Date: 4/8/18 4:47 pm From: Stephen Thomas <rubberhead...> Subject: Re: Duckhunting.com vs Carolinabirds
I understand and have always tried, very hard, to abide by the rules of Carolinabirds and I will continue to do so in this reply and all future posts on the Carolinabird list serv.
I am passionate about both birding and duck hunting. I hope, at 53, I fit Frank’s description of “rather young.” Regardless, I agree with Frank.
I will say from hanging around with both groups and being somewhat active in both on-line communities, birders can stand to learn a lot from hunters.
Hunters, because of the money they inject into the process, are very objective and data driven. Waterfowl seasons and limits are based annually on very expensive and thorough surveys with data run through very complicated formulas. Google “adaptive harvest management” if you want to know more. Most hunters don’t understand all the math but they know, in general, how the principles apply and affect what they do.
Hunters are much more pragmatic about the world around them than birders. They function very well in the “gray” areas and are not nearly, on average, as absolute or dogmatic about things as birders.
Hunters are much more accepting of others than birders. (I bet almost everyone who read this far just gasped at the idea.) Everyone on the “duck sites” knows I am a birder. It doesn’t bother them one bit. I can and often times do discuss birding on the hunting sites while hunting is a regulated to rarely discussed topic on a birding site. Please don’t respond with a list of reasons why this is – I get it, believe me.
Birders and non-game birds benefit from all the public and private land that is set aside and managed for hunting. The land and monies are there either directly from hunters, indirectly from excise taxes or legislatively dictated from the well-coordinated lobby effort of the hunting community. It's hard to get 10 birders to agree on anything...
But, in the end, hunters and birders want exactly the same thing – a sky full of birds.
From: "Frank Enders" <fkenders...>
To: "carolinabirds" <carolinabirds...>
Sent: Saturday, April 7, 2018 11:49:14 AM
Subject: Duckhunting.com vs Carolinabirds
Reading more on the internet than just Carolinabirds (when my poor internet connection and my other tasks permit), I found Duckhunting.com (re Buckhorn Reservoir). Seems the duckhunting community is rather young and "male", dissing the Bernie crowd, sort of like the negative responses I got for attempting to get those in the know to discuss sexual harrassment of birders by birding people.
Reading the duckhunting website helped give me some perspective on "you guys". People boasting about killing more ducks than other hunters. Twitchers boasting about their finds. (All OK.)
Reminds me of what I find lacking in both Farm Bureau and Audubon. Hardly objective. Not I, nor they.
The duck hunters discuss their issues and the birders discuss theirs. Both wrong and both right. Not driven by data.
For example, Derb Carter gets dissed and threatened on lots of blogs, re Red Wolf, for example.
But, that does not make him right when he relates poor waterbird productivity on the Outer Banks to less restriction on motorized traffic on the beaches.
Where's the data? I would, for the sake of his argument, allow the birds are doing worse.
Consider the fact that Nag's Head town hired a trapper who took out 17 (?) coyotes (and PETA protested, saying we should instead drop the coyotes off in a different neighborhood). The coyotes were roaming the beaches; the hunter said they just used the beaches to move up and down the coastline. And, now the internet states Dare Count was the last NC county to be invaded by coyotes, and now these "dogs" are all the way to Hatteras.
OOPS. Do I need data to remember that coyotes are major predators on sea turtle nests in Central and South America? Do I need data to make the assertion that if I were a coyote and walked up and down the beach that I would clean up Piping Plovers, Oystercatchers and skimmers?
Then, jumping to the (improbable?) conclusion that coyotes are very likely part of the bad news for our birds (though, hopefully, they might reduce the numbers of raccoons, another species that is very bird-friendly), there are any number of greater stretches:
if the birds cannot make it with coyotes, then just let the ORVs have the entire beach. End of problem.
Or, if the WRC says one cannot remove coyotes after February, maybe we need some better administration of the WRC. I mean, the coyotes were checked for Red Wolf blood, and island Dare County almost certainly lacks Red Wolves (which obviously are fully ready, willing and able to hybridize with coyotes). Talk about mismanaged bureaucracy.
(I believe we need bureaucracy, better than systems where bribery and nepotism are prime movers, but somebody needs to get everybody together to eradicate coyotes from the Outer Banks islands, just as somebody needs to get a move on to slow down and eradicate pythons in Florida. Maybe SELC could start some lawsuits---I know they exclude Florida from their purview, but do we have to wait for breeing pythons in Georgia and Alabama?) (Personally, I favor eradicating ORVs from beaches, at least in springtime.)
What are we to do, if everybody is right and everybody is wrong?
Might talk about it and stop taking offence.
More on WRC in next post.
One could as well relate the poor productivity of those waterbirds to this item: Nags Head trapped out