Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last chance hunts...

A fellow bird hunter and I were recently discussing the ethics of hunting upland gamebirds that - despite being threatened with practical if not literal extinction - still have legal seasons in some states.

We were specifically discussing lesser prairie chickens, a bird that in the space of a little over one hundred years has gone from being the most iconic and populous prairie gamebird species on the southern plains to one that has disappeared from all but a tiny fraction of its historic range. There are, however, still huntable populations of lessers in southwest Kansas, and the question was, should we plan a "Last Chance" trip to hunt lessers before they're (inevitably) listed under the ESA?

Now that topic is a weighty one, and will be the subject of a future blog post, but I mention it today as a segue to something I found that sort of ties into the question. Lessers, it seems, aren't the only gamebirds on the brink.

Bird Hunted To Near Extinction Due To Infuriating 'Fuck You' Call

Now I must confess I've never hunted the Montana Merkle, but I'm wondering how many former merkle hunters there are out there who wrestled with the same question I now face with the lesser prairie chicken, and how many are still haunted by the memory of the merkle's plaintive, profane call echoing across the prairie (or wherever it lives...) fuuuuck youuuu, fuuuuck youuuu...

Kinda makes you tear up just a bit, doesn't it?


  1. I dunno, I don't really think the Onion is all that careful in its reporting and fact-checking of the news. I saw a piece on the Onion about Drew Barrymore's new autobiographical coloring book earlier this year and still can't seem to find it at bookstores anywhere.
    It's not like it's Fox News or anything. Oh, wait.

  2. Ah, news as it should be done!

    On the more serious question, though, I don't know. I have to assume that if hunting is being allowed, the biologists must believe the population can withstand it. Assuming that's true, the bigger question for me would be whether I want to gear up to hunt something that I can get only one of.

  3. You're right, Crawdaddy. The Onion is completely slipshod.Can't believe they call themselves journalists. That's why I get my news only from the Daily Show...