24 February 2006

Native Problems

Before I actually get into my experiment, allow me to briefly talk about a little idiosyncrasy of Alaskan life.

Farmers and gardeners in Alaska have a problem:


They're disease-carrying, noisy pests that will fly off with groceries left on the back of your truck.

This shot was taken outside of our pig yard, where ravens have decided to take over. Honestly, about two days ago, I was driving past while taking a heap of trash to be burned, and there must have been 40 of them congregating around the yard, on the ground, fence, feed buckets, or in nearby trees.

Now, normally, the solution to such a problem might entail something like this:

Or better yet, a good shotgun.

Unfortunately, native culture demands that we white folk not do violence against their ancestors' reincarnated spirits, which really doesn't help Native reputation, given their behavior...

Me: "Hey, did you see that bastard fly off with my pack of luncheon meat?"
Nathaniel John: "Oh yeah, that's my ancestor"
Me: "What, was Gramps a shoplifter or something?"

Now, we can still blast them, but at the risk of incurring a $500 fine and having it go on your legal record. But thankfully, when you live in a rural area, hunting for "natives" can sometimes go unnoticed.

Still, we're looking to do things a little more legally, and are talking with Fish & Game about getting a sanction for a deterrent. Basically, we shoot one, hang it in the problem area, and the remaining ravens pretty much stay away.

We'll see how that pans out. I'll post pictures when it happens.

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