Thursday, December 5, 2013

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 the low fur prices very little predator hunting or trapping takes place and 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. Coyotes are after just about everything smaller than they are including your sheep and poultry.  Just driving on the highway we see large numbers of predators 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. 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.

Now that we are in the meat sheep raising business we have become very aware of the predators that want to put lamb on their menu. To stay in business 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 coyote, bobcat and 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 coyote, bobcat and raccoon really have no natural predators except in extreme wilderness areas or where mountain lions are present.  Trapping and hunting become the most effective way to control the predators in a specified area.  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 for raccoons and bobcats as they allow me to release anything I want and don’t hurt pets if they should get caught. Electronic calls are the most effective tool for me in eliminating coyotes along with traditional steel traps and snares. I encourage people to skin and have the furs processed for your own use when the market prices are low, 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


Anonymous said...

As a conservationist and an avid birder, I see the problems caused by lack of predator control on regular basis. Coyotes in and near cities are responsible for many small pets that suddenly go missing. Many of our game birds are fall prey to the large number of hawks, raccoons and wild cats in our area. Managing predators is never easy, but it is a necessity at times.

tjansen said...

Coyote's are opportunistic animals. I shot a Coyote in Clayton NM one Fall and shot a little far back. The stomach contents were full of sweet feed and Corn. Looked like he had been in the cattle feeding area of a farmer about a mile down the road. Well rounded diet .