2000: WILD LIFE TAKETH OVER - All Creatures Great and Small Seem To Be Doing Well


We ran to get the camera to take a picture of the turkeys in the front yard. Not unusual to see turkeys, but the past few weeks between 35-40 are in each flock on Hur Hill. Local sportsman say its because of the drought. The spring rains did not kill the hatchlings, and they arrived in a world filled with locust meals.

Local reports say the population is at an all-time high. They're everywhere, like the deer.

Deer have been trampling all over the fields, yards and gardens this summer, a season that you generally don't spot as many. Hunters say the food supply in the woods is depleting and they're out in the fields foraging, and crossing the roads, much like rutting season later this fall.

Much of the unusual activity may be linked to the drought. There have been times that stream beds have completely dried up for several miles, and wildlife is forced to travel for a drink.

Then there is a rather new addition to our Calhoun landscape, the coyote. I spotted my first one dashing across the primitive road last October on Rattlesnake, between Joker and Little Creek Hill. Two of the critters came out of Doyle Fork behind our house, to visit the MacDonalds down on Barnes Run last fall. They fed from the dog bowls, to be shot and killed.

Bunt Riggs from Hughes Fork and Wayne Riggs of Joker say they abound down on the Little Kanawha River near Bell's Ford and the mouth of Bee Creek. You can hear them howling from Wayne's deck late at night.

The black bear keep increasing. The preacher (Rev. Brad McBee) had one lumber across the road near Jake Kerby's house on his way to preaching at Hur. Tink Starcher saw one in her meadow and Dianne Weaver one on her well road.

Lexie Miller, before he passed, saw a "thirty foot bear" come out of his holler. Another local fella saw one up a tree out at Joker the other day. I've seen three or four while ridge runnin' around Husk and Rattlesnake. They wallered the grass into the mud under our favorite persimmon tree last fall.

There are plenty of rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, fox and you name it. Living things are doing well so far this year, not to forget the occasional sighting of a mountain lion and the wandering Emus, who have entertained Calhoun folks this summer. Just sittin' and watchin' is part of the quiet life here in the backwoods.