Friday, February 15, 2013

Some Courses Use Dogs to Chase Away Old Coots

Don't worry, senior golfers, you're not the old coots we're talking about! We're talking about the migratory waterfowl. Coots and other migratory birds can descend on golf course ponds and waterways in huge numbers, causing all kinds of problems. Problems such as:

"... the fowls can really screw up a course. They tend to eat the grass seed and mature grass, too, he said.

"Droppings are a nuisance, of course," he said. "They tend to gum up the equipment and also the golfers' shoes. And during mating season, they can attack golfers."

Coincidentally, human coots can also attack golfers, although it's doubtful mating season has anything to do with it.

A local columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal was suprised on a recent golf outing to find the superintendent driving around with a dog in his cart, a dog he trained to chase coots and other waterfowl off the course:

"Leroy is my dog," he said. "He's an Australian shepherd. I bring Leroy to work every day with me, and I've trained him to chase away the coots and the geese from the course."

... Other than the dog, I wondered what other methods could be employed to stave off the coots. Brian said there are several, but none are really all that good.

"You can buy chemicals to make the grass and water taste bad; both are bad ideas," he said. "Floats with laser beams that scare away the birds are another way. Decoys work for a little while until the birds become familiar with them. Air cannons are noisy to the golfers and residents, and putting up fences around the lakes ruins the ambiance."

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