April 22, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. shoots dogs — prairie dogs.

He's going to Montana to help Greg Gianforte with his campaign for the U.S. House seat vacated by Ryan Zinke (the new Secretary of the Interior). Gianforte is reveling in the the occasion:
"As good Montanans, we want to show good hospitality to people. What can be more fun than to spend an afternoon shooting the little rodents?"
That's quoted at Yahoo News, where the headline says there's "backlash." Backlash at taking out plague-ridden vermin? Who is backlashing?
[P]rairie dogs are also listed as a species of concern by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks because their numbers have declined and because of threats like disease.
They carry disease. The disease is bubonic plague! Isn't this a concern that supports culling them?
More than 100 other animals depend on the prairie dog as food or move into the burrows they dig, said Lindsey Sterling Krank, the organization's director for its Prairie Dog Coalition. Now is the time year when prairie dogs are still nursing their new offspring, meaning hunters who shoot lactating females are condemning the pups to starvation, Sterling Krank said.

"I would love to take Donald Trump Jr. out with a spotting scope and shoot the prairie dog with our cameras," Sterling Krank said. "Shooting a prairie dog colony is not a good conservation message."

Gianforte, whose campaign has focused on gun rights, dismissed the organization's concerns. "Clearly they've never shot a prairie dog," he said. "They don't know how much fun it is."
The lines are drawn. Montanans will vote and get the Congressperson they want. I'll just say I love the name Lindsey Sterling Krank. Oh! I see I've said that before...
... the director of the Prairie Dog Coalition, an "environmental scientist," with the sublimely perfect name Lindsey Sterling Krank....
That was back in 2015, in the context of Boulder, Colorado's Naropa University, which had a big prairie dog colony on land where it wanted to put up some new buildings.
"All of sudden it was, 'The Buddhists want to kill the prairie dogs,' but we had no intention of killing them," said [Naropa spokesman Bill] Rigler, who isn't a Buddhist. "The very act of applying for a [lethal control] permit triggers an open comment period, which gives everyone the opportunity to say, 'I have a site for relocation,' or put forward other ideas."
I wonder how that dispute worked out? Did the Buddhists give in to the dogs?

61 comments:

Scott said...

If they run out of prairie dogs, Lindsey Sterling Krank can come here to New York City to save rats. Same logic.

Matthew Sablan said...

But did he put them on top of his car?

Bill Peschel said...

I read "Lindsey Sterling Krank" and I envision an elfin Mormon violinist skipping lightly amidst prairie dog mounds, and you know, I'm fine with that.

Hagar said...

Responsible ranchers watch their prairie dog populations and hunt them when they grow too large, but protect them if the population is low after a hard winter.
Few prairie dogs make the coyotes go after calves and lambs, etc.

All kinds of animals carry plague. Last week a cat died of the plague somewhere in the NE Heights.

Hagar said...

Here in River City the TV stations, etc., get all excited when the City or a developer goes to clear out an area for development and create a hubbub about protecting the endangered cute little "prairie dogs." However, they are not prairie dogs, but burrowing squirrels and an infernal nuisance in anyone's yard.
The only prairie dogs I have seen in Albuquerque were in the Zoo.
In fact, the only ones I have seen in New Mexico were on the road to Taos north of Espanola, and that population indeed is "protected."

Rusty said...

Hagar @ 7:44
It'es also legal to shoot coyotes.
Her in the peoples republic of Illinois,(state motto-We owe how much?),there is no closed season or limits on coyotes.

Scott said...

"Responsible ranchers ... protect [prairie dogs] if the population is low after a hard winter. "

Oh really. Then produce a link to a website written by or for ranchers that discusses prairie dog management in terms of keeping the population alive.

I call bullshit.

traditionalguy said...

What about heart for Dreamer prairie dogs? And he is a Trump.

The Dems have finally found an issue. Save the rats!

Kate said...

I remember from the campaign that our POTUS does not like shooting guns. That's his sons' purview. Maybe the environmentalist can convince him to wield a camera. I would kinda love it if he did.

He should stick to his guns.

Once I thought it I hadda write it.

AllenS said...

For 40+ years, I have been trapping and killing pocket gophers. There is no end to them.

Sebastian said...

From the new Dictionnaire des idées reçues: Backlash is progs whining. Controversial is stuff liberals don't like.

Martha said...

In Louisiana sharpshooters help the local sheriff's department by patrolling the drainage canals of Jefferson Parish for nutria late at night. Nutria are wily, semi-aquatic, orange-toothed rodents. Sometimes they take cover in a group of ducks, seeming to sense that members of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office SWAT team avoid shooting at ducks. Other times, they cloak themselves in algae blooms, like alligators. Earth chewing nutria burrow into the drainage canal banks causing extensive damage by destabilizing them.. Nutria have also caused extensive damage to marsh vegetation. Shooting nutria is considered good clean fun as well as a civic duty here in Louisiana bayou country.

Mark said...

Yosemite Sam not available for comment.

Tommy Duncan said...

Same comment as the prairie dog and Bruce Jenner threads:

One of the downsides to the amazing prosperity and security the USA has known since WW2 is that we tolerate nonsense like this. These issues don't fly when you are worried about where your next meal is coming from. But we live in a world where the biggest health problem for the poor is obesity.

Owen said...

MOAB on prairie dog colony? Excellent plan!

Hagar said...

@Scott,
I once worked on a ranch where the owner did that. Will that do?
They even took time out to go coyote hunting with greyhounds that year because they were worried about the prairie dog population being so low and did not want the coyotes to get in the habit of eating calves.
(This was long before websites and even computers at all.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

God YES....come to our area and shoot the little bastards.

We have ground squirrels....similar to prairie dogs, all over the place. You can't walk around in the orchard anymore because of the holes. We can't till deep enough to get rid of them. They dig big burrows in the ground. Undermine the foundations of your buildings. Cause more ground erosion. Cause collapsing of bank and cliff areas. Leave holes that horses, cattle, even people can break their legs. Carry bubonic plague and other diseases. Fleas!!!! AND...they steal the cat's food. Get trapped inside of our barn, outbuildings and workshop and then eat big holes in the walls attempting to escape. Little pricks!!!

We set traps. Put out rat poison in areas where the birds and other critters can't get to the bait. Poison that they will take back to their burrows and hopefully all the little babies will die too!!!! Like Allen said. There is no end to them.

They aren't afraid of us either. We were sitting on our deck yesterday afternoon and two of them came and stood up and just looked at us. Time to get the wrist rockets back out again. I don't want to waste 22 ammo on them since in California you now need an act of God to be able to buy ammo. So...Wrist Rockets and garbanzo beans. If you are close enough to them and get a good shot you can kill them or at least make them hurt.

No rancher EVER has wanted to protect the ground squirrels or prairie dogs. People who feel sorry for these rats, vermin, pests have never had to put up with them. Die ground squirrels....DIE!!!!

Not that I'm passionate about this issue or anything.

Fernandinande said...

In Trump's America, cute little prairie dogs break their legs in horse tunnels.

Birches said...

She must have been one of the protesters crying save the prairie dogs when they put in a Target here in my town a few years ago. Oh brother.

ceowens said...

If you want to see some exploding prairie dogs check out Youtube. I believe they are referred to as BDPO targets (Bio Degradable Pop Up).

Fernandinande said...

"Did the Buddhists give in to the dogs?"
Naropa monopolizes most of the short buses in Boulder County.

The article's picture reminded me of the pine weasel party in 'Twin Peaks'.

Roughcoat said...

In the early 1970s at the University of Colorado in Boulder I lived in a dorm that stood on the edge of undeveloped expanse of land ... which was has home to an immense prairie dog colony. By "immense" I mean, vast. You'd walk through the field and the prairie dogs would be popping up from their holes all around you. Nearby was a horseback riding stable. It was dangerous to ride at speed in the area because of all the prairie dog holes. You didn't dare gallop. The prairie dogs were found to be carriers of bubonic plague but we were assured that it wasn't the human-killing contagious variant of the disease.

Oh yeah, there were rattlesnakes too. HUGE rattlesnakes, as thick as your forearm, and three feet long. Beautiful creatures they were, diamondbacks.

There were also mountain lions, coyotes, mule deer, and antelope. One snowy winter day a herd of elk appeared on Lookout Mountain behind Boulder.

Beautiful girls too. Lots going on.

F said...

Owen:

MOAB on a prairie dog colony? You're not the first to think of this. There is a You Tube video of a guy who fill prairie dog tunnels with propane or some other natural gas, then ignites it. The ground rumbles and that's the end of that colony. Done properly (you need to have the proper fuel-air mixture) the visual effect can be quite amazing.

Hagar said...

"Immense prairie dog colony" is what you get if you kill all the coyotes.

mockturtle said...
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mockturtle said...

"Prairie dog" and "species of concern" should never occur in the same sentence.

Hagar said...

"Thick as your arm and three foot long." That were some fat rattlers.
I killed a rattler "thick as my arm" once, but he was a tad over 6 foot long.
I killed him not too far from a dead cow that otherwise looked to have been quite healthy and I wondered if she had been killed by him. Cows get curious and they are too big and stupid to be afraid when the snakes rattle.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Tommy Duncan said...

One of the downsides to the amazing prosperity and security the USA has known since WW2 is that we tolerate nonsense like this. These issues don't fly when you are worried about where your next meal is coming from.

This reminds me of what a Russian-born coworker told me. He says we have no idea what real hunger is. His proof: we have rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, even deer walking around right in the open, with only brief seasons where anyone hunts them (and then often just for sport). He says in Russia of his youth, there was no game to be seen, because if it was seen, it was hunted.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Roughcoat,

Outstanding word picture of how college life ought to be!

Why would anyone care that Donald Trump Jr. is shooting prairie dogs in Montana?

ndspinelli said...

Sandra Day O'Connor was on Letterman a while back and talked about shooting prairie dogs as soon as their heads appeared from their holes.

heyboom said...

Why would anyone care that Donald Trump Jr. is shooting prairie dogs in Montana?

Because it's Donald Trump, Jr.. If it was Barack Obama they would be celebrating him as a modern day Annie Oakley.

William said...

They really do go out of their way to find fault with Trump and his extended family. Hunting prairie dogs is not generally considered a vice of the idle rich. However, I do think the Trump boys use too much gel or whatever on their hair and have a kind of obnoxious rich kid look. The press should criticize them for that. Ivanka, however, looks gracious and kind. Makes no difference. I have read criticism of her for eating organic vegetables. Is there no end to the reckless excesses of the Trump kids?

Roughcoat said...

I love coyotes. They kill rats and other small varmints. They are totemic creatures. At night in my southwestern Chicago suburb I can hear them singing. Magical and comforting. My border clies are intrigued.

Michael K said...

Your border collies had better stay clear of coyote packs.

When I was living up at Lake Arrowhead, there were lots of coyotes and one large pack. One day I saw Winston, my basset hound, sort of half heartedly chasing a coyote. I called him back and he gave up the chase without too much regret, I thought.

One trick of coyotes is to get a dog to chase a single coyote, which leads him around the corner to the pack.

I have even heard of a coyote pack using a female in heat to lure male dogs.

Winston was big enough to take care of himself (85 pounds) but not with a pack.

Bruce Hayden said...

Great fun. Just need to be back up in MT in time to vote. Yesterday it was some NRA types upset that the Dem candidate shot a TV with a lever gun instead of an AR-15. while today it is leftists upset that the GOP candidate shoots cute little prairie dogs. As to the first - lever guns are old west, and therefore very symbolic in MT. Ditto for six guns, which you see carried openly almost as much as the new fangled plastic semiautomatics. As for the prairie dogs, the Montanans I know are amazingly unsentimental about wildlife. Maybe more so than anyplace else in the country than Alaska. Hagar may be right that some ranchers help maintain prairie dog populations, but others try to just eradicate them, any way they can, as they can destroy pasture for life stock in short order with their burrows. And then go after any coyotes that may move in closer the same way.

My guess is that this controversy over prairie dog shoots plays out best outside MT. Of course, a lot of Hollywood types, as well as the bicoastal megarich now own ranchs in MT, but mostly vote back home. I remember when the annual prairie dog shoot in Nucla, CO, was a big thing for (mostly) the left. Thing was, shooting prairie dogs is not a big thing. Rather, the challenge was doing so at distance - a mile or so. That was the challenge, and that was why the animal rights people got so upset. Apparently, it isn't sporting for the poor prairie dogs if they can't see their killers because they are too far away. Or something like that. I would almost expect some hook like that here to get big game hunter Don, Jr involved.

Which reminds me a bit of an Easterish story my partner tells. She and her ex had/have maybe half a section maybe 5 miles down river from where we live in MT. They had 4 kids together, which meant 4 bunnies. Which were supposed to all be males, but weren't. And weren't supposed to escape, but did. Sitting out on the porch one day, her ex exclaimed "sh$$" (which was significant because he didn't allow cussing by his employees), upon seeing some heads popping up in the fields. They kept the young kids inside a bit over the next couple days while he and his father methodically shot over 100 of the rabbits. This story, of course, came up last weekend when we were out for Easter dinner. Son-in-law asked what happened to the remains of all those cute little bunnies. Gone. But no one bothered to look. He is married to the youngest of those 4 kids, the one who, despite repeated warnings by her parents, named the pet pig "Spot". And then later had her siblings taunt her for months every time they ate pork of any sort by calling it "Spot".

JaimeRoberto said...

On the one hand I'm kind of opposed to shooting animals just to be shooting them. On the other hand I don't get too heartbroken when the city comes to my neighborhood to poison that ground squirrels that are in the nearby field. Maybe the difference is that one seems like entertainment and the other seems like a necessary job.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

At night in my southwestern Chicago suburb I can hear them singing.

At night in my very rural area I also can hear them singing....or rather hunting. Coyote packs kill lambs, stalk the geese when they are nesting,can take down very young calves, dogs, pets, poultry and other domestic livestock....and possibly even a small child..

Yes. It is a high and lonesome sound. I'm glad to hear them off in the distance because it means that they are not at my house. Yes it is a natural thing, hunting and killing. If there are not so many coyotes it is something to be tolerated.

When the balance becomes tilted too much into the coyote pack side....there are remedies. Every few years there is a licensed coyote cull.

Sad...but necessary.

Josephbleau said...

A great way to get rid of chipmunks and other burrowers is to set a 5 gal plastic pail next to a pile of rocks or a wall, fill with water, then cover the water with dry oatmeal. When you return it will be full of them. I can't afford to have destructive creatures around any more than I leave rotting food in my kitchen.

jaydub said...

Ms Krank should visit the Arco desert West of Idaho Falls during the annual "bunny bop," assuming it still occurs. Seems the jack rabbit population can really explode in times when there aren't enough coyotes to keep it under control. This leads to the stacks of hay bales being eaten from the bottom and evenually tumbling over. The local solution, at least back in the 80's, was to get several hundred people together and drive the wiley wabbits into a temporarily fenced in area, then wade in with baseball bats and clubs to finish them off. Usually it was best to wear rain gear or disposable clothing since the wittle wascals tended to splatter. On the other hand, if the rabbits weren't bopped for several years, the coyote population would explode until it became too large to be supported even by the expanded jack rabbit population and would look for alternative forms of nourishment. This crap about coyotes switching to calves is mostly crap - they eat whatever is around and easy to catch - but controlling the rabbit population was the best way to control the coyote population because they didn't produce as many pups when food in the form of rabbits wasn't plentiful.

Drago said...

Oh, looks like "huntin'" is bad again.

Seems like the John Kerry "rule" didn't make it....

"Can I get me a huntin' license here", said Good Old Boy John Kerry who, at that time, did not "feel no ways tired".

Josephbleau said...

Anyone who doubts the need for control of burrowing animals should remember the fate of King William, his death caused by the little gentlemen in velvet coats.

Rusty said...

Roughcoat @ 10:11
I live in NW metro Chicago and while I have no love of them I do respect their intelligence.
I have a treeline that runs across my back yard. Part of an abandoned railroad right of way. Wild animals follow treelines. The neighborhood coyotes will wait just inside the treeline until our 65 lb Siberian Husky has come inside and then continue their trip. Very smart animals.

JAORE said...

"Nutria are wily, semi-aquatic, orange-toothed rodents."

And freakin' HUGE!

I've seen tank trucks with padded walls that vacuum prairie dogs out of the burrows. Pretty amusing to see the video taken on the inside as the little critters bounce off the walls.

Humane I suppose. But where do you relocate the little buggers?

buwaya said...

How have the mighty fallen!
Once you Americans had the mighty hunter Teddy Roosevelt, shooting grizzly bears and elephants and rhinoceri.
Now you quibble over prarie dogs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Humane I suppose. But where do you relocate the little buggers?

Out here, they get relocated to a big barrel filled with water.

I can't do that....drown them. Somehow that seems crueler. I'd rather shoot them or give them a visit to their cousins in the next valley over.

I know. Weird logic.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I don't think it's weird to prefer the death with less suffering, when death must happen. I think that's humane of you.

Rusty said...

I say shootins too good for em.
Hang the little bastards!

richard mcenroe said...

If you'd ever had to put down a horse or cow that broke a leg stepping into a chuckhole, you might be less favorably inclined to the prairie rats.

Big Mike said...

The prairie dogs were found to be carriers of bubonic plague but we were assured that it wasn't the human-killing contagious variant of the disease.

@Roughcoat, and you believed them? Well, after all, you weren't yet 21.

Inga said...
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Inga said...

It's better he shoot prairie dogs than endangered exotic animals

Michael K said...

Outdoor cats are pretty much destined to be coyote poop in southern California. Very few get old.

The Godfather said...

More than 8 hours and nobody has commented that "Obama ate dog"!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Red Letter Media - Wheel of the Worst #10 (featuring Exploding Varmits) The individual review starts around 37 minutes.

LYNNDH said...

You don't dare kill in any way shape or form the PD's in Boulder County, CO. It is a capital offense.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Obama ate dog

" I remember when the annual prairie dog shoot in Nucla, CO, was a big thing for (mostly) the left. Thing was, shooting prairie dogs is not a big thing. Rather, the challenge was doing so at distance - a mile or so"

Yep, holding a scope steady on a rifle held offhand while aiming at a whistle pig at extreme range is no easy thing.

JML said...
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JML said...
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Bob said...

Isn't Yahoo news managed by Katie Couric? and you expected it to be honest? why?

Bubonic plague is an animal too, you know!

iowan2 said...


This is hilarious, Prairie Dog hunting videos. There are a hundred on YOUTUBE videos Some funnier than others.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=hilarious+praire+dog+hunting+kills&&view=detail&mid=A00E76A6FF423D798E14A00E76A6FF423D798E14&FORM=VRDGAR

Robert McLennan said...

Like my Loafers former Gophers! It was that or skin my chauffeurs, but a greyhound fur tuxedo would be Best. So let's Prepare the Prairie Dogs that's sitting on that Log. So Junior has some honing, from his Daddy's daily Boning, Someday he might actually get a Jooooob!