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Marsha Cassada

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We are having an unusual amount of wildlife activity lately. The deer are thick and run through the yard even during the day. An audad has been seen twice, once at night and once in the afternoon (hunters have seen a herd of 50 about 1/2 mile from us). Possum or raccoon tracks in the corral.

I'm working with a new driving horse and all the sudden he seems to be going backward, shying and bolting. I am wondering if it could be the result of the wildlife. I don't think the deer would bother the horses, but they were definitely nervous after the audad ram came through. I usually confine the horses during the day, because of the green grass, and allow them out to graze at night. Now I am wondering whether I should keep them confined at night. Would they be safer, less "spooked" by all this nocturnal traffic?

We've thought of getting a game camera, but not sure what good that would do and it would probably freak me out to see what goes on in the dark there.

Anyone have wildlife advice or helpful experiences?

Could it be the super moon event coming up??
 

Jean_B

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I would think all of the minor earthquakes you have had in your area would have some effect on wildlife, changing their migration patterns, etc. But what the heck is an audad doing in Oklahoma? I thought they were in Africa???
 

amysue

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The wildlife around here have been acting downright stupid lately. Since both the deer and coyote are so over populated, they are getting pretty stupid, brave but mostly stupid as far as wildlife behavior is concerned. The coyotes have been coming right up into the barnyard, even when we're out there working, even with equipment running. Hubby has had to shoot a few that just got too big for their britches. The deer have been out grazing on lawns and even coming into the silo bunkers and eating the corn silage and hayledge in the middle of the day!! There are plenty of people hunting, so it's not like they have nothing to fear. I even have fox and bobcat snatching chickens in broad daylight, once even when I was collecting eggs. The weather and climate definitely play a role in their behavior. I think they are contributing to some of our animals behavior lately. The cows have been hollering and taking off bolting seemingly for no reason alteast once a day...we've never had this problem before. Horses see and smell things we don't always see, I think you're onto something here.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I would think all of the minor earthquakes you have had in your area would have some effect on wildlife, changing their migration patterns, etc. But what the heck is an audad doing in Oklahoma? I thought they were in Africa???
We haven't felt any earthquakes here. The audads were released by a guy who imported them from Africa about 15 years ago. I think there were just two or three at first. Since we are in a little mountain range, they are quite comfortable here.

I think the wildlife dept needs to raise the bag limit on deer. We have coyote hunters here, but I haven't seen them in our area lately. Do hear the coyotes, though. I think I will start setting a trap for the raccoons and possums. Don't need epm or rabies spreading. Wild hogs are also a problem, but since our property isn't on running water, like a creek, we haven't had too much trouble with them yet. I've seen two hit by cars lately. A farmer I know said they destroyed 5 acres of his wheat this spring. I took this picture from my front porch a few years ago.

bobcatapril2006.jpg
 

Cayuse

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It might help to keep them stalled at night. My property backs up to woods and sometimes my horses are much spookier in the evening. I keep the stalled at night but the welsh pony has a dutch door and sometimes around dusk he gets really worked up over "something" up towards the back of the pasture. I can't see what it is, but he is determined the bogeyman visits up there. I am guessing it's deer or coyote/feral dogs. Pony will wheel around and blow and paw and be all looky, even though he's safe in his stall. Maybe your guys feel more vulnerable at night and it's carrying over to the training.

About the wildlife, we had a hurricane here a couple of years ago and I went out to check the horses and some poor scared creature saw me open the barn door and it ran in. It was a mink or a weasel and out of it's mind with fear. I didn't even know we had them around here. He ran to the back of the barn and I never saw the critter again. I think it was a mink.
 

Ryan Johnson

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Ive always complained about the snakes. We have 21 of the top 25 venomous snakes in the world here. Apart from that a few wild dogs and cats and plenty of foxes.

Marsha , I think If I saw that in my back pasture , I would have to change my underpants very quickly.
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After they notice you , Do they run off ? I would hope if they spotted humans, they would take off back into the mountains, in a very quick order
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Marsha Cassada

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No, he just continued sauntering on his way. We used to lose a lot more poultry before we got the pen with the wired top on it.

I am thinking the moon is triggering some of the uneasiness. We had a driving adventure today also.
 

Ryan Johnson

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Well I think I would have broken out into a gallop
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You could be right there , we sore several foxes last night on dusk and they dont usually come out until its completely dark.
 

Magic Marker Minis

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Marsha, I am looking at this thread on my phone. I looked at that picture and for the life of me, had no idea what you took a picture of. It looks like dry grass. After reading Ryan's response, I took a closer look. Had to click on picture and enlarge. Now I know what you took a picture of. Very neat to be able to get such a close picture. Lynx and bobcats are very shy and usually don't stick around for a photo op. LOL
 

Marsha Cassada

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Marsha, I am looking at this thread on my phone. I looked at that picture and for the life of me, had no idea what you took a picture of. It looks like dry grass. After reading Ryan's response, I took a closer look. Had to click on picture and enlarge. Now I know what you took a picture of. Very neat to be able to get such a close picture. Lynx and bobcats are very shy and usually don't stick around for a photo op. LOL
Yes, he was quite camouflaged. I only noticed him because he was moving. He saw me, but wasn't too concerned. I do think it is a lynx--pretty far south for his territory.

btw, a good bait for skunks is Cheetos. And raccoons can't resist marshmallows. We've always used an egg. Doesn't catch cats, but skunks, possums, and raccoons love them.
 

amysue

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Lately, the bobcats around here just waltz around the barnyard like they own the place, one was just sitting on our stone wall gazing at my chickens this morning. I yelled at him, threw a rock at him and all he did was run a few yards back and climb a dead tree to watch me feed my birds. The raccoons are so prevalent around here because of the corn silage piles for the cows. They are so used to us moving around the barnyard that they don't even run away anymore. Funny that Marsha mentioned marshmallows for bating them, the DEP used to distribute mallow flavored treats with onnoculations in them all over the woods to try to keep diseases in coons at bay. I found that marshmallow and fish are their favorites and opposums love pb and jelly. I try to get rid of any and all opposums because of the risk of epm. I never tried to trap the skunks, was always afraid of getting sprayed. Once I had one in the tack room, I just left the light on in there all day and once nighttime cane, he high tailed it out of there.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Lately, the bobcats around here just waltz around the barnyard like they own the place, one was just sitting on our stone wall gazing at my chickens this morning. I yelled at him, threw a rock at him and all he did was run a few yards back and climb a dead tree to watch me feed my birds. The raccoons are so prevalent around here because of the corn silage piles for the cows. They are so used to us moving around the barnyard that they don't even run away anymore. Funny that Marsha mentioned marshmallows for bating them, the DEP used to distribute mallow flavored treats with onnoculations in them all over the woods to try to keep diseases in coons at bay. I found that marshmallow and fish are their favorites and opposums love pb and jelly. I try to get rid of any and all opposums because of the risk of epm. I never tried to trap the skunks, was always afraid of getting sprayed. Once I had one in the tack room, I just left the light on in there all day and once nighttime cane, he high tailed it out of there.
Yes, possums have to go. And I don't want raccoons either because of rabies.

I think people are too confused by cartoons and stuffed animals to take wild animals seriously.
 

Minimor

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We haven't been having much trouble with big critters this year but the smaller ones are plentiful. I has a raccoon earlier and the skunks are a nuisance. I set cat food out in the yard for them--for awhile that kept them out of the hayshed. Then the little pigs started ignoring that cheap food and would go into the shed to eat the good cat food. Somehow they can climb up on the table where I feed the cats. So--at night I put away the good food and leave a dish of cheap stuff. I tried leaving nothing out and they trashed the shed looking for food. The young ones are okay with me going in the shed while they are there but the one older one hisses and spits if I get too near--so I stay well away from him! They should be going dormant soon.
 

chandab

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There was a shrunk in one of my shelters with hay storage that wedged himself between the hay and walk to get up on the stack to get to the cat food, so I put up a high shelf for the cats, and I haven't seen it much since. We recently trapped and disposed of two in the shop, they get under the wood floor in the wood shop. The first one must have been the main one getting in the calving barn and eating that cat food, as there was cat food left the next day after it was gone.
 

Marsha Cassada

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We haven't been having much trouble with big critters this year but the smaller ones are plentiful. I has a raccoon earlier and the skunks are a nuisance. I set cat food out in the yard for them--for awhile that kept them out of the hayshed. Then the little pigs started ignoring that cheap food and would go into the shed to eat the good cat food. Somehow they can climb up on the table where I feed the cats. So--at night I put away the good food and leave a dish of cheap stuff. I tried leaving nothing out and they trashed the shed looking for food. The young ones are okay with me going in the shed while they are there but the one older one hisses and spits if I get too near--so I stay well away from him! They should be going dormant soon.
Do skunks and raccoons not carry rabies in Canada? If they do, you sound as though you have a lot of domestic animals at risk there.
 

Minimor

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of course they carry rabies but only a small percentage of them. Some people make it sound like they all are rabid but that is not the case at all. The fact is these critters are around anyway even when we don't see them. People kill them and there are still some around. Until this fall I hadn't seen a skunk here in 4 years. Prior to that it was 15 years... though we smell one here and there so obviously they are around. I am not into killing things which do me no harm. My small animal vet was not at all concerned when I told her about "my" skunks and years back our horse vet told me the worst danger for rabies are foxes. As it happens no fox lives long once it shows itself here--as too many have done me harm over the years--I will not have those around. Coyotes too are unwelcome and get dispatched ASAP if they start coming onto our property. Then there are the wolves, cougars and black bears. Bobcat and lynx are rare here now.
 

Magic Marker Minis

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Bats and raccoons carry the rabies virus generation to generation. They may not get any symptons but the virus is in them. I went to vet school and was told that. Also, you can't give a live virus of the rabies vaccination due to possible causing them to get symptons.
 

Ryan Johnson

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Bats carry the "Hendra" virus here , usually much further towards the top of Australia.

It is the most deadly virus that effects both horses and humans known in Australia. 75% of all horses infected with the disease have died. I believe it was discovered in 1994 and since then out of the 10 humans that have been infected only a couple survived.

We have a terrible problem with foxes where i live and I agree with Minimor, they are not welcome. They carry all sorts of diseases
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Minimor

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Not all raccoons and skunks carry the rabies virus. Here most do not--when one gets infected it may take months to make the animal sick. Regardless--until that animal is "rabid" it is not contagious. As long as the virus is dormant it is not infectious. I know some people believe that all skunks carry rabies but that is not true. One that acts or looks sick is to be avoided--a skunk with the furious form of rabies is a very angry, aggressive animal ! The dumb form makes them act lethargic or disoriented.
 

Marsha Cassada

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My sister had a lot of trouble catching a large raccoon that raised havoc in her barn. She tried an egg, an egg suspended from the top of the trap in panty hose, putting the trap between bales of hay... the wily critter got the egg every time without getting caught. So she tried the marshmallows and eureka! He was so large he filled up the whole trap and she thinks he probably weighed 50 pounds.

The game ranger said yesterday that our area is at risk for the rabbit fever, carried by dog ticks.
 

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