Fox in Socks


FoxRule #2 on the Cunha farm: Go be wildlife somewhere else because otherwise, I will hunt you down and kill you. I found your little den in the bushes, Mr. Fox. The trap is now set, and if need be, I will stakeout your dirt condo every night until you make the mistake of showing your furry little ass around my homestead again.

I’ve watched you trot back and forth along the fence line, through the bushes, and across the road for the better part of two years. You have been ignored the entire time because you have not taken from me. You were given benefit of the doubt when the first bird disappeared. However, I have strong evidence you have killed and eaten one (possibly, two) of my turkeys, and two of my ducks. That goofy little crested duck was the last straw. He was my favorite. I kept him around for no better reason than he entertained me.

Here are your options, Mr. Fox. One, leave immediately on your own accord and never return. Two, sign your own death warrant by entering my sight. Those are the only choices.

I am tactically patient, tenacious, and possessor of the hardest heart you have ever encountered. I will fashion you into a hat as a warning to others of your ilk that I will not tolerate killing of my livestock and theft of food from my family’s mouth.

This is your only warning and my singular promise under God, Grandpa Miguel, and all the Pygmies in Africa.

Sincerely,

Your Angel of Death Carlos

 

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8 thoughts on “Fox in Socks

    • What type of traps? I’ve had so-so luck with live traps for coons because they would break out. I wound up trapping mostly possums with the live trap. Pan traps worked decently with coons, but not at all with possums.
      I would recommend using a Dog Proof coon trap with two caveats; use a brand that has a push/pull trigger (just a personal preference from dealing with trap-savvy coons) and spring the extra two dollars for the setting tool. It’s worth every penny.
      Good luck, and dispatch them humanely. Transporting them only makes them someone else’s problem, is illegal in most areas, and pretty much guarantees they will be killed they the coons already there.

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  1. So the trap is more complicated than a live trap a person would set and forget. After our birds got eaten I set up spot lights all around the duck pen pointing in. Then every night I put the remaining ducks in a cage so that when a predator shows up the ducks start making a ruckus. That’s when I can turn the whole contraption on with a remote. we have a tree in the middle of the pen which i hope they will tree themselves up. then i can dispatch them with a .22 and a flashlight. it seemed like when they attacked last time they were after eggs because there was one duck with its back eaten off and the eggs removed but everything else was intact. I think when I buy the live trap I’ll bait it with eggs because our cat is not interested in eggs and the dog cant fit in a medium sized live trap. I’ve also heard that you should cover a live trap with a burlap sack so that it feels more like a hole/den/hollow log.

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    • I like the way you’re thinking and can get behind your setup. That’s some real Ghost and the Darkness stuff. May I make a couple of suggestions?
      I don’t know how remote you are, but do keep your field of fire in mind. Take a look at the video by IraqVetran8888 regarding the distance a .22 is capable of traveling. Of course, the more severe the upward angle, the less the travel distance from the POO.
      Bullets are funny things. The same gun, ammo, shot placement, etc that killed a critter before it hit the ground yesterday might only produce a scared, bleeding runner that takes refuge in your attic tomorrow. I say blast him with a scattergun. The heavier the bore, the better. It lessens both of the previous concerns, unless you plan to eat him and/or keep the pelt. This time of year, pelts in my area are crap, and despite being an aficionado of squirrel, I don’t have a taste for coon.
      The majority of my coon trapping has been trash can raiders, so most any old stinky leftovers worked reasonably well. What I’ve found to be surefire is those mini marshmallows. Coons have a fantastic sweet-tooth.
      Covering your live trap is a good idea. They work better that way. Also, make sure it is set solid on the ground, so the coon is more likely to commit. They are cagey, wary animals, so any cage rocking will put them off. Don’t be surprised if they figure out a way to pilfer your bait without becoming trapped.
      You seem ok with killing the animal, so my question becomes what is your reasoning for a live trap? I have a fair amount of experience I’m always willing to share and some ideas for your situation, if you’d like to hear them.

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  2. I would like to hear them. I think you are right about the shotgun. I’ll do that instead. The reason I was using the .22 is because I didn’t want to wake up my kids in the middle of the night. Thanks for the tip about marshmallows. I’ve had very limited experience with raccoons so was unaware of their sweet tooth.
    I would never catch and transport somewhere else. That seems very irresponsible to me. People need to take care of their own problems and not just try to pawn them off on someone else, alas, that is the way of our society today.
    Thanks for your help.

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    • I’m glad we agree on the relocation issue. I find it irresponsible for the same reasons and encourage everyone to deal with their problems themselves, even if that entails calling in a neighbor with a sufficiently hard hart to dispatch cute animals.
      Your three basic options are live trap, foothold trap, and body grip trap. I have less success with live traps for coons because they figure out how to steal the bait without getting caught or break out after being caught. You can find video footage of coons working together to free each other from live traps. They are the ninjas of the animal world. I’ve seen reinforced live traps, but that strikes me as a lot of time and expense when there are easier options.
      I’ve never used a body grip trap on coons because the way they work is to induce the animal to commit to going through an opening with the trap near its mouth. Look up “box set” for examples.
      Pan traps are pretty effective, if you understand how to build a set (there’s lots of good instruction on the Youtube), but due to the bait, there is a higher chance of catching non-target animals. This is why I recommend a variant of foothold trap called a dog-proof trap. It’s about the size of tomato paste can (an inch and a half across and about three inches deep).
      The front paws of a coon are similar to a human’s, both in design and use. They have the ability to pick things up and usually do it with food. The same ability to reach in and pilfer bait from a live trap is used against them in a dog-proof trap. Unless you have a troop of monkeys around, I can’t think of another animal that will reach into the trap. Ok, may a squirrel, but I don’t really want them running around my place, either.
      Be aware that body grip traps are designed to kill the animal immediately by snapping the spine in two spots, but foothold traps, when used properly, do not injure the animal. Accidentally catching your dog (which usually occurs on the muzzle and/or behind the head) in a body grip trap can injure the dog severely, which is why they should not be used on a land set where there might be dogs. Water sets and tree sets are where body grip traps shine.
      Contrary to popular belief and those God-damn Disney movies, a foothold trap does not injure the caught animal. There are no teeth on modern trap jaws, they don’t amputate the limb, and animals don’t chew their foot off. Those would be counterproductive because the animal would escape. That makes no sense.
      I’ve seen one or two minor abrasions around the wrist over the years, but nothing at all serious. That the incidents stick out in my mind show how unusual an occurrence it is.
      I will admit to one serious injury of a broken arm, and that was due entirely to me. The stake chain was too short and it’s arm was broken when it dove into the burrow. Had I used a longer chain or placed the trap a couple feet away, the injury would not have occurred. I’ve never made that mistake again.
      If you want to tree the coon, consider a box set in the tree camouflaged to mimic a hiding place. Alternately, you might try a dog-proof or two up in the tree and secured to a branch. At some point after being driven into the tree, the coon will relax and his sweet-tooth will get the better of him. I’ve never used that, but trapping is a trial-and-error art just as much as it is a science.
      Please keep me posted as to your progress. I thoroughly enjoy sharing experiences and tips with other like-minded folks. I have a Facebook page for my farm, if you’d like to communicate that way. Look up The Five Cent Farm. You’ll see the same face as my blog avitar. Good luck, friend.

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