Canis Latrans, Latin for Barking Dog

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, March 6, 2013

To the editor:

Predator, website for Savage Arms’ centerfire M10 Predator, attributed this quote to Abraham Lincoln: “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

Sacred is our right to vote.

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One gentleman wrote the Bulletin; “The ‘majority’ of citizens in Polk County are not of the opinion that trapping should be banned here, regardless of the opinions expressed by a few who write to the Bulletin and gather signatures from websites where a thousand signatures can be obtained at the click of a mouse, and have no interest in the well-being of landowners who live here.”

This is a mouthful opinion, but not a verifiable fact. No proof of validity exists. There isn’t any evidence due to the lack of sunshine or transparency in the commissioners’ secretive vote on trapping. Would Lincoln consider denying the vote to citizens a perversion of constitutional trust?

Will the traps be steel or cage traps?

The humane treatment of animals is a barometer of society’s values. Hunting and trapping licenses hold accountability. The coyote is a noble beast. I believe this because I believe God created coyotes as well as all creatures, great and small, pronouncing them “good.” Humans are the stewards of the earth. If a herd or pack must be culled, a clean kill is deserved in respect for the creator’s creation. Steel traps, even with teeth removed, still snare without a clean kill. The second mouse gets the cheese (or the ensnared).

A 25-year veteran trapper for 30 percent of central Kentucky’s major thoroughbred farms sets cage traps to remove coyotes, skunks, raccoons, opossums and other varmints possibly carrying leptospirosis, EPM and EPE. Cage traps do take some effort to catch, live and unbroken, the coyote. However, money is made by a cottage-industry of locals who market live, but corralled, coyote or fox and profit from the trainers who school their hound packs by running down the live, contained bait.

One opinion wrote coyotes attack “calves, colts, goats.” Not a problem for our family’s 200-acre cow/calf and thoroughbred breeding operation and later with our 60 milking Jersey cows. Guardian dogs and donkeys will aggressively repel predators and work well in both fenced and range operations. A U.S. sheep producers’ survey reported 82 percent regarded guardian dogs an economic asset.

This same writer opined that there wasn’t “money” to be made “off of pelts,” as “there isn’t a single fur outlet in western North Carolina.” A writer’s job is to tell the truth. The truth is that the demand and price paid for coyote pelts have skyrocketed in China. Yes, the coyote, also known as the American jackal (scientific theory being coyotes evolved in North America), is another U.S. product shipped to manufacturing jobs in China, our government’s largest foreign creditor. Our sly commissioners voted to market coyote – live, crippled or dead.

-Wils Norton, Green Creek