Texas hunting season is here. Deer season is in full swing with the bow hunters coming out of the woods and the gun hunters going in. About a year ago my mouth ran a little wild when the media was going on and on about a lion hunter. I never did figure out if people were mad at the hunter or the act of hunting. Either way, I guess all the lion hunting rage has calmed down some. It must have because I haven’t heard a word in our press about the 10-year-old girl that was dragged from her bed and kill by a lion in Kenya this past August.
Since the lion uproar, there has been a 75% to 99% cancellation rate for hunts in Zimbabwe. This is for all hunts, not just for lions. This means a large drop in revenue which funded everything from poaching enforcement to fire prevention.
Now, since man is the only predator a lion has, and lion hunting is way down, what’s the population doing? It growing by large numbers. In February 2016 there was talk of culling 200 lions in Zimbabwe’s Bubye Valley Conservancy because of overpopulation due to loss of habitat and lack of hunting. The best information I have found is the cull never took place. I consider that a good thing.
Is killing one animal to save another justified? In September of this year in the Bubye Valley Conservancy of Zimbabwe, lions killed two rhino calves. These calves were the endangered black rhino. Is this over population or just lions being lions? Could a cull have saved these Rhinos?
Also in September of this year officials killed 350 hippos and buffalo (not bison) in Kruger National Park in South Africa. They are in the worst drought in 30 years. They did this for the health of the heard.
Ok, I’m done with that. I made my call to the fine people at Ye Old Butcher Shop to get the skinny about this year’s deer. They have taken in an average number of deer this bow season. Body condition is outstanding. Lots of rain in the spring and a mild summer produced a lot of natural forage. That means they have plenty to eat. It also means that most of the deer are on the cameras not on the dressing racks. Feedback from the bow hunters I have talked to indicates the same thing. It should be a good year for the taxidermist. By the way, Wells Brothers has 50lb bags of whole corn for $7.25 and the outstanding Antlermax deer feed and blocks. Have a safe season and keep the wind in your face!