing, even under the guise of 'population control' is demented and wrong, plain and simple.

That might actually mean something if it were in fact a GUISE as you keep stating. It's not a guise at all. It is population control, and in some cases, it's an attempt to completely erradicate.

Death from Afar
April 19, 2006, 03:44 PM
MY PRIMARY point is that killing for the pure thrill of killing, even under the guise of 'population control' is demented and wrong, plain and simple. If you really enjoy inflicting pain, suffering & loss on some other living creature, then there is something wrong with your soul. If population control is your motiviatio, there are ethical ways to let nature handle it by small changes in human behavior. We're pretty creative and smart creatures and I find it remarkable that the answer to a "vermin" problem is simply to kill 'em. I give people more credit than that as far as ingenuity.

I shoot varmints. A lot. I have hunted deer ( dont like it, I enjoy seeing deer in the wild) Chamois ( dont like it, magic creatures, but perhaps unsurprisingly an enviromental disaster here), Asian Buffalo in Australia, pigs, kangaroos, wallabies, birds etc etc, and not once have I ever pulled a trigger and got a kick out of the kill. I have felt good as my skills have been up to the task, and always feel bad when any wounded animal gets away. I totally fail to see how the thrill of killing has anything to do with it.

Say I shoot one deer. How is that any different from taking out my LTR and shooting 50 rabbits in an afternoon?

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 03:49 PM
leadcounsel, ignorance is curable; stupidity is forever. You don't come across as stupid, but you do come across as one who's not spent much time in dealing with the whole issue of predators and with pestiferous animals.

Bits and pieces of example: Along the Grand Canyon are feral burros, left from the 1800s and early 1900s. To remove them without harm, via capture and airlift via helicopter, costs some 30,000 Park Service Budget dollars per EACH. Or they can be shot as coyote, lion and buzzard food. Several per day, by a guy getting paid some $30K a year. There is no shortage of burros in the U.S. You can buy all you want for a couple of hundred bucks apiece.

Why am I supposed to care if the hired gun enjoys his work? Out of 300 million people, we know that at least one isn't holding up Mom'n'Pop gas stations.

Go out to some area where feral hogs have gotten established. Look at the damage they cause to pastures and fields. They can have two to three litters per year, with up to a dozen piglets per litter. How but by killing as well as trapping can you deal with them? For a farmer, if he traps, that takes time away from his remunerative work. Do you do hard physical labor for no pay? But the farmer can let a recreational shooter come in and shoot hogs--and he certainly doesn't care one iota if it's enjoyable pleasure or not.

Prairie dogs: I don't buy into the argument about a cow stepping into a PD hole and breaking a leg. Even horses aren't usuallly that stupid. I've owned both cattle and horse in country with various varmint burrows. Never had that problem. BUT: You can figure that roughly one-third of the land area that PDs move into won't have anything growing on it. That's hard on the billfold if you're trying to raise alfalfa.

Why am I supposed to care if somebody gets his jollies from protecting crops?

And nowhere have you read a post where anybody is talking about total eradication. Population control is the issue.

We have a pretty effective body of law established about control of predators and pests. It is not my business, it is not your business, about the emotional attitudes of those who do the work. And again, nobody expects anything near total eradication.

Art

Mannlicher
April 19, 2006, 09:11 PM
I was taught (under threat of harsh penalties) that I should never shoot anything unless I was prepared to eat it. Because of this, "varmint" hunting has always seemed somewhat wasteful and distasteful to me. Mabey I'm just ornery because I'm missing out on some entertaining shooting. Anyway, this is a challenge to all you varmint hunters out there. Tell me why it's OK.

I think you would have to have been raised watching Bambi, to even ask such a question. :)

Trip20
April 19, 2006, 09:28 PM
And nowhere have you read a post where anybody is talking about total eradication.
For the record, Art, my post #47 spoke of eradication. To clarify my comment; I was speaking of those situations such as in New Zealand, whereby the animal (rabbit) was introduced in to the bionetwork.

Again, not eradication from the face of the earth, but elimination from a land that cannot balance the impact brought on by the animal.

Superhornet
April 20, 2006, 09:16 AM
LC---I doubt that anyone on this forum would label you as UnAmerican. But, I for one am tired of hearing that old trash of how we have been responsible for all the ailments that encompass mankind......I did not shoot any Native Americans, I did not own any Slaves, I am a REDNECK if you are only referring to the location I live in. I am a southerner and proud of it. And by the tone of your postings I would take it that you are talking about only WASPS....IMHO

Art Eatman
April 20, 2006, 12:37 PM
:) From the standpoint of sound environmental practice/management, and healthy ecosystems: An introduced non-native pest SHOULD be eradicated. The context, however, had to do with such as coyotes and other animals here in the U.S.

Here, we have the Africanized honey bee, the walking catfish, fire ants, nutria and feral cats. And other such...

Art

guntotin_fool
April 26, 2006, 12:37 AM
Here all this talk and i thought the ethics of PD hunting was close all gates, pick up all brass and pop cans, leave the ranchers wife alone, and leave the rancher a case of beer. I have never had any trouble on the trips these rules were all followed

silicon wolverine
May 3, 2006, 06:35 AM
OK leadcounsel I'll bring the 11,000 prarie dogs that currently infest the pastures not far from my dads farm and let them live in your front yard yes? they destroy valuble pastureland, create a dangerous area for cattel, horses and humans to move in and oh did i mention THEY CARRY THE PLAGUE? Geez man figue it out. Go look in the dictonary and look up vermin. Wait ill do it for you.

"Vermin is a pejorative term given to animals which are considered by users of the word to be pests or nuisances, most associated with the carrying of disease. Disease-carrying rodents and insects are the usual case but the term is also applied to larger animals, on the basis that they exist out of balance with a desired environment, consuming excessive resources. Pigeons, which have been widely introduced in urban environments, may be considered vermin, or, pejoratively, "flying rats."
-Wikipedia

IF this doesnt answer your question as to why they are OFFICIALY calssed as varmints or vermin (the two terms are interchangeable) You dont understand plain old english.

SW

marks655
May 3, 2006, 08:46 PM
By all means leave those poor little varmits alone. All the more for me to shoot.

BIGR
May 4, 2006, 08:02 PM
Varmit holes in the ground can cause cattle to step into the holes and break thier legs. I would much rather kill a few ground hogs than worry about the livestock. Plus I about crashed the tractor one time when I hit one of those big holes in the hay field. If I can I usually give the dead ground hogs to a man that eats them. Now crows are a different story. I don't eat crow.
Crows are varmits and have no real purpose other than to eat the corn in the garden. When the bird flu hits, those crows will be the first ones to carry it to your house.

Art Eatman
May 4, 2006, 10:55 PM
"Varmit holes in the ground can cause cattle to step into the holes and break thier legs."

Y'know, I've read this on the Internet everytime the subject of prairie dogs comes up; now, groundhogs.

Maybeso our family raised smarter cows? Or cows with better vision? Lord knows we had plenty of critter burrows on the Cuero ranch and the Austin ranch, during my lifetime, not to mention the old folks' ranches.

No such busted legs.

I'll grant you that going around a tall-grass pasture on a tractor, shredding, can lead to interesting adventures. At least as long as you don't fall toward the rear, anyway. :)

ARt

CobrayCommando
May 5, 2006, 01:00 PM
I haven't read through all of this post, but how is shooting squirrels justified? Somehow I think if they are stealing from you're bird feeder you can afford the extra feed, over killing an endless stream of them.

kingudaroad
May 5, 2006, 04:13 PM
Cobray,

Heres a link for some good squirrel recipes. Mmmmmmm Mmmmmmm

http://internationalhunters.homestead.com/smallgame.html

swampdog
May 5, 2006, 04:45 PM
I wouldn't consider squirrels a varmint but they can certainly be a nuisance. You'd be suprised how much bird feed a squirrel can eat, especially after he invites all his friends over.
My grandmother was an avid bird watcher. One of the things I used to do for her was fill her bird feeders. She had a hummingbird feeder by her kitchen window that squirrels totally destroyed. She had a glass sided feeder out in the middle of the yard that squirrels would empty daily. I bought a squirrel shield so they couldn't climb up the pole. They started dropping off the trees onto the top of the bird house. I moved the feeder out into the middle of the yard, away from any trees. This worked for a couple of weeks until one crazy, skydiving squirrel took about a 20 yard leap, landed on the feeder, shattered the glass and in the process, killed himself. Darwin at his finest.
My grandmother wouldn't hear of me shooting the squirrels. One day, during squirrel season, I knew she was going grocery shopping. Silence of the squirrels. This became a once a year thing until she passed.
Squirrel and pastry, yum. Squirrel stew is pretty good, too. They get nice and fat eating bird feed, btw.

Trip20
May 5, 2006, 04:47 PM
+1 on squirrel bein' good eats. That's why I hunt them. Not for pest control. They don't pester me. Besides that, they can be difficult to hunt; for me there's gratification in getting a good lot for a meal. Oh, and I'm still on my quest to have a black squirrel stuffed and put on a table in my basement.

When I'm going about my day through out town I can see a bazillion squirrel... for some reason when I'm walking through the woods with a .22 they know to hide. If only they'd let me hunt in town. :D

I also sell the tails for fishing lures. No real money in it, but at least it gets used for something.

Art Eatman
May 5, 2006, 05:26 PM
I have rock squirrels here around the house. Full-sized, but sorta dark-gray in color, not quite black.

I've watched them kill baby quail.

So, I do some control of the total number to sorta keep a balance as I want the balance to be.

:), Art

Anthony2
May 5, 2006, 07:00 PM
"Yes, we humans continue to really **** up nature, don't we.":eek:

Leadcounsel-I realize this was most likely meant to be a generic "we" however I must disagree. There are literally THOUSANDS of men and women who devote all or a large portion of their free time to IMPROVING NATURE!

This includes myself and many others here in MI.
As far as your issue with eradicating vermin...
Last time I checked you were not the Almighty himself, and until this fact changes I will continue to do the following:

1- I will continue to improve the habitat quality of not only my own property, but that of any other willing participant, for the ultimate benefit of nature.

2- I will continue to kill (or if we want to be PC "euthanize") any disease carrying creature that enters my portion of this great country.

These things I feel are not only my privilege as a intelligent human being, but also my responsibility as a landowner and hunter. If we do not leave a quality environment for future generations...then we are no better than the sheeple we fight against. The day we stop trying to improve the quality of our land, air, water, and soil, is the day we begin to sink into "suburbanitism"

I do not pursue vermin to an drastic measure...however when an opportunity presents itself I do not let it pass either.:) IMM if the Good Lord presents one of these creatures to me, when a firearm is present...Then it is that creatures time to leave this world.;) It may make you happy to know that while I see these creatures often, the opportunity rarely shows.

FYI- I have always been taught this way and will always be this way. It has always served me well and gotten me where I needed to go. So, until someone shows me a better way, along the dirt road I'll be.

Sorry for the long post y'all I just had to get that off my chest.:D

kingudaroad
May 6, 2006, 06:59 PM
When I'm going about my day through out town I can see a bazillion squirrel... for some reason when I'm walking through the woods with a .22 they know to hide. If only they'd let me hunt in town

They must somehow be related to doves.

Death from Afar
May 7, 2006, 10:29 PM
LC- you will be pleased to know I shot 70 rabbits on Friday night. Doing our bit to keep NZ green!

silicon wolverine
May 9, 2006, 12:57 PM
Killing varmints also brings economic pluses to the table as well. In a place i know of in SD there is a praire dog town that is so large, even with people hunting it EVERY DAY of the open season, it grows every year. Ive kept track of the people i see out there shooting and large number of them are from out of state. They are bringing valuble tourist dollars to a small town that has few attractions. Look at me for example. List of expenses hunting varmints for one year (2005)

ammuntion complete and reloading compontes- about 1200$
license- $7.50
gas- $150
reapirs to rifle- $175
Upgrades and accesories- $150

So lets add that up. I added $1682.50 to the economy of a small town that it otherwise woudnt have had if i wasnt hunting varmits.

SW

taylorce1
May 9, 2006, 02:46 PM
Hey Art glad to hear I'm not the only one who hasn't seen an animal with a broken leg due to prarie dog holes. My father has lost more cattle to hunters during Pronghorn season than anything another animal has caused. He owns a ranch in eastern Colorado and whe have quite an infestation of the little critters at times and we have never lost one animal to a broken leg caused by prarie dog mounds. Most animals break legs when they are fighting for dominance in the herd this happens more with bulls than cows but their is times when the old herd cow will establish her presence.

20cows
May 9, 2006, 03:23 PM
...but how is shooting squirrels justified?Apparently you've never had one cut a hole in the attic of your house for a den instead of using a hollow tree.

@#$$#@ squirrel!

alcmaeon
May 23, 2006, 03:04 PM
Sorry to drag this up again, but I just had to tell you all about the horse I had as a kid. He was named Sir Cam (because his mom was named Cammie and I was 6, Sir Cam made sense), He was great, and he was my pal. Anyways, in the spring of his third year he put a foot down a wood chuck hole while running around in one of our fields. The vet said the leg was shattered, and we should put him down. This was a big Michigan woodchuck hole; I don't know how they compare to P-dog holes.

Point being, it may not be common but livestock can put a leg in a varmint hole. I can't say I hold any grudge against gophers, but it pretty much was the worst thing I had happen as a youngster.

Mountaineer Rifleman
June 10, 2006, 06:53 PM
Come on ya'll, I thought I found a web site with some common sense on hunting and such. I have been hunting ever since I was knee high to a grass hopper and have always been taught to kill and eat your game BUT the other time to kill is for protection or to protect your land from land scavengers or varmits that act as such. That includes Groundhogs and Opossums, which, is fixed right both are very tasty, especially the younguns....

The others, like fox ,coyote or even a bobcat that are not neccessarilly good for hides or anything like that anymore are varmits that can tear up some property and livestock...Heck,My mother-in -law lives in Akron, OH and she has opossums, raccoons, groundhogs and squirrels tearing up her property and there isn't much she can do because they belong to the city and if they can't or won't catch them she just has to deal with them, while it cost her a fortune to maintain her property and house.

So we have to have population control someway somehow, like the report I saw a few years ago, if you keep catching and releasing fish back into the same pond and never take any out there will be more fish and less food and some will die earlier and others will remain smaller and catching bigger fish will
deminish.......And on the surface it just becomes more hazardous, dangerous and expensive for humans to exist with an over populated wildlife.

Besides, a lot of the wild are cute and great on small little sandwiches.......:D

adephue
June 10, 2006, 08:18 PM
Given the "don't shoot it unless you'll eat it" approach, my next question is... what differentiates a bullet through the heart of a groundhog from...

the sole of a boot on an ant,
a flyswatter on a fly,
a phonebook on a spider,
Raid on bees,
and the Orkin Man on the friends in your walls and foundation...

ferg
June 10, 2006, 08:59 PM
Adephue - BINGO!

gdm
June 10, 2006, 09:32 PM
did I mention groundhogs getting under building foundations and causing them to collapse?I shot groundhogs for a farmer that had several buildings, all of which were heavily infested with them.Id drive back between the buildings and see at least 10 scatter in all directions.the buildings were still up but sloping from the foundation sinking with all the dens.shot 73 there that summer and still couldnt get all of them.

many farmers round here that plant beans really hate groundhogs.a groundhog can destroy an entire acre in 1 season if left unchecked.the dens wreck havoc on everthing that doesnt see them and steps into them,not to mention the problems groundhogs also cause when they get into the drainage tile and cause that to collapse from their scratching and digging.Ive had groundhogs get into the basement of an old 2 story country home with a dirt floor,what a mess.

I have had a summer job with one farmer that had a bad problem with groundhogs..paid me 5 bucks each,was the best summer job I had as a kid.

adephue
June 10, 2006, 10:11 PM
When I was younger, my Grandpa had a "ground squirrel" (or some other earthen varmit) problem... they were somehow damaging flower beds and digging around the foundation of his house. The final straw was when they, looking for food, chewed a hole through a styrofoam beer cooler that was in his garage... not sure if the cooler was of sentimental value or not, but it ignited a small war.

He went to True Value hardware, snagged some traps, and captured several specimens quickly. He didn't have it in him to whack them over the head with a hammer, didn't wan't to shoot them (maybe no suiteable guns?), and certainly didn't want to release them into the wild to migrate to someone elses property.

So he put the traps in a large trash bag, tied it to the exhaust pipe of his van, fired it up and revved the engine a few times.

During the execution there was a brief (less than a second or two) period of thrashing, then silence.

I wouldn't classify this as 'hunting' but I am curious to know if it falls under the umbrella of questionable ethics.

I love threads like this.

Art Eatman
June 11, 2006, 08:29 AM
adephue, my first priority is to protect my property. It doesn't matter if it's rats in feedbins or chewing on electric-wire insulation, or digging under foundations.

Prairie dogs are about like fire ants with fur. The mounds are humps of dirt bereft of grass. If you're in the cow business, that's reduced income. And unmolested, a prairie dog pair can produce two or three female pups which can breed within two months. The math of this geometric progression is left as an exercise for the student. Suffice to say that were it not for what predators do exist, we'd be bum deep in PD poop.

I'm not running livestock, so coyotes and bobcats don't impact on me--but for one thing: I like to eat quail; so do they. I resolve this conflict to a rather casual extent, but in my favor. I like to see the occasional bobcat and I like to listen to yodel dogs in the moonlight, but there's a balance.

There is a balance that suits your economic needs and/or aesthetic needs. Only by living on the land and watching critters can you know the approximate numbers that work out right.

I just figure I'm a predator, an omnivore, and the stud-hoss of the local food chain. Only my opinion counts when I'm in my territory. The pitiful PETA people ain't payin' my taxes to the school district for me. Outsiders' opinions are irrelevant to anything, anyway.

That's probably the biggest part of the problems of today, anyhow: Yeah, everybody has the right to have an opinion. Nowhere is it written that all these opinions have meaning, relevancy, or the value of a teaspoon of warm spit.

:), Art

FirstFreedom
June 11, 2006, 03:34 PM
One day, during squirrel season, I knew she was going grocery shopping. Silence of the squirrels.

:D

P.S. OK, guys, I think LC has been adequately hazed/flamed at this point.

leadcounsel
June 11, 2006, 04:02 PM
Deleted. I'm folding on the conversation.

swampdog
June 11, 2006, 10:42 PM
First Freedom,
You call that hazing/flaming? You ought to go to a linux forum and go on about the benefits of windowsXP. Then, you'll see real hazing. Those people are, for the most part, extremely liberal, too.

We have pecan trees in my yard. Every 2 years, the pecans drop and we end up with a rat problem. Instead of using poison, like most of liberal suburbia would, I sit out back with a .22 revolver and cb's. I enjoy blowing their nasty little heads off and they don't go out and poison poor little coyotes like the one in NYC, or hawks or owls or bald eagles, etc.... Obviously, I don't eat rat . Is this unethical? Why, because it's a rat?? Or because I enjoy it? Rats are pretty smart. After you pop a couple, the rest will look at where you were sitting before coming out. Kind of like squirrels, but smaller. I hear it tastes like chicken but there are some places I just won't eat at.

I've used linux since 1999. The clowns getting flamed on linux forums usually deserve it, just like someone else I won't mention. If anyone is interested in using a free, secure, well supported by forums like this one, operating system, feel free to PM me. All it takes is good bandwidth, an old computer, and a little bit of time.

I liked that turn of phrase, too, btw. :D

chemist308
June 12, 2006, 02:32 AM
Anyway, this is a challenge to all you varmint hunters out there. Tell me why it's OK
This isn't a challange against varmint hunting. It's a challange for better stew recipes :D

Anthony2
June 13, 2006, 02:47 PM
That's probably the biggest part of the problems of today, anyhow: Yeah, everybody has the right to have an opinion. Nowhere is it written that all these opinions have meaning, relevancy, or the value of a teaspoon of warm spit.

+1 For that.:D

LC-Why do you put yourself in these conversations if you don't want or respect the views being given?

I spent my weekend trying to sight in my .177 only to figure out some 30 shots and adjustments into the process that someone ruined the scope.:( For a gun that didn't come with a rear iron sight this is extremely inconvenient.:mad: Needless to say, the rats with wings(blackbirds, crows, etc.) are gaining in numbers in my absence.:barf:

Oh well, the war rages on...:rolleyes:

swampdog
June 13, 2006, 04:42 PM
Anthony2,

I haven't had much luck with scopes on air rifles. The weird recoil of a high powered air rifle does bad things to all but expensive scopes. I had an old leupold on a rws that did fine, but I ended up putting a peep sight on it. Depending on how your scope is mounted, you can probably buy one that will mount right up. You ought to try it, I think you'll find at airgun ranges it's all you need.

Good luck with the "war".

Sharps
June 13, 2006, 05:22 PM
If you want to hunt varmits then by all means do so, why would you live by the standards or opinions of other's? Hunting groundhogs in the summer is a lot of fun, even if you just use your deer rifle.

OuTcAsT
June 13, 2006, 05:45 PM
Hunting groundhogs in the summer is a lot of fun,


No to mention they are delicious when baked with sweet potatoes:D

Twycross
June 14, 2006, 01:56 AM
The weird recoil of a high powered air rifle does bad things to all but expensive scopes.
Spring piston airguns recoil both forwards and backwards, and require specially made airguns scopes. The dual recoil will batter most conventional scopes apart. I don't know if this is an issue with any other propulsion methods, but for spring-pistons at least, a double-braced scope is a definite 'must have.'

dfaugh
June 14, 2006, 11:39 AM
I sorta follow the "don't shoot it if you're not gonna eat it philosphy", but only up to a point...

I shoot pidgeons that get in my barn, because the crap all over everything, and can carry disease...

Gonna start shooting coyote, 'cause my buddy has just started a "sheep ranch" and need them gone (we've only recently gotten significant coyote populations here, but they're already a problem.)

On the other hand I have a couple woodchucks that live in the woods on the edges of my lawn (but on my property). they occasionally come out and graze in the lawn, but they don't do any real harm so I leave them alone.

So, I really only shoot things I'm not gonna eat if they are causing problems.

1BadF350
June 14, 2006, 11:53 AM
I would like to point out that hunters and fisherman, through the purchases of their licenses, contibute more money to wildlife conservation efforts nationwide than any other group. Most people talk the talk but hunters and fisherman walk the walk.

Hedley
June 14, 2006, 02:29 PM
I have always wanted broaden by bird hunting to include varminting. Question is...where do you guys find the land to do it on on? I haven't hunted since a young teanager, and have since lost the lease when the owner died some years ago. Do huge landowners let you on for free for your services rendered or are all of you just lucky enough to have your own acreage? I'm in central Texas, and would love to go on a varmit hunt...is there a specific season, or is open year round?

Art Eatman
June 14, 2006, 10:01 PM
In Texas, if you're on your own land, varmint hunting doesn't require a license. Otherwise, the inexpensive general hunting license is all that's necessary. (I always get the Grand Slam hunting/fishing combo.)

Coyotes, bobcats and cougars are not protected. (You do need a trapper's license if you want to sell furs as a commercial endeavor.) Feral hogs are always open season.

Check around feed/seed stores in rural areas and ask. Same in gunshops, here and there. Heck, drive around on Sunday afternoons, and ask.

Art

CrazyLarry
June 15, 2006, 04:17 PM
there are no ethics in varmint hunting, that's why it is so fun lol. However, I follow only one rule- nothing deserves to suffer