Home Forums Campfire Forum Bison and bunnies

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Every time I hear someone speak of a controversial topic as if there is a clear Right and Wrong, Black or White, I get nervous, as life proves daily that all is shades of gray. Here’s a great example of how predator-phobia so often simply reflects ignorance of scientific fact. That said, my vote is to get the damn cows out of there and leave it to the bison, the bunnies, the coyotes, and a few lucky human hunters.

      http://www.hcn.org/articles/bison-cows-rabbits-utah-ranching-henry-mountains/#

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Indeed, David!

      More often than not, what comes across as “Keyboard Commandos” are people who type fast, hit send and don’t really review their own comments from varied perspectives. Many offensive posters on varied sites over my time turn out to be thoughtful and peaceable people i n person. Go figure.

      Older I get the more I know I don’t know… and among those things I don’t know are all sides of a given topic close to my heart…and therein lies the rub.

      Things with emotional importance to us, tend to generate more heat than light and we can’t see the forest for the trees!

      There are always more than 2 sides to most coins, oddly enough. Yes or no, black or white, don’t seem to cut it in the reality of today’s complex world.

      When I lived in MT and played over much of the Western part of that wonderful state, (avoided the E. part and the high desert), I learned there were many competing priorities and some had larger voice than I. History, culture, economics all drive emotional positions. I have but one view, one voice and often one opinion that is more often then I care to admit, a jaundice view due to my own desires and desired outcomes.

      Grazing rights to National forest and BLM depleted winter forage for elk who then raided valley rancher hay stacks…and got them shot to lay and rot…

      As a hunter, that didn’t sit well, so I bought the sportsman’s license to help underwrite the hay stack reimbursements…small token gesture for sure. Then again, I like beef, but seldom can afford it, especially grass fed which is healthier.

      Competing priorities… never ends as the world fills more and more varied views prevail. Tolerance and open mindedness is a cornerstone of preserving what little we have of our hunting heritage for the common man to enjoy…

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      David Petersen wrote: Every time I hear someone speak of a controversial topic as if there is a clear Right and Wrong, Black or White, I get nervous, as life proves daily that all is shades of gray.

      Here, here.

      Interesting article, Dave. And a good reminder that the more we start mucking about and “managing” as though we know better, the more unforeseen ripple effects there tend to be. Let the bison roam.

    • FallguyFallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      Right on Dave. If we humans do not accept that we are 1 cog in the wheel of life and not the axle we are destined to destroy the apple cart.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      325 Bison vs 4200 cows. That pretty much sums up the ratio of common sense to greed.

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Steve Graf wrote: 325 Bison vs 4200 cows. That pretty much sums up the ratio of common sense to greed.

      Well spoken!!!!

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 573

      I enjoyed how the article ended. A rancher saying we should stop shooting coyotes! That was funny.

    • DK
      Member
      Post count: 86

      I am no bison expert but I do know rangeland and cows. I always raise an eyebrow when it comes to winter grazing. No offense to any cattleman on this site but at least where I live it is opportunity for a farmer/rancher to be in the livestock business and the hay business. Winter grazers rarely have their livestock on their base property. The big difference between bison and cattle on rangeland is the distribution. If cows don’t have a cowboy on their asses all the time they will stay in the prime areas and decimate them. I dont believe bison have upper incisors like cows (which pull most native grasses out by the roots in highly erodible soils- Henry Mountains) and they eat approximately the same amount of air dried forage in a month. Bison will naturally cover a lot more ground thats what makes them lower impact. Coyotes are compensatory breeders and rabbits are boom and bust. I dont know how much hunting effects them.:?: Just my 2 cents

      DK

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      You couldn’t make this up. It’s sad but beautifly ironic. It surely does have to do with greed, but it also has to do with just too many people trying to fit on this orb. The question of how are we going to feed all these people and get rich doing it might be the wrong question. The part about the bison taking grass from the cows is just too much. Cut a quarter pounder in half and you still have plenty of hambuger.

      Wouldn’t it be nice to rewind a century or so and just try leaving things alone? We’re in a state now where we have to experiment constantly with nature and politics to try to gain such a tenuous attempt at balance. It’s a crazy time. Thanks for posting that article. Dwc

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      As we carve our steaks and bite our burgers for dinner, here’s the back story on the bison and bunnies drama (I’m having elk tenderloin, fried taters and onions … still trying to learn to cook).

      http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/grazing-01-28-2015.html

    • Col MikeCol Mike
      Member
      Post count: 910

      Dave

      Like you said during the trip this past spring–if the free grazers beef went away we wouldn’t even notice it. So for 2.7% of the nations beef–we spend a billion$. Makes you wonder when us taxpayers are gonna beef!:evil:

      Mike

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      It’s really sad what goes on with grazing cattle in the west. I hadn’t seen it much until this trip to AZ and it shocked me at the rate that they are allowed to graze and erode our nationally and state owned lands.

      The idea that rabbits could be doing that much feeding really doesn’t surprise me but the idea that a bounty on coyotes is actually doing much to control their populations does. Studies have shown that Eastern Coyotes can stand a removal of 70% of their population per year with no reduction in overall numbers. I would have thought the same would be true out west.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Etter, thank you. Indeed the same is true out West. This is very old science, yet fact has never thwarted ignorance and wishful thinking. To have a chance to hunt wild bison with a self-made selfbow, I would forego ever eating beef again. But then (I admit) I’m old so it’s not that great a sacrifice, and what beef I do buy–very little when elk hunting goes well, which it generally does–is local organic grass-fed and raised entirely on private land. Years ago, I saw stats that said more beef is raised annually in FL alone, than on all the western public lands together! I doubt it has changed. And I’m betting it’s better beef to boot. In a current hunter-conservation project I’m researching–as has been the case since I first determined to try and defend what I love most, ethical traditional-values hunting–it’s clear that agriculture remains a, if not the, primary threat to good public hunting of publicly owned game on public lands. This arises largely from the oversized political clout ag–the overt enemy of wildlife, which they see as competition–due to what I think of as a John Wayne cultural hangover that allows private businessmen in pointy boots to feel they own America’s commonwealth. It’s a tremendously twisted take on “patriotism.” While pressing issues like ORV abuse and overuse, the Fat Cat push to transfer fed public lands to states so the states can sell it off to profiteers who will destroy habitat and lock you and me out … while these issues occupy our current attention as they should, among the greatest threats to the N.A. Model of democratic hunting, which is predicated wholly on public lands and equitable access … is welfare grazing. Finally, while we tend to think and talk about overgrazing damage to wildlife habitat (including aquatic) as a future threat … can you imagine the far greater quality of hunting we would enjoy today if private grazing had never happened?

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I’m with you 100 percent Dave.

      I’m glad not to have to deal with that back here in the East (much) but we need some strong organizations to stand up to this nonsense. Unfortunately, as always, money speaks the loudest and there is a lot more money to be made in grazing of public lands than we (the few) are probably ever going to be able to donate.

      Hell, at this day in age, there isn’t even an environmentally minded political party to root for (or vote for).

      I suppose I’m more of a pessimist than an optimist, but I consider myself a realist. As a realist, I feel like humanity is racing towards the edge of a cliff and nobody is manning the brakes.

    • John Dilts
      Post count: 135

      The pen is mighter then the sword but the dollar bill trumps all sad but try. This is why i have all ways said I was born 200 years to eary.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      That beef story has the same contradiction as the bison story. In the first, the natural critter was a threat to the man-made critter… what? In the grazing story, the land is practically given away then the it’s a government (taxpayer) expense to get rid of the natural critter (predator) to protect the domestic animal… what?

      We are fortunate to have a source of local, grass-fed beef for those years, like this one, when I don’t bring home venison. I don’t think we’ve bought store shelved beef in years and now I have another reason not to.

      With luck the raised rates will take a few hoofs off the public land. Certainly there are more on due to the cheap fees. dwc

    • OSQUINT
      Post count: 10

      It would be interesting to see how folks reacted if all states shut down grazing rights on public land for one month each year and opened that time for hunting beef. Government would benefit from tag sales and families could be fed with freshly harvested beef. Cattle industry would be required to move their animals to private land or lose them to a legal hunt overseen by the professional game management organizations our taxes and hunt fees pay for. HMMM-maybe beef would begin to taste good again!!!

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      OSQUINT wrote: It would be interesting to see how folks reacted if all states shut down grazing rights on public land for one month each year and opened that time for hunting beef. Government would benefit from tag sales and families could be fed with freshly harvested beef. Cattle industry would be required to move their animals to private land or lose them to a legal hunt overseen by the professional game management organizations our taxes and hunt fees pay for. HMMM-maybe beef would begin to taste good again!!!

      I like it! The cow hunt. For myself, I prefer the taste of venison to beef. My kids have never eaten beef. When they smell it cooking they complain that it stinks.

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      very good thread here! i learned a lot from it.

      thank you guys!!

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      OSQUINT wrote: It would be interesting to see how folks reacted if all states shut down grazing rights on public land for one month each year and opened that time for hunting beef. Government would benefit from tag sales and families could be fed with freshly harvested beef. Cattle industry would be required to move their animals to private land or lose them to a legal hunt overseen by the professional game management organizations our taxes and hunt fees pay for. HMMM-maybe beef would begin to taste good again!!!

      When I lived in Idaho there was plenty of mutton running around the hills that could share the table also.

      They don’t leave much grass behind.

    • FallguyFallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      Another little tidbit that I have been told is that in the winter if the snows are deep enough that the cattle can not graze on the government pastures that the ranchers are supplied alfalfa pellets or hay to feed their cattle at taxpayer expense. Maybe someone here can verify that for me. It would not surprise me though. The crop insurance program for farmers is a guaranteed cost plus program subsidised by the taxpayers.

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Fallguy wrote: Another little tidbit that I have been told is that in the winter if the snows are deep enough that the cattle can not graze on the government pastures that the ranchers are supplied alfalfa pellets or hay to feed their cattle at taxpayer expense. Maybe someone here can verify that for me. It would not surprise me though. The crop insurance program for farmers is a guaranteed cost plus program subsidised by the taxpayers.

      Oh Boy!!

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Fallguy wrote: Another little tidbit that I have been told is that in the winter if the snows are deep enough that the cattle can not graze on the government pastures that the ranchers are supplied alfalfa pellets or hay to feed their cattle at taxpayer expense. Maybe someone here can verify that for me. It would not surprise me though. The crop insurance program for farmers is a guaranteed cost plus program subsidised by the taxpayers.

      Nowadays, a western farmer who knows how to manipulate the system can make 2-3x as much as a regular rancher without even producing anything. Bureaucratic nonsense at its best.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Cattle grazing, mining and water rights in the West are all operating under extremely archaic rules which only continue to exist because each of those groups has a very powerful lobby working 24/7 to ensure that the relatively small group of beneficiaries can continue to do so, and damn the long-term viability or consequences.

      If any candidate had the political spine to run on a platform of eliminating entirely our vast and crooked system of subsidies and loopholes, and going to a flat, across the board tax, they’d have my vote.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      Smithhammer wrote: …If any candidate had the political spine to run on a platform of eliminating entirely our vast and crooked system of subsidies and loopholes, and going to a flat, across the board tax, they’d have my vote.

      Amen.

    • BGRooster1
      Post count: 1

      Don’t forget all the blm horses we pay to feed everyday that live in feedlots out west. They are the un-adoptable ones we feed for years.

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