As Spring brings “new beginnings” for the beavers, it also inevitably brings new beginnings for mankind - in the form of heightened complaint calls for roaming beavers who’ve now inconveniently “set up shop” in the wrong parts of civilization.
Word on the street says that hunting is on a national downward trend. That “word” clearly hasn’t reached the hillside haunts of New Hampshire, as thousands of Granite State hunters and trappers still take to the woods each spring and fall to take part in the outdoor pastimes that have been integral to rural New England life.
Pathologists with the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at the University of New Hampshire have been working on study of CDV in multiple wildlife species for a few years. The disease may already be having an impact on populations of wild mesocarnivores in New Hampshire and New England, including fox and fisher.
Thanks to my experience as a licensed trapper, I know that this time of year the odds are particularly good for Virginia Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) to be carrying around a litter of newborn young in their pouches.
When a density-dependent disease was believed to be threatening our fox and fisher populations, these same camps blamed the state’s trappers. When hunters were assisting the state with moose biology through harvest data, these camps were working to stop the state’s moose hunt. When volunteer trappers were assisting with bobcat population dynamics, these people were busy claiming the NH Fish & Game Department was “working only for hunters”. We now find ourselves all here again under the bright yellow circus tent of a coyote hunting bill, with the same jokers claiming the “moral majority” once again.