OR Man Acquitted for Killing Marine He Thought Was a Bear

Eugene Collier of Oregon thought he saw something on all fours crouching at the edge of his property. Thinking it might be a bear, Collier, an experienced hunter, shot it. The target he fatally shot turned out to be Marine reservist Christopher Ochoa.

Eugene Collier admits he was shooting to kill when he fired the .270-caliber bullet that caused Christopher Ochoa’s death on Oct 21, 2011. But he thought he was shooting at a bear.

Collier, who has been a hunter for 60 years, and his grandson had gone hunting for the weekend, and were staying at Collier's cabin in the woods. When he first realized he shot a human, he froze, thinking maybe he had shot his grandson.

Collier said it wasn’t until he was 100 yards away from his target that he knew he had shot a human. “I froze. I thought the only person up there was my grandson, then I realized he wasn’t dressed like that.”


[Grandson] Danny Collier had heard the shot from his hunting stand on the south side of the field and came running. “Danny came, I said, ‘I shot somebody. We got to go get help,” he said.

The state, which charged him with second degree manslaughter, argued he was reckless in not checking further before he shot.

“A reasonable person would look at something for longer than two or three seconds before firing at it,” she said. “If defendant had looked at Christopher Ochoa for longer than two or three seconds, we might not be here.”

The defense argued:

“Sometimes bad things happen to good people when accidents happen,” he said. “I’m going to ask you to ask yourself: ‘What do I believe the state of the evidence to be?’ ”

Collier's attorney also told the jury the area had a prevalent bear problem.

The jury acquitted Collier.

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  • Display: Sort:
    This is a disturbing bit of argument: (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:55:51 PM EST
    "Sometimes bad things happen to good people when accidents happen," he said.

    ... a plea for universal absolution, whereas the universal cause of accidents is someone's negligence.

    Lyrics to this one were supposedly (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:00:47 PM EST
    written by Dr. Seuss:  My Uncle Walter Goes Waltzing With Bears.  And there's hammered dulcimer at the end, so what could be bad?

    Rather than pile on to the nearby flame war, (none / 0) (#54)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:46:22 PM EST
    I'll post the link to an equally whimsical tune, The Teddy Bear's Picnic.

    Did you know that (none / 0) (#72)
    by Peter G on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:43:26 AM EST
    Jerry Garcia once recorded "Teddy Bears' Picnic"?  (I am glad you understood my comment to be an attempt to steer the conversation in another direction.)

    A lot of stupid in gun culture (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdm251 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:58:23 PM EST
    One summer I worked at a golf course where the superintendent was an avid hunter.  I was driving a truck around the course while my boss was sitting in the passenger side with a shotgun trying to catch a coyote.  The next thing I know he tells me to stop, points the gun out the drivers side window, so the barrel was about six inches from my face, and fires the gun.  My ears were wringing for days and got a little bit of powder burn.  Te guy actually got mad at me because I' didn't stop the truck fast enough and coyote got away.  

    I quit a day later but last I heard the superintendent is still there and treats the place like his own private hunting preserve.

    Hunters are stupid and gun people are stupid

    People who take the screen name kdm251 (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:13:17 PM EST
    are stupid.

    Perhaps he's the 251st member... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by unitron on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:26:34 PM EST
    ...of the Knights of the Digital Mellenium.

    But people who discharge firearms that close to other people's eyes and ears are almost as stupid as those who defend them.


    I don't know---this guy's former boss (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:36:57 PM EST
    sounds like vice-presidential material to me.  

    Nah, if he'd been Veep grade... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by unitron on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:18:41 PM EST
    ...he'd have missed the coyote AND caught the OP with a face full of shot.

    Hmmm, seeing as he had the gun (1.00 / 2) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:30:58 PM EST
    about level.... I'd say he is ready for the main job...



    "ABOUT level" (none / 0) (#39)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:49:15 AM EST
    You mean, ... a common position while shooting skeet?



    Yep (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:43:29 PM EST
    Sounds like Dick Cheney to me.

    And as I feared... (none / 0) (#46)
    by unitron on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:58:41 AM EST
    ...I did indeed misspell millennium.

    Heartwarming Stories (none / 0) (#15)
    by thadjock on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:57:33 PM EST
    of Hunters accidently shooting themselves, each other (cheney style) random family members, or getting shot when their dog fiddles with the gun, illustrate the halting and tentative nature of evolution's true path.

    Animal rights, and Hunting ethics (5.00 / 5) (#56)
    by thadjock on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:27:04 PM EST
    have nothing to do with this incident. A MAN was killed.  

    The NRA is 100% correct: "guns don't kill people, people kill people".  On this day, at that moment, with no imminent danger pending, an "experienced" hunter, demonstrated himself to be an incompentent gun owner, and it cost another man his life. People killing people.

    If you're already invested in the NRA's assertion that adding more guns to the mix, by incentivising concealed carry , and arming students in the classroom is the only way to eliminate/deter gun violence, you may be less than receptive to further discussion of gun rights, so feel free check out now.

    Average Joe "bought my sig sauer last week, cuz they passed the carry law" doesn't possess the rock solid threat assessment skills, and split second reaction time to effectively neutralise the target.

    With the notable exception of active duty military personnel, who engage the enemy on a daily/hourly basis, no one else is trained to operate at that high level of awareness/competency with a gun. Period.

    I'm a gun owner and a hunter, but what worries me most is all the Dirty Harry fanboys who may be next to me in the restaurant/theater/street/woods, etc. who don't even know if their safety is on or off. And, people with cognitive deficits who can't tell (or be bothered to determine)the difference between a person and a bear.

    This country needs gun regulation,

    And this slain Marine deserves a better debate.

    Let me try and understand (1.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:37:25 PM EST
    Everyone but you is too dumb to have a gun.

    That about it?


    "Try to understand" ... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:34:04 AM EST
    ... does not mean "contort and distort".

    But yes, in fact ... there are a whole lot of people with questionable decision-making skills and training who have easy access to guns and an armchair-warrior/John Wayne complex.


    Let me try and understand (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:37:25 PM EST
    Everyone but you is too dumb to have a gun.

    That about it?


    I Love How... (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:48:49 AM EST
    ...all the pro gun people identify with the shooter and never with the victim.

    Let's not forget, a Marine who did absolutely nothing wrong, was shot and killed by a man who couldn't be bothered to make sure his intended target wasn't a human being, including making sure it wasn't his grandson.

    That is not acceptable behavior and turning this into some kind of referendum on gun control by switching the innocent victim into an intruder is pretty damn lame.

    Not that I should have to remind the nitwit brigade, but here are the 4 golden rules of gun safety I was taught and still abide by:

    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    Had Mr. Collier followed #4, Christopher Ochoa would be alive.  I am appalled that in this culture it's OK to shoot at something without validating that it is not a human being.

    I guess the right to life takes a back seat when idiot gun owners are thrown into the mix.  And make no mistake, a gun killed this man, all other methods of killing would have required a distance that would have enabled this idiot to distinguish a human being from a bear.  

    That grandson should be on the floor thanking his god that he didn't make the mistake of hunting where his idiot grandfather could have seen him.

    How anyone can defend this behavior is beyond me.

    Nice rant. Who is here defending him? (none / 0) (#74)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:28:37 PM EST
    Come On.... (none / 0) (#75)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:48:37 PM EST
    ...they have morphed him into a man defending his home and shooting an intruder because staying on topic would require actually defending him.  But they are doing it indirectly.

    And the members of the jury...


    Switzerland kills its very last wild bear (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:36:21 AM EST
    - making their world safer for Banksters and tax dodgers.

    Switzerland's only recorded wild bear has been culled after fears that it could pose a threat to humans, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

    That makes me feel really sad. (none / 0) (#73)
    by sj on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:27:17 PM EST
    Question to Wayne La Pierre: (4.64 / 11) (#5)
    by thadjock on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:28:23 PM EST
    is this the kind of responsible gun owner who's going to save me from getting shot in a movie theater?

    "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun"

    but who's going to stop the complete idiot with a gun?

    on the bright side, the local Bear population issued a statement of regret and condolences to the Marine's family.

    Great comment (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdm251 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:48:22 PM EST
    I almost spit coke on my keyboard

    The question is (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:23:30 PM EST
    how many bad guys go into a place where people might have guns versus how many bad guys go into gun free zones?

    There is no comparison or connection between the accidental shooting described here and the planned killing at Newton, Columbine and Aurora.



    The odds of you ever being confronted ... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:53:37 PM EST
    ... by a bad guy with a gun in a public place or even at home are far less than you getting shot by a family member or personal acquaintance. Further, a gun owner is many times more likely to either face or inflict harm via firearms violence than is someone who resides in a gun-free household.

    If you don't mind, (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:58:23 PM EST
    I'll take the 2nd and my chances.

    A 21-year-old Texas man is being credited with protecting his family when he retreated into his family's bedroom, retrieved a gun and fatally shot one of three intruders who forcefully entered his home, KHOU.com reported.


    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/23/houston-man-21-shoots-intruder-during-home-invasion/?test=lates tnews


    To paraphrase what you wrote above (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:00:38 AM EST
    The question is how many people stop armed intruders versus how many people end up shooting themselves, a family member or another person purposely or by accident?

    In poker terms, I see your single incident and raise you several thousand ...

    In fact, research has repeatedly found that a gun kept in one's home is far more likely to injure or kill those inside the home. Hemenway wrote that many studies found "that a gun in the home is a risk for homicide in the home" and determined, "The evidence is overwhelming for the fact that a gun in the home is a risk factor for completed suicide and that gun accidents are most likely to occur in homes with guns."

    Now, that's just silly, (none / 0) (#50)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:56:29 PM EST
    You failed to state that your statistics only apply to those that live in a reality based world.

    However, we know there are millions who construct their own reality and, in that world, intruders are always armed, always mean to do you harm, while armed homeowners are always successful in vanquishing intruders and never harm family members.

    Finally, in our do-it-yourself world, there are always two sides to a story and they always carry equal weight.

    I thought you knew that?


    Two responses: (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:15:29 PM EST
    First,  I'd say that was fair enough and you're entitled to take your chances except that the safety of everyone in your surrounding area depends on your good judgment, which obviously can't be objectively evaluated.  Also, there is the question of your ability with a gun.  Do you have prior experience with unexpectedly engaging armed opponents at an instant's notice in crowded public places? What formal training have you had?  How often do you go to the range and practice?  Could you at least POST-qualify in your state?

    If you are not proficient with a gun, you could present as great a danger to those around you as the crazed gunmen we all fear.  Have you considered that we might all be better off if easily concealable handguns and military style weaponry was significantly less available in this county?

    Second, this is the strangest "home invasion" I've ever heard about.  Three supposedly armed criminals burst into this guy's home, they grab his mother, don't do anything to his father and don't make any demands or ask where the family's valuables are located.  Also, they don't incapacitate the son and, in fact, they let him retrieve his father's gun, run back to where the action is taking place and shoot one of the gang.   Apparently, they don't try to stop him and then, once he has shot and killed on of their gang, they simply excuse themselves and leave.  Also noteworthy is that they are apparently easily captured and unarmed.  I have the feeling that there is much more to this than meets the eye.  


    The question is (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:33:06 PM EST
    simply this.

    We know how many people were killed by the shooter in Aurora.

    You can only speculate on whether or not someone shooting back would have killed bystanders.

    Common sense says that if the shooter hears/sees someone shooting back he will be distracted at the least.


    What you just said is ridiculous. (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:50:55 PM EST
    But, just for the sake of argument, wouldn't that be an argument in favor of issuing carry permits for firecrackers instead of firearms.  

    There's also no reason to think that a "distracted" rampage shooter would simply give up or kill himself simply because he heard a loud noise.  Then, too, there's also the possibility that the armed lunatic "heroic citizen(s)" will panic and end up completely missing the active shooter and accidentally wipe out a family across the theater or they will engage the police when they come to help.

    Wouldn't it be better to simply not let people have access to large quantities of weaponry? What's so bad about living like a normal person instead of a character from "Walker, Texas Ranger"?  


    Sorry, don't why the link didn't set right (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:00:47 PM EST
    A 21-year-old Texas man is being credited with protecting his family when he retreated into his family's bedroom, retrieved a gun and fatally shot one of three intruders who forcefully entered his home, KHOU.com reported.



    Intruders armed or unarmed? (none / 0) (#37)
    by DFLer on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:54:13 AM EST
    doesn't say in article.

    Doesn't make any difference... (1.00 / 2) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:29:22 PM EST
    Three guys knock on door, burst in when door opens, knock down father....

    What do you want the son to do? Wait for them to shoot the dad and rape the mom??


    I think you're missing my point. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Mitch Guthman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:10:10 AM EST
    These people don't seem to have been armed and they didn't behave as typical home invaders.  They just showed up at a time when people would be moving around the house and the neighborhood (which is very unusual); they didn't display weapons; they didn't take control of the people (especially the two men)or the situation (they allowed the kid to go to a bedroom and apparently didn't bother to chase after him) and they didn't make any kind of threats.

    They also supposedly didn't given any indication of why they were at that particular house.  They didn't ask "where are the drugs" or "where's the money" as one might expect if it was a ripoff that arrived at the wrong address. There's no indication that they intended to rape the woman.

    So, here's my question:  Don't you find this sequence of events just a tad suspicious?  Aren't you even a little bit curious about who these supposed victims are and why they do for a living?  I know I would be; although I doubt that any policeman in Texas would think about following up on such a killing.  


    The "gun free zone magnet" MYTH (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:52:34 AM EST
    Don't know if it was manslaughter (none / 0) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:09:52 PM EST
    but I do believe that it was a reckless act especially considering that his 12 year old grandson was on the property.

    I'm sure you're right, although I suppose that (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:29:16 PM EST
    technically, it would depend on how he felt about his grandson.

    Wonder if he had read the book by Dr. Sach(s?)... (none / 0) (#4)
    by goilwell on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:40:14 PM EST

    titled "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat".
    Might have given him an idea for how to get a pass.

    A decade or so ago, some guy tried (none / 0) (#51)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:28:38 PM EST
    to convince a judge that the hatchet job he'd performed on his wife in their garage was because he thought she was a raccoon.  I don't remember if he also tried the old I was sleepwalking ploy.  In any case, it didn't work.

    clue what he was shooting at.  Yes, it's an accident but I really wonder whether this guy had to take some kind of training course to get his hunting license.  He doesn't seem like somebody who ought to be wandering around the woods with a gun.

    Also, granting for the sake of argument that he was absolutely positive he was lined up on an actual bear, why did he feel the need to kill it?  I don't know about the area having a "problem" with bears but it certainly does seem to be overrun with reckless fools.    

    I'm also curious about this "hunting stand" and the use of bait.    Is this legal?  More importantly, is this really hunting?  Killing some poor deer who has been tempted by your bait seems more like going to the supermarket except that you get the added pleasure of killing something.   I'm just a city dweller but this sure doesn't like hunting to me.  Sounds more like armed shopping.

    My thoughts exactly (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by ruffian on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:35:14 AM EST
    I'm not arguing with the acquittal, but to me this is an example of the shoot first ask questions later mentality that is so dangerous. If a supposed bear is so far away that it cannot even be seen clearly, why does it need to be shot?

    When I used to live in NJ, our area was (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:09:53 PM EST
    literally overrun with deer. Shrubs, flowers, etc., were devastated by herds of deer. My dad said one time he had 17 deer in his suburban backyard eating his newly planted garden. There was no deer hunting allowed in our area, so there was no recourse. We referred to them cloven footed rats.

    Pretty much the main way to hunt deer is to figure out their daily movements and hang nearby so you can get a good shot. The daily movements are often to water and food and then back to where they bed down. Often the food is some farmer's corn or other grain field.

    So instead of waiting beside some farmer's field that attracts the deer, or a stream or lake or something, they made their own deer attraction.

    Does not seem like an unreasonable way to hunt to me.


    It might be a reasonable way to manage the deer (none / 0) (#12)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:34:47 PM EST
    population.  It just doesn't fit the evidently incorrect image of hunting that was in my mind.  

    As I say, neither a country dweller nor a hunter but I always had this romantic notion of the hunter stealthily approaching his prey.   Matching his skills as an outdoorsman against the animal's instinct for survival and heightened senses.  

    Perhaps even risking his own life as he sometimes hunts dangerous animals that think of humans as their pretty.  A duel of skill and cunning.   Killing a helpless animal from ambush seems rather unsatisfying, unless you really like killing.  


    and throttle them with their own hands. Now THAT would be a real hunter!

    Seriously, a lot of hunting is sitting and waiting.

    You can tell the hunters that move around a lot while hunting, they're the ones who are reeeaaaly skinny.


    Well, there should probably be at least some (none / 0) (#19)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:28:15 PM EST
    element of skill and challenge involved.  Evidently deer hunting is a lot like working in a slaughterhouse, except without central heating and indoor toilets.  

    Each to his own, I suppose, although buying one's meat at the local supermarket would seem to have the advantages of being easier, more comfortable and obviously safer than being in the woods with Eugene Collier.  


    Maybe buying your meat (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:53:45 PM EST
    pre-packaged in plastic wrap and non-recyclable styrofoam at the local supermarket is easier for most people, but, really, you have no idea what is in that meat or where it came from.  Much of our meat consists of venison from our place.
    And until we got too old to do so any more, we raised beef cattle.  Our beef was free-range, and free of added hormones or antibiotics, or other chemicals.  Do you know if the meat you buy is free of all these?  I now buy beef, pork, and chicken locally.  I know the farmers, and I can see how they raise their animals.  The rest of the meat we eat, as I said, is venison from our place.
    And if you have a problem with deer hunting, and think that it is akin to working in a slaughterhouse, then you might want to rethink eating meat at all.  Consider being a vegetarian, or, better yet, a vegan.  Because the way most of our food animals are raised, fattened, and slaughtered today, is way, way less humane than the way most deer hunters kill their deer.

    I neither making a pitch for vegetarianism (none / 0) (#47)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:12:39 PM EST
    nor condemning hunting. I'm merely pointing out that shooting an unsuspecting animal from ambush at a distance with a high-powered rife equipped with a telescopic sight when it comes to eat the bait you put out isn't a particularly challenging activity, even in comparison with buying meat at the supermarket.  It is simply colder, wetter and more uncomfortable than more conventional methods of shopping.

    My point is that this method of obtaining meat is more closely analogous to what happens at a slaughterhouse than to Robin Hood's skill at stalking and killing his prey with a bow and arrow.  

    Apart from that, I would echo the many others on this thread who have pointed out that the reason why deer no longer have natural predators is that the farmers and ranchers exterminated those predators.    


    Nobody up here (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:38:35 PM EST
    (at least, not those well-known neighbors that we allow to hunt on our property) uses telescopic sights, and they don't bait the deer.  We keep an eye on what they are doing, and we don't allow baiting.  And oh, BTW, some of them use muzzle-loading black powder rifles in the appropriate season, and some of them also bow hunt.  (Granted, it's not Robin Hood's long bows.)
    Natural deer predators have not been extant in this area since before most of us were born.  So, you're going to blame us for what previous generations did?
    We are seeing a few (very few) coyotes that have made their way to the East Coast.  But coyotes do not kill a whole lot of deer- mainly a few fawns and the occasional weak or sick adult, but not enough to make any kind of difference in the deer population, and in any case, there are not that many coyotes in the area as yet.  I have seen exactly two in the almost 30 years that we have lived here.  They will eat road-kill deer.  Vehicles kill way more deer than the few coyotes around here will ever kill.
    Same thing with black bears, which are beginning to make a come-back here.  They also do not normally kill deer.  In actual fact, I would argue that the few black bears, and fewer coyotes, around here, are doing the deer population a favor by killing off the sick and the weak, leaving the main population of deer stronger, with less competition for their food.
    There have not been wolves in this area for generations.  Not anything that we in the current generation have done.  
    So, sue me.

    Actually, there are many reasons why (none / 0) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:40:33 PM EST
    natural predators of deer are in short supply these days, and one of them is, for sure, being hunted. But there are other, less nefarious reasons as well.

    Out here in CA Mountain Lions prey almost exclusively on deer. However, deer can live very successfully in much higher concentrations and within much smaller boundries than Mountain Lions can.

    Therefor, merely due to housing, freeways, cities, farms, etc., breaking up the square miles of territory that the ML's need into much smaller parcels that are perfectly fine for deer but unsuitable for ML's, the result is the deer have no real threat from natural predation.


    Add: Obviously there are areas of CA (none / 0) (#58)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:44:06 PM EST
    which are still able to support ML's, I didn't mean to suggest that deer have no natural predators anywhere in CA. Clearly it's location-dependent.

    Deer have a bit of freedom before they die. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:35:59 PM EST
    Domesticated animals, however humanely or politically correctly husbanded, have none.

    Well, where I live (none / 0) (#53)
    by shoephone on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:41:50 PM EST
    any pet cat or small dog wanting such freedom would have its life cut short by a coyote in pretty short order.

    Mitch, you have no idea (none / 0) (#18)
    by Zorba on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:25:46 PM EST
    Unlike you, we are country dwellers, and live on a farm in Western Maryland.  We haven't hunted ourselves for years, but we allow a few select neighbors to hunt our property, and they in turn supply us with a steady supply of venison.
    Deer, of course, are not "dangerous animals" as you would probably think of them.  But they have no natural predators, and therefore they destroy a lot of the natural woodland flora.  Not to mention that they also destroy a lot of crops.  Fruits and vegetables that farmers not only depend upon for their living, but that you as a consumer wind up paying more for because of crop destruction.
    So, yes, your image is incorrect.  Forget the "romanticism" and spend some time out in the country, where many animals are problems, as opposed to cute characters in Disney films.  We kill deer, woodchucks, and rabbits, among other things.  They are all destructive of our crops, and they all have no natural predators around here any more, so they way overbreed.

    We're so lucky (3.67 / 3) (#29)
    by kdm251 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:42:32 PM EST
    A country person like you can explain where food comes from.  Most the hunters I have had the misfortune of knowing shoot hawks, they call that opportunity kills and have no intention of eating them, or they shoot at coyotes or foxes, again no intention of eating them.  Pigeons and magpies also get shot quite a bit, and dont forget squirrels. the idea of hunting to put food on the table is a myth.  They will go after a trophy elk or deer, but they usually say the meat tastes "gamely" and throw it away or maybe feed it to their dogs, which half the time makes the dog sick.  

    Most people that live in rural areas buy packaged meat at the wal mart with their farm subsidy checks and use guns to regain what little masculinity they have left.


    Exactly this... (2.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Thanin on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:50:28 AM EST
    I grew up in a very rural part of oklahoma, full of "deer hunters", and they'd shoot neighborhood dogs with rifles from their trucks and run over cats on the street, while on their way to doing some spotlight night "hunting" (illegal).  They bought their food from Walmart and would only take the rack of the deer they killed, assuming it had enough points.

    I forgot about spotlighting (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kdm251 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:58:09 AM EST
    I forgot about the guys that used to go spot lighting to get psyched up for football games or because their girlfriend dumped them. Or they were just drunk and wanted to go shoot something.  A lot of what seems to happen in rural areas is that guys that fifty years ago would have gone out at night an harassed minorities now go out and shoot animals, they have to have to have something to control and dominate.

    Being a minority... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Thanin on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:33:45 AM EST
    growing up in one of these rural areas, in oklahoma anyway, I can tell you that these guys still harass minorities (well, only when they outnumber their victims); rape girls; harass, and probably rape gays... etc.

    Well, aren't you special (4.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:24:26 PM EST
    Your experience in Oklahoma has nothing whatsoever to do with my experience in Western Maryland.
    The people up here who farm have very small farms, nobody is making their entire living off of farming (they all farm "on the side" and either have non-farming jobs to support themselves, or are retired and using farming to supplement their retirement).  Nobody here gets any kind of government subsidies- the farms are too small.  Nobody up here has or would
    shoot neighborhood dogs with rifles from their trucks and run over cats on the street, while on their way to doing some spotlight night "hunting" (illegal).

    And also, by the way, very few people here shop at WalMart.  The nearest WalMart is over 20 miles away.  With gas the price it is now, it doesn't save you a whole lot of money.  And nobody up here just takes the rack- they depend upon the venison to feed their families.
    So get off your high horse and stop making generalizations about all "rural" people.

    Please quote from my post... (2.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Thanin on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:06:20 AM EST
    where I specifically made a generalization.  I'll help you out and say that you can't, because I didn't.  I only spoke to my personal experience.  Moreover, I wasn't even responding to your post.

    So rather than me needing to get off my high horse, maybe you should lose the chip on your shoulder.


    I should have more compassion for the rural poor (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdm251 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:04:43 PM EST
    After reading your posts it's easy to understand how rural poverty really harms not only the impoverished people in places like where you live but also the animals.  It's hard to treat animals well when your kids are starving.  I guess the irony is that the land is made less valuable because of the violence and destruction that takes place in rural areas.  

    I really don't know how you fix the rural underclass maybe that will be an issue in 2016


    Yes, you should (none / 0) (#59)
    by Zorba on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:29:39 PM EST
    have more compassion for the rural poor.  The farmers up here are not "Big Agra" people who get tons of subsidies.  Nor are they the types of people who run "factory farms" which treat the animals as though they are merely money-making units.   The farm animals up here pretty much are what you would call "free-range."  They are outside a great majority of the time, they are fed well, and they are not shot up with hormones and antibiotics.
    Which is why I buy my meat from the local people, as much as I can.  And my eggs from the locals, as well.

    Pop Quiz (1.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Cylinder on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:18:46 AM EST
    Are you:

    a) Lying
    b) Delusional
    c) A member of the Eastern Oklahoma State Hospital Hunt Club
    d) All of the above


    Yes you are lucky (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:11:38 AM EST
    to have country people who farm and who grow the food you eat.

    BTW - Coyotes and foxes kill dogs and cats not just other wild game.

    And then we have feral pigs, "pets" that you city dwellers raise until they become a nuisance and you "drop" them off in the country to fend for themselves.

    You remind me of a city cousin who, as a child, visited for a few weeks every year... He loved fried chicken until he saw me catch one, chop its head off and prepare it for cooking.



    The people that grow and slaughter the food (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by kdm251 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:22:49 AM EST
    Generally come here from other countries and work in horrible conditions.  I don't eat meat for several reasons, not only is it healthier not to eat meat, but the conditions you country folk make your animals endure is pretty appalling and then you generally treat the people that do all the work on your farms very poorly.

    Farmers and ranchers are definitely not heros


    You are painting with a very broad brush (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by MO Blue on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:47:16 AM EST
    I believe you are referencing the normal practices of th "big business" enterprises and not that of small farms that are trying to survive. Many of our local farmers run their farms much like Zorba described:

    And until we got too old to do so any more, we raised beef cattle.  Our beef was free-range, and free of added hormones or antibiotics, or other chemicals.  Do you know if the meat you buy is free of all these?  I now buy beef, pork, and chicken locally.  I know the farmers, and I can see how they raise their animals.

    Their aminals are well treated and their crops are often organic.



    Any time their is a profit motive (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdm251 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:17:10 AM EST
    The animals get treated poorly.  The factory farms and slaughterhouses may be worse but the free range guys are pretty bad too, they are always whining about wolffs on federal land and mostly sell cows to feed lots where they are given lots of antibiotics and corn.

    Micheal pollan wrote a book a while back called the omnivores dilemma where he visited what sounded like a relatively humane farm, the owner rotated crops designed cages so the chickens could feed in pastures and even seemed to take the process of slaughtering somewhat serious, but I bet that farm was one of one.  Most farms grow roundup ready crops pollute the water table, abuse animals and cash government subsidy checks.  Definitely not a community to be encouraged


    Deer have plenty of natural predators... (none / 0) (#32)
    by unitron on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:50:55 AM EST
    ...and they very wisely congregate where those predators are not to be found.

    And the noble hunters (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by kdm251 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:45:43 AM EST
    Spend a lot of time trying to exterminate the natural predators like mountain lions and coyotes, and like idiot in this story bears.  

    As to (none / 0) (#38)
    by Lena on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 09:00:33 AM EST
    deer having no natural predators ... this guy who thought he was shooting a bear certainly is ensuring (or trying to ensure) that the theme of deer having no natural predators can continue on for the next generation. I guess the more bears, mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, etc. that hunters kill, the more necessary hunters can claim they are to kill off the prey animals.

    I think the operative phrase here is (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:28:50 PM EST
    I don't know about the area having a "problem" with bears

    If you read the whole story (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdm251 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:27:12 AM EST
    The guy that did the shooting had Vicodin in his system which he claimed he took after the incident for knee pain.  

    This seems like a case study in rural American problems, prescription drug abuse, gun violence and animal cruelty.