Quote Originally Posted by goshawkr View Post
B .S.

It is commonly stated that commercialization is a threat to wildlife, but those arguments are quite hollow and collapse with any critical examination of them. There is absolutely nothing that makes non-commercial use more sacred than commercial use. And the wild populations have no concern over whether they are harvested for commercial reasons, purely recreational reasons, or any other reason.

Wildlife management is really quite simple - the deficits to the population (natural mortality, hunting pressure, habitat impacts, etc.) have to be lower than the ability of the population to replenish itself. If that stupid simple formula is followed, it does not make any difference what the motivations are behind the human induced impacts. The passenger pigeon was not exterminated due to commercial hunting, it was exterminated because that commercial hunting was not managed in a sustainable way. There are plenty of other examples of commercial harvest devastating wildlife populations, including the ones that inspired the MBTA to begin with. There are also several examples of unsustainable recreational harvest devastating wildlife populations.

So tell, me, just how exactly is the commercial use of a wild taken raptor the death knell of falconry as we all enjoy it?

BTW - commercial use of wild taken raptors has been alive and well in the US since the mid 80s when the sale of captive bred progeny was formerly allowed.

Rest assured, someone else doing other activities with a falconry bird is not going to water down your legitimacy as a falconer anywhere else but inside your own mind. All of us are pet keepers a good share of the time, so be careful about throwing that particular stone around. And the core contention is what you are able to do with a private owned raptor held under a falconry permit in addition to hunting with it.

The topic at the core of the suit is about a federal agency illegally trouncing constitutional rights. Thats one issue, even though there are two specific rights that the AFC believes have been stomped upon. Simple enough.

And just why do you think it is appropriate to bash the AFC in their own house? This is the AFC sub forum, and at best this is very bad manners. Disagree with them, fine. But AFC bashing in the AFC forum is extremely poor taste.

You make some really good points. It seems we as falconers, and hunters in general, like to think we can take a purely scientific, unbiased view of wildlife management and rely on sound biological data when making decisions for the best way to manage our resources for sustainability. Except when we are given that option, then our passions come in to play. We throw scientific data out the window and let emotions take over. The exact same thing we accuse the animal rights activists of doing. We have no problem regulating coyotes, wolves, bears or other predators with hunting, but I can't imagine the outcry if there was even a single permit issued annually for the hunting of a Bald Eagle. Even if the biological data supported it, and I think it would, the falconry community would cry foul. Based on what? Resource sustainability? As much as we hate to admit it we are just as susceptible to irrational reasoning for the protection of the birds we enjoy.

We often hear falconers berate each other for not hunting their bird enough or just being a 'pet keeper' while it is totally acceptable to retire a perfectly healthy, vibrant bird to a breeding chamber (for commercial use) at two to three years of age. How is holding a bird in a breeding chamber and never hunting it any different than someone who lets their falconry bird sit in a chamber?

Sorry if this has gotten off topic. I am not one to comment very often as I don't think comments given in a forum always come across as intended. Just to be clear, I am in no way advocating raptor hunting and I am just as guilty as anyone for allowing irrational feelings guide my views of raptor protection.


Joel Belcher