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Are NH’s Wild Critters a ‘Problem’ For You?

While watching Channel 9 News the other evening I saw one of those stories that I just have to comment about. This is a perfect example of the kind of story that can get me cursing and making obscene gestures towards the TV.

The story is set in Hampton, NH, where cats and other small pets are apparently turning up missing in numbers that are considered in excess of the norm. Many of them seem to be disappearing when they are let out to roam around the neighborhood after dark.

The town’s animal control officer strongly suspects that coyotes are to blame for the missing pets and Channel 9 dutifully provides some menacing footage of coyotes roaming in residential areas, no doubt planning their next evening meal of kitty cats and Chihuahuas.coyote

Then comes the part of the story that gets my attention. A woman who owns a Dachshund is obviously worried about her pet winding up on the menu and she would like something done about it.

The reporter on the story says that this particular resident would like the town or the state to do something about the situation. The resident is then given a chance to speak for herself on the issue.

“I’m not for killing anything, so let’s relocate them to where they can live their lives not in a residential area,” she proclaims.

OK, that’s where it hits the fan for me.

Can she possibly be serious? She wants the town or the state to come in and spend taxpayer money to relocate coyotes because they are a threat to her dog? Which is probably more of a nuisance to the neighborhood than any wild critter ever was, with barking and droppings deposited about and whatnot.

This is exactly the kind of nanny state mentality that strongly influenced my move out of Massachusetts and into New Hampshire. Oh mighty big government, help us with our every little problem! Is it any wonder that freedom in this country is being gradually eroded? It’s because people like that don’t want freedom, they want to have their every little want and desire taken care of for them. Lord knows, you don’t want to get your hands dirty!

As far as I know, coyotes are in their native territory here in North America, while our domesticated cats and dogs are not. It’s long been known that domesticated cats are a big problem for the native songbird population, so I find it a bit ironic that nature is beginning to turn the tables a bit and now coyotes are learning to prey on the cats that have been preying on songbirds and other native species of small animals.

I’ve had my share of problems with wild critters on my large, rural property. I’ve had skunks digging up my grass in search of grubs to eat, chipmunks stealing strawberries from my garden, wild turkeys roosting on my back porch and leaving large collections of droppings and moles tearing up my field.

Guess what? I solved these problems on my own with no help from the town or the state. I don’t normally like to kill critters either, so I purchased some live animal traps and relocated a few skunks and chipmunks. I’ve been chasing the turkeys away whenever I see them around the house and they are showing up on my porch far less frequently. I also managed to work out a plan that allows me to “ambush” moles and unearth them with a good, sturdy pitchfork and dispose of them. Critter problems pretty much solved.

If you want to keep your pets safe from wild critters either keep them in the house, put a fence up around your property or go outside with them to keep an eye on them. Don’t be whining that you want the government to send out some $90,000-a-year biologist to solve your problems for you and cause my taxes to go up. Or even a $25,000-a-year part-time Fish & Game intern or whatever.

The Hampton animal control officer summed it up perfectly at the end of the story. He said something to the effect that we will just have to learn to live with these wild critters. At least someone’s got the right idea.

Grow up and take the initiative required to solve your own little problems like this. If you want the state to do every little thing for you, move down to Massachusetts or move to the city where there aren’t so many wild critters. Then you may have to worry about them being run over as a result of all that city traffic. But take heart! Maybe you can lobby the city or the state to build a little doggie or kitty bridge or tunnel so your pets can cross the street safely!

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