Do Congress, Tea Party Hate Pheasants?

December 19, 2011 | By | Reply More


We make it a point to try not to get suckered by political hoo-ha, so that’s not what this is about. We ran across a blog post on the Discovery-owned titled “Why Does Congress Hate Pheasants?” and a related one, “Do Tea Party, Heritage Foundation Oppose Hunting?

Interesting stuff, written by the same gent, and he makes a pretty good case. Goes in part like this (excerpts):

Time was, if you were unemployed in the upper Midwest during fall at least you had pheasant season to look forward to. At least that. Something good to eat was yours if you shot straight. A few feathers for your daughter to insert into her braids. And some bang..bang exercise before the snows came. Not any more. Congress has managed to ruin even that.

Congress began by significantly upping corn ethanol incentives, encouraging farmers to plow fence row to fence row. ‘Why stop here?’…Congress asked itself. It then proceeded to gut the Department of Agriculture conservation reserve budget, encouraging farmers to plow right down to the stream banks, on steep hillsides, and over what had once been soil-conserving grassed water ways.

Add to that the extraordinary snow depth and the intense, cold spring rains of Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas in 2010-11…[and] nesting failed and pheasant numbers plummeted.

The habitat it once was profligate in is gone.

I doubt whether either Michelle Bachman or Mitt Romney or [fill in his/her name] has ever carried a shotgun through the corn stalks, shot straight, cleaned their own bird, and fried it in onions and bacon and apples. So why would they care?

That’s from the first post. A few excerpts from the other one:

It would seem [they are anti-hunting] given that these groups want to cut the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) by almost 90%.

Farm acres in ‘reserve’ (another shorthand for the CRP) are typically steep and vulnerable to erosion or low and vulnerable to seasonal inundation – the latter meaning they are wetlands, or bordering on wetlands – or they may be part of grassed waterway network setup to slow overland flow, save soil, and improve water quality in adjacent rivers.

There are multiple benefits to CRP. Soil stays on the land instead of worsening the Gulf Dead Zone. Peak flood flows in streams are reduced, so folks need less federal flood aid. Runoff is kept clear and clean. Fishermen and boaters like that.

For hunters, however, the most important benefit is that CRP lands provide a place for game birds like pheasants and grouse to nest and raise their broods. Without protected brood lands in spring, they perish. The Teap’rs and Heritage want effectively to end the CRP, as indicated by their public statements….

While we are of the opinion that our “representatives” in DC are all paid-for lackeys, we’re afraid that some of the above is also due to Americans’ ongoing disconnect with the land (and water) and its critters, as well as a gradual societal acceptance that everything from killing and eating animals to cutting trees is somehow bad.

Thank goodness we have Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, the Ruffed Grouse Society and other good folks fighting the good fight. Thanks folks!


Category: Feds, Pheasants, Politics

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