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? about poisioning

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 12:22 pm
by Audrey
I have a question for all you wolf experts out there. I've tried researching it, but haven't quite found the answer I am looking for. I know that one of the more popular ways of killing predators was, and still is, using strychnine (sp) poision by lacing meat with it. But how exactly is this done? Is it injected with a syringe, is it a powder of somekind, or a liquid just spread on the meat?

I actually need to find this out to make sure the movie script is accurate, so if anyone knows, please reply asap!


Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:27 pm
by PhantomsNight
It's rat poisioning as well and can also kill humans. It can come in grains, powder or pellets. 'There is no record of the number of wolves that were killed by the 106,100 cyanide cartridges, 628,000 strychnine pellets, and 800 sodium fluoroacetate poison bait stations, but among the "incidental killings" were 246,800 coyotes.' It can be mixed with water to make a liquid if there is enough of it.

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:41 pm
by Audrey
Okay, thanks. Where did you get the info from?

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:45 pm
by PhantomsNight
A few resources; one talking about coyote and wolf killings in the 1900's, from one talking about the poison, and a site entitled 'Power vs Dignity:
The Wolf in Alaska & the Yukon.'

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 6:04 pm
by Snowy
Quoted straight out of David E. Brown's The Wolf in the Southwest: The Making of an Enangered Species (High-Lonesome Books, Silver City, New Mexico, 2002 reprinting), pages 39-41:

Traditionally, early southwestern fur trappers carried poison in their kits, and arsenic was a standard item among the trade goods at Santa Fe. Treating skinned-out beaver carcasses with poison to reduce wolves and lessen depredations on trapped beaver was common practice. Strychnine, a derivative of the nux vomica bean, later came into wide use as a canicide and a standby in predatory animal control. Wolf hunters used strychnine in various forms, and its effect on wolves was termed catastrophic (Musgrave; Gilchrist; Foster; and others).
In the heyday of wolf slaughter, from 1890 to 1925, several methods of strychnine poisoning were employed. Most common was "lacing" carcasses of prey animals that wolves were suspected of killing. Substantial wolf sign was normally evident at such sites, and kills were readily identifiable. Wolves most frequently pulled their victim down from behind, usually in the flank or rump areas (McBride 1977), while lions kill by breaking the neck or smothering the prey. Dispensing strychnine in molded suet cubes was standard practice for PARC hunters. Private and government hunters also habitually treated recognized wolf-killed carcasses with "raw" strychnine in sulphate form -- the specially processed one-grain alkaloid tablets or gel-coated tablets (Musgrave 1921, Gilchrist 1930). These encapsulating techniques sought to mask the strychnine in a wrapper of fat so that a canine, gulping the bait whole, could not detect the bitter quinine taste of the poison (Ligon 1924).
Strychnine was particularly effective in cold weather. Catalogued and mapped "drop baits" were distributed spokelike from an unpoisoned section of animal carcass that was wired down to a solid base to prevent the "station" from being dragged and scattered. To protect from raven theft, drop baits were usually concealed under a cow chip, a flat rock, or a piece of wood. When canines smelled the bait, their natural reaction was to snatch the morsel and quickly devour it.
Strychnine undoubtedly was responsible for a large percentage of wolves taken. Its actual role in reducing wolf numbers will never be known since many, perhaps most, animals taken by this method died unnoticed far from bait stations. Despite encouragement from government administrators, some agents, particularly older ones, were hesitant to rely on strychnine or other toxicants. Many were hound men who appreciated the danger to dogs. They were also reluctant to use a technique that might prohibit them from obtaining a pelt, which might be bountied or serve as a trophy to their prowess.
From an economic standpoint lethal chemical control eased administrative funding problems, especially when man-hour costs rose during periods of economic depression or when transportation shortages plauged the PARC. Steel traps required the attention of a man setting and "running" each individual trap. One trap could catch only one predator at a time and had to be reset or retrieved. Chemical canicides, on the other hand, could kill dozens of animals with less man-our expenditure than setting a trap line. The advent of civilization in the Southwest and the nonselectivity of strychnine, however, were its eventual undoing. Also, wolves and other predators learned to avoid strychnine. But the wolf's foes did not give up easily. Strychnine was replaced by more lethal and selective toxicants."

With luck, something in that answers your question. :) If you can find the book, it's probably one of the most comprehensive accounts of wolf extermination methods due to it focusing on one place -- the Southwest -- instead of trying to take everywhere on at once. A grim but informative read.

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 6:41 pm
by Audrey
Perfect. Thanks Snowy. It must have taken you some time to retype all that. I appreciate it. :)

I just caught something on tv about that.

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 10:35 pm
by Guest
Mostly (when people were alowed to) they poisened a large animal (horse, deer, cow, etc.) and left it tied near the wolves/coyotes den. The animals ate, got poisened, and died. I only caught a snid bit of it, but it was cruel to watch :blinky:

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 11:44 pm
by Snowy
Ten to fifteen minutes, give or take. No trouble at all, though. Glad it was of help :)

another way

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 8:08 pm
by Guest
Hunters also coat steel jaws with strychnine. When the leg of the wolf, coyote or other helpless being, there first instinct is to lick the wound. They involutarily lick the jaws and would die painfully. :erf: