Monday, November 19, 2012

Don't upset the balance

I was getting my gear together to ride Lucy Sunday morning 
when I noticed Smooch sitting on her throne, shaking like a leaf.


Smooch: Please come and sit next to me, mom. Something's not right and I'm scared.


Then I heard the source of Smooch's angst – a gunshot. Then another. I couldn't tell how close they were, but I knew right away what was going on.

A very controversial coyote hunt happened in New Mexico over the weekend. The hunt was prohibited on BLM and state land, but apparently some of my neighbors had allowed contest participants on their private property. It's their land, and far be it from me to tell them how to use it, but the whole thing seemed barbaric. Whoever brought in the most coyote carcasses won. It was killing for the sake of killing.


There was no doubt in my mind that Alan, George, Lucy and Hank knew something was up and they'd best stick close to home.



The way I see it, the coyotes were here first. I've settled in their territory and it's my responsibility to find a way to peacefully coexist. I've built a fence around the perimeter of the house to keep Smooch, Wynonna, and the chickens safe from harm. It works. When George and Alan see coyotes hunting on the ranch, they chase them off. Otherwise, they let the coyotes pass through and everybody gets along.



I believe Mother Nature retaliates when you try to disrupt her balance.



Sunday morning, Lucy, George and Alan were all tuned in to a noise I could barely hear –



it was some sort of distressed-animal, mechanical call, 
intended to snare coyotes into the crosshairs of a hunter's gun.


Lucy: I think we'd better not go for a ride this morning.
Me: I think you're right. 

31 comments:

  1. You're right, it sounds barbaric to me too. I am having my own trouble with hunting this year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't understand the high that people get from killing animals. I agree with you: if people move out into the big wide open spaces, the coyotes and other animals come with the territory. I guess we humans are just lucky that deer and coyote don't have opposable thumbs and money to buy ammunition to rid themselves of us, the pests.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree that we can peacefully co-exist. Mother Nature takes care of the balance if we don't interfere. Man's belief that we are superior to animals and that they are here for our entertainment appalls me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That coyote killing contest was even in the news here on the east coast. The BLM does a good deal of coyote hunting themselves so I guess they just didn't want the bad PR.

    Interesting that your herd would chase off coyotes....and that the coyotes gave ground.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been watching Ken Burns' "The Dust Bowl". Perfect example of upsetting the balance. The coyote hunt reminds me of the Jack Rabbit "drives" they had.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  6. Go to dailycoyote.net and tell me how there is any humanity in what these hunters are doing. Sometimes I'm ashamed for the human race.

    ReplyDelete
  7. At least it's Monday, so the hunt is over. I really hate "hunting just to hunt and kill something". Never understood that mentality at all. It's just wrong.

    It was a good idea to stay home and not ride. We need you to blog every day, not nurse a gunshot wound! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. so sad, hurts my heart to read this, keep your wonderful group safe, I love watching your life long distance.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have no patience with hunters. The deer hunting season was on here last week. Hikers are terrified to use the paths in the bush for fear of getting shot. My friend Natasha is from Siberia and says there isn't one wild animal left because people have hunted them for either food or fun and now they are gone forever.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree with you that hunters shouldn't upset natures balance. Killing for the sake of competition is just wrong. And staying off Lucy was smart, just in case.

    For the last few weeks around here we have had the hunters out in force. Deer hunting. Yes, we are overcrowded with deer but they all seem to want the bucks. It's for their horn racks. If they wanted to keep the population down they should aim for the does. It's sad but that's the logical thing to do. But the racks look manly hanging somewhere on a wall I guess. The only saving grace for them is that do actually wind up using the meat. So all is not wasted.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How awful! Good karma reigns at the ranch, but I know those coyote killers will get bit in the butt at some point by some retribution . Hopefully retribution named COYOTE!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is such a coincidence eh!! I was watching a show on PBS last night titled "the Dust bowl" about the 1930 drought. Part 2 is on tonight. In part one there was a brief clip on how the affected drought areas of the dust bowl was overrun with rabbits because the farmers had killed the coyote population.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As much as I'd like to have it in me to kill a coyote, just because they're coyotes----I can't. You and I have something in common, as we both likely lost a beloved cat to coyotes. As much as I hated the darned beasts then, I realized that they were here first. Sometimes the circle of life just sucks.
    I hope you and your critters found a way to have a nice evening. I'm sure this was the one day the burros wish they didn't have such great hearing. :(

    ReplyDelete
  14. There is something seriously wrong with a 'unit' (can't even use the word 'human'), that derives pleasure from killing innocent animals for fun/recreation/pleasure. I understand killing for food, yadayadayada. The problem I have with 'controlling the population' killing, is that they go for the finest specimens. Hunters aren't out there looking for the sick/infirm/old deer, they want that prime buck. It's just all so screwed up. I'm sorry the insanity of others scared Smooch and ruined your fun day with Lucy. I wish there were two planets. One for lunatics and one for peace-loving, nature-loving, humane folks. Planet Good vs Planet Evil.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ah, crap. I thought that sort of thing stopped happening decades ago. It IS barbaric and goes completely against nature, in every sense of the word. I will never, no matter how old I get, understand the hunting mentality. I pray that the coyotes are wilier than the no-brains who seek their destruction.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My husband read about it last night and then told me about it, I agree that it is not right to kill the coyotes like that. I am sorry that it upset your animals....
    marsha.kern@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happens where I live too, and they also hunt coons and possums...at will. It really upsets me, our dogs and the universe, like you said, who was here first? The neighbors always say it's alright, it protects their chickens, well, I have chickens too, and I make sure they are safe. One of the relatives of that neighbor hunts them and sells their pelts for like $2.50..really? Neanderthal...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Estella from Co.11/19/12, 8:09 AM

    I'm not one for killing for the sake of killing, but there is a time for everything. When you are a rancher and you see a cow giving birth and coyotes are eating the new born as fast as they can, when there is so many bears that they don't fear humans anymore and become dangerous, when mtn. lions pack up (which they do at times), and prevent you from even hiking around your place, THEN it's time to address the issue. We and a number of people around us rely on elk and deer to eat this winter. I do agree killing for JUST KILLING is not a good thing. Good choice not to ride. Last year me and my mule came within a foot of being shot, we heard, felt, and saw the bullet land behind us. NOT a good feeling. Hugs to all

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ry read a story at school about deer hunting and has been obsessed with going out and helping the deer hide ever since. When we were talking about the coyote hunt, he wanted to drive to Los Lunas and stand in front of the gun store that was offering the prize and give every hunter a quarter from his pirate chest and ask them not to participate in the hunt.
    Sometimes I wish that the world had Aspergers and just thought with their hearts like our inside, outside, upside down thinker does. He is quiet the animal lover. I took him to the fabric store with me to buy some fleece to make his sister a present for the holidays. He was very interested in the fleece and here is why. He wants to sew blankets for your herd in bright orange fleece so they can be warm and seen so hunters don't think they are deers.....were does he get this? Oma Linda

    ReplyDelete
  20. Smooch is so cute making room for you in the chair. Good idea to stay close to the house. Glad it's over with.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Carol in N. Colorado11/19/12, 8:45 AM

    I am glad you stayed home with Lucy. She has the right coloring to be mistaken for a coyote. Yes she is bigger but sometimes the hunters don't pay attention to what they are shooting at. The thought of the coyote hunt is sickening. The BLM has some strange ideas between all the wild horse and burro round ups and placing them into holding facilities that are at capacity. Then they do coyote hunts. Leave nature alone as she will balance it all out.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You know it really is a tough call. On the one hand I abhore killing for the sake of sport. On the other hand when the pack of coyote's lured my little Queensland Heeler, Stranger, out into the desert and then ripped her to shreds I really wanted to go shoot them all as they were not hunting either. They killed her for the sake of killing. BUT, had I had a safe fence to keep her behind, it would not have happened. So the real person to blame was me. I had no business trying to have a pet back then.

    Now I live in WY, and my three dogs stay behind a 6 foot chain link fence. Some people do not understand why I am so adamant about keeping my dogs in a fence yard. I don't care that they don't understand. The one time one of my dogs got out, I spent the entire night searcing for him. I was so afraid he was going to meet the same fate as Stranger.

    They just declared open season of wolves in WY too. I hate it when I go to FB and see people posting pictures of the big gorgeous wolves they have killed. But I have to ask myself, how would I feel if I had cattle or sheep that were getting killed because of them? I just don't know.
    What I do know is that I beleive in hunting, for food and food only. If you are not going to eat what you kill then you should not be given a license to hunt.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm from Canada and we even heard about it up here as well. The end result will be being over run by rodents.

    ReplyDelete
  24. If they kill for sport, then they will kill anything as far as I am concerned. It is one thing to kill for your food, but for sport it is totally different. Makes me sick.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I also think thats barbaric.

    I think hunting for need is okay. Otherwise, people would not have survived as long as they have. But hunting for game? Its dispicable. I am glad to hear that other 'horsie' people think this is terrible, I know a lot of people that I have met group in 'rednecks' and 'cowboys/girls' and think they'll enjoy hunting. Obviously the generalization isn't correct and those people are just ignorant.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Balance is the key.

    I have no problem with sportsmanlike hunting for meat. (Baiting bear into a clearing with leftover sugar bricks from candy factories hardly seems fair... recently a 650 lb black bear was "hunted" this way in my state.)

    There are more costly and labor intensive ways of controlling populations such as coyote, deer, mustangs, wolves etc. Sadly there is often an element of bloodlust being satisfied as well.

    We humans have irrevocably changed/eliminated the environments so many other species.

    Is it not our responsibility to make things right? Have we still not learned our lesson about the circle of life - that we are part of the environment and it is all of our home, human and non-human animals alike?

    ReplyDelete
  27. this so makes my heart ache. I've been watching on the news and it just makes me ill. All I can hope for is that those people that kill for the sake of killing will pay with bad karma. BIG BAD KARMA. Coyotes are the tricksters of our world and hopefully those ignorant killers will get theirs. We live up here in Taos area so we didn't have that. I'm glad you stayed home.
    peace n abundance,
    CheyAnne
    www.cheyannesexton.etsy.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can see the need for predator control in some instances to protect livestock. But the way this contest was carried out seems wrong. I am okay with hunting animals for food such as deer and elk hunting. I can see killing a problem coyote. But I can't understand killing animals as part of a contest.

    And I feel the need to correct a couple of comments about BLM. BLM does not kill coyotes. BLM manages wildlife HABITAT on BLM lands, not wildlife The Game and Fish departments are the ones that manage wildlife through hunting seasons etc.

    ReplyDelete
  29. We are going to Kenya in May on a safari. More than one person has asked us if we're going to be hunting big game! I say yes, but just to take photos.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You were wise to stay home. I don't like hunting because so many are foolish with how they shoot and in the area where i live once in awhile they do kill a human. I worry about the cattle during that season also although so far so good on that.

    But where it comes to coyotes, I have shot at them. I have run screaming into the field to scare them off when I couldn't get a gun soon enough. Successfully I might add as both times I had to do that, the coyote took one look at a mad mama human and ran; but I have also seen the lambs torn up and half eaten, their mothers crying for them, when I wasn't there.

    What we finally did was put up a higher and tighter fence around the perimeter of our property to keep coyotes out and let our lambs grow up. It cost us a lot of labor and several thousand dollars but now they aren't coming in. It takes constant upkeep to stop them out and not every grower of livestock can do this.

    I would not like coyote hunts like what you described anymore than I liked the wolf hunts in Montana this year; but I also don't like seeing my animals torn apart and a pack of coyotes can do a lot of damage, wolves even more so and worse with wolves that they don't have to kill to stop their prey, they just tear it up and let it be eaten alive.

    Predators aren't something we can let get totally out of control for numbers as then they starve or die of disease and yet... It's the and yet that makes it tough.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Barbaric, indeed. I agree with you 100%. There are coyotes in our mountains as well. I have no doubt that the donkeys and dogs would chase them off if they came over the fence. Luckily they don't. They were here first -- they and the bobcats and mountain lions and rattle snakes. I don't care to meet any of them, but I am living in their space... not the other way around.

    ReplyDelete