COMMENTARY by Kendal Hemphill
June 25, 2017
June 25, 2017

Varmint Control is a Conservation Duty

P olitical correctness and its inherent scourge of dishonesty and denial are bad and dangerous wherever you find them. When people living in Detroit can spew their comfortable disconnect and resultant ignorance about wolves and other predators to determine varmint control policies in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness, you know you are asking for trouble.

The only people that should have any say whatsoever about wolf hunting should only be those people living in wolf country.

The same goes for bears, lions and everything else.

I keep running into friends and acquaintances around the country that bellow constantly about their coyote problems. I find this rather crazy in a country where rugged individualism and hands-on utilitarian pragmatism was once the rule of the land, and thank God is still prevalent. I always respond with shock and dismay as I tell them I don’t have a coyote problem, but rather where I live, the coyotes have a serious Ted problem.

I diligently and aggressively kill every coyote, bobcat, fox, coon, skunk, possum, badger, porcupine, hog, feral cat, feral dog and crow that I see, all year nonstop. And every educated, honest person with an ounce of wildlife sense knows definitively that even the kill-crazy WhackMaster will never hurt any of those vermin populations, no matter how deadly, efficient and effective and relentless I may be.

Rather, my purposefully dedicated slaughter of varmints accomplishes nothing but win, win, win all around.

First and foremost, such year round varmint trapping and hunting is exciting, challenging and fun. And by doing so, I maintain a healthy balance on my lands, reducing and even eliminating risk of dangerous diseases while protecting a thriving small game, big game and non-game bio-diversity and productivity.

Then of course there is the ultimate reward of such wise use conservation in beautiful furs, skins, teeth and claws to provide great gifts to family and friends.

The only way you will ever have healthy populations of deer, turkey, rabbits, pheasant, quail, grouse, ducks and songbirds is to wage war on the varmint populations.

One of the most egregious crimes of political correctness was the foolish and irresponsible protection of hawks and owls so many years ago.

On a single 100-mile drive from Jackson Michigan to the Detroit airport a few years back we stopped counting at 100 hawks perched along I-94. It is also interesting to note that on that same drive we counted more than 100 dead deer carcasses. Remember, these numbers were observed traveling at highway speeds along a single, straight stretch of paved interstate. Can you imagine what numbers were hidden by fields and median grasses beyond our fast paced gaze?

Fifteen years ago when we purchased our amazing SpiritWild Ranch in Texas, the previous land manager exclaimed how they never had any meaningful recruitment of whitetails due to the annual predictable fawn slaughter by gangs of coyotes and bobcats and the occasional cougar.

The day I bought the place I cruised the perimeter fence to identify the numerous obvious breeches used by predators. Immediately setting snares and foothold traps I began the required and long overdue cleansing, catching many coyotes, fox, bobcat, porcupines and feral dogs and cats.

Since performing this perfect stewardship responsibility, we enjoy healthy populations of rabbits, turkey, squirrels, the occasional quail, songbirds galore and of course 100% fawn survival, all the while maintaining an unstoppable healthy population of all varmints as well.

Since we cannot kill avian predators, we diligently create protective brush-piles and teepees of dead branches and tangles to safeguard the smallgame from the insane overpopulation of hawks and owls.

So many states have so many absurd laws and regulations concerning all manner of wildlife, but really, really foolish and dangerously counterproductive politically correct laws concerning the sensible control of varmints and predators.

Scientifically speaking, no state should have any restrictions whatsoever on the killing of coyotes. This amazingly resilient, phenomenally clever species is literally un-stoppable and un-killable.

If your state wildlife agency is still strangled by the embarrassing self-inflicted scourge of political correctness with regards to varmint and predator control, you need to unite all sporters to make things right.

For example, in Texas, we can kill mountain lions and coyotes all year long with no bag limits or restrictions at all, yet the cougar and song-dog populations are thriving and healthy.

When bears, wolves, coyotes and lions are destroying game populations, it is up to those of us who know better to demand sensible, real-world regulations that accomplish the universally responsible goal of balance.

Nobody wants to or would allow predator populations to be wiped out or endangered. But right now just the opposite is true across the country in many instances where varmints and predators are overpopulated at the damaging cost of threatened game populations.

Just as the courageous real-world game managers of Alaska have now implemented the emergency policy of killing bears and wolves in their dens to save the hard hit moose and caribou herds, all states should wake up and get cracking on upgrading to science based responsible predator regulations.

All of us who actually spend time in the wild know damn well that balance is way out of whack in many states, and it will take a united We the people demanding voice from the licensed hunting families to get back on track.

Email Ted Nugent at

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Aguila Cup, Texas Armament




Email Ted Nugent at [email protected]


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