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Death from Afar
April 16, 2006, 05:30 PM
One of the highlight of the years shooting is the annual easter bunny shoot competition held in the bottom half of the South Island in a tiny town called Alexandra. The idea of the competition is have 30 teams of no more than 12 shooters who are assigned balloted blocks of rabbit infested land. The team that shoots the most rabbits in 24 hours ( rimfire and shotgun only) wins the prize of a trophy, glory, and bragging rights for the rest of your life.

My team of 18 persons ( and you are allowed extra drivers and "picker uppers" ) duely arrived armed to the teeth. Ruger 10/22's were the rifle of choice ( my shooting vehicle, which looked like a cross between an Abrams Tank and a Mad Max vehicle ) had 4 of them. The other gun of choice was a pump action shotgun. I actullay used my 870 P ( which became quickly known as the "Hose of death") as it was very quick, and handy as we chased rabits at 40 miles an hour by night with everyone on the back clinging on for dear life. During the day we stalked and shot rabbits on foot, at night with spotlights we chased them around the fields , with the shooters on the back blazing away quite happilly. Our team shot constantly for 24 hours, except for five guys who had an hours sleep ( "sleepins' cheatin'' ")

Well, in the finish our team shot just under 900 rabbits in 24 hours, to come a very credible third. The next team shot 1100, with the winners having shot an insane 1400 rabbits in 24 hours. I wont even begin to say how mauch ammo we let go of, but suffice it to say the ammo supply was getting low after 24 hours of blazing away.

So , very bruised and battered, sunburnt and happy we now plan next years shoot up....

From the newspaper...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3635957a10,00.html

FirstFreedom
April 16, 2006, 06:35 PM
Just amazing man - so that was just this morning? I'll tell my nephews that DFA killed the easter bunny.

banditt007
April 16, 2006, 07:55 PM
i'm assuming with the kind of shooting done, these things are an epidemic, like how they had those mice in austria years back where they just wiped out everything? or am i missing something.

are they just layed out for pictures/counted and disguarded or are they eated/used for something?

Death from Afar
April 16, 2006, 08:03 PM
yes, they ae a huge plague- they are turned into pet food after the shoot.

rem33
April 17, 2006, 07:29 PM
Sounds like a complete blast, we have been wishing the jack rabbit populations would make a come back here, at least a little bit. 900 and 3rd place,, man thats a lotta bunnies...

tinman
April 17, 2006, 08:54 PM
after shooting that many bunnies that shotgun must of felt like a cement truck. Can you just run em over?

banditt007
April 17, 2006, 11:52 PM
sounds like a great time, i'm glad they are put to use (pet food) and not just left to rot.

any pics perhaps? hard to sight in if on a stationary rabbit when the sight picture is distorted from the heat waves comming off the end of it :D

Cowled_Wolfe
April 18, 2006, 12:06 AM
If those Easter bunnies weren't pink before, they're sure red now... :eek:

(:D)

leadcounsel
April 18, 2006, 12:52 AM
Another tragic waste of life that gives gun owners and true hunters (you know, those that stalk their game) a REALLY bad name. I'm sorry that you can't see how perverse your actions are, truly. Killing for food is justifiable. Killing for the sake (it clearly isn't much of a sport, or any more of a sport than taking candy from a child) of getting your rocks off is pathetic. Sounds like you're one bully that is long overdue for a good a** kickin', especially since you're probably the "holier than thou" type that prosecutes crimes yet fails to see your own actions are extremely demented. Seems to me that a District Attorney would have more intellect and education to warrant such disguisting behavior... but then maybe I'm wrong.

About 6 months ago another perverse man posted a video of prarie dogs being blasted by a .50 BMG and he was ridiculed. I see your perverse actions in the same light.

The only saving grace, which is likely simply to justify your perversions and pasttimes, is that the critters weren't entirely wasted but instead turned into food. I doubt, however, that was the intent of the "sport" massacre...

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 01:55 AM
Hang on a moment LC, I am sorry if you feel that way, I truely am. I dont think you quite understand the way things are down here. I do not for a moment think this is "hunting", but nor do I see that there is a moral problem. I also dont think you understand that- and this may be very hard for you to understand- that as a general rule, the enviromental crowd basically support this sort of activity.

Did you read the news article that I did I hyperlink too?

If you look at the number we shot- and thats one team out of 30- and consider the total number of rabbits shot over the weekend- around 14,000, then it should become apparent after some reflection that we are not talking about trophy stags here- we are talking about a serious pest that has driven farmers off land, ruined vast amounts of pasture, and caused serious risk to native species. New Zealand has no natural mammals at all bar one species of bat. All have been introduced.

I myself am very uneasy about eating rabbit since 1995 when a rabbit haemooragic virus was illegally introduced into New Zealand by desperate farmers. Nothing is known about the disease, and so I am careful even handling dead rabbits.

Rabbits were one of the introduced animals, and after liberation in the 1880s became a very serious pest to farmers.With no natural predators, and practically ideal climatic conditions rabbit numbers exploded causing massive erosiion and desertification of prime pastures. By the 1910's rabbit numbers were so high, the Government paid men to be nothing but full time rabbit shooters- same as deer incidentally.Professional deer hunters were shooting deer by the thousands and they were left to rot in the sun as numbers were so high. Rabbits are controlled by poisoning, shooting, and the introduction of disease all of which have done nothing to stem the numbers. When I was at school I would go out rabbit shooting practically every night. The most I ever shot by myself with a .22 was 250 in 4 hours. The team that won last year shot 1800 rabbits in 24 hours, with a total shot of 21,000. The tallies that have been shot recently are far below what has been shot in the past. My grandfather used to shoot up to 400 rabbits EVERY WEEK, for years.

This competition is done with the full sanction of farmers and the local council who are responsible for pest control. Frankly, I would rather see the rabbits shot than the other cntrol methods used, which include 1080 Poison- a cruel and vile death, or using cyanide gas down warrens.

I should add that you are most warmly invited down here to see the situation for yourself - and that applies to all TFL members- although I appreciate that is not the same thing as visiting Canada, say- and when you drive into a field at night and see maybe 50 rabbits, you will see what I mean...

Please PM me if you have any other issues- I would hate you to think that we kiwis are ruining the sport for others. How did you know I was a DA BTW?

esheato
April 18, 2006, 02:57 AM
Regardless of the moral issue (which I don't really think there is one...) it says you're a DA on your profile.

Ed

Foxman
April 18, 2006, 02:58 AM
DA is in your public profile. This guy doesnt understand the problem you guys and the Aussies have with pest species like cotton tails just eatin the place bald. I would love to come down there and give you a hand, but it is a bit too far for a weeks trip lol. The viral haemorragic thing is a very foolish thing to do desperate or not, you only have to look at the various enviromental disasters in Australia trying to control introduced pests to see that is not the way. You guys are doing a good and needful job long may you continue.

KIWI10/22
April 18, 2006, 03:47 AM
I am another Kiwi from New Zealand, The easter bunny shoot is nothing more than pest control. As deathfromafar said these bunnys have raped the landscape and have turned profitable farms into struggling businesses. Honestly this is no comparison to blasting dogs with a .50, this is done to reduce the effects on our land.

BTW if any of you yanks are coming down to New Zealand PM and I can arrange some hunting spots and give some advice. Cheers.:)

FirstFreedom
April 18, 2006, 08:46 AM
BTW if any of you yanks are coming down to New Zealand PM and I can arrange some hunting spots and give some advice.

I think I'm going to start planning a kiwi walkabout.....can I bring a shotgun & rifle on the plane to your country? :-)

Trip20
April 18, 2006, 09:07 AM
...especially since you're probably the "holier than thou" type...
Pot... kettle... what?

Me thinks someone is upset that they missed their PETA meeting.

Death From Afar -- sounds like great fun, and great way to get active in controlling a pest population. Most people are aware that rabbits breed at an alarming rate, and can quickly over come a loss of 14,000. This event should really be bi-annual at the very least.

...you're one bully that is long overdue for a good a** kickin'...
This is absolutely ridiculous, leadcouncel. Grow up.

saskuach
April 18, 2006, 09:11 AM
Well, I can't hold a candle to this... Just wow man:eek: :cool:

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 04:10 PM
Well, I am glad some of you know how things are down here, and oddly enough, I was so concerned that I had offended a poster I didnt really notice the:

Sounds like you're one bully that is long overdue for a good a** kickin', especially since you're probably the "holier than thou" type that prosecutes crimes yet fails to see your own actions are extremely demented. Seems to me that a District Attorney would have more intellect and education to warrant such disguisting behavior... but then maybe I'm wrong.

Its a shame that LC didnt bother to get an insight into what things are like down here before busting into print. I wonder of he is man enough to apologise?

Art Eatman
April 18, 2006, 04:33 PM
leadcounsel, you need to do some reading about the problem of an introduced species into an ecosystem without natural predators against that species. Rabbits in Australia is one of the world's most famous disasters. I hadn't known that NZ had the same problem.

In the U.S. from time to time, it's our own native jackrabbits.

In 1980 or 1981, there was a population explosion of jacks in NE Nevada and SW Idaho. The farmers in Idaho, in order to try and save some of their crops built mile-long vee-fences of chicken wire. Hundreds of people would gather and herd the rabbits into the killing ground, and kill them with shovels, clubs, rakes, hoes, etc. (The tax man doesn't care if you make a crop or not, he wants the school taxes on your land and house.)

We're just plain lucky that Florida waters are not warm enough for piranhas to propagate. But the rabbits in New Zealand are no different than the fire ants in the southern US or the Africanized honey bee.

Art

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 05:49 PM
The invite applies to you too Art.

The rabbits in Australia werea true enviromental catastrophy. My uncle has a farm- well, its about the size of Maine- near Warburton in West Australia and when I was last over there, they were shooting routinely 500 rabbits a night, which was apparently the best they had been for years. Even I was shocked by the numbers.

Funny thing, a few years back I was doing some liason work ( when I was in the service) with some guys from "deep Freeze" the United States Antarctic Programme, which is based here in Christchurch. Some of the boys wnated to go out shooting, so we took them up deer hunting, pig hunting, shot a fee wallabies, usual thing. But the thing they enjoyed the most- after a weeks world class trophy hunting- was night shooting rabbits from the back of a truck.

leadcounsel
April 18, 2006, 06:17 PM
Yea yea yea you can justify your murderous actions all day long. Frankly, if "raping" the land of its resources were enough to warrant a death sentence then humankind is long overdue for our death sentence.

If it were truly a problem then nature would run its course and the weak rabbits would die out, or other predators would move in to take care of the problem. Any Kiwis ever consider introducing some natural predators such fox, snakes, coyotes into the enironment? Oh wait, you'd rather have a barren desolate landscape void of any creatures except humans, huh? Kill everything in sight.... great attitude. Unfortunately it's your indifferent attitudes toward life and the balance of nature that have caused the extinction or near extinction of countless species of animals. Just shoot 'em cause it's fun. Yeah, that's really intelligent "pest control." Very scientific. It's the same attitude why coyotes, wolves, bear, etc. are very rare in N. America; why whales are struggling for survival, why apes and gorillas are also fighting extinction, etc. What makes a life valuable to you. Have you ever had a moment of introspection or reflection on the value of life? Is there only value in life when it's fighting extinction. Imagine for a minute if that rabbit you so couragously shoot were the LAST of it's kind. Would that trouble you? Would that make it's life any more valuable? Ponder that for a minute. Why does it matter that there are a million rabbits or only one to change your attitude toward the life of an individual rabbit? Or consider this. Maybe it's not the rabbits who are ruining the land and the real pests. Maybe it's the HUMANS... gasp. Do you feel any remorse for the wholesale destruction that humans (myself included) have caused against the earth and nature? Have you ever considered the phrase "walk gently?" I suppose since we're bigger and stronger and have tools and intellect might makes right and you can wholesale kill as much as you want. Seems particularly strange for a DA to feel that these actions are "just and right." I can't seem to reconcile that attitude, nor do I really want to understand it because it is so foreign to me. (BTW your profession is listed on your profile).

I'll say it again. It's your indifferent attitude that give gun owners and legitimate hunters a very bad name.

For the record, I am a carnivore. I believe that hunting for food is very natural. I own lots of guns. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum from the passivist. I DO have strong beliefs and am not affraid to speak my mind and defend my beliefs and what I feel is just and right. I am not a member of PETA and feel they are often very extreme. However, I do side with them on the humane treatment of animals issue. Just cause you have a brain capable of logical thought, opposable thumbs, and can use tools doesn't give you the right to slaugther at your whim. In fact it gives humans the responsibilty to show some compassion toward creatures large and small.

Before you attack me for being a "hypocritical carnivore" I know that beef was a cow that was slaughtered. However, I make every attempt to purchase meets, eggs, etc. that were humanely raised. I don't eat certain products like veal or lobster for the humane reasons. It's not a perfect world and this isn't always possible to be humane. However, I absolutely do not condone the senseless slaughter of wildlife and waste of life you partake in and many of you condone or get your kicks from. It's completely perverse and stone age thinking.

Death from Afar
April 18, 2006, 06:39 PM
*sigh* So much for trying to be polite.

I couldnt agree more about "raping the land" by humans. But, you need to look at what you say. The rabbit was introduced by Humans. Therefore, it is humans responsibility to deal with the problem.

Mate, your comment about if "they were truely a problem they would die out" is astoundingly naive. Rabbits just wont up and die once they reach a large number- they will maintain at whatever level the land will support them- to the exclusion of all else.

And honestly mate, I just about fell off my chair laughing when you talked about introducing natural predators into New Zealand. That has been tried! Stoats and Weasels were introduced in the 1920's soley to deal with rabbits- and guess what? they would mauch rather tuck into the native flightless birds than Peter Rabbit. Been there, done that, abject failure. And as for introducing wolves! Your grasp of nature is , I am afraid to say, lacking. One cannot introduce snakes (!!) into a country that does not have them lightly. (its too cold for snakes anyway) Do you know where New Zealand is?

There is no possibility whatsoever of rabbits ever becoming extinct in New Zealand. Indeed, in the 1930's there was a serious attempt to completely eradicate them from the Country- kill every, single one. It cant be done.

There are extremely serious penalties for killing the large number of endangered birds in this country- endangered in part because of the introduced animals. To give you an idea- and maybe you should google rabbits and australia to get an idea- there is no season whatsoever for introduced rabbits, possums , deer and so on. The only game in this country that has a season is waterfowl. Everything else can be shot all year round.

Finally mate, your logic is lacking. It is OK to shoot one rabbit- but not 900. So what do you say? should I only shoot one a year? Is that your argument? Its OK to kill one rabbit but wrong to shoot more? I estimate this year alone I have shot about 750 rabbits. Have I reached my bag limit?

And to suggest this give hunters a bad name- this competition was covered in all the national newspapers- see that URL I posted- and the main TV news. I doubt any Kiwis got upset by 14,000 rabbits getting shot. In fact, we gave hunters a good name.

From your NBC:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12265571/

Eghad
April 18, 2006, 08:55 PM
He is not amused........:eek:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=18741&stc=1&d=1145411742

Revenge of the Rabbits :eek:

Shorthair
April 19, 2006, 12:05 AM
Proselytizing for PETA, lc?
When you find mouse poop in your pantry, you set a trap, in order to kill the mouse. You clean house, because if you don't do so the pests overrun your habitat and make your home unliveable.
The appropriate target for your distain is/are the idiot(s) who released the pests on the land in the first place. 'Course, they are all dead by now - Death from Afar is just part of the clean-up crew.
Bet you're a city boy. Sorry that you've become so disconnected from reality you conflate pest control with murder.
Why does it matter that there are a million rabbits or only one to change your attitude toward the life of an individual rabbit?
News alert: Because a million is a lot more than just one.
Absolutely pathetic. Hey, if we humans are the problem, at least demonstrate your sincerity by offering to take the first step off the pier.

Shorthair
April 19, 2006, 12:16 AM
Hey, if we humans are the problem, at least demonstrate your sincerity by offering to take the first step off the pier.
I got carried away with his anti-human rant and it was rude to have suggested that.
But I still think he's entirely disconnected and is no authority on the problem our friends in NZ face.

M Jager
April 19, 2006, 02:00 AM
leadcouncil-
Care to tell me what what leads you to believe coyotes are "rare" in N.A.?

As for wolves, they weren't excipated from most of their range because of people wanting to go kill something, but because of fear (even if that fear was unreasonable which is a different debate.) Reintroductions have been successsfull to point of being counter productive. (Hint: you might want to do some research before decide to try to counter this point) And yes I know that wolves will most likely never repopulate a large chunk of their original range for the simple fact that its its not compatable with the modifications humans have made to the landscape. Anyway, around it wolves are still not "rare" in N.A.

Bears: same story as wolves. Again we aren't going to see grizzly bears over much of their traditional landscape because of ecosystem changes in addition to the fact that grizzlies don't play well with humans. In areas that can support Grizzly populations: Canada, Alaska, Yellowstone, the Northern Rockies, etc; research tends to show they are doing quite well.

Black Bears- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is your deffinition of rare Mate? Rare in Iowa? Yes. Rare in N.A.? Your on crack

Mountain Lions? I don't think you want to go there.

Whales: Research market hunting. I'll give you a hint: its the same thing that did in passenger pigeons and pretty much crashed the waterfowl, deer, and turkey populations of much of the U.S. Hate to burst your bubble but it wasn't a bunch of "good ole boys" sayin "hey lets go out and kill a whale today, that sounds like fun."


Its also nice to know that you "make every attempt to purchase meets, eggs, etc. that were humanely raised." Do you ask your t-bone when you pick it up at the store if it was humanely raised? How bout the guy behind the meat counter cause I bet he would know.

Do yourself a favor and do some research on the problems Death from Afar and his mates are having with rabbits, cats, and other non-native species. And no, your PETA newletter doesn't count as "research"

leadcounsel
April 19, 2006, 02:37 AM
(This text is copied from a similar post about varmint hunting that I wrote in today. I'm pasting the relevant text here and adding other thoughts.)

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.

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.

As far as wolves, coyotes, whales, deer and other animals are concerned: Each has their own tragic stories. Bottom line is that whether it is sport killing, being plain ignorant or being wasteful or greedy it's still W-R-O-N-G. I feel sympathy for a thinking person that cannot see that wasteful murder for the sake of entertainment (clearly people here enjoy the "hunt") under the guise of doing some public service is ethically WRONG.

Taken a different angle... maybe it's not the animals that are the problem. Maybe it's the HUMANS that are the sprawling vermin that need to be controlled... I'm not advocating anything nor do I believe it to be necessarily true, I'm simply stirring the pot a little with some controversial thoughts. To take the debate one step further, when it gets to be to the point where we are constantly battling with RABBITS and OPOSSUM and PRAIRIE DOGS for resources, maybe we ought to put on the brakes, step back and examine the situation. What the **** is going on. WE, collectively, have TOO MANY people! We have too many roads, too many buildings, too many parking lots, too many cars, too many homes, too many of EVERYTHING. Where the heck is a wild animal suppose to live without fear of being too close to humans? Without being hunted at night with flashlights from pickup trucks? Without being sniped from 300 meters and left for dead?

As far as the state of affairs for any of the animals you've listed. Name all of the reintroduction or recovery statistics you'd like. The truth is that it is NEWSWORTHY when someone sees a bear or wolf in COLORADO, which was crawling with them a couple centuries ago! That is NOT a good state of affairs my friend. I've been here for nearly 8 years and spend a decent amount of time outside and in the mountains. I have heard coyotes only a few times, have only seen one or two, and have never seen a bear. I find that terribly sad.

If WE could understand their plight and communcate effectively with them, and if given the choice, I'm willing to bet they'd prefer HUMANS to vacate.

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

Death from Afar
April 19, 2006, 04:05 AM
Mate, you still havent answered a single point I made- what is so unethical about shooting in large numbers an introduced pest that is a major risk to native species?

Put this another way- what other options are there? If you can name a single sensable one, you would find full time employment down here in a flash.

MEDDAC19
April 19, 2006, 06:13 AM
Lead, you haven't been wearing your helmet lately have you? Your ignorance of the problems caused by an introduced species is considerable for a learned man. When dealing with an introduced species that is making an extreme ecologic impact, the last thing one should do is introduce additional alien species. You suggested bringing in snakes, whoa really bad advice. Do you know what a brown tree snake is? Check this site for the problem one little snake can do to an island ecosystem. www.fort.usgs.gov/resources/education/bts-home.asp

It seems that whenever someone proclaims their love of animals and the environment, they forget that humans are a part of it! Is a beaver dam that floods 70 acres of hardwoods looked at in the same way as when humans change their habitat? If not,why not? Didn't the beaver just kill thousands of trees and flood the homes of millions of earth dwelling insects and animals? That is natural is the wrong answer if you don't say the same thing about peoples' impact on the earth.

We seem to be awfully egotistical when we reference our ability to impact this planet. A volcano puts out more hydrocarbons in one eruption than we can in years of burning fossil fuels. We may screw up the planet for our own use, but we can not destroy all life on it. No different than the impact the beaver has, just a grander scale. The forces of life will continue on and that's just natural.

Trip20
April 19, 2006, 07:44 AM
Taken a different angle... maybe it's not the animals that are the problem. Maybe it's the HUMANS that are the sprawling vermin that need to be controlled... I'm not advocating anything nor do I believe it to be necessarily true, I'm simply stirring the pot a little with some controversial thoughts.
Bolding mine.

I call BS. You absolutely believe this drivel. You've made the same point in more than one post in this thread... and I'm sure elsewhere.

Why don't you take it upon yourself to start cleansing the earth of the human filth?

I feel sympathy for a thinking person that cannot see that wasteful murder for the sake of entertainment (clearly people here enjoy the "hunt") under the guise of doing some public service is ethically WRONG.

Own any leather shoes, belts, coats... et cetera? Noooo, of course you don't. :rolleyes: Oh, I see it's righteous to murder for fashion, but not to save the land from being overrun by pests.

afsnco
April 19, 2006, 08:25 AM
Yes, we should all just sit around a campfire and peacefully coexist with our animal brothers. Like the little girl in the Cherokee National Forest who was trying to peacefully coexist until a black bear killed her earlier this week. Like the farmers in NZ who can't grow crops as they see fit because of a pestilence of rabbits.

The ability to use our property the way we want, to grow crops or herds, etc., is our right. By your attitude you apparently believe that farmers shouldn't destroy reintroduced wolves who bring down their flock or herd. You also probably object to the killing of the bear that killed the little girl. You obviously think the rabbits' rights are superior to the farmers' rights to use their land as they see fit.

The problem is that you don't even have the courage of your convictions, that you eat the critters you mourn for. You most likely wear leather too. Isn't that supremely hypocritical?

I suggest that you become very successful and make a lot of money. That way you can buy a lot of land. Then you can create the place you apparently dream of. Just don't try to impose your miniscule minority views on the rest of us.

rem33
April 19, 2006, 09:49 AM
about the rabbits,
Sorry for the damage to you country side in NZ. Lots of us ,I am sure, wish we could bring a few rifles and help. keep up the good work..

for the anti-gun/hunter in our mist,
aren't you lost and in the wrong forum?

I learned a long time ago, among other things, to never argue with fools.

leadcounsel
April 19, 2006, 09:55 AM
Three points:

1: The SOLUTION to your rabbit plague is to REINTRODUCE NATURAL PREDATORS AND THEN LET THEM STICK AROUND and don't shoot them! Seems that it would be a great feeding ground for some wolves or coyotes or snakes or predatory birds.

2: YES, I do eat meet. However, the leather I wear is from cows that I've eaten. The chicken and fish that I eat has byproducts that go into dog food that my dog eats. Is this a perfect world? Certainly far from it. I just try to have a more ying/yang attitude about life than many, including to my disappointment fellow gun rights enthusiasts who get a thrill from what I view as cold blooded murder on a grand scale.

3: Regarding property rights: It's a tough ethical dilemma (for some, clearly not for others) but it's clear that if rabbits are destroying crops than the introduction of predators would fix the problem. Is it always practical to not kill those that prey on your property. No. The PROBLEM I have is that you rednecks get such a hoot out of blasting critters as fast as you can reload without a single moment of remorse. I sincerely believe that wasteful and destructive attitude is in need of psychiatric help!

A major problem with humans is our collective ignorance and wasteful attitude. It's interesting that I'm accused of being the ignorant one here, yet it's YOUR wasteful attitudes that have contributed to the wholesale downward spiral and destruction of the earth, environments and species of life. In Denver the wise city council has arbitrarily placed a ban on a certain breed of dog for its alleged violent behavior based on a few media intense news reports. The dog is not substatially statistically more violent than others... but despite this and logical arguments to in support of the dog, these dogs are rounded up and destroyed based on one characteristic; their breed. It doesn't matter that they may be the best dogs or pets in the world. IF they look a certain way, they're destroyed by the hundreds. Now, I ask you, isn't that ignorant, senseless, and wasteful?

Do we have property rights? Of course. Are we mightier than all creatures? Yes, in many ways. Do we have the power of life and death at our whim over all creatures? Absolutely. Can you exercise that power ethically, humanely, compassionately, and wisely? I certainly try to. Do you?

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 10:04 AM
PLEASE, leadcounsel, learn some FACTS! There WERE no predators for the introduced rabbits, in the very beginning! That's WHY the rabbits are a problem. SO: How do you REINTRODUCE what was not there in the first place?

Here's my deal for you: Write no more of your opinions until you've gone back and reviewed this thread for the questions people have asked you.

Answer those questions as best you can.

I will delete any further rudeness toward you. I will delete any more of your opinions until you've answered the questions.

Seems to me that's fair to all of us.

TO ALL: Comments WILL meet the standards of TFL. This is a worthwhile thread and I'm glad leadcounsel showed up. But act like grownups.

:), Art

Death from Afar
April 19, 2006, 01:17 PM
The SOLUTION to your rabbit plague is to REINTRODUCE NATURAL PREDATORS AND THEN LET THEM STICK AROUND and don't shoot them! Seems that it would be a great feeding ground for some wolves or coyotes or snakes or predatory birds.

Mate, have you read what I have said? There were never any natural predators here. Never. The only native animal in the entire country that may eat rabbits is the rare and endangered native falcon, who have a very small range, and that is in the Southern Alps...not farm land. There have never been wolves, coyotes or snakes here. Ever. And, as I pointed out, all the animals that were introduced to look after rabbits tend to chomp on native birds instead ( most of which are flightless, like the Kiwi itself) .

Do you actually know where new zealand is? (It is not part of the continental united states, which you seem to think)

MEDDAC19
April 19, 2006, 01:29 PM
Lead:
Please read the link I provided for your elucidation and stop making the inane suggestion to introduce natural predators for eradication of the rabbits. There were no natural predators there to begin with, thus the over population of the equally unnatural rabbits. It clearly shows how the introduction of a foreign species creates ecological bedlam. Does one pour gasoline on a kerosene fire?

Your argument is circular, bring in predators for the rabbits and then what do you do with the predators? What then if they decide a naturally occurring species is easier prey or their numbers become to large? I guess we then bring more predators to eat the first predators and then we....see what I mean?

afsnco
April 19, 2006, 01:42 PM
leadcounsel,

gun rights enthusiasts who get a thrill from what I view as cold blooded murder on a grand scale.

Sorry, but if you check Black's Law Dictionary, murder is "The unlawful killing of a human being by another with malice aforethought, either express or implied."

You should have known that. Critters ain't human, at least in any scientific or legal way. Why are you using such inflammatory language counselor?:rolleyes: Objection! Sustained! :D

Csspecs
April 19, 2006, 02:18 PM
I have no problem shooting wild house cats that eat native birds here in the states.

I think you guys in NZ have something there. You have made pest removal into a sport!

Me and a few Friends do this spear fishing for carp (fish from Europe that is now in Michigan lakes). For a time you could shoot these 40 lb fish in shalow rivers when they would follow native spicies up to eat their eggs, I heard that shotguns where a blast!

Its also great that you have people using the rabbit meat instead of just leaving it.



As for the PETA person here, I have no idea what their problem is. But they have no idea how stupid they are looking. Rabbits are a HUGE problem in AS and NZ, they were brought in for sport hunting about a hundred years ago (in AS anyway), but no one ever though how big a pest they would become.

Death from Afar
April 19, 2006, 03:48 PM
Firstly, I am glad that I have not offended TFL members for the most part. I am sorry that LC has the view that this is some bizarre ritual whereby we all get off on slaughtering millions of bunnies, but I really dont think he has grasped the numbers we have here. The mere fact 400 guys can shoot 14,000 rabbits in 24 hours should give anyone an idea of the problem.

From this http://www.csiro.au/communication/rabbits/qa2.htm website:

Wild rabbits and the environment

The impact of wild rabbits is particularly serious in dry inland areas where trees and shrubs do not germinate regularly. Rabbits are effective at finding and eating tree seedlings and shrubs. Where native species of trees are planted in farm afforestation programs, rabbits (even at low densities) can destroy up to 90 per cent of seedlings. Many species of arid-zone trees and shrubs are at risk of extinction unless rabbit numbers are permanently reduced to much lower levels.

Wild rabbits are implicated in the decline of many species of native animals. In the south-east of South Australia, the wombat population declined markedly once rabbits invaded the area. By increasing grazing pressure, rabbits have changed the types of feed available for wombats: adult wombats can cope, but not the young. The bilby (or the rabbit-eared bandicoot) was once common throughout southern Australia. We now know that bilbies usually disappear from an area within 10 years of rabbits arriving. The bilby is now endangered and only found in isolated areas of central Australia where rabbits are absent. Wild rabbits also affect native wildlife by supporting feral predators particularly the European fox.

Problems caused by rabbits often go unrecognised by the untrained eye until it is too late. Brian Cooke is Australia's leading rabbit ecologist. His article, 'Rabbits - Indefensible on any grounds' (Cooke 1991), emphasises the impact of wild rabbits on Australia's environment.

* In arid and semi-arid parts of Australia rabbits at a density of only one to two per hectare could find and eat all Acacia seedlings (Lange and Graham 1983).
* For the mallee area, where rabbits at a density of little more than three per hectare were eliminated, all sheoaks Allocasuarina verticillata regenerated (Cooke 1987).
* Rabbit densities of six to seven per hectare are common in arid zones.
* Henzell (1988) estimated losses at $17.4 million annually in livestock production due to competition with rabbits in South Australia's arid zone.

David Lord, a primary producer in western New South Wales, can trace damage caused by wild rabbits and the enormous effort and cost involved in rabbit control through experience on his property, Thackaringa Station.

* Rabbit populations of less than three per hectare can maintain the dominance of introduced plants. But when rabbits are excluded, native grasses can replace introduced species. (Annual species cannot withstand drought conditions, so they dry up and expose the soil to winds which can result in dust storms). Perennials are well adapted to the harsh environment but not the intense grazing pressure of the relentless and voracious appetite of rabbits. Perennials (bluebush and saltbush) are high in protein so are better for livestock.
* In "Johnson's paddock" which has a carrying capacity of only 600 sheep 2,000 warrens have been ripped. The number of rabbits per warren vary from 10 to 50, depending on the amount of green feed available. The 2,000 warrens could therefore house 20,000 to 100,000 rabbits. Ten rabbits eat as much as one sheep, the equivalent of at least 2,000 sheep in just one paddock. That's bad news for the land.
* Average warren density on Thackaringa is about one warren every 2.5 hectares. Even if only one rabbit lived in each warren, the population would be enough to prevent the regeneration of native seedlings.
* There is a whole suite of plant species and dependent animals threatened with severe range-contraction or extinction. Rabbits make this problem worse.
* The value of lost production due to rabbits is more than $115 million annually just for the wool industry in Australia. A new study now puts the total cost to the agricultural industry at around $600 million per year. This doesn't take into account environmental damage and the effects on the sustainability of future landuse.
* Rabbits pressure native wildlife by competing for food, particularly under drought conditions.
* Rabbits hinder the regeneration of native plant species. Rabbits eat more seedlings per year in Australia than could be planted in a decade of tree-planting. They also select the most nutritious parts of plants.
* Rabbits can graze plants to ground level and eat roots, which sheep and cattle can't do because of their different grazing abilities.
* Areas heavily grazed by rabbits can lose all perennial plant species like bluebush and salt-bush which can lead to woody weed invasion, pasture instability and reduced carrying capacity of the land.
* Rabbits are implicated in the decline of many species of native animals. For example, there are 13 species of native animals known to be extinct in the Broken Hill region. According to Danielle Ayers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, these include the western quoll, pig-footed bandicoot, golden bandicoot, western barred bandicoot, bilby, greater stick-nest rat, long-tailed hopping mouse, plains rat, long-haired rat, and probably burrowing bettong, brush-tailed bettong, eastern hare-wallaby and gould's mouse and another 22 species are now endangered.
* The benefits to the land from reduced stocking rates will not be realised unless factors such as rabbits, woody weeds, and destruction of native animals and habitat by feral animals can be brought under control.

Rabbits in New Zealand

Rabbits occupy 55 per cent of New Zealand, from sea level to 2000 metres. In the drier tussock grasslands rabbits have denuded land causing soil erosion and loss of species. In other parts of New Zealand rabbits compete for pasture and impede the establishment of tree crops.

While predators, particularly ferrets, are an important means of rabbit control, they are also known to be infected with Tb (one of the country's greatest agricultural threats) in many areas. If it proves necessary to control ferrets to help reduce Tb in livestock, a significant increase in rabbit control will be required. The maintenance of ferret populations by rabbits also affects the conservation of native species, particularly ground nesting or burrowing species such as penguins.

Most rabbit control in New Zealand is by poisoning using aerial and ground applied baits (1080 and pindone) and shooting. In some areas rabbits now avoid baits and 1080 poison, reducing the effectiveness of these methods.

The cost of rabbit control remains high (over $20 per hectare in some areas) and all control costs are met by landholders. The national production losses and control costs are a minimum of $22 million annually.

Attempts to introduce myxomatosis to New Zealand in 1951/52 were unsuccessful. The failure of the disease to establish was probably due to a lack of biting insects which are an important means of transmitting the myxoma virus. An application to again release the myxoma virus (and rabbit flea) was made in 1993. This application was declined partly due to animal welfare concerns and because initial results of research on rabbit calicivirus in Australia were suggesting that it could be a more effective and humane biological control for wild rabbits.

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 04:07 PM
One thing I've found about those who get emotional about human interactions with the environment on an individual basis is that they have almost no technical knowledge of environmental issues. I'm an engineer by profession, so what rips me out of the frame is the resistance to learning facts and the meanings thereof.

An example: An elementary school teacher in Austin, Texas, was found to have been telling her fifth graders that the whitetail deer was an endangered species due to all that hunting. About that same time, there were numerous articles in the paper and coverage on television of the way that the northwestern edges of the metro area were being overrun with deer--mostly due to the lack of hunting and the absence of any predators.

Maybe it's our educational system. When you point out that deer, rabbits, rats and hogs have an exponential population growth rate, you get blank looks and no understanding of the meaning.

Art

Death from Afar
April 19, 2006, 04:20 PM
Art, you should come downunder. We can shoot stuff and laugh like maniacs at the sight of those cute, mangled bunnies. ( last bit was a joke BTW)

Csspecs
April 19, 2006, 04:38 PM
How does one go about rabbit shooting. Do you need a permit or anything?

Death from Afar
April 19, 2006, 05:19 PM
There is no game season for any animals in New Zealand except for waterfowl. Any other mammal that can be hunted- which does not include protected birds and mammals ranging from native birds to marine mammals- can be legally hunted at any time of the year. No permit is required. Hunting licences are required for waterfowl. Most farmers will cheerfully let you shoot rabbits all year round.

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 06:22 PM
The rice farmers in Costa Rica will darned near provide room and board for folks who'd shoot those nasty whitewing doves that eat the crop. In Texas, guys pay pretty big money for a good dove-hunting lease. :)

Art

12-34hom
April 19, 2006, 07:28 PM
DFA - Have 410 - Will Travel.....:p

12-34hom.

Shorthair
April 19, 2006, 08:57 PM
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.

Our concerned activist thinks that killing coyotes and Native Americans is essentially the same thing. Love to see how the descendants of slaves would feel hearing that this guy believes that enslavement is no worse than pest control.
His britches are all twisted up in knots over our evnvironmental abuses - he should see how the commies treated their environment. Wanna talk waste and pollution and poverty and slavery and murder and deforestation all in one word? Communism. But he reserves a special distain for Americans, and apparently New Zealanders, who are, of course, the same thing.
Here's another point. We didn't steal this nation, our Founding Fathers presented us with a legacy of democratic federalism, which is so far the greatest political system ever devised.
The white man was technologicaly more efficient, true, but North America was not a paradise before 1492. Read the history of the Native Americans, they weren't singing kumbaya with the buffalo, some tribes slaughtered entire herds by driving them off cliffs, taking what they could carry and leaving the rest to rot. There was warfare, and slavery and human sacrifice, and abuse of the environment conducted by the natives long before the white man set foot on this or other continents. They were, after all, humans.
LC, human is not a 4 letter word.
His premise begs the question: Does LC believe the world and the continent would be better off if the white man had never landed on the Americas or New Zealand?
By they way, Counselor, killing varmints isn't murder, its pest control. If your knickname reflects your place in the legal profession, you should be able to discern the difference.

rnovi
April 19, 2006, 10:09 PM
Interesting debate here. I for one, AM OFFENDED by DFA...

You haven't bought me a plane ticket and a case of .22 ammo yet!!!

Trying to compare the rabbit population to the carrier pigeon (which I am sure have LC) is not a fair comparison. As far as I know, the carrier pigeon wasn't decimating hillsides and destroying farms. (someone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong). Carrier pigeons were decimated for no other reason that sport. I mean, come on! 4-bore and larger shot cannons blasting a dozen birds from the sky just for "sport"??? We could say the same about the Bison slaughters of the 1800's...

Rabbits in NZ are a pest. Let's keep this in mind.

Perhaps, LC, you own a nice house in suburbia, with a lovely manicured lawn in the good part of town. Perhaps you own a nice car, have a nice job, a lovely wife, kids in school and a couple dogs. You are an upstanding citizen of your township. Good! We ALL aspire to that!

Except your back lawn is in shambles, torn up, barren splotches of land. Your front lawn is no better. All your neighbors are concerned. Your dog just broke his foot for the third time on a tunnel hole.

GOPHERS have overrun your home! GOPHERS!!!

What would you do? Introduce a non-native species to eradicate them?

I can tell you exactly what I have done: I gassed em, hosed em, pellet-gunned em, called in the professional exterminators, and complained to my association.

And don't tell me we just need more native species! I have 60# coyotes that run through my neighborhood that blast bunnies, housepets, dogs, and cats that go outside (RIP Nero, 16# of loving feline stupidity killed on my front lawn).

I live in Anaheim Hills, CA. Zip is 92807. Track of 480 condo's. Go ahead and google-earth it. My backyard is 6 FEET wide, ten FEET long and has a dozen (kid you not) gopher holes in it. I have rabbits that have torn what's left of my lawn to shreds. I have three deer that live in my neighborhood and at least two dozen coyotees that are stupidly well fed (30+ inches at the shoulder!)

Sometimes the answer IS to whack the snot out of nature.

I do not feel bad putting a pellet through the head of a rabbit or a gopher. I feel bad for the kid that broke his foot playing on the lawn the other day and the dog that dislocated his leg at the elbow.

Unlike the carrier pigeon, man IS smart enough today to recognize the environmental disasters he has caused. Today, we actually try to fix it. And today, I believe, we will do our best not to eradicate a species.

1. Bison have returned from near extinction to numbers great enough to justify limited hunting.
2. California Condors have been breeding outside of captivity and are making a slow rebound.
3. California Big Horn Sheep, for the first time in I don't know how long, have been actively hunted - 9 (NINE) tags were issued and 9 sheep were harvested.

The bunny populus in NZ need to be trimmed. They are not a native species. And they are not in danger of decimation. IF they WERE a native species I am sure that steps would be taken by the people of NZ to protect it.

As for me, I intend to vanquish every damn gopher I see in my backyard. And while smaller than NZ by some considerable amount, I will still see it through.

chemist308
April 19, 2006, 10:27 PM
Easter Bunny Shoot??!! LMAO!
That's awesome. I've always held the opinion that PA should move rabbit season to start on Good Friday :) Then again I've also always believed that groundhog day was actually opening day for groundhog--"Now here comes our resident celebrity, Punxatawney phil...Does he see his shadow?--" BOOM! :D

M Jager
April 20, 2006, 02:14 AM
LC,
You have stated twice now that coyotes are rare in N.A.

The fact that you do not know that coyotes are more numerous and widespead now than they EVER were tells me something. The fact that you don't know the basic ecological principals for why this is the case tells me even more? Want to make a guess what its telling me.

So you don't care about scientific studies, I guess you know better. I've studied wildlife biology at a major state university for four years, worked on major wolf and grizzly bear studies (the bear study was 4 times larger than any large carnivore study previously conducted), studied under and worked for the worlds leading wolf biologist, worked for and studied under the leading researching on grizzly bears, spend countless hours talking with experts on mountain lions, bears, coyotes, and bobcats. I guess you know more though because you've walked around in the woods and didn't see anything.

Since you seem to know so much about wildlife biology and virtually every scientist and biologist in the country must be full of **** because they all think coyotes are quite numerous I encourage you to set the record straight. Write an article for the Journal of Wildlife Management. (A man of "wisdom" would be aware of this publication I would think). I can see your article now:

Introduction: Peta and I say there are few coyotes in N.A.
Methods: I walk around in the woods located at XYZville, colorado and look for critters.
Results: I don't see any coyotes.
Discussion: There are obviously very few coyotes in N.A. because I didn't see any in XYZville, colarado.
Literature Cited: www.peta.com

I'm sure your article would be published and the scientific community would be humbled by your breakthrough scientific methods and findings. You'd be the next Aldo Leupold of wildlife biology.

And yes, I am still waiting to hear about how you go about insuring your meat came from a cow that was humanly raised.............

DFA:
Please PM me, I have something I would to ask you about.

Superhornet
April 20, 2006, 08:53 AM
rnovi-----------you mean Passenger Pigeon ???

rnovi
April 20, 2006, 10:25 AM
My Bad! Yep, Passenger Pigeon!

(PS: that'll teach me not to post at midnight anymore...well, maybe not!)

Art Eatman
April 20, 2006, 11:47 AM
If no hunters existed, the mortality rate among quail and doves is roughly 80% each year. As I understand it, the Passenger Pigeon ran more toward 90% each year.

The demise was due to two factors: First, deforestation that created what we now call "farmland". (Where do you think all that early-American walnut furniture came from?) Ohio, Indiana, that general area. Next, market hunters who would go to roost-trees at night and club the birds in vast numbers--wagonloads--for sale to hotels and other restaurants for commercial sale for food. Thus loss of habitat coupled with over-harvest led to extinction.

Bison: The near-extinction was due in large part to official U.S. Government policy: Destroy the commissary of the Plains Indians. In essence, starve the Indians into submission. This paralleled the slaughter of Plains Indians' horses in such places as Palo Duro Canyon in Texas; that act greatly reduced mobility.

In neither species was any sort of controlled sport hunting involved. "Controlled" as we have it today, with laws brought about almost exclusively by the sport hunters themselves.

Art

"Those who don't know history will presume to lecture to those who do."

mikejonestkd
April 20, 2006, 02:39 PM
Death from afar,

I can offer my services and rifle to the cause, As long as the rabbits are put to good use then there should be no problem ethically.

M Jager
April 20, 2006, 03:44 PM
Art,

IIRC, the best guess estimates on mourning doves is 70% mortality first year then around 50% for following years. Can't think what qual are offhand.

Matt

kingudaroad
April 21, 2006, 01:33 PM
I think it's very amusing that someone who not only has no interest in hunting, and even feels that hunting is unethical would choose to post his ideas in a forum titled HUNTING.

I know you tried to welcome his opinion Art, but it seems a little trollish to me.

I bet if there was a forum titled "Redneck Hunting", he would be lurking around there also.:D

NedreckSavant
April 21, 2006, 02:27 PM
My new favorite quote...

I am seriously going to have to give some thought to vacationing to n.z. sometime...I remember letting my friends drive my big lifted truck while I hung on for dear life in the back, and thinking to myself, I sure wish I had a gun and thousands of things to shoot at. Has anyone else also given thought to the skills that shooting moving targets gives you? Unless you plan upon being a peaceable man your entire life...but what about the nimble zomies?!

Seriously though, I had some qualms about varmint hunting and leaving the carcass of something you really don't want to eat, but it seems that by 'recycling' your 'used' bunnies into dogfood, everything is as it should be, and the cycle continues. If anything, they have a better reason to hunt than most of us.

And who picks up the thousands of bunnies? the shooters or your 'squires'?

And finally, I'd only wish for one thing at a bunny hunt like that...a street sweeper!

psycho nut
April 22, 2006, 12:01 AM
If I could afford it I would love to come down there and help you out.:D And who does pick up all of the rabbits, there's a lot of 'em.

jonutarr
April 22, 2006, 05:34 AM
Lead you are truly an ignoramus and have no idea how ecosystem work

Maybe you should step on a plane and come down here to Australia or New Zealand and find out the destruction to the native wildlife and the natural land

take the Bilby for one of many examples:

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3016/bilby1appreciation3li.jpg

The Bilby has gone from being a very prolific animal in Australia, once covering more than 70% of the mainland, to near extinction and surviving on the edges of Australia's great arid regions
Reasons for decline include:-
1) Introduced rabbits, cats and foxes took over the land the Bilbys used to inhabit
2) Feral cats and foxes hunted and eat Bilbys
3) Hunting first by Aboriginals for food, and then Europeans for the pelts
4) Eating poison put down to control the ballooning population growth of the feral rabbit
http://home.iprimus.com.au/readman/bilby.htm

Introducing foreign predators is the dumbest thing ive read on this forum
they cute animals are on the brink of extinction because of ignorance like yours,

Wake up and see people like DFA are the real greenies

And if us hunters dont stick together this will be the only rabbit shooting available to us:
lol
http://www.madmick3006.com/AHN/Jb747/3006_bunny_1.jpg

http://www.madmick3006.com/AHN/Jb747/3006_bunny_2.jpg

Art Eatman
April 22, 2006, 12:58 PM
:) kingudaroad, I guess my problem comes from my engineering background and training:

FIRST: Learn the facts as best as I can. (Doesnt' mean perfection; e.g., 80% vs. 70%; I wouldn't argue either way.)

THEN: Draw conclusions and form opinions.

By the time you get to be my age, the majority of conclusions come from direct observation, not from what other people have said. Those other people just may not have a clue what they're talking about. Ergo, a leadcounsel's sincere but mistaken opinions.

Sincerity, repetition and db level do not combine to create Truth.

Art

Death from Afar
April 22, 2006, 04:50 PM
Wow, I didnt realise that this thread would spark so much interest.

Firstly, my mate Grant posted some pictures on his web blog ( which is mainly right wing political stuff, but if you scroll down about 1/3 of the way you will see the rabbits) Oddly, Grant is a defence lawyer (!!) which means that he should be my naturall enemy, but hes a top man. ( just bought one of the new laminated 870's, nice)

http://www.nzpundit.com/

OK, so how does the whole thing work? Well, the shoot lasts for 24 hours. At the start of the day the areas on which you are shooting are drawn by ballot. This is the one bit you have no control over- if you get a good block you will shoot well, get a bad one and you may only get 200 rabbits, which would be a real blow. So, to an extent its luck of the draw.

Our team was mainly Army dudes, or lawyers. A few guys had done the hard yards in Iraq and Afghanistan , so were pretty switched on.

There then tends to be a bit of a "gumball Rally" as everyone races out to their assigned areas, where you meet with the Farmer, and get the lay of the land. A good recce is invaluable. During the day most of the shooting tends to be on foot, with the dead rabbits put in piles for collecting later on. ATV's and Quads are great at this stage.

At night, everyone is shooting from pimped out "mad Max" type vehicles- 4WD trucks being the vehicle of choice. A key bit of gear is the "cage" on the back, which is noramlly welded steel which gives the shooters something to hang on to, a place to stash ammo, spare magazines, thermos, cigars and all the other shooting gear. We worked on 5 men per vehicle ( one of teams key rules is - no chicks) a driver, a spotlighter, 2 shooters, and a picker upper, normally armed with a portbale spotlight and a .22 if a finishing shot is needed. Everyone rotates through the roles, because weirdly driving and working the light is as much fun as shooting- chasing a rabbit a 60 miles and hour across fields with everyone blazing away is so much fun it should be illegal. Probably is in some states.

By about 6am you are asking yourslef "why do i do this to myself every year?" but then the sun comes up and its alright. Normally you go back to foot patrols.

The weapons we used are- Ruger 10/22's are a must have. Loaded with subsonic ammo and silencers during the day, and stingers at night, they are great for those long range shots. In our truck one gun ruled them all- the Remington 870. I had an 870 P ( The "hose of death") which was useless outside 10 yards, but ideal for those moving shots at close range, and my 870 wingmaster with a full choke, and there were two other 870 Magnum express. You will see that from the photo- just some of the guns we had were ( from left to right- Remington 1100, a Saiga 12 gauge with red dot, a ruger 10/22, a benelli, another 10/22, the hose of death and i think another 10/22)

We used 32 gram loads of Fiocchi # 4 during the day, and 36 gram loads of #5 at night, which got a bit painfull by the fouth case.

Needless to say, we would be delighted to host any of you chaps over here.

Art Eatman
April 22, 2006, 11:13 PM
:) that's a large scale version of what I and some buddies did as kids. We were around 14 years or so.

My grandfather had a 1935 Dodge sedan. The headlights were on nacelles, not faired into the fenders. Great for a kid to straddle and hook bootheels into the front bumper.

We'd drive around the pastures with flashlights and .22s, shooting rabbits.

Y'all are just sorta "upscale", way down yonder in Noo Zealand. :) "The only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys."

Bedtime, here. Nighty-bye,

Art

Death from Afar
April 24, 2006, 03:34 PM
Old Lead Counsel has gone rather quiet on this one....

FirstFreedom
April 24, 2006, 04:40 PM
Sincerity, repetition and db level do not combine to create Truth.

Aww, that is a classic quote there from Art. I might have to make that my sig.

DFA, do you have any more pictures besides that one (though that one is impressive).

For the record, I think that leadcounsel's viewpoint/paradigm/way of thinking is demented. And he think that mine/ours is. No one is necessarily right or wrong, IMO.

NRA4life
April 24, 2006, 04:54 PM
This whole thread harkens me back to yesteryear when I hunted snowshoe hare in Northern Wisconsin. We'd get 15-20 of us together with a pack of beagles and kill 200+ in a good weekend. .22 was the weapon of choice. We'd go through several hundred rounds or more apiece. Great fun. We had so much meat, we'd bone them out and grind it into hamburger.

calvinike
April 24, 2006, 05:07 PM
Let me see...

Leadcounsel thinks it would be OK to introduce a non-native predator and kill thousands of rabbits. But it is wrong for people to do it? What am I missing?

Art Eatman
April 24, 2006, 09:24 PM
Guys like counsel aren't Bad Guys. The problem for many is that they don't know what they don't know. I've always felt very lucky that the "just accidental" aspects of my various jobs had me spending four years brain-picking on a bunch of wildlife biologist from such diverse entities as Texas Parks & Wildlfe, USF&WS and the National Marine Fisheries. I don't know the Latin names, but I learned a bunch about inter-relationships in various ecosystems. And, of course, growing up around farming and ranching and some sixty + years of ratting around the outdoors.

Doesn't make me any big deal; I've just had the good luck to be where I was when I was.

So, learning the facts before forming the opinions has made life easy. It's kept me from looking the fool in front of folks who knew a heckuva lot more than I did. :D

Sometimes...

Art

Death from Afar
April 25, 2006, 03:29 PM
DFA, do you have any more pictures besides that one (though that one is impressive).

I'll get my mate to add a few more. Wait out...