Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Fox Hunt, Part 2

Quarry animals are not limited to the red fox in a so-called fox hunt, they go after coyotes, gray foxes, bobcats and golden jackals as well. The red fox has been under this type of human siege for centuries in the name of sport killing. 

The little red fox is known by its scientific name Vulpes vulpes and is the normal prey animal of fox hunts in the States and across Europe. This humble animal is a small omnivorous predator that lives in underground burrows called earths and is mostly active in the twilight hours of the day making it a crepuscular  animal. Adult foxes have a range area of about 2 to 6 square miles in good terrain. In a poor area they can wander as far away as  7.7 square miles in search of food. This little guy can run up to 30 miles per hour for short bursts, mostly it trots everywhere it goes. Can you imagine the extreme stress of having to keep up this speed when running from dogs, horses and people who take joy in killing him for sport?

Foxes are variously known as a Tod, in old English. Reynard is the name of an anthropomorphic character in European literature from the 12 century and Charlie was named for the Whig politician Charles James Fox. All these silly names have been attributed to the little red foxes they are hunting into extinction. Now the American red foxes are somewhat larger than their European species but according to hunter's accounts they have less cunning, vigor and endurance in the chase compared to the European breed. Then why hunt them for sport in the first place? 

Fox killed in a fox hunt
Is this the image you want your children to see when they ask you about the extinction of wildlife on earth?
I have to ask. How much of a hero do you think this man is? The dog doesn't know any better he does what his master teaches and commands him to do.Will the dog suffer if he doesn't obey?

Seems the choice of quarry depends on the country, the region and the numbers of available animals in the wild these hunters are licensed to take. Coyotes or Canis latrans are a significant choice for many Hunts in North America especially in the west and southwest where large open spaces offer more room for horses, men, women, children and dogs to chase down these animals and kill them. Coyotes are indigenous predators that you would not see east of the Mississippi until the last half of the 20th century. They are faster than a foxes running 40 mph with wider territories up to 109 square miles so a much larger hunt territory is needed to chase  down and kill them. 

Get This ~ in the cold opinions of the hunters that kill for sport: 
 'coyotes tend to be less challenging intellectually!'  Seems they only offer a 'straight line hunt' whereas a fox provides a more 'fun' convoluted route to the chase. Coyotes are very dangerous opponents for the dogs especially in physical confrontations when they finally corner them for their human masters to come in for the kill; despite a sometimes obvious size advantage of a larger dog and the danger they are in when involved in these hunts, coyotes are generally far more practiced in these types of hostile encounters where killing is the intention.

coyote and dog confrontation
This is what 'hunt' dogs are trained to do, if they are injured or killed they are easily replaced by the next dog victim
FYI: Did you know that Coyotes are considered LC on the World Endangered List?  LC meaning Least Concern and this gives people the right and license to hunt and kill them for sport. There are other terms; 
EX equals Extinct (we did our job of eradication well). 
EW, for instance, means Extinct in the Wild and 
CR means Critically Endangered while 
EN is simply Endangered and 
VU is Vulnerable 

~~ I haven't found out what NT stands for yet but can you just imagine the words that go with those two letters?  Here's some more you're very likely unaware of: 
GX - Presumed Extinct or we are destroying species native to earth so fast we can even categorize them all. 
How 'bout GH - Possibly Extinct 
Or G1 - Critically Imperiled 
G2 - Imperiled 
G3 - Vulnerable
I love this one: G4 - Apparently Secure!!!   Well now, isn't that reassuring. 

I can't help but wonder what the Lord and our Creator thinks of THAT one. 

G5 - Secure and 
plain old C - Captured or Cultivated Only - whatever that means.

I'm wondering if C doesn't mean this ~~
baby coyote pup
Sometime I deplore my own species! 


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