Monday, December 19, 2011

Magdalena Lion Hunt

My friend and "cousin", local rancher, reader, and hunter Sissy (Mary Helen Gianera Pound) Olney, ran into us in the Capitol Bar in Socorro yesterday and told us to look up this YouTube of her husband Tom and nephew Royce hunting mountain lions in the Magdalenas on horseback with hounds, the traditional way.



The video, by the NM game & Fish Department, is amusing and professional, the hunters articulate and enthusiastic, the hounds even more excited. The humans exhibit a practiced competence that makes it all look easy-- I have known Tom over 20 years, and his father Hugh was one of the pioneering local hound men. They tree a cat a couple of times, photo it, let it go, and explain why...

At this point I should and will state that comment threads outside Q are more often than not fatuous at best. But these ones are truly amazing.

The first here is the best-- it is not only WRONG but: what about NEW MEXICO COUGAR HUNT and NEW MEXICO GAME AND FISH does this person not understand?!

"Hunting cougars is not funny, is an endangered specie and it must be protected! Hunting a cougar is criminal.

"Hunting a big cat is criminal. Who hunts an animal like this most be behind bars. Everybody should tell this to the Canadian Authorities."

Must I say? Not "specie", not endangered, must not most, not illegal, NOT CANADA.

The second is more literate-- if no less fatuous AR boilerplate and propaganda:

"Shooting any animal sitting on a branch takes no skill whatsoever to do it. If these "men" had their act together they would see that. But, it takes all kinds in the world. Unfortunately, we all suffer the loss of animals because these guys have nothing better to do with their time. It is sad for the cats, even sadder for the misfits that hunt them. Get a life.

"I love all these stupid comments about killing livestock etc. Hunting mountain lions is killing and wasting a beautiful animal for some misfit to get his jollies nothing more. Don't give me the crap about losing livestock. It is a cost of doing business, that simple. If you don't like it, don't be in the livestock business moron... if you are a stupid rancher get out of the business."

In the face of what theologians might call Invincible Ignorance ("stupid rancher..") the rational mind quails. So I answered coolly, as I hope we all would:

"Actually it takes enormous skill and experience to train a pack of dogs, not to mention horses, and we are not even talking about maintenance and time.

"The Olneys are second and third generation hunters and pro ranchers, and even so let more lions go with only a digital record than they take-- AS THEY DID THIS ONE. I suspect they care more knowledgeably for lions than their critics."

And the implication that the hunters are somehow not "men"? How... early 20th century Freudian. Apart from the physical dangers, and the skills needed to ride for days and miles in hard country: the very female Sis, hound woman, mother, grandmother, 4th generation ranch matriarch, "Cowboy Bitch" (her own sardonic formulation), and the first female brand inspector in the US, is more of a woman AND a "mensch" than the critic whatever her or his "gender" to put it in proper pc terms will ever be...

16 comments:

dr. hypercube said...

There are stupid comment threads and then there are YouTube comment threads. YT comments are the ignorant idiot/troll gold standard. The Urban Dictionary has some good definitions.

Retrieverman said...

Never read Youtube comments on hunting videos. It's bad for you.

There was a widely publicized "article" in the British press that cougars were going extinct.

Maybe in Latin America.

In North America, it's the exact opposite.

What are they going to do when the cougars start eating their dogs?

As soon as that happens, I think people start to reconsider their positions.

Learning that wolves an would kill dogs (and occasionally people) changed my rather adolescent views on wolf hunting.

Retrieverman said...

To embed a Youtube video in Blogger, click the "Share" button beneath the video. Then click "Embed." It will create the Embed code, copy that and paste it into the post where you want the video. Not all videos can be embedded. If you can't embed, it will say "Embedding disabled by request."

CZLion said...

I always wanted to go on one of those mounted cat hunts and truly love the sound of mountain hound music but these days bad knees and hips preclude it. My friend, Cody, says it can be done on snow machine but I have to admit, it's not the same and have never, ever been on one.

Steve, don't know where to post this but thought you'd be interested.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8950882/Military-Obituaries-Heroes-we-lost-in-2011.html

M.L. Miller said...

A few years ago, I had the great fortune to spend a day with Warner and Wendy Glenn on their ranch. I wish all those so sure of themselves could spend a few hours discussing hounds, hunting and conservation with Warner.

I have talked to him several times over the years for ideas in my presentations and stories on hunter-environmentalists. I use his example in my presentations. I think it's an important one. Sometimes, when non-hunting environmental groups talk about hunters, they portray the guy who goes once a year after grouse, while staring at a dead bird with sadness and reverence. That sort of thing.

The Glenns have done as much for conservation as anyone. They live in a spectacular part of the world. They know the rugged canyons and grasslands, the wildlife and the people of that place. It's an important story.

Finally, when discussing this topic with (open-minded) non-hunters, I often share (non-hunter) David Quammen's excellent piece on lion hunting--and eating-- "Eat of this Flesh." A really excellent piece, much better and more complex than the "talking points" put out too often by both sides of the debate.

Steve Bodio said...

Matt Miller: I sort of "facilitated" that deal-- I put David Q in touch with Don Thomas-- still have the latter's letter. (My Montana pigeon loft also is featured in David's last Outside column).

Maybe I should blog on it. Lib and I have also eaten stir- fried lion with ginger at Don's.

Reid Farmer said...

I sort of "facilitated" that deal
=============

Dang it, you know EVERYBODY

Steve Bodio said...

I am almost embarrassed to say we also know Warner & Wendy and like Matt have eaten dinner there, and I wholeheartedly second his endorsement of them and of the rancher- "green" cooperation exemplified by the Malpais Borderlands group, which they helped found and Wendy virtually ran in the old days. I was one of the large crew of friends who contributed to his Eyes of Fire jaguar booklet.

Now Wendy and Warner: They know EVERYBODY, from Liz Claiborne to the humblest Border vaquero or hound man... and treat them all with the same grace.

Steve Bodio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Bodio said...

(Sorry, dog jostled me and I posted a blank post).

"...[T]he guy who goes once a year after grouse, while staring at a dead bird with sadness and reverence..." got some play last year when a well- known fellow who returned to hunting after 30 years and shot one Montana grouse somehow deserved 3500 words or so in Outside about his moral agonies. While Warner, a hound man, is ignored despite his lifelong efforts...

Anonymous said...

And Steve, if you even want to go there with ignorant, overcivilized, urban commenters of this sort(or for future "discussions" on the subject as they come up), most of the research done to help PRESERVE cougars was done with the HELP of trained lion hounds and houndsmen--including the truly endangered eastern population of Florida Panthers. That's the good thing about hunting with treeing trailhounds--you always have the option NOT to kill, and even HELP in the preservation of such species....L.B.

Anonymous said...

.....and if any of these anti-hunting commentors ARE from Florida, in regards to the truly endangered population of cougars in Florida, the BEST thing they could do for them wouldn't be eliminate hunting, but would be to burn down their condominiums(and their neighbor's condominiums, and their neighbor's neighbors' condominiums) and move away and let the woods grow back. But NOBODY seems to love those big cats THAT much....L.B.

Anonymous said...

"Never read Youtube comments on hunting videos. It's bad for you."

I'd expand that to: Never read Youtube comments. Period. The level of vitriolic ignorance will drive you to despair.

Jim Cornelius
www.frontierpartisans.com

Mike Spies said...

God must love a fool. There are so many of them - always ready to offer a righteous opinion with no basis in understanding or cognition.

I suspect that I should swallow the bile that rises from my gut when I read the AR story line and offer to take them hunting. Not.

I expect that I shall die before the urban cultural imperialism completely overwhelms the knowledge and wisdom of those who have lived the life worth living.

Mike Spies said...

God must love a fool. There are so many of them - always ready to offer a righteous opinion with no basis in understanding or cognition.

I suspect that I should swallow the bile that rises from my gut when I read the AR story line and offer to take them hunting. Not.

I expect that I shall die before the urban cultural imperialism completely overwhelms the knowledge and wisdom of those who have lived the life worth living.

Mike Spies said...

God must love a fool. There are so many of them - always ready to offer a righteous opinion with no basis in understanding or cognition.

I suspect that I should swallow the bile that rises from my gut when I read the AR story line and offer to take them hunting. Not.

I expect that I shall die before the urban cultural imperialism completely overwhelms the knowledge and wisdom of those who have lived the life worth living.