The Rocket City may have its baseball Trash Pandas, but they’re not the only game in town. Redstone Arsenal has its own furry masked varmints as well.
“We’ve had calls about raccoons in trash cans and dumpsters,” Conservation Law Enforcement Officer Joe Wayland said. “We’d go out and get them and release them back out into the woods.”
Wayland said it’s this time of year when the installation’s animal population is out and about. In other words, it’s a busy time for him and supervisor Kelly Smith.
“You’re going to see coyote pups, young skunks, raccoons, possums and fawns,” Wayland said.
Wayland said there is a prevalent and diverse wildlife population on Redstone Arsenal ranging from the aforementioned critters to go along with bald eagles, bats, snakes (venomous and nonvenomous), bobcats, owls and even the occasional black bears and alligators.
“There aren’t any cougars,” he said, squashing reports of alleged sightings of cougars or mountain lions.
Wayland said the coyote population has been down due to control measures and monitoring. Wayland said he and Smith keep in contact with wildlife biologist Justin Pflueger regarding the animals and Pflueger coordinates with the state on the regulations, particularly during the hunting seasons.
In fact, turkey season for this area opens April 1 and ends May 4.
“Turkey season is going to be good,” Wayland said. “Hunters are allowed four birds this year, instead of three but no decoys the first 10 days.”
Wayland also said hunters help when that bear or other unexpected creatures are spotted.
“Hunters have our cell phone numbers,” he said. “They’ll call and let us know.”