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Author Topic: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?  (Read 3687 times)

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Offline Amisheggpicker

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This is a view off the front of my porch.  Straight up the steps is my chicken coop...not that far from the house.


I was cleaning out the coop, the other night after the incident with the guinea hen (see something fowl in the garden post) and the chickens were milling around the coop.  I walked down to the house to talk to my husband and when he went up to shut the chickens in the coop, my prized silky rooster was missing.

His name was Sun, and he was white with very fluffy feathers.  I was hoping that he would turn up the next day like the guinea hen did, but this time I wasn't so lucky.  Sun was gone.

So the next evening i decided to stay out with the chickens to try and see what took Sun.  Once you have a predator, they will return for the next evenings meal.  I knew it wasn't a weasel, because weasels will kill numerous chickens.  This predator carried Sun off.

So as I sit in my chair, this is what I discovered. look in the tree branches.  This coon was walking across the branches, then jumped on the roof of the coop.  Then he eyed up my chickens.  I shooed him off, but he came right back. (pics a little fuzzy)



Now I know who took my little Sun.  and this critter is going to go...I won't discuss how, because it's illegal to shoot them and also illegal  to catch them in a box trap and release them elsewhere.

Then today, I set a skillet in the sink to wash it.  I went over to the stove to turn on some tea water and came back to the sink and picked up the skillet and this is what was on the side of my skillet.




Seriously folks, the  winter was mild here in PA and the spiders are very large...to large for me... I about fainted...  I am usually not to scared of things, but this was a little to close for comfort..and when they bite you it really hurts.


So towards this evening, I went out to guard my chickens as they went to roost in their coop, and this is what meandered out of the woods and came within a foot of me...  Now I was petrified....I softly called for my husband, whom was resting about 6 feet from me and he turned and looked up into the tree thinking I was calling for him to scare away the coon again.  But once he realized what i was calling him for, his eyes got a little big...I was frozen to the chair... the last thing I need is to get quilled by a porcupine!  They are fearless...and the bugger wasn't moving...I thought about grabbing the hose that was lying on the ground, but the porcupine was between me and the hose.  My brave husband actually took a hoe that he had and held it up to the porcupines back and stepped between me and that critter....now that's a hero! hahahaha!  I flew from the chair....and then snapped a few pics once I was a safe distance away!...and my husband shooed off that nasty boy.  But we had to bring the dog in, because they will go right over to him and quill him....he's been to the vet twice now because of the porcupines.



This is way to much excitement for me....

And then top  it off, my sister sent me this pic of what that bear did to her garbage can.  he spread the garbage all over and smeared his dirty paws all over her kitchen door.



Dear God, please let me rest tonight in PEACE! hahahahah!


Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline SilverDeth

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 10:25:16 PM »
Look at the bright side - it wasn't a half dollar sized fiddler.  We don't have many wolf spiders up here, but crap-loads of what we call cat-faced spiders - by July they will be just coating the awnings and rafters.  Mean b*stards, especially when you knock one off and down your shirt while painting - always a hazard while coating the cabins too.  Not dangerous, just ugly, and mean.
"There are many things worse than dying, and there are some things far more important than living."
- Me, 2004


Offline pslblog

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 11:10:52 AM »
Might be time to apply a coating of Darwin on the local wildlife to get them to respect the humans. Let them know you're a pack, not a herd. The coon and the porcupine are a lot easier to eliminate from the environment without notice than they bear is going to be. Unless you've been systematically ticking off your local law enforcement, they aren't going to act on a bit of wilderness renewal. Shooting a bear is going to make the news, unless you have a lot more social infrastructure supporting your actions.

The problem with eliminating the bear is that you need the animal to drop immediately and without notice, then you need to get rid of the carcass quickly and without trace. Doing that in any kind of environment outside of BLM land is going to be a challenge.

As an alternative to bear eradication, have you considered negative incentives for bears?  Powdered habanero is not that expensive, and a copious sprinkling of that on and around the garbage will certainly reduce the appeal of your sister's garbage: http://www.amazon.com/Habanero-Powder-Pure-Jar-Each/dp/B000RHXIGO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340381382&sr=8-1&keywords=habanero+powder

Offline Drang

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 06:31:58 PM »
Illegal to shoot a coon that's raiding the livestock?  We can do that even in WA!

Natives held that it was bad luck to kill a porcupine, partly because they are so easy to kill.  Also heard them referred to as "survival food."
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Offline SilverDeth

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 02:11:28 AM »
I can't speak for having to deal with bears, but I heard a rumor once that a relocated wolf pack could be effectively shot and buried with little notice.  I would imagine that the premise with a bear is the same, you just need a bigger hole.  And maybe something chambered in say... .338 Lapua mag?

 ;D

But then again... up where the wildlife can be a problem... our nearest neighbor is 30 min away...
"There are many things worse than dying, and there are some things far more important than living."
- Me, 2004

Offline SilverDeth

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 02:28:25 AM »
Before I forget... anti-freeze marinated... never mind...  wife thinks i am working on "trouble" right now...
"There are many things worse than dying, and there are some things far more important than living."
- Me, 2004

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2012, 10:20:14 AM »
Well, I'd better clarify a statement I made.  I was TOLD by a game commissioner that it's illegal to kill or trap and release a coon.  For this reason:  We put out a little chicken feed for the hens to scratch about every morning.  They don't always eat it.  If a coon comes in for this food, then he said that that would be considered baiting it and I shouldn't kill it.  Also we set out cat food for the outdoor cats....another baiting situation.

But I discovered that on the PA Game Commission very own site, they talk about trapping and killing nuisance racoons.   This is contrary to what the officer told me.  I have a friend checking into the law for me...

I, personally, have to follow the law to the tee.....because of the nature of my job, if I do something illegal, I could find myself in a "heap big amount of trouble" hahahahhaha!

That doesn't mean anyone else has to be so straight and narrow...hahahahah!


Silverdeth-I think your wife is correct...hahahaha!

Drang-I think we are allowed to here, except, I have to catch him in the act....not sure though....am waiting for my friend to get back to me.  (I know a ton of people whom dispose of them, it's just my situation is a unique one.

PSBlog-I can tell you are from out west--because you use the term BLM...hahahah...we have what is called the Game Commission.  I remember going to my husbands home in Montana, and visiting his sister in Idaho and I kept seeing signs with BLM on it...I had to ask what it meant. hahahah!  Dumb tourist like I was!

Around here, shooting a bear is considered a very BAD thing to do.  I will tell my sister about the recomendation that you mentioned.  She also needs to get a better garbage can. hahahhha!  This is the second time this has happened.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 10:23:45 AM by Amisheggpicker »
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline SilverDeth

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2012, 01:46:04 PM »
There is one consistent thing about Bureau of Land Management types - they have no sense of humor and they are all @&&^%$es.  Let us say they have been... problematic.
"There are many things worse than dying, and there are some things far more important than living."
- Me, 2004

Offline Les Nessman

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2012, 04:39:21 PM »
I think we are allowed to here, except, I have to catch him in the act.

Oh, I'm sure the next time you see him and you have your rifle, he'll be in the act.

It'll just be you, him and your coon dog; and the coon dog ain't sayin' nothin' to no one. Dogs are real loyal like that.  ;)

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 09:20:03 PM »
Well, I haven't heard from my friend yet, clarifying about the laws concerning raccoons...but that's ok, we discovered that they weren't after the chickens after all.  Here the vent in the top of the wall of the storage shed had fallen out.  They were dropping off the branches and on to the roof, then through the hole left by the broken vent.  AND were eating the animal feed.  So, once my husband boarded up the hole, the raccoons went away...

But we now KNOW, what took TWO of my chickens...

One night, I heard this strange squawking sound.  I couldn't identify it, nor could my husband.  It was loud and persistant and on the edge of the woods...It kept circling around our house.  It was rather spooky, but since the animals were all bundled up in respective housing, we went to bed.  And then the next morning, it was still outside, squawking repeatedly.  My husband and I went into the woods with the pistol, to see if we could find out what it was.   He circled around it and I stayed on the lane because I figured he would flush it out.  Which is what happened.....but I couldn't identify what it was.  It was the strangest thing I had ever seen.

That night it came back....so I called by sister and brother in law, for they live at the end of our lane.  I was going to have him come back to see if he knew what it was.  But when i called, he answered the phone like this....WHAT IS THAT?   not even a hello...hahahaha!   This thing was so loud, that they could hear it at their house.  I said I don't know...so we called my DAD, whom lives further down the road for my sister...and he came down and my brother in law and he tried to find it in the woods....of course they both were armed with their rifles.

It again circled around our properties making a wide circle that encompassed the neighbors further down on our hill.

Even my father, whom is 76 years old, could not identify it.  The animal kept just enough ahead of them, that they couldn't see it.  So they gave up and came back.  We got to talking about what this could be.  It sounded a little like a fox, but foxes generally don't squawk repetitively like that....and Foxes are quite skitterish....one yell will send them a running.

My father and the neighbor down the hill saw what is called a "fisher" out the road from us.  It was a mother and her young.  So we were wondering if this could be a "fisher".  I called the neighbor down the hill and sure enough they had lost a chicken also...and they were hearing that same sound.

My brother in law and I both looked up a fisher call on the internet, and sure enough, that's the sound we heard.

This is a good link because it shows you the difference between a fox call and a fisher.  The first video is EXACTLY what we heard...and it is very very creepy...this link also gives you a little info on the fisher and I see that this might solve my porcupine problem...
http://fishercatscreech.com/fisher-cat-sound-and-audio/

Of course there is always a doubter in every crowd...my daughter told an x family member about what we had heard...and he said no way, they don't know what they are talking about...we don't have any fisher's around here....but within the week, he had to retract what he had said....look what his night vision camera captured at his feeder....hahahahaha...he's eating crow pie for supper.

pic of fisher
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:26:48 PM by Amisheggpicker »
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 09:24:38 PM »
Fishers are dangerous, nasty buggers....
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 09:29:37 PM »
Flight ER Doc - I'm a little nervous about these things...I have 3 outdoor cats that adopted us....I really like them, and they have a place to get into for cover, but I still worry about them.  I heard that these things are vicious....and can kill porcupines...

i have NO idea on what the laws are concerning them....
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:57:32 PM by Amisheggpicker »
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline Drang

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 10:08:10 PM »
Fishers are dangerous, nasty buggers....
Most mustelids are.
(Though not all.  Otters are OK, as long as you're not an abalone.  But any family that includes weasels, badgers, and wolverines...)
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Offline Langenator

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 11:21:59 PM »
One thing I like about Texas...if'n it's killing/eating your livestock, it's pretty much fair game unless it's on the endangered species list.

What you need is someone with a night scope and a suppressor...there's guys at my church that hunt hogs that way.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline PAGUY

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Re: Wildlife in PA, or So you think you want to move to the country?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 11:51:21 AM »
I have to admit there is some pretty Nasty stuff here but, that is part of what makes Pa Pa.


Improvise, Adapt, Modify, and Overcome. FTM/PTB
Improvise, Adapt, Modify, and Overcome
FTM/PTB


 

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