SANDHILL CRANES: They taste just like Kleefisch. | WisCommunity

SANDHILL CRANES: They taste just like Kleefisch.

Dave Zweiffel over at the Capital Times has an online commentary on the latest bright idea from the Republican side of the Wisconsin political aisle: Allow Wisconsin hunters to shoot sandhill cranes.

This brilliant suggeston comes from Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), husband of the lieutenant governor and a rocked-rib-meat conservative.

Zweiffel noted that the state has already opened new hunting on mourning doves. It is also about to let hunters go after wolves. Zweiffel continued (emphasis mine):

"Leave these legislators in town much longer and they'll start proposing open season on bald eagles. There's an awful lot of eagles flying around the La Crosse area, probably depleting the fish population in the Mississippi River.

"Kleefisch told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last week that he's heard the cranes are really tasty."

So, apparently, is elephant meat, which is why similar wingnuts in Thailand would like to start shooting endangered elephants in that country. It's what's for dinner. But Kleefisch gives another reason: The cranes, he says, are a threat to farmfield corn and cribs. So, hey, let's start over wiping the critters out and have a feast while we're at it.

Of course, Kleefisch might just argue that he's merely ahead of the curve. Sandhill cranes were nearly hunted into extinction early in the 20th Century. The cranes have legally been hunted for some years west of the Mississippi River, but nowhere east of it, [img_assist|nid=131272|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=167|height=125]where the birds remained nearly extinct for decades until protections went into effect. Indeed, Wisconsin is home to the International Crane Foundation, dedicated to saving cranes and their habitat, even going so far as to laboriously lead cranes to their southern wintering grounds via ultralight aircraft. But never mind all that effort. The critters, say yahoos like Kleefisch, are just too doggone tasty not to kill.And they clutter up our skies and fields with their beautiful plummage, too.

Kentucky recently became the first eastern state to gain federal permission to allow huntting of the graceful, migratory bird. The move went ahead despite vigorous opposition from numerous environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, the Kentucky Resources Council and the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes. Hunters shot 50 of the cranes in the first annual hunt. Watch that number go up, until the cranes are endangered again, of course. Meanwhile, the people with the guns win again, as usual.

Read more of Dave Zweiffel's commentary at:



February 3, 2012 - 12:14pm