Last week we were losing one of our free ranging chickens about every other day about an hour before dusk. Something was grabbing them right at the edge of our cleared yard where the woods start. I found a small pile of feathers for the first one, same thing on the second one. That time I told Rex, our GSD, to "Find" and he took off in the woods and don't you know the next morning the dead chicken was laying outside the coop. Rex had gone and found it and brought it back. About two days later whatever it is got one of our big Barred Rock roosters from right in the back yard and then drug it through the bushes and hedges back into the woods. After that I had to put a stop to the freeranging until we could find out what was happening. DH sat out two nights in a row at dusk waiting but didn't see anything. Whatever it is was getting very bold to come right into our yard with 4 dogs running around. The dogs were picking up its scent dozens of times a day and would always go running into the woods barking. But whatever is just keeps returning and waiting to grab a bird. We lost three over a week's time and about the same amount a couple of weeks earlier, including my pet chicken, Ruth who went into woods and did not return. Well, DH just now went out to barn to get a bag of pellets for our pellet stove and came in and said he walked right up on a big bobcat. It was 10:00 a.m. and he said it was a big bobcat just walking through cleared area behind barn. When it saw him, it took off running. He went back out with gun but it was gone so he fired a "warning" shot. It's hunting season here right now and the woods are filled with deer hunters. I'm hoping that if DH can't get this bobcat that the hunters will scare it off or shoot it. My chickens and I love the fact that they can freerange and while I know it has risks, I didn't expect that one of them would be that a bobcat, or any predator, would just move into our backyard and pick them off right there on the spot. We don't live near anyone. Just surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of woods. So why wouldn't this bobcat have a fear of humans? Why wouldn't it stick to prey in the woods? In any event, at least we know what the predator is, I was thinking a fox all this time. We are now officially on Bobcat Patrol.