I wish the state offered an Irony Bounty—then I could get rich off Governor Noem’s possum-killing plan:
…”I think it’s good to get the kids outside, get them doing something better than sitting on an iPad all the time. I like to get them outside. He likes to go walking, look for tracks. It’s more than just checking a trap,” Dusty said.
…The state department staff also started a trapping photo contest. You can use the #SecondCenturyTrapper when posting to social media. You’re encouraged to go the department’s Facebook page here to find out more information [Vanessa Gomez, anti-science state propaganda disguised as heartwarming tale of “Colman Dad Bond[ing] with Son Through Next Predator Bounty Program,” KSFY-TV, 2019.04.09].
Maybe Pheasants Forever should respond with #TwentyFirstCenturyScience:
Through the addition and management of habitat, we not only decrease the impact predators have on existing nests, but also increase the number of nests and population size in the area. This management comes at a fraction of the cost of other predator reduction methods.
Less-expensive methods to improve game bird populations and nesting success exist. Experts have focused on the amount of habitat (composition of the landscape) and the arrangement (configuration) that increase nesting success by reducing the effectiveness of predators. Well-designed habitat projects can reduce predation by up to 80 percent.
…a successful removal program is a professional, full-time effort. The occasional removal of individual animals by hunters has very little impact on predator populations and trapping efforts that rely on bounties are destined to fail.It is important to understand that sustained trapping efforts tend to stimulate reproduction by predators (compensating for artificially low densities) and create populations with proportionately more juveniles that wander more across the landscape thereby increasing the chances of encountering pheasants.
While predator removal and exclusion methods can increase nesting success on small areas, these methods are too expensive for use on a landscape basis and do not significantly increase the number of nesting birds over the long term. Through the addition and management of habitat, we not only decrease the impact predators have on existing nests, but also increase the number of nests and population size in an area. Predators will continue to eat pheasants and their nests, but weather and habitat conditions will drive population fluctuations [Pheasants Forever, “Effects of Predators: Habitat Management Decreases Predation,” retrieved 2019.04.10].
Science and real sportsmen agree: Sending Jack-Jack outside to watch his dad shoot a creature they aren’t going to eat so rich guys can shoot more birds isn’t the smartest use of the state’s wildlife conservation money. But Kristi Noem didn’t get elected for #smarts.