Sherri’s Corner – Live Trapping

The best time to catch pests such as raccoons and skunks is in the spring and fall before they have had their young or before they become less active when it gets cold out. I took advantage of some nice fall weather this year and caught a few raccoons and a couple skunks. My favourite set up this past year was when I got a double header in my side by side catch alive traps with a skunk in one side and a raccoon on the other. (I tend to get overly excited about the oddest happenings)

I often get asked why I trap these animals and it’s mostly from people who don’t own poultry or livestock which is why my methods may be deemed as cruel to those people. However, I don’t spend hours setting up nesting boxes for my chickens, pheasants, domestic pigeons and ducks so that a skunk can roll in and eat all the eggs my birds lay. I don’t put together moveable outdoor poultry pens so the young chicks can peck at fresh grass and bugs every day so that raccoons can come and rip the chicken wire off the top and feast on the chicks. I spend a lot of time making sure my animals and birds are happy and over the years, raccoons and skunks have made short work of destroying projects of mine that have taken substantial amounts of my time to complete.

When it comes to bait, I’ve used everything from cat food to canned tuna but what I`ve found works the best is good old fashioned marshmallows, the big ones you use for camp fires and smores. The critters love the sweetness of them and it brings them into the traps no problem. The only down fall with them is that if it rains they do disintegrate a bit and they are light enough that mice and shrews can take them away. Finding raccoons is easy as they thrive in old abandoned farm yards with water sources nearby. Their tracks are a dead give away in the soft mud and setting up traps is a sure thing along any old buildings or even in the cat tails on the side of the slough.

Skunks will often be in the same yards as the raccoons and will wander into the traps too which makes for an added challenge if they can lift their tails. Skunk traps are handy for eliminating that possibility but they will almost always choose the bigger opening if given an option. All in all, live trapping is just one more way to get out and about before hunting seasons open in the spring, and it also reduces pest populations in the area as well. Anyone who has ever given their dog a tomato juice bath will agree with me there.

I also give the raccoons to friends who want them, either for tanning/taxidermy purposes or to take in to their fur buyer. Either way, I’m just happy that I am able to kill two birds with one stone per se. I hope this blog educates people on the why’s and how’s of pest trapping and sheds some light on the struggles of country living with livestock and why they need help being protected as well. Happy Trapping!!!

Octember 31, 2019 | Category: Blog, Sherri's Corner | Comments: none


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