Wildlife Killing Contests – The Movie
The polite and restrained movie appearing below is not anti-hunting. In fact, it should be mandatory viewing for all hunters and wildlife lovers.
While most of the contests target predators, each shot fired damages the legacy—and future—of ethical hunting. Why? These contests have nothing to do with wildlife management nor do they focus on nuisance animals. Instead these contests promote indiscriminate killing for cash and prizes. They prompt a few to wantonly destroy a shared wildlife resource owned by the public.
Those who promote, practice or avert their eyes from unethical hunting will be equally responsible when our proud tradition of hunting is merely a memory.
Wildlife Killing Contests – FULL MOVIE from Comfort Theory on Vimeo. It contains some graphic scenes.
Sadly our own state and federal agencies—including Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD)—have played a role in legitimizing this eradication mentality. Along with many universities, agencies, and conservation groups, TPWD embraced and spread the fake science of invasive species biology and the corollary idea that so-called invasive species should be subject to a zero-tolerance policy. Under that reasoning, targeted species—including many natives—are not subject to the rules that apply in the universally accepted North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Invasive species dogma lacks holistic thinking. It largely ignores the long-term natural history of our world. Its methods are disrespectful of nature. In fact, it’s hard to name a modern wildlife management practice intended to help any species that doesn’t involve eliminating other species. There is a direct link between the invasion biology our universities and agencies teach and the examples set by their own practices, and the creation and growth of these contests.
Invasive species “biology” —the root cause —is widely held, mainstream and the source of other perversities besides killing contests. For example, as recently as 2019-2020, helicopters and auto rifles were employed by agencies trying to “control” aoudad in far-West Texas and wild goats in Yellowstone Park, to “help” bighorn sheep by reducing so-called competition. This year, USDA’s “Wildlife Services” will spend millions on aerial gunning and indiscriminate cyanide poisoning of predators on public and private lands around Yellowstone and across the West.
This blog was started several ago when we were still ranching in far-West Texas. It began in reaction to the astounding fact that Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Bighorn Society, Borderlands Research Institute, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation—to name just a few—refused to condemn the practices described in the articles linked below because they apparently (1) buy into invasive species biology, and/or (2) are themselves financially (or otherwise) dependent on the agencies.
Now is the time for every hunter and wildlifer to speak up for the wild animals that cannot speak for themselves. Legislation is pending in the Texas Legislature to ban killing contests as of September 2021. Contact the organizations named above, and your Texas legislators, and ask them to support efforts to end the killing contests.