Posted at 10:17 AM on August 18, 2011
by Jon Gordon
The moose, a freakishly large mammal, is in the news today. And so is the capybara, a freakishly large rodent.
In our Today's Question feature we asked:
Minnesota's moose population is in sharp decline, but the DNR says hunting is not the reason. State officials would like to ban the feeding of deer, a practice that concentrates deer and exposes moose to disease. Should Minnesota suspend moose hunting?
Here are some representative answers:
"Yes. It is a natural resource and we are in possession of a fragile population that is not growing."
"30 years ago I had the good fortune of working with the Forest Service out of the Sea gull Lake area and what I learned is that the State and Federal Biologists really do tend to know best, so if they've collaborated and figured out strategies and plans, I would encourage us to respect them, that they are doing their best for the moose and deer, they know more about it than we do, and I haven't hunted for 20 years."
"We should stop baiting everything: deer, bear, waterfowl. Moose: we need to find out what's happening, should have LONG ago! There's no "sport" here. Like shooting a cow. Do those who can afford moose license REALLY need moose meat?!?!?!?!?!"
"Yes.... Gotta make sure there are Moose for our grandchildren to see that aren't hanging on a wall. I'm all for responsible hunting, but the Moose is not sustainable game."
"Simple: distribute lottery tags.. issue 25 winners out of 1000. The state will profit & the lucky few will enjoy their hunt. Most rocky mountain states have a similar draw."
"NO, its already a lottery once in a life time hunt. and IF you get drawn, there is no guarantee you will get one. VERY few moose are taken by MN hunters every year."
A personal aside: About a year ago, my brother in Spokane, Washington hit a moose in his Volkswagen Passat. His car crumbled, and the moose just ran off. My bro says the moose looked as big as a giraffe.
And now, on to the capybara, the largest rodent in the world. Folks in Paso Robles, on California's central coast, had the pleasure of sighting one of these beasts.
Best use of a capybara in pop culture: Speak, The Tick's pet.
Who baits waterfowl? People breaking the law that's who. Not hunters.