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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, June 9, 2014

I found this heartfelt treatise tonight about those who shoot and trap Carnivores for "Sport"............As the author Kathryn Taubert states so poignantly-----"This article(below) will offend the hunters among us who kill for"sport"..............."I don't care".......... "You and I will never agree".................. "I can be civil to you, but will always remain distant"........... "We think too differently to ever be true friends"..............."But while pondering this article this morning, I heard a far-away sound that seemed an affirmation of what I was about to write: a single, thin wail in the distant darkness"..................... "Encouraged, I listened more closely as it came again from a direction different than it had months earlier"...................Had one last coyote survived, moving away from the killer's lair?"................."Is it possible a pack from another woods sent a sentry to explore new territory?"............................. "I found his solitary wails at once mournful and hopeful"...................."The killers among us haven't yet killed them all.At least, not yet".

The Last Coyote

Blogs » Life in the Slow Lane

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The first morning in my new home, their calls
reminded me of an earlier time in my life
 when hearing them was routine, and no
 one seemed to mind.
I had missed the thin yips and wails of
 coyotes in the predawn hours, signaling
 time to rejoin the pack or alerting others
 to their ownership of the territory. Hearing
 it again was like a welcome home.
In the two years hence, the reassuring
sound of that small pack diminished. A
 brutal hunter in the area was recently
overheard bragging that he had just
killed them all.
There was no reason for it. We live in a
 community of large properties with woods
 and fields and rivers running through it.
There are two state parks nearby,
protected wilderness areas where
 even the occasional black bear is sighted.
Wildlife here has plenty of room to roam
and hunt without resorting to garbage cans
 and domestic pets, at least for those pet
parents who sensibly don't let their animal
 companions loose at night.

Yet this hardhearted killer claimed proudly
 to have killed the last coyote.
I was angry and heartbroken. Once again,
 a human killed with no reason other than
 his blood lust for shooting something
living, free and wild.
I never understood why some think killing
is fun.
My father was a military-trained expert
 marksman and lifelong NRA member.
 He passed along his respect for firearms
 and living things. I'm a deadly shot at
 aluminum cans and targets. But like
my father, I refuse to kill for "sport."
One day as a child I asked him if he'd
 killed that deer whose head hung on
the wall of our farm house. Thinking
 quietly, he answered truthfully, "Yes
 I did. But I never did it again."
The look on his face said it all. That
 deer head was a reminder. My father
 was a gentle man without an ounce
 of malice in his heart. I forgave him
Others call it "sport."
When I ask why it's fun to kill, they say
 it's the chase or the challenge.
When I reply "So if it's merely the chase
 and challenge, why pull the trigger?"
 even they sometimes stammer when
we both know it's the killing that
completes their "fun."
"Our group works for wildlife
 preservation," say others.

 They just want to insure their are plenty
 of animals around to be
shot and killed.
"We have to cull the excess to
 reduce overpopulation."
So why don't they work as hard to
reduce the depletion of natural
 predators, introduce contraceptive
 methods to wild populations or fund
other options instead? Because it's
the killing they enjoy.
"I want my child to grow up knowing
 how to defend himself" they say.
"So you're preparing your child to
 enlist in the military?" I respond.
Expressions falter. Suddenly it's
 not as much fun to think that the
 "prey" can shoot back.
"I always eat what I kill," as though
 that justifies it.
Indigenous peoples hunting for food
or those without resources to buy it
 can claim that excuse. For others,
 it's the killing that matters. I find
 that appalling, cruel, barbaric.
There are "game farms" in which
 hunters shoot exotic animals
trapped by fencing, displaying
 the heads on walls. I once met
 a man who belonged to such a
 club, proudly displaying photos
of dead leopards, lions and
 gazelles, the hunters' feet upon
 the bleeding bodies, rifles in
crooks of arms, smiles as though
they'd just conquered Everest

I was horrified they thought this
 an accomplishment. Needless
 to say, I never saw them again.
This article will offend the hunters
 among us who kill for
"sport."I don't care. You and I 
will never agree. I can be civil
 to you, but will always remain
 distant. We think too differently
 to ever be true friends.
But while pondering this article
this morning, I heard a far-away
sound that seemed an affirmation
 of what I was about to write: a
 single, thin wail in the distant
darkness. Encouraged, I listened
 more closely as it came again
 from a direction different than
 it had months earlier.Had one 
last coyote survived, moving away
 from the killer's lair?Is it possible 
a pack from another woods sent
 a sentry to explore new territory?
I found his solitary wails at once
 mournful and hopeful.The killers 
among us haven't yet killed them 
all.At least, not yet.

Life in the Slow Lane is hardly 
the case for this Florida retiree.
 Since moving to Florida in 2004,
 she recorded two internationally 
recognized jazz CDs
and published two books
 (Yevu (White Woman): My Five
 Weeks with the Ewe Tribe in
 Ghana, West Africa, and Better
 To Have Loved: A True Story of
 Love, Loss and Renewal). Kathryn’s 
blog evolved from her five weeks
 living with the Ewe Tribe on an 
economic development initiative 
initially chronicled in a 2009 Naples
 Daily News series. Subsequently 
invited to become a regular blogger
 for The Naples Daily News, “Life
 in the Slow Lane” evolved into 
observations on just about everything.
 Retired from performing, Kathryn now
 devotes her time to volunteering and 
writing, and is a regular feature of Bob
 Harden’s radio/internet talk show a
t Email her

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