1. Introducing Wild Turkeys
|Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)|
The Gov. of Maine website suggests that bagging a Wild Turkey is not a simple matter of aim and shoot.
"Turkey hunting is a secretive sport in which a camouflaged hunter attracts the wary bird by use of a call. Success is not always measured in the number or size of the animals harvested, but in seeing, hearing or conversing with this game bird."
Hunters claim that a Wild Turkey, with its sharp eyesight and sensitive hearing, is a far more challenging prey than a white-tailed deer or a moose. It's the level of conversation that separates turkeys from the rest of the wild game in the forest.
A glance at the Ontario government website explains why that province would be delighted to ship several truckloads of turkeys to the Maritimes. In 1984, 274 birds from the U.S. were introduced to Ontario as part of a cross-border wildlife exchange. In the absence of natural predators like wolves, the Ontario turkey population expanded to a number of about 100,000 in two decades. Described as a large, aggressive fowl with a voracious appetite, the Wild Turkey has earned a bad reputation, destroying crops and backyard gardens by day and roosting on decks and rooftops at night. The male gobbler has long, sharp spurs on its legs and these are typically aimed at the groin of any human who attempts to shoo him away. Experts advise turkey-plagued homeowners to combine motion detectors with a sprinkler attached to a spray hose to startle the birds. Other tips include tying balloons to the roof, or positioning bright fluorescent lights around the area where Wild Turkey flocks like to congregate.
When you mess with nature, you're asking for trouble.
2. Trailers for rent
|Backyard trailers installed as a permanent fixture in Cap-Pele|
Council members - many of whom just happen to own recreational vehicles - have overlooked the downside of permanent trailer installation in an effort to please a community that's searching for ways to make money through tourism. Turning a quiet village into a seasonal trailer park will inevitably create problems with waste disposal, noise pollution and neighbourhood security. Not everyone likes the idea of looking out the kitchen window at a parked trailer, particularly when that less-than-scenic view of a tourist campsite may decrease property value for the homeowner. Aesthetics haven't even entered the conversation for most proponents of the money-making scheme.
Letters voicing objections to the idea have been sent to Council, but already trailers are sprouting like dandelions on the lawns in Cap-Pele and I have a feeling that the bylaw is a mere municipal formality aimed at legalizing an accepted practice.
With two trailers on every lot and a Wild Turkey on every roof, this will be the summer for do-it-yourself home improvements: high fences and motion-triggered sprinkler systems.