Go Home

daily dish

October  20

Wile E. Coyote v. Bambi

Wile_e_coyoteWhen local environmentalist Pat Kenschaft suggested on the Montclair Watercooler that coyotes might be brought in to address the growing deer problem in town, we thought she was kidding. She was not.

How would Montclairians like to import some coyotes? They keep the deer out, and have never been known to attack a human over the age of six. It doesn't take very many to rid a municipality of deer, saving the police lots of time and trouble, and they have the sense to stay away from cars. Coyotes certainly are not to be introduced without discussion and plenty of warning for people to care for their under-six-year-olds, but they might be worth considering -- preferably before deer cause a local death. Some municipalities have chosen this route, and rejoice that they don't have the deer menace of their neighbors.

Kenschaft, who takes her organic gardening seriously, fears deer the way other people fear thieves in the night -- although she's never seen one in her yard. But in her daughter's town of Arlington, Mass. -- as close to Boston as Montclair is to Newark, she says -- there are some coyote, and none of those pesky deer. "The towns all around are just plagued by deer," said Kenschaft, who adds that her daughter "for one, is pleased."

The denizens of the Cooler were less than thrilled with the idea.

Oh, that's a relief, only small children are at risk. As a Montclair resident with two tasty little coyote morsels, I would certainly oppose any effort to introduce a potentially rabid carnivore to displace the doe-eyed little deer.

Kenschaft called us back to tell us that her real nemesis in the garden is the woodchuck, but that she'd recently had some luck getting rid of the woodchuck when an opossum took residence in her yard. The other thing that scares off woodchucks, she says, is human hair (which you can bring home in a goody bag from the hairdresser.) “If you keep enough of it in your back yard, they know that this is not a place to come,” she said. However, Kenschaft admits, the hair has to be changed after a rain and it doesn't really look so attractive in the garden.

October 20, 2004 in Controversy | Permalink


OK I am gonna say it:

Leafblower ban? The "simple life"? Coyotes? Bags of hair?

Wouldn't Pat be happier living in a remote log cabin someplace rather than in a subURBAN environment?

I think the presence of man has disturbed her natural habitat and it is time for relocation.

Posted by: Right of Center | Oct 20, 2004 8:36:14 AM

I guess all those kids under 6 can fend for themselves. Natural selection at work!

Alas, coyotes have been known to attack pets as well as livestock, although the latter probably isn't an issue in Baristaville.

You know, cougars eat deer as well. Plus, that would stop the potential discrimination against the under-6 crowd and spread the risk to everyone equally.

Coming soon to the Luna Stage: "The Mountain Lion King"!

Posted by: The Prop | Oct 20, 2004 9:14:18 AM

Pat Kenscraft and I are probably polar opposites politically.

But as with many open minds, there are times and places where we do agree. Or we agree on the problem, not the solution.

However, maybe people should realize that whatever YOU think, or whatever YOU believe, she speaks from the heart and in what she sees as EVERYONE'S best interest. Including those who would dismiss and belittle her ideas while calling her names.

It seems everyday that this country needs some manners and, now, Montclair as well. This is not the town I wanted to live in anymore.

Anyway, I thank Pat for the ideas. Since I fear over population of the planet by humans, I think you are wrong about the coyote. I think 'The Prop' has a better solution with cougars.

As to the manners, I think some people here owe Pat a public apology.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Oct 20, 2004 9:41:57 AM

I have conversed and debated with Pat a great deal. Although I have never met her personally I have a good deal of respect for her -- she is a strong advocate for her beliefs.

But, Kevin. It is just a joke. A little humor.

If she is offended I will surely appologize to her.

Posted by: Richard O'Colgan | Oct 20, 2004 9:48:20 AM

First of all, I don't think anyone was fooled or confused with Mr. O'Colgan's Nom de Plume. Also, I'm not surprised by his reply that the use of a public forum (and this is a public forum) to ridicule someone is perfectly OK if it is done humorously. I think most of us are in disagreement with Ms. Kenshaft's coyote remedy to the deer problem. This is old news that was out on the waterheater for quite some time. Disagreement, however, does not mean that you should pubicly skewer her.

Posted by: In The Center | Oct 20, 2004 10:40:51 AM


Please remove the fake press release. I thought it was funny and a fair comment. However (you should see some emails I am getting) I think now people are not seeing it that way.


Posted by: Richard O'Colgan | Oct 20, 2004 10:42:12 AM

Natural selection would be great, but I don't think most parents would go for it. After all, we already don't have school dances, homecoming, dodgeball, or anything that might make people get picked last for a team.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 20, 2004 11:04:21 AM

I know Pat and respect her immensely but I don't agree with the coyote solution.

Coyotes have been known to attack domestic pets and small children. Not a great solution for a suburban valhalla such as Montclair.

A better solution would be a humane birth control program for deer which has been proposed in the past.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Oct 20, 2004 11:17:22 AM

I still don't understand the problem with deer in the first place-- move to NYC if you can't stand to have wildlife around.

If you really can't take it, I think a more realistic solution around here is:
Soccer mom + cell phone + SUV = dead deer


Posted by: Erin | Oct 20, 2004 11:46:17 AM

While we're on the subject, how about a plan to keep the soccer mom population down? :-)

Posted by: Miss martta | Oct 20, 2004 12:03:17 PM

I saw a coyote a few months ago only 3 miles from Montclair! I won't tell you where, because after the recent bear hunt, and the usual hysteria...coyotes may be next on our killing list.

The coyote did not attack me, it did peek from around a tree - it looked afraid of me, actually.

Coyotes do attack dogs - but if you want to enjoy nature, well...prudence would dictate that you might not want to tie up your dog, near the woods.

Humans get so hysterical don't they? I have a vivid memory of a Buddhist monastery in NY State where the monks lived in communion with bears, coyotes and other creatures that go "bump in the night". Harmony is possible.

Pat Kenshaft, never change, we wouldn't have you any other way.

I wonder who is taking care of those orphaned bear cubs from the Bear Hunt? Maybe we should send them to R. O'Colgan's house [only kidding].

Posted by: Nancy Mehegan | Oct 20, 2004 12:16:15 PM

I think this vicious, personal attack(making fun of her for being old? she's in better shape than most people reading this!) on Pat Kenshaft says more about the poster, whatever name he uses here or on the other forums he prowls, than about her.
And it's just a cheap excuse to make silly, insulting remarks and then say, "Oh, can't you take a joke?"
It has nothing to do with different opinions; it has everything to do with being nasty and snide.

Posted by: Martin | Oct 20, 2004 12:28:54 PM

who said she was old?

from "ole?"

that's ridiculous!

Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Oct 20, 2004 1:13:32 PM

A fake press release has been removed from these comments at the request of the poster.

Posted by: The Barista | Oct 20, 2004 1:52:20 PM

I smell a good reality show brewing...someone call Fox!

Posted by: Rock Me | Oct 20, 2004 3:12:04 PM

There's a woman here in Seattle who wants to ride our neighborhood of coyotes.

Interested in adopting?

There's four alone at the neighborhood muni golf course. I could trap them by hiding in the bsuhes and making a noise like a new Flying Bat-Man Suit.

There is the small problem of the air frieght of live wild animals between Seattle and Baristaville. But maybe you could scare up some cash on the flu shot black market.

Pay no attention to me - I'm just thinking out loud.

Posted by: pops | Oct 20, 2004 3:43:31 PM

I think we may already have coyotes in town. About three months ago, I saw what I would swear was a coyote crossing the crest of Bradford Ave while I was driving in from Cedar Grove. It was about 9:30 at night. The shape, the gait and the unkempt, straw-colored fur sure made it look like a coyote. I lived in Tucson, Arizona for two years and saw a number of them out there...this guy would have fit right in with them.

Posted by: David P. Powell | Oct 20, 2004 10:30:49 PM

Friends, let's just remember who ROC is before we trouble ourselves overly. After all, this is the individual whose postings gave rise (on several locally-based yahoogroups lists) to the adage "please do not feed the trolls." Treat whatever ROC writes as 'water off a duck's back,' in other words.

Posted by: Bill Courson | Oct 21, 2004 7:47:05 AM

In the last few weeks, two different people have spotted a coyote in our neighborhood. We live behind Bradford Academy. I guess they are already here.

Posted by: Jeanne | Jun 19, 2006 3:53:58 PM

Click & Jump to our INSIDE PAGES:

· In Case You Don't Look at Our Announcement Box
· Window Painting
· Flatulent Friar
· Ballyowen -- The Best $140 a NJ Golfer Can Spend
· Corzine Budget Gets MSU Calling For Action
· Open Space Call For Action
· Closed For Renovations?
· Thrill Seekers
· Heroic Dudes
· Making Montclair's History Demo-Proof

May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004

A Friend Writes
April Fool's!
Bada Bing
Barista Does the Math
Barista's Sunday Poll
Betty Says
Brand New
Civic Virtue
Comings and Goings
Culture Club
Current Affairs
Cute as Hell
Don't Ask: Dating in Baristaville
Flu Shot Central
Food and Drink
From the Crazy Mixed-Up Files of Raymmmondo
Funniest Home Videos
Good Reads by Neil Baldwin
Growing pains
Help Your Barista!
In Your Dreams
Intersections We Hate
Karma Violation
Lights! Camera! Craft service!
Lights, Camera..... Roll Tape
Major Dudes
Marlboro Inn
Movie Mojo
Only in Montclair
Our Favorite Diversions
Paranoia Beat
Parties We Crashed
Party With Baristanet
Photo of the Week
Pop Culture
Postcards from the EB
Really Freaking Weird
Scooped by Phil Read, Again
Scot's Photo Journal
Seasonal Decorating Violation
Seen around town
Seen in Cyberspace
Shopping With Barista
Songs We Can't Get Out of Our Head
Suburban Archeologist
The Daily Chat
The Sunday Barista Poll
The View from Her Pickup
Those Crazy Kids
Time Capsule
We All Bow to Java
We Ask Random Strangers
Where For Art Thou?
Win Stuff
Yard Sale Treasure Map