Weasels - Day hunters?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wafflechicken, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I was a bit surprised today (at around 2pm) to see, well, let's tell a story.

    I heard noises from the fowl and I looked out the window. At first I thought that my scovy duck who was iced up had thawed out and was feeling his oats and mounting one of my brown scovies. After about 30 seconds I realized that what he had under him was a mammal. A weasel-looking mammal.

    I went out and poked them apart with an ice scraper but that little bastage stood off like 4 feet from me at a time and just LOOKED at me with my surprisingly protective drake's feathers in his mouth.

    He finally ran off by the time I got the 22.

    Can you catch weasels in the duke dog proof traps? Can you catch them at all? What do I do about this?

    Also, my drake isn't too people friendly in the best of times and is a bit freaked out after his heroics. He doesn't look like he's bleeding a lot but there do look to be some nicks in his neck. Just some red flecks. Do I freak him out more and try to trap him and do something about it or do I just keep an eye on him for the next couple of days?

    Thanks for any advice.

    (seriously? 2 in the afternoon in midwinter? Weasels are jerks!)
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Predators hunt when they are hungry. There may be times of the day when they are more likely to hunt than others, but hunger is the great equalizer. The Duke dog proof trap will not catch him. A box trap lightly set and baited with sardines or a fresh kill [​IMG] will work. Keep your eye on your flock this afternoon. They are brazen, and it may very well come back this afternoon. Good luck. As you have noted they are willing to tackle prey far larger than themselves.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    My last round with a weasel (species not known) occured at night. Most encounters I have had where weasel was hunting was during day. Owing to their small size and high metabolic demands, hunting behavior is likely any time around clock with naps interspersed.


    Tool / weapon of choice for such bastages if I can get close is a wiffle ball bat. Light and fast makes for rapid and repeated swings as needed to wack it into next world. A .22 rifle or air-rifle will do if handy. Dog is even better.
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen people trap weasels with the large sized "mouse traps" actually "rat traps", the wooden ones like the Victor brand. They nail them to a tree not far off the ground and raw meat for bait, what also works is a wood box with a small hole for the weasel to crawl into, but the trap just inside the hole so they step in it, put some raw meat in the box to bait the vermin in. I would say the box version probably would work better than the nailed to trees version as they seem to like to crawl into small spaces. Anyway you can google "catch weasel with rat trap" you should get many results.
     
  5. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh sourland, no need for the chair hiding. I get what you're saying and better to use it for something. Thankfully that duck, that I thought was the biggest milquetoast in the world, prevented me from having a fresh kill.

    Thanks centrarchid and blucoondawg, too.

    This is why I wish my dog would just run around the yard (yard is 8 acres) instead of just running AWAY. *sigh*

    I worry that the birds will try for the meaty/fishy food and get themselves in the live/box traps. I thought coons were a PITA. Apparently weasels are... unprintable.

    Side note - I've seen something similar around the pond. They swim but have thicker tails than muskrats and I noted a couple of weeks ago to my Dad that they moved like ferrets of weasels (the humpy run). Is it possible that these jerks have a nest at the edge of the pond and swim and use land? Because if so I can easily target that crap, I KNOW where they live. And I've seen Caddyshack.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    What you may be dealing with might very well be a mink rather than a weasel. They are bigger and even more brazen and will swim in water when searching for muskrats one of their favorite foods. A wooden weasel box made to a slightly larger scale might trap mink as well as weasels - just place bait in the middle with jump traps towards either end.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, all sounds more like mink. Trap sets for those can be setup as for muskrats. We trap muskrats with some regularity around research ponds and mink are occasionally caught instead. Mink seem to stay around a group of ponds only a few days before moving on but they do rotate back. We use connibear traps set in run of muskrat burrow.
     
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For weasel you could make the box fully enclosed with just a very small hole for the weasel to squeeze through, they get in the tiniest of places, the chickens shouldnt' be able to get in and rob the bait, though it sounds like mink you have there. They can also be trapped but you won't want to use rat traps you need either a box trap or actual leg hold or conibear traps, locate an are the mink frequent, like their landing spots or trails into and out of the water or a trail alongside the waterway, this is where to set the traps, I would use a small wooden cubby with fresh meat inside and have a 120 conibear trap set in the doorway so the mink has to go through the trap to get the bait, you must cover the box well with brush and other stuff to make the cubby look like a nice dark den not a wooden trap box.

    You could also try to find some fur trappers in the area they will probably be able to make quick work of your mink and be happy to do it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  9. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone. From what you say (and after looking at pictures of different weasels and mink) it's definitely a mink. He didn't come back yesterday but I hardly feel safe. I'll look into traps or finding someone who wants to trap it.

    Thanks so much. I just didn't even think of it as being a mink, for some reason I thought they weren't native to the area but looking them up, it sure is. Ugh.
     
  10. Gallus Sapien

    Gallus Sapien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2.......#1 or #11/2 foot hold OR 110 conibear traps should work for your mink.
     

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