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Smilie

Game Farms

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How does everyone feel, concerning allowing game farms to exist?

Species like Elk, wild pigs , deer, etc?

I am opposed to them for several reasons, the most important being that they provide breeding grounds for diseases like chronic wasting disease

It was first identified in a herd of captive mule deer, but whether it originated there, or before , in the Wild, is unknown. It was suggested by biologists whose talks I've listened to, that concentrating these species, through domestication, on relatively small areas, allows prions like those that cause CWD to become concentrated in that environment

Then, there is the fact that Game farms raising species not endemic to the area, are a risk of those species escaping, becoming a noxious species, like the European Wild pigs, which have become area problem in some provinces, esp Sask.

Spin off , are game farms, where 'hunter's pay big bucks to be pretty much guaranteed to shoot a trophy animal. I have to check into the facts, as the following is 'word of mouth', but I have heard that game farms will pay a game rancher big bucks for a trophy animal, and they are produced by these game farms, due to good mineral supplementation to ensure optimum horn growth

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I don't have a problem with the concept of a game farm or allowing those farms to sell hunts for trophy animals. The guides on these hunts are usually very savy and can make sure that the animals die as quickly and humanely as possible and the meat is usually donated.

I am not familiar with how they work in Canada but am pretty familiar with how they work in NM and Texas.

The folks that operate game farms need to be held financially and criminaly responsible for the game that they raise. They should be well monitored and strictly controlled by Fish and Wildlife staff, having to prove the whereabouts of every non-indigenous animal bought or bred on the property.

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Sorry, I guess I was not clear, between game farms and hunt farms. Game farms just raise wild life , to meet both a demand for restaurants that serve game, and spin off,like elk antlers used in alternative medicine

Alberta wound up putting bounties out for escaped wild pigs, and escaped wild pigs have raised major havoc in Sask.

Here is an article on the problem of escaped wild boars in Sask

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/dec13/wild-boar-problem-saskatchewan.asp

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/24/saskatchewan-wild-boar-website_n_3646141.html

I approve of neither, as how sporting is it to shoot a trophy animal that is in a fenced area? (hunt farms )

Game farms have the potential of introducing new species and disease into the wild

Here is some thoughts concerning hunt farms

http://fp1.centurytel.net/lemdems/Local_Issue1_game_farms.htm

here is some of the issues with game farms and controversy, including spreading CWD

http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/gamefarm111303.cfm

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I understand the difference and believe that they should be regulated the same.

There is so much money in game farming and selling hunts that I do not believe they will ever go away. I have no problem with either as long as they are tightly and appropriately regulated. They need to be licensed and regularly inspected for enclosure integrity and the health of the animals. The owners should pay all costs associated with licensing and inspections. All costs, including the pay of the inspecting staff and the tests that should be run on the animals to determine if they are free of disease.

Owners should be held financially responsible for any escaped animals and should have to pay for the immediate capture or destruction of escaped animals. They should have to pay for the treatment, or whatever is necessary to control, any disease in the local wild animal population that was caused by contact with the farm animals.

If these farms cause harm and can't pay the costs to mitigate? They need to go to prison for a while.

Hunts on private preserves are usually tightly controlled to prevent damage to the stock or property. There is staff present at all times, alcohol consumption is typically regulated to non-hunt times and many of the preserves do not allow camping. Guests stay in designated guest houses where they are pampered. The animals may not have the same chance at escape as a wild hunt on public land but they have a much better chance at a humane death since there are guides that can ensure that a wounded animal is promptly dispatched and that no animal is shot "on accident". I am good with hunters having to purchase a state license too. More money to the state to spend on the maintenance of state land and wildlife preserves.

I don't hunt anymore, too much work for this old lady, and I would not have wanted to do a "canned hunt" but I don't care if someone else wants too. Why would I care?

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I can see your points, but what if your business was that of an outfitter? How fair is it that those that can pay, are able to hunt at these farms and guaranteed a trophy of whatever size they can pay for?

Not really fair competition, in my mind

I guess the 'real hunters will still hunt, and those hunt farm customers will just need to invent stories, as to the difficulty of their hunt, and appear somewhat of a sportsman, instead of 'shooting fish in a barrel.

If I were to use the wild boar problem in Sask, where the point is quickly being passed on the ability to control their feral numbers, how would you go about penalizing the farmers? All the pigs would need to be DNAed, to make sure the right guilty party is fined.Then those pigs would need to be captured, which is proving to be very elusive. In the meantime, they breed and reproduce

Look what happened when other foreign plant species or animal species became introduced to a new environment, either on purpose, or accidentally. We have many examples.

That is how the sparrows got here. Where is it that rabbits have multiplied beyond control, also, due to this type of management?

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I believe Australia has issues with rabbits and feral cats. Also, the southern swamp states have issues with a rodent-like animal called a Nutria.

I lean with equinitis on all points of her posts re: licensing, regulation and accountability.

As for the argument of the outfitter who must use his/her skill to bring their clients to good wild game in their natural habitat compared with an enclosed game farm's canned hunts .... the key factor there is MONEY makes the difference. Specifically; disposable income. Not all hunters (realistically, only a small fraction of total hunters) will be able to afford the cost of a canned hunt so I don't think it would impact their income much at all.

An area I agree with you is the sportsmanship and honor of the hunt: true hunters hunt their game on the game's terms and canned hunting hunters ... well, my step-dad was an elk hunter (would fly to Colorado to hunt elk) and I am biased, so in my eyes a canned hunt isn't *really* a hunt. However, my opinion could change IF the canned hunt's hunter still needed to have and use skill to track, stalk and shoot his intended game. Then, the only difference would be a canned hunter is virtually guaranteed a shot at their game due to containment. In those cases, I would hope the game farm's topography was challenging enough to make the hunter work for his shot and gave the game a chance at evasion.

Edited by Heidi n Q

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My problem with hunting for trophies in the wild or in a big fenced in pasture.

Is the fact that they don't eat what they killed.

To me, hunting to put food on your table and keeping a memento of the hunt is okay.

Hunting for a head & hide leaving the carcass to rot isn't.

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Hunting for trophies animals in the wild, you certainly eat the meat-just tougher cuts , hunting trophy animals, then just meat hunting!

It is not legal to leave meat behind, except for black bears. Far as elk, I have found even trophy 6 point bulls taste good. Any meat we ourselves did not use, was donated to food banks-none was ever left to rot

Is it legal to leave meat behind to rot in the States? certainly not here, and huge fines are the result!

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ANY hunter worthy of calling himself an honorable hunter does not waste the meat they've hunted. If they don't eat it themselves it is still processed and then donated to feed others. Of course there are dishonorable people in the world who kill just for the sake of killing and will leave good meat behind to rot. They are NOT hunters. They are despicable.

Edited by Heidi n Q

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Hunting for trophies animals in the wild, you certainly eat the meat-just tougher cuts , hunting trophy animals, then just meat hunting!

It is not legal to leave meat behind, except for black bears. Far as elk, I have found even trophy 6 point bulls taste good. Any meat we ourselves did not use, was donated to food banks-none was ever left to rot

Is it legal to leave meat behind to rot in the States? certainly not here, and huge fines are the result!

Depends on whether they get caught or not......

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What we have here in Minnesota that I call "Game Farms" is a very large plot of land that the organization releases pheasants on and we go out there and hunt. Basically, it's just giving people access to large tracts of land to pheasant hunt on. The birds that don't get shot, stay out there and live. So, basically, no different than going out pheasant hunting on my back 40, except there might actually be more birds. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I don't hunt any big game, but my husband does. As for eating the meat - if he shoots a deer in Northern MN, we usually process all of that into ground meat as those deer are eating sticks, tree bark, etc. and the meat tastes different. If he shoots one in Western MN, now those guys are yummy - basically corn fed so we have steaks from them.

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I think that for some issues like the pigs in most places and the nutria and snakes in the swamps, it is too late to control that. I compare that to closing the barn door after the horse had run away. Those animals have adapted to those environments and will be impossible to eradicate. Going forward, I would like to think that we have learned from those mistakes and take precautions with the "farming" of animals that are not indigenous to the region they are being farmed in. Elk that have had red deer introduced to their genetics would be a non-indigenous species IMO and should be strictly regulated. DNA testing is not that expensive these days and I would not have a problem with requiring DNA samples on the animals so that responsibility can be accurately placed if there is an "accident" that introduces such species to the wild. The owner of the facility should bear all of the costs of such testing and licensing.

Invoices of animals purchased and records of production and disposal should be required. Inventories should be kept. DNA records would make this easy to verify. This would also make it easier and more effective to track health records and to conduct inspections for licensing, re-licensing. If the owner if bearing the cost, then that cost can be passed on to the client that wants to buy the trophy. This will also make the meat safe for consumption when it is sold to the restaurants for public consumption.

If the species is indigenous and healthy then there should not be an issue if there is an escape or accidental release. I believe that, in the case of the game bird hunts like farah mentioned, the birds that are planted for those hunts are common in the region. They are planted for gun dog trials also and there is no worry about not finding all the birds since they add to the wild population. I compare this to me trapping quail to train my gun dogs. If I lose a bird or 3, it is no great loss and no great impact to the local environment since the birds are common here anyway. I wish I could do that with pheasant but it is illegal to release them here so I can't risk losing any live birds that I use for training.

As far as sportsmanship? It can't really be forced and I would rather those that are lacking in that department have a canned hunt where the animal is protected from those unsportsmanlike ways that have them buying a license and hunting unsupervised on public land. Those are the idiots that shoot peoples horses, cattle and dogs by "mistake". Outfitters have a fairly limited clientele and, IMO, if they are any good, will stay in business. Some outfitters provide such services as can be compared to a canned hunt anyway. They provide all of the animals, all of the food and all of the skill involved in tracking the animal and acquiring the target. I know not all do this, but many do and I see very little difference in this type of hunting and a canned hunt except for the sleeping in the cold part. We take a North American Hunting magazine and I read about these outfitters all the time. some of them even supply the weapons and ammunition too.

I am unsure if there are legalities to leaving a kill behind. It would not occur to me to leave a kill since we hunted for things that we like to eat. I will have to find time to look into that because I do not know. I can't imagine that it would be harmful to leave a kill. There are a lot of scavengers to clean it up.

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My husband is atrophy hunter, but also adheres tot he rule of not leaving the meat behind.

That is one of the reasons I did not let him hunt deer for the last few years. Those bucks, even the ones that feed in our hay field, taste way too gamey for me!

Elk, on the other hand, even those 6 point bulls taste great!

I husband just refuses to hunt a doe or a cow elk!

Far as trophy elk, they are becoming way more difficult, in part that they are on draw, in the Ya Ha Tinda, and my husband has put in a non successful draw for the last 6 years. This is due to the huge impact that wolf predation has had in that area on calf survival

There are lots of resident elk in the ranching country, but that requires getting permission to hunt from the various ranchers

At least there still are no hunt farms for trophy Bighorn sheep, and anyone that tells me that they are an easy hunt in the wild, has not ridden into remote wilderness and climbed frozen and snowy trails to above the treeline, on trails I no longer wish to ride!

Also have packed out elk, in the dark, with a 'dangerous' bear sign posted, too tired to even care, after having ridden miles and miles, having one horse buck his part of the elk off, etc Reload everything, blizzard moving in, chilled to the bone, getting back to the trailer at 2 AM, frozen to the bone, to know that it is far removed from the ease of a 'CANNED' HUNT

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Smilie - I do have to agree with you about Elk. YUM! My husband has gone to Montana and Colorado Elk hunting and has only gotten one elk. The night he got home and cooked me a steak, I was sold! I love ribeyes, but I have to say that elk state was just as good, if not better! And now that monster elk is hanging on my wall and filling my freezer!

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yes, elk sure are yummy, and I think they taste every bit as good as beef!

Venison, not too much. Any deer he has shot, was made into sausages, and into ground meat, mixed with pork. Cannot stand deer roasts or steaks, no matter how much they are marinated.

We also have antelope, but in the far southern part of the province, or east, towards the `badlands`. Hubby has not hunted antelope since we first got married, but I liked the taste.

Having grown up in a non hunting family, I could not understand hubby`s indignation when I hung fresh ironing on the antlers of that pronghorn!

Also, when we first met, there was a pheasant release , near Calgary, and I do remember that those roasted pheasants tasted very good! Every once in awhile, you see a pheasant that has eluded those hunters!

I re call the story of a friend that booked a hunt with an outfitter. Guess he was served meat from the last year;s successful hunt of a Bighorn sheep. Not impressed!

My husband has tried to get a trophy ram (full curl ), since I have known him, and I can attest to how difficult that is! He has yet to get one. He got close one year, thinking the ram was legal, only to find that it was a quarter inch or so out, once that square was put on him.

He got a minimal fine, as he has practiced `due diligence`, and could not hunt for a year

Bighorn sheep are very hard to hunt,m and I know of Us hunters that pay major bucks , for a late Bighorn sheep hunt-up to 100 thousand dollars. Those hunts are on draw. Those rams aren;``t dumb, and stay in the National parks during the normal hunt season, except fore the few rams that come out on high mountain basins and head waters

I have written humorous short stories of mis adventures, hunting trophy rams with horses

Getting back to game farms. We had an elk farm, end of our road, until divorce entered the picture. Those fenced elk, attracted wild elk, and a 6 point wild bull was shot by the actual owner of that elk farm, as he was attracted to the cows in that fenced area. To me, much like baiting black bear!

I openly admit to having a problem with game farms and hunt farms

If our `wild`horses, out west, are declared `feral`, thus able to be hunted by people with permits and sold for meat, how then do you classify wild species that are farmed, and escape.

I guess they then become feral and òpen game, no longer under any wild life legislation

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"If our `wild`horses, out west, are declared `feral`, thus able to be hunted by people with permits and sold for meat, how then do you classify wild species that are farmed, and escape.

I guess they then become feral and òpen game, no longer under any wild life legislation" Quote=Smilie

This is a good question and I do not know the answer. That is what is happening to the feral pigs in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana from what I have read. Permits are sold to anybody that wants to hunt the pigs and there are people making a living removing the pigs from farms and ranches. Heck, there are a couple of "reality" TV shows about it now! "hog" dogs are gaining popularity and can sell for large amounts of money. The pigs are mostly, again from what I have read, a cross between wild pigs and escaped or released domestic pigs.

I love venison but do not really care for elk, antelope, mutton or goat. I have eaten all of it and would again but my preference is for venison. I have never been on a Bighorn hunt but would not, in any way, compare it to hunting deer or elk. They live in such remote, inaccessible areas where deer and elk, antelope even, live right in my back yard! I can't imagine them doing well in farm conditions anyway.

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Never eaten goat! There are goat tags available in Northern Alberta, but they can be even harder to hunt then Bighorn Sheep

My husband is not likely to bring any wild goat meat home, were he ever to hunt them-just give it away.

Heck, he even won't eat any Greek food made with goat cheese, and I did pass by him the suggestion of tapping into the growing ethnic market, by raising some meat goats, but that did not go over well!

I don't like venison, so if we lived closer, could swap you venison for elk. Don't care for moose either

Best wild meat ever, JMO, was the year hubby hunted elk where three point bulls were legal

I am very thankful that one does not have to keep the meat of any bears or wolves!!!!

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Nothing wrong with game farms. My cousin owns one in Missouri and another in Arkansas and makes good money doing it. He makes sure his animals are healthy by purchasing good feed for them. Wasting disease was caused from cheap feed using animal by products.The UK figured this out since many of their cattle were fed that way.I believe out government has made it illegal to feed herbivores any meat by products to keep wasting disease in check. Carefull breeding programs are also practiced by the properly run ones. They are selectively bred to produce huge racks and large torso's. Inferior ones are culled out.

Ever here the saying you are what you eat? Well same goes for animals...You feed pigs swill, they will taste like swill. Bear eating fish will taste like fish.You feed Elk or deer Kelp, they will taste fishy. Caribou on the Brooks range taste like burnt moss where as ones located in more grassy climates taste good. If you do not know how to trim or cook the animals in the deer family(Elk, moose, caribou, reindeer, deer, or sheep) I suggest you stay away from them and only let more qualified game cooks prepare your meals.

Any game farm properly managed can produce really good meat just like a domestic animal farm can. The only wild game farm that should be on a radar list is fish farms... these are not wild fish and genetically modified to grw fast and can harm our wild stock.

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Wasting disease was caused from cheap feed using animal by products.The UK figured this out since many of their cattle were fed that way.I believe out government has made it illegal to feed herbivores any meat by products to keep wasting disease in check. Carefull breeding programs are also practiced by the properly run ones. They are selectively bred to produce huge racks and large torso's. Inferior ones are culled out.

I don't believe they've narrowed down the cause of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer/elk. They know it's a prion, but the origin and mode of transmission are still unknown. I think the most recent research points towards direct animal-animal contact or via contaminated feed sources (grass/soil contaminated by urine/feces). There was some thought that it was spread by insects (ticks, mostly), but I think they've largely moved on from that assumption.

There is big concern that CWD might become transmissionable (is that a word?) to other animals. It can be found in other animals, cats and hamsters come to mind, but they don't currently transmit it.

CWD of elk/deer is not what is commonly referred to as Mad Cow Disease. Same church, different pew :-)

I only know this because my brother has published research in the prion field. Not that anyone cares especially, this just stuck in my head LOL

Edited by Milo

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Making up for a lack of something else.

That trophy hunters just hunt for the head and leave the meat to rot, is incorrect!

You just select an animal where the tenderness of that meat is secondary to the trophy, and it the wild esp, that makes the hunt more difficult then just meat hunting.

Cow elk and does and even Bighorn Sheep ewes are very easy to shoot where we live.

Shooting atrophy animal is much more difficult, thus makes the hunt more sporting, and trophy hunters actually look down on meat hunters. Rest assured though, that any elk bull, buck that hubby shoot, we packed out that meat and made good use of it.

As for prions-I attended a seminar on it, and one professional here ,was actually a person who diagnosed a first mad cow iN Canada All of the prion diseases were discussed.

It is also suspected, as Milo suggested, that prions causing CWD, contaminate the soil and are transmitted that way, making game farms prime breeding areas, as those animals become concentrated in a relatively small confined area

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