Hi Bosque, Where are you located within AZ, that might help narrow it down? I'm in Tucson and I've heard stories of raccoons in the middle of town here (saw it on local news) and a friend of a friend keeps getting his prized fish eaten from a pond by raccoons (prints everwhere). I haven't seen one though.
I have baited the live trap everynight and nothing. Tonight I baited the trap with peanutbutter and wet cat food. If I dont catch anything tonight, I think that maybe it was just a domestic cat that wanted to kill my pheasants. Food doesnt seem to be the draw.
Hi Bosque, I wonder if you have a bobcat. They certainly are over in your area. I have a friend that lives near Orange Grove and Oracle and he sees a bobcat in his yard every couple of days. In that case, I don't think wet cat food will do the trick for the trap. On the other hand, it would if it's a raccoon or domestic cat. It also could be an owl. I see one on the utility pole in the back alley often at night. They are good at getting into things. Sometimes descriptions of the damage can help identify the predator. Please keep us updated on what happens.
In the sweet corn fields where we use live traps, I had ran out of marshmells one night, so I used POP CANS... Raccons love something shiny! Still caught lots of the little buggers using just pop cans in the livetrap.
I used to leave baited traps out year round, but I was afraid that if I wasnt having a problem at the time, that the smell of the bait would draw them in...
Im starting to have any issue with something killing my ducks and full grown marans pullets. I think its a coyote jumping the fence again, as nothing is getting caught in the traps... Time to put the donkey back out with the chickens for a while!