In the early weeks of the golf course being open we developed a small problem . . . mud hens. Solid black ducks that flock by the hundreds and poop on every place you’d find attractive for a picnic. They are a serious pest.
Let me share a story about how we got rid of the mud hens at the Sunridge Canyon golf course pond. You see, the famous fountain lake in Fountain Hills, Arizona is covered with hundreds and hundreds of small black ducks called mud hens. They are a real problem, but weren’t much of a problem for us until we finished the golf course. Then one mud hen visited our pond. A few days later another mud hen joined him on the pond. Ron, our superintendent, could see the handwriting on the wall – more and more mud hens would join them. We had to get rid of the ducks now. But how?
We actually had a meeting about “how to get rid of the mud hens. There were many suggestions. One was to go into the pump station with a rifle and shoot the ducks through the pump station window. While it would work, it didn’t seem appropriate since the children’s park was just across the street. And we wouldn’t look good in the local newspaper as “killers!”
Personally, I preferred a remote control boat to chase them off the pond whenever they showed up. Although I thought it would be fun, no one supported that idea. And, quite honestly there weren’t any more solid ideas. As we adjourned, Mike, our mechanic, told Ron, “Tell you what. Give me two days and those mud hens will be gone.”
“How are you going to do that?” Ron asked.
“You don’t want to know. They’ll just be gone.”
Ron bit his tongue and said no more, and sure enough two days later the mud hens were gone and never came back. Now Ron couldn’t live without knowing what Mike had done to eliminate the mud hens. He sure didn’t want it to be illegal and get him in trouble. So he badgered Mike for more than a week before Mike gave in and told him what he had done.
“Really, Ron, it was quite harmless. The first day I bought a fifth of whiskey and a loaf of bread and soaked the bread in whiskey. Then my son and I tossed bits of bread on the edge of the pond where the mud hens sleep. Early the second day I collected the drunken mud hens in a burlap bag and drove down to the fountain lake. There I rolled the little drunks out of the bag right next to their old buddies. I’m thinkin’ they probably felt right at home when they sobered up. Don’t you?”