Poor battered Michigan desperately needs more new jobs, but I didn’t know “Pigsticker” was going to be a growth category:
… Call them wild hogs, feral swine, razorbacks or Russian boar, they’ve become a serious nuisance across Michigan. The hogs are thought to be escapees from game ranches, where hunters pay $300 to $2,000 to shoot them. Prolific parents, they produce as many as 18 offspring a year. As many as 5,000 are in the wild in Michigan.
The state is fighting back, considering declaring them an invasive species as at least six other states have done. The director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment could add wild hogs to the list of invasives as early as September, as the state’s wildlife division recommends, making it illegal to possess them. The hogs meet the definition, since they’re not native and destructive.
The hogs compete with deer and birds for acorns and berries, eat deer fawns and the eggs of game birds such as grouse and quail, and uproot vegetation. They threaten people: In 2008, a wild hog was shot after it chased a young girl in Washtenaw County. They also carry pseudorabies, a disease that can sicken their domestic pig cousins and endangers the state’s $500-million pork industry.
The aggressive nature of the hogs makes them popular hunting animals at some private game ranches. On a dozen YouTube videos and in photos, hunters pose at Bear Mountain Lodge near Negaunee with boars they’ve shot. “This is the real deal, just like Siberia,” one hunter says on a 2009 video. “You’ve got to give this a shot if you’re a real man.”
I am all in favor of hunting, for food and sport, but paying someone to run a pre-chosen specimen up where you can blast it from your ergonomic chair isn’t “hunting”, it’s “LARPing with live ammunition.” It’s slightly more aerobic than shooting
your companion in the face little caged birds, but if that’s how you measure manliness, you are doing it wrong. Conservationists call feral pigs “kudzu with tusks”. The boars are basically 300 hairy, stinking pounds of unmitigated anger and appetites, but unlike Rush Limbaugh, they’re fast, tough, and prolific.
And, yeah, I know the self-proclaimed ‘Motor City Madman’ decamped for wingnuttier climes many years ago, but he’s still a
pig lazy, selfish poacher.
Suddenly, I’m reminded about the comic book series about the crew that rebuilds places after superheroes trash them.
Ugh. Can we stick him in the Crazy Uncle Attic along with Pat Buchanan now? They’re both past their expiration dates.
I hate this shit. I really do. Real man? Bullshit. Bully and asshole is a better description. Fuck Ted Nugent and his ilk with an extra-rusty pitchfork.
@NobodySpecial: Which series is that? Sounds intriguing.
@Yutsano: Hiya. How you be? I hear Uncle Pat called out Newt for going to far. You know you’re far in the crazy if Pat Buchanan calls you out for being too racist.
@asiangrrlMN: It’s so funny how I’ll get into spates of a huge amount of activity then do nothing for a long time. But things are getting done in chunks, so I guess that’s a good thing. But Roma wasn’t constructed in a 24 hour time span and all that. I’m already in trouble though. There’s a great Mediterranean place on the same block I live on that my landlady highly recommended to me. It might end up being a one-man stimulus package.
Oh and can we just send Ted out in the woods and hunt him? Kthxbai!
@asiangrrlMN: The comic series would be Damage Control.
I know true hunters who would be offended by this.
@Yutsano: That’s not a problem, that’s a solution! But, you like to cook, so maybe not a solution for you. As for Nugent, I would volunteer to be on that hunting squad.
@Jason Baur: So, it’s an older comic? Thanks!
Thanks for the save, Jason. I was away. It wasn’t like it was that great of a comic book, but I imagine there’s going to be a LOT of work available cleaning our messes.
@YellowJournalism: True hunters HATE those stupid kill farms. A hunt is where you go out in the woods, get dirty, lay quiet forever, and if you’re lucky you’ll get a target. Hell even British fox hunts with all their uppity classness still were crapshoots, they didn’t know for sure if they’d find a fox. You wanna kill something drive to a fucking slaughterhouse and have at it. You’re basically doing the same thing here.
@asiangrrlMN: I’m a foodie. I appreciate a good restaurant as much as anyone. It just amazes me there would be a possibly amazing one THAT CLOSE. And the Nugent hunt reminds me of fish and barrels, so not much sport in that.
@NobodySpecial: Agreed on the mess thing. Were it that we had souped-up super-heroes.
@Yutsano: Fish in a barrel is exactly right. Where is the sport in farm hunting (I like that phrase)? Where is the challenge? Where is the relative fairness? Fuck that shit.
Wild pigs also surprisingly cute when up close, at least the babies are. I honestly didn’t even know we had them in the US, I’ve never seen one there.
@Yutsano: Did you move in already? If so, did you hear the sonic booms?
@MikeJ: I’m still on the eastern side of the mountains, so no. WhatdidImiss?
Love the posts but I think maybe I’ve missed something – isn’t there a combination of two separate phenomena here that you seem to lump together with your last comment?
1. Michigan is being overrun by big fat nasty pigthings that the legimaslature wants to KKND.
2. These big fat fat meanies are raised on some game farms for big fat fatty mean humans to kill without taking the initiative of actually going out in the wild where their substantial, blubbery bodies might be threatened. Do I mean to suggest that hunters who hunt in some sort of stocked ersatz-preserve are probably obese and less than adventurous? i do. If you’re that lazy, play a videogame and save mother nature the loss of a living creature. (I realize that idea could be taken more broadly for the elimination of non-subsistence hunting, and I’d have no problem with that, jussayin’.)
I don’t own a gun, nor do I ever plan to; I’ve never been hunting, nor do I ever want to. But I can see why some people would hunt, for subsistence or for sport (so long as they actually eat their kill). I don’t have a problem if we start marking for the kill some species that is overburdening the ecosystem or destroying human-oriented natural resources. I do think its freakish and bizarre to breed/sequester animals for the sole purpose of having a fake hunt for them.
Just thinking it’s not kosher to conflate the two.
@Yutsano: Obama was in town today. Cessna floatplane was coming home from Chelan, didn’t check and find out that there was restricted airspace. F-15s scrambled from Portland got here in 12 minutes. Made two very loud, distinct sonic booms. Broke windows.
Nothing happened, the guy landed where he was going, secret service interviewed him, searched the plane. Happily, he was just stupid instead of malicious.
No pics of the F-15s (I never saw them, just heard them), but I did get some shots of AF1.
I blame Ayn Rand. As always.
@MikeJ: Your link broken. You fix. Glad no one was hurt and that the guy was just stupid.
@MikeJ: Uhh…oops. Though I’m thinking I may want to go check on the condo sooner rather than later now. Of course Comcast can’t get me in to install the damn cable until next Thursday, so I’m not too horribly happy about that. Oh well, I’ll get over it.
Grrrr. Sorry. Try this one.
@Yutsano: I answered you below-thread, but if E.D. and I had a face-to-face conversation, I think they could sell tickets and give the proceeds to BJ and the animal rescue Cole supports.
@JSmith: My take is that Ann Laurie was using the first couple paragraphs and background for the last. I don’t think she was trying to conflate the two.
@MikeJ: Cool! That one works. Sweet ride.
@Yutsano: I haven’t been to drinking liberally in months. After you get settled in, let me know if you want to check it out. I’ll make a point of going.
@asiangrrlMN: Mmm…caramel corn. Now I wanna make some dammit!
@MikeJ: Saw those when you posted them earlier. Awesome. Did he take off to the north or to the south?
@Yutsano: Now you’re making me want popcorn, damn it.
@asiangrrlMN: Habañero popcorn? :)
@Yutsano: Habanero and mango popcorn! That would be sooooo good. Damn you, FH#2!
#Shakes fist to the west#
Early, I know, since you’ll be posting for years, but this is easily my favorite Annie post yet, start to finish.
Next-to-last paragraph kills, Anne. The smile on my face, I so wish you could see it.
ETA: I’m an Ohioan, and so I have a knee-jerk reaction to all things Michigan. But really, trust me when I say that my loathing of Ted Nugent’s Second Life of hunting and profiting from shooting caged animals is pure, and comes from a place of goodness, all bias aside.
Ok, now I didn’t read the article, just what you excerpted, but I fail to see anything about blasting pigs from ergonomic chairs.
Assuming that was in the article that I didn’t read and you were being slightly hyperbolic, what’s wrong with corralling invasive species into an area and letting people hunt? Even if it’s not a “fair hunt” (fuck I’d argue that it’s not hunting if you’re at range, but that’s another thread).
Anyway…the hunters are serving a purpose, and even if they don’t eat what they catch, the surrounding wild life will appreciate the meal. The surrounding wild life will also appreciate that their territory is not being built upon by some foreign bacon sanctuary.
Really it’s a win win. Why does it matter that some overweight, impotent , power-chair driving, Limbaugh wanna be is pulling the trigger.
@asiangrrlMN: Well FWIW for some reason I am massively craving lemongrass. I know, random as all get out, but there it is. I may get some Thai or Viet Namese tomorrow for lunch.
@JenJen: Heh. I get to ride by my rival university every. single. damn. day on my way to work now. if it wasn’t for the fact I knew and respected people who went there I’d be even more disturbed by that fact.
@JenJen: Well, I am a Minnesotan with no animosity toward Michigan, and I loathe Ted Nugent, so I think you are on the side of all that is good and pure.
@Yutsano: I don’t like lemongrass. There. I said it. My dirty secret is out. Tomorrow is shopping day, though, so I will eat well.
By the way, this is my mood right now. Yeah, yeah!
@asiangrrlMN: I suppose I’ll just have to indulge myself without you then. Fine. Sigh. I might as well just spend most of the day packing then. Oh and tomorrow I’m rolling a kielbasa in puff pastry with cheese and mustard. Nom nom nom!
Well, say what you like, but none of these animals would be alive if we didn’t have a use for them (and they won’t be much longer, most of them).
@Yutsano: Oh god. Want puff pastry with cheese and kielbasa. Want so much.
@asiangrrlMN: I shall try to save you some, although no guarantees after my brother gets a whiff of it.
Oh and a little something to make soonergrunt giggle.
@Yutsano: Ta. I would appreciate. And, that video’s funny as hell. Nice kick, too.
@asiangrrlMN: Yes, it’s older. Late 80s, early 90s material. My post was supposed to have a link to the wiki article with the details, but that must be stuck in moderation.
@Jason Baur: It’s there. It’s just hidden. When I clinked on the reply to button, it replied to you and took me to the link. Neat!
OK, bitchez. I’m out. Night.
@Jason Baur: Word Press needs no excuses to moderate. It does so completely on its own whims and compulsions. FYWP wasn’t exactly created in a vacuum after all.
And on that note I’m outtie. Hon if you see FH #1 give him a kiss and Pedro some Marmite.
Little green shoots of birther tactics
Just a thought, since the Muslim community is being asked to come out of their shells and defend the Park51 project, the current anti-Islam backlash might produce a semblance of hope that the opinions of Muslims might be heard whenever there is talk of bombing Muslims abroad.
My understanding of the article was, it was the kill farms (aka game ranches) that created the problem to begin with.
They imported non-native feral pigs for “live ammo LARPing” and some of the captives wandered off the reservation, and have since established themselves as an invasive species.
I checked the Michigan Department of Natural Resources page and apparently, feral swine populations exist in at least 69 counties.
That’s the proper take. Most of these game farms offer canned hunts for exotic species (google texas exotic hunts) so the wealthy and wealthy-ish can indulge their inner tough guy and shoot what is essentially a farm animal on an enclosed estate. Problem is that introduced species often do their own thing, which includes jumping, or going though, fences. The asian carp invasion that is poised to migrate into the Great Lakes are escapees from fish farms. But try and regulate this shit and these fuckers squeal about their rights and socialism and overbearing government and liberal pussies.
Feral hogs are legitimate invasive species in pretty much all 50 states, except AK and some NE states, I think. In NY, there’s one relatively small patch of state forest that has feral hogs, but that may be more myth than truth.
I was in a discussion on a fishing board about dipshit hunters that basically double-down on their cruelty in order to piss off PETA and how that actually works against them and the 73% of hunters that aren’t sociopaths. Of course, the current right wing’s entire ideology can be surmised as doubling down on the ignorance and crazy when confronted on any issue (see Palin, Sarah).
And I’m in moderation. Boo.
This same thing happened to in the Smokey Mountains starting about 70 years ago.
<blockquote = cite"
The hog behavior of rooting while searching for food causes the most damage to the park. Many plant species, including ones that are rare or that take several years to flower, are eaten, trampled, or uprooted by the rototiller action of a foraging hog. Native animals are also victim to the wild hog through direct consumption, destruction of habitat, and competition. For example, red-cheeked salamanders, which are endemic to the park, are commonly found in hog stomachs.
Both wallowing and rooting contaminate streams, causing potential problems for the native brook trout. Hog occupied drainages have been found to have a higher concentration of coliform bacteria than unoccupied drainages. These bacteria contaminate water sources, which is a health consideration in heavily used recreational areas such as the park."
In looking at the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources page, there were 3 or 4 counties where herds of 20 or even 30+ feral swine were routinely sighted.
A group that large could be a serious ecological and human danger.
In the Bush years, there was a strong correlation between state support for him and feral piggery. This is not a good sign for Michigan.
Ted Nugent is a talentless slackwit of a musician unless you’re a 13 year old boy who wants to hear somebody hack and maim a guitar while singing about all the imaginary pussy he’s getting.
Game farms are only one source for feral pigs. The other two are natural breeding (they are very rabbit like and are spreading from the south) and pork farms. An escaped domestic hog reverts to a wild boar in about two generations, which only takes 12-15 months. Before factory farming, pigs were let into forests then rounded up later in the year. Obviously, they never got them all back and a feral population has been around since white people came to the continent.
I think fenced game “preserves” are silly, but we would have feral pigs whether they existed or not.
Ted Nugent is another maroon who should be dropped into Iran or Afghanistan along with Bill Kristol, Laura Ingraham, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbo,Lizzie Cheney and all the other right wing blowhards.
Forget the factory farms.
Designate the same areas to let the feral pigs roam, and hire the kinds of guys who love this sort of thing to do this sort of thing.
They can live in the woods, not bathe, and shoot things; we would get meat from animals that lived without the filthy conditions our meat comes from now.
That would be a win win.
In California, we’ve got feral pigs from when the Spanish were here. Killing them is basically a public service. So though I agree with the sentiment about the quailtard-murderers who “hunt” in game farms, I’m also all in favor of hunting the feral swine population, preferably to extinction in North America. They are incredibly destructive, and have no natural predators.
Why do I find myself on the side of the wild boars? Who is the real invasive species here?
I know where you are going with this. But we brought the boars here in our boats, so we are both invasive. ;-)
But why were they scrambled from Portland? With all the military and airplane stuff in Seattle, they don’t have their own F-15s?
The invasive subspecies that brought them here with them. “Wild” boars are all imports from outside North America, much like Starlings. People need to read There’s a Hair in My Dirt by Gary Larsen.
Kill with prejudice imho.
Yep, pigs are invasive.
Personally, I have no problem hunting them. I’d do it myself if there were any around here, but luckily we’ve been spared the free range pork menace.
I checked out ‘Bear Mountain Lodge’, and from the POV of someone who has hunted and has a lot of friends who hunt, I’m a little mystified. On the same page where they call it a ‘fair chase hunt’, they advertise their high, electrified fences, relatively small (240 acres) enclosures, and 97% BOWHUNTING success rate.
Fair Chase and High Fence are mutually exclusive. 97% success rate for hunting with a BOW is ridiculous. No hunter worth his salt would call this hunting. A trophy from this kind of thing is not really a trophy.
OTOH, we raise animals for food, we kill them, we eat them.
Patrick at #49 is right. Feral pigs in the US largely come from escaped domestics, not from game farms. They’re destructive, especially in places where the ecosystem is more fragile – like here in CA where it doesn’t rain for 8 months a year. They plow up the ground in big patches and it takes a long time to recover.
They also make for a challenging hunt. They have extraordinary senses of smell, they’re smarter than deer, and the big boars have a gristle shield that makes getting a shot to the vitals difficult. The meat is denser, leaner, and more strongly flavored than domestic pork. Not so great for grilling, but it’s great for pozole, for example.
And while the justification for hunting native wild game is to only kill a number that will keep the population in balance, with pigs there’s no reason NOT to take as many as you can.
Oh, and Ted Nugent is a hypocritical slimeball, a poacher, and a chickenhawk.
In “The Proud Highway” Hunter Thompson writes about hunting wild boar while living in the California coast range, which somehow seems fitting. IIUC they do wreck havoc there and there’s no getting rid of them, so keeping the population down does make sense. (They’re suspected to be the e. coli source in some of our contaminated produce incidents.)
I believe the javalenas in Texas are native and unrelated to domesticated pigs. And I don’t know why I’m bringing that up, other than the general topic of bacon. Mmmmm, bacon.
Another thing about hunting farms. Bison exist in some places only because of hunting (afaik). Some few places raise them for meat, some others are supported by government, and from what I understand, some other spots subsist from hunting. So, it’s not all bad (assuming I am right about that).
How long before nativist wingnuts decide that illegal immigrants are “invasives” and prescribe a similar means of dealing with that problem? I imagine quite a few rightwing assholes would enjoy hunting Mexicans for sport (so long as they can’t shoot back).
Ah yes Damage Control Inc. Not only do they repair places damaged by superheroes and villians but by aliens and natural disasters (is the hulk a supervillian, superero or natural disaster?). They even repair space based installations even on the moon and regular places such as bars if asked to by certain individuals.
http://marvel.com/universe/Damage_Control has more on them including some of their evil activieshow people buy for the work damage control does such as a certain insurance clause or federal disaster relief.
Georgia has a problem with wild hogs as well. Fort Benning organizes wild hog hunts. Apparently the suckers are pretty tasty when cooked as Gordon Ramsay demonstrated on an episode of the F-word.