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Old February 14, 2000, 07:20 PM   #2
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,097
One thing I've noticed about hunting, predator control, fair chase, and all the notional mixes which go into "the great outdoors" is the difference between those raised in cities, and those raised on the land.

It's the same sort of difference on finds between those who have raced cars and those who have only driven econoboxes at or below the speed limits.

Attitude about what is done, or how it's done. What's taken for granted as "normal".

If you're not in the livestock business, a coyote can be readily seen as a proper game animal, just like a deer--although not everybody has a taste for dogmeat. (And that's cultural; an old GI joke goes, "What's the Korean word for dog?" "Supper.")

When I go into the far back country, most of the coyotes there don't really know what people are. So, I sit in the truck and squall on the caller; here comes Ol' Wily. I've had them run around the truck, barking, in mid-afternoon. I imagine them saying, "Where's my rabbit, you %$##%$? You promised me a rabbit!" Now, how do you make yourself shoot a coyote at 10 yards, who's putting on a show like that? I'm usually laughing too hard to hit him, anyway...

When I was a kid, I and my friends tended to shoot at anything which moved. As we learned more about hunting ethics, we began to respect wildlife more. We began to consider "fairness" as part of the deal--which makes many of the game laws more understandable. Now, on the downhill side of the curve, I take more pleasure in helping younger folks learn and succeed in the hunt. This sequence has been going on as long as people have been writing about hunting--which goes back a long, long time.

I guess it's the old "been there, done that" bit. I still enjoy hunting, but the relative importance of campfire tales has become more important than it once was.

As for Ol' Wily, his range has expanded into all the lower 48--far beyond his original turf. In many areas, farming and ranching patterns have improved his choices and quantities in food supply. I've always liked Ian Tyson's song of the coyote: "The coyote is a survivor; I reckon he's got to be. He lives in the snow at 40 below, and Malibu-By-The-Sea." Well, lots of cats and dogs in Malibu.

But no matter how much you learn about him, no matter what method you use to kill him, nobody is ever going to kill "the last coyote".

, Art

[This message has been edited by Art Eatman (edited February 14, 2000).]
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