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was reading a narrative of a dutchman about new netherlands and thought his description of animals and birds was sort of neat.

"In that district there are no lions or bears, but there are the same kinds of other game, such as deers, hinds, beavers, otters, foxes, lynxes, seals and fish, as in our district of country. The savages say that far in the interior there are certain beasts of the size of oxen, having but one horn, which are very fierce. The English have used great diligence in order to see them, but cannot succeed therein, although they have seen the flesh and hides of them which were brought to them by the savages. There are also very large elks here, which the English have indeed seen.

The lion skins which we sometimes see our savages wear are not large, so that the animal itself must be small; they are of a mouse-gray color, short in the hair and long in the claws.

The bears are some of them large and some small; but the largest are not so large as the middle-sized ones which come from Greenland. Their fur is long and black and their claws large. The savages esteem the flesh and grease as a great dainty.

Of the birds, there is a kind like starlings, which we call maize thieves, because they do so much damage to the maize. They fly in large flocks, so that they flatten the corn in any place where they alight, just as if cattle had lain there. Sometimes we take them by surprise and fire amongst them with hailshot, immediately that we have made them rise, so that sixty, seventy, and eighty fall all at once, which is very pleasant to see.

There are also very large turkeys living wild; they have very long legs, and can run extraordinarily fast, so that we generally take savages with us when we go to hunt them; for even when one has deprived them of the power of flying, they yet run so fast that we cannot catch them unless their legs are hit also.

In the autumn and in the spring there come a great many geese, which are very good, and easy to shoot, inasmuch as they congregate together in such large flocks. There are two kind of partridges; the one sort are quite as small as quails and the other like the ordinary kind here. There are also hares, but few in number, and not larger than a middle-sized rabbit; and they principally frequent where the land is rocky.

This, sir, is what I have been able to communicate to you from memory, respecting New Netherland and its neighborhood, in discharge of my bounden duty; I beg that the same may so be favorably received by you, and I beg to recommend myself for such further service as you may be pleased to command me in, wherever you may find me.

In everything your faithful servant,

ISAACK DE RASIERES.

END OF "LETTER OF ISAACK DE RASIERES."
 

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The Mad Scientist
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I think they had American elk and woodland caribou back then too, so he may have called them "elk" too. But elk are related to red deer, so maybe that was one of the "deers" he saw.

The landscape was much different back then, and that was less than 400 years ago. A blink in the eye of geologic time. These changes made by humans are unprecedented in the history of the earth. No other living thing has come close to making this much of an impact on the earths ecosystem. If this happened a million years ago we would call it a mass extinction.
 

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Elk, moose and woodland caribou were native to NYS.

In Henry Hudson's journals, when the Half-moon was at anchor in the Hudson River in the vicinity of the where is now the George Washington Bridge, one of his journalists wrote that one could walk dry shod across the backs of fish, the birds (passenger pigeons) blocked out the sun for minutes of time, and game of all sorts fills the forests. He further wrote that this is the finest and fairest land his eyes had ever laid eyes upon.

I think this might have been as close to the Garden of Eden as one could have imagined. Nevertheless, many things have changed but autumn in NYS is still spectacular but the politics leave much to be desired in my opinion.

I was camping this weekend with my daughter in upstate NY and can truly say NYS still has many places of natural beauty. It is a shame that many of the largest game have been extirpated.
 

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The Mad Scientist
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Something many hunters fail to comprehend is the reason why game animals were so abundant and diverse was there was also a full complement of predators too. If we want moose, elk and caribou back we need to kill a lot of whitetailed deer. The management of deer to our benefit as hunters is also an ecological disaster. 200 years from now they will be talking about today like we talk about the 1600s.
 

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That makes sense, MAT.
It's about balance.
Proverbs, in the Bible, teaches all about "balance".
 

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Something many hunters fail to comprehend is the reason why game animals were so abundant and diverse was there was also a full complement of predators too. If we want moose, elk and caribou back we need to kill a lot of whitetailed deer. The management of deer to our benefit as hunters is also an ecological disaster. 200 years from now they will be talking about today like we talk about the 1600s.
No doubt, predators are an important part of the ecological equation. However, many hunters merely want a high density of their favorite prey to the exclusion of all others. These interests want control of game to reside solely with humans rather than predators. Even worse, the NYSDEC is like the old Soviet Union and as a bloated bureaucracy hardly manages deer or anything else. Besides, with approximately 50,000 deer/vehicle collisions per year in NYS, the insurance companies hold sway in setting management quotas.

Unfortunately removing deer does not mean we will bring other animals back. However, the RMEF and the DEC had a plan to bring back elk to NYS, that is until chronic wasting appeared and the plan has been placed on indefinite hold.
 

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The Mad Scientist
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When I made the 200 years from now comment I had CWD in mind too. If you are paying attention to what's happening in the CWD core area of WI you should be very concerned about the future. However not many hunters are, so therefor it's not hard to predict it.
 

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Introducing predators has unintended consequences, like, house pets are far easier prey than deer etc. (And keeping pets indoors should be a crime, imo.)

There are no simple solutions, just trying to find that reasonable balance. In civilized areas, the best (and most easily managed) predator is Man. Not wolves or coyotes or grizzly bears.

While I -like- the idea of moose and elk in my neighborhood, (and getting the occasional picture of such) I'd hate like hell to smack one with my Tacoma!

I've been to NH a couple times recently, seen dead deer on the roadside both trips. And dented trucks. Moose don't dent, they -smash- ya.
 

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Introducing predators has unintended consequences, like, house pets are far easier prey than deer etc. (And keeping pets indoors should be a crime, imo.)

There are no simple solutions, just trying to find that reasonable balance. In civilized areas, the best (and most easily managed) predator is Man. Not wolves or coyotes or grizzly bears.

While I -like- the idea of moose and elk in my neighborhood, (and getting the occasional picture of such) I'd hate like hell to smack one with my Tacoma!

I've been to NH a couple times recently, seen dead deer on the roadside both trips. And dented trucks. Moose don't dent, they -smash- ya.
Agreed, introducing predators does indeed have unintended consequences, and I have no desire to hit a moose or a elk with a vehicle. However, moose are really making a comeback in the Adirondacks.

As you mentioned there are no easy solution and man is the most viable option to manage the woodland creatures.

It would have been nice to have seen the place circa 1600.
 

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There are also very large turkeys living wild; they have very long legs, and can run extraordinarily fast, so that we generally take savages with us when we go to hunt them; for even when one has deprived them of the power of flying, they yet run so fast that we cannot catch them unless their legs are hit also.
I like this part. Whenever I speak with turkey hunters the conversation usually goes something like this "I shot the turkey then it flew off with my arrow and died in a big patch of poison oak..."
 
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