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July 23, 2008

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See Us in the Funny Pages

We hunters are an easy target for the popular media, and probably the last group not protected by P-C sensitivity. This link carries you to Monday’s installment of Non Sequitur, a predictably knee-jerk and rarely funny comic strip by Wiley Miller that appears in 700 papers nationwide.

This story line has run for the last five days or so. To get you up to speed, Lucy and Petey are a pony and a dog. Lucy, the pony, has fallen in love with a French Canadian moose. It’s moose season, and all three are in the woods, endangered by hunters or, as we’re called here “terrorists.” That’s right, Wiley uses the “T” word on us. It would be insulting if it weren’t so sadly stupid.

I can guess how you all feel about this, but if you want to vent anyway, knock yourselves out.


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jersey pig

i suppose it's partly our fault. for the numbers of sportsmen and the overwhelming approval of the public in our sports (most people still think you should be allowed to hunt) we get steamrolled by the mainstream hyper liberal media with crap like this. but the silent majority remains just that, silent, and only the jackasses bay for everyone to hear.

Mike Reeder

Fact is we hunters and shooters are members of one of the few groups left that can be insulted and slandered with impunity. Actually, as a cigar-smoking, white, middle-aged male I run the table on the list of dwindling special interest groups that can be gleefully skewered without fear of reprisal. Fortunately, a majority of the public is still with hunters and gunowners, however tenuously. The proper way to respond to this kind of thing is with letters and/or phone calls to the editor (as a former editor myself I can tell you editors just LOVE being buried in complaints from readers). The key is to state your objection in a firm but civil manner (never hurts to call it slander since that always gets the attention of company lawyers) and then articulately spell out the role hunters have historically played in conservation, and point out the deep injury done to the many firefighters, police officers and military personnel, many of whom are hunters, by comparing them to terrorists. In other words, turn these kind of attacks into an opportunity to make yourself heard.

Dave Petzal

Mike Reeder correctly points out that the editors of the Post will be thrilled to see that have cheesed off the hunters. What will not thrill them is if hunters write to the Post's advertisers, telling them they do not appreciate being libeled, and that they will no longer patronize said advertisers and they will advise all their hunting friends to do the same.

Mike Diehl

In my view, Wiley Miller's "Non Sequitur" is among the most amusing, witty, and entertaining comics one can find in the newspaper. Joe, Kate, Danae, the cast of characters who frequent Offshore Flo's Cafe, and the denizens of Whatchacallit Maine are my primary reason for bothering with newspaper "funnies" these days.

"Non sequitur" is deliberately satirical.

There are no sacred cows, and hunters have been treated to only mild satire in this recent issue. Was one to try to get inside the head of a sentient moose, we might be labeled as armed crazies or terrorists.

Of course, the notion of a sentient moose is so absurd, that hyperreactive PC hunter-sensitivity is more symptomatic of the need for someone (not the moose) to develop a thicker hide.

Afer all, the NAME of the comic strip is "Non Sequitur" -- a.k.a. "It Does Not [logically] Follow."


I have to agree with Mike. Maybe we need to keep a thicker skin.

That's one thing I always prided myself on. I'm part of the one group of individuals who doesn't want, need or whine about not getting special privileges. We just get things done.

If it weren't for the average, ordinary white guy, we'd all be drinking tea, sake or speaking German right now.



I have to agree with Mike. Maybe we need to keep a thicker skin.

That's one thing I always prided myself on. I'm part of the one group of individuals who doesn't want, need or whine about not getting special privileges. We just get things done.

If it weren't for the average, ordinary white guy, we'd all be drinking tea, sake or speaking German right now.


Ben L

I wonder how he would feel if real terrorists were after him and the life he was living was real life. Terrorists know now, that we in the USA will strike back in force.


I started to look at this "cartoon" but I guess I just don't get it although I see the sarcasim. Give me Beetle Baily, Garfield or to me Get Fuzzy is the best.

Clay Cooper

Stay tuned
More to come from the Coop!

Info at home

Tom Sorenson

Personally, I kind of like the label as being part of a small remaining class of people that can be run into the ground. Means we've got tough skin - we can handle it. We haven't become a bunch of whiny, sniveling babies. Let's not start now.


"If it weren't for the average, ordinary white guy, we'd all be drinking tea, sake or speaking German right now.

It's comments like this that give us "hunters and gun lovers" and the average ordinary White guy a bad name. America was founded by more than the average ordinary white guy. Check our American history and heritage. As for the cartoon...whatever.

Dr. Ralph

I think you guys are interpreting this all wrong... they are actually making fun of the girl who called Homeland Security. She is wasting thousands of dollars, giving false information, and even being corrected by her obviously younger and wiser sibling...


jstreet and Mike Diehl: I'm with you here. If this is the worst problem we have to contend with as hunters, we have a pretty easy row to hoe. There are oodles and gobs of things out there that do (and should) offend us as hunters. This comic strip registers about a 0.02 on the Pissed-off Hunter Scale.

Satire is satire, fellers. The day we can't laugh at ourselves is the day we are equals of the self-righteous liberals who are born with pursed lips and furrowed brows.

Clay Cooper

Ok Sports fans, here is a lesson that everyone on both sides should read!
You read and then decide!
By the way Mr. Petzal, why is it that the Sports media always over look cases like the Kaibab disaster?

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Grand Canyon National Game Preserve on the Kaibab Plateau. His intention was to protect the mule deer from overhunting by humans and predation by natural enemies. He knew that human activities had depleted wildlife species throughout the country, and only a few locations in the West still contained the numbers that had flourished a few decades earlier. Roosevelt hoped that future generations of wildlife enthusiasts would be able to visit the Kaibab Plateau to witness an abundance of wildlife not remaining elsewhere.

The plateau is about 60 miles from north to south and approximately 45 miles wide. It is bordered by the Grand Canyon on the south and east, by Kanab Canyon on the west, and high desert on the north. These vast natural boundaries isolate the plateau (Figure 1). An estimated 4,000 deer lived in this area when Roosevelt established the preserve, and he hoped that protection would increase their numbers significantly.

The United States Forest Service administered the new preserve as it had the surrounding forest lands since the 1890s. Ranchers grazed fewer domestic animals there for a combination of reasons, including degraded forage conditions and reduced permits from the Forest Service. The mandate of the preserve prohibited all deer hunting on the plateau and at the same time exterminated "varmints" such as mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and wolves. Bounty hunters diligently tracked and killed mountain lions, which they viewed as the most significant enemy of the deer. Wolves were already rare by 1900, having been almost completely exterminated by ranchers before the turn of the century. Although local ranchers may not have favored the establishment of a game preserve on lands where they formerly grazed large numbers of livestock, they certainly supported the removal of predatory animals that constantly threatened their cattle, sheep, and horses on surrounding lands.

Each year, local Forest Service officials estimated that there were more deer on the plateau than in the previous year. These estimates served to provide evidence of foresters' success in increasing the deer herd more than they reflect actual increases. According to Forest Supervisor Walter Mann, previous foresters based their estimates on very limited actual counts, since the rugged country on and around the plateau made complete censuses practically impossible (Mann, 1941).

In 1913, Roosevelt visited the plateau himself to hunt mountain lions and noted the abundance of deer (Roosevelt, 1913). The Forest Service report for that year chronicled Roosevelt's suggestion that some deer hunting be allowed. Hunting would require a significant change in policy, however, since the proclamation that created the preserve prohibited hunting, and no single individual or agency felt sufficiently confident of the situation to change the mandate of the preserve at that time (Mann, 1941).

When the newly-formed National Park Service dedicated Grand Canyon National Park in 1919, jurisdiction of lands immediately north of the canyon rim went to the Park Service. This divided the preserve between Forest Service and National Park Service administration. The boundary between the two extended across the plateau from east to west about 15 miles from the canyon. No barrier prevented the deer moving from park land to forest land within the preserve, and it soon became evident that differing management philosophies would lead to interagency conflict over the deer.
At about the same time this change in jurisdiction took place, forest officials began to report potentially serious problems for the future of the deer. They suggested that the abundant deer might eventually deplete the plateau of edible vegetation, but neither the Forest Service nor the Park Service took any corrective action for a number of reasons.

The primary reason for delay in preventing further population increase was quite simply that no one knew what action would be appropriate. The situation did not appear disastrous in 1920, and foresters had no way of predicting how rapidly the deer herd was growing or even if the number of deer was still increasing. Moreover, officials in the Park Service were continually engineering new campaigns to entice more tourists to the Grand Canyon and hoped the deer on the North Rim would become a major attraction in their own right. It seemed foolish to do anything until the scientists or wildlife experts understood the situation more fully.
Even if the federal government reached some agreement on how deer within the preserve ought to be managed, any action that involved actually killing deer faced numerous obstacles. Those who favored hunting needed to establish the legality of hunting in the preserve. More crucially, National Park Service policy strictly forbid hunting on its lands. In addition, state game departments held jurisdiction over hunting on all public and private land. Arizona became a state in 1912, and in the early 1920s the state government favored tourism around the Grand Canyon over hunting (Foster, 1970). The Forest Service in particular recognized that its legal right to kill deer was questionable, at best. Hunting on the Kaibab became legal only after years of legal suits following the arrest of unlicensed Forest Service hunters by state game wardens.
Government officials surveyed the preserve repeatedly to assess the situation. Beginning in 1922, scientists from the U. S. Bureau of Biological Survey agreed that the deer population required dramatic reduction. Other scientists who visited the plateau and surrounding lands remained uncertain, and some argued that there was no reason to consider reducing the deer herd because the vegetation on much of the plateau was still in excellent condition. At the request of Forest Service officials, the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture commissioned a study of the plateau. This established the Kaibab Investigating Committee composed of biologists, foresters, conservationists, and hunters.

In the summer of 1924, the committee visited the Grand Canyon National Game Preserve to assess the condition of the deer and their food supply. Many officials hoped the findings of this group would lead to a new policy for the preserve. Those who hoped the situation could be resolved quickly were disappointed when the experts did not reach agreement on a number of key issues. Their estimates of the number of deer ranged from 50,000 up to 100,000. Some reported that the food supply remained good; others assessed it as fair; and still others thought it was poor. They could not agree on any single solution to the problem. They suggested a range of options, from taking no action, to trapping and shipping deer elsewhere, to killing half the herd outright.
In the fall of 1924, the Forest Service chose a combination of all three options, starting with hunting. They opened the plateau to hunters without the permission of the state of Arizona - leading to a series of arrests - and without even notifying the National Park Service of their intentions. The Forest Service tried its second option by organizing an effort to drive some of the deer off the plateau, into the Grand Canyon, across the Colorado River, and up to the South Rim.

Zane Grey, the famous western writer, promoted and participated in this drive. Despite the assistance of local ranchers and Native Americans, the attempt failed completely. Deer, as many experienced ranchers and naturalists well knew, do not congregate and move in large groups like cattle or sheep.
This flurry of activity on the Kaibab Plateau brought unprecedented fame to the emerging controversy there. Popular articles appeared in many of the nature and sporting magazines of the time. The involvement of a famous author, heads of several federal agencies, and numerous well-known biologists captured the public's interest.
Because action to reduce the deer had been too little and too late, many scientists and Forest Service officials predicted that deer would starve by the thousands. While few carcasses of starved or frozen deer were actually found, most visitors to the area the following spring reported seeing fewer deer than in previous years. Many supposed that undernourished deer became easy prey for coyotes or died in rough terrain where no one ever found them. From this indirect and generally unreliable evidence, the deer herd's ruin became established.

Clay Cooper

Part 2

Reports of starvation and the much-reduced deer population spread around the country in both scientific and popular literature. In the decade leading up to this dramatic climax, few observers commented specifically on the many factors that contributed to the changing fortunes of the deer. Once the crisis became well-known, many commentators focused on the possible role of predatory animals. Critics of systematic predator control immediately drew conclusions from the sequence of events that began with protection of deer from predators. Hindsight made this example of the disruption of the "balance of nature" painfully obvious to some. For others, including those scientists who had seen conditions on the Kaibab firsthand, such suggestions about the relationship between predators and deer seemed quite tentative. Few of them, in fact, suggested ending predator control. Everyone still wanted a wildlife preserve; unrestrained predators might make matters worse by killing the deer that survived starvation. Climate, habitat, and livestock grazing undoubtedly contributed to the problem, but the furor over predators captured all the attention.

Please for more information.

Interpretations of the Story

At this point, the necessary facts to illustrate the lesson of the Kaibab were all in place. The story had reached its climax, even if the eventual fate of the deer remained unknown. Later accounts of the lesson ended with starving deer. Aldo Leopold later wrote that "just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer" (Leopold, 1949). This statement summarized an ecological principle concerning predator-prey relationships that became widely-recognized. When humans remove predators from an ecosystem, deer or some equivalent prey species will overrun mountains and rangelands (and more recently, suburban areas). Textbook accounts provided a quick denouement to the Kaibab case that pointed to the stabilization of the population.

One widely-used biology textbook stated, "Thereafter the deer population continued to decline more slowly and by 1939 was down to 10,000, living up to the capacity of the range, now seriously damaged by overcropping. With the range still deteriorating, starvation continued to kill more deer than the predators had" (Simpson, et al., 1957, p. 655). It was enough to point out that scientists, foresters, park rangers, game wardens, hunters, and wildlife enthusiasts alike had learned the important lesson.
Scientific studies of the deer population continued, however, as did the calls for ever-more scientific expertise. The divided jurisdiction of the preserve remained problematic. In 1970, ecologist Graeme Caughley reviewed the tangled evidence of the lesson and questioned the way two generations of textbook authors had perpetuated Leopold's use of the Kaibab example. The evidence, Caughley suggested, was found wanting and the textbooks were just plain wrong in stating that predator control alone had caused the Kaibab irruption. He concluded that predators had a relatively minor influence on the deer population. More significant were variations in habitat caused by factors including climate, livestock grazing, and changing federal and state wildlife policies (Caughley, 1970).

After Caughley's critique, textbooks purged references to the Kaibab deer altogether. Authors and teachers began to describe irruptions without reference to any specific case. In one textbook, the case is used to point out the difficulties of using historical cases in science textbooks, because they contain more than theoretical or conceptual complexity (Baker and Allen, 1977).

Ecologists and wildlife biologists continue to debate the dynamics of predator and prey populations in actual practice (McCullough, 1997).


Baker, J.J.W. & Allen, G.E. (1977). The Study of Life: Biology 3rd ed. Philippines: Addison-Wesley.

Caughley, G. (1970). Eruption of ungulate populations, with emphasis on Himalayan Thar in New Zealand. Ecology 51(1), 53-72.

Foster, J.C. (1970). The deer of Kaibab: Federal-state conflict in Arizona. Arizona and the West 12, 255-268.

Leopold, A.S. (1949). A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River. Oxford: Oxford University.

Mann, W.G. (1941). The Kaibab Deer: A Brief History and the Present Plan of Management. Williams, Arizona: Kaibab National Forest.

McCullough, D. (1997). Irruptive behavior in ungulates. In W.J. McShea, H.B. Underwood & J. H. Rappole (Eds.), The Science of Overabundance: Deer Ecology and Population Management (pp. 69-98). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.

Rasmussen, D.I. (1941). Biotic communities of the Kaibab Plateau, Arizona. Ecological Monographs 11(3), 229-75.

Roosevelt, T. (1913). A cougar hunt on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Outlook 105, 259-266.

Simpson, G.G., Pittendrigh, C.S. & Tiffany, L.H. (1957). Life: An Introduction to Biology. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company.

Young, C.C. (1998). Defining the range: Carrying capacity in the history of wildlife biology and ecology. Journal of the History of Biology. 31(1), 61-83.

Clay Cooper

And to the Bo-Zo I know is going to say, let’s bring the predators population up, they did; California where human joggers are on the main meal for Mountain Lions!

Mike Reeder

Petzal has an excellent point, and one I should have thought of. Pressuring advertisers is an excellent idea, and something other aggrieved groups do all the time. Don't get me wrong about being civil, though. This kind of thing steams me no end. However, ranting, screaming and cussing is going to do our cause nothing but harm. My point was simply to let the distributors of this type of thing no that they have insulted you and many others while simultaneously misleading their readers/viewers about the contribution sportsmen make to conservation. On the other hand, if you ever meet the cartoonist in person at a bar, by all means spit in his eye, then do it again for me.


I have to agree with Mike Diehl on this one. I have always enjoyed Non Sequitur. It is always funnier when humor is directed toward the other guy. I would opine that most people wouldn't take that cartoon seriously anyway.

jim in nc

I gotta go with Mike Diehl on this one. I like Non Sequitur, and we have more important stuff to worry about. A bear wandered into Bangor, Maine, this week and was shot by a warden. I don't know all the circumstances, but I'm disinclined to second-guess him. Nonetheless, there has been a wave of scathing letters to the paper. And the same local paper just reprinted a column from the Wash. Post about deer in Northern Virginia eating people's gardens up, and the possibility of shooting some of them. Predictably, PETA weighed in about the cowardice of shooting a mother deer: "This is Bambi." The op-ed page of the Post probably gets a lot more readers than the comics.

Clay Cooper

Mike Reeder
I find it funny about meeting a person in a bar. Kinda like those when there grouped together with their buddies. Acting tuff and stuff thinking its funny yucking it up until you walk up and introduce yourself. Talk about a real puss!

Like to come across Michael Moore out in the middle of no place being lost. I’m willing to bet he would be the biggest baby of them all and so glad to see someone, especially a hunter! Yes, he will be kissing your feet and promising you the moon until you get him back to civilization.
Yes, call them for what they are, freedom freeloaders!

Jim in Mo.

Phil B., and guys/gals, including you Heather. Whoop-de-friggin-do.
I as a sportsman expect much worse. In fact, any intelligent liberal would realize their scheme can be seen thru by that little girl in last frame popping the libs. bubble by saying 'hunters are classified as sporstsman'. Of couse the libs. will gloss over that comment as they always will.
It's them vs. us. We must take the high rode, while they take the rode they wish and get the print. Par for the course, is that a surprise that we should get upset about?

Clay Cooper

It time again for
Conservatives and Liberals
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic
hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the
summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of
beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer.
These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals; and
2. Conservatives

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the
beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can
were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around
waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the
brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at
night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what
is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live
off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing
the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women.
The rest became known as girlie-men.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of
cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of
Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest,
most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are
symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer
white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like
their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard
liberal fare.

Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have
higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers,
personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group
therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still
provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo
cowboys, Polymer Science PhDs, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, Physicists, police officers, corporate executives,
athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers
and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans
are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals
remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They
crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of
trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history: It should be noted that a
Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above
before forwarding it. A Conservative will simply laugh and be so
convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be
forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals
just to piss them off.

Jim in Mo.

LOL, now where the hell did you get that last post, not history books!
PS. You can't type all those posts that fast, how do you transfer it?


You might have noticed that after listening to Earthjustice attorneys, Judge Molloy of Missoula, MT relisted gray wolves in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho on the endangered species list. Well folks there goes millions more of your tax dollars plus the big game herds are again at extremely high risk of declining in numbers. Gov. Dave of Wyoming has the state attorney general's office looking into the matter but probably can't buck the feds.


Way to go Coop! You should have been with Mel Brooks when he did History of the World Part One. The 11th commandment: Thou shalt hunt and fish and enjoy My Creation.

My favorite hunting cartoon of all time. Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck with a little Buggs Bunny.

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