It isn’t every day one sees a porcupine, dead or alive.
I was driving in Western Pennsylvania through the beautiful mountains on my way to Indiana University when I noticed what I thought was unusual road-kill at first. In my rear view mirror, it turned around and moved back to the swamp. It was a porcupine.
Apparently they are problem in these parts.
“Pa. declares open season on porcupines
April 12, 2011|By Amy Worden, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania hunters may now set their sights on porcupines - but only between September and the end of March.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission on Tuesday amended its plan to approve a wide-open, shoot-'em-anytime season on the nation's second largest rodent.
But the commission, over objections of wildlife biologists, lifted the 30-year-old protections that had made it illegal to hunt the porcupine, a shy, nocturnal forest-dweller whose only protection is its spiky suit of 30,000 quills, and who is rarely seen in many parts of the state.
The eight-member board voted unanimously to set a limited, seven-month season, beginning this September. Hunting is still prohibited during spring and summer months when porcupines are raising their young.”
“Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend or camouflages them from predators. They are indigenous to the Americas, southern Asia, and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Most porcupines are about 25–36 in (63–91 cm) long, with an 8–10 in (20–25 cm) long tail. Weighing between 12–35 lb (5.4–16 kg), they are rounded, large and slow. Porcupines come in various shades of brown, grey, and the unusual white. Porcupines' spiny protection resembles that of the unrelated erinaceomorph hedgehogsand monotreme echidnas.
The common porcupine is an herbivore. It eats leaves, herbs, twigs and green plants like skunk cabbage and clover and in the winter it may eat bark. The North American porcupine often climbs trees to find food. The African porcupine is not a climber and forages on the ground.  It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes forage for food in the day. Porcupines have become a pest in Kenya and are eaten as a delicacy.”