They Shoot Deer, Don’t They?

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Eight dead sea lions — a water mammal belonging to the taxonomical grouping called pinnipeds, but known to most as “big seals” — were found washed ashore with bullet holes in their carcasses.

Sad. Sea lions are interesting if not exactly beautiful mammals.

The sentimentalist in me shudders at any such death. But, as I sit back eating a hamburger, I can’t say I am against killing non-human animals. Perhaps we should save our shudders for the  wasteful nature of the slaughter: No meat, blubber, or hide was used.Seal of Approval

The news report I read warily mentions how fishermen view sea lions — as competition. The report doesn’t mention the sea lions’ protected status: You can get into big trouble shooting a sea lion in most places.

And yet, from reports I’ve heard (and occasionally read: this is an unpopular topic for journalists to cover), these carnivorous mammals are indeed quite a problem for west coast fisheries. Oft told are tales of removing sea lions from Columbia River dams’ fish ladders, where they gorge themselves, and shipping them off to the ocean — only to have them reappear at the dams lickety-split.

An alternative to such heroic and expensive protection and removal schemes would be to manage sea lion populations with planned hunting seasons. River fish are increasingly scarce, so leaving pinniped populations unmanaged will further upset ecosystem balance.

Besides, with sea lion hunts, we would see less poaching.

After all, hunters shoot deer, don’t they? And deer are a lot prettier than sea lions.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Feb
    3
    12:05
    PM
    Drik

    We actually don’t shoot enough deer. The combination of acres of grassy suburbs as well as the removal of the other top of the chain predators, wolves, bears, and cougars, from the ecosystem, while helping prevent the removal of livstock, pets, and the occasional child, has also allowed the deer population to explode to 5 times what it was when Columbus got here and much of the topography was terminal forest, which doesn’t support a lot of animal life.
    Now hunting has fallen out of favor either as a means to supplement the larder or as a “sport”, furthur lowering the impact on the prolific deer. Not to worry. The libs and greeenies are have been working hard to get wolves back reestablished in multiple places to where they can again cap the deer herds with their own running them to exhaustion and slaughter (not quite the culling the occasional weak and ill as envisioned) along with the easy pickings of local livestock, cats, dogs and that occasional child.
    The wolf packs may also broaden to take out the annoying enviro-folks that persist in camping without carrying firearms. A philosophical mixed blessing.

  2. Feb
    3
    3:35
    PM
    asha

    Right on Paul good common sense!
    Drik, You got the picture right too.

  3. Feb
    3
    7:07
    PM
    Kenneth H. Fleischer

    To my way of thinking, venison is good eating. Anybody out there, who shoots a doe and would like to give away some of the meat, look me up, if you put it on ice right away, so it’s fresh.

    Personally, I don’t go hunting, because that’s not an enjoyable activity for me, but I do love to eat well. To me, that would be the only motivation I could possibly have to go hunting. Or fishing.

  4. Feb
    5
    12:57
    PM
    Tree Dee

    Hmmmm… Could this be a “Depopulationist” plot, using the sealions as instruments to assist them in starving us pesky
    humans off the planet, ala Uncle Joe Stalin / Chairman Mao?

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