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Experiencing the Outdoors;
Myth Busters
by Cory Boothe

     

Updated on Wednesday*:

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First off, I’m in no position to tell someone what they did or didn’t see with their own eyes; however, sometimes we as humans want to see something so bad that we do. One example would be coyotes with State Farm insurance tags in their ear. Rumors are the DNR stocked them to lower deer populations. Never mind the fact that out of all the excellent trappers in West Virginia, a coyote wearing an ear tag via an insurance company has never been trapped. Nobody has a gamecam picture from our good neighbor that is there.

Another great myth is that old rattlesnakes were stocked to lower wild turkey populations. These were rumored to be dropped encased in a balloon from a helicopter. Really? What does a rattlesnake do with a turkey once it kills it? I bet my house that one coon will do more damage to a wild turkey population that a dozen rattlesnakes. Raccoons raid the nest of wild turkeys and eat their eggs.

Jim Wilson, an outdoor writer from Monterville, once created a fictional character called an abbahoochie. The DNR’s phones rang off the hook with sightings of the mythical creature. Rumors of abbahoochies killing livestock grew to legends. People wanted to see it, so they did. The rumor made it all the way to the pages of “Field and Stream” magazine.

As long as we have an outdoors, we will have rumors of DNR vehicles dropping off crates with mysterious animals to control populations. Never mind the fact that it is more economically beneficial to just sell more tags and raise limits to get deer killed, instead of purchasing lions or coyotes. Each county has people who will carry the rumor torch and hand it off to willing ears that will listen and carry the flame.

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