Of coyotes and predators

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I was at work on Thursday when I was approached by one of the customers. It’s a customer that seems to think he knows me from somewhere, and every time I see him, he’s very personable and has something he likes to share about either his life, what’s going on around him or what’s happening on his farm. It’s a little unnerving at times, but I’m fairly sure he thinks I’m someone else. Either that or he’s someone from the past that I’ve completely forgotten. I don’t think that’s the case, however.

On Thursday he came up to me, greeted me in the same way he always does and seemed really happy about something. When I asked him what it was, he proceeded to tell me about the coyote he had killed earlier in the day. And of course, after telling me about it, he -had- to show me a picture of the dead animal, complete with a blood stain on what looked like ground that had been recently cleared by a bulldozer or some other earth moving equipment. Now to me, it looked like someone had killed a dog, and left it to lie on the ground. Rather than tell him what I really thought about the picture, I stayed as nonchalant as I could, and made all the appropriate noises until he finished up his retinue and moved on.

I’m sure by this time you can tell that I’m not really all that much in favor of guns, hunting or eliminating predatorial animals from where we all live. Admittedly, I’m not. I grew up in a household where neither my father nor mother were interested in guns (my father served in the US Army during World War II, he didn’t talk about his experiences in the war and the one time I asked, he very politely rebuffed me, my mother took me aside later and told me to drop it) and the few times hunters came onto our property accidentally, my father had a chat with them and they left.

I’m certain the question could be asked, am I in favor of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution? Yes and no. I believe at the time it was enacted, there was a need for it since the US had recently been in a revolution and at that time there was a need for citizens to keep and bear arms. There were instances where a homeowner would need to be able to defend him or herself on the frontier, and/or from situations that no longer exist these days for the most part.

Unfortunately, it tends to be interpreted quite broadly, as citizens have a right to keep and bear arms OF ANY TYPE AND PURPOSE when it’s not necessarily required or needed. One doesn’t need to hunt with a semi-automatic weapon or protect their home with the same. As former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens wrote several years ago, if the Amendment’s language could be amended to say “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” it would change the whole meaning of the Amendment and allow for some reining in of the hysteria that’s been going on for centuries. The NRA, of course, would never allow this.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I don’t believe our intrepid customer had the right idea when he killed the coyote. Sure, he saw a predator (his farm has cows in a barn, and the cows also graze in fields that border woods) and did what is allowed legally in defending his land. But the coyote didn’t have a choice in the matter. He only did what coyotes do. They hunt, to feed their pack and to survive. Nature designed the coyote to be a predator. That’s how the species survives. Though nature, of course, doesn’t take into account the legal ramifications of a higher predator being able to ‘even the odds’ or even jump over the odds when a gun is brought into the situation. The coyote was perceived by this gentleman as a threat. He eliminated the threat to his farm. He’s the hero, right?

All I saw was a dead coyote on the ground. I didn’t see how it was anything to celebrate.

One thought on “Of coyotes and predators

  1. First I would like to address the beginning, this elder gentleman may in fact think boy is someone else or he may just be a very lonely elderly man who has concocted an elaborate way to form a ‘type’ of friendship with boy. (He does have a kind face, boy that is).

    Now as for the rest I do agree with boy on his aspect of guns, as of our latest violent events that seem to bombard our morning news every morning I turn them on, caos has erupted every where. And in most cases guns are involved. So if we put a tighter restrain on them then maybe we can eradicate some of the violence.

    Also I do believe in people having the right to bear arms, in moderation and for protection. As for hunting, I believe in hunting for survival, not sport.

    The incident with the coyote, I will have to agree again with boy. It was a senseless killing. Boy made the statement that it seemed the dirt had been recently disturbed with some type of big machinery, if in fact the surrounding property or woods outlining the property have been recently disturbed could be what drove this lone coyote from his home and onto the mans property. It could have been the coyote was disoriented or searching for food that was recently chased away from recent disturbences.

    Now if some of the mans livestock where being killed or harmed by this coyote then he would have the right to defend his property (personally I would have chosen the humane way) but nonetheless he would have had the right. But deeming from boys related story the man shared with him suggest there was no foul play from the coyote, going back to my original opinion of a senseless killing.

    I am pleased with boys entry, I am sorry he was exposed to this and it gave him ill feelings. Big hug and kiss to my boy. Good job.

Comments are closed.