Former Prime Minister’s Wife Publicly Berates Hunter

Former Prime Minister's Wife Publicly Berates Hunter

Larureen Harper’s comments on Steve Ecklund’s cougar hunt

It is shocking enough to read some of the comments that hunters receive when posting their accolades online. But to think that Laureen Harper, wife of former leader of the conservative party and Prime Minister of Canada would join in the abuse is chilling.

Steve Ecklund, notable TV host of The Edge, recently posted of himself with the cougar he harvested in Northern Alberta. His comment on the post read:

“What an unreal ending to a fun filled season,” he wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, “Northern Alberta lion with BIG CAT ADVENTURES Brian and Claudette Chorney … can’t thank you guys enough for the eye opener into your world of houndsmen.”

He later posted a photo of the stir-fry her made with the meat. We celebrate a hunter who goes above and beyond a mere trophy hunt and uses the whole animal. Alberta laws do not require hunters to consume or use any part of a cougar after harvesting it. Though the anti-hunting crowd does not join in our celebration.

Former Prime Minister’s Wife Publicly Berates Hunter

It is no surprise to us that the anti-hunting crowd would be up in arms about this hunt. What does surprise us, however, is the response that was tweeted by Laureen Harper which read: (we apologize for the vulgar language)

“What a creep. Chasing a cougar with dogs until they are exhausted and then shooting and scared, cornered and tired animal. Must be compensating for something, small penis probably.”

People, surprised by this comment from her, questioned the security of her twitter account to which she replied:

“Wasn’t hacked. I was really angry that some guy flies all the way to Alberta to kill a magnificent cougar, so he can make a stir fry.”

We are surprised that Mrs. Harper hasn’t had better lessons in diplomacy. Especially given her husbands political allegiance, one that has traditionally protected the rights of hunters, . While we can’t presume to know whether or not she herself is a conservative, we should be able to expect more from someone in her position.

Laureen then goes on the impregnate further speculation into the situation, seemingly intended to fire the situation further by commenting saying:

“But how did blasting that beautiful healthy cat (not sure if it was male or pregnant female) help conservation?”

Former Prime Minister's Wife Publicly Berates Hunter

Steve Ecklund with his cougar that he legally harvested in Northern Alberta.

Education in Conservation

What is evident here is the lack of education. First, in exactly how this hunt will have helped conservation efforts. Whether non-hunters choose to believe this or not, controlling animal populations is necessary, especially when we remove more of their habitat every year for land development and industry such as oil and forestry. Further, every penny spent on licenses and transport permits etc., goes directly back into conservation efforts.

The second thing people lack an education in  is the reasons why cats are hunted in this manner. Aside from being just about the only way to hunt these animals, treeing the cat makes it easier to asses age and maturity and, more importantly, the sex of the animal so that the hunter can make an ethical decision on whether or not to harvest this animal.

This whole situation points to the glaring ignorance of the anti-hunting crowd. As we encroach on an animals habitat, one of 2 things will happen. There will be instances of human-animal conflict, where the animal generally loses eventually by being euthanized by authorities, a sad waste of the resources that animal could provide if harvest by a hunter.

The alternative is that the animal is pushed beyond the limits of it’s territory, into that of another animal causing a competition for food which can have a catastrophic affect on the prey populations will undoubtedly still end in the death of one or both of the animals.

Cougars occupy a very large, solitary home range. They also require a large caloric intake and are known to be able to consume 1 deer every week of the year. So imagine if we, upon diminishing local habitats, leave these populations unchecked. As we upset the delicate balance, it is up to us to restore and manage it. Anti-hunters may not like it, but we co-habitate with our wildlife and that makes us part of the natural order.

Perhaps one could argue that it is not out responsibility to intervene, but we would argue that we have the ability to do so and therefore we should. A cougar following it’s instincts, for example, will kill without prejudice. It will do so with no consideration for conservation or protection of a species so this is where we possess the ability to step in and help with these decisions.

We will begin to see the results of such conflict in British Columbia in the coming years as they have just passed an immediate ban on Grizzly Bear hunting. The result of social pressure and NOT due to unsustainable populations.

Conservation Efforts

In short, hunters ARE conservationists. More than anyone else in society. We care for our animal populations and go to great lengths to protect them. The primary source of funding for conservation comes from hunting and fishing dollars. The province spends 100% of hunting of fishing revenue on fish and wildlife management. A total investment of around $71 million a year.

Conclusion

Anti-hunting terrorism is a huge problem world-wide and threatens to put a stop to hunting altogether. We need to affect some sort of change before we reach the bottom of this slippery slope. When affluent, and powerful people are joining in the hazing, it becomes very scary. Where are we headed when someone like Laureen Harper can assault a citizen of a country her husband was led?

As hunters, we have a responsibility to be ethical in all that we do. That means that we need to be hyper-sensitive when posting photos and such online – though we find no fault in Ecklunds post. But if we are doing everything we can to show hunters in the best light possible then there is no excuse for abuse like this.

At what point do we start holding people responsible for their actions? Larueen Harper should be held accountable, as much as anyone else, who threatens or verbally assaults someone. Especially when there are no grounds on which to do so.

It’s time to demand a change. Write letters to your local government to let them know that this treatment is not ok. Remind them that we are here and we deserve to be heard, every bit as much as the anti-hunters.

 

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