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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 5/1/2001 7:42:04 PM EDT
After reading what Bill W. stated on the cat post I have to have a say. I speak from a little experience on PD's as I have lived around them and hunted them for about 32yrs. I do not gloat over the kill nor do I go for the red mist T-shirts or disgusting videos produced. I was asked to help the Forest Service set guidelines for PD's on the grasslands here. The people whom feel the prairie dog has a place and serves a purpose usually have only HEARD or sometimes seen one side. The buffalo-PD coexsistence theory is buffalo crap. Back then there were no fences to keep buffalo confined. When grass was gone the buffalo moved on, perhaps not coming back to that spot for a year or more. No one has pictures to prove that grass was better back then. Many weather variables change things from year to year. Where PD towns are heavily populated grass is gone. No if ands or buts. As for the theory that they help other wildlife that is fairly shallow. Snake dens, gophers, a badger now and then is about it. All of whom could find food and shelter without the prairie dog. Whether a meat eater or vegetarian land is needed for food. A 1000 acre dog town would raise about 40 head of beef annually, alot of burgers. People have only so much income from their land. My theory is if you feel sorry for the PD then take your money and buy your own town. Make the payments and pay the taxes without income.Then you can save all you want, but when they move off your land you better start supplementing their food supply and build condo's to house them, more money. As for poisoning verses shooting consider this. Zinc phosphate causes the animal to bloat and die as rodents cannot pass gas. Is that more human than shooting?If you want more details email me, I have used enough space.

   As for cats!I am sick and tired of my neighbors turning theirs out so they can walk across the street and sh*t is my yard or jump on the only NEW vehicle I have ever had and put scratches and mud on it. My dog's biffy is in my yard not the neighbors. So, am not a blood thirsty killer, but am looking over options from the cat post. Good Day.
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 11:10:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:33:09 AM EDT
The only good prairie poodle is a dead prairie poodle. Same goes for 'hogs and various other varmints.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:51:43 AM EDT
I disagree with killing Prairie Dogs.  The population has been dramatically reduced in the last 100 years.  To think that has no effect on other species that feed off of them, etc. is ignoring reality, IMHO.  I'm not some sort of tree hugger, I just don't think it's right.

Flame away.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:59:09 AM EDT
I would like to go to SD to have a couple of days of PD hunting-just dont know anybody or anywhere specific to go-Anybody have any leads?

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:35:57 AM EDT
People whom live here do not want to kill them all either. Because of the rescent talks on adding them to the threatened list has panicked landowners. Many were poisoned last fall because landowners felt if they waited they wouldn't have a say in what happened and could never control them, thus loosing any rights they had in the future to control them. Land and grass is their lively hood. It is like gun control, why should someone in DC decide what is best for all states. If NYC or Chicago have gun violence problem let the city, county or state pass needed laws. Why pass laws in all 50 states to curb crime in a housing development in Detroit? Clinton had no problem signing executive orders for a few of his c*cks*cking buds to limit access to forest land everywhere. He didn't give a damn how it affected the people that lived there or whether they lost a job because of restricted logging etc. What does someone in NY state know about PD in SD or WY? Let these people decide. A person in NY wants to save the PD but more than likely will never see one and damn sure won't give any of his/her income to feed it. Prairie dogs are in the same category as rats and mice, they are rodents. As far as their communications skills(talking amongst themselves) isn't this nice to know. All of the starvation and disease in the world and we pay someone to sit in a town and figure out what is being said. They should then learn how to fill sandbags and holler incoming. Not trying to be really funny just wished people would first think of other peoples livleyhood. As stated I try and help control them not eradicate them. Good Day.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:39:25 AM EDT
They HAVE to be protected!!!!! Didn't you see how cute they were in the NYC ZOO?  There is no way they could be harmfull in any way.  I think I have seen a real tree once too, living here in the city-Stop cutting them down!!!there are none left to cut!!!!!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:43:55 AM EDT
I am no expert.  Just surprising to see the graphs and charts of past and present populations and range.  Drastic change.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:56:41 AM EDT
In this area we have the same problem with ground sqirrels, not the little bushy tailed nut grabber that are similiar to a liberal, but the ones whose holes cause horses to break legs, and cowboys to get banged up pretty bad. The little vermin need major culling as they do tremoundous damage to crops. The pompous asses in Washington who devise the rules, never think about where the food on their table comes from.
To those who have the prairie dogs, good shooting.  Perhaps as a fitting rite of passage we could tie someone like Klinton or his kind on a wild mustang and allow them to run as fast as they can across the prairie. It would be kinda fun to bet on how far they would go air borne, or if they would simply become a cushion for the horse if it went down.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:11:13 AM EDT
I shoot gophers pretty hard on my 160 acres, go out 3 or 4 times a year. I have never run out of targets. They always come back.
It is development that kill them
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:32:53 AM EDT
jvic, let us consider all of the alternatives.

a)Varmit hunters are allowed to continue to shoot them.
This is, of course, a humane way for them to die. Personally I've never hunted varmits with the exception of groundhogs, which were to eat. But it is my understanding that varmits hunters take a great deal of pride in making long range head shots, therefore a quick, painless kill.

b)Poison is used to eradicate them. As SDwhirlwind illustrated this is a less than himane way to dispatch them, or any animal for that matter. (I kill cats that come onto my property but would never consider poisoning one of running over one. That, to me at least, is inhumane.

c)People, not unlike yourself, volunteer to come to the areas where they pose a problem (at their own expense) and trap the varmits, inoculate them to prevent the further spread of disease and rid them of their diseases. You, as one of the volunteers, then flea dip them and (again at your expense) transport them to an area where they pose no threat to the ecosystem of the people and/or livelyhoods of the people living in the area.
In order to do the latter you will first have to be inoculated yourself to protect you from the diseases that they carry, collect the necessary funds to accomplish this overwhelming task and then locate a suitable place to transplant them to.
This, all of this, is (and I think you will agrre) is damned unlikely to happen in our life time. No?

Then we have.......

d)The all knowing powers that be, living in their gated crystal palaces in Washington, knowing far more what is good for those living in areas in which they have never seen, cave into the cries of bleeding heart liberal bunny huggers, not unlike yourself, and pass legislation to protect the varmits. No more hunting. No more poisoning. No more freedom to deal with pest on ones own property. Anyone caught doing so would be declared a bad, bad American and dealt with accordingly.

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:36:01 AM EDT
Now bear with me just one more moment and let us objectively reflect on the eventual out come of that last scenario.
Grazing land will eventually become destroyed with the over run of these pest.
As a result there will be ranchers, depending on the income of that grass land and their ranches forced to vacate their ranches. They may be forced to rely on the welfare system to survive. A once proud rancher, vital to our economy is now reduced to shame and contributes nothing to the nation other than a burden to tax payers. Won't he be proud now?
Small rural communities that once relied on the money spent by the heretofore semi-prosperious ranchers loss income and business's are forced to close. Being a small community eventually they will become a ghost town.....with the exception of the huge population of prarie dogs, which by now will have taken over.
In the mean time the cost of beef in the store that [b]normal[/b] people eat will increase in price until only the few will be able to afford it.

Now in this last scenario where does that leave your poor misunderstood prairie dog?
Well, I'll tell you. They will die. They will not die quicklyas they would have with bullet to the head. They will starve and die from disease. And whose fault it be that they died such an ugly painful death? Yours and your fellow bunny huggers.
You will have managed to put entire communities, families, women and children out of their homes and off of their ranches that have been in their family for generations to do what? Slowly kill the little prairie dog.

Think it cannot happen? Look at the logging communites that have gone destitute in order to save one nesting spotted owl.

Now, [b]YOU[/b] pose another scenario to deal with the problem.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:40:19 AM EDT
This year will mark my 4th trip to SD to hunt prarie dogs.  Each time, we have done most of our hunting in one town.  Last year, my buddy and I shot well over 500 in mainly 2 towns.  However, after a heavy day of shooting, we would come back the next morning to find so many dogs that you couldn't even tell that we had been there.  

The farmers and ranchers in SD that have problems with the dogs don't have a whole lot for income.  It seemed to me that most folks income revolved around the cattle industry.  Pretty much all of their crops are dryland so yields vary from year to year with precipitation.  Besides, there is not an overabundance of ground that is able to be farmed.  The vast majority of land is pasture.  It doesn't make much sense to let prarie dogs use up valuable acres.  Remember acres = # of cows you can graze there = lbs of hamburger = money.  Pretty simple.  

Besides eating the grass down to nothing, there are dog holes everywhere.  I don't know how the ranchers up there manage to doctor cattle.  I guess they must use four-wheelers.  I know I sure wouldn't dare get on a horse and charge across the pasture to try and rope one.  That would surely be a recipe for disaster.

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 9:18:42 AM EDT
One rancher up here has found a new income. He has someone from out east come and trap the young dogs by putting water down the holes and then catching them when they come up. My understanding is that they are sent to China. All we can figure is they are fattening them for new special dishes. They are a filthy animal. How National Geographic and the Smithsonian mags picture them is not real truthful(nice, furry and cuddly), they are not suitable pets. While on the FS committee a member of a special interest group met with us. Don't remember their name, Predator ?(wolf, coyote and black footed ferret). He stated that 30 odd% of this country used to be PD town. Therefore AT LEAST 1/3 of our grasslands(155,000 acres) in this county should be allowed to return to PD towns, roughly 55,000 acres. That is 85 sq. miles of dogtown. If they encrouched on private land it would be up to deeded landowners to pay for control, not the federal gov. He also didn't live here or care about our local economy. One must always look at both sides of an issue before jumping in with their opinions and ideas. It would be the same as myself telling someone in NYC how to solve housing and poverty problems. Like it or not as humans we need food or need to start a sterilization program or encourage suicide. PD's, feral cats, feral hogs, etc. do not always help society. We have to use good judgement for nature as a whole. Good Day.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 9:26:29 AM EDT
I understand the prarie dogs are popular pets in Japan.  If you do an internet search for 'prarie dogs' I think you will be suprised by the number of sites devoted to the care of these varmints.  

Even though it isn't practical from an economic standpoint, think about how much fun we could have in an 85 sq mile prarie dog town.  Might want to consider packing some extra BARRELS as well as plenty of ammo.........
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