Take a look at recent headlines across the country. In the wake of a reported “decline” in hunting and trapping activities, one need not wait long to catch a report of nuisance wildlife issues, disease outbreaks, or worse yet - attacks on people. Hey, maybe it’s all just a conspiracy put out by the “fur industry”. Or maybe it’s time critics of trapping start reformulating their arguments.
They say water is good for your health. Too much water however, is toxic, and can lead to death. North America’s predators are great - but they aren’t Gods. Both top and meso predators alike should be regarded as a key component of wildlife ecology, but also require the same conservation management as other wild species.
Today, most of our human society "hunts" in the frozen food aisle rather than the woods. The food comes to us, instead of us "killing" the food. Personally, "killed by mine own hand" trumps "USDA choice".
Some states have accepted the fact that they have small pockets of “feral” nutria populations, and have created regulated trapping seasons to manage those populations. Other states, however, have launched all out war on the little buggers. So where did nutria come from? And why aren’t we simply “co-existing” with this furry little invader?
Will those who decry hunting and promote a "hands-off" approach to wildlife conservation readily accept the outcome of their decisions? What if one's hatred for the regulated take of wildlife through hunting and trapping meant sacrificing wildlife diversity for future enjoyment? Are we collectively satisfied with the regular scraping of decaying fox carcasses off our lawns?
Disease, debate, and discourse abound amid New Hampshire’s controversial fox hunting/trapping restriction proposals. The NH Fish & Game Department now finds itself in an awkward squaredance with Sportsmen, Activists, and Politicians.
A result of the ever-intuitive and creative minds at the Tamworth Distillery, Eau De Musc pairs flavors like birch oil and wild ginger with the wildest of ingredients: beaver castor. Yes, you read that right - a beaver gland infused spirit. Imagine my surprise when my two worlds suddenly collided into one exquisite presentation.
For all the time I spend in the back-country pursuing fur-bearer species for pelts and sustenance, I spend even more time the rest of the year educating clients and landowners as to all the options available for dealing with "pest" wildlife issues. Its time to discuss some other aspects of being a knowledgeable and skilled trapper. Aspects which sometimes don't involve any traps at all.
For most, the consistent calls to ban hunting and the over-exaggerated criticisms of trapping activities just comes off as an attempt to intimidate, dominate, and control a narrative. But more recently, the activism derived locally has pushed far from promoting a message of opposition to hunting and trapping, and mutated into a brutal campaign against hunters and trappers - individually.