Pray for Snow Drought

The customary mantra for those of us who have who have spent much time in search of powder to ski in the semi-arid mountains of Montana is, “Pray for snow!”  Consequently, I never thought I’d catch myself chanting, “Pray for Snow Drought,” but after reading the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department’s “2012 elk hunting outlook,” a late winter is what I’m praying for—for the elk’s sake. You’ll see what I mean as you read their outlook (and pay no attention to their glib use of depersonalizing words like “harvest” or “hunting opportunities” for the senseless murder of noble beings like elk—psychopaths can’t help themselves):

“There are elk in Montana’s hills and if the big sky drops some snow hunters could be in for a banner season in many areas.

“’Most hunters are going to find elk populations in good physical shape and will benefit from liberal hunting opportunities,’ said Quentin Kujala, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ wildlife sections coordinator in Helena. ‘If the weather cooperates, and if hunters do their homework and line up access early where it’s needed, we’d expect very good harvest numbers by season’s end in late November.’

“Montana’s general, five-week long, elk hunting season opens Oct. 20.

“Kujala noted that cold and snowy conditions should lead to elk hunting success, while mild weather usually spells lower elk harvests, despite additional elk-hunting permits and more liberal seasons. ‘We’re all hoping the weather tips to hunters’ favor this fall,’ Kujala said.”

All? Not me! Not the elk! Sorry, Mr. Kujala, those of us who care about elk are praying that Montana’s current drought conditions last well into November.

Checking their regional population rundown, it’s clear that—despite the occasional natural wolf predation that sportsmen are quick to freak out over—elk are doing pretty well in the state. According to Montana FWP, “Biologists say elk numbers are at or above management objectives in most hunting districts.” “…the milder winter of 2011-2012 led to good calf recruitment…” “Elk populations are healthy and growing. Elk populations are solid.” and “The biggest challenge for hunters continues to be finding access.”

Whether it’s wolves competing for “their” elk “harvests” or a few darned private land owners who won’t let hunters kill animals on their properties, it seems like hunters and their game department lackeys always have something to bitch about.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

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14 thoughts on “Pray for Snow Drought

  1. My head is exploding when I read “Elk populations are healthy and growing. Elk populations are solid.” and wolves in MT are still going to be massacred.

    • Exactly. It just proves that “sportsmen” aren’t willing to allow wolves to play their part in a balance of nature and still claim the need for hunting even while they “control” the numbers of natural predators

      • We are studying ethics in Philosophy. I brought up the issue of hunting. It was like throwing gasoline on an open fire. 98% of the class was DEAD SET AGAINST, but the remaining few were horribly vocal in how to, why and the joy of hunting. I was ill listening to them gloat over their supposed domination over different species.

      • We do not live in the Stone Age. This is what a lovely Young Woman brought up. Our Professor had to stop the debate, not because of those who are against the Kill, but to stop the shouting of the 3 pro hunters. This is an Auditorium Class. Over 70 individuals.

      • I never saw anything like it. I am not a person who becomes speechless easy. If my chin could have hit the floor, it would have. Anti Kill students had a pow wow. This situation will not happen again in an ETHICS course. This is what we will be bringing up next Class.

        Environmental Ethics
        First published Mon Jun 3, 2002; substantive revision Thu Jan 3, 2008

        Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its nonhuman contents. This entry covers: (1) the challenge of environmental ethics to the anthropocentrism (i.e., human-centeredness) embedded in traditional western ethical thinking; (2) the early development of the discipline in the 1960s and 1970s; (3) the connection of deep ecology, feminist environmental ethics, and social ecology to politics; (4) the attempt to apply traditional ethical theories, including consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics, to support contemporary environmental concerns; and (5) the focus of environmental literature on wilderness, and possible future developments of the discipline.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-environmental/

      • Sounds like an interesting course. I’m glad they will mention deep ecology, anthropocentricism and non-humans, even if they are only in the context of ecology (as opposed to being individuals).

      • I hope the “hunters” will behave and listen.

        My Step Dad and Mom are upset that I want to save the Ecology and fight for a World of Biodiversity. They firmly believe in the NRA. I can not. It goes against every fiber of my being. SIGH.

        I am glad to have an outlet in College :)

    • Consider it done. I meditate regularly. Below is what I use when I am hoping for a certain type of weather. Moss Agate. There is a Moss Agate from Wyoming, I just found. It is from the Sweetwater area.

      Named after the Achates River in Sicily, this is one of the most common of stones. A fine-grained form of Chalcedony, it is found in a wide variety of colours and markings. The banding sometimes takes the form of an eye and this is an especially lucky power stone which brings wealth, plenty and protection from evil. When working magic with Agate try to choose the most appropriate colour for the spell, such as pink for love magic, green for nature spells and blue for healing. Closely linked to the power of elemental Air and potent for weather magic. Has an affinity with apple and its power increases if it is anointed with apple oil or placed in a charm bag with apple seeds. Enhances eloquence and communication skills, gives courage, brings success, opens the mind to new information and helps you to assimilate it quickly. A very protective stone that repels many dangers including demons, lightning and serpents. Worn as a lucky charm by ancient athletes to bring them power during a race and help them recover afterwards ~ Agate is still used today to increase energy and speed recovery.

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