Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


As I may have mentioned once or twice, I live in a rural area and my property abuts state forest -- or, more properly, a "state wildlife management area," which means a wilderness in which hunting is allowed. (In season, with a license, of course.) Hunting deer in the state forest is an arduous endeavor that requires considerable knowledge and skill. The land is rocky and steep, full of brambles and almost impenetrable stands of mountain laurel. It is infested with ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies. The deer are elusive and they can move through the terrain much faster and more easily than humans.

Nevertheless, guys go up there and take on the challenge. If they succeed, they put food on their table. I'm all for it. I even gave my neighbor permission to pursue them onto my property. There are more deer in New England today than there were when the first English settlers set foot here. With the Indians, cougars and wolves gone, somebody has to hunt them. And hunting animals for food is the natural human condition.

Walter Palmer, however, is not a hunter. The technical term for him is an asshole. He hired some guys to lure a lion with bait, and shine a spotlight on it, so he could stand there and shoot it. Oh yeah -- it was a bad shot, and it took the animal a day and half to die. And obviously, he didn't eat it. I have no idea why anyone would enjoy this activity, and even less how anyone could take pride in by displaying a "trophy." Why didn't he just buy an old lion from the circus, chain it in his back yard, and shoot it there? Seems like pretty much the same concept. It doesn't matter to me that the animal had been given a name, actually. What matters is that the act was utterly pointless.


robin andrea said...

Utterly pointless and outrageously cruel. For my own sanity I have been reading Yelp reviews of Dr. Palmer. It's been good to know how many people are sickened by his heartless behavior. Yelp took down 10,000 comments yesterday, and today there are 3000 more. It's the bow and arrow heard around the world.

kathy a. said...

Well, not only pointless, but he had some $50,000 to burn on this "adventure," which I guess was the big game equivalent of whack-a-mole, seeing how they lured the lion out of its preserve and all. I haven't had much opportunity to learn about wildlife offenses, but do remember that in at least one Southern state (probably all of them), it is illegal to use a light while hunting critters like deer, as it gives the stupid hunter an unfair advantage.

From the dental consumer point of view, this is not someone I want rooting around in my personal mouth. Apparently others agree.

Cervantes said...

yes, in CT it is illegal to bait or jacklight deer. I believe that's pretty universal in the U.S.

C. Corax said...

Well, it's not all that hard to hunt deer, although success is not guaranteed. Near as I can tell during deer shotgun season in Massachusetts (it's the most popular season), the thing that creates a challenge for hunters is how much beer they consume in the course of the two weeks; the evidence thereof is invariably left strewn throughout the woods for we non-hunters to clean up. And, yeah, I've seen evidence of baiting, so not all hunters are squeaky clean here, either.

On the other hand, my next door neighbors in the hilltown where I have property are great: They observe the rules and I've never seen them going out with alcohol in hand. If all hunters were like them, I'd have a much better attitude about hunting.

As for Palmer, spending $50,000 on "hunting" exotic animals is a big middle finger to the poors.

Cervantes said...

Definitely. There are irresponsible hunters. Hunting while intoxicated is also illegal, of course. I am happy to say, however, that I have never seen a beer container -- or any other litter -- in the Talbot state forest.