GOP Candidate for Congress Kills Mama Prairie Dogs with Trump Jr in Montana

black-tailed-prairie-dog-public domain
Black-tailed prairie dog (Public Domain)

On May 25, voters in Montana will participate in a special election for a vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The two frontrunners are Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte.  Gianforte recently got an assist from Donald Trump Jr. who campaigned with him in four cities.  One of the campaign events was shooting prairie dogs, currently in their breeding season.  On Earth Day.  Because fun:

“As good Montanans, we want to show good hospitality to people,” Gianforte said. “What can be more fun than to spend an afternoon shooting the little rodents?”

Animal advocates were horrified.  But fun:

Gianforte, whose campaign has focused on gun rights, dismissed the [Prairie Dog Coalition’s]  concerns.

“Clearly they’ve never shot a prairie dog,” he said. “They don’t know how much fun it is.”

No word on how many pregnant or nursing prairie dogs were killed in the campaign event or how many orphaned pups were left to slowly die agonizing deaths in their burrows.  But yeah, sounds like fun.

(Thanks Clarice.)

28 thoughts on “GOP Candidate for Congress Kills Mama Prairie Dogs with Trump Jr in Montana

  1. What if they had been pregnant rats? Sorry, too biased against *reality* for me to appreciate this way-AR-slanted article.

    1. Killing, for any reason, should never be “fun”.

      Maybe it’s necessary. Maybe it’s the lesser of all evils. But it should never, ever be lauded as “fun”.

      Killing for entertainment is a mental illness.

  2. I wouldn’t want them to kill pregnant or lactating rats, either. It’s cruel. Rats deserve to live just as much as any other animal.

      1. And if you kill a prairie dog, where do you think that the fleas will go? Because he’s not shooting fleas, he’s shooting their food supply.

        There are better ways to control plague. AND. Even if killing were the best option? Why giggle about it? Why make it “fun”? Why laugh and slap each other on the back as if they’d just done something wonderful?

        Killing should not be fun. Even if you have to do it, you should not laugh and smile and take pictures and enjoy it.

  3. I realize that this short article is designed to besmirch the GOP candidate, and that’s fine. What I don’t think that you realize is that this will not bother the people who vote Republican, or conservative in the least.

    Developers kill thousands of prairie dogs by poisoning them all the time in CO, and other places. However, firing a few long range, uber accurate rifles at rodents will probably do nothing but relate to most conservative voters who grew up with a rifle or bow in their hand….If anything it makes D. Trump, Jr. more relatable to their average voter…just saying.

    I loves me some ecosystem, and I believe that everything has its place, but if you disagree with the practice of shooting prairie dogs, then you need to attack (verbally) the local department of wildlife for allowing the practice to take place, not the hunter who is well within the law for partaking in the activity.

      1. When people are happy after hunting, it isn’t because they are happy that something is dead. It is because they are happy that they were successful. People go hunting to kill things. I know that sounds blunt, but it is reality.

      2. What about when they’re happy anticipating killing? Like this guy who said that shooting prairie dogs is just so much fun?

        I can understand being satisfied with killing for food. Even happy and excited – it’s a base, primal thing that says you and yours will eat tonight.

        But looking forward to killing for killing’s sake. Posing bodies and taking photos of yourself with them. Hanging the heads of things that you killed on your wall. These things are part of a darkness of the mind. Celebrating/enjoying the destruction you caused. It’s not an aspect of a healthy mind.

  4. I read an article in a doctor’s office in the Smithsonian magazine, “Animal Magnetism by Susan Orlean regarding Kevin Richardson “famous for getting dangerously close to his fearsome charges [lions] at his private sanctuary in South Africa. ” But what can the Self taught “lion whisperer” teaches us about ethical conservation – and ourselves.”

    The article stuck with me – it deals with hunting – including the canned hunting that goes on for the rich hunters – sad and so sick…I don’t know if the Trump sons go in for the canned hunts but they are definitely big game hunters…

  5. OK – the article I referred to above page 34 – 35. June 2015 Smithsonian “Animal Magnetism by Susan Orlean:

    [the lion whisperer] [Kevin]”Richardson would like to make himself obsolete. He imagines a world in which we do not meddle with wild animals at all, no longer creating misfits that neither wild nor tame, out of place in any context. In such a world, lions would have enough space to be free, and places like his sanctuary wouldn’t be necessary. He says that if cub petting and canned hunting were stopped immediately, he would give up all of his lions. He means this as a way to illustrate his commitment to abolishing the practices rather than it being an actual possibility, since cub petting and canned hunting aren’t likely to be stopped any time soon, and in reality his lions will be dependent on him for the rest of their lives. They have all know him since they were a few months old. But now most of them are middle-aged or elderly, ranging from 5 to 17 years old. A few, including Napoleon, the first lion who enchanted him at Cub World, have died. Since he has no plans to acquire young lions, though, at some point they will all be gone”

    Cub petting is what got Richardson involved with the lions and then the discovery of his gift with them (some beautiful photos of Richardson include his interactions with his lions – an overused word but it apples here – it is awesome) Cub petting is where visitors can hold and pet lion cubs (then as they become older of course no one can pet them and they are used for canned hunts)

    Also the lions are being squeezed out by habitat reduction…world wide no secret – there is a squeeze on all wildlife….of course if you find this bothersome and if you loves you some ecosystem you can always attack (verbally) the local department of wildlife.

  6. Sorry, but killing any living being for the “fun” of it and then bragging about it is just wrong. And I don’t care who else is doing it, or how. It’s so reflective of too many attitudes today. Just because it is “legal” doesn’t make it right. Who are we becoming as a “human” race?

  7. “When people are happy after hunting, it isn’t because they are happy that something is dead. It is because they are happy that they are successful.”

    Yeah right…killing for some doesn’t equate to getting some kind of sensation – you say happy for success – I think its something deeper and so often times – it’s really a dark area in humans that enjoy the kill. (Ingrid Newkirk with Peta for example..Animal Control facilities – when No Kill Methods are readily available, un-necessary research on animals, Nazi killings and Nazi doctors killing innocent people in the name of what, nurses who kill their patients in hospitals – canned hunts in Africa and other places like Texas, indiscriminate drone kills in Afghanistan – the list goes on and on)

    If you want to be “happy and successful” why not watch a creative photographer on PBS – Doug Gardner with “Wild Photo Adventures” – he is smart, creative, gets down and dirty with the critters while taking spectacular photos of them….he is happy and successful.

    But likely that isn’t the type of “happy and successful” you are going after….

    1. Yes – good point. People like Newkirk ENJOY killing. It lights up some part of their brains as “reward”. So they do it, over and over again.

      It’s not sane.

  8. “People go hunting to kill things.” Then, “they are happy that they were successful.” At killing things. But they aren’t “happy that something is dead.” How does that complete disconnect between killing and dead work?

    1. When you have had to be successful in a hunt, or when fishing or you don’t eat, then you will never understand the happiness that the success brings. I can tell there are many here who cast stones, but have never been hunting.

      I don’t judge those who haven’t had to hunt for their food, so don’t judge those who have. PBS doesn’t fill your belly.

  9. We are all the beneficiaries of killing in a big historical sense. But at this point in history, we need to strive for peace and not killing – what’s needed is empathy for humans and animals now.

    1. mary frances, I can see that we as a society have become so disconnected from our food that we don’t know where it came from, what it is made of, or who did the killing for us. Animals raised in pens shoulder to shoulder eating God knows what. Plants that are more like a chemical experiment than their wild ancestors. Every bit of protein that crosses my lips had a chance to escape. And very close to every bit of vegetable matter that fuels my body was collected from the wild, or grown by myself.

      There is nothing more natural than that. I know EXACTLY where my food came from because I collected, cultivated, or killed it myself. I would challenge all of you to do the same. It is a clean and honest way to live. You will find that you have more respect for all things living than you could ever think possible.

      I wish everyone the best who posted here, and hope that the next time everyone orders a salad you say a little prayer that the people who grew the veggies, handled your salad were honest, and clean. Every time you all order a hamburger, that you think about the cow that lived a miserable life in a pen, and someone else had to kill, butcher, keep cool, then cook for you to eat. Try hunting and foraging before you call everyone who does it “insane.”

      1. I think that you are intentionally missing the point.

        No one is eating those prairie dogs. They are being killed “for fun”. They may have some lame excuse about the damage they do to the land, but that’s not why they’re killing them (if they were, there are more efficient ways to do it). This is no different from people shooting at birds or walruses or whatever for fun. They are killing for the sake of killing.

      2. I understand, but I think you should take more umbrage with the law system that allows them to have fun shooting things than the hunter who is operating within the law. All the best.

      3. I am not a meat or fish eater, nor do I buy products with animal ingredients or that have been tested on animals. As I said before, just because something is legal does not make it moral. And killing for fun or to prove something to someone is immoral, even though it might not be against the law. Argue all you want, but in my opinion, wrong is wrong.

      4. Prairie dog hunting is part of animal control to keep populations in check. This is part of overall conservation measures carefully regulated by wildlife agencies, local farmers, ranchers, and landowners. It is a means to control the spread of disease, and prevent loss of revenue, just like animal control agencies keeping rats out of an apartment complex.

        I respect how you wish to live your life, and think it is admirable that you choose to not eat meat, or use animal products, and would never condemn you for choosing to live a lifestyle that is quite counter to my own (or millions of others who live the way I live).

        However, I have encountered many people who choose your way of life who expect for all others to do as you do, or they are “wrong.” Again, I absolutely respect that your opinion is to not personally shoot animals (for any reason). However, it is acceptable in many other peoples’ opinion. The difference is that they are not telling you that you should take a bite of bacon, or else you are “wrong.” I find it somewhat hypocritical and close minded.

  10. wow equating killing a prairie dog with killing a human.. what have we become ? how that demeans the human being. Even the person defending himself does not understand that people that live in cities and even towns cannot grow their own food nor supply their own meat..many of you here have dogs what do they eat? cats? obligate carnivores.. they kill for pleasure ..sometimes torturing the animal and killing and never eating it.. they also anticipate the hunt..

  11. But what about canned hunting ?? I brought that ugliness up….like with Cecil the Lion and the dentist – ….there is a whole group of wealthy hunters who pay a lot of money to kill nearly extinct wildlife. They don’t eat them they stuff them for trophy status. Tell me the mental process that justifies that business and it is a business. (I think the Trump sons are in on this type of entertainment)

    This has nothing to do with equating human vs. animal life (is that a contest?) – canned hunts are just real stinky human behavior – cheating, cruel and where can wildlife be just wildlife? With canned hunts the animals are in an enclosed area – for the ease of killing. With ever shrinking habitat left for wildlife – aren’t people ever so clever to think of canned hunts… the animals are way ahead in the morality contest…if there is even such thing as a moral contest?

  12. Becoming wealthy changes people’s brains. Wealth makes a person have less empathy and to think it is okay for their newly wealthy selves to lie, cheat and steal. Here’s a great video on the subject.

    I’ve listed the link for a short video that reviews the research.

    The rise in the wealth of a few and the shrinking of the middle class in the use directly correlates with the decreased in actual taxes paid by the wealthy, starting in 1981 after Ronald Reagan took office.

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