Hunting Gray Whales, Tribal Style


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30 cal slob
September 9, 2007, 10:12 AM
:scrutiny::uhoh::rolleyes:


Officials: Gray Whale Killed With Machine Gun Off Washington Coast

Sunday , September 09, 2007

AP

NEAH BAY, Wash.

A California gray whale that was harpooned and shot with a machine gun off the western tip of Washington state has died, officials said.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker said five people believed to be members of the Makah Tribe shot and harpooned the whale Saturday morning.

Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said the whale disappeared beneath the surface in the evening, dragging buoys that had been attached to the harpoon, and did not resurface. A biologist working for the Makah Indian tribe declared it dead, Eggert said.

Tribe members were being held by the Coast Guard but had not been charged, said Mark Oswell, a spokesman for the law enforcement arm of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

A preliminary report said the whale was shot with a .50-caliber machine gun, Oswell said.

Coast Guard officials created a 1,000-yard safety zone around the injured whale, which was shot about a mile east of Neah Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The whale had begun heading to sea Saturday afternoon, Oswell said.

Although the tribe has subsistence fishing rights to kill whales, Oswell said preliminary information indicates the whale may have been shot illegally.

"We allow native hunts for cultural purposes. However, this does not appear to be of that nature so far," he said.

The Makah Tribe has more than 1,000 members and is based in Neah Bay.

A call to tribal officials was not immediately returned on Saturday. Tribal Chairman Ben Johnson told The Seattle Times that the tribe has been seeking an exemption from the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act so that it could take up to five gray whales per year. However, Johnson said the tribe had not yet secured that exemption for a new hunt.

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Crunker1337
September 9, 2007, 10:40 AM
I think an autocannon would be more effective.

Titan6
September 9, 2007, 10:44 AM
Okay I'll bite. Where did they get a .50 machine gun?

alucard0822
September 9, 2007, 10:52 AM
But I thought all .50s were good for was shooting down airplanes from miles away by terrorists:rolleyes:

The Lone Haranguer
September 9, 2007, 11:07 AM
It could have been shot with the .50 BMG cartridge, I suppose. :rolleyes:

Kimber1911_06238
September 9, 2007, 11:16 AM
a .50 cal machine gun not enough to stop a whale? I'd be willing to bet that a few well placed shots would do the trick. Doesn't sound like the report is accurate Something sounds fishy (pun intended)

Flak_Jakett
September 9, 2007, 12:11 PM
a .50 cal machine gun not enough to stop a whale? I'd be willing to bet that a few well placed shots would do the trick. Doesn't sound like the report is accurate Something sounds fishy (pun intended)

It sounds like it may have been enough. The reports say it dissappeared beneath the waves, but did not say that the whale lived. In fact the report said the tribe members believe it did die. It probably just sunk. Maybe the extra .50 lead gave the whale more balast and sent it down to Davy Jones' locker.

I remember watching a show on "native" whale hunts that are still legal to some historica whaling tribes. I don't remember seeing a .50 cal. MG being used. And in history, I think if they had .50 cal machine guns that the west would still be wild.

Apple a Day
September 9, 2007, 01:34 PM
Joking about killing an endangered species with machine guns isn't exactly taking the High Road. It is, however, the kind of thing which hands the anti's ammunition and reinforces the stereotypes that we're a bunch of rednecks who like slaughtering for sport.
Let's consider what we say.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 01:43 PM
Hunting Grey whales with .50 BMG is required believe it or not as part of the permit, but in this illegal permitless hunt the rifle used was a Weatherby.
The media got this one way wrong!! There was no machine gun and it wasn't even the .50 BMG that is recquired for the permit.

Scanr
September 9, 2007, 01:44 PM
Joking about killing an endangered species with machine guns isn't exactly taking the High Road. It is, however, the kind of thing which hands the anti's ammunition and reinforces the stereotypes that we're a bunch of rednecks who like slaughtering for sport.
Let's consider what we say.

The anti's don't need our help, if they don't see what they want, they will make it up anyway. We can't live in fear of what people will say or think all the time.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 01:47 PM
I. Introduction.
The purpose of this plan is to set forth the Makah Tribe's management intent and applicable Tribal regulations to govern the exercise of treaty ceremonial and subsistence whaling rights


VI. Whaling Vessels, Equipment and Hunting Methods.
-A whaling team must include one or more canoes and at least two chase boats.
-All canoes used in whaling must be at least 30 feet in length and manned by a harpooner, rifleman and six paddlers.
-All chase boats used in whaling must be at least 24 feet in length and powered by an engine large enough to tow an adult gray whale to port (at least 200 horsepower). Each chase boat shall be manned by a pilot, diver, backup rifleman, and at least one other crew member. Each chase boat shall be equipped with Loran or other navigation system capable of precisely fixing the vessel's position on the water.
-All whaling harpoons must be equipped with a stainless-steel toggle point, connected to one or more floats, and bear a permanent distinctive mark identifying the whaling captain who is in charge of the whaling team using the harpoon.
-The rifle used in gray whale hunts shall be a .50BMG (caliber) very high-powered rifle.
-The first strike made upon a gray whale shall be made by the harpooner on a canoe and shall affix one or more floats to the whale. Immediately after the harpooner strikes the whale, the rifleman on the canoe shall fire his rifle at the whale's central nervous system (CNS). If the whale is not immobilized by the initial shot, the chase boats will pursue the whale and the riflemen aboard the chase boats will kill the whale as expeditiously as practicable with rifle shots directed at the whale's CNS. http://ncseonline.org/nae/docs/makahplan.html

birddog
September 9, 2007, 01:48 PM
The anti's don't need our help, if they don't see what they want, they will make it up anyway. We can't live in fear of what people will say or think all the time.

I don't live in fear about what anyone thinks about me, my guns, or the animals I hunt on a regular basis, but this still isn't THR material.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 01:50 PM
Why isn't this THR material? Hunting whale with a .50 BMG rifle is the proper way to hunt whale.

Chipperman
September 9, 2007, 01:51 PM
but in this illegal permitless hunt the rifle used was a Weatherby.


Do you have a reference for this?

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 02:01 PM
Yes. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2003876011&zsection_id=2002111777&slug=whale09m&date=20070909

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 02:29 PM
Grey whales are not an endangered species anymore.

I too was initially shocked at the news story, but when I read more it turned out to be nothing but hype (except the part about breaking tribal law and federal law). I now see hunting Grey whale only different from hunting deer with an atlatl being that a mercy shot from a gun is used after being speared.
Personally, I want to see a whale shot with a .50 BMG to make it's death quicker and with less suffering. I don't like whale hunting in general, but these are aborigional people's and that is a totally different ball game and using the .50 is the more humane way.

Titan6
September 9, 2007, 02:40 PM
ohh the ironing..

If they had used the proper round and a machine gun as reported the whale would likely have not survived.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 02:46 PM
No, just the proper round in a bolt action rifle. A machine gun would be a waste after the first shot because the purpose is to hit the central nervous system for a quick kill and subsequent rounds on full auto would miss.

Wes Janson
September 9, 2007, 03:49 PM
The real problem I'd see with using a Ma Deuce would be keeping the platform steady on full auto.

What I'm really quite curious about, though, is what loads they use for hunting whale...

Titan6
September 9, 2007, 04:01 PM
The Navy and Coast Guard both use the M2 (and MK19)to great effect. It only requires training.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 04:33 PM
The Navy and Coast Guard both use the M2 (and MK19)to great effect. It only requires training.Yeah, but can anyone do it effectively from a canoe?

Wheeler44
September 9, 2007, 05:48 PM
We still don't know what caliber they used. Does Weatherby chamber any of their rifles in .50 BMG?

elrod
September 9, 2007, 06:33 PM
....but...but whale hunting with a .50 machine gun just isn't politically correct, is it?????:confused::confused:

alucard0822
September 9, 2007, 06:54 PM
These folks have to be skilled hunters indeed, I have enough trouble keeping dry side up in a canoe without firing a 50. I could only hope the boat would spin completely around and not just tip over:D

carebear
September 9, 2007, 06:58 PM
Read the story again.

Speared from a canoe, the rifleman can be in a powerboat.

The idea is the actual strike must be traditional, they have to paddle up to the whale rather than drive up. After the "traditional" aspect has been fulfilled, it goes into "humane" mode and modern tech is used to ensure the whale is killed (not escaping, wounded by the harpoon) and dies quickly and relatively painlessly.

Up here the harpoons have explosive heads for the same reason.

Outlaws
September 9, 2007, 07:01 PM
I think a 20mm Vulcan would work alright.

SDC
September 9, 2007, 07:05 PM
I seem to remember seeing a picture of this the LAST time the Makah did this, and the picture they showed then had a fellow holding what looked like a McMillan 87R in the canoe.

Edit: found the pic I was thinking of on the "Shepherd Society's" web page (an offshoot of Greenpeace); it was actually a LAR Grizzly 50; http://www.seashepherd.org/whales/whales_world_Makah_articles.html

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p22/StaceyC123/Makahhunt.jpg

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 07:18 PM
Speared from a canoe, the rifleman can be in a powerboat. -All canoes used in whaling must be at least 30 feet in length and manned by a harpooner, rifleman and six paddlers. -The first strike made upon a gray whale shall be made by the harpooner on a canoe and shall affix one or more floats to the whale. Immediately after the harpooner strikes the whale, the rifleman on the canoe shall fire his rifle at the whale's central nervous system (CNS). If the whale is not immobilized by the initial shot, the chase boats will pursue the whale and the riflemen aboard the chase boats will kill the whale as expeditiously as practicable with rifle shots directed at the whale's CNS. http://ncseonline.org/nae/docs/makahplan.html

thorn726
September 9, 2007, 07:24 PM
first off HOW LAME that these folks have to worry about the legality of taking the whale...
endangered or not, this isn't some huge company, this is supposedly a tribal event where the whale would probably feed a whole village, the kind of killing even an environmentalist nut like me can get behind, but
Should they be using guns?
isn't the whole complaint that we took away their tribal ways with our technology?

anyway machine gun, yeah right? how many rounds per sec does a .50 cal throw out??
wouldn't the whale be in shreds????

hehehe===
This action opens the bolt, and pulls the belt of ammunition through the weapon, readying it to fire again, all at a cyclic rate of 450550 rounds per minute (6001,200 M2/M3 in WW2 aircraft, 300 synchronized M2). This is a rate of fire not generally achieved in use, as sustained fire at that rate will "shoot out" the barrel within a few thousand rounds, necessitating replacement. The M2 machine gun's sustained rate of fire is considered to be anything less than 40 rounds per minute.

thorn726
September 9, 2007, 07:27 PM
oh ok, i hadn't seen this
The idea is the actual strike must be traditional, they have to paddle up to the whale rather than drive up. After the "traditional" aspect has been fulfilled, it goes into "humane" mode and modern tech is used to ensure the whale is killed (not escaping, wounded by the harpoon) and dies quickly and relatively painlessly.

very cool

alucard0822
September 9, 2007, 07:38 PM
I seem to remember seeing a picture of this the LAST time the Makah did this, and the picture they showed then had a fellow holding what looked like a McMillan 87R in the canoe.


and not one pair of earplugs aboard:what:

call me ishamael

What?

Ishmael

Sure, this is swell

no, call me Ishmael

Call him yourself.

Oh bother.

:D

rich636
September 9, 2007, 07:41 PM
So was it really a .50cal machine gun like the AP story claimed, or does the AP call any .50cal a machine gun?

Seems weird anyone would be able to find a Pre-86 .50 Browning and use it to hunt whales.

SDC
September 9, 2007, 07:46 PM
I'm sure the AP reporter heard ".50 calibre Browning Machine Gun cartridge", and automatically conflated THAT to ".50 calibre machine gun".

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 07:46 PM
It was really a Weatherby rifle and not a .50 machine gun.

66912
September 9, 2007, 09:00 PM
The local newspaper (In the greater Seattle area) reported that a Weatherby rifle was used. Now all of a sudden it has turned into a .50 cal. machine gun!?!
With this level of inconsistency, Maybe we better check Steve Fossett's home, he may just be sitting in his lounge chair wondering where everybody went. Sorry to change the subject but this type of C#@P P^%$#S me off.

Novus Collectus
September 9, 2007, 09:11 PM
The Seattle article that said what kind of rifle it really was, was after the initial reports by other media that it was a .50 BMG machine gun.

ReadyontheRight
September 9, 2007, 09:35 PM
Endangered Species? NO
Illegal Weapon? NO
Illegal Season- NO - for these folks.

What, exactly, IS the story? "Family Humanely Hunts Mammal to Feed Children"?

66912
September 9, 2007, 09:36 PM
Sorry for the outburst. I feel much better now.

Wheeler44
September 9, 2007, 09:50 PM
I visited Neah Bay, the home of the Makah shortly after their last hunt ("99 or so IIRC) they were real nice to my family and told us about the hunt. When I asked what whale tasted like one old guy said " well it tastes like chicken".
As for shootin' out of a canoe, 30 feet is a little canoe to the tribes of the NorthWest and I reckon if they can paddle one to and fro' Alaska, shootin' a whale with a .50 was kinda like a Sunday afternoon drive.

DoubleTapDrew
September 9, 2007, 09:58 PM
I'm sure the AP reporter heard ".50 calibre Browning Machine Gun cartridge", and automatically conflated THAT to ".50 calibre machine gun".

+1. The last hunt they did said it was killed with a .50 bmg and didn't mention the MG word but this reporter probably heard what BMG stands for and figured it was a machine gun. Reporters have a very high standard of inconsistency and anti-gun bias they have to maintain. :mad:

The last time this happened I was irritated that it was shot instead of caught in the traditional way if they want to get back to their whaling roots (I fish with a fishing rod, not a gun), but if it's just used to put the animal out of it's misery then I guess it's the humane thing to do. I wonder how whale tastes?

The Canuck
September 9, 2007, 10:03 PM
While I believe that the tribal rights to hunt whale is right I also believe that the traditional methods should be used, however, I understand that the agreement was made in a fashion as to make sure the whale was taken as humanely as possible. I have a personal policy against eating things that might be sentient... Whale are on that list.

acdodd
September 9, 2007, 10:35 PM
It was a .460 according to the guy that shot it.
http://www.nwcn.com/topstories/stories/NW_090907WAB_whale_shot_folo_SW.b94d1ebd.html

ArfinGreebly
September 9, 2007, 11:04 PM
Overall, this thread has managed to maintain an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio.

A few posts, however, really contribute very little signal.

If you notice that your post is gone or that it's been cleaned up a bit, don't take it personally.

Just sweeping up a bit.

No need to junk the whole thread, as it contains actual signal. Oh, and I changed the thread title to something more accurately descriptive.

Carry on, folks.

ReadyontheRight
September 9, 2007, 11:36 PM
I really mean this as staightforward and non-facetious as possible, so please respond to this question in kind...

If you have decided that you are going to hunt and kill an animal...why in the world would you not use the most effective legal means available?

"Traditional" hunters were also pragmatic. We can single out a few interesting techniques, but pre-firearm humanity used many methods we would consider barbaric and cruel - because they and their children were actually hungry.

If a whale hunter 100-1000 years ago had a .50 BMG and it was actually effective, and his family was hungry, I do not think he would care about popular opinion on the gun.

How is poking a large mammal with a stick and letting it suffer for a day or two better than putting it down quickly with a large bullet?

eliphalet
September 9, 2007, 11:50 PM
I fail to see how hunting with a 50 BMG or a boat with a engine has anything to do with "cultural" or "traditional" hunting of any kind by anyone.

Wes Janson
September 9, 2007, 11:55 PM
So the 1999 hunt used an LAR Grizzly, and this time they chose a .460 Weatherby?

From this I think we can conclude two things: One, either .460 Weatherby is insufficient for whales, or they can't shoot properly. And two, it seems likely that the change in caliber was due to the prior results of trying to fire a bolt-action .50 out of a canoe in open water with half a dozen other guys crammed together in the boat. Who knows, maybe there were other reasons for the change..but I have to wonder if perhaps they weren't a bit unprepared for the muzzle blast the first time around.

BlisteringSilence
September 10, 2007, 02:21 AM
I apologize in advance:

Does anyone really think that mounting a .50 machine gun to the gunnel of a canoe is, well, possible. I'll admit, I've not floated every kind of canoe in existance, but I have fired an M2. And with the way it shook the humvee it was mounted on makes me wonder if there is a canoe in existance that could handle it.

yes. I know.

silverlance
September 10, 2007, 02:55 AM
1. hunting big game in most every state requires a large caliber weapon. in AK, for instance, black powder hunting must be done with a bullet not less than 50 caliber. ideally, it woudl be 69 caliber.

2. the inuit eat what they kill. the furs, etc that they get they sell - but the meat is very very necessary food for their survival. these are NOT rich people by any means. when i spent time in the inuit villages i would often see posted notes at city hall from local government saying things like "Hunters, please donate meat to the elder citizen's home as winter is approaching"

there are NO supermarkets, no fast food stores, no ruth chris steak house in those parts. you cant even buy milk.

stevelyn
September 10, 2007, 09:32 AM
Sounds like we need to send an Inupiat delegation of advisors down there to teach them to hunt whales correctly.

Up here they use a whale gun that launches an explosive head (whale bomb) into the vitals and pretty much immediately kills the whale.

Why are they whacking greys anyway? They suck. Bowheads are better and belugas are even better yet.

Novus Collectus
September 10, 2007, 09:49 AM
Maybe they don't use exploding harpoons because they are not allowed in Washington state. Not sure about if they are legal on tribal territory though.

But I think the real reason may be why is that part of the treaty is that Mahak hunt the whale in a ceremonial fashion and so the origional strike has to be with a harpoon and the .50 rifle is there just to insure a humane and quick end to the whale's life.

30 cal slob
September 10, 2007, 09:52 AM
Why are they whacking greys anyway? They suck. Bowheads are better and belugas are even better yet.

wish i could tell you, but i've never had whale meat. willing to give it a try, though.

only place i know of where you can order it in a restaurant is in japan ("research" wales).

and they eat it RAW.

Novus Collectus
September 10, 2007, 10:17 AM
I don't know about in the restaurants in these two countries, but they do sell whale meat in Norway and Iceland I believe.

Kimber1911_06238
September 10, 2007, 12:54 PM
seems a little silly to be busting the stones of a people who have been hunting whales since long before this country existed...sheesh

Cliff47
September 10, 2007, 01:41 PM
I say that if the tribe is going to authorize harvesting of a whale (which the tribal council DID NOT in this case), these 'hunters' need to do it in the traditional manner. The use of a harpoon (traditional), and hang on for the "Nantucket Sleighride". None of this safety boat nonsense, motorized chase boat or the oversize fowling pieces to dispatch the whale. Make it a sporting proposition, and let them tow it back to the community as their ancestors did before them.

At the last (authorized) whale hunt, after harpooning and then shooting the whale (multiple times, if memory serves a Barrett bolt-action in .50 BMG was used), the whale was towed back by a motor launch, and then they had some kids doing back-flips on the body of the whale. Not the most respecful way to treat the prize.

stormspotter
September 10, 2007, 01:50 PM
Maybe it was shot with the .50 Jug round.:rolleyes:

Does anyone remember this round from the days of Skeeter Skelton. The .50 Jug was a round desigend by his "friend" Jug. It was a 44 magnum necked up to .50 caliber.:eek:

ArfinGreebly
September 10, 2007, 01:51 PM
Saw a report of this on Fox News this morning.

They kept using the term "machine gun," and kept pushing that aspect of the story when interviewing an official in the Northwest.

They asked him if a machine gun had been used; he said "yes" to that.

*Sigh*

I guess someone needs to send Fox News a note with some source material, pointing out that .50 BMG doesn't turn every rifle that fires it into a "machine gun" for crying out loud.

I guess, using that logic, that when I shoot a popular .22 cal cartridge from my Ruger MkII, for that period of time, my pistol becomes a "long rifle." Hey, after all, it's the cartridge that determines what you're shooting.

Vern Humphrey
September 10, 2007, 01:58 PM
The tribe contends -- and in my opinion rightly so -- that they have a right to take the occasional whale. Whale hunting is part of their culture and religion -- and the fact that whales are rare nowadays is not their fault. Of only native peoples hunt whales, the catch is sustainable.

They carry a .50 BMG rifle (not a machinegun) to administer a coup de grace -- a humane death.

TX1911fan
September 10, 2007, 02:26 PM
So I guess this tribe had harpoons from the dawn of time and never hunted with anything different, right? I see the ceremonial part being that they hunt the whale, not that they have to use archaic technology. Even primitive tribes adopted better technology when it was available to them, and usually became quite proficient with it. At least that's what Ole General Custer had to say . . .

To complain about using modern technology on this hunt is ridiculous if you ask me (which no one actually did, but I chose to opine anyway).

Vern Humphrey
September 10, 2007, 02:33 PM
In point of fact, the .50 BMG rifle is not the primary hunting weapon -- as I said, it's used to deliver the coup de grace.

Novus Collectus
September 10, 2007, 02:34 PM
So I guess this tribe had harpoons from the dawn of time and never hunted with anything different, right? I see the ceremonial part being that they hunt the whale, not that they have to use archaic technology. Even primitive tribes adopted better technology when it was available to them, and usually became quite proficient with it. At least that's what Ole General Custer had to say . . .

To complain about using modern technology on this hunt is ridiculous if you ask me (which no one actually did, but I chose to opine anyway).

I agree. Not only was it a major part of their tribal life, it can be argued that it still is even with the long hiatus and slightly different methods. They at least still require them to use a canoe and harpoon which means they have to get damn close first.

G_Lyons
September 10, 2007, 02:52 PM
The problem with the hunt is that it was not a "tribal hunt" it was a few members of the tribe who were not willing to go through the correct processes and went out on there own with improper equipment (motor boats instead of canoes, and seal spears, and I think the wrong rifle) and shot a whale. They are currently be prosecuted by the tribe and then the feds get to come at them.

Cliff47
September 10, 2007, 03:23 PM
In the meantime, the whale they killed has become food for the crabs, rather than feeding the tribe members. Anybody for voting them off the island??

DoubleTapDrew
September 10, 2007, 03:50 PM
Unfortunately what will come to mind in the majority of the public is this:


http://americandinosaur.mu.nu/archives/canadian_navy.jpg

Vern Humphrey
September 10, 2007, 04:23 PM
The Coast Guard is shooting whales now?!?!

Sharps-shooter
September 10, 2007, 07:06 PM
Well, poaching is poaching, and that's not right. Apart from that, I think:

1. The Makah are allowed to hunt gray whales. They just have to do the paperwork, just like when I want to hunt deer.

2. They hunt grey whales rather than belugas because that is what lives in their neck of the ocean. Same reason I hunt whitetails rather than the much tastier caribou.

3. Grey whales are not that rare. There are probably 20,000 or so in the pacific northwest, probably about as many as before people started hunting them.

4. In recent years, changes have been made to the way people hunt, in order to make the hunting more humane and safer. People used to hunt deer by dropping out of trees on them with spears. Now we use rifles. True, it gives the deer less of a fighting chance, but it also results in fewer spoiled deer and fewer damaged hunters. Same deal with the whaling. The harpoon is there so you don't lose the whale, the rifle is to kill it.

I was working with the tribe when they had their first whale hunt in recent years, back in the late 1990's. I think the people were very caught up in an air of celebration, both about the hunt itself and the fact that they finally got to have the hunt. apparently some people had been pushing for it for years, and it was finally able to happen. I thought everyone was respectful about it, but not somber. Pretty much like when you succesfully hunt any other animal. Only it was big, and it was a group effort.

So, on the whole, I think it's great that they hunt whales. But of course I'm in favor of doing it sustainably, ie not poaching.

Zoogster
September 10, 2007, 07:44 PM
It is not likely a real machinegun. Under CA law all .50 caliber weapons are illegal "assault weapon". Just as named AK models and named AR15 type models and many other semi auto firearms are. Well the only criteria for a BMG firearm is that is is chambered in .50 BMG, it can be a single shot and is still an assault weapon.
I know in Alaska I read about natives hunting whales with such a firearm (legaly), so I imagine they are doing the same in this instance.
Since this is being told from the CA spin on things, any .50 cal used in anything is going to become a ".50 caliber machinegun". They essentialy capture it with other measures, but then give the up close killing blow with a point blank BMG round in the right spot.

Now whether someone feels this is right or wrong is another topic entirely. I find it ironic when people argue for the right to partake in a "tribal" custom yet insist on using the "evil whiteman's" modern tools. Shouldn't they be out there spearing it on canoes as was the actual custom?

dm1333
September 10, 2007, 08:28 PM
Does anyone really think that mounting a .50 machine gun to the gunnel of a canoe is, well, possible. I'll admit, I've not floated every kind of canoe in existance, but I have fired an M2. And with the way it shook the humvee it was mounted on makes me wonder if there is a canoe in existance that could handle it.

The Makah in the canoe do not have a rifle. Once they harpoon the whale a motor boat drives up and delivers the coup de grace with the rifle, in order to make the kill as humane as possible. I was stationed in La Push, WA (about 30 miles south on the coast from the Makah Res) for 4 years and the canoes the Quillayute were building probably could mount an M2. The canoes are carved out of trees and are pretty darn big. This is not grampa's Old Town we're talking about.

I fail to see how hunting with a 50 BMG or a boat with a engine has anything to do with "cultural" or "traditional" hunting of any kind by anyone.

Having lived there for 4 years and seen what conditions are like on the reservation I applaud their attempts to keep their culture alive and to resurrect traditions that have fallen by the wayside. I won't try to describe what life is like for some of the Quillayute but it can be pretty grim. Again, they have to paddle their canoe after the whale, harpoon it, THEN they shoot the whale and tow it to the beach.

Please don't mistake any of this as support for anyone who may have broken the law by taking the whale illegally.

Novus Collectus
September 10, 2007, 09:07 PM
The Makah in the canoe do not have a rifle. Once they harpoon the whale a motor boat drives up and delivers the coup de grace with the rifle, in order to make the kill as humane as possible. In the last legal hunt which was the 1999 hunt, the agreement with NOOA and the IWC was that the rifleman was in the canoe with the harpooner.

dm1333
September 10, 2007, 09:17 PM
Eight years is my only defense, Novus!

tinygnat219
September 10, 2007, 09:33 PM
Do the Natives up there sell permits for this kind of thing? Imagine, you can actually use that .50 BMG and call it a hunting rifle. :D

U.S.SFC_RET
September 10, 2007, 09:36 PM
dm1333 Quoted: I was stationed in La Push, WA (about 30 miles south on the coast from the Makah Res)
That port did nothing but give me the pucker factor every time I launched from there in '05. Cotton pickin fog would just roll in so fast into the Pacific Ocean. Waves would crash on the rocks comin in when you can't even see five feet in front of your own bow. People die coming into that port involving small craft. Rough water.
I love the Makah people. seem to be very accepting to us fishermen coming up there to fish on their reservation, some of the biggest kings I had ever caught came from there. Peaceable people. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to the Makah indian people.
Let it be known about the media, again they are misconstruing the truth. My personal feelings are that they should be held for libel in this country when they knowingly decieve the public to get them thinking in a manner to serve their own interests. They don't have your own best interest at heart, you can take that one to the bank. The 2000 election taught me a very important lesson when it comes to people, especially in places of importance. There are hidden agendas and this one is no exception .50 BMG Machinegun Hmmm...

News Shooter
September 11, 2007, 04:17 PM
No, we're not really


NEAH BAY, Wash. (AP) -- In stories Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 about the shooting of a California gray whale, The Associated Press, relying on information from the National Marine Fisheries Service, reported erroneously that the weapons used was .50-caliber machine gun. Further investigation by the agency determined that it was a large-caliber rifle.


Sharps-shooter
September 11, 2007, 06:38 PM
It is not likely a real machinegun. Under CA law all .50 caliber weapons are illegal "assault weapon".

Indeed it wasn't. However, note that state laws generally do not have jurisdiction over Indian reservations (except the Seneca Res in NY). Also note, that the tribe in question is located in the Nw corner of Washington state, and can therefore be presumed not to be bound by CA state law.

I fail to see how hunting with a 50 BMG or a boat with a engine has anything to do with "cultural" or "traditional" hunting of any kind by anyone.

Actually, I believe the traditional custom in that culture was to hunt the whales with the best tools you had available.

In the really old days, they used to use falconry. But the birds that could pick up whales are all gone now. Probably because of lead shot.

BlisteringSilence
September 11, 2007, 06:46 PM
In the really old days, they used to use falconry. But the birds that could pick up whales are all gone now. Probably because of lead shot.

And DDT. Don't forget DDT. It killed birds. And made a hold in the ozone layer. And I'm pretty sure it killed Kennedy too. I think I read that somewhere on the internets.

Zoogster
September 11, 2007, 11:18 PM
Indeed it wasn't. However, note that state laws generally do not have jurisdiction over Indian reservations (except the Seneca Res in NY). Also note, that the tribe in question is located in the Nw corner of Washington state, and can therefore be presumed not to be bound by CA state law.
Oh I must have been tired when I wrote that. I was under the impression that it was a CA whale killed off Washington and being told by a CA paper. Reading the original post now I do not know where I got that assumption. Posting while tired strikes again :D

It was a whale killed of Washington, and the story being erroneosly told by a Washington paper.

I still think one should use traditional hand tools to harvest animals nobody else can legaly harvest if the reason it is allowed is to preserve an old custom.

telkontar
September 12, 2007, 01:18 AM
Just another vote to support the Makah hunts. The mandated use of both harpoon and rifle seems appropriate for the tribe. Marines carry a sword in dress uniforms, but still shoot rifles.
The tribal Elders will favor complying with the restrictions, but boys will be boys. The tribe (a sovereign nation) fought long and hard to obtain any right to take a whale. The Makah used to smoke and can our salmon for us. Someone mentioned the rough bar at Neah Bay. I remember seeing an orca in a wave above our 20-footer. [And my mom allowed my dad to take the boys out there.] Been a while for me, though.
For those who asked, whale does not taste too fishy (at least in Japan). It does not taste like chicken, more akin to salmon. Whale may be cooked and canned.

Steve499
September 12, 2007, 08:56 AM
Just my opinion- it would seem that those who favor restricting a legal whale hunt to totally traditional methods ( I guess you have to arbitrarily pick a date beyond which it becomes technologically non-traditional), would be actually causing more whale mortality rather than less if their views were reflected in the laws/regulations which cover these hunts.

A whale struck by a harpoon may or may not be fatally wounded by the initial strike but I would imagine all will dive. If only harpoons were allowed, the second strike also may or may not be fatal but would also be followed by a dive. And so on. Each successive harpoon strike would require a very close approach to the whale to be accomplished. I can envision a whale towing two or three floats swimming beyond the paddling speed or reach of the traditional hunters, going out to sea and dying there, killed by the hunters but not counting as a kill. So they try again.

Reading the regulations as I think I understand them, it seems they have perfectly balanced the equation, requiring a traditional first strike but then allowing a clean kill from a distance upon the whale's re-surfacing. In this case the whale was lost anyway but that is always possible in any true hunting situation.

As politically incorrect to the left as everything in this event is, involving not only hunting, but hunting (gasp) whales, and .50 BMGs, there's absolutely no way it would ever be fairly covered by the media.

yesit'sloaded
September 12, 2007, 10:56 AM
This was my local papers take on it

"California Gray Whale shot with a machine gun
Apparently Captain Ahab is better armed these days. The whale is swimming out to sea after being shot by five people believed to be members of the Makah Tribe. They shot and harpooned the whale Saturday morning. The extent of the whale's injuries are unknown. The five are being held but haven't been charged. The machine gun was a .50 caliber, which can knock a plane out of the sky or cut a man in half."

Out of the sky , eh?

alucard0822
September 12, 2007, 12:17 PM
from post:4
But I thought all .50s were good for was shooting down airplanes from miles away by terrorists:rolleyes:

I knew it was only a matter of time, Haven't heard the "will cut a man in half" thing before though.

I think if any tribe wants to hunt for sustinence/cultural reasons, it is the least we can do to allow them this.
I have been reading about some of the native and european hunting techniques over the last day or two, and it seems step 1 was to approach and harpoon the whale, this was not meant to kill, but just to keep the whale from submerging or escaping. Step 2 (what the rifleman replaced) was to approach and drive a long spear into the blowhole with a hammer:what: this was by far the most dangerous step, often resulting in death or severe injuries to tribesmen, and sometimes a gravely injured wale escaping. Hence 50bmg, 20mm, 30mm, whatever they need to safely and humanely dispatch the whale, im all for. Just imagine if we were limited to hunt deer with rimfire pistols, lots of injured deer and hunters walking around, always use enough gun.
However, the group that poached against tribal law are probably in a heap of trouble, and rightfully so, as the respect that most native american tribes have for wildlife is held deeply within their cultural/religious foundation, and all the trouble they went through to get permission from .gov for the last whale hunt.

WuzYoungOnceToo
September 13, 2007, 11:00 AM
Well, see...here's the thing. The whale was not only NOT shot with a .50 cal machine gun, it wasn't even a .50 cal....nor a machine gun of any kind....nor even a semi-auto weapon.

It was a bolt-action .460 Weatherby.

According to AP they were relying on an initial claim by the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding the weapon used. Unfortunately, the erroneous claim was repeated in headlines around the globe before AP got around to publishing a correction 3 days later.

Tokugawa
September 13, 2007, 11:18 AM
Yeah, La Push can be a rough place to get in and out of! Many years ago I would spend summers and some winters there. Sometimes we would run out the river mouth and go into the cove on James Island, just had to time the swells right, a very narrow opening. A beautiful place for sure in the summer- except for the fog on the beach. I have watched the CG take the old 44 footers out in some unbelievable weather in the winter big, big breaking seas. Really messes with your sense of perception when you see a dingy out in the heavy surf and then realize it is a 44! Dangerous work, my hat is off to those folk. They have saved a lot of lives over the years.
The Indians? Well, we have killed them, pushed them into reservations, enslaved them with a welfare state, and destroyed their self respect. I have no inclination to kill whales but am happy as hell to see the tribe stick a thumb into the Fed. Gov. eye.

Cosmoline
September 13, 2007, 12:38 PM
these 'hunters' need to do it in the traditional manner.

How many of us hunt big game with spears? I've never understood the notion that the only way a tribe can exercise traditional hunting rights is with primitive weapons. In this case such practices are not only cruel, but dangerous. The tribe should consult with our captains up north. They know how to do it.

30 cal slob
September 13, 2007, 12:42 PM
hmmm...i can see another tred barta episode coming out of this ... :evil:

Kimber1911_06238
September 13, 2007, 12:51 PM
the tribe can't win in this situation. Some people will say that to be traditional they have to hunt whales with harpoons.....if they do that, someone else will say that doing so causes unnecessary pain for the whale. If they use a .50 BMG rifle to dispatch the whale, others will say that they are cheating, not doing it the way that it should be done, using a machine gun, etc.

Wheeler44
September 13, 2007, 12:58 PM
Cosmoline,
How many of us hunt big game with spears?
Don' ya think that spears are modern technology? I think that folks that think the Makah shouldn't use firearms should have to use dull sticks to hunt large game.

Wheeler44

Master Blaster
September 13, 2007, 12:59 PM
Its just the liberals folks, they are confused, this doesnt compute in liberal lala land.

You have downtrodden Indians who are part of a diverse cultural group that has been exploited by the ways of those evil christian republican white men because they don't appreciate the important diversity the Indians provide to our society.

You have the grey whale an (formerly) endangered species the victim of our rightwing capitalist industrial complex hunted for global warming producing oil nearly to extinction.

Then you have the evil GUN its a big gun and the liberals hate guns. They especially hate assault weapons which are all machineguns.

The liberals love native americans, the liberals love Whales, the Liberals hate guns. Thus here is the formula in Liberal Logic:

LNA + LEW + HMG = DW

Love native Americans + Love Endangered Whales + Hate Machine Guns =

Dead whale Killed by EMG Evil machine gun.

So the story is about the evil use of evil machinguns.

Hence its a .50 caliber Machine Gun that Killed the Whale.

ArfinGreebly
September 13, 2007, 01:15 PM
How many of us hunt big game with spears? I've never understood the notion that the only way a tribe can exercise traditional hunting rights is with primitive weapons.
Silly.

It's the same reason the Second Amendment only allows people the Right To Keep And Bear Muskets.

The declaration of a "right" or "tradition" automatically freezes time for the permitted technologies. No further advances are allowed in that context.

What? Were you out sick when they gave that lecture?

Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2007, 01:21 PM
Don' ya think that spears are modern technology? I think that folks that think the Makah shouldn't use firearms should have to use dull sticks to hunt large game.
And go hungry if they fail to make a kill.:D

Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2007, 01:27 PM
It's the same reason the Second Amendment only allows people the Right To Keep And Bear Muskets.

The declaration of a "right" or "tradition" automatically freezes time for the permitted technologies. No further advances are allowed in that context.

What? Were you out sick when they gave that lecture?
Funny how the people who give it do so on television, and claim "freedom of the press."

Cliff47
September 13, 2007, 01:48 PM
If the rifle (regardless of caliber) was used to humanely dispatch the whale, why did it take 20 shots to accomplish the deed? These fellows are in dire need of a LOT of range time! A Gray whale is a BIG animal, and no matter how far (or close) you are, how can you miss?

Last word I heard was that the two members of the 'hunting party' that were on the tribal whaling committee (I think that's the proper term), were removed from the committee/council and will be facing a tribal court. More when it surfaces (sorry, couldn't help myself).

Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2007, 01:54 PM
If the rifle (regardless of caliber) was used to humanely dispatch the whale, why did it take 20 shots to accomplish the deed?
Big whale, little bullet.:p

WuzYoungOnceToo
September 13, 2007, 02:07 PM
...because they don't appreciate the important diversity the Indians provide to our society.
Hey! I appreciate them! If it weren't for the local Indian tribe I'd have to go all the way to Vegas or Atlantic City to find a decent casino poker game.

So the story is about the evil use of evil machinguns.

Hence its a .50 caliber Machine Gun that Killed the Whale.
I'm not one to quickly jump to the defense of the press or the liberal community in general, but this error was made by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is a part of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce...which itself reports to that well-known left-wing liberal, George W. Bush.

eliphalet
September 13, 2007, 02:19 PM
Cultural, Traditional, or subsistence?
Is this why I have seen Ford 4X4 beds filled with deer and modern rifles in the back window months earlier than any rifle hunts or Indians comming to your home selling salmon and steelhead? Or from a stand on the side of the highway? Can we say modern boats and gill nets? How does any of that, and I have seen all three in person have ONE thing to do with cultural or traditional? No more traditional or cultural than boats with engines and 50 caliber's to kill whales.
It doesn't! More PC madness and playing the system IMHO

Cliff47
September 13, 2007, 03:11 PM
And what doesn't get sold, is dumped in the nearest ditch or dumpster. That is a sad commentary on the tribal rights they claim to so righteously uphold.

Jimmy Newman
September 13, 2007, 03:56 PM
Why does it take more than one shot?

African elephant: As much as 16,000lbs.
Grey Whale: As much as 70,000lbs.

So, you're talking an animal that is 4x the mass of an elephant. I hear elephants don't always roll over on the first shot either ;).

Also, the head may be pretty big, but the brain and spine aren't.

Vern Humphrey
September 13, 2007, 04:09 PM
And much of the vitals are below the water.

Cosmoline
September 13, 2007, 05:02 PM
Can we say modern boats and gill nets? How does any of that, and I have seen all three in person have ONE thing to do with cultural or traditional?

Yeah, and since when does ownership of a lethal .50 BMG have anything to do with the traditional hunting of our forefathers! They hunted with flintlock jaeger rifles, so should we!

In both cases, the question is not what technology was in use 200 years ago, but what LEGAL RIGHTS have been preserved. You're living on land that was in almost all certainty taken from the local tribes under treaties that guaranteed them continuing rights to hunt, fish, dig clams, etc. Up here it's the more recent agreements codified in ANCSA and ANILCA.

If you really don't like it, you can give your land back to the tribe and return to Europe.

Tokugawa
September 13, 2007, 06:19 PM
Yes, they are big. I have been right next to one in the water in a 12 ft livingston and quite frankly, I would not have a clue where to shoot.

Novus Collectus
September 13, 2007, 11:35 PM
Yeah, and since when does ownership of a lethal .50 BMG have anything to do with the traditional hunting of our forefathers! They hunted with flintlock jaeger rifles, so should we!

In both cases, the question is not what technology was in use 200 years ago, but what LEGAL RIGHTS have been preserved. You're living on land that was in almost all certainty taken from the local tribes under treaties that guaranteed them continuing rights to hunt, fish, dig clams, etc. Up here it's the more recent agreements codified in ANCSA and ANILCA.

If you really don't like it, you can give your land back to the tribe and return to Europe.I have no idea what ANCSA and ANILCA are, but with everything else, well said.

U.S.SFC_RET
September 14, 2007, 07:03 AM
Leave the Makahs alone, prosecute the guilty for killing the whale. They probably did it without tribal permission. There are only so many makahs as it is, its impossible for them to even make a dent in the whale population. Let them manage their own affairs. Let it fester the animal rights groups each and every time they deep six a whale.

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