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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:56 PM
Original message
facing a dilemma - the hippy vs the rancher
I have an intellectual side that says predators belong in the system and in order to be part of it I may need to be willing to sacrifice some of the domestic animals I care for. I also have a spot in my brain that is interested in the natural history and biology of the world, so knowing a large predator still survives in the increasingly crowded-by-humans neighborhood is very pleasing to me. I also acknowledge that the animals I raise are meant to be eaten (preferably by humans that pay me money to do so, but bottom line is death).

On the other hand being a human I have certain control issues. I do view my animals at least somewhat as property and I have feelings of alarm when that property is taken without permission or compensation. I have primitive feelings of competition as a predator too. I also can see that a killing was not swift, that there was a fairly long struggle. I have neighbors who will hold me somewhat accountable for allowing a large predator to go "unattended" and especially now that there is ultimate proof of livestock killing.

Backing up, this morning a neighbor that has a road going through part of our ranch called. He had seen some strange drag marks on the road and found a dead calf. Lion. We went up to look. There was clearly a fight and a long struggle. The calf was a 9 month old red heifer (girl) and the cat had drug her around for quite awhile over about a 1/8 mile stretch of road, up a bank through some brush (in a big circle) and a little ways up a small draw. It must have been pretty tired because it didn't eat much, just a cantaloupe sized chunk out of the neck where it had been holding/dragging her.

We also found a javelina that had been killed earlier in the week, and probably the long used den. Someone who knows more about this than me thinks it is a female with cubs (kittens?). I am scared. I know that this is something that will have to be done, but I don't want to do it. I have been able to avoid this fact of life for a long time because we have a fucking interstate that runs through the place. The traffic seems to keep most of the large predators at bay so I could intellectually blather on about "oh, I could deal with the loss of a calf or two just to have these animals around" and not ACTUALLY have to deal with it in reality. Well reality has smacked me in the face and it has witnesses. Now what?
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Ptah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Are you struggling with having to hunt the cat?
:shrug:

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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. yeah
:(
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. butcher the calf and sell it as "free range, aged on the ground" veal
win-win
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. ok
that lightened my mood - "aged on the ground" :spank:

or maybe all natural "ground" beef?
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. that too

lol.


You *know* there are people out there somewhere who would find it cool to eat the left-behinds of a big cat. lol, I was joking, but now that I think about it, I bet there are people who would find that somehow spiritual :think:


I think this is a job for an IT professional. I can see it now: www.KaliCatKilledCows.com



As to your original dilemma, man, that's a tough one. It would be extremely hard for me to kill a big cat in todays world.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I think the decision is being made by others.
see below. I'm still complicit, though. I don't even like to get rid of coyotes, hell even the damn skunk that got 13 chickens in one night was hard!
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. There you go! That's the good Republican way - lie without making it look like a lie.
:rofl:

"Well, you never asked me what definition of 'ground' I was using!"

:thumbsup:

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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Are you talking about killing a Female with cubs?
am I reading this right?
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. *I* don't know
and it is rapidly getting out of my control. Just talked to the neighbor and she is all freaked out now because she has two "pet" deer that come to her yard every evening - a 6 year old doe and her fawn from 3 years ago. They haven't even gotten another dog after their old one died because of these deer. If I had found this kill, I doubt if I would have done anything - would wait to see if another gets taken, but I wasn't the one that found it. I hope it ill be frightened off and go to some less "civilized" area nearby. x(
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have a GREAT resource for you!
.
You may already be familiar with him -- Rick Bass, a petrochemical engineer
who gave it up to become an environmental writer.
.
My favorite book of his is "Winter", but for your ethical questions etc.,
I HIGHLY recommend his book, "The Ninemile Wolves" about trying to replenish
wolves around the Yellowstone region (I think).
.
I remember he had an uncanny ability to empathize both with the ranchers and
the environmentalists caught up in this situation.
.
There's the first 52 pages of the book (masterfully and beautifully written,
as a bonus) as a preview at the link I'll provide. The Pima County Library
has copies of the book -- you could probably find one at Bookman's, too.
.
http://books.google.com/books?id=EoplE8YWZK0C&printsec=...
.
Let me know if that doesn't work.
.
.
Oh, yeah. If you DO decide to take responsiblity for the hunt (I hope that
can be avoided completely), don't be an idiot. Borrow some more firepower
than what you've got. This won't be no varmint plinkin'.
.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I think I've read Winter,
(must be around here somewhere) and I read something about a year ago about somebody (biologist) working with the yellowstone wolves...thought it was a woman, so may be something else.

The problem is one of urgent action if it is to be taken. bleh. Looks like the neighbors are going to bring somebody in because I really don't have experience in this - its almost always "hired" out anyway. While seeing them is rare, they are actually pretty common. Too bad it didn't eat one of the three hikers I caught up there this morning wandering around without permission! }(
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Gotta post this for you, too... and yer hikers.
.

.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
12. weird update
so nobody saw the cat(s?) in the few days after. We were watching the dead calf and after the first night when it got moved a little ways there was never any other sign. Then this past Sunday my son went up to look around and found a dead bobcat about 3/4 of a mile away - near the highway. Strange, but maybe it got hit by a car??? It was in a place where people sometimes dump garbage and there have been dead animals dumped there too. But a bobcat? I know there isn't much fur industry anymore but I think they are still worth something - can't imagine someone not keeping the hide or skull if it was killed on purpose.

OK that was odd but odd things happen around here, on to the next project right? Well yesterday the neighbor that originally found the killed calf had decided to bring a hunter in and called to let me know there was somebody riding around on horseback etc. Said the hunter had just called and was on the trail of two cats (verifying the two theory from day one) but earlier in the morning - this is the weird part - he had found a big male lion near where the calf carcass was, shot dead and left on the ground!

This is so strange and the thought of some asshole up there killing these animals without permission, and then just leaving them bothers me more than any of it. :wtf:

Didn't hear back about the hunter so I'm assuming they got away again. Although assuming anything about this situation is clearly not a good idea!
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. The killing of animals is rather common. Also ranchers have
rustlers, cattle thieves, very common. Things being stolen, or poaching in rural areas, very common I suppose.
And probably always has been.
dc
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. sure but the thing is there are only two entities
near the area - us and the neighbor that called in a hunter
so whoever did that was just doing it for what? fun? if they were poaching you would think they would take the hides and/or heads.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. that is what I was thinking too, most people would keep the hide and
teeth and skull....

tis a mystery.
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Keep the evidence, that you were hunting without a license, hunting
out of season, hunting without a permit or the permission of the land holder, and possibly hunting a protected/endangered species? Perhaps not. If this is a teenage kid he may be dumb, but not necessarily that dumb.
dc
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. I don't know - seems weird
if I was going to do that I sure as hell would want the skull at least. It takes some skill to hunt predators and people that do it tend to want the trophies. Maybe somebody has photos on their cell phone and that is trophy enough, but seems pointless to me. geez I just looked it up - Resident License = $32.25, Resident Tag = $14.50. That is ridiculous not to be legal about it!

I can see somebody shooting coyotes and leaving them behind - they are so common, but cats are a little more rare and hard to even see, much less shoot. They are not ACTUALLY rare, just more secretive. My understanding is that lion season is like 9 months long here, and even out of season "victims" of predation can hire a hunter for eradication. In fact the same neighbor who is mentioned all through this told me they had 11 lions taken out in their back country over the last few years, so that right there says something. Now, 3 of them right near the interstate in an area that gets quite a bit of human traffic and disturbance is unusual too, I think.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. Yes, I agree and Kali
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 09:54 PM by Tuesday Afternoon
have you said HOW they were killed? Have I missed that in the thread? Were they shot? If so, bullets can be traced,
right?

on edit: I see now where you say there were shot...

I think it is odd but, what the hell do I know.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. I heard third hand the lion was shot
the bobcat I'm not sure, nothing very visible, but that isn't unusual.

I don't know about whether the bullets could be traced, but there would need to be a suspect gun to test against - that is the problem and if that was known lab tests probably wouldn't be needed. Plus its a rural area and hunting without papers is not all that serious of an offense so I don't thing the relevant agencies are going to be interested. (there is a big shortage of personnel plus the state is going broke)

I'm sure if there is any "catching" to happen it will be up to me. I just need to patrol up there more often, obviously! (its an area that could use a full time gatehouse guard!) bleh
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
39. I guess what is dumb in your neck of the woods is considered
wasteful and disrespectful in my neck of the woods. We will just have to agree to disagree on this one. Cheers.
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
27. dupe n/t
Edited on Sat Jan-30-10 07:28 PM by MiddleFingerMom
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's so good to see someone thinking complexly about a complex subject!
Kudos to you for caring that much about both the wild animals and the domestic ones, and the situation of nature vs. needing to make a living, which don't always go hand-in-hand very well, especially when it's a community that has to come together and find a consensus.

Best of luck to you and your neighbors and your animals!

Maybe give the cats a book on the benefits of vegetarianism. :D
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. the theoretical take on lions is
to "keep" an established adult around so they scare off the inexperienced youngsters who don't kill efficiently or go for the easy stuff like new born calves. Worth losing a calf or two to save lots of injured or "fun" killed stock from youngsters.

Now that we know about the dead male I'm wondering if the same asshole may have shot the calf? Maybe wounded it for bait? I should have looked more closely at it, I guess, but I sure didn't think of that at the time. She WAS big for a predator kill, we knew that - that is why the original theory was a BIG male.
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Oh, sure!!! Just kill off the species!!!!!!!
.
No self-respecting cat would EVER mate with a vegetarian.
.
.
.
.
.

.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'd have had the same dilemma, kali.
Actually do to some extent with our chickens and the bobcats that are now ranging over here.

And it does sound like someone was baiting that lion. Maybe someone tracking it from another range?
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I just don't know.
It just seems like it's pretty easy to do what they did legitimately, why risk getting in a lot of trouble for a license and a tag that are pretty cheap? If it was another rancher (and I know most of the neighbors - not any of them doing this) why not just call somebody with dogs and correct paperwork. If it was some "townie" mad about loosing his cat or poodle, then he sure knows how to do this - again why not do it legally?

It's really odd, mostly because they didn't take the trophies.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I dunno why some people do what they do.
I've stopped trying to answer that question long ago. Maybe it was for the adventure. Maybe he took some other trophy that wasn't as obvious?

Cattle rustling is really up in our state and has been on the rise along with the slumping economy.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. oh yeah we've lost way more to the two legged predators, for sure!
In fact I'm off to go check a weak spot nearest to town right now.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Stay safe!
:hug:
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Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
26. Right, a screen name like Kali...
and you are struggling with life and death issues. Try calling yourself Phoenix or something. :eyes:

Just kidding, yes, it's a tough one, and there is no easy answer. You could get all your male friends to "mark" your property line. It worked in "Never Cry Wolf". :shrug:

Bill
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. I'll tell ya
Its a spot right off the interstate (just 1/2 mile from a freaking rest stop, no less :eyes: ) - it gets marked, trust me!
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
28. Marking your property lines...
.
...would mean there would be free beer involved, right?
.
I volunteer to be one of your border guard militiamen, Kali!!
.
Not a teabagger, me... but a beerkegger.
.
.
.
.
.
And about that screen name...
.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
.
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Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Female cats hunt...
but the males mark the property, and animals can tell the difference. Sorry (but you should get in on any free beer).

Bill
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Not laughing at you... laughing at Kali!!! (She's a good friend)
.
I know a little about marking from the days I was trying
desperately to keep deer and other critters from munching
on my... ... ... um... ... .. crop.
.
Oh... and I just NOW finally realized why you were saying "sorry".
.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
.
Now, Kali's gonna be laughing at ME!!!!
.
Didn't volunteer to be a militiaperson... but a militiaman.
.
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Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Oops...
:blush: I assumed you were a woman because of your name. Carry on with the marking.

Bill
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. uh sure
taking in the fact that the boundary is over rough terrain, has a railroad and interstate running through (doubling distances there) you should be busy for quite a while! :rofl:
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Just as long as you don't do drug testing...
.
I take a water pill for my blood pressure that (in this case)
would definitely be classified as a "performance enhancer".
.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
35. As I always say
when some animal becomes an inconvenience to people, it needs to be destroyed. This is our planet, fuck them.

This is not a response to you directly, Kali, you know I have more respect than that. It's in response to your update where a large cat was apparently killed (if I'm reading all this right).
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-30-10 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. yes but the somewhat weird thing is
that whoever killed it may not have been inconvenienced at all. I don't like to see it but I can understand the reaction (especially now that we lost a heifer) - it is about protection of your animals, your livelihood. I can even understand somewhat trophy hunting although it is distasteful to me. But shooting what is essentially a trophy animal for nothing? Just leaving it there to rot? That is pretty sick and just downright strange to me.
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