Today’s Journal picks up a Las Cruces Sun-News story by Steve Ramirez on the White Sands coyote invasion. Ramirez mentions Aguirre Springs, one of my favorite NM campgrounds, but offers no evidence there’s actually a coyote problem there. Too bad. When I’m out in the back country, I love hearing them sing.
Very few ranchers – or the suburbanites who’ve lost pets to them – share my affection for the critters, and the sentimentality that clouds the debate over predator control irritates me. There’s a billboard on I25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe that urges “Stop the Killing Contests!” and WS authorities “emphasized that hunting or outside contests to shoot coyotes is prohibited.” Instead, predator control experts will set leg traps and “euthanize” the animals caught. I’m no coyote, but if I was I believe I’d prefer to get shot from ambush rather than caught in a trap, hauled off in some alien spaceship and strapped to a table to begin my journey “to that undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns.”