Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Mark The Shark" - Buffalo Hunter

Bison were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century. They were hunted for their skins, with the rest of the animal left behind to decay in the hot sun of the American plains.

At one point from 1870-84 long kill trains packed with drunken "day hunters" wound through seemingly unlimited plains herds shooting as many animals as over heated gun barrels would allow.

The Bison were quickly reduced to a few hundred animals from millions in just a few years.

Who were these men? What was the early 19th century mindset that allowed for millions of dead and dying animals to litter the American plains?

You need look no further than Miami and a fellow by the name of "Mark The Shark" - he is by definition a modern day Buffalo Hunter - killing breeding aged animals for the sport while leaving the carcass to rot after the film crews and onlookers have gone home.

While latter day Buffalo Hunters thought their resource would never end "Mark The Shark" knows all too well the state of today's oceans. His motivations for killing sharks, one might argue, is a bit more sinister.


By killing a displaying a 12 foot 1000lb Tiger shark in Miami recently "Mark The Shark" leverages free advertising and books more fishermen. Modern day Shark Hunters who pay to repeat an act from the past.

Buffalo hunting ended when we ran out of animals to shoot. Today the thought of killing a 12 foot Tiger shark expressly for snapping a few images or to promote ones business is completely out of step with where people and the evolution of wild care are going. The world has changed.

At one point in history someone must have seen the last Buffalo kill train leaving the station to the great American plains and thought "enough is enough".

To "Mark The Shark" we say enough is enough - unlike the Buffalo Hunters of times past who shot to kill, Marks business can practice "catch, tag and release". The choice is his to make, as opposition to dead, breeding aged animals left rotting in the hot Florida sun grows.