Copyright © 2007
Frank Turkowski




“The melodious yapping of a coyote at daybreak sometimes causes fear, sometimes great elation, and often sets the stage for mystery, a mystery that has long been played by both man and predator. Professional wildlife biologist and philosopher, Dr. Frank Turkowski in his new book, explores through personal experiences the intricacies, informative and entertaining, the relationship between Coyotes, Trappers, Sheepherders and Urbanites. Plainly put, a must read!”

Larry Weishuhn, Professional Wildlife Biologist, Outdoor Writer and Outdoor Television Host

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Dear Frank,

"I enjoyed your book; especially, from the prospective of history of rural America and its culture. For decades America has depended on the Agricultural Industry to feed the Nation. Animal Damage Control is and was a vital, integral part; this book documents that important role.

Your book is great reading for anyone who remembers with nostalgia, a time when hunting and trapping values were a respected part of life and our culture. At that time or era, a good control agent was treated with as much respect and value as a good doctor."

Sincerely, L. Craig O’Gorman - [Fur Trapper, Wildlife Author and Entrepreneur]

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Hi Frank – "I read your book and enjoyed it with high anticipation of what you were going to be writing about in the next paragraph. . . Anyway, I enjoyed your stories of trapping and the people you met."

Dr. Jim Swafford – Emeritus Professor of Botany and Microbiology, Arizona State University .

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"The feelings author Frank Turkowski had plying the remote deserts of the American Southwest were intense. He experienced the inherent dangers from weather; geology; humans with criminal intent; vehicle breakdown and accidents; poisonous plants and snakes; thirst; and a horny, homely ranchers’ wife. Frank successfully dodged all the obstacles and survived to write a great book describing his life during his early years as a government trapper. My recommendation—buy Coyotes, Trappers, Sheepherders, and Urbanites—and take your time reading it. It is fun."

Dr. Major L. Boddicker Crit’R•Call

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"I am pleased that you took the time and expense to document your experience and knowledge gained in your PARC [U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Predator and Rodent Control] employment. Most of the people we worked with either couldn’t or wouldn’t put their knowledge in print. Long after you and I are long gone, this account of yours will be around for those who are interested in learning.  

True dedicated trappers have one thing in common; they never tire of learning or hearing of other’s experience.  This is why we attend conventions and rendezvous.  We attend gatherings to see demonstrations and to visit with as many trappers as we can.  When you read this book, you will find experiences that will probably never be repeated elsewhere.

The cost of this book is a little more than what you will pay for other trapper books available but when you hold in your hand the 400 pages covering many years, you will know you have something special.  Just the time alone to assemble these writings is impressive.

This book belongs in every trapper’s library.  When you buy this book you will know what I’m saying is true."

Monte M. Dodson – Former U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Predator and Rodent Control Supervisor for Arizona , Texas , and Oklahoma Districts.

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"This is an amazing book for sheep producers interested in better understanding coyotes and other species impeding sheep production in this country.  I can hardly put it down."

Pat Tirrell, Sheep Raiser and Editor, Shepherd’s News - Michigan Sheep Breeders Association.

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I’ve had many interesting times while working around sheep and with sheep raisers and have a lot of fond memories as a result of these experiences.  Protecting sheep and other livestock from predators was always a challenge for me and the ranchers.  Frank Turkowski

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I’m about half way thru Coyotes Trappers Sheepherders and Urbanites by Frank Turkowski Memoirs of a Wildlife Research Biologist and Former Government Trapper.  Stories about coyotes, other predators, Animal Damage Control, outdoor life and more.  So far, I’ve found it to be well written and a good read.  The guy seems to know where-of he speaks without being braggadocios about it.  Put it on your X Mass list & let somebody else buy it for you.


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Coyotes, Trappers, Sheepherders and Urbanites features the memoirs of Frank Turkowski, Ph.D., a former Government Trapper and Wildlife Biologist, during the early years of his career. As a young man, just out of college, the author worked at controlling animal damage to livestock and crops. The book’s main theme revolves around solving problems caused by various wildlife species such as coyotes and bobcats that prey on livestock and rodents that damage crops. The author’s work activities primarily involved using traps and other animal damage control methods that he describes in detail. Much of the text is devoted to his enjoyment of nature and the outdoor life. While carrying out these duties for the Predator and Rodent Control Branch of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Turkowski encountered ranchers, farmers, sheepherders, Native Americans, animal rights activists and a variety of interesting characters along the way. His workplace included ranching and farming country, deserts, forests, and mountains. The author’s adventures took him to Arizona ’s Grand Canyon Country, the Colorado River and Indian Reservations, among other places. He describes the desert, other habitats and their animal and plant inhabitants with loving detail.

In addition to describing his duties, the wildlife, the land, and the people, the author discusses our attitudes toward nature, agriculture and how we treat animals. Though the author’s experiences took place mostly in former years, the content of the 400-page soft cover book presents insights into how we manage wildlife and treat domestic animals today, and probably will in the future. As many of us live in cities and remote from nature, there is a conflict in attitudes between many urbanites, sportsmen and agriculturalists regarding our use of domestic animals, wildlife and the land. The author expresses his opinions about animal damage control, wildlife management, hunting and trapping. His insights into animal behavior and human nature are interesting. Even animal rights activists will want to read the pages devoted to the author’s discussion of how humans relate to other living things and the planet.

Turkowski’s (Turk-cow-ski) view is that when it comes to a conflict between animal rights and human rights, our species should take priority. He also suggests that in our relationships with animals, few of us are without sin. He reveals how many people who condemn hunting, trapping and fishing and other uses of animals, unintentionally contribute to animal deaths and suffering themselves. For example, he points out that those of us who love animals that have carnivorous pets cause the death of many additional animals that must die to feed them. In addition, the demand for pets with defective traits, inbreeding, and many other practices create animals with a variety of physical and psychological ailments.  As a result, millions of pets are sacrificed annually in animal shelters.  He states that we have rendered many domestic food animals that serve us into poor examples of their wild counterparts. Thus, we have an obligation to defend them not only against diseases but also against predators. His opinions culminate in a plea for us all to stop condemning each other for the way we use animals and the land, and to work together to make human/animal interactions more humane when we can.

In his easy to read style the author also touches on sharing campfire-cooked meals in the forest with Basque sheepherders, working with cowboys and Indians, and how a newcomer bachelor can find female companionship in a small town in a short time. The book is peppered with landscape photos and no-frills poetry about nature that is realistic and without sugar coating. The book is the writer’s scientific, creative and artistic view of nature seasoned by years of research, observations on animals and world travel. For those who would consider the book on its literary merits and format, it could be described as a terrestrial version of the classic - Two Years Before The Mast. Overall, Coyotes, Trappers, Sheepherders and Urbanites is interesting reading.