A few hours ago, I was disturbed from my evening routine by a terrible battle in backyard. It was after dusk, and the hens should have been settled down. Ran outside as fast as I could to find the coop open and two hens perched atop of it. Two out of seven. Noticed an immediate musky odor, and knew what it had to be. Telltale digging marks confirmed my suspicions. Eventually found the remaining hens, frightened, some slightly injured (save for my rooster of questionable courage, who managed to show up without a scratch, from the opposite direction of the rest of the flock). All except for one, who happened to be my FAVORITE HEN, FRIENDLIEST HEN IN THE UNIVERSE. Will search for carcass tomorrow, for now plotting revenge.
I figured traps would be the best option; property is only a few acres, with a subdivision in the back, precluding the safe operation of firearms. And I do not trust my skills with the bow for such a small target.
So here are some questions that I hope someone here will be able to answer:
1. What legal issues could I potentially face in the state of Illinois for operating a trap (rubber jaw leg trap with a diameter of only a few inches) on my own property to take care of a nuisance animal?
2. What bait works best for a leg trap (I've read wet cat food, or meat can do the trick, not willing to use another chicken)?
3. Is there a way to keep deer away from the trap (they've been crossing the property like yard hamsters all month)?
4. What do I do with the critter/varmint after capturing it (fine with killing, just don't want to run into any legal issues)?
5. How can I properly shame my rooster for running away like Sir Robin of Camelot?
Thanks, traps should be here in about a week, will be doing research on my own as well, but would like the insight of the knowledgeable members of this forum, particularly those who have experience de-foxing their property.