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Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeOpinionStanding our ground

Standing our ground

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This is a story that is a bit of a departure from my “usual” storylines (but then again, I have had many stories that were a bit unusual. We are members of a church on the south side of the county, and it backs up to two large parcels of open grazing area. In the recent past, we have had a fit of critters coming under the barbed wire fence and making their presence known. In the last three months, we have had four Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes show up. One was positioned right where my wife would be stepping out of the car on Sunday mornings. (This one made a really nice western Stetson hat headband).

A few weeks ago, we were surprised to find a portion of our property “tilled up” around the perimeter of the area. Then last week, we noticed a large area (about the size of a residential swimming pool) ripped up, and it was part of our nice grass portion. Then just two days later, a second spot (about the same size) appeared, only a little closer to the outbuildings. I mentioned to the elders that as my wife and I live against a healthy wood line, we have had to deal with several different types of “varmints and pests.” I asked if they would like me to set up my trail camera, and there was no problem getting a positive consensus. Within a few nights, I had a plethora of piggies showing off their talents.

I did some calling around and found out that “swine eradication” is in high demand, and their prices started at two “grand” and up! Having dropped a 400 (plus) pounder less than 30 feet from my wife’s garden, I had more experience in the matter than any of the rest of the congregants, so a new adventure was about to begin.

I have a few animal traps of differing sizes, and from what I saw from the first pictures on my old trail cam, it should get the job done. Well, the pigs wanted nothing to do with this trap, but I did manage to catch two raccoons, which by the way, are not easily “re-locatable” when they are showing off their attitudes. Also (believe it or not), two large and noisy crows dined on corn from the trip bar in the trap, and they got caught! When I let them loose, they flew up into an oak tree about 150 feet from the fence line and hollered about their displeasure for over a half hour. We did some inquiring around and found an actual hog trap that was currently out of service. I set the thing up, and on the first night, a bunch of the critters all packed into it at one time. They went in, the trap door came down, and within five minutes, they shoved the door open (bending the rebar door frame). The following day, I brought some tools and lumber out to where the trap was set and proceeded to strengthen the thing. I had another trail cam (bought specially for this project) set up on the north-facing fence line, and it showed pictures of a lot more activity! So now, we are attempting to work two different traps with two different designs. The count that the cameras are showing is two momma pigs (sows), one big boar pig (at least 150 pounds), and at least ten piglets! The borrowed trap (on the west side) should stop around 3 or 4 of them (hopefully).

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Our church has some chain link fence sections (pulled down from a previously dismantled playground). It may be old, but I think that we can fashion a modest containment area. Once the animals are caught, they will be processed to feed the hungry (through a local mission). When we capture animals such as opossums, raccoons, and armadillos, it is not hard to find a place to drop them off and let them live out their lives at a different GPS location. These hogs are a different situation altogether. When allowed to live unchecked, they will get a family so large in number that they soon run loose through neighborhoods, ripping up finely-manicured yards and causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage. They have been known to uproot areas of landscaping the size of football fields in just one night. People all around these United States of America have had to deal with this problem.

This time around, it is our turn! Being part of a congregation has its moments. The love of God (and His people) brings a lot of joy (and responsibility). When being confronted with evil (or nuisance varmints), we take a certain amount of pride (biblically) in how our community sees us. We are not indifferent to the plight of those in the animal rights movements, we are merely standing our ground!
Photos by Steve Goodwin (via trail cameras)!

Photo provided by Steve Goodwin.

Steven Goodwin
Steven Goodwin
Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that "duty to country" did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.
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