Weatherford Democrat


July 9, 2012

COLUMN: Putting the cat back in the bag

— Last week I contracted with Tim Carter Dozer Service to come down to the pore farm to repair some damage caused by the recent heavy rain we received in this part of the county. A couple of weeks earlier, we received 3.6 inches of rain in less than an hour, along with some severe winds. It made quite a mess, and necessitated a bulldozer larger than mine to resolve the problems. After repairing the critical areas, I had the operator, Wes Fain, do a little extra cosmetic work along the river bottom. He cut a creek crossing and cleared some trails through heavy brushy areas — “senderos,” as they would call them in South Texas.

Later that evening, as my wife Helen and I were checking things out on our “Mule” ATV, a beautiful bobcat came bounding across the newly cut clearing in front of us. What a magnificent specimen it was! My fat red dog was in hot pursuit, but thankfully for both of them she never caught the big cat. To me it’s a special treat to see such an elusive and beautiful creature in the wild, and in recent years, I’ve seen them quite frequently. I remarked to Helen that seeing this one bobcat was worth twice what it cost to clear the trail we were traveling.

As Parker County grows in population density and urban sprawl overtakes us, many wildlife species are finding it harder and harder to adapt to a changing environment. Yet some, like whitetail deer and coyotes, are flourishing. During my lifetime, I’ve seen dramatic changes to our wildlife. Sixty years ago we had neither deer nor coyotes. They are now our most dominant species. Although an invasive species, feral hogs are also now proliferating. Others have not fared so well, perhaps because of the success of competing species. Bobwhite quail, once a prominent player, are all but extinct, probably because of imported fireants. I haven’t heard a bullfrog, seen a horned toad, smelled a civet cat, or seen a jackrabbit in a decade or more. The environment is a very fragile thing which can be dealt tragic consequences by a seemingly minor influence.

When I was a youngster, bobcats were quite rare. Hunting pressures and farmers guarding their poultry had decimated their numbers. Today we are more tolerant of such predators, allowing them to increase in numbers. Additionally, countless deer feeders sling corn which attracts rodents, providing the bobcats a veritable smorgasbord of tasty treats. It’s wonderful to see this comeback of such a beautiful animal.

Several years back, a neighbor of mine, Dave Hale, caught a large male bobcat in a live trap. I was later told that a few of Dave’s friends gathered around that evening enjoying a significant amount of cold adult beverages and admiring his new “pet.” One of these newly created rocket scientists wagered that he could reach in the trap wearing a pair of long welding gloves and catch the bobcat. Bets were made, gloves were donned, and sure enough, he reached in there and easily caught the cat. Putting him back, I understand, was a whole ‘nuther story.

Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy Commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to

Text Only
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I have been corrected

    I was complaining about President Obama making promises that he has not kept, such as taxes will not go up one dime or health care will go down about $2,500 per year for a family of four. He said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He said he would have an immigration plan in place. What he really meant was that if Congress would allow it, we would have open borders.

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating