In the pitch darkness, Jason Bullard resolutely put on his rifle and fired it at his subject. “It looks like one!” he muttered. Turned out to be a fuse box. Another candidate, once again targeted with a gun, appeared like a rock.
In this town surrounded by armed armies, anything that resembles an armored enemy is suspected.
Bullard, a cheery man in a camouflage shirt, with a wonderful voice and goofy beard, quickly never saw an armadillo in his magnificent west corner. North Carolina killed 15 of them last year. In the past two weeks alone, he has dispatched eight of those animals.
The homeowners, confused as their lawns were torn up by newly arrived mammals, initially saw Bullard as some sort of armadillo bounty hunter, offering him $100 for every carcass he took. we produce. But gunmen have wreaked such havoc on horticulture that dozens of people in and around Sapphire, North Carolina have now taken Bullard under, allowing him to roam around their property at night, armed weapons, in the hope of shooting the perpetrators.
The task was learned hastily on the job. The standard .22 rifles that Bullard used on the first weapons didn’t seem to kill them outright. One of the creatures disappeared in a singular jump, like a kangaroo, leaving a bewildered Bullard waiting. Armadillos emit a sort of humus-gray at night, a bright light that is absorbed by their bodies rather than reflected in their eyes.
Bullard, who is used to hunting wild pigs, said: “It’s like hunting aliens. “We don’t know anything about them. We can’t seem to kill them easily. They appeared unexpectedly. And their numbers just exploded.”
To detect armadillos in North Carolina, at first, doesn’t make sense. This creature has been a Texas state mammal for more than two decades, accustomed to the baking heat of the dry and flat state. There they are often seen as long-distance runners or in small-scale races, where they are made to run on a 40-foot track.
Armadillo meat was consumed in Central America, and to a lesser extent in the United States, where it was called “poor man’s pork” in Depression-era Texas and was contaminated due to the species’ association with disease. wind.
Sapphire, meanwhile, is nestled 800 miles and worlds away in the soaring Blue Ridge Mountains. This is part of a beautiful plateau where there is so much rainfall that it has developed into a temperate rainforest, with lush moss-covered ground and rocks among tall fir and spruce trees. Cathedral. In the fall, the area is a brilliant land of reds and oranges. The area even has a small ski resort.
When the first armadillo showed up here in 2019, Bullard got the call. “I just don’t believe it,” he said. “I think the woman has a marsupial and has a drinking problem.” But within a year, Bullard was spending his nights at the local golf course, speeding from hole to hole in a golf cart, killing punchers on the pitch like a Tiger Woods skirmish. and Davy Crockett.