Monsters in our woods? Or something explainable?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicknmania, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    central Ohio
    OK, mind you, I'm not looking for a solution....just curious what others think and it IS a cool story, sort of., except the ending. Three weeks ago I was awakened at 3:00AM by terrible screaming for several minutes, a loud crack, then silence. (gross). A week later in another part of the woods I found what appeared to be a muskrat, or what was left of it, on our pond trail. It was totally dismembered, the only thing remaining was a few guts and tufts of fur. I think it was a muskrat cause we smelled musk in the air all night. OUr dogs were barking wildly also, around 1:00AM, in that direction, normally they don't bark at wildlife. Next day, we found two three inch diameter brances of the crabapple tree in our front yard broken, with claw marks running down the broken branch, like something slid down. Two days ago we found poop on top of one of our outdoor chicken pens that was vacant for the night. I attributed it to a raccoon, as they will poop anywhere, however, I also found a broken branch on a tree next to barn with similar claw marks. (That tree is coming down. Soon.) Around that time my son and daughter (teen and young adult) and a friend, saw what they swore was a giant squirrel in a tree near our driveway. They know wildlife. Around the same time we began seeing either (this is no joke) either a giant rabbit, or a cat with rabbit ears. (I'm betting a giant rabbit).... (maybe there's more to global warming than we think?) Yesterday, the same day I found our dog dead, we found one of our silver spangled Hamburg banty hens in the woods. She had been totally consumed, the only thing left a few feathers and the grain from her crop (gross.) No drag trail, fresh kill, no blood, indicating she had probably been eaten on the spot. All that being said, WHAT IS GOING ON????? [​IMG] I dont think there's any relationship between the death of our dog and the chicken, I'm pretty sure our dog died of natural causes, and I wrote about him yesterday, what a horrible day. And, obviously , there's lots of predators in our woods, but I know the habits of most and can usually make a pretty educated guess on what it was that killed something based on the way they leave it (or not), that type of thing. I think that maybe our hen might have been eaten by a hawk, and it just carried her carcass away, what was left of it. Just a weird series of events. We used to have a bobcat in our woods when we first moved here, but have not heard or seen any evidence of it since more houses have been built in our neighborhood. [​IMG] Any guesses, speculations, anything? The sequence of events is a bit creepy. Oh, also....every single rat has dissapeared from our barn in the past few days. I mean, there are none. [​IMG] But we're mystified as to what happened to them.
     
  2. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    Definitely strange. Its nothing familiar to me, but there are probably other members who can make a very well educated guess!
     
  3. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    Fisher cats are on the re-bound. They are like a large mink and make a horrible screaming sound. They are nocturnal and eat anything. We have them here in New England again after may years of absence. So far they are in our town, but have not bothered us (probably because of the dogs).
     
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    OK, first let me say, I am so sorry for your losses. Now...on the lighter side...I am hearing the theme music from " The Twilight Zone" in my head.... " It was a cool, dark night....when we heard the eary screams...." Sorry, I couldn't help myself...ok, now...in reality..im thinking Fischer cat? [​IMG] I have never heard one, but hear they have a very eerie scream. Whatever it is....be safe...
     
  5. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Google the cry of a mountain lion. mountain lion's sound just like a woman screaming. That doesn't explain the giant squirrel/rabbit sighting though [​IMG]

    So sorry to hear about your dog! please keep us posted, i'm anxious to hear what it turns out to be.
     
  6. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    PS-Rats are smart and know when to bail out-lol!
     
  7. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Northeast Texas
    I was gonna say mountain lion too.
     
  8. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    Ok this gave me the creeps. I would be staying indoors at night!! Walking to the barn at night past the woods always gives me the creeps as it is. I hear screaming, I'm running.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    central Ohio
    Actually, I think the screaming was the prey. Whatever it was. It screamed until it's neck snapped, which is the snap I heard ( fortunately for me, I thought the snap was a stick, til morning, then I realized...ohh)....I know we had a bobcat years ago because it did scream like a woman being murdered, and one day we found tracks in our woods, but that's been several years ago. I'm just curious what would totally consume it's prey like that, even the hen's feet were missing, and, leave broken branches and claw marks..ewww...my son works at the zoo here and has ruled out fishers for the most part, we were thinking maybe bobcat? Bear? Huge raptor?
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    Come to think of it, we did have mountain lion sightings in this county a few years ago...it was big news at that time....they never caught it...hmmmm...
     

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