Saturday, November 24, 2012

Predator Control Necessary In Today’s Wildlife Management

In today’s politically correct environment the animal rights people keep trying to force the rest of us not to eat meat, wear leather, fur or use animal products. My belief is that GOD placed animals here for us to use responsibly and humanely. Whatever your thoughts the truth is that with fur prices no longer worth the hunting or trapping that has taken place in the past most predators are multiplying out of control in many areas of Texas. Raccoons have gotten out of control in our part of the State and are responsible for destroying many game bird and song bird nests. Just driving on the highway we see large numbers of them that have been run over by traffic each night. They tear up our supplemental wildlife feeders, bird feeders and make nightly raids on cattle, sheep and goat feeders every night. The bird nest boxes we put up are often raided and hummingbird feeders are destroyed on a regular basis. Nothing that smells of feed or food is safe as they come out every night in large numbers. Free ranging poultry is completely out of the question.  What will happen is that they will eat themselves out of house and home unless controlled. As the population increases they become susceptible to disease breakouts of rabies and other diseases dangerous to us along with our livestock and pets.

We have chosen to manage the predator population on our place so we can have some of them present but not enough to cause too many problems or have a disease outbreak. We will be hunting and trapping until we feel we have the raccoon population under control again. It is sometimes a hard decision for some to make but letting Mother Nature control the population is no longer something that will work in today’s environment. The raccoon really has no natural predators except in extreme wilderness areas and disease or starvation is not a choice anyone would choose for the population. Use humane methods and check your traps daily if that is one of the methods used. I like the dog proof traps and cage traps as they allow me to release anything I want and don’t hurt pets if they should get caught. I also encourage people to skin and have the furs processed for your own use, if you must remove something from the population it would be a shame to waste it if it is usable. Wildlife management decisions are not always easy so make the best decisions you can for the whole environment. Wild Ed


Thad Williams said...

Sounds like you're witnessing mesocarnivore release. It's when higher tier predators are no longer acting against mesocarnivores (racoons, opossum, fox, etc.). My guess is that you don't have enough coyotes on your place.

Wild Ed said...

Thad we are in a Sheep and Goat production area of the county and the coyotes are kept trapped and killed out for the most part. Another reason why we must manage the populations. Ed