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Ann[_2_] Ann[_2_] is offline
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Default Hey PETA, Screw Wildlife

On Thu, 09 Jul 2009 18:36:05 -0400, Karl Kleinpaste wrote:

Billy writes:
When are YOU going to get alarmed, when, except for the zoos, the only
animals left are pets and food animals? Our biosphere is dying, and we
can only save it, one raccoon at a time.


Geez...you haven't looked out my back door lately.

I live on 15 acres of nowhereness, northwest of Pittsburgh near the Ohio
line. On any given day, 20 or 30 deer wander by, mostly at the treeline
that abuts the open field of the next parcel, ~150ft behind the house.
Local turkey flocks are positively routine, and I don't mean 5, I mean 30
or 40 at a time. Raccoons aren't too common, but I see them now and
again. This year, there is a family of foxes living in the woods
somewhere just southwest of the house who step now and again into the
yard, generally at dawn or dusk.


I live on 195 acres of really "nowhereness" - in the traditional "big
woods" hunting area of Northern PA. Except for whoever writes the PGC
hunting outlook articles on their website and people trying to sell
land, I doubt you'd find anyone who claims deer are plentiful here. In my
immediate area there are perhaps 1/3 the number there were ten years ago.

There are several apparent factors, but imo #1 is over-hunting doe.
Even before the PGC extended the rifle season from three to twelve days,
some local hunter landowners were killing as many doe as possible,
particularly targeting the "lead doe" (the older, experienced one in a
group). Typically the landowner would also either plant or buy ear corn
to feed the deer and other wildlife. The strategy was that surviving
younger doe and fawns would be more likely to stay on the owner's land.
The doe fawns were expendable; the primary objective was to grow their own
buck.

To a point this did work, at least in terms of some deer becoming
dependent. But imo what was overlooked was the higher fawn mortality and
the fact that the larger, well nourished doe being killed were the ones
more likely to have and raise fawns that would become large, healthy
bucks. Plus, there is the PSU study that found the majority of buck fawns
are driven from their birth territory by (1) doe in the next Spring and
(2) mature buck that Fall. The black bear population is also in decline
here.

The deer congregate most days in what we've long called "town hall", which
is a low hollow inside the treeline on the far side of the power tower
right-of-way, ~200yds due east of the house...except during hunting
season, when they disappear for parts unknown. They figured out long ago
when they need to make themselves scarce.

Then there's the possums that often befriend our cats for playful romps
after dark. Add in the moles and voles that the cats hunt during the day.
I can't say I'm sorry to see our feline Mighty Hunters having success in
that department, as long as they don't bring gifts (or [worse] half-gifts)
into the house. Coyotes avoid the house, but they are known to live in
the woods down near the creek, still on my property but well toward the
northeast corner of it.

No bears these days, at least none that we know of. But small stuff like
toads and whatnot are everywhere.

I could feed my household using nothing but a crossbow, without ever
having to step outside the yard immediately surrounding the house. All I
have to do is wait for the game to show up.


But for how long ... assuming everyone else in your deer's range did the
same thing?

It's a funny view of "the dying biosphere" that some folks have.