Monday, November 20, 2006

Exploring coyotes

Biochem test #3 done... let's hope it went better than #2!

So, at someone's suggestion (thanks!), I have thought more about my coyote dream. Here's a better description of it:

I went deer hunting at dusk with a group of people. We were walking around when someone yelled that there were coyotes coming. Someone started shooting at them because "they'll scare away all the deer!" I saw three coyotes, two brown and one white. The white one was closest to me when the other hunters started shooting at them, and he turned and came after me. He pinned me to the ground and showed his teeth, but I knew he wouldn't bite me.

And then I woke up.

So... the only connection I have to coyotes is from my wildlife research project at St. Olaf. We got one picture of a coyote on a motion-sensing camera (the picture above). During that research, I seriously wanted to get involved in wildlife medicine. I had this dream while I was trying to write my application for Special Topics in Zoo Animal Medicine, an elective course that starts next semester. One of the questions was something like, "How will this class benefit your future career?" I've forgotten about wildlife medicine since starting vet school... Maybe the coyote was trying to remind me how important that used to be to me?

Chris thinks the fellow hunters might be my classmates...

Or maybe my brain is just acting out an article I read about how hunting predators like coyotes doesn't really reduce predation on livestock, because only alpha coyotes are brave enough to go after livestock. You can kill 1000 coyotes, but if you don't get the alpha, you'll have just as much livestock predation. Plus, killing predators increases prey density (like bunnies), who graze the same land as livestock, so your grazing land quality goes way down. So leave the predators alone!

Symbolic, or scientific? Hmm. Either way, it is making me think about wildlife again.

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