Hear the Cries of Death: Do They Rhyme With “Conservation”?

In the immediate aftermath of Florida’s 2015 bear hunt, we published graphic images that showed what Florida-style “conservation” looked like. We qualified our photographic documentation of the slaughter with the following statement:

These images… do not record the cries of the victims as bullets or arrows entered their bodies – cries lost deep in the woods, heard only by the insensate killers, far from the respected chambers of human power and the television screens of contented consumers.

Those cries can now be heard. In fact, they have been heard in the very chamber of human power that unleashed the killers upon the bears. And for those who cared to watch, they were even available on the Florida Channel (at 1:55 in the timeline).

In the public comment section of the FWC’s February meeting in Havana (Tallahassee), a professional videographer from Orlando, Mr. Lee Day, played a recording of a black bear being killed by a bow hunter. Subsequently, he released the audio recording on YouTube, and we include it below.

The sounds do not start right away. Mr. Day gives listeners fair warning of what is to come.

Animal advocates have heard similar cries before, of course. We know that slaughterhouses across the “developed” world ring with such peals of agony all day long. And anti-imperialists know that human beings suffer just as much in all the far-flung corners of the globe ravaged by human avarice and its willing enforcer, the United States and its allies. We do not hear the cries of the animals who have been commoditized, or the cries of the foreign children for whom Barack Obama sheds no tears.

The frequency of the suffering in no way diminishes the importance of Mr. Day’s chilling recording. On the contrary, it is only through such courageous efforts at transparency that decent people have any chance of stopping the suffering once and for all.

Deaths such as this are not just horrific atrocities in their own right. They were also blatantly illegal under the FWC’s terms of engagement, the supposed “rules” of the hunt. No bear was to be “taken” within a hundred yards of a bait station. But Mr. Day has released further audio and video footage proving that a hunter killed a bear at a bait station and showing further that the FWC’s “law-enforcement” personnel were not the slightest bit interested in prosecuting the hunter even when presented with an open, unsolicited confession at the bear check station. Instead, FWC personnel congratulated him for his handiwork. [Note: it is not clear at the time of writing whether the audio above recorded the death of the bear killed by the hunter shown below. However, the bear in the following two clips was killed by a bow at a bait station. His death, therefore, would have been equally ghastly.]

In the next audio, the hunter describes how he killed the bear and expresses his motivation for doing so. Note that the hunter states his preference for the bow because it is “more challenging” than the use of a rifle. Apparently this statement was made without a trace of irony or self-awareness. How challenging can it be to unleash an arrow at a large bear that is sitting right in front of you, lured by bait? What happened to the concept of “fair chase”? What happened to the definition of “sportsman”? Of course, such questions apply with equal force to the hunter’s conduct as a deer “hunter.” In all aspects of his conduct, this man exposes the hunters’ familiar conceits as absurdities embedded in a grotesquerie.

And here is the full-length video of the bear being “processed” at the check station:

This is the reality of wildlife “management” under the much-ballyhooed North American Model. This is how the fabled “hunter-conservationist” plies his trade. This is what state wildlife agencies would like our children to do when they grow up.

This is what we resist.

Richard Foster lives in Central Florida. His writing appears at www.DailyKumquat.com.