Posted by: ericgrimsrud | August 11, 2013

Tick, Tick, and more Ticks goes the Climate Change Clock

Having coexisted with large populations of antelope, deer, elk and moose while living several decades in Montana, I am personally saddened to see what is happening to some of these magnificent animals in recent years.  With global warming, we first saw the populations of the pine beetles explode – to the detriment of the lodge pole pine – and now we are beginning to see the explosion of tick populations – to the detriment of some of the animals listed above.  Turns out that scores of dead moose, in particular, are being now found in Minnesota, Maine, and elsewhere that appear to have been brought down by the hundreds of thousands of ticks found on their bodies. It looks as though the warmer winters across the northern regions of the Midwest and East have failed to knock back the populations of these insects as they did several decades ago.

As a previous hunter of all of the animals listed above, I always did my best to get a clear and close shot so that the animal was brought down promptly with a minimum of suffering.  Very occasionally, however, I was not sufficiently successful in achieving a “clean kill” of that sort and was saddened whenever that happened. There is no joy in watching a wounded animal suffer and the “natural” death some of these animals are now suffering – due to another of man’s impacts on their lives – is absolutely horrific to contemplate. The only aspect of this means of  “putting them down” that causes us less pain is that we don’t have to watch.

For one of many, many stories concerning this increasing threat to our four-legged friends in the woods, see


  1. I enjoy reading Eric’s works. He displays his passion by expressing his sensitivity in several topics. This essay, discussing animals, wildlife and nature was especially an interest to me. His claim to being a former hunter and being careful to make a clean kill in order to minimize suffering is classic response to other former hunters. Most people do not enjoy participating in violence both human and animal life. Hunting now is mostly left to a few hard core’ recreational killing’ types.
    And speaking of climate change/global warming and the connection to animal agriculture. Billions of animals raised in factory and feed lot conditions have been found the major producer of green house gases, producing more than any other cause according the United Nations document “Livestocks Long Shadow”…according to this report, scientists report from 18% to 51% of greenhouse gasses are produced by this method of extreme animal suffering. Raising animals commercially to feed an exploding global population is unsound, inefficient and extremely wasteful. In addition, animal based diets do not support healthy populations, leading to an enormous world wide medical health crisis.

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