You Nauseate me Mr. Fudd

The following is a marriage between the Looney Tunes’ cartoon character who best depicts the average hunter and Dr. Seuss’ lyrics that so perfectly describe them.

Dedicated to Elmers and Elmerttas everywhere …

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You’re a mean one, Mr. Fudd.
You really are a heel,
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Fudd.
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

You’re a monster, Mr. Fudd.
Your heart’s an empty hole.
Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. Fudd.
I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

You’re a vile one, Mr. Fudd.
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,
Mr. Fudd.
Given the choice between the two of you,
I’d take the seasick crocodile.

You’re a foul one, Mr. Fudd.
You’re a nasty wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks;
Your soul is full of gunk,
Mr. Fudd.

The three words that best describe you
Are as follows, and I quote:
Stink!
Stank!
Stunk!

You’re a rotter, Mr. Fudd.
You’re the king of sinful sots.
Your heart’s a dead tomato squashed with moldy purple spots,
Mr. Fudd.

Your soul is an appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Mr. Fudd,
With a noxious super naus.
You’re a crooked jerky jockey and
You drive a crooked horse,
Mr Fudd!

imagesQB1DEJITYou’re a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich,
With arsenic sauce!

Sport Hunting Should Go the Way of the Twinkie

In bemoaning the end of the Twinkie era (the company was only able to sell 36 million of the nutrition-less, lard-filled sponge-cakes last year and thus had to declare bankruptcy), the press have been calling Twinkies an American icon; a “family tradition,” even.

But what do Twinkies have to do with sport hunting? Well, both are long-standing traditions that should never have been. Hostess Twinkies (on par with hot dogs and canned spam) are an extremely unhealthy, potentially addictive, pseudo-food gimmick that should never have been invented, while hunting is a murderous act of desperation that should never have been taken lightly enough to have morphed into a sport. Both have seen better days, but while the Twinkie, along with its partners in crime, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, will soon be ancient history, the US Senate is considering forever enshrining sport hunting with its very own act of Congress, the “Sportsmen’s” Act of 2012.

Those of you fortunate enough to own a first edition copy of Exposing the Big Game are in possession of a collector’s item. Subsequent printings will have the word “Twinkie” removed, since future generations will have no idea what they were.

The following paragraph from the book mentions the iconic junk food in association with an exceptionally despicable form of hunting–bear baiting…

Sometimes Elmer sets out a pile of “bait,” using whatever he happens to have on hand. Today it’s Twinkies and hot dogs (no surprise there). Then he waits in a lawn chair safely perched on a tree stand (a platform secured high in a tree, reminiscent of his childhood tree-house) for an unsuspecting ursine to discover his offering. To pass the time, Elmer reads a frightening bear-scare story in the latest issue of his favorite sportsmen’s magazine. After a while, a beastly bruin catches wind of his Twinkies. Now it’s time for action! With the scary bear’s attention focused on the goodies, the plucky huntsman makes his kill.

Unfortunately, now anti-hunters won’t be able to use the “Twinkie Defense” if they go ballistic to protect an animal from hunters like Elmer.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Live With It, Elmers!

Sorry Elmers, it’s time to snuff out one of the most overused and overstated rationalizations for your beloved sport.

Hunters would have you ingest the preposterous pabulum that hunting helps animals; that hunters are their philanthropic fairy godparents (well-armed well-wishers, if you will) performing the gallant duty of keeping animal populations in check; that animals won’t go on living unless they kindheartedly kill them (this of course is all the more outrageous in light of how many species have been wiped off the face of the earth, or perilously close to it, exclusively by hunting).

But deer, along with most other animal species—besides Homo sapiens, have built-in mechanisms that cause their reproduction rate to slow down when their population is high or food is scarce.  Though state “game” departments are usually loath to share any information that might work against one of their arguments for selling hunting licenses, even they know that in reality the wildlife can ultimately take care of their own. According to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, “A mule deer herd that is at or above the carrying capacity of its habitat may produce fewer fawns than one that is below carrying capacity.”

The fact is, hunting encourages ungulates to reproduce more, thus seemingly warranting the alleged need for population controls via, you guessed it, more hunting.

Hunting industry propagandists have a lot of people convinced that culling is a necessary evil for controlling animal overpopulation. Lethal removal is their one-size-fits-all solution, no matter the circumstance. But there are always alternatives to that fatal fallback position. When we finally get past the viewpoint of animals as objects, or “property of the state,” and start to see them instead as individuals, the justifications for culling begin to wear thin.

Many places that provide habitat for healthy populations of deer could also support the natural predators who evolved alongside them. All that’s required of humans is to get out of the way and let nature take its course, or, in some cases, repair the damage they’ve done by reintroducing wolves or other native carnivores who were fool-heartedly eradicated. Yet, in the western US and Alaska, as well as in Canada, natural predators are still being killed to allow deer, moose or elk hunters a better chance at success. While some people complain that these browsers and grazers have gotten too tame, hunters in states like Idaho and Montana are whining that wolves make the elk too wild and thus harder for them to hunt.

I tend to be even more cynical about areas where humans have claimed every square inch for themselves and aren’t willing to share with native grazers. When I hear grumbling about deer, elk or geese pooping on a golf course, I have a hard time relating to people’s grievances. It’s the height of speciesism to expect that these animals should face lethal culling for successfully adapting to an unnaturally overcrowded human world.

Ours is the invasive species, overpopulating and destroying habitats wherever we go. We wouldn’t want some other being jumping to a knee-jerk “cull them all” reaction every time humans reached their carrying capacity in a given area.

Sooner or later Mother Nature will tire of humans’ destructive dominance and come up with a way to bring life back into balance. I can just hear her telling off the hunters: “Other animals have a right to be here too—just live with it, Elmers!”

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Portions of this post were excerpted from the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport 

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

August Not all Fun in the Sun for Everyone

Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting,wrote: “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless and hot.”

Well, motionless perhaps, unless you’re a Washington State black bear trying to find food for the coming winter, while at the same time keeping your eyes peeled for bloodthirsty hunters.

That’s right, although it’s berry season for the bears, it’s “bear season” for hunters—as of August 1st—here in the Evergreen State. Now any Elmer who wants to can kill not one, but two bears each through November 15th! Any bear who values his or her hide will have no real peace until the snow flies and they’re safely tucked away in their hibernation den. Until then, they must assume there could be a camouflage-clad coward, with a high powered rifle or compound bow aimed at them, perched in every tree they pass under.

Each year 30,000 black bears are killed by hunters in the U.S. alone. Each one of them was a more remarkable, more worthy being than the cretins who would kill them for sport. If bears had Facebook pages, I’d add them all to my “Friends” list. To those who hunt bears: The enemies of my friends are my enemies. Since Facebook doesn’t have an “Enemies” list, the least I can do is unfriend you whenever you expose yourself as a hunter.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Answer to an Elmer “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska”

The following is a letter in response to an article in the “sports” section of the Albany, NY Times Union:

Dear Editor,

A friend of mine sent me the article, “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska,” by your Outdoors writer, Rob Streeter (June 15, 2012). With friends like that, who needs enemies? I don’t normally have acid reflux, but reading how casually Mr. Streeter prattled about his desire to impale a black bear with an arrow made me burp up enough burning bile to fill a golf cart battery.

Bears are not play toys put here for our sporting pleasure; they are intelligent, autonomous, highly evolved sentient beings. But each year, ursiphobic “Elmers,” as I un-lovingly refer to bear hunters in my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, are responsible for the deaths of 30,000 black bears in the US alone.

I’ll never understand how a New Yorker can feel justified in flying clear to Alaska to savagely snuff out an innocent bear peacefully grazing on spring grass.

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, saw the brutality of hunting as a detriment to civilized society:

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is—whether its victim is human or animal—we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”

On the rare instance that bears resort to violence, at least they don’t take moronic delight in it.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson