The Story Behind Our List
The Skunk Whisperer, Ned Bruha, is often asked by individuals where a person can go to
learn more about the wildlife management industry, and some want to know where and how
they can learn more about the concepts surrounding controversial issues such as animal
welfare vs. animal rights. Many want to know about his life influences, and where they
can go to find the books and movies that brought about changes in the Skunk Whisperer®'s
own wildlife control methods. To help provide an answer in part to these inquiries,
Bruha has prepared the below list of materials that he suggests might help individuals
find their own answers.
Forming Opinions On Controversial Topics
Animal, wildlife and environmental issues are perhaps some of the most controversial,
and, some of the quickest to inspire heated debates and passionate responses from
all sides concerned. Subsequently, although it is not our intention,
our own standards have unintentionally upset trappers, hunters, animal
rights activists and others with differing opinions.
The Skunk Whisperer®'s philosophies and techniques are founded on
ethics, morals and principles healthily found somewhere in-between all of these
conflicting and controversial issues. Bruha believes that it is important for
everyone to form their own opinions, but that those opinions should be informed decisions.
It is not until you look at an issue from all four sides that you can truly
determine your own personal ethical judgments. For that reason you will find
a wide variety of philosophies and practices in the list below. For instance,
a graphic video made by PETA and a book on farmland fur trapping are going
to have two totally opposite viewpoints and subject matters. Bruha is not endorsing
everything in the following materials, but guarantees that if you immerse yourself
in the following books, studies and videos, you will learn more about your heart's
true stance, our world, wildlife and why and how we must make this world a better place - for the animals too.
Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare
In order to understand the below materials and to form your own opinions it is important
to understand the definition of these terms and how they differ from one another. After
studying the concepts, literature and issues for yourself, you may find that some
things are not as cut and dry as you may have previously thought, and a stance on a
certain issue may vary depending upon the specific, particular situation at hand.
Animal Welfare proponents believe that people have a responsibility to treat animals,
including those in their care, in a humane manner, but that animals do not necessarily
have all the same "rights" as humans. The concept of animal welfare does allow for animals
to be used for food, clothing, entertainment, even research as long as they are not treated
cruelly or made to suffer. But, it is the question of just what defines "suffering"
or "cruel treatment" that is often a topic of much debate among proponents,
not only within the realm of animal welfare, but within the wildlife control industry too.
Trapping as a wildlife control practice is a good example. You can learn more about trapping
as it relates to truly humane wildlife control methods and Bruha's own experience with it in
our section on the disadvantages of do it yourself trapping.
Animal Rights proponents share the philosophy that animals share the same
rights as humans, many wish to ban any use of animals by humans - including for work,
food or pleasure. Proponents are often labeled activists and some believe it is
acceptable to use whatever means necessary to further their cause.
Sources Of Information
Below are some books, videos and more that Bruha suggests people study in order to
better understand wildlife and eco-responsible behavior.
Please remember, this list includes a long list of different viewpoints.
Bruha is not endorsing everything in the following materials but rather
is providing them here for you as tools to help you develop an informed opinion of your own.
Please note: some of these selections may be difficult to view and/or unsuitable for children.
Originally A PBS Series About Wildlife Behavior From Marty Stouffer.
A television series on DVD from Marty Stouffer that documents the behavior
of just about every North American wildlife species. It also explores the scenic
beauty of the wild American landscape. According to Bruha, Stouffer is one of only
three people in the world that Bruha knows of with similar unique viewpoints, morals,
ethics and standards as himself. Another thing they share in common - both men often
raise the eyebrow of approval and disapproval from trappers, animal activists and
everyone in between. Single DVD or complete sets are available.
A Book By Annette King
This book is a comprehensive guide for the rehabilitation of injured,
sick and orphaned wildlife that has helped thousands of animals and hundreds of
wildlife rehabilitators better assist wildlife in need.
The information is a must for anyone interested in becoming a rehabber or humane wildlife control
professional. Annette King, her huge heart and this insightful book has been a strong influence on
The Skunk Whisperer® in many ways and given them an even better understanding of working with
wildlife in a truly humane manner toward the animal's best interest - both present and future.
by The Humane Society
A book from the humane society of the United States by authors Hadidian, Hodge & Grandy
Humane wildlife management is a vast, comprehensive subject.
There are so many species with different behaviors and so many different ways to control
them that it would be impossible to put all the available humane methods and practices
into one book. Just the same, this book is a good place to start and a very helpful
guide for anyone interested in humane wildlife control methods.
A Book By Russ Carman
A look at the animal rights movement from the eyes of a trapper.
It is a book that has received mixed reviews from readers on many sides.
Just the same, Russ Carman has influenced the morals and ethics of many
involved in wildlife management today, making this an important read.
Although Bruha may not share the same viewpoint on every issue,
something that both men do have in common is the fact that they have
both received bodily harm threats for that which they believe.
Bruha says "I have read this book cover to cover several times regardless
of whether or not I agree with all of the particular viewpoints expressed by Carman.
I admire the passion Carman poured into his book.
I especially frequent the portions about being the shepherds of our flocks and herds.
We are the shepherds of our flocks and herds, but non-traditional animal damage solutions are available.
If you were to only have two tools to construct your own topic opinion, this book,
and the below PETA video would be essential".
Originally An HBO Documentary Movie
Please be advised this movie is not suitable for children.
This is a graphic, very difficult movie to watch because it shows horrific acts of
cruelty to animals. In this movie you will be able to begin your own journey to decide
where you personally stand when it comes to wildlife management.
Although PETA offends Ned Bruha on many levels, he believes they have also done
many good things and have flamboyantly drawn attention to many issues that needed to be addressed.
Every new employee is required to watch this video in order to investigate who they are
and see both sides of the fence that they may encounter in this line of work.
A Wildlife Video Special From PBS
Raccoon Nation will simply amaze and energize you.
Watching this video on raccoons will allow you to better understand raccoons,
what they are capable of, how they are acrobats and contortionists and most
importantly, how territorial they are. You will quickly see how they are
the most destructive animals our company works with (other than humans)
and the unusual length that mother raccoons will go to in order to protect
their young. Additional research on raccoons and relocation of raccoons
can be found here on our website. Raccoon Nation is required viewing material
for every new Skunk Whisperer employee. How did the raccoon get into the attic?
How did he or she get to that place on the house? After watching this, you will
never doubt that raccoons can do anything they put their minds to.
A Book by Norm Phelps
A must read for those investigating their own personal stance on animal rights vs.
animal welfare. The Skunk Whisperer® is not an "animal rights" company,
but neither can it be classified strictly as an "animal welfare" organization either.
In the future, The Skunk Whisperer® hopes to set a new standard, a new class - a class
that falls somewhere between the two with a standard that supports health and longevity
for both humans and animals.
A Book By Dr. Stephen M. Vantassel
A must read for anybody who is diving deep into investigating their own
stance on humane wildlife management and/or animal activism issues.
Dr. Vantassel holds a PhD in Theology but is also a highly respected expert
in the field of wildlife damage management, making him uniquely qualified to address
the complex issues surrounding the interaction between humans and animals. In this book Dr.
Vantassel explores various issues from a biblical, Christian perspective including, but not
limited to, such topics as the use of animals by humans, vegetarianism, hunting, world hunger and more.
By Diane L. Beers
An additional source of information for those looking for materials to use
toward developing their own stance on animal related issues.
This book looks at the animal advocacy movement in the U.S from a historical perspective
including the impact of legal legislation and various organizational efforts.
A Book By Wayne LaPierre
From the NRA library, this book looks at the "right to bear arms"
as covered by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,
including supportive arguments, facts, figures, and anecdotes.
Ned Bruha is a life member of the NRA and highly values our second amendment rights.
A Book By Mark Elbroch
A thorough, must read for any outdoorsman featuring accurate examples of animal feces,
tracks and other animal signs for over 135 species of wildlife.
A 2003 National Outdoor Book Award Winner.
A Book By Elbroch & Marks
Another useful source for nature lovers interested in birds or who want to be able to identify them.
A Book By Annette King
Four touching wildlife stories with accompanying photos from wildlife rehabber Annette King.
A Movie About The Stouffer Brothers' Cross Country Journey As Young Filmmakers
Based on the real story of Marty Stouffer and his two brothers as teenagers on their fascinating,
yet perilous cross-country journey to the western United States where they hoped to capture rare
footage and pursue their dream of becoming wildlife filmmakers. A beautiful film to enjoy as a family.
A Book By Jan Dohner
Coyotes, mountain lions, wolves and feral dogs often attack and feed on sheep,
poultry, horses or cattle, creating heartaches and lost revenues for farmers
and ranchers. Basically, there are four ways to deal with predatory animal
issues: trap or shoot the predator, exclude the predator with expensive modifications,
sell the herd and get out of the business, or add guard animals to keep them away.
This book covers the latter option, using guard animals, specifically
livestock guardian dogs, donkeys and llamas to protect your herd.
It is a mandatory read if you have wildlife predation on your herd or
if you are thinking about starting to raise animals. The Skunk Whisperer® advocates
the use of guard animals and has placed rescued donkeys in several pastures to eliminate
the need for state trapping of coyotes causing depredation.
A Book By J. D. Garrett
In this book, Garret offers tips on bringing your property to life with a variety of ways
to attract birds, butterflies, turtles and other enjoyable wildlife. The Skunk
Whisperer Ned Bruha is an avid perennial gardener himself and advocates landscaping
with wildlife in mind. Bruha often speaks at different functions, including those for
master gardeners, and his opinion on the topic is often sought after by gardeners, homeowners,
wildlife enthusiasts, the media and many others.
By Dr. Doyle McCoy
A useful book for identifying Oklahoma wildflowers.
By Nathan J. Winograd
A look at the story behind animal shelters in the US,
including the "No Kill Movement". It's important to
note here the welfare of feral cats and dogs crosses over into
wildlife management and The Skunk Whisperer has had extensive
first hand experience with the issue. Bruha believes that pets
are not just property, they are responsibilities and that there
are no bad pets, just irresponsible pet owners.
A Book By Bernie Barringer
More than simply a guide, in essence, Bernie Barringer has written a fur trapper's bible.
Although The Skunk Whisperer® does not kill any critters, Bruha has found this book to be an
invaluable tool for those who wish to better understand wildlife behavior, including
truly humane wildlife professionals. Consequently, Bruha considers this book mandatory,
educational reading material.
A Book By Sean Griffin
Bruha was first introduced to this talented author through the Tulsa Entrepreneurial
Spirit Award. This book explains how to be successful and think outside the box in every aspect of your life.
An Animated Feature With The Voices Of Ashton Kutcher And Martin Lawrence
An Animated Feature With The Voices Of Joel McHale And Mike Epps
An Animated Feature With The Voices Of Bruce Willis And Garry Shandling
These animated features look at life through the eyes of human like animals and wildlife.
Memorable characters include Boog the grizzly bear, Elliot the mule deer, RJ the raccoon,
a turtle named Verne and more. Although these are considered family films with a PG rating,
under the surface, they explore some important wildlife management issues, including what
constitutes ethical practices.
Over The Hedge does not shine a nice light on wildlife trapping and killing companies.
One company in the industry that routinely utilizes trap and relocate methods used to loan
their clients a copy of Over The Hedge to watch at the same time the company was actually
doing wildlife trapping at the customer's home. Shortly afterwards, the company realized
their publicity mistake and discontinued loaning out the movie.
An Animated Feature With Hugh Jackman Life through the eyes of a mouse.
A Movie With Jack Black, Jason Biggs, Amanda Peet and Neil Diamond
A fun movie where one of the main characters just happens to be a wildlife control "specialist".