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Old 04-23-2012, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,917 posts, read 12,707,639 times
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Providing you don’t have an animal foaming at the mouth; most animals only want to get away from you and the trap. Also; most of these “dangerous” animals were caught at night. It would probably be more likely that you could catch an animal with distemper - which looks very similar to rabies. I am not suggesting that you should take any chances of getting scratched or bitten - then you would have to go though with the rabies treatment (especially if the animal escaped).

I believe that my state of PA discourages the relocation of animals like skunks and raccoons. I think that they are afraid of the spread of disease such as distemper, rabies, and that raccoon roundworm. I would check with your local (state) game regulations before I even set any trap. It might require a license and fees or the destruction of the animal you catch?

PS I would take the trap out of the pickup and place it on the ground with an unobstructed escape path - you don’t want them to feel trapped.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patriot201 View Post
You would allow the animal to suffer by drowning it? That would be torturing the animal!

I hate skunks. Absolutely hate them. But I would never encourage inhumane, purposeful torture of any animal, even one as obnoxious as a skunk. They are still animals and deserve humane treatment.
Disgusting, huh?

It takes several agonizing minutes for an animal to die by drowning and it has to be one of the most purposefully INhumane ways to kill something.

I know people who have no problems shooting and killing skunks, 'possums, raccoons, and even stray cats (much to MY dismay) but who would never, ever consider killing an animal by drowning it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brrrinmass View Post
How about opposums? Are they nasty critters? Do I have to be careful when releasing these from the hav-a-hart traps. My plan is always to stand in the bed of the pick-up truck and "dump" them out the back. Spoken like a true city boy, I know ha ha ha.
In my opinion, 'possums tend to get a bad rap. I really don't see them as being the nasty, vile creatures that most people see them to be.

I even have a bumper sticker on my car that says, "I Brake for 'Possums."

The biggest problem with 'possums is that they are scavengers. And because of that, they will get into your garbage if they can. But I also tend to think they're pretty much lazy and opportunistic and they're really not that willing to work too hard for their food and will move on to easier pickings if they can't find what they want where they're at.

They are also pretty transient by nature and I find that if you just leave them alone and don't make things too easy for them, they're going to move on after a couple of weeks anyway.

I know that a lot of people who keep poultry (like I do) think the 'possum is a major menace but a few years ago, when I was losing chickens ad ducks to something, and knowing that we did have a 'possum hanging around here at the time, my son went on-line and did some research on them, and from that research, we determined that it is very unlikely that a 'possum could take down a full-size bird (I hesitate to never say "never," though). By virtue of their body shape and the way their front legs are shaped, and the fact that they are really very slow, catching and killing adult poultry would be pretty difficult. That's not to say that they couldn't get a broody hen off the nest, or run one off the nest and get the eggs or babies - I just tend to think that when people claim to have caught a 'possum "in the act," that what they are really seeing is a 'possum, being the scavenger that it is, cleaning up the mess of another, more vicious, fast, and efficient predator - like a raccoon.

So, I tend to just leave them alone when I see them. If it looks like they're getting a little comfortable around my poultry, I will trap and relocate, but I find they really don't stick around for long anyway.

We had one here for awhile that the first time I saw it, it was trying to get into my tub of chicken food that was in the carport. I started putting out a little dog food for it onto the back porch every day, which kept it from trying to get into the chicken food, and it hung around for a few weeks. The dogs got used to it being here, it got so it wasn't afraid of the dogs or cats or me and the kids, and would actually hang around with us when we were outside during the day. One time, I heard my kids laughing like crazy and I went out to see what was going on and they said that one of the younger cats had found this old dead, dried up bird and was carrying it around in its mouth, and that 'possum had run up and grabbed the bird out of the cat's mouth and had run under the house with it.

Even though that silly 'possum got so that we could have petted it if we wanted to (we didn't - it was still a wild animal and I wasn't going to risk getting bit), and as easy as he had it here, with all the free dog food he could eat, one day, he was just......gone.

One evening, I was coming out of the grocery store, and as I walked up to my car, there was a kid standing there, looking at my bumper sticker while his mom put their groceries into their car. The kid asked me if that was my car and when I told him, "yes," he said that he liked the bumper sticker. Then he and his mom proceeded to tell me that in spring and early summer, they look for roadkill 'possum - and rescue and raise up any babies they find. I told her that I have heard about people doing that, and that I always look for babies as I pass by, but I've never seen any. What she does is to actually carry a "kit" in her car, with stuff like gloves and probably a long stick or some other stuff, and when she sees a dead 'possum on the road, she will actually get out and move the carcass around and spread the guts around, looking for the babies. She told me it's amazing how many actually survive when it looks like there isn't much left of the mom. She then takes them home and feeds them an actual 'possum "milk replacer" that she gets from some vet in the midwest.

I told her that I have heard that they can make good pets - that they can be trained to use a litter box even. She told me, 'no,' that they reach an age where they are NOT good pets and she always turns them loose when they're old enough to fend for themselves.
Quote:
Do I have to be careful when releasing these from the hav-a-hart traps.
You don't want to be sticking your fingers in the trap or anything. Just take some normal precautions - open the door and step back, make sure there is plenty of open space for that 'possum to get away from YOU (because that's what he's going to want to do) when he comes out. They're not going to come roaring out of the trap and chase you down and attack you.

There is one bad thing, through no fault of their own, that 'possums are responsible for and that is "'possum disease."
Quote:

[SIZE=4]The adult organism is carried by certain birds and, to a lesser extent, insects. Once within a bird, the adult will produce millions of sarcocysts (juvenile stages). These encyst within the bird’s muscles and stay. When the bird dies, the opossum shows up and has bird for dinner. These sarcocysts start reproducing within the opossum’s intestines, and produce an immature stage, the oocyte. These are passed with the stool wherever the possum goes, which is often over the grass in the field, the hay in the barn, and grain wherever it can be found. The oocytes will stay alive within the stool for over a yearif not ingested. If a bird picks up grain with the infected manure on it, they become infected and reproduction starts over again. If the horse ingests any with the feed or forage the sarcocysts take a different route.

EPM Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis
[/SIZE]
I knew a guy who spent thousands of dollars trying to save his horse that was diagnosed with this - and he ended up losing the horse anyway.

Last edited by Cinebar; 04-23-2012 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,308 posts, read 35,223,064 times
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My experience is that skunks aren't very timid creatures... Not exactly shrinking violets. If you shoot at them they subscribe to the Chesty Puller method.

I would caution anyone who is attempting to relocate a skunk to NOT expose themselves to the skunk's business end (which is really any end) under any circumstances. The skunk probably isn't scared of you, it is far more likely that the skunk is mad at you and wants to ruin your day. Further, the skunk will not appreciate that your graceful accommodation is borne out of a good natured appreciation of the brotherhood of species - he just wants to get you.

Failing better laid plans, I would probably put a pattern of #8 shot through my blanket and trap before I drowned the skunk... But, then again, I probably wouldn't pass any judgement on someone who did - particularly if that person had been sprayed before.

I caught my first possum by the tail when I was about six, much to the chagrin of my mother. I have never had any cause of action against their tribe other than playful harrassment (I think that the only North American marsupial is actually a bit of an endearing distinction), but after reading the article above I know why the horse ranchers down the road kill them on sight.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 8,970,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post

Failing better laid plans, I would probably put a pattern of #8 shot through my blanket and trap before I drowned the skunk... But, then again, I probably wouldn't pass any judgement on someone who did - particularly if that person had been sprayed before.
So.....you see nothing wrong with a slow, agonizing death by drowning, for an animal?

Last edited by Cinebar; 04-23-2012 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,308 posts, read 35,223,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinebar View Post
So.....you see nothing wrong with a slow, agonizing death by drowning, for an animal?
I would like to point out that I said "...then again, I probably wouldn't pass any judgement on someone who did - particularly if that person had been sprayed before." and you heard "I see nothing wrong with a slow, agonizing death by drowning for an animal." Weakly predicting a personal refusal to pass judgment does not equal an endorsement of torture.

Like you, I've never seen it done and I doubt that I ever will so we're both shooting from the hip as far as experience is concerned, but from what I understand about the processes of mammalian metabolism it probably isn't that slow; I can't speak to agonizing.

I can tell you that a skunk aggressively pushing an assault on you merely for walking too close and getting that nasty junk on your face (which IS agonizing - uncontrollable wretching, persistent chemical burn sensation in your eyes, sinuses, throat and mouth - the persistent odor is just bonus) may change your perspective on the general acceptability of skunks on your property. Just maybe.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,917 posts, read 12,707,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
I would like to point out that I said "...then again, I probably wouldn't pass any judgement on someone who did - particularly if that person had been sprayed before." and you heard "I see nothing wrong with a slow, agonizing death by drowning for an animal." Weakly predicting a personal refusal to pass judgment does not equal an endorsement of torture.

Like you, I've never seen it done and I doubt that I ever will so we're both shooting from the hip as far as experience is concerned, but from what I understand about the processes of mammalian metabolism it probably isn't that slow; I can't speak to agonizing.

I can tell you that a skunk aggressively pushing an assault on you merely for walking too close and getting that nasty junk on your face (which IS agonizing - uncontrollable wretching, persistent chemical burn sensation in your eyes, sinuses, throat and mouth - the persistent odor is just bonus) may change your perspective on the general acceptability of skunks on your property. Just maybe.
We spent many nights hanging out the widow and photographing our nocturnal creatures. It all started when we had black oily sunflower seeds missing out of our squirrel proof bird feeders every morning - they really aren’t squirrel proof. My wife thought that it was an early morning squirrel - but I suspected another critter. We finally got smart and put our security buzzer pointed at the bird feeders. We found that our bird feeders were the local hot spot for raccoons. In the process of photographing raccoons; we also photographed many skunks, possums, fox, deer and an occasional bear (which forced us to take down the feeders).

What I can tell you from our observations; is that skunks don’t aggressively spray. If a raccoon and skunk want the same pile of spilled sunflower seeds; the skunk will threaten the raccoon before it would spray. It lifts it’s tail and gives clear warning - Don’t mess with me. Many times we were hanging out the window - only feet away from the action. Sometimes new skunks would warn us - but we talked them down. We even witnessed a skunk that allowed a baby raccoon to come up to it and smell it’s butt - without being sprayed. It was like teaching the raccoon about the skunk’s business end.

If you have a dog that hates skunks; he is going to get sprayed. If you startle a skunk; you could get sprayed. Skunks don’t like surprises and they don’t like to be chased.

Possums were the hardest animals to photograph - they are very shy and timid. My wife toyed with some of the pictures and blogged them for a few years: http://raccoonatic.blogspot.com/
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 8,970,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
We spent many nights hanging out the widow and photographing our nocturnal creatures. It all started when we had black oily sunflower seeds missing out of our squirrel proof bird feeders every morning - they really aren’t squirrel proof. My wife thought that it was an early morning squirrel - but I suspected another critter. We finally got smart and put our security buzzer pointed at the bird feeders. We found that our bird feeders were the local hot spot for raccoons. In the process of photographing raccoons; we also photographed many skunks, possums, fox, deer and an occasional bear (which forced us to take down the feeders).

What I can tell you from our observations; is that skunks don’t aggressively spray. If a raccoon and skunk want the same pile of spilled sunflower seeds; the skunk will threaten the raccoon before it would spray. It lifts it’s tail and gives clear warning - Don’t mess with me. Many times we were hanging out the window - only feet away from the action. Sometimes new skunks would warn us - but we talked them down. We even witnessed a skunk that allowed a baby raccoon to come up to it and smell it’s butt - without being sprayed. It was like teaching the raccoon about the skunk’s business end.

If you have a dog that hates skunks; he is going to get sprayed. If you startle a skunk; you could get sprayed. Skunks don’t like surprises and they don’t like to be chased.

Possums were the hardest animals to photograph - they are very shy and timid. My wife toyed with some of the pictures and blogged them for a few years: http://raccoonatic.blogspot.com/
My late brother and his wife had, basically, a feral cat sanctuary (she still does) - where every stray and feral cat that showed up was welcome. He/she would get trapped for a visit to the vet for spaying and neutering and then brought back to their place where they had feeding stations and areas set up where the cats could get out of the weather to sleep, etc.

For a while, there was a family of skunks that were showing up to eat - a momma and four or five babies. They co-existed quite comfortably with the cats at the feeding stations and they learned that my brother and his wife were no threat to them and they were able to get quite close to them without the skunks ever acting like they wanted to spray them.

I've always wanted a skunk for a pet (the closest I got was having ferrets). It is legal in just a handful of states, and unfortunately, Washington isn't one of them.

I try to co-exist with my wildlife neighbors. At times, it gets difficult - raccoons can wreak havoc, and where I used to live, I had a huge coyote problem; I wasn't just losing my chickens, ducks, and geese, I was losing cats. I got so desperate at one time, that I hired a trapper, who got a couple. Unfortunately, there were plenty more to take their place. Here, I can hear them in the open fields down below me, but they don't seem too inclined to come up onto this hill.

Raccoons (and, really, only certain times - like spring) and hawks are my only real problem here.

I will, however, continue to stand by my opinion that drowning an animal is a very cruel way to get rid of it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
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fisheye:

I just went and looked at your wife's pictures and they're beautiful (although the one with the 'coon "holding" the duckling made me a little nervous LOL).

My son's mother-in-law has a family of raccoons who come up to her back porch every evening for Cap'n Crunch cereal and dog food (not something I would encourage, but she doesn't have poultry).

I was there for Thanksgiving, and she heard them on the porch, and went out to feed them. It was funny, though, because they are very tame with her but anytime someone not familiar to them (like me) poked their head around the corner, they would back off.

You do have to be careful with raccoons, though - the bulls can get vicious. I had a boyfriend who lived at a private campground and he came home one night and was attacked by a big bull that was on his deck.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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Due to grubs we had skunk problems last fall, which, unfortunately, came to light when our golden came in reeking at midnight. Used a trap that was small enough that the skunk could not lift his tail to spray. When we set the trap, using Vanila Snack Pack Pudding, we covered the top with a tarp and/or small blanket, allowing access to the handle.

Once there was a skunk in it, we picked it up by the handle, keeping it covered for safety and put it in the back of the pick up. We caught 13 skunks in a couple of weeks, which we transported to the next county.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 8,970,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
Due to grubs we had skunk problems last fall, which, unfortunately, came to light when our golden came in reeking at midnight. Used a trap that was small enough that the skunk could not lift his tail to spray. When we set the trap, using Vanila Snack Pack Pudding, we covered the top with a tarp and/or small blanket, allowing access to the handle.

Once there was a skunk in it, we picked it up by the handle, keeping it covered for safety and put it in the back of the pick up. We caught 13 skunks in a couple of weeks, which we transported to the next county.
Good idea about the smaller trap!

And thanks for not drowning them.
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