I just can’t wait until the hippos and rhinos of the North Woods recover in sufficient numbers to allow a hunt. I’ve never liked them. They look down their noses at the deer and stomp all over our freshly cut lawns and just don’t seem to care about our culture at all. The best thing we can do for them is to keep their numbers in check so we can breathe a little easier.
I’ve never liked them. Like I said, they condescend to the deer and step on a cow once in a while and just plain make me mad. I never thought the bounty on them should have ended. Don’t think I haven’t taken a potshot at one during deer season or left them some poisoned bait. Or anti-freeze in a hubcap. Or a big hook baited and strung from a high branch. Boy, do I remember the old days when we used to shoot them from airplanes and then drape them over the fuselage. Varmints are all they really are.
Now that Minnesota legislators have somehow lost their copies of recommendations from the Wolf Roundtable urging sensible restraint from shooting an animal fresh off the Federal Endangered Species List, I believe an important precedent has been set. No other animal has ever been hunted in the same year that it has been removed from that list.
That means good news for hippo and rhino hunters all across Minnesota. A precedent has been set. Matter of fact, for hunters of all stripes, your favorite species of prey, from that rare and unscrupulous Iron Range mine pit camel to that stupid thieving Yogi Bear, will be in your sights as soon as they come off that list. And they will. All the animal lovers will make sure of that.
And we’ll be waiting with bullets loaded.
Yep, they gave the wolf haters—I mean hunters—400 to shoot in the first year. And like I said before, even though the Wolf Roundtable gathered all sorts of folks, from biologists to environmentalists to farmers, and crafted a management plan for the animal once it was de-listed, those good-natured legislators tossed all that work aside and became wildlife biologists themselves and decided to let the deer hunters have at them.
So if the wolf haters— I mean hunters—can have 400 of them in the first year after de-listing, well, hippo and rhino hunters should certainly expect to have the same quotas for animals we hate.
Maybe hate is too strong a word. I guess for some people it is hate, pure and simple. But for others like me, well, as I said before I just don’t like them and I don’t like what they represent.
At least you can eat a hippo. A rhino is a tad tougher to skin, but they don’t taste too bad. I’m not quite sure why it’s a thrill to shoot something you don’t eat—you know, just shoot it because you don’t like it—but that’s not up to me to decide. So the legislators ignored the carefully crafted and consensus-built Wolf Roundtable recommendations and gave the wolf haters—I mean hunters—the chance to pop a wolf and make a rug or hang a snarling canis lupus on the wall.
Now that we’re on the subject, I guess a wolf kind of means that a place is still wild enough to make me feel good. Hippos and rhinos, well, they can live just about any place that alternates between a rainy season and a drought. Cripes, they could live in a muddy parking lot if they had to. Maybe that’s why they bug me.    
As soon as hippos and rhinos come off that list, and they will recover quite quickly now that the climate is warming at a faster rate than predicted, we’ll be hunting them off our front porches. That’s likely how many there’ll be. They start taking over and developing that condescending attitude. That just bugs me. At least a hippo makes a good shish-kabob or stew. I’m not one to gnaw on a lanky wolf haunch, no matter how it’s prepared. Like I said, to each his own.
Yep, now that the wolf season will be underway, it’s only a matter of time before every hunter in this state can get out there and shoot his favorite animal that he hates or just plain doesn’t like. Look on that list and you’ll find plenty of them that bug you.