California Fish and Game Commission to consider banning bobcat trapping

Trapped Bobcat

This past week the world focused on the death of Cecil the lion, a death that has been mourned around the world.  The actions of Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, who paid $55,000 to kill Cecil, brought  to light the horrific, and sometimes illegal, methods used to bag a big cat.

What many here in California, a state considered to one of the most progressive and enlightened for animal welfare, do not realize is that we have our own dirty little secret in regards to how wild cats, specifically bobcats, are treated.  In California it is legal to trap bobcats.

The bobcats are then shot in the head and skinned for their pelts.  The pelts are shipped off to China, Russia and Europe.  Trappers get $600 to $1,000 per pelt.

To read the entire article, click here.

One thought on “California Fish and Game Commission to consider banning bobcat trapping

  1. What’s your proposal for managing bobcats?

    California does have a lot of dirty secrets when it comes to managing wildlife. Emotion has and continues to replace science in managing wildlife. California’s hugely detrimental ban on mountain lion hunting is a palpable example of emotion supplanting scientific wildlife science. The horrendous consequence is disastrous California’s endangered big horn sheep herds by an expanding lion population. Mountain lions are North America’s most efficient predator. And I’ve never bought into opinion that lions have innate fear of humans. I’ll go with the converse as true.

    Emotionalism is disastrous to wildlife that extremists desire to protect. Wildlife must be managed by scientific wildlife principles. When science is replaced with emotion, wildlife is placed at great risk. South Africa’s ban on elephant hunting resulted in slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants. The elephant population expanded beyond dangerous numbers thereby placing their habitat in danger that would have resulted in mass starvation. This very outcome happened on Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau when mule deer hunting was banned. The herd grew to unsustainable numbers. When their forage was consumed followed by a severe winter, tens of thousands of mule deer died of starvation. After that horrendous mistake was acknowledged, mule deer on the Kaibab Plateau was returned to principles of scientific wildlife management. In South Africa, government cullers had to kill tens of thousands of elephants in order to preserve the herd. Proscribing hunting of elephants, which also adversely affected local economies, caused the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants. Animal rights extremists are to blame for that elephant slaughter.

    Mother Nature accords animals no rights. Nature can be vicious. The strong eat the weak. Predators kill prey. Grizzly bears are cannibalistic. Boars will kill and eat cubs in order to stimulate sows into estrus. Boars determine what animals live or die. That is how Mother Nature designed it. Humans are powerless to change Mother Nature’s design, although they have ability by emotionalism to destroy that which Mother Nature provides.

    Bobcats, like all wildlife, have to be managed. While I have no desire to shoot a trapped bobcat, I will not condemn others for their methods of managing bobcats as long as their methods are legal. And they wouldn’t be legal if they weren’t scientifically sound. Therefore, what you’re really advocating is your opinion becoming law, science and bobcats be damned. Moreover, you haven’t a clue of why a person traps and kills a bobcat. He might do it because it has threatened his daughter’s dog…or his daughter. Don’t lose sight of the fact that bobcats are very efficient predators. And they will attack humans. Moreover, I don’t care that bobcats are killed for their pelts. That is a gambit designed to divert attention from the core issue: scientific management of bobcats.

    There is no such thing as a tame lion. Until the investigation of Dr. Palmer’s killing of Cecil is completed, all we have is conjecture…and our ability to reason. Why would an accomplished hunter like Dr. Palmer pay 55k to kill a lion if he knew he could never get it out of Zimbabwe? My suspicion is that if a crime was committed, the outfitter, not Dr. Palmer, committed it. The fact that Cecil was a park lion would not alter a legal kill if Dr. Palmer killed Cecil in a location where hunting was allowed. It’s conjecture that Dr. Palmer had prior knowledge that Cecil was a park lion. While I would not want to kill any park animal, I won’t condemn Dr. Palmer if he legally killed Cecil, even if he knew Cecil was a park lion. However, I don’t think that a hunter with Dr. Palmer’s resources and hunting skill would even think of killing a tame lion. I think that he’s dedicated to his sport, and wants fair chase hunts. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. The bottom line for me is I’m not going to foist my opinion of legally killing park animals on Dr. Palmer or anyone else. As long as it’s legal, how they kill their game is their business.

    Every year elk migrating out of Yellowstone park are legally killed by hunters in order sustain Yellowstone’s elk herd carrying capacity and to preserve elk herds. While I wouldn’t want to hunt park elk, I won’t condemn others that do. If hunters don’t kill excess capacity, government cullers will. Which would you prefer?

    As Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy learned, there is no such thing as a tame wild animal. They might be amenable to training, but they remain wild animals. Roy came close to dying when one of what he had assumed tame tigers just about tore him apart. Not all that long ago, a grizzly bear trainer in Big Bear (apropos) was killed by the grizzly he tried to train.

    There are two kinds of animals: wild and domestic. Both must be managed. Domestic animals such as dogs are often managed emotionally. I’ll admit that our dog is beyond spoiled. But there are times when even domestic animals must be managed scientifically such as when they’re infected with a deadly disease; e.g. rabies. Then science would demand that they’re destroyed. Wild animals must always be managed scientifically. Emotionalism destroys wildlife. Science attempts to preserve it.

    All animals are property. They’re either private property or government property. No animal has rights, especially in nature. Owners of domestic animals can do what they want with their animals as long as it’s consistent with law. Were animals accorded rights, McDonalds would go out of business, and humans would starve.

    No one loves dogs more than me. But I’m pragmatic. Infant open-heart surgery was perfected using dogs as test animals. Who knows how many dogs died so that surgeons could save infants’ lives? I don’t care. The outcome justified the means.

    Some twenty years ago an animal rights activist needed open heart surgery. While she was wheeled out of hospital, a reporter asked her how she reconciled her life saving surgery that was perfected using animals when she spend a lot of her life attempting to deny scientific experimentation on the very animals that resulted in her life-saving surgery. She responded the only way she could. She kept her mouth shut. She was perfectly willing to allow other humans to die in order to protect animals, but she deserved to avail herself to the identical surgery she tried to prevent. That, my friends, is the classic definition of elitism.

    According animals rights would have horrendous consequences. Wildlife must be managed scientifically, and hunting is a valid and legitimate wildlife management strategy. As long as it’s legal, how hunters kill their game is their business. We already have too many extremists foisting their opinions of utopia down our throats. We don’t need them interfering with scientific wildlife management.

    Finally, sport hunters do more than any other group to conserve and protect wildlife. It was hunters that brought whitetail deer back from the brink of extinction. Ducks Unlimited was instrumental in restoring endangered species. Settlers and pioneers that needed game for food decimated many North American wildlife species. The exception is the American bison. It was almost driven extinct by our government’s Indian wars strategy. The government sought to destroy Indians by starving them. The government’s method of starving Indians was encouraging the wholesale slaughter of American bison. That’s another dirty, little secret.

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