Wildlife Management - A War on Predators
Kill the Killers
Because of the challenge of raising pronghorn, anti-predator feelings ran very high. Between 1912 and 1923, trappers killed 598 predators. They did not discriminate. Bobcats, coyotes, and wolves were high on the list, but porcupines, skunks, magpies, and even black-footed ferrets were targeted. Early reports always mentioned predators:
1919 - Mr. Beach has been successful in the extermination of predatory animals having killed 6 coyotes, 5 bobcats and 6 skunks. There are plans to exterminate all the skunks in the park.
A Game Warden’s Challenge
During the winter of 1922, Chambers reported: On January 1, 1923 we had twenty-one antelope. I set about to do better at propagation, but more troubles were in store. During the fall of 1922, I carried on a poisoning campaign against coyotes. I got 15, but as fast as I got one, another came... I was absent from the preserve during May and June, when I returned the herd was reduced to eight head, all does. Fortunately those eight gave birth to nine young.
NPS Photo Archive
For more information about the return of the wildlife to Wind Cave National Park select from the listings below: