Beware, Bambi is coming

Published 9:26am Monday, February 25, 2013

Visualize a muddy “trade” street awash in feces and toxins, a gun under the seat of every wagon, moonshine and taverns on any corner, almost all cats feral and dogs unleashed; slaughtered animals and their hides displayed everywhere. Back then we lived in a “dark corner” of the world where rugged individuals like the outlaw Lewis Redmond and hunters like Big Tom Wilson thrived. We need to go back to that golden age.

Yet the trapping issue masks a larger cultural, social and political divide in Polk County. It’s the deer hunting with Jesus folks versus the PETA crowd. Indeed, any discussion of trapping, guns or hunting, or who’s more “humane” inevitably morphs into man-trapping issues over abortion, individual “rights” and even homosexuality.

Indeed, to most commissioners present at the Feb. 4 meeting, the “pests” were the very people who attended, virtually all “Bambi pandys” who held an unrealistic view of nature and society. Moreover, most probably had a penchant for expensive organic foods, middle-class guilt, didn’t have more than two or three dead, stuffed animals in their homes and likely didn’t vote for them either.

Nonetheless, those who favor trapping have a point. Suburban sprawl, the reforestation of much of eastern North America, and the resurgence of species like beaver and coyotes have brought new problems that don’t necessarily require older “quick fix” solutions.  Marauding deer spread ticks carrying Lyme disease, eat up gardens and shrubbery, and collide with SUVs hundreds of times daily while beaver dams flood golf courses, coyotes chase faithful old Lassie and little grey creatures spoil Pam Stone’s quiet time. We can’t have that.

You can find other solutions by visiting several websites, looking at what other communities like Princeton, N.J., have done, and by reading books like Jim Sterba’s Nature Wars. We just might need some real professionals like Big Tom Wilson again. Still, all this would require some study, a little time, some public input and would challenge a commissioner’s monological thinking.

– Milton Ready, Tryon

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