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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:02 am 
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Maybe not really a good subject matter for the forum or acceptable but couldn't not mention it really.
When i brought into Nikon products i really didn't think to see what other areas they do business in.
So bloodsports and sponsoring events seems to be big business for them.
Im not sure now looking through the viewfinder is going to be quite the same taking pics of wildlife...
Not sure how i feel about them now, its kinda tainted to be honest :(

http://www.nikonhunting.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:21 am 
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I have heard a few wildlife photographers discuss this in the past. I'm torn as well on the subject but many things have come to light for me which have lessoned my shock on the subject.

First I think you have to look at what "hunting" truly is these days... especially from an american perspective. Simply put many americans will psend litterally thousands of dollars to go hunt on private land more commonly referred to as game farms. This holds true for hunting in most of the world. I have a farmer who lives about 4km from me who raises phesants and ppl pay big money to go on his land to "hunt" them. Another guy about 25km from me has land that he raises male deer on. When they reach 14 point size or higher he releases them onto another piece of his land and charges upward of 5 thousand dollars per hunter.

This holds true in places throughout north america as well as africa, europe and most of the rest of the world. There are game farms in africa so large that you can drive for ever and never see the fenceline giving the illusion of wild africa.... unfortunately wild africa for the most part no longer exists (hate to burst most ppl's bubble on that) most of the true wild areas left in africa are now protected game reserves.

Even when one does go to truly wild areas many times the hunting allowed there is still controlled.... An example of this would be in the arctic. When I was up there last summer I heard an old familiar story... the locals in the area had the right to shoot 5 polar bears each year. Instead of killing them themselves they sold the rights to rich ppl charging upwards of 15 thousand dollars per hunt. As it was put to me the money gained from these hunts allowed the indigenous ppl to pay for schools and keep their traditions alive so it was well worth it for them... that too however is now changing with the decline of polar bears throughout the arctic.

Hunting deer in north america to many environmentalists is a godsend.... one needs to keep in mind that since the decline of the bison and natural preditors deer populations have skyrocketed throught north america and in many areas they are considered a pest... there are many places in north america these days that every few years do herd cullings to keep the populations down.

I could go on for hours on stories like this but in the end my thoughts are if you are hunting for food and you follow the regulations all the power to you. Trophy hunting I have never been for but with more and more of these trophy hunts taking place on privately owned game farms who cares.. if some rich dude gets his rocks off spending thousands of dollars on shooting a raised animal that is in a very large pen and then mount it and tell his great hunting story so be it... The word idiot comes to mind but who am I to judge.

There are of course some blatant exceptions to the following but in general I believe that north america and europe have good animal management practices in place which of course still need to be tweeked as needed and as we learn more but what concerns me however are thrid world countries and the hunting and poaching that takes place ther... bushmeat is a serious issue throughout third world countries and needs to be addressed as does poaching of endangered species. I dont think a lot of high tech gear is used for this however. Poachers in north america and other rich countries are of course the acception and Im sure they use some pretty high tech gear...

I used to hunt and fish a LOT when I was young and I know for a fact it is where my love for nature began. These days I no longer hunt but I do still fish even though most of the time I take my cameras instead of my fishing tackle now. I find that most serious hunters as well as fishermen respect the environment and many donate to environm,ental organizations. Even today some reaserchers still use local hunters to gain insite into population bases and other wildlife info as hunters in some areas spend more time in the wilds than anyone else.

The only other concern I have that connects to this subject is the idea by some environmental groups like ducks unlimited think that putting asside small pieces of land to protect species will in some way ensure the species survival... these ppl need to read the latest research on what is called island biodiversity and books like the song of the doto which is aged but still holds true. They postulate that species on islands have a greater threat of going extinct than species on a continent due to landmass size and the possibility of escape if a nature desaster hits. Much has been written on this and there is proof over and over as humans expanded to isolated islands that local species went extinct shortly after. We would be much better served when looking at protecting our wildlife and the environs in which they live to look at organisations like Y2Y (yellowstone to yukon conservation initiative). Organizations like Y2Y conclude that putting aside small pockets of land to protect a species is much like creating an island and if something was ever to happen to these parcels of land species could well go exxtinct.

I really could go on and on for hours on this and the above is more of a rambling then anything but it touches on how I feel bout it. In the end however I personally have no use for hunting any more as I would not use the meat. As said above I can accept hunting for food but anything beyond that to me is someone trying to hold on to a neolithic thought pattern which should have gone extinct when we almost succeeded in driving the bison to extinction. We are humans however and as a species I fear some of us are a long way off from stepping out of the cave.. putting down our club... and seeing other races and women as equals... nevermind animals and the environment... oh. shoot... gone too far as always :twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:58 am 
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I can so relate you have written, applies to the people that I know that hunt and the ones that fish. Nearly all have a love for nature and are interested in long term preservation.
I work with people that hunt deer, all introduced here and go duck shooting, but that seems to be declining all round .
Except for one in particular, he travels to Africa to spend money shooting whatever for trophy, I don`t get that bit either. To me its a bit of a small penis syndrome.


I still love fishing, but its on a catch and release or catch and only what I eat. Unfortunate we have set a poor example in this country, with the introduction of feral animals, goats, pigs, camels, rabbits wild brumby`s and other pests like foxes, cane toads. Add huge amounts of land clearing and we have devastated the little marsupials, reptiles etc etc., I believe we have the distinction of the country with the worst record when it comes to extinctions.

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Last edited by maxjj on Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:10 am 
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Location: Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ
Having seen and been part of the uk hunting community I too have mixed emotions regarding hunting.

Individual hunting ie as an individual or with a small group heading out and hunting deer, pigs or ducks etc in the wild like we do here in nz in a controlled environment where the chances are not stacked in your favor and more times than not you return empty handed as the prey has eluded you, I'm fine with.

Here there are strict rules that all obey with respect to quantities you can take, this includes fish and believe me we have been fishing here for rainbow trout and have agreed on the day that we don't take anything less than 15 inches.... Yep 15 and believe me we get full buckets and nothing is wasted and no one takes the smaller stock and no one takes more than they need as a result.

However, when it comes to pack hunting or mechanical excavation or pitching one animal vs another and the odds are stacked against the prey, then I will be at the front of the queue to kick their asses.

I have close links with large farms and fully understand the issues with badgers and foxes from a farming point of view and i have seen management plans in action supporting both the commercial element of the farm and the encouragement and improvement of the wildlife environment B U T I will never condone fox hunting with packs as sport or a necessity.

Any firm be it canon or Nikon that supported this activity would lose my custom in a heart beat.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:37 am 
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eradicating pest species is a big problem, maybe hunters should focus on that.
Are the introduced possums still causing havoc over in NZ?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:11 am 
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Location: Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ
Only in some areas, control seems to work where we are.

They destroy bird life, so I don't care for them much. I was ridiculed at work for swerving to avoid a possum...I must admit I still swerve now, just in a different direction... :twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Interesting replies guys, good to hear other peoples opinions on these touchy subjects.
I don't get the wildcat hunting or elephant and giraffe stuff which i saw a less than nice photo of the other day.
It seems killing is a natural state of mind for a large percentage of the human race, be it each other or the natural world..
End of the day Nikon make great optics where ever they end up, but if they are seen to be supporting blood sports other than the equipment that doesn't look too great.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:03 pm 
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Well... as a vegetarian it doesn't quite make me happy... I'd rather use higher focal lengths in order to shoot animals with my camera and hang the pictures on my wall. Shots of living animals make me happy.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:09 am 
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Max... not to get off topic but you brought up the cane toad issue and that caught my interest many years ago... I actually spent 6 weeks there helping organize an effort to buid a strategy to try to bring them under control... shortly thereafter however my focuses turned to canada and environmental issues here so I lost track of that issue at that time... how is the cane toad issue coming along? I have heard many speculate back then that if it is not brought under control many of your snake and other reptile species, along with some bird and mammal species as well may go extinct due to the cane toad. Has there been any progress or is it a lost cause? I know they were worried about them crossing 1 river in paerticular and if they did so it was feared that any chance of contrling them would be lost... I'd love to know whats going on with that whole situation.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:16 am 
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Location: Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ
During cane toad season his golf handicap improves :P

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:19 am 
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In 2003 did a 3 month trip around the Eastern half of Australia with my wife, 4wheeldrive and tent. We visited some friends in Queensland near Claremont, they are broad acre farmers, aside from shooting ferral pigs one of the sports the boys got into was eliminating cane toads. At that point I had never seen one, for the whole week we couldn`t find one cane toad. This area was supposedly overrun with them.
When we went further up north to catch up with more of my wife`s friends and cousins we still saw very few. During the same trip I spend a bit of time talking to rangers in different National Parks and it appears that there is a drop in numbers in Cane toads.

Keep in mind down here in Victoria, we don`t get Cane toads, so not really that familiar with them.

Things become a bit different as we left Queensland and started heading to the Northern Territory. We spend a couple of day in a fishing/camping lodge near Burketown, the name escapes me for the minute. The whole camping area was overrun with small cane toads and they were going stupid feeding on moth and any other insects. They were all small 5cm or less.
When we got to Katherine Gorge near the town Of Katherine the gorge was full of cane toads, just small ones, but they were everywhere. I had been there in 1998 when I did a motorbike trip up the center and then around West Australia and there were no cane toads anywhere.

Basically it appears that they are unstoppable, they will marsh across the top of the continent, depending on affects of temperature , rain , floods , etc until they have conquered the lot. It also appears that they have a significant impact on the native wildlife, but eventually the cane toads seem to run out of food and their super fast breeding cycle slows down. Or as native animals adapt their numbers increase and they make a bigger dent in cane toads numbers. Maybe something has developed a taste for cane toad eggs?

Saw a documentary on tv that showed that the cane toads that were going west had grown longer legs and were able to cover more area faster, ie evolution. The quicker you get to new hunting grounds the more you eat, the more you breed etc.

Its bad for some natives like some quolls, etc, but once the natives ride out the initial assault, the impact from the cane toads drops off and they do recover.. Some species seem to do that better than others.

If I get a chance later I will go and have a google in particular see what the CSIRO has got going.

http://www.csiro.au/

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:36 am 
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just read part of that link.. after all these years and still no breakthroughs... :(

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:21 am 
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Optics are used for purposes other than photography. Nikon, Pentax, Zeiss, and Leica, and perhaps others not coming to mind at the moment, are brand names that can be found on telescopic sights mounted on firearms. Most firearms are owned for target shooting, but some are used for hunting. This is, simply, reality. Early humans were hunter-gatherers. Some humans continue to hunt animals, whether for subsistence, sport, or both. Again, this is simple reality.

I reckon I am a hunter, though I hunt humans, and the primary objective is live capture, so my duty-related firearms do not have telescopic sighting systems. The criminal justice system does the "processing" after capture. Ernest Hemingway wrote something to the effect that after hunting men, all other hunting seems lesser, in comparison. This may be why I do not feel the urge to use a firearm to hunt animals, though I do have an interest in firearms that goes beyond their utility as tools of my trade. (It is the norm, in the USA, for police to be armed at all times, sworn to be subject to duty at all times; many crimes are thwarted by police officers outside their normal duty hours.)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:56 am 
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The cane toads have crossed the country and are in the Kimberly Region of Western Australia, they are also in the northern part of New South Wales.

Boffins brought them in the country to destroy the cane beetle which eat at the top of the cane, funny the toads can't jump or climb so no problem for the beetle. :roll:


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