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#556044 03/05/23 03:43 PM
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As a steward of land I feel it necessary to control the predator/nest raiding population. I'm curious as to how others patrol their property. As a backdrop, I'm in far East Texas, roughly 40 miles south of Texarkana. There are no quail, along with a very limited Turkey population. I have 2 nice gobblers visiting my feeder.

Any advice on reducing the raccoon/possum/skunk nest raiding population?

1) I have dog proof traps set to go into action.
2) I have a thermal scope also set to go into action.
3) I'm a remote land owner, but plan to purchase the "Olymbros Animals Alarm - Long Range IR IP54 Motion" system that will alert me to activity from 3 different stations to a beeping wristwatch during night hunting, pointing me in the right direction.

I would love to hear from anyone regarding predator control and how they do it.

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We don’t have quail or turkeys but have plenty of coons possums and coyotes but hardly ever see skunks. We catch and relocate some of them several miles away. Doesn’t seem to help much

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Need to team up with a trapper. The egg-eaters that they remove don't come back.

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I like to trap, but being a remote land owner will make that difficult for you. Trapping is time consuming. If you plan on being there for a whole weekend I wouldn't be one bit afraid to run a bunch of traps on Friday and Saturday nights. If you could spend a week at a time that's even better. Otherwise do like RAH said and find a trapper. Most of them are always looking for more land to set on. I don't particularly agree with relocation, that might just make them someone else's problem. Depends on the situation.

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Raccoons/possums/skunks/feral cats, all hit the trap door wire cages. TSC always have them. Raccoons and squirrels will hit the dog proof traps, but they're not as easy to find locally. I like the Freedom Brand traps because they're much easier to set. If I was a remote owner, I would bait the traps while I was gone, but not set the traps. That should make them comfortable entering the traps, but not allow them to suffer for 4-5 days. Rebait and set the traps while y'all are on the property. Disposal of problematic vermin should be quick and as painless as possible.


AL

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I am trying to increase our populations of quail, pheasant, and turkeys.

The raccoons get fat and happy eating my deer corn during the winter. By the time nesting season rolls around (April - May), I assume I have ravenous coons roaming the property looking for eggs.

Do you think they are having a devastating impact on our bird populations?

I live about 45 minutes away from our property. What are my best options for making a significant dent in the coon population?


catscratch,

I believe I recall that you may have culled a lot of coons at your place? If so, what are my Kansas regulations to follow if I get serious about reducing the population?

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Rod, esshup and I removed a ton of raccoons over the last few years, and esshup will have the best advice. I trapped and "removed" over 30 raccoons with the trap being in the exact same place in 2021. We wound up losing our Killdeer, but I just didn't have it in me to keep whacking raccoons day after day. I changed the way I fed my deer, and am now seeing far fewer raccoons on the game cameras.


AL

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Personally think the decline of birds is multifaceted. Since the bleeding hearts in holleywood started throwing red paint on fur coat wearers the populations of nest predators has risen exponentially. Farming practices and habitat have also changed a ton in about the same amount of time as there are a lot fewer weeds (forbs) and stubble in croplands now. Also aerial spraying pasture to kill broadleaf plants (seed producing forbs). And... disease such as avian flu is much more widespread now. AND... pesticides are reducing certain bug populations that poults need. AND... there are now a lot more birds of prey than before.

With all that said I've focused my efforts on habitat improvements and nest predator removal. As you know a guy can only do so much.

Here's what you need to know about killing coons according to the State. You could also follow the triple S rule (not that I advocate that).
https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/When-to-Hunt/Furbearers

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Here in Indiana we have trapping seasons for everything. BUT if you are a landowner and the wild critters are doing damage on your property (raiding bird feeders, eating your outdoor cat food, etc.) you can trap and remove the critters 24/7/365. Check with the local CO and ask them about nuisance furbearers.

DP (dogproof) coon traps work great, pre-bait the area with fish food, cat food and you will attract feral cats, coon, possums and maybe skunks. I have caught all 3 in the Havahart style live traps. I will put a 1/2 can of sardines in the back. DP traps were made for coons but will also catch cats and possums. I am seeing more turkeys and rabbits after trapping hard. If you use DP traps, make sure you tie them to something strong or use long enough stakes. Don't use a single or even a double strand of rebar tie wire to tie the trap down. Coons can twist enough to break them. I like putting a spring and a swivel on the chain in addition to the swivel that comes with them. See the next post for what I use.

I've had a directional feeder that had a rubber thrower flipper destroyed by coons trying to get to the feed. Whole bags of Optimal in cardboard boxes tore open by critters that got into the building.

I don't relocate - why bring my problems to someone else? Besides, coons will return to the same area unless they are moved over 7 miles from where they were trapped. Critters have their own home territory, and know where to find food there. Dropping off a critter that is unfamiliar to the area is more cruel (I think) than dying from lead poisoning. They will be fighting with the occupants, will be struggling to find food/water or become a PITA for someone else.

A neighbor that is about 3/4 mile away from here as the crow flies loves coons. He can sit on the back porch with dog food and they will climb up in his lap to eat it. He has Critter Control drop off the coons that they catch at his place. Two years ago my next door neighbor (with my help) trapped 33 coon, 7 possums and 4 feral cats that were trying to get into his chicken pen/coop. I caught 28 coon here that year, 4 possums and 2 feral cats. Last year I was having a feral cat whizz on things inside an outbuilding, and I saw 1, maybe 2 cats roaming around. The chrome wheel on the ATV rusted because a cat sprayed it over the winter and I didn't see it until I went to use the ATV in the Spring. So, I put out a Havahart trap with either fish food or sardines as bait.

I caught the 2 cats that I saw and said to myself, lets leave the trap set to see what else is around. I ended up trapping and removing 30 feral cats (when I mean feral, I mean cats that try to run out of the cage and hiss snarl and growl at ya if you are within 10 feet of the cage). I am up to 3 cats this year so far and 1 possum.

I have trail cam pics of coons keeping deer away from the corn that I was throwing. Deer walk up, coon looks at the deer, snarls and the deer turn around and walk away. Last year I lost track of the coon that I caught, it was over 20.

Hey. vultures have to eat too!

Last edited by esshup; 03/06/23 11:43 AM. Reason: added some trapping info.

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How I prep coyote traps:


I really like the MB 550's for 'yotes. Don't forget that you have to dye/wax them before use. MB550 two coil I only use the two coil. Just because I trap mostly in sandy soil, and use freeze proof dirt (waxed dirt) that I make with dry dirt and paraffin. I don't need to use the four coil to break through the frozen dirt. waxed dirt

I will add a shock spring and a MB crunch proof swivel to the DP coon traps and I made my own anchors because of the sandy soil here. I needed to use 24" or longer earth anchors for the traps. I can pull them up with the tractor, or just bury them under the dirt after I'm done trapping if the ground is froze. After a year the cable is rusted enough that it will break vs. pull the anchor out of the dirt.

Berkshire soft ground earth anchor

swivel

split ring

shock spring

chain

I also use trap setter to make setting the DP traps easier.

Fireishot is using the Freedom brand, I have the Duke brand and use the setting tool. DP Traps There are DP traps out on the market that only work if the trigger is pushed vs if the trigger is pushed OR pulled. I only use the ones that are the push/pull type.

If you just want to target coons, then use mini marshmallows for bait. Very few other critters are attracted to them - maybe 'possums 'cause they will eat anything. I will use fish food pellets to attract critters to the trapping area. Simple and relatively inexpensive way vs. other attraction scents. Or just use a fishy smelling dry cat food.

Last edited by esshup; 03/06/23 12:45 PM.

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Interesting video. From Kansas too.

Now to post a youtube video all that's needed is to copy/paste the https: info and it will show up.



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Thanks for all of the advice everyone!



Al, what was your change on deer feeding?

I see raccoons at our broadcast feeders, and as esshup said - they square off with the does over corn on the ground. I have added some gravity feeders. I think they are feeding the deer a much higher % of the corn, but I can't influence the timing of when the deer feed.



catscratch, thanks for your notes. I had already read the Kansas regulations, but they talk about things like "running season" with no firearms allowed, etc. I know ZERO about trapping, so I couldn't even follow the reasons behind the specific regulations.

It appears that you can trap coons for their fur. However, esshup's video says prices are $1 for a 2x pelt. No one can trap for fur at that price.

I wanted to determine if I could trap (or shoot) strictly as damaging pests, but couldn't find any on point rules. I expect kill and bury is forbidden, but couldn't find that language stated clearly.



esshup, thanks for taking the time to write up all of your experiences at trapping (and for the video link). What is the proper waiting period between setting your traps and then running your trap line?

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
esshup, thanks for taking the time to write up all of your experiences at trapping (and for the video link). What is the proper waiting period between setting your traps and then running your trap line?

Here in Indiana you have to run the traps every 24 hours. Other states may vary. You can leave the traps out, but just not "set" them. That will save some time as then all you have to do is set the traps and then check the next day. Typically the critters move around at night.


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