John Harrigan: Runover turkeys, guns for coyotes

JOHN HARRIGAN October 20. 2012 8:27PM

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

John Harrigan

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