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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Danger on the side of the Road
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2008 05:57:05 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Fri, 06 Jun 2008 16:32:22 -0400, Hunter <>

>It has been reported that the federal government plants explosive
>lethal cyanide devices at the edges of federal lands to kill coyotes
>and other wild animals.

No they're not.  Nothing involved in this tempest in a teapot contains any
explosive.  It took quite a bit of searching to get past all the money-induced
hysteria on US sites (invariably the "victim" is trying to extort huge sums of
money from the government.) to find any useful info.  Finally in Australia....

The M44 is a small tubular device that contains a spring, a trigger, some
bait, a muzzle aperture and either cyanide or sodium fluoroacetate (the
so-called 1080) poison.  The muzzle aperture is selected to admit the muzzle
of the target animal and exclude larger ones.

The device is tripped when the pest animal sticks his nose inside the tube,
grabs the bait and pulls.  Hard.  The spring tension is set to exclude
smaller, weaker animals whose muzzles are small enough to enter the trap. When
the trip is sprung, the spring flings a small mist of toxin into the mouth of
the pest animal.

The device was invented and patented by the government in the 60s.  Though a
US invention, it is most widely used on the other side of the world, in
Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

>The devices look like survey stakes.

Actually, it looks like a cylinder of sheet metal with a relatively small hole
in the end of it.  This "looks like a survey stake" is the claim of ONE guy
who stuck his finger in one, got mildly poisoned and is now trying to, you
guessed it, sack the taxpayers of some money.

>According to a February 3, 2008, article by Matthew Daly, which came
>through Associated Press channels in the Washington Post, a person
>riding an ATV in Utah's Cowboy Canyon touched such a device in 2003
>and was sprayed with the lethal poison. He has suffered serious health
>consequences since the incident.

When you look below the thin veneer of the mass media (a challenge for a
pneumatic blonde, I know), you see that this is the guy mentioned above and
that he didn't "touch it", he stuck his finger through the muzzle aperture and
pulled on the bait with enough force to trigger it.  A quick glance at the
patent illustration below will show (to anyone mechanically inclined, that is)
just how much "touch" (no amount) or pull (lots) it takes to trip the thing.

>There are two such devices, one known as M-44, the other, Compound

Actually, 1080 is NOT a device, but is, in fact, a white crystalline powder,
the form that would be loaded into an M44 which IS a device.  Device,
chemical, device, pneumatically confusing.  It is normally
distributed for poisoned bait use as a 3% solution in water (from the MSDS).

>They are distributed by Wildlife Services Agency, a part of the
>U.S. Department of Agriculture. The stated purpose of these devices is
>the protection of livestock.

No, the stated purpose of this device is to kill predator and pest animals
like coyotes and wolves.  Protection of T-bones on the hoof is just one

>Unfortunately, the devices do not differentiate between wild animals,
>livestock, your pet, or a human being, and all off-road folks and
>desert campers need to be aware.

Since a mechanical device is nonsentient, it pretty much goes to reason that
it can't differentiate anything.  Duh!

It's going to be a pretty good stunt for livestock, herbivores, to a) be
attracted to the meaty bait and b) get their big ole noses through small holes
only large enough to admit coyote and fox noses and c) chomp down and yank
hard enough to trip the thing.

As for pets, if you let your dog run wild then encountering an M44 is FAR down
on the list of hazards it might encounter.

Humans?  Only if you're stupid enough to stick your finger into random holes
that you encounter out in the wild AND tug on what you find inside.  Come to
think of it, that is kinda Darwinian, isn't it.  The world needs MORE M44s,
not less.

>You can check this information out for yourself online at (www.
>, and let others

Such an authority to cite.  ABC news.  Like, hey, they wouldn't make anything
up or distort or lie or anything like that, would they?

Demonstrating the 50-50 crap-shoot of information that is Wikipedia, the entry
on sodium fluoroacetate (1080) is pretty good

(especially the cites), the entry on M-44 is, well, typically Wikipedia.

Errors include the mechanism of action of cyanide which was copied verbatim
from a newspaper article without attributes.  Sodium cyanide does NOT react
with water in the mouth to make hydrogen cyanide.  It is simply absorbed.

Only in contact with acid does NaCN release hydrogen cyanide.  That would
happen in the stomach but it is unlikely that the victim would have time to
swallow much and even then, the hydrogen cyanide would have to be absorbed
through the stomach walls.  Direct absorption through the tissues of the mouth
is much faster and is the principle absorption route for M44-dispensed

The original patent for the Poteet Trap Gun can be viewed here
The modern version has this entire assembly mounted inside a larger tube with
the muzzle aperture.

An improved variation, the Marlman Fluid Gun can be viewed here:
Most of the lousy photos of M44s appear to show Marlman guns.

I haven't been able to find a good photo of the modern M44 but here's a lousy

Another fairly lousy photo

I found a written description of the device on an Australian site that fits
this photo to a T.  Here is a drawing that shows the Trap Gun as it is
inserted into the outer tube

Note that the animal rights nazis and other propagandists show this photo minus the outer tube. I
found this identical photo all over sites that meet the above description.

Unfortunately this is a typical blonde bimbo post - all emotion and errors and
no facts.  Unfortunately this illustrates why the net will always be dominated
by BS.  It took the Bimbo maybe 5 seconds to cut and paste this crap from
whatever rumor mill it came from.  It took me the better part of 2 hours to do
the research to refute it.  BS breeds so much faster than fact, unfortunately.


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