Targets of opportunity


February 2, 2003, 10:05 PM
I was wondering, what animals would you folks consider targets of oportunity? some people say you should have a reason for hunting or killing any animal, what do you think there should be exclusions on? just curious, as i got a lecture for shooting coyotes for the fun of it (IMO, thats why i do it). On my list for critters to shoot whenever were coyoyes, woodchuck, starlings, crows (carry west nile round here) rats, and cats, feral or tame (if its in one of my fields, its considered feral, since the owner obviously didn't like it enough to keep track of it). Opinions?

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February 2, 2003, 10:10 PM
Crows and seagulls are annoying, but if I don't have a reason to blow it away, I won't.

When I went to Catalina, stupid kids always try feeding the gulls, and they always hover over the boat crapping on us.

Times I wish I had my Benelli believe me I would be tempted!!!

And the crows always crap on my car.

J Miller
February 2, 2003, 10:19 PM
I have a very limited set of reasons to kill any animal.

A; For food
B; For self defense
C; For humane euthanasia
D; For serious pest control

I do not kill "just for fun", although I enjoy hunting
I do not kill just because an animal is on my property, there must be a good reason to do so.

February 2, 2003, 10:19 PM
I don't think killing anything solely for fun is justified. Different story when you need to eat or the population of such and such animal needs to be controlled or for survival etc etc etc...

February 2, 2003, 10:21 PM
Crows, wild rabbits, cats...annoying but w/o a real reason, I leave them alone.

Chris Rhines
February 2, 2003, 10:28 PM


- Chris

February 2, 2003, 10:31 PM
when I worked as a farm manager we shot any type of loose critter , feral dogs and cats (no collar it's not a pet ) woodchucks , groundhogs and racoons (in or out of season ) we had farm animals to protect like sheep and horses and esecially chickens we lost 10 sumatra chickens @ 50 bucks each ( yes they are fancies ) to a hungry racoon

February 2, 2003, 10:36 PM
I wonder how much money a year cities would save by having a volunteer pest control unit? :)

February 2, 2003, 10:42 PM
coyotes are reason in and of themselves. if i see one, i'm dumping it whether i called it or it just happened across my path.

crows, gophers, and prairie dogs are used to hone my long range ability. i mostly leave jackrabbits alone. i don't bother the cottontails, either unless they are gnawing on (and killing) the trees in the yard.

feral cats get dusted off, too, since they are extremely hard on the pheasant population. i try to be very forgiving w/ dogs that stray onto the property. somebody around here had 3 rotts running loose. the first time i saw them, i let them go. the second time, they got ahold of a pup that we were training and killed it. i was able to kill one then. the third time, i was bowhunting, and they came in and tried to take a bite out of me. i was able to get to my truck mostly intact. got one w/ the 1911 in the yard, and ran the other one down and got him w/ the 45 as well. other than those 3, i haven't shot any dogs.

skunks and coons are always shot on sight. mostly leave badgers alone unless they are too close to the yard... thats about it. everything else i shoot gets eaten.

February 2, 2003, 10:50 PM
Targets of opportunity?

Poisonous snakes. Yeah, I know. They are part of the ecosystem, blah, blah. So am I. If I see them, they die. It's a childhood predjudice. Sue me.

Other noxious varmints, like skunks, raccoons, etc., if they are being a pain and I can get it done cleanly. Better than poison or traps, for what should be obvious reasons.

Rats = serious target shooting.;) But I haven't seen any where I live. I know they're there, somewhere. They always are. They just aren't that thick. Too many snakes?

Not too many coyotes, here either. Or prairie dogs, etc. Have shot a few of these in the past, farther west. No lost sleep there. Had good reasons then.

If I planted crops and had a crow problem, no problem.

Outside of the snake/rat thing, I guess I subscribe to the categories J. Miller posted.

Standing Wolf
February 2, 2003, 10:57 PM
I had a friend twenty-odd years ago who maintained his eye-hand coordination by picking off flying sparrows with a .22 caliber pistol.

February 2, 2003, 11:17 PM
Coyotes and cats are always on the list.

Everything else like snakes i pretty much let them alone as long as they do the same to me.

Now my Dad. Two years ago had a chance to build his dream home. And nearly all of the work was done by Family members. Very little outside contracting. The place was pretty much built lby hand. The entire outside is rough cedar. He has since declared a holy war against woodpeckers. They nearly destroyed one whole side.

February 3, 2003, 12:08 AM
Coyotes and desert hares are pretty much fair game.

Domesticated cats are not. I have a half-dozen or so semi-feral cats that range the neighborhood and keep the gopher/rat/small varmit population to near zero. If I caught someone shooting one of my cats, I'd shoot him.

February 3, 2003, 12:44 AM
Dogs without a collar,

I don't shoot 'em. I just sic my collarless cat on them.

February 3, 2003, 12:55 AM
I always wonder why so many guys are paranoid about cats. They think any cat they see it a threat to the pheasant population. So I asked one guy if he felt I should shoot on sight any animal that was a threat to pheasant population. He said "H yes" So I asked if his will was up to date as he was a pheasant hunter who had just told me to shoot him. :) :)
Personally I shoot skunks, racoons, pigons, gophers, and dogs only if they have attacked animals. I attempt to find owner.

February 3, 2003, 12:55 AM
I don't kill anything I'm not gonna eat, bad for the karma.
What's the point?? Sport?

I have stepped over or around 100s of rattle snakes while out river fishing, desert hiking (on the way to fish).......never seen any reason to kill any of them. I also enjoy seeing coyotes while out in the woods.

Malone LaVeigh
February 3, 2003, 01:40 AM
Wild pigs. Unfortunately, most of the time I'm in the scrubland they inhabit, I'm working and unarmed.

John Galt
February 3, 2003, 01:52 AM
When I was a kid:

Crows & ground squirrels, because the farmers wanted me to.

BlueJay & Magpie, because they kill all the baby birdies they can find.

The most fun I ever had was rats with a 22 rifle, in a rice field.

Flying V
February 3, 2003, 01:55 AM
Hoplophobia. Ailurophobia. Mental afflictions preventing any rationality concerning their objects.

Bob Locke
February 3, 2003, 02:34 AM
If I'm not gonna eat it, and if it's not bothering me or tearing up the property of a friend who asks for my help, then I'm not shooting.

I used to pop animals for fun (especially when I was about aged 10-14), but I stopped. Didn't seem right anymore.

February 3, 2003, 02:44 AM
If it's legitimately a pest--great==

We get alot of tree damage from beaver where I live--\
I don't like crows--but they clean up the dead stuff so they're OK--

I try to keep the squirrel and ground hog population down--

February 3, 2003, 02:49 AM
I shoot no animal that isn't a threat or a meal.

I have lost 2 nice family pets to jerk-off, blood-lust neighbors. Both were not trash pickers or vicious to anyone, just wondered into the fields between our houses, to meet their end for being curious.

Seriously weighing the worth of a person that mean spirited against the love of a companion animal, I'd hate to have a bead on someone bent on killing my pet and have to decide what to do. Ooops, did I say that outloud?

February 3, 2003, 03:00 AM
Between Nov 15th and the 30th Deer can be a problem in my area and must be dealt with. :D

Seriously, Feral Dogs get three strikes. If after 3 attempts to drive them off doesn’t work its SSS time.
Our Animal Control officer never responds to feral dog complaints. Never had to do in a feral cat. I had one that nearly killed my cat but never could get a shot at him and then he stopped coming around. Fine with me. Generally if the animal is not causing any problems around my house, outbuildings or garden I leave them be.

February 3, 2003, 03:09 AM
Neo-nazis are pop-up targets!:evil:

Polecats when the opprotunity presents - they don't play nice with the dogs.

Racoons whenthey tangle with the dogs, and 'cause they are hard on the pheseant pop. I'm tring to encourage.

Wouldn't shoot a cat. We have a herd of 'em so the isn't foder for feral cats. If'n I did see one (on my property) I'd point it out to the dogs and enjoy the resulting footrace.

Kahr carrier
February 3, 2003, 06:41 AM
Just for food.:)

February 3, 2003, 01:17 PM
1. Law of the Jungle: To eat or to keep from being eaten.

2. Critters that are seriously destructive or a source of pestulence.

February 3, 2003, 01:51 PM
When I was very young, my desire to kill animals was only exceeded by my desire to copulate. When I killed a deer and brought home the meat, the satisfaction was indescribable.

When I killed a cardinal or a bluejay, I enjoyed making the shot, but there was a tiny voice telling me that it was wrong.

So tiny, it hardly bothered me at all.

As I grew older, the thrill of bringing home meat increased, as I began to appreciate the effort involved in feeding a family. The tiny voice grew louder, as I began to value life. One day, my conscience simply would not be denied.

I made a living for 20 years as a professional fishing guide, and 5 years before that as a hunting guide, part time. When I ran my charter boat in the Gulf, we killed fish wholesale, but we stayed within legal limits and size restrictions, and I filetted every single fish back at the dock.
Some days, that would be 56 Red Snapper, 16 King Mackerel, and all the dorados we could slaughter!

Now, I'm just a salesman.

But since I own no livestock, I don't shoot predators. No cats, dogs, coyotes, bears, foxes, or any other animal that possesses two eyes that look due North at the same time.

I figure, they're just trying to make a living and raise some young'uns.

Just like me.

February 3, 2003, 02:07 PM
Since I live in the city, there isn't much call for pest control outside of the occasional rat.
I did consider offing some dogs that the neighbors kept letting out, then I noticed they were trying to eat the south end of some northbound crackheads that were near my car and let 'em be.
Anyone trying to shoot a cat is a definate target of oppertunity, unless it's one of my cats, then I'd track 'em down. I decided long ago I'd rather have stray cats that rats.

February 3, 2003, 02:09 PM
My two brain dead cats when they decide to play volley ball with the Christmas ornaments-with a 1911 squirt gun of course!

February 3, 2003, 04:24 PM
If it's not your land, the animals are not bothering you, and they're not game animals you're going to eat, then YOU have NO targets of opportunity among the animals you may encounter.

Sometimes it just amazes me at how some gun owners can't understand why some people are antis. They act like little boys with hammers in a world they think is filled with nails or untrained dogs that think everything that moves needs to be chased.

February 3, 2003, 05:03 PM
I don't shoot any living targets just for sport. There are plenty of wicked tin cans out there that need killin' :D

Don't have a problem with hunting for meat or thinning down the pests.

I like to hear the coyotes sing, but I know they are a problem with sheep. The ones who shoot them up here, it is not so much for sport as for survival.

Prairie dogs shoot be killed early and often, not for sport but because they are so destructive to the land. I suppose God made them to feed the eagles, hawks, and ferrets, but those three need to do their job better IMO. :)

February 3, 2003, 05:28 PM
To cover my butt as the one who started the thread, i aint bloodthirsty, mean or any of the above, and i'd like to point out all the critters i pop deserve it, most of my reasons coming from the farmer's point of view, since i'm one myself.

February 3, 2003, 09:11 PM


"1. Law of the Jungle: To eat or to keep from being eaten.

2. Critters that are seriously destructive or a source of pestulence."


At the risk of sounding like a tree-hugger.......... I think the snakes, small critters and coyotes (in most places) who were here long before us would have some intresting views on #2!

February 4, 2003, 11:48 AM
Generally, if it isn't bothering me, I leave it be, but allow me to clarify #2. Seriously destructive ro a source of pestulence -

Seriously destructive, i.e. if I were a farmer and something was threatening my livelihood (I'm not talking the odd chicken here) or wrecking my dwelling, it's gone. I do crows becauses they're annoying , destructive, carry West Nile virus, and hell on the songbird population. Things that are dangerous to my family (which includes pets) are similarly gone.

A source of pestulence, i.e. rabid 'coons, coyotes, dogs, cats, etc., or rats will be dealt with without quarter. Critters just passing thru, minding their own business don't have anything to worry about from me.

February 4, 2003, 11:56 AM
Coyote, racoons and crows. Nasty worthless creatures, all.

It's hard to say that I kill them for no reason because when I kill them, it IS pest control.

February 4, 2003, 12:00 PM
There should not be a closed season on Whitetail deer in Missouri. We are overrun with the damn things. It's reallly bad now as the "yard up" in the winter. I saw a pack of 12 last night bolting across the road just in front of my car.
Coyotes and wild dogs go too. I have 4 dogs and 5 cats. That's the limit. Any newcomers are goners.
My wife has put a bounty on rabbits. There are okay out on the property, but the flower-munchers are toast.

February 4, 2003, 01:01 PM
When I was young & dumb anything with eyes that glowed in the dark was in season. Nowdays if I won't eat it I don't shoot it. Unless of course it wants to eat me. :D

February 4, 2003, 01:21 PM
i'm not a hunter (yet); but i do enjoy watching other animals hunt prey. sometimes thats watching it on the animal planet, or in my own home when my spiders hunt their food, be that crickets, mice, or lizards.

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