My setter knows “come” and “whoa” and snake avoidance. She’s vaccinated against rabies and rattlesnake bites. She will turn on a whistle and even follow a hand signal when she’s close enough to see.
She works at a range I like, stretching to find birds in open country.
Unfortunately, she can’t read.
And apparently, the ability to read a sign might be all that separates her, or me, from a cyanide-filled land mine.
Last week, a young man and his dog ran into an M44 cyanide trap. The young man escaped serious injury, but the dog died. It happened in my state, in my town, not far from a place I hunt grouse. And it scares the shit out of me.
My dog often runs at the edge of my vision. Hell, my boys are often running at the edge of my vision and they don’t read that much better than the dog. Worse yet, in this particular case, it seems like even the cursory protection of a sign wasn’t given.
I’m not anti-trapping. I’m not even anti-predator control, though I believe it does little to help upland birds. I am anti-M44. I can see no good reason for setting such a dangerous and indiscriminate booby trap out for a child or dog or anything else to find.