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Begin Predator Control Now

Begin Predator Control Now



Raccoons can decimate a turkey population if left unchecked. Removing them can help the recruitment of your turkeys

As deer season winds down, hunters and land managers are turning their attention to preparations for next season. (It seems to never end). Part of that preparation is a plan to remove predators from your property to improve recruitment rates for your target species.

In most cases the targeted species are whitetail deer and wild turkey. A lot of documentation has surfaced lately in regards to the impact predators have on the recruitment of fawns and fledglings. As land owners and property managers, you need to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible and begin now removing predators.

With fur prices about as low as they have ever been there is little motivation to trap and remove predators for the money. The motivation has to be population control, and to improve recruitment of your deer and turkeys. Because of this many land owners are reluctant to pay professional trappers to come in and remove coyotes and raccoons. This can be a very expensive proposition at times. But there may be some options to help landowners and property managers in this scenario.

In recent years trappers have been selling live coyotes to what are known as “running pens”. These enclosed pens range in size from fifty acres to several hundred acres. The purpose of these pens is to allow fox dogs to run in a safe environment. Houndsmen pay good money to ensure their dogs are safe and have a good workout in running in these pens. Pen owners are always looking for more animals to put inside their pens to give the dogs something to run. Many of these pens will buy both fox and coyotes to place in their running pens. Much of this is far more profitable than selling the fur and a lot less work involved.

Trappers looking for more coyotes and fox to sell will often trade the trapping services for access to your land. Trappers that charge to remove coyotes and fox during the fur trapping season are trying to pull one over and double dip. I personally know a lot of trappers and there are only a handful that are not willing to trade access to the land for the service during the season. Much of this is scheduled far in advance and many trappers have regular hunting clubs they trap during the season. This will definitely help in the removal of predators from your land. And it often is a win win for both parties. You as a land owner are getting your predators under control and the trapper has more land access to catch canines and sell them.

Raccoons is a different story all together. There are to my knowledge no pens to buy live raccoons and the fur prices on these are in the $2-$6 range right now. Hardly worth the effort to catch them. Unless you include this in your agreement with your trapper. One of the requirements I often run into with land owners is to catch coyotes and fox, I have to trap raccoons also. While this is an added service it certainly does a great service.

I have always been surprised at just how many raccoons there are roaming around in the night woods. Ever since raccoon hunting began to die down a decade or so ago, people are not hunting raccoons and those that do, never shoot them so they can run them again. This is leading to a population explosion of raccoons in many areas. I personally know trappers that will annually catch 1,000 raccoons year after year in the same areas. It is hard to believe those numbers. But it is true.

If you are concerned at all about predators and the survival of your fawns and turkeys, now is the time to start getting after them. Whether you hire a professional trapper or learn to do it yourself. The dividends will pay off for years to come.