Oregon predators still under the gun

Back in the day, hunters shot every varmint they saw (Crows, coyotes, raptors, owls, bobcats, wolves). I’ve got an old book called The Varmit Hunter’s Bible by a guy named Popowski and its fascinating. Photos of dead owls stacked like logs and the like.

You would think the idea of wiping out varmits was long gone. Calling coyotes in across the high desert and collecting their pelts is a challenge and a rush. But I don’t dislike coyotes or treat them like a scourge (how many coyote pelts do you really need?). They’re a smart, gorgeous game animal that lets me extend my hunting season all year if I’m so inclined. And they also keep the rest of their ecosystems in check.

Turns out, not everybody in Oregon feels the same way. A couple of blogs have pointed out that timber companies are slaughtering tree-scratching black bears and piling them up in a convenient ditch. Another pointed to a news story about Portland pigeon enthusiasts attempting to wipe out raptors around their homes so they don’t eat their stupid pets. I pretty much expect that from the timber industry, but the bird-nerds? Come on!


About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
This entry was posted in Conservation, Oregon, predators. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Oregon predators still under the gun

  1. Cameron D. says:

    That is pretty sad. As far as I know all those raptors are protected by law and there are plenty of pigeons all over Portland. Lock up all of raptor killers and never let them out! If you don’t want your pigeons killed, don’t let them out of their cages. I think that’s fairly simple.

    But the bears? Doesn’t Oregon have enough trees that the bears can’t damage them all? As I remember, it’s important to have keystone predators in the ecosystem. Looks like timber is looking to get rid of a nuisance like someone trying to get rid of moles in the yard. If they want to use the damaged trees (killed by the bears), I’m sure they could harvest those and pile them up in a central location. Advertise this as firewood that the general public can come cut up and take home for X dollars a cord. Also, bears can only reach the bottom few feet of a tree. So all the tree above the damage should still be usable for sawing in a mill. So they lose some trees. I think they can still make money off those trees.

    And I haven’t mentioned someone doing research into how to deter the bears from this behavior.

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