inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #51 of 124: (fom) Tue 21 Sep 10 03:23
    
Even though it's illegal to keep ferrets in California, the sizable 
ferret-keeper market here is evidenced by the extensive departments for 
ferret accoutrements and accessories in the big-box pet supplies stores -- 
dozens of products like Ferret Glow shampoo ("specially formulated to 
eliminate body odors that are caused by ferret's glandular excretions").
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #52 of 124: Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Tue 21 Sep 10 04:11
    
They legalized ferrets in MA sometime in the 90's, but only if
neutered or spayed. Ferrets  are cute but they *are* a bit stinky. 
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #53 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 09:48
    
Yes they even have ferret magazines at my local PetCo. I have met
pet ferrets in San Francisco. And I have met confiscated ferrets
at the San Francisco Zoo.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #54 of 124: Mary Mackey (mm) Tue 21 Sep 10 12:11
    

As many of you already know, a mountain lion was shot in north Berkeley not
long ago (quite close to the world famous restaurant Chez Panisse). Susan,
how do you think we should try to solve the problem of mountain lions
wandering into heavily populated areas? Do you think that lifting the ban on
hunting them would solve the problem? If not, what might you propose if you
had the power to change the situation?
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #55 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 14:02
    
I don't think lifting the ban on sport hunting is the solution.  (Sport
hunting of mountain lions isn't very sporting either, dependent as it
is on treeing them with dogs.  Although there is room for disagreement.)

It's already the case that pumas (shorter word to type, same animal), are
hunted if they look like trouble. The puma that killed my sister's goat &
sheep was promptly shot.  Other pumas in that area, which stick to deer
and don't go after livestock, are left alone.

It's also allowed to hunt & kill pumas that are going after endangered
animals (Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep).  Pumas, like other predators,
have a tendency to specialize.

So the problem is that surplus pumas -- most of them young ones, maybe
without specialties yet -- who need territories go looking where we
live.  We don't want them to specialize in poodles and we really really
don't want them to specialize in toddlers or joggers or even to
experiment with them.

How do we keep them out?  A BIG WALL!!!!  No wait, never mind.  WIPE
THEM ALL OUT FOR THE CHILDREN'S SAKE!!!  No wait.  MAKE THEM WEAR
ANKLE BRACELETS!!!!  Maybe someday, but not yet.  PATROL THE
BORDERS!!!!  I don't think we can afford to surveil the vast leafy
suburbs of California with lion-sniffing dogs.

Live with them?  That's what we're doing now, but we're likely to
change our minds if a human or two gets killed....
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #56 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 14:05
    
Oh, what I should ahve said about sport hunting, aside from the fact
that it's not very popular with the wider public, is that sport
hunting typically doesn't cull a population in the way managers
want it culled.  The animals that get taken are not necessarily the
problem animals.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #57 of 124: Mary Mackey (mm) Tue 21 Sep 10 14:57
    

I would imagine that the weak animals get killed and that it's not the weak
animals that cause the most trouble.

So another question: is it hard to find things to write about?
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #58 of 124: Scott Underwood (esau) Tue 21 Sep 10 16:33
    
> PATROL THE BORDERS!!!!

We could guard them using ferocious lions.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #59 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:03
    
Hunters don't go after weak animals. In most cases they prefer to
hunt large males.

With pumas, they go after whatever the dogs find, which will not be
related to what the pumas are killing.

It turns out that there are far too many things to write about - I have
a long list. Quite a few of them require research, research being my
vice.

I don't want to use up subjects I could write about for money, but
there are tragically few of those.  Although I had one all set to
go (I had waited months to get my hands on the obscure journal
article) on the blog, when I got a chance to sell a story on that
subject to a dog magazine.  Which publishes at erratic intervals.
And which I haven't heard from lately.  So maybe it will end up on
the blog after all.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #60 of 124: (martyb) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:33
    
ooooh, dog post with obscure reference! I hope to read it one place or
another!
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #61 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:40
    
I have at least 3 other dog things to post about. Though one will take
a killer amount of research, I fear (single-coatedness).
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #62 of 124: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:44
    

Well, whatever you choose to write about, I will be waiting patiently to 
read.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #63 of 124: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Tue 21 Sep 10 20:32
    
My solution for urban cougars is not to hunt the cougars but
to hunt the deer.  Crossbow-only deer hunting week within
city limits!
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #64 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 21:15
    
I fear this will not find favor.


I wonder how far management of urban wildlife will go. We already
have teams who sneak up and addle the eggs of Canada Geese, and there
are places where urban deer are given contraception (not their choice).
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #65 of 124: Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Wed 22 Sep 10 03:49
    
We have the egg-addling here. My (dim) understanding is that it is
supposed to reduce the overall number of geese around by keeping the
ecological niche occupied with a non-breeding pair. If we took the
eggs, they'd lay more; if we shot the geese, others would move in. 

Net effect still seems to be a lot of geese, though; I keep wondering
why we can't just feed them to people. 
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #66 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 09:39
    

Canada geese are the new pigeons.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #67 of 124: Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 09:49
    
As for why you can't feed them to people think for a minute what they
eat. Making that flesh healthy isn't the same as purging crawfish for a
couple of days before a boil.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #68 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:16
    
Not sure I know what you mean -- what do they eat that's unhealthy?
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #69 of 124: Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:19
    
It's not so much what as where they get it. 
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #70 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:23
    
Where do they get their food that's ickier than where crawfish
get their food?
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #71 of 124: Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:31
    
Well, the difference is that a crawfish is small. Geese have fat,
which store toxins (so do crawfish, or they call it fat, but I'm not
sure it's exactly the same thing). I would say that a goose from Lake
Merritt, for instance, might not be something I'd want to eat. 
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #72 of 124: With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 11:16
    
Okay, I get it now.  Thanks for explaining. I wonder if geese are
actually higher on the food chain (and hence more likely to have
bioconcentrated toxins), though. They're not fish-eaters.

Okay, I would steer clear of their livers. And they'd be tough.  But
BOILING WOULD FIX THAT.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #73 of 124: Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 11:39
    
Mmmm. Boiled goose! St. Martin's day is coming up on 11/11, you know.
Head to Germany and find out why I never care if I eat goose again. 

I'd also avoid urban game of any sort. I used to gaze fondly at rock
pigeons alighting on the trees of my back yard, almost snapping the
branches as they plunked down, but resisted the temptation.
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #74 of 124: Gail (gail) Wed 22 Sep 10 11:58
    
Pay tell what is an "addled" egg?
  
inkwell.vue.392 : The Writings of Susan McCarthy
permalink #75 of 124: Gail (gail) Wed 22 Sep 10 12:00
    
(That wanted to be "pray tell."  I have a slightly resistant R key
here.)
  

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