Slob Hunters

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:35:14 11/21/14

In Reply to: ugly scene at the Teton elk hunt posted by Hoot


These "clowns" are what many members of the hunting community refer to as "slob hunters", idiots that give hunting a bad name, and provide anti-hunting people ammo to use in their efforts to limit or curtail hunting.

When I lived in Colorado, I witnessed a scenario something similar to what is reported in the Jackson Hole News, except, in this case, slob hunters were lining a road in close proximity to the north edge of the city of Estes Park. There were houses scattered on several sides of a 40 or 50 acre tract of open land, surrounded by a barbed wire fence. A herd of elk seemed to know they were safe in that space, because they would not leave. It was private land, and posted to keep hunters and others off it. In this case, there was a virtual circus atmosphere. Besides the hunters, there was a large contingent of non-hunting locals and tourists hanging around, viewing and photographing the elk, plus a number of conspicuous law enforcement types (Larimer County Sheriff Deputies and NPS rangers primarily). Since I was a volunteer photographer for Rocky Mountain National Park, I was gathering shots of the event.

In conversations with locals, I learned that this was pretty much an annual event, and the elk knew to hold tight during the day, and wait until after dark to leave their sanctuary.

The "rest of the story" is the fact that since that era, in the 1980s, the local elk herd has grown to what is widely considered an unsustainable size. They migrate out of the national park, and create all sorts of problems in town, trampling people's gardens, injuring pets, getting hit by vehicles, etc. I have not stayed current on this situation, but I knew a few years ago, there were pleas to allow hunters to thin the herd inside the park.

This is just one of those problems caused by creeping development along national park or wilderness boundaries. We humans come in and create resorts and towns on critical winter range, and then act surprised when the inevitable human-critter conflicts arise.

In Colorado, there are a number of cases of what were once prolific elk herds being reduced or even eliminated via rampant valley bottom development sprawl, as ski area operators develop golf courses and condo complexes on the scarce flat bottom land at the base of the ski areas. That's where the critical winter range typically resides.

It seems almost every sport or hobby group has its slob element, whether it's soccer fans that create riots that kill people, overly-aggressive surfers that "hog" waves, or slob hunters, that engage in unethical and sometimes, illegal, hunting.


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