Thursday, January 26, 2012
What happens when a big heart and a compassion for wild critters drives a person to do what the great state of Montana has deemed to be illegal? You get busted! Since moving to the Big Sky state the wife was been possessed by the spirit of Saint Francis and has been zealous in her care of all things wild. This zealousness equates into seven different types of bird feeders in the front and back yards, a bird bath that must be filled at all times of the year, and the scattering of seed around the yard. It has also equated into a smorgasbord of fresh fruit and vegetables for the bigger, non-flying critters--primarily deer--in the front yard. In the garage we keep a variety of bird seed because not all birds eat the same seed, thus we have seed for every type of bird there is. The squirrels love this variety of seed to pillage and plunder much to the chagrin of the family dogs. The result is a wild life refuge right on the Keener homestead smack dap in the middle of the community! The wife's big heart and compassion for the critters is just not going to let them go hungry--especially in the harshness of the winter.
In fact, the skunk decided that it must be a five star eating establishment and started making nightly visits to the Keener homestead. In one of those visits the skunk introduced itself to the family dogs. Maddie had the common sense to run, Dora (react first, think second) ran straight toward it and paid the price--sprayed! This did not happen once, but twice! I think Dora was doing her best Pepe LePew imitation and thought she was in love. The skunk wanted nothing to do with her. She was one stinky dog for a while. But it did stop the throwing of food into the yard . . . for awhile.
I argued that the feeding ritual was "baiting" and thus illegal in the state of Montana--which it is, but this did not stop the feeding frenzy. I was told the critters were hungry! But, I argued, it is a five hundred dollar fine! For me, if it has to do with money, I don't have to think twice about it--I stop. But you have to get caught . . . or, as in our case, turned in.