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John Harrigan: Runover turkeys, guns for coyotes

What's with this guy who deliberately mowed down a flock of turkeys in the road? Talk about a strange headline. Talk about a strange story. What&#';s next — &#';Man Bites Dog&#';?

This happened last Sunday, in the southwestern town of Greenfield, when a driver on Francestown Road turned his vehicle around to repeatedly run into a flock of mostly adult male wild turkeys, killing at least four and injuring untold others.

The impacts left parts of the car behind.

Roadside resident Petr Lord video-taped it all, with the driver giving him the finger while leaving the scene.

This made no sense to me, so I got hold of local Fish and Game district chief Craig Morrocco on Friday afternoon.

He was happy to say &#';We&#';ve got the guy,&#'; after CO William Boudreau and the Greenfield and Francestown police made the collar with a lot of help from the public, namely people who called the Operation Game Thief hotline (800-344-4262), and from reporting by WMUR television in Manchester.

&#';We have the person that did the deed,&#'; Lt. Morrocco said. &#';He&#';s confessed.&#';

But what, inquiring minds want to know, was the why of all this? &#';He said he was going to pick it up and eat it,&#'; Lt. Morrocco said. &#';He was going to tenderize it in the process, but he saw the camera on him and knew the jig was up.&#';

Pretty expensive Thanksgiving dinner.

The 21-year-old Francestown driver faces fines totaling $350 and ineligibility for a hunting license for one year, which he couldn&#';t get anyway because he&#';s never taken the mandatory Hunter Safety course.

Another unusual story comes from 2,271 miles to the southwest in Albuquerque, N.M., where a shooting range and store is offering two assault rifles as prizes in a contest to see who can shoot the most coyotes.

The professed basis for this is that ranchers are complaining about coyotes injuring and killing livestock — and also because many people just plain hate coyotes.

Sounds sort of like home.

Predictably, there is a howl of protest from people who believe that coyotes do and should have a legitimate role in the scheme of things, and most vocally from an organization called Coexist With Coyotes, which calls the contest &#';immoral and disgusting.&#'; And as with the case in New Hampshire, there is no protection in New Mexico for coyotes.

John Harrigan&#';s column appears weekly. His address is Box 39, Colebrook 03576. Email him at hooligan@ncia.net.