Well Not Really ~ Facts vs Hysteria
Today someone left a comment on my post about Tony Stewart’s Log Home in Indiana known as Hidden Hollow. The comment was not only misguided, but misinformed, filled with errors and it truly irritated me.
Haters are going to find any thing they can to vilify a person. But I’m sorry folks, this is my blog and I control what gets said here. B.S. and negativity have no place in my world and your comment was deleted. But I will indulge the general concept of your comment and respond to your misconceptions with research and facts to address your hysteria.
The comment was about the tall fence around Tony’s 414 acre estate and the implication that the sole reason for its existence is to restrict the deer on his property from escaping. The reason according to the commenter? So Tony can organize private hunts on the estate for himself and his friends. Say what?
There are several assumptions here that a group of similar minded people are trying to stir up with erroneous information. Yes, there’s actually more than one of these people. Which is sad if you think about it. These are people who read a comment or a story online and automatically assume it’s accurate or real. They never do a little research to discover if it’s legit, they simply hit “share” and help dumb down America with false information.
It doesn’t take a great effort to do a little research to discover the facts and the reasons behind a story. Start with snopes.com to find out if a story is true. Good, bad or indifferent, you’ll find out if it’s a made up internet tale, or if it actually has basis in fact. And make sure the sources you do find are legit and not based on someone’s opinion or that they have hidden underlying reasons for promoting a certain view. Educational sites are usually reliable, as are government (fed, state and local) are often good, and there are some well-known experts you’re able to trust in a variety of topics. If a story can be found in a legitimate news source, than it probably really happened. But if you’re told a “true” story and you can’t find any mention of it in any newspaper or TV News website, then it’s probably made up.
This story about the fence and the hunts can be tracked down with a few searches. A little reading will explain the facts behind these issues and the reasons for their existence. And none of those reasons are malicious in any way.
First let me clearly state that I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be.. a hunter. I prefer to think my meat comes from a happy place known as the grocery store where everything is wonderful and bright. I don’t like hunting. But I’m not so hate filled to ignore the need for it to occur. I also believe there are right and wrong ways to hunt. Along with right and wrong reasons. But this isn’t a story about hunting.
Complaint 1: The height of the fence.
The height of the fence isn’t to deter the deer from traveling out and about the country side from Tony’s estate. First off, Deer are territorial. Even without the fence it’s highly unlikely that the deer would roam to far away from the 414 acres of Hidden Hollow. It’s their home and without natural predators, it’s a safe and secure home.
Do a little research on your local Fish, Game and Wildlife department websites and you’ll discover one reason they authorize hunting season is because they need to maintain the size of deer herds for their own good and health. Deer no longer have natural predators and their increase in numbers as a result is problematic for their survival. The more deer there are in a specific area, the less food is available for them to eat in their natural habitat. Even if they’re starving, deer rarely leave their territorial grounds to find food. Consequently they remain, starve and die of disease and hunger.
Do another search for how high can a deer jump and you’ll find a height range from 7 to 15 feet. White-tailed deer are able to clear a 7-foot fence from a standing position with relative ease. Deer are capable of reaching speeds of 35 mph while running. Some reports indicate that at this speed 10 to 12 foot fences can be cleared. One article mentions State Rangers in Maryland witnessing a running deer clearing a 15 foot fence.
Now with all this educational organization and government research reporting, you think Tony’s 6, 8 and 12 foot fencing would really keep deer in his estate? Deer aren’t dumb. If they can’t get over the highest sections of the fence, they can certainly walk down the fence and easily hop over the lower sections of fencing. But then, the fence isn’t for the deer. It’s for keeping out vandals and nut cases, I’ll refrain from the obvious comparison.
The bottom line is, the fence isn’t there to keep the deer in, it’s to keep YOU OUT! The size, as in the height, of the fence is based on the surroundings of the property. To maintain safety and security for Tony, his friends, family and property, the height of the fence had to be adjusted based on the contour of the property. And if you do a little research in public records, you’ll discover the variances that were given to allow for higher fencing in certain sections and the reasons why.
Additionally some people complain their property values went down when the fencing went up. Please, are you kidding me? Property values went down because the market crashed and everyone’s property went down in value. The fencing was constructed back off the road where it cannot easily be seen. The color of the fence also helps to hide it’s existence from view. The construction of a 2 to 3 million dollar home increased the value of the surrounding area. It doesn’t diminish it.
It’s irresponsible to make assumptions because you don’t like someone and are trying to vilify their character. Especially when the public record is quite clear and legally allows for the exceptions. So that’s that one.
Complaint 2: Organized Hunts
The planned organized hunts with friends, according to these people is some how evil and abusive. Obviously these people have never owned large estates. Nor do they understand the need for property management, which includes wildlife management. If these people took a little time to read and learn from history, they would understand the need for both land and wildlife management to promote conservation and maintain a healthy environment has long been part of the responsibility of large land owners.
This form of land and wildlife conservation has been in practice for a few hundred years on large estates in Europe. Again do a little research and you’ll discover the conservation plans of the great estates of Europe, such as Balmoral Castle, Highclere Castle & Gardens, Edinburgh Castle, Althorp House and many more stately manors like these around the world.
From Althorp House Landscape and Environment
Through careful management the Estate can boast a healthy population of many species that are considered rare or endangered, including skylarks, wild grey partridges and barn owls. In Northamptonshire we are working with the South Midlands Barn Owl Conservation Project which monitors barn owls, provides nesting boxes and releases birds into the wild from time to time. ….a new project is underway to support the wild grey partridge, with farming practices being tailored to ensure the most suitable cropping and the best use of field margins to give the birds good nesting, feeding and brood rearing cover.
Large estates, such as the one owned by Tony and many other NASCAR drivers and owners, employ land managers, also known as wildlife managers, reserve managers, and a variety of other titles that describe the responsible conservation efforts of the landowners. These Estate Managers are tasked with monitoring wildlife, removing sick and wounded members of herds, flocks and so on to keep disease at a minimum. They often work with local conservation groups to help promote a healthy environment for a wide range of animals.
Unfortunately in our world today, wild animals are not untouched by humankind or the natural world and left to live healthy lives. There are a variety of diseases and mutations inherent in nature that bring about disease that can threaten an entire herd or species. Some of these diseases and ailments may not be completely obvious to you as a layman or mildly educated advocate. Managing the size of a herd and the individual members of a herd who have become sickly is extremely important to the safety and health of the over all existence of beautiful healthy animals.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries offer an outline Deer:FAQs fact sheet to help hunters understand the challenges that face wild Deer. Including those that reside on large estates similar too and larger than Hidden Hollow. Some of these FAQs deal with parasites and disease, as well as, herd size and growth. For instance did you know that although absolutely beautiful, an Albino Deer is actually a danger to the health of an overall Deer herd?
Along with managing and monitoring animals on the estate, managing the land itself is also a necessary chore. Anyone who is a fan of Tony’s has probably seen his Periscope shares. A couple of those show Tony talking with his current Estate Manager Travis as they discuss the property, the deer, turkey, racoon and fish in his private man-made lake.
Even the fish require management and care. Travis has been seen several times feeding the fish and talking about the care and maintenance of the lake to keep the various varieties healthy and growing.
You may have also seen him chopping down dead trees and mulching the remains where they fall. That too is part of the land management process to help maintain a healthy forest around the estate. By caring for the property, he’s caring for the animals that live there and helping to ensure a healthy environment for everyone.
Before you start complaining or trying to create some form of drama queen/king controversy and hysteria over Tony’s wild life management practices, you might brush up on the facts first. Of course that would remove any concept of a controversy and you’ll have to find something else to go on being negative about. But that’s your problem. I’ll simply go back to wading in the lake, saying hello to the animals and enjoying life with compassion and kindness.
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