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Predator/Varmint control

Rossignol

The Original Sheriff
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I've lost 3 chickens in the last week. I discovered the culprit this morning.

Soon after opening the barn for the day, I saw a red fox. I didn't have my gun on me, which was stupid on my part. I heard the fox late last night and knew we had been losing birds. I should have taken it with me. A little while after opening the barn, we saw it again briefly and not long later, heard a hen squaking from the inside the tree line.

I believe the fox has discovered that opening the barn means the days meal will soon be on its way.

Most often, my varmint control is limited to feral cats and possum. Losing chickens is a big deal and this fox is getting brave, and bold. It's had an easy meal that hasn't really cost it exposure or any threat until this morning.

So I'm watching for it, and while I don't dig having to take the animal, I can't replace chickens until its gone. And hopefully soon. Worst case scenario, I'll watch again tomorrow morning after opening everything up for the day, and if I must I'll set snares.
 

Rossignol

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I need to add, I have to first look at what the state laws are with regard to predator control on my own property. Fox is definitely not in season. So I may have to find a deterrent rather than a lethal solution.
 

John A.

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Don't know about there, but where I live, if I am losing livestock, I can do whatever I need to get rid of the problem.

Unless it's a bear doing it. And if that's the case, I would get less time killing a person than I would simply harassing a bear.

FWIW, if you set a trap, foxes like tuna and salmon.

But so do raccoons and bobcats and things too.
 

Rossignol

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That's what I'm still trying to figure out John.

I'm gonna have to make a call to the DNR because I'm having a hard time navigating the site for information beyond season dates.

My neighbor has said he isn't aware of being allowed to use any lethal means outside of the season so for now I just rounded up the remaining birds and secured them in the pen.

If there's a moral to the story it's check with your state DNR if you're unclear on anything. I'm always fascinated by the sometimes vast differences from state to state.

Thanks for the trapping tips John!
 
S

SHOOTER13

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With all the gunfire coming from your place, I doubt one more blast at that predator will raise eyebrows...

Dump the fox and don't think twice...nobody will miss him.

My friend had the same problem in NY state...his neighbor and him raise chickens...and they got coyotes preying on their flocks...and then the neighbor's small lap dog was found dead...That was game and match...

They set traps and actively hunted the yotes...end of story.
 

Rossignol

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You're right, another shot wouldn't cause even the bat of an eye. I just came in and there's gunfire coming from everywhere around.

If it were a coyote, I wouldn't give it a second thought. What I don't want to do is sound as if I'm advocating what may be against the law. My personal feelings are that a predator is killing livestock and I'm within my right on my property to deal with it by whatever means necessary. But that law may not fall on my side and that's what I want to get across as much as discuss tips and dealing with the critters.

I've heard some say there are three "S's" to dealing with predators. Shoot. Shovel. Shut up. But I want to handle this within the law whether I agree with it or not.

Until I get word from the DNR I'll stick with non lethal deterrents.
 

Pawpaw

.30-06
Supporter
Have you considered running a fence charger? You would run a bare wire around the outside of the coop at an appropriate height. If you wanted, you could run 2 or 3 wires at various heights.

They're made to get a cow's attention, so they should be very effective on any predator. As a kid, I got bit by them a few times. It never failed to get my attention! :eek:
 
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Rossignol

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I didn't even think of the fence! Heck, I still have wire for it and probably some of the posts laying around too! I used to have a low voltage power source but its long gone now. They aren't very expensive.

An update, my older daughter saw it this morning again. She grabbed the gun but didn't get out in time. As far as I know, it didn't get into the pen this morning.

I'm waiting for one of the hens to volunteer as tribute and sit in a trap. As of this writing, none have come forward.
 

Rossignol

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Lol, no I wouldn't think so! But I've tested them myself. But not like that.
 
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Pawpaw

.30-06
Supporter
When I was a kid, visiting my grandparent's farm, I was fishing in the pool when my father & grandfather stopped on the road. They were going into town and asked if I wanted to come along.

I packed up my stuff and headed over to the fence. I stepped over with my right leg, but as I brought my left leg over, my pants leg caught the top strand of barbed wire... the hot wire, of course.

So now I'm standing there on one foot and getting shocked every second or so. This is not helping me get my pants loose and is doing even less for my balance. To catch myself, I reached over and grabbed the side of the truck bed. Both men saw what was happening and got out to help. As soon as their feet touched the ground, they decided it extremely wise to turn loose of the truck. :eek: I had become a live wire to the truck and they both got bit too! :D
 

John A.

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I got tangled up in a couple of fences while working as a lineman.

The last time was probably the funniest, but I was mad as a hornet.

I was reaching down to cut it when the old woman who owned the property came out running and screaming that she'll turn it off.

The whole time snickering and snorting.

She had been watching through her window of course and saw the whole thing leading up to it and waiting until I was zapped to say anything or turn it off.

I was very tempted to cut her wire with my insulated kleins anyway but refrained.

But I sure wanted to. I was not in a very cordial mood.
 

Scoop

.30-06
... I stepped over with my right leg, but as I brought my left leg over, my pants leg caught the top strand of barbed wire... the hot wire, of course.
Who thought that was a good idea? Strands of barbed wire should never be electrified! Basic safety folks.
 

Pawpaw

.30-06
Supporter
My incident happened in the '60s. My grandfather had been a sharecropper since at least the '20s. Things haven't always been done the way they are today. ;)
 

Scoop

.30-06
I know. I worked on a farm as a kid, and I'll guarantee you we did dumber things than that! Mostly on dares, I think.
 

ripjack13

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Ask the DNR or town hall for a pest or nuisance permit. My farmer buddy gets one all the time.
 

Pawpaw

.30-06
Supporter
I know. I worked on a farm as a kid, and I'll guarantee you we did dumber things than that! Mostly on dares, I think.

In this case, I suspect it was a matter of the lack of money. All of the fence posts (except the corner posts) were cut from Bois d'arc trees. It was probably all he could do to scrape up money for the fence charger, battery, and insulators. Enough wire to go all around the pasture was probably out of the question.

Besides, this was way out in the country and the only way to get there was down a dirt road that turned into deep mud every time it rained. There was seldom anyone else around that might get hurt. Besides, a fence charger won't harm anyone. You might hurt yourself trying to get away from it, but that's your own fault.
 

DHonovich

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http://www.amazon.com/Chamberlain-C...1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

I run those on my property during predator season. They work incredibly well to know when a predator is around the coupe. There are also ones that have motion lights that help deter some predators (doubtful that it will stop a fox). I would call the town and try to get a permit to take the fox if you keep losing chickens. Trapping the fox is the other option but it can be challenging to do.
 

Rossignol

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That's not a bad idea, thanks for the link! Though we have barn cats too that come and go as they please. I'll have to look at it some more but that could get annoying, lol! But the fox has a definite pattern and routine which is that comes out of the woods and crosses the property to a particular ambush spot after I open the barn and its been every other day (though it hasn't been able to get another in the last few days). I've found the spot where it's been taking chickens, then goes back into the tree line and down, then crosses back and into the woods it came from. I believe the den is near the creek. I've heard them at night and it sounds the way something down when it's amplified over water and between the trees.

I too wouldn't think the lights would bother the fox. It's become very comfortable seeing us and the dogs.

Good idea and its something I'll check into some more.
 
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