Re: NANFA-- shooting turtles
Wed, 3 Mar 2004 21:09:50 EST

In a message dated 3/3/04 7:41:50 PM US Eastern Standard Time,
Personally, I am against killing anything for no reason. There is no such
thing as a
"varmint". These animals were here long before we were and we should not feel
to kill them simply because their presence is contradictory to ours.
What about rattlesnakes and pack rats? My best friend and his wife live
close to the edge of open desert in Tucson. It is common out there to have living
fences of prickly pear cactus. It keeps the coyotes and peccaries out of your
yard and your dogs safely in. Pack rats burrow under the cactus and
undermine it on their slope and eat prickly pear. I reason that when it is in his
yard, it is a varmint.

They also attract rattlesnakes. While neither he nor I would consider
wantonly killing a rattlesnake in the open desert, ones on his property are
destroyed. Though I watched him hesitate to kill one once because in the low light he
wasn't sure it was a venomous snake; I identified it as a 5' + Western
Diamondback. You don't want them living in your yard even if you don't have kids or
pets. Venomous snake bites seriously damage healthy adults. I reason
rattlesnakes in his yard are varmints, just like disease carrying Kissing (?)
beetles and scorpions. The peccaries and occasional bobcats that wander through go

The raccoon that crawled three stories up the side of Liz's apartment
building and ate the moth larvae she was raising for a biology show is a varmint. So
is the one that got in her apartment and ate her highly trained pet bird. A
raccoon that lives in the middle of Hoosier National Forest isn't a varmint.

By coincidence, I was contacted today by someone asking me about trapping
turtles on a private pond. They raise waterfowl and believe snapping turtles are
eating lots of young birds. They want to trap the turtles. If you prefer
ducks and swans over snapping turtles, is it OK to control the turtles? They
aren't doing it for fun, just what in their world is pest control.

By the way, what are the ethics of trapping turtles and releasing them in to
other waters? Same as NANFA ethics on releasing fish?

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
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