Dealing with something smart...or fat.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chicks Galore3, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

    8,137
    140
    316
    Dec 16, 2011
    Iowa
    We had a possum a week or so back that I had seen, and so set the live trap. We caught it and got rid of it, but, alas, it had babies. So, now I've trapped another one and have seen a third. So I've set the trap again. Tuesday night, around 3:00, I woke up to a HORRIBLE screaming noise, like a mix between a pig and a dying rabbit with a bit of panther thrown in. Awful sound. Anyway, we looked around and didn't see anything, no tracks, no nothing. Trap was closed but nothing was in it, and the bait wasn't touched. I forgot to set the trap Wednesday, but I set it again last night. This morning, I found the trap tripped, and the cool whip bowl of cat food dirty and shredded. But no animal. So, I'm thinking I'm dealing with something other than a possum, because it seems to be smart enough to outwit a trap. (Or fat enough that the door closes on it's behind (hence the screaming?) and is able to back out.) I'm thinking maybe a raccoon, because they tend to shred dishes. Our trap isn't the best, so I'm thinking of borrowing my grandpa's and seeing if a different trap will help. So far, no tracks around the coop and no break-ins. Being super cautious, though. Putting them in early and completely shutting them up at night.
    Anybody have any ideas as to what this might be, or how to figure it out? (Unfortunately, my trail cam isn't working.) Or tips on how to catch the little (or big) bugger?
     
  2. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    21
    Jun 25, 2016
    SE PA
    Racoon. Get a Dukes dog proof raccoon trap for $13. Requires that you have access to a gun though. Will work for possum too.
     
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    It does not require you to have access to a gun...

    A lot of professional trappers nowadays simply use sling shots (a 1/2 - 3/4 steel ball bearing from a decent sling shot to the head at close range is quite lethal to most small game) while a Louisville Slugger or iron pipe to the base of the skull will also work...

    Another old fashion way trappers euthanize the animal (that I have never done so no input) is to hit them on the base of the nose with a club/bat that supposedly knocks them out cold, then step on their rib cage to suffocate them...
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  4. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    37
    93
    Jan 16, 2016
    Gross!
     
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

    8,137
    140
    316
    Dec 16, 2011
    Iowa
    I was really leaning toward raccoon, but coming home from a football game just now we saw a huge possum snooping around the duck run. Nasty. I suppose we could have both. : /
     
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    30,721
    15,587
    676
    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    You very well could have both... I'd still get a bigger and stronger trap... either of those will kill chickens, personal experience talking... :/
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,239
    462
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    On the first possum, when you say "we got rid of it"........does that mean it is now pushing up daisies or did you relocate it? If the latter, it may be the same possum?

    Otherwise, it most likely is a raccoon and a big one. I saw a coon fight break out once and the noise they made was pretty wild. There are raccoons and then there are the older really BIG raccoons. The big ones are pretty strong. A flimsy live trap might not hold one.

    For coons, Duke dog proof or Duke heavy duty live trap.

    But aside from that, are these animals killing birds or doing damage? Knowing you have them around.......and always will, unless you are willing to constantly run a trapping program to dent.......not fix......the population, it will be something you live with all the time. For all they know, you put the birds out there intending for them to kill and eat them. With nothing to impede their progress, why not think that?

    So predator proof coop and run at ground zero, and if you want to establish a wider perimeter of protection, start thinking about electric fences.
     
  8. RobertPlamondon

    RobertPlamondon Out Of The Brooder

    47
    7
    24
    Feb 14, 2016
    Oregon
    My preference for dispatching predators, once trapped, is a .410 shotgun. I'm a good shot, but I'm not happy with my ability to kill a predator with a single shot with a .22, even at close range. A .410 shotgun (which is about the tiniest shotgun round you can find), is much better, and it uses small birdshot that won't damage your live trap.

    If I had better basic poaching skills -- there were some marvelous poachers where I grew up, but I wasted my youth and didn't hang out with them -- I'd know just where to place the shot, and hit just what I was aiming for, and use a low-powered .22 round, smaller than .22 LR. If I recall correctly, .22 Short is quieter than a BB gun in a moderately long-barreled rifle, so it doesn't disturb the neighbors, and the low-energy bullet isn't likely to cause trouble if it ricochets into the next county. Or your shin.

    On the whole, my favorite way of dealing with predators is to shoot them outright, on those ultra-rare occasions when they give me a clear shot. Second best is snares. Snares have a learning curve, so I don't recommend that people start there. Third best is live traps, which make a better starting point, since you can release unharmed anything you trap by accident. You'll upgrade to snares (or run out of chickens) when you get a persistent predator that refuses to go into a live trap. Snares are like magic: predators seem unable to notice them when they're set properly, and walk right into them. But you have to know how to use them, and until you learn the fine points you'll catch the most amazing things you didn't want to, which is distressing. This is less of a problem INSIDE your perimeter fence, since few critters other than nasty predators will penetrate that far.

    As far as I can tell, leg-hold traps are super-expert devices, beyond the understanding of mere mortals like me.
     
  9. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

    8,137
    140
    316
    Dec 16, 2011
    Iowa
    Caught it! Or that least, something. A possum. Answer to Howard E's question - I was planning to shoot the first one (he had almost managed to get into the run) but didn't communicate that to my dad soon enough who released it a couple miles away. (What we did before chickens.) The one we caught has a scarred nose, and if I remember correctly the first one did too. So, probably the same one, which would explain how he kept on evading the trap. Planning to shoot it so it doesn't come back.
     
  10. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    21
    Jun 25, 2016
    SE PA
    Awesome! Great job! I would suggest setting the trap again, you will probably catch more.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by