2013 Varmint Report

rayrose(8)January 2, 2014

I live on a 1/3 acre lot that includes my house & garage in a residential neighborhood less than 10 minutes from down town Columbia.
Using 5 live traps, augmented by an air rifle, this is what I bagged in 2013 vs 2012.

Squirrels 54 vs 21
Possums 13 vs 6
Rabbits 7 vs 4
Raccoons 1 vs 1
Cats 2 vs 1

Except for the coons and cats, this was more than double the count for 2012. Since I only added 1extra trap during the year, I really can't explain such an increase over 2012.
Maybe it was caused by global warming. LOL

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charlieboring

It is probably due to the lack of natural predators. Fewer fox equals more rabbits. Regarding squirrels, they mutiply in cycles of about 5-7 years. I believe it is due to the natural fluctuation of the food supply, in this case acorns, which also are more abundent in cycles. The squirrel cycle runs such that there is an abundence during the years of abundent acorns. A year following the abundent food supply there are still an abundence of squirrels followed by a decrease in the population the next year.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 1:54PM
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JoppaRich(7b)

Trapping things that eat squirrels (racoons, cats) will cause an increase in squirrels.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 11:23AM
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mrsg47(7)

Do cats really eat squirrels? Feral cats?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 2:36PM
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rayrose(8)

I've never seen a cat or a raccoon eat a squirrel. Raccoons are nocturnal, while squirrels aren't.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 5:34PM
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alan haigh

I can't imagine a squirrel being successfully preyed upon by a raccoon. Coons don't stalk and they aren't as fast. The nocturnal issue of coons already raised probably isn't the only thing keeping them apart.

The populations of wildlife tend to be in a constant state of flux and the numbers I bag have fluctuated just as widely here over the last couple of decades. But then, my wildlife probably depends primarily on wild food- even coon numbers are way down around here.

In my region we are in the third consecutive year of acorn crop failure and wildlife populations are way down. I expect another year of very low pressure next season as very few will make it through winter. That would make it two years in a row of freedom from these pests.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 9:54PM
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strudeldog_gw

I have one cat that killed them regular when she was younger. Eastern Grey squirrel. and yes she ate them, well at least part of them, the remainder was on the front porch. She usually then vomited them up later in the house. What a mess.

This post was edited by strudeldog on Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 9:48

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 10:47PM
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NilaJones(7b)

I have seen cats eat squirrels and ground squirrels. Without vomiting :).

Needs to be a pretty good hunter, though one cat I saw just got lucky.

What do you use for an air rifle, and for how big an animal?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 1:04AM
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charlieboring

Squirrels are primarily naturally preyed upon by foxes, feral and domestic cats, bobcats, snakes and hawks. Crows will also eat the babies and squirrel carcasses. Some dogs are adept at catching them also. My daughter's husky killed 7 when he was just 3 years old. he is now 6 and doesn't catch them. In most urban areas your only hope is to trap them or shoot them with an air gun, which is normally legal in most areas if the projectile does not exit your property. I have found them to be quite intelligent regarding avoiding a trap after some of their mates have been trapped. Gardeners probably need a multifaceted approach - setting traps, using the air gun and putting the dog in the backyard. Also plant enough to be able to share the produce with the bandits that you cannot catch.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 7:34AM
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rayrose(8)

I use a Crossman break barrel air rifle with a scope(comes with the scope). It will take down an animal as large as a dog.

As far as planting enough to share with the varmints, that rarely works for me. If I adopted that approach, I'd never have anything left to harvest.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 11:31AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Well at least you will never go hungry!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 2:54PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

I use a Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100.
Powerful enough to take out a woodchuck in 1 shot this year.
I have taken over 150 combined between Red Tail Squirrels, Gray Squirrels and Chipmunks since May 1st.

I live in a forested area and the grays come in waves.
I will eliminate them all for a week, then 3 or 4 of them will come in 1 day.

I use Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for bait.
My neighbor uses Black Walnuts.

The red fox eats well here.

This post was edited by megamav on Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 18:36

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

I tried to dissuade a rabbit from eating just about everything I planted at work.So eventually I bought a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster,about the least expensive rifle they make,about $40.After missing a number of times and then realizing after sighting it in,that the front sight could rotate,I caught him one Sunday morning taking apart a Bush Cherry and made it do the bunny hop and flop that I've seen in hunting videos,but it took another shot to end it.When first bought,I wasn't sure if the gun was going to do the job at about 600 fps.
Although there are other rabbits around there,that one was the culprit,as there is no more plant damage. Brady

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 8:47PM
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mrsg47(7)

megamav, great looking fox except for his left hind leg. Its fur looks a bit sparse. What a beautiful face, though. We used to have them, but no longer. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 11:14PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

I think it has a bad case of mange :-(

http://foxwoodrehab.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/10/treating-sarcop.html

This post was edited by blazeaglory on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 0:18

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:16AM
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charlieboring

Next to the squirrels, the worst culprits I have are the crows and cardinals. I don't want to kill the cardinals, but will take out crows with my crosman. Killed 2 yesterday. Their mates came to their aid.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:54AM
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alan haigh

Seems like if you kill a crow and leave the carcass the word may get around. They are apparently surprisingly intelligent for "bird brains".

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:53AM
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insteng

I have tons of squirrels on my property but I never have any problems with them around my trees. I have several barn cats that keep them away. The biggest problem I had was with crows this year. They stripped my pecan tree. Since I am only there on the weekends they had free access. Next year I will try to hang a owl decoy in the tree.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:00PM
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charlieboring

The decoy owl will not help with crows. They are very smart and typically will annoy real owls to run them away from their preferred areas. I have not tried this, but you could try a motion detector attached to a water hose with strong spray stream. I saw it demonstrated and it seemed to drive some birds away. It provides a quick 1 second burst of water that startles the birds.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:39AM
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ravenh2001

local farm stand/lunch counter menu. Large pizza - $15.95 or 5 crows.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:33AM
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insteng

" I have not tried this, but you could try a motion detector attached to a water hose with strong spray stream. I saw it demonstrated and it seemed to drive some birds away. It provides a quick 1 second burst of water that startles the birds."

That would not work with this tree it is about 75 years old. I have to get on top of the roof and spray it with a sprayer attached to the tractor and I can still not get the very top sprayed. I might just have to try to shoot a few of them next year and maybe they will leave the tree alone.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:41PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

The decoy owl will work if tie to string hang from limb so swing in lite breeze and turn its owl has a motion that work. I can make Owl not work same as other, it method you use to make Owl work. And type Owl use solid Owl not swivel head type.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:02PM
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