Conservation is all about killing things

The liberal elites think hunting is evil…because people like me kill things and eat them.

Despite these attitudes, they also agree with tonnes of 1080 being dumped into our forests, lakes and streams…in order to kill things. At least I am eating my kill.

The bottom line though is every=thing I shoot, kill, and eat is introduced and a pest…someone has to do it.

We all need to do our part.

New Yorker has an article about New Zealand and our desire to rid ourselves of these introduced pests.

In the days—perhaps weeks—it had spent in the trap, the stoat had lost most of its fur, so it looked as if it had been flayed. Its exposed skin was the deep, dull purple of a bruise, and it was coated in an oily sheen, like a sausage. Stoat traps are often baited with eggs, and this one contained an empty shell. Kevin Adshead, who had set the trap, poked at the stoat with a screwdriver. It writhed and squirmed, as if attempting to rise from the dead. Then it disgorged a column of maggots.

“Look at those teeth,” Adshead said, pointing with his screwdriver at the decomposing snout.

Adshead, who is sixty-four, lives about an hour north of Auckland. He and his wife, Gill, own a thirty-five-hundred-acre farm, where for many years they raised cows and sheep. About a decade ago, they decided they’d had enough of farming and left to do volunteer work in the Solomon Islands. When they returned, they began to look at the place differently. They noticed that many of the trees on the property, which should have been producing cascades of red flowers around Christmastime, instead were stripped bare. That was the work of brushtail possums. To save the trees, the Adsheads decided to eliminate the possums, a process that involved dosing them with cyanide. 

One thing led to another, and soon the Adsheads were also going after rats. With them, the preferred poison is an anticoagulant that causes internal hemorrhaging. Next came the stoats, or, as Americans would say, short-tailed weasels. To dispatch these, the Adsheads lined their farm with powerful traps, known as DOC 200s, which feature spring-controlled kill bars. DOC 200s are also helpful against ferrets, but the opening is too small for cats, so the Adsheads bought cat traps, which look like rural mailboxes, except that inside, where the letters would go, there’s a steel brace that delivers an uppercut to the jaw.

The Adsheads put out about four hundred traps in all, and they check them on a regular rotation. When I visited, on a bright blue day toward the end of the Southern Hemisphere winter, they offered to show me how it was done. They packed a knapsack of supplies, including some eggs and kitty treats, and we set off.

As we tromped along, Kevin explained his trapping philosophy. Some people are fastidious about cleaning their traps of bits of rotted stoat. “But I’m not,” he said. “I like the smell in there; it attracts things.” Often, he experiments with new techniques; recently he’d learned about a kind of possum bait made from flour, molasses, and cinnamon, and Gill had whipped up a batch, which was now in the knapsack. For cats, he’d found that the best bait was Wiener schnitzel.

“I slice it thin and I tie it over the trigger,” he told me. “And what happens with that is it starts to dry out and they still go for it.”

I’d come to watch the Adsheads poke at decaying stoats because they are nature lovers. So are most New Zealanders. Indeed, on a per-capita basis, New Zealand may be the most nature-loving nation on the planet. With a population of just four and a half million, the country has some four thousand conservation groups. But theirs is, to borrow E. O. Wilson’s term, a bloody, bloody biophilia. The sort of amateur naturalist who in Oregon or Oklahoma might track butterflies or band birds will, in Otorohanga, poison possums and crush the heads of hedgehogs. As the coördinator of one volunteer group put it to me, “We always say that, for us, conservation is all about killing things.

I had this discussion with Russel Norman once outside TV3…he didn’t listen.

I told him it was people like me he needed to attract, those of us who kill feral animals to keep New Zealand free of pests. People who want clean rivers, lakes, harbours and seas…except they were by-passing us with their crazy socialist dogma.

We all need to do our bit, so if anyone has feral pests, including cats that they want killed I am happy to do so for them. Possums, goats, bunnies, hares, cats…you name it I’ll kill it.


– New Yorker


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  • jaundiced

    If the Green Party was Green, I might even vote for them, and maybe even did way back when they started. But apart from being hi-jacked by the extreme left, their environmental policies are totally counter productive.

  • Orange

    “The sort of amateur naturalist who in Oregon or Oklahoma might track butterflies or band birds will, in Otorohanga, poison possums and crush the heads of hedgehogs. As the coördinator of one volunteer group put it to me, “We always say that, for us, conservation is all about killing things.”

    That’s some very poetic writing there and a great reminder about living in the real world and looking after our environment.

  • Effluent

    I wonder how many of Rustle’s followers subsist on a diet consisting exclusively of mung beans (whatever they may be) and hand crocheted organic tofu. Is it possible that some of them are in fact meat eaters?

  • Andy

    I recently walked the Routeburn and Milford tracks, and DoC are doing a good job at setting possum and stoat traps along those tracks. There is a noticeable increase in native bird life on the tracks (according to them)

  • steve and monique

    Agree, need to wipe out introduced pests. Not to much of a fan of 1080, but figure have to use whatever means possible to get on top of the problem.

  • Saggy

    Yep I’m good to go too but I’d prefer it if your pests were pigs or deer. If you’re within a 4 hr drive from Loony Lensville I’d love to hear from you!

  • Johnopkb

    These Adsheads appear to be doing great work in their own environment, and probably deserve honorary Kaitiaki status. Their willingness to experiment puts me in mind of the everlasting Kiwi No 8 wire legend, and it would be great to see an annual competition, sponsored by DoC, for the most efficient new method of killing feral pests in NZ.

    The Greens miss an important factor in the argument, killing things is fun, and thinking up new ways to do it better is even more fun.

  • Johnopkb

    SBS in Australia made an episode of their series “Living with the Enemy” a while back (season 1 episode 6) in which a recreational hunter and a green activist spent a few days in each others’ lives. Beyond hilarious, but the main message I got was from the hunter towards the end who was so sad that the greenie did not seem to have any fun in her life, ever. It’s great TV, but has to be paid for on youtube:

  • timemagazine

    The greens don’t care about environment. This is only smoke and screen for the soft hearted low-information hippy style crowd.

  • unitedtribes

    In the last week Iv got 6 kills with 6 shots. All from my sniper position beside the dinning room table.

  • NZ_Stormer

    The Green Party also known as the Watermelon Party – green on the outside, red on the inside

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      and full of little black bits you need to spit out

  • Lord Evans

    Hunters and trappers should be lauded as heroes in the forefront of conservation, not stigmatised as heartless bloodthirsty killers. Although I’ve done some hunting over the years, I know heaps of men and women whose hunting skills really make a difference to the welfare of our native flora and fauna. I know of one large holding of fairly inaccessible land, up the back of Kaikoura, which has a feral goat problem. In order to MAINTAIN numbers they must kill around 3000 goats a year – virtually Impossible, if not for keen hunters.

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      got 6 from 6 from one spot when I was 16, out from Raglan where the farmer had a no-shooting sign but let us in when we asked.
      then a half-hour later another 4 just over the ridge. all with a single-shot .22
      all except one got eaten, though we had some help with that.

      • Lord Evans

        That’s a good score, particularly with a small calibre single shot. A mate of mine recounted a hunt with his hunting buddy of many years – they cleaned up a mob of goats between them in a matter of minutes – total 24. The trick is apparently to knock over the billies first, then the nannies and finally the kids. The sound of the shots echo around the valley and by the time they work out which way to run it’s too late. Unfortunately, because of the teeming herds and difficult access, the carcasses rot where they fall.

    • kehua

      Prior to the introduction of callicci virous we would shoot in excess of 5500 rabbits a year on a Station that I managed in the Central North Island.

  • Benoni

    Summer is here in suburbia and we are killing flies with flyspray and have our mosquito traps charged up with fresh solution. No doubt the soap we use kills lots of micro-organisms either directly or by washing them into the sewer. Living in the biosphere means wiping out pests and sustainably killing beneficial organisms for food.