A semi-OT rant...

First off, let me say, I'm a gardener ... I totally and completely understand about 'nuisance animals' and understand the fact that critters sometimes need to be dispatched for various reasons. On the other hand, I totally feel that we, as humans, bring a lot (if not all) of crap upon ourselves. I've had issues w/woodchucks in the past and I've relocated several (I can't bring myself to kill them, I know you're not supposed to move them either, but oh well).
Within the past five years or so (maybe longer, I've lost all sense of time) Massachusetts voted to "Ban Cruel Leghold Traps" and guess what, now everybody is complaining that they can't let their kids or pets out because they might get eaten by a coyote, just this last week in my home town (20 miles north of Boston) got a permit to trap and kill 9 beavers and tear down their damn because it's causing the water in the local pond to rise way above 'normal' -- I just would love to ask each and every one of the buttheads who had to go out there in their hip-waders how many of them voted to ban the cruel traps?? I can almost guarantee they all did, seeing how it's so cruel for the animals and all, yet letting them live, then trapping them, killing them and ripping down their home is such great fun.
I'm just disgusted w/all the McMansions and developments, etc., and then everybody complaining the deer are eating their plants, etc. I'm just completely sick of it all.
On the flip side of the coyote thing ... I don't have any more woodchucks :-)
Catty One -formerly known as LeeAnne- 20 miles north of Boston MA and damn it's cold up here!!!!
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On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 10:36:46 -0500, "Catty One"

Now I'm anticipating a population explosion to match my rabbit population. Its like the Wild Kingdom around here sometimes. Wait till I put in my pond.

others in the East? I know that cougars have killed people in the west. I've never seen a coyote around here, while out west they're walking down main street it seems.

management means. Pennsylvania has a higher deer population then in early colonial times despite all the hunting, and that's due to lack of predators. Some animals are co-existing just fine with humans, maybe a bit more the we'd like.
Trapping seems wrong to me -- I hate to think of animals suffering needlessly. Cages seem better but since the whole point is to kill the critter, may as well put little land mines around.
The only alternatives that come to mind would be more hunting, which would be difficult in densely populated areas, or some type of birth population control. I've heard contradictory stories about birth control. It seems to harm the animals the least, making it very friendly to animal lovers, but if it doesn't work then its not a solution. It also seems to be difficult to implement.
What other options are out there?

would take care of themselves too.

Swyck
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

(1) 90% of people living in New England are "from away".
(2) 46.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
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wrote:

And don't forget the statistician who drowned in a river with an average depth of only 12 inches.
Felice
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Rabbit warrens or groundsquirrel towns increase in population, but woodchucks tend to be loners, making them easier to share a garden with or even a harvest. A growing family of rabbits would be a much larger test of tolerance & willingness to share.
Good luck with the intended pond. There's an eco-friendly pond movement with increasing numbers of people doing whatever they can to ENCOURAGE visits from herons & racoons instead of striving to keep all of nature away. I'm always of two minds about it myself. Ideally wildlife is welcome. When one has a small garden, though, a twilight visit from only one or two deer is sufficient to spell the doom of everything.
I now have a contract to do ongoing landscaping projects throughout Shin Lur Gardens, which is a huge private garden reliably visited by deer & elk. It's the first time I've had to make plant choices & do landscaping always baring in mind what deer could automatically ruin. To see a band of elk in the garden is amazingly cool, even to just find all the elk-tracks through an area that was raked smooth the day before is kind of thrilling. There's a big lawn area & turf seems to be their favorite stuff, so some prize shrubs don't get hurt as they concentrate on grass. But a row of roses had been chomped down to nubs before I started working in those gardens, so it seemed pretty obvious I shouldn't plant roses unless I wanted to feed the wildlife. The decision has been made that visiting deer & elk remain welcome as part of Shin Lur's charm. Plants that can't thrive in their presence will be grown (if at all) in the only enclosed area.
The next few seasonal cycles will be a learning experience for me. So far the deer have never really much bothered rhodies, but go for berrying shrubs & roses, & of course the lawns which they're welcome to crop to heart's delight (or hart's delight). Even some of the berrying shrubs they ignore -- there are a whole lot of native huckleberries & for a while I was taking a weekly bucket of fresh-picked from the shrubs, & there was never a day when birds or deer had cleaned them out, always plenty of berries for me. But that same wild area is devoid of mature swordferns, which the deer apparently prefer over the huckleberries, so it might turn out to be hard to keep ferns in the gardens too (the previous gardener certainly didn't plant ferns & it LOOKS like the reason is because that gardener liked heavy mulch between trees & shrubs rather than an array of perennials; but I may discover there was no choice).
I worry a bit that if these animals can no longer gobble down roses they WILL start damaging the rhodies & other things they presently pass over. A small building for offices is going up on the property this coming summer, amidst cedars so the new building will have to be surrounded by shade gardens mainly. I'm planning to make the gardens there dominated by autumn & winter flowering sasanqua camelleas, which I'm counting on deer not liking TOO much. But I autumn-planted a number of blueberry shrubs & I'm fretful the deer aren't going to permit that area to work out well, & it'll be embarrassing if one of my first new-area projects on the grounds turns out a complete dud.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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from snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) contains these words:

What shrubs/foliage they eat isn't enough to be a serious problem, the real damage deer do in a garden is bark-rubbing when their new antlers are itchy with velvet....they can completely de-bark the trunk of youthful trees, and kill them; or at least spoil enough branches to wreck a magnolia etc. Once they pick on a tree as a rubbing-place, they keep going at the same one, so at the first shred you need to protect the tree with wire, brush, spray, hanging a sweaty T shirt on it, or whatever.
The other damage is when stags paw the ground at each other. That can chew up a fair bit of lawn in a night.
Janet
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This has already been done to some birches, stripped halfway around from rubbing. I kind of was "glad" of the excuse to replace a couple of those too-many birches with broader trees anyway. Of all the trees that might've been rubbed, the birches were the least consequential so the best choice for getting damaged. But if/when the day comes that the same thing is done to trees I planted, that will be a less lucky happenstance.

I'll bare that in mind, though the so-called repellants seem to be awfully hit-&-miss judging by sundry on-line reports with many folks whining that no matter what was sprayed on a tree the bark got rubbed.

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Expect 4-7 young ones ... then they'll move out, dig holes nearby and start the process all over again. I hear they are good eating, I just never tried one myself.

There have been a few 'close calls' (ie paranoid parents seeing one in a neighborhood, or having a family of coyotes living in the bushes behind an elementary school) so of course everybody thinks that the coyotes are out to eat the kids. My friend's sister had her mini-doberman attacked right in their own back yard by a coyote - 300 stitches and a few $$$$ later the dog was OK). They also abut a lot of wooded area and have tons of wildlife come through - if you ask me it was dumb to let the dog out like that, unsupervised (its also why I keep my cat in the house). The population has really boomed, combination of the trap banning as well as all the neighborhoods springing up and driving them out of where they should be living/hunting, etc.

I don't think the trappers use cages, for some reason they were using the leg-hold traps, I'm not sure what the reasoning is in one trap vs. another. I'm not for animals suffering either - but people just didn't think when they voted, they thought 'oh the poor animals' and not 'population control'.

Sadly I don't know - if I had it in me, I'd pop nuisance woodchucks left and right.

Reveled in what?

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This may very well sound like a smarmy, dismissive answer, but for me it is truly profound and I find it makes a lot of sense. Since I am Buddhist, mind-only school, I see everything as being the karma of whatever the being is. So, not to be dismissive (again) and certainly not to be mean to you or the beavers or any living creature, it is their karma to be killed and whatever else. Maybe those beavers were people who closed the doors on the gas chambers in Nazi Germany. Who knows. Maybe there is no such thing as karma and I am kidding myself with hokum. Either way, it helps me put a practical reason to some of the atrocities I see where animals are concerned. I've had my own karmic debt to pay.
We have coyotes around here. I feel I have barged in on their lives, not the other way around. So, I do what I can to keep them out of the property with a fence and I try to convince the people who let their cats out to keep them in or a coyote can and will eventually eat their cat. It happened just recently. A Manx disappeared. Coyote got it. A neighbor had it on his security camera with his paranoid night scope in place! (There's always a crazy in every neighborhood and maybe I'm it.)
So, moral of the story, yes, there is great suffering in the world. I do my part to eliminate it without sacrificing my ability to learn to have a calm mind. It's the hardest thing I've been on the path to learn so far.
Victoria

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