Pages past, July 21: Have guns, will kill prairie dogs
Last updated 7/20/2021 at 4:26pm
On this date …
1946: Brothers Charles and Lee Tosh referred to themselves as mortal enemies of prairie dogs. But the owners of Empy's Welding and Machine Shop also fancied themselves “humane” in the way they went about eradicating the little burrowers, the Clovis News-Journal reported.
“Every opportunity that they get they will go out and try to help the farmer or rancher by 'knocking off' some of the animals with guns,” the newspaper reported. “All in all, the brothers have killed thousands of prairie dogs.”
Their most recent assault had occurred on July 7 when they used their .22 rifles to kill 55 prairie dogs in a town west of Melrose. It took them 3 to 3 1/2 hours. A photo of the carcasses was published on page 5 of the newspaper.
They had plans to visit a much larger town and said they hoped to destroy a greater number of varmints.
As for the “humane” part of their mission, the Toshes said they think shooting the animals is far better than using poison.
“Recently they were on a 300-acre tract of land that was thickly dotted with dead quail, dead rabbits and dead prairie dogs - all the result of poisoned grain,” CNJ reported.
Charles Tosh had a telescope sight on his rifle, but Lee believed in the “old fashioned way - get close enough to your game so you can see them down the barrel.”
Pages Past is compiled by David Stevens. Betty Williamson contributed to this report. Contact: