The wild West still beastly

QCS staff

Some may think the wild West is pretty much bygone, but not after hearing Ron Jones’ presentation at Monday’s Quay County commissioner’s meeting.

Jones, a wildlife specialist for the Department of Agriculture who said he worked at 39 ranches throughout the county, gave a six-month report that included coyotes and rats and skunks — oh my.

One of the main aims of Wildlife Services is to eradicate animals that pose a threat to humans, livestock and domestic
animals, like pets, Jones said.

His report included information about the eradication of 163 coyotes, one pack rat and six skunks that San Jon Police Chief Ben Gates said had been skulking around the San Jon School and may have been carrying disease. In fact, Jones said one of the skunks in the San Jon area was indeed found to have rabies.

Jones added skunks continue to show up inside the village limits and about 11 more were killed after the report was concluded at the end of June. The stinky creatures were also out and about in another location killing 70 chickens in two nights, Jones said.

A recent addition to the menagerie of beasts are feral, or wild, hogs.

A dozen were already brought down by Wildlife Services earlier this year with another hunt coming up soon, Jones said. The hogs are being tested to see if they carry any disease that would be a threat to humans or domestic hogs, according to Jones. In addition to a possible health threat, the hogs’ troublesome activities include rooting out water tank dams and wheat crops, Jones said.

Quay County Sun staff writer Martha Frost and Managing Editor Ryn Gargulinski contributed to this report.