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Old May 9, 2012, 01:33 PM   #51
MLeake
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Hansam,

I know quite a few guys who like to hunt coyotes and prairie dogs because they can. These are not people who are concerned about predation on livestock, nor on prairie dog holes breaking a horse's leg. They are just guys who like shooting the critters, and who can do so at will because those animals are considered fair game where they live (due to damage to livestock).

I don't know anybody who eats coyote or prairie dog.

A lot of guys kill wild hogs whenever possible. The meat does get used on those, in general. Again, those animals are considered fair game in many places because they damage crops. Yet, most of the guys I know who hunt hogs are not farmers - they are guys who like to hunt.

My point again being, don't make this a moral issue about the evil feral cats. If you place a value on the animals they kill, and if feral cats are legal prey where you live, then have fun. But a lot of humans behave in much the same way as those cats do.
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Old May 9, 2012, 06:04 PM   #52
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Nuisance animal hunting can be touchy and has different set of standards than game hunting. I go about hunting them based on the threat the animal poses, amount of damage and whether or not they are native.

1. Pigs, all pigs will die on sight within the confines of a safe, responsible shot...no matter the final disposition of the meat.

2. Raccoons, will be shot or trapped if a number of occurrences dead chickens, damaged food stores,ect.....raccoons that stay in raccoon land and do raccoon activities, will not be actively hunted.
A. Skunks will usually be dealt with but not always.
B. Possums and others as needed.

3. Coyotes, usually hunted for fun. Most are not particularly harmful.....however, some are, I do not seek coyotes that do not reside in the immediate vicinity, but nothing is 100% when it comes to coyotes. Coyotes can be a challenge, so, I consider them to have a sporting chance.
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Old May 9, 2012, 08:42 PM   #53
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As sportsmen and hunters we only kill what we have tags for or what is allowed for us to kill during the specified season and that we have licenses for. We have a bag limit and a possession limit and we obey those limits. We also don't kill random song birds, protected species and anything else unfortunate enough to cross our path.

Feral cats on the other hand have no concern for tags, seasons, bag limits etc. They don't give a darned if a bird is a song bird, game bird or freaking protected species. They just kill it. Seen plenty of them stalk and kill then leave the carcass lay because they just saw the prey. That was really what proved to me they should be destroyed on sight.
Not a cat fanatic, but whoah! I think you need to reread your post. You do realize you just compared cats (instinctive predatory animals) to humans (usually intelligent, intellectually evolved, morality-aware, ape-like creatures)? And formulated a judgement from that comparison?

Quote:
There's hunting for sport - which would be most of us here - then there's just killing every darned thing you come across that you can kill because you feel like it - which is every feral cat out there.
Yes, and you just described animal or cat "sport." Lots of other animals do it, such as Killer Whales. Surprise, surprise.

But hey, I have no issue with anyone dealing with feral or nuisance animals. I do however take issue with your logic. And heres why; it's the same logic certain extreme environmentalists use against us (humans) about how we kill animals for sport and rape the planet for our own benefit. Like you, they say that we (humans), should be exterminated and balance restored.

Again, I have no problem with feral cat elimination, just please don't use arguments the bunny-cuddlers can beat you over the head with..

Last edited by Tickling; May 9, 2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old May 9, 2012, 10:11 PM   #54
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Why is there a difference between pets and feral cats. How can/do you know the difference? Is there a difference-both groups will kill and and all!!

Neighbor has some she feeds and wonders why they dont leave. Other neighbor has one and a 'cat door' and NO litter box. My wife is just about done cleaning up the flower beds.

THis is kinda like the various 'pit ranges' that slobs leave all kinda of junk for someone else to clean up.
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Old May 9, 2012, 10:23 PM   #55
Hansam
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MLeake - You are correct that there are those who hunt coyote and shoot prairie dogs purely because they can. I personally shoot coyote on sight too because I train dogs and as such they can be a threat to the dogs I train. I however do not hunt coyote that don't decide to make their homes on my property and training grounds. I do not begrudge others the choice to hunt coyote though nor do I condemn them for it. We don't have prairie dogs here so I really can't comment on that.

That said you have to understand that these hunters are hunting a species that typically have a reproduction rate that easily exceeds the rate at which they are being killed - even with human predation. Coyote have few if any natural predators in many areas - and regardless of how hard I try to eliminate the coyote population in and around my area I do find them returning now and then. Again I won't touch on prairie dogs because I don't have them here.

Now about cats - they hunt everything that comes across their path and is within their killable size. As was stated by another poster they do this instinctively - they are nature's nearly perfect killing machines and they prove this consistently. I haven't got a problem with wild cats. I do have a problem with feral cats. Feral cats are a problem that was created by humans. This is one of those problems that will not go away till humans intervene and eliminate it.

Tickling - I believe you need to reread my post. I did indeed make a comparison between humans and feral cats. I did so with the intent to show that humans ARE sentient - they have morals and rules that they obey. They set limits for themselves and remain within those limits when hunting.

Feral cats on the other hand are NOT a natural occurrence - rather a human made problem - that does not have the capacity to understand that certain species of birds are restricted from hunting or that some animals are protected by human law. They ONLY behave instinctively - instincts that we as humans have distilled within them through time and selective breeding - and as such they kill even when not hungry.

Wild cats do not do this. True wild cats only kill when hungry or threatened. For a feral cat its not even about sport since animals do not have the capacity to determine the difference between sport and necessity. In the feral cat's mind it is doing what it was created to do - something it sees as a necessity - kill every small creature that it comes across.

You are correct that I worded one sentence incorrectly however my logic is correct. Of course even had I worded it correctly anyone could twist what I had written to mean anything they wish. Look at you and your perception of the post. A bunny hugger would easily pervert my post to become something it isn't... however any post here could be perverted like that.

Regardless of how one feels about hunting though it MUST be understood that complete and utter eradication is the ONLY solution to the growing problem that humans created out of "love" for their pet cats... This is a problem that must be tackled on two fronts though. One front is the issue of educating cat owners so they do NOT allow their cats to roam outside and be given the chance to go feral. The second front is the total destruction of the entire feral cat population in this country. Both fronts are as enormous and difficult a task as it is to devise a machine to prevent earthquakes. However if we at least tackle one front as best we can as responsible citizens of this planet we might be able to at least mitigate or minimize the negative impact that these creatures have on our natural resources.
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Old May 9, 2012, 10:40 PM   #56
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Hansam, I would suggest that your "feral cats as man-made problem" argument is stronger and more defensible than the argument that feral cats are not selective killers, and that they don't kill for food.

The man-made problem and man-trained behaviors argument is more persuasive, and doesn't allow antis the easy attacks that the previous argument allowed, IMO.
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Old May 10, 2012, 03:33 AM   #57
gyvel
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Quote:
feral cats are EVIL. Predation for boredom's sake? Cull them early and often.
Bull. Cats have no sense of morality and only do what their instincts tell them to do. Small, domestic cats are almost identical, genetically, to their larger counterparts (lions, tigers, panther, cougars, etc.) and have evolved to be predators.

Interestingly, my own personal observations over the years have been that people who really loathe and detest cats are people who like to "control" things. Cats have evolved in this world to be predators and predators are focused animals, i.e. when they are hunting, they shut out all other stimulii and concentrate only on finding that prey.
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Old May 10, 2012, 08:57 AM   #58
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I make this distinction as to whether or not a cat is pet or is it feral....

If it is on my place it is feral as I own no pet cats that belong here...

After each one is killed, I check for collars and claws... I have dropped a few with collars but all had claws and no microchip has been found during skinning...

Not that the presence of a chip would matter to me...

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Old May 10, 2012, 07:49 PM   #59
Art Eatman
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langenc, since I don't live in town and have no pet house cat, any cat I see is a feral.

Basically, cats in rural areas or wilderness are feral, which is where the main problems arise. Lotsa cats means fewer songbirds, quail, squirrels, rabbits...

Sure, there are feral cats in towns, but since it's against the law to shoot and you have people there who love ALL cats: There's little point in talking about them.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:40 AM   #60
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hogdogs, I've always wondered; how many ways ARE there to skin a cat?
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Old May 13, 2012, 08:01 AM   #61
shortwave
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My determination of feral cat versus pet, mirrors that of hogdogs.

Too, the logic of the reason for the feral cat epidemic that Hansam expresses, I also agree with. That being that its a human created problem.

It's very simple:
Pet owners should keep their pets at home...and I should add...should keep their pets under control when they are with them away from home.

It's not my neighbors job to clean after my pets. My neighbor shouldn't fear walking out his/her own house to meet my 135lb. shepherd showing his teeth at them any more then that same neighbor should have to be working in their flower bed with the pleasant aroma of my cat using their flower bed as a litter box.

For some strange reason, many cat owners seem to think it's ok to let their feline's run free. Here in the country,that seems to be the general attitude.
I will also say that here in the country, it is generally accepted that if my pet is on my neighbors property disturbing them and my pet doesn't come home, I have no gripe.
Therefore, since I love my pets, I've taken the time(many hours)and expense of proper training to insure my neighbors are not bothered by my pets.

Again, my pets are my responsibility.
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Old May 13, 2012, 08:32 AM   #62
MLeake
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Funny, where I grew up (Maine suburbs) indoor cats were a rarity. Cats roamed; that's what cats did.

There was even a speech written on this (before I was born) by Adlai Stevenson, regarding a leash law bill.

Meanwhile, based on the past couple days, the threat to birds around here seems to come from my west facing windows... Woodpecker yesterday, Starling this morning... We should ban windows, or require images of raptors or snakes be painted on them.

Edit: Another thought - How many of the people here, who are ostensibly worried about damage to bird populations (stated primary reason for wanting to shoot or control feral cats) were in favor of killing the Keystone Pipeline? I ask this because my in-laws (bird watchers, though my FIL is also a turkey hunter) were opposed to the Keystone, as it would have run fairly close to where we live, and theoretically threatened bird populations in Nebraska and Missouri in the event of a spill. Yet an awful lot of people were more concerned about possible pipeline building jobs, or possible reductions in net oil prices, than they were about birds.

So, again, what makes people any better than or different from cats?

Last edited by MLeake; May 13, 2012 at 08:45 AM.
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:06 AM   #63
rickyrick
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Regular food and water, and a cat won't roam. Mine stay in the yard. Even at my buddy's that feeds the cats at his farm, they dont go anywhere. So, its a matter of feeding them to keep them home. Dogs need some type of containment, unless performing a task in which they were trained.
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:21 AM   #64
MLeake
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Since you mention that, rickyrick: My parents regularly put out food and water for their semi-adopted cat, yet she still roams the neighborhood where they live. Turns out four or five families have adopted that same cat, and they also put out food and water.

I think it depends on what options exist for the cat.

Meanwhile, I'm a dog person. We either use containment, or are out with the dogs, or else the dogs are inside with us. I'm less worried about my dogs doing harm, than I am about them encountering fast-moving cars, but I realize that dogs can have radical behavior changes if they hook up with a pack. Best to avoid the whole thing. If one of my dogs does manage to pull a Houdini, their dog tags all have my wife's and my cell phone numbers. (This has come in handy before; some dogs are very creative about getting over or under fences.)

Other than keeping a cat in the house, or a screened porch, or a cat carrier, I don't know of any outdoor enclosure that will reliably contain a cat.
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Old May 13, 2012, 11:40 AM   #65
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Funny, where I grew up (Maine suburbs) indoor cats were a rarity. Cats roamed; that's what cats did.
Yep, that's what they did in the neighborhood I grew up in as well. And the non cat owners of the neighborhood didn't like it any better then than they do today. The same laws that apply to dogs should apply to felines as well. IMO, again, part of responsible pet ownership whether the pet be lions,tigers,bears, K9's or cats is keep them at your own house.
I've got my own to take care of.

Where I presently live, we have a neighbor that puts dog and cat food out on their side porch for all the strays people tend to drop off in rural areas. This area is notorious for stray, unwanted pets. These same neighbors can't seem to figure out why they can't keep coons from burrowing under their house and don't understand why they have such a rat/mouse/opposum problem. The old guy called me about the coons living in their crawl space. As we were talking he also explained that he didn't understand the rat/mouse problem in his house with all the cats around.
With respect, I suggested that they not put out on their porch a daily ten course meal for every rodent known to man. He replied that he/wife felt sorry for all the strays people drop off and feel the need to feed them.


At any rate, these strays eventually make their way down the lane to my house were they are eventually eliminated. Now I've got animals and am responsible for their health and vet bills. Their are many diseases transmitted from animal to animal and since I care for my pets, I don't feel the obligation to have one of my pets get sick cause some irresponsible human let their pets run free or didn't want them any more and dropped them off in the country.


As many as I've eliminated over the years, there just never seems to be an end to the supply.

Quote:
My parents regularly put out food and water for their semi-adopted cat, yet she still roams the neighborhood where they live. Turns out four or five families have adopted that same cat, and they also put out food and water
MLeake,
I have a question for you along the lines of regularly setting food out for strays.

If a person is setting food out for a 'semi-adopted' stray and that stray causes another person harm or financial hardship, should the semi-adoptive owner/owners be held responsible for damages?

Last edited by shortwave; May 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM.
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Old May 13, 2012, 11:41 AM   #66
Art Eatman
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I dunno how many hundred thousand miles of oil and gas pipelines there are in the US. Spill-type leaks are a rarity. The pipelines have automatic shutdowns for pressure drops.

The volume of spillage is low. Maybe cover an acre or three? Not enough to hurt any bird population beyond the occasional ground-nesting sort's nest. Far more birds are lost to wind generators and TV/radio towers.

But the nationwide total of "all of the above" is much less than what feral cats do in each and every individual state.
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Old May 13, 2012, 12:27 PM   #67
MLeake
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shortwave, I tend to agree that putting out a buffet for random critters is unwise. When my wife had barn cats, their food was put up on a rafter, where the cats could get it, but most of the other critters that might be able to get it would have to run the cat gauntlet.

As far as my parents and their neighbors... I guess they don't worry about raccoons and opossums (Florida; they have plenty of both).

With regard to your liability question, what extreme would you like to use? Should a person who puts out a bird feeder or keeps berry-bearing trees and bushes bear liability for the neighbor's car washing costs? Or should people who put out salt licks for deer be liable for any potential damage done to area crops, by deer transiting to and from the licks?

It's an easy game to play, really, just keep going up a notch.

My basic take on the lot, though, is that animals behave like animals. If you need to control them due to potential harms to your livestock, crops, etc, then so be it. My point is that it is a utilitarian argument, not a moral argument. Some people here are demonizing the critters for acting like critters, as though they need a moral justification. My point is that if they have a real need, they have a real need. If they don't, then it really comes down to they like to shoot stuff because they can.

In which case, they are no different from the cats.

So, people either have a real reason to control the beasts (which they might well have - protection of property, control of disease vectors, defense of locally threatened species could all be valid), or else people, like the cats, like to kill things when they can, in which case their moral arguments seem very hypocritical.

I've known quite a few guys who liked to shoot things because they could. I am not one of those guys, but there are a lot of them out there.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:28 PM   #68
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With regard to your liability question, what extreme would you like to use?
The extreme that comes to mind is one that's really no an extreme at all.

Dog shows up at my house. I feed this dog for a couple years. He sleeps and loafs around my house. When he's out running the neighborhood and gets hungry he knows since I've been feeding him for the last couple years, right where to come to get his groceries. Yet I have never officially claimed him,taken him to the vet, bought tags for him, etc. He's around my house cause I kept feeding him.
One day the dog jumps on a neighbor kid and chews him up. Should I be held accountable or should I be able to tell LE or DW the dogs not mine?

Quote:
My basic take on the lot, though, is that animals behave like animals.
Agree, and so many times are behaving the way they are due to the direct actions of an irresponsible human.
Another short story:
A fellow worker(jerk) I used to work with, used to come into work bragging about doing his monthly cat extermination around his farm. He had 15-20 adult cats that were continually breeding, throwing litters of kittens. This moron would gather up the kittens in a burlap bag and sling em in the creek. He must have thought it made him look tuff or something cause he always came into work bragging about doing this.
I'd usually walked off but had just had enough one day and told him off quite proper. He stood there with his mouth agape when I told him (among things not permissible to repeat here on TFL) the secret to having animals is being smarter then the animal. And why didn't he take the responsibility of having the adult cats fixed so they wouldn't have offspring. His only response was he couldn't afford to have all the cats fixed.
My response, as I walked off PO'ed was, he had to many cats then.

He and I never really speak much after that.

Quote:
I've known quite a few guys who liked to shoot things because they could. I am not one of those guys, but there are a lot of them out there.
Yes there are. I'm not one of those but make no bones about eliminating strays as needed as humanely as possible.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:51 PM   #69
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I agree with MLeake that there are some people out there that seem to enjoy killing for the sake of killing even more than feral cats do. It's too bad as a fairly small number of people give hunters and gun owners in general a bad reputation.
That being said, I completely understand eliminating animals when they become pests, or are putting your pets/livestock/property at risk. I've had to shoot countless squirrels to keep them out of the house, and I've even shot a few feral cats that came around looking for a fight.
So I can see both sides.
The biggest thing I got from this story though, is that next time I do have to kill something I should seize the opportunity to turn the experience into a good story.
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Old May 13, 2012, 07:56 PM   #70
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Nuff fer now. This subject will come up again, for sure...
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:57 AM   #71
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YEPPER... It will... gonna do some field lion callin' today and this eve...

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Old May 14, 2012, 09:00 AM   #72
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That was weird. I know Art closed this.
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