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????? 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. 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. But we're mystified as to what happened to them.