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  • Opossums!

    Friday, 26 Jun 21, approx. 10:10
    The BookKeeper just called me into the house to "Come look at this!" and there was a mama 'possum waddling across the front porch, with four babies cling to her back. My Catahoula hound went nuts as soon as she came into view, and briefly treed her under Mama's car, but then she waddled off into an adjoining property, and was lost to sight. By the time I grabbed my camera, she was around the corner and gone, so, sorry, no pictures.
    Usually, I would have killed her and all the 'possum pups, but since I learned that 'possums eat ticks, and I don't have any chickens, I let her walk.
    Do ya'll have 'possums in your country, and do you think they do more good than harm?
    Last edited by crm3006; 06-25-2021, 11:20 AM.

  • #2
    I pretty much let all the vermin go.
    Except skunks, armadillos, rats and mice.
    If I catch coons inside a farm structure, they're gone.
    A coon can tear up and s#¡t on more stuff in a week than you can clean up and repair in a year.
    Out in the wild, I leave 'em be.

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    • #3
      We have possums in Central New York. I don't think they do any harm. They probably raid the occasional grouse or turkey nest, but no more than the coons, skunks, and fishers. If they eat a lot of ticks, they're paying their dues.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
        I pretty much let all the vermin go.
        Except skunks, armadillos, rats and mice.
        If I catch coons inside a farm structure, they're gone.
        A coon can tear up and s#¡t on more stuff in a week than you can clean up and repair in a year.
        Out in the wild, I leave 'em be.
        I treed a coon when I was out walking one night a couple weeks ago. About an hour before sunset. I heard some scrambling in the brush -- I was coming downhill into a beaver-pond crick bottom, thought maybe it was one of the beavers, when up the tree right in front of me goes a fair-sized coon. It only went up about fifteen feet, then sat there looking down at me as if to say, "Okay, now what?"

        Couple winters ago, I heard the most god-awful snarling and screeching in this stand of spruce trees. I thought a coyote was killing something, then I realized it was coming from up high. I went into the spruces and saw two huge raccoons up in the same tree. All of a sudden, they started coming down, with me only about twenty feet away. They hit the snow and ran off together. I don't think the noises I heard was fighting; I think coons are like cats when it comes to courtship.

        My uncles used to go coon-hunting at night but it's been years since I've heard of anyone who still does it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MattM37 View Post
          We have possums in Central New York. I don't think they do any harm. They probably raid the occasional grouse or turkey nest, but no more than the coons, skunks, and fishers. If they eat a lot of ticks, they're paying their dues.
          We have a pretty good turkey population here in OK.
          How, I have no idea!
          We have all the common predators, bobcat, coyote, skunk, coon, possum, badger, et al!
          Besides that, we have feral hogs!
          How in heavens name a hen turkey can set a clutch of eggs to hatch poults, I don't know?
          Seems to me to be an almost "Mission: Impossible!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

            We have a pretty good turkey population here in OK.
            How, I have no idea!
            We have all the common predators, bobcat, coyote, skunk, coon, possum, badger, et al!
            Besides that, we have feral hogs!
            How in heavens name a hen turkey can set a clutch of eggs to hatch poults, I don't know?
            Seems to me to be an almost "Mission: Impossible!"
            The answer I got from a game biologist, when I emailed the conservation department about predation on grouse and turkeys around here, was basically, "Hey, these animals evolved together for thousands of years. It all works out."

            That was during a drop-off in our grouse and turkey populations, and a lot of guys were blaming the influx of fishers. I doubted they were really to blame, not on that scale. The biologist agreed and said it was more due to forest maturation and losing the understory brush cover and food plants, and with the grouse, possibly West Nile virus or another disease they had not yet ascertained.

            Incidentally, there are still fishers around and both the grouse and turkeys have come back to normal numbers.

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            • #7
              When I was consulting in Colorado, south of Silt, we had either fishers or martens raiding the garbage dumpster all the time. The dumpster was covered, and supposedly "bear proof", but the cooks and kitchen help had a bad habit of not completely closing and locking the door. I even saw some bear tracks in the snow, on one occasion, but not very close to the man camp. Don't know what the bear was doing prowling around in the snow, but it was early April, so he might have just awakened. (Where is Gary Devine? He would know!)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MattM37 View Post

                The answer I got from a game biologist, when I emailed the conservation department about predation on grouse and turkeys around here, was basically, "Hey, these animals evolved together for thousands of years. It all works out."

                That was during a drop-off in our grouse and turkey populations, and a lot of guys were blaming the influx of fishers. I doubted they were really to blame, not on that scale. The biologist agreed and said it was more due to forest maturation and losing the understory brush cover and food plants, and with the grouse, possibly West Nile virus or another disease they had not yet ascertained.

                Incidentally, there are still fishers around and both the grouse and turkeys have come back to normal numbers.
                So I guess he was saying that without some predation, we would be up to our "never mind" in turkey, grouse and quail! LOL!

                It would be interesting to know just what the survival rate is from egg to adult on turkeys?

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                • #9
                  I live in town against my will and I don’t have to kill them anymore. I have 45lbs female pitbull that owns the backyard. She kills anything that’s not the wife, myself or my kids and grandkids. My power meter hasn’t been read in over two years. One of the guys said something to me to the effect he would mace my dog. Which struck me I have beware of dog signs and the gate is double secured with clip and a chain thru it with a clip.

                  In the nicest way possible I may have suggested that would be a very bad idea. My grandkids and my wife love that mut. He got the point. Anyways the neighbors always $h!t bricks everytime i shot one in the backyard.

                  We have some very large trash pandas around here and they would make a quick snack out of my wife’s 9lbs lapdog. But in the woods I let them be unless they start hitting the corn a little to hard.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Milldawg View Post
                    I live in town against my will and I don’t have to kill them anymore. I have 45lbs female pitbull that owns the backyard. She kills anything that’s not the wife, myself or my kids and grandkids. My power meter hasn’t been read in over two years. One of the guys said something to me to the effect he would mace my dog. Which struck me I have beware of dog signs and the gate is double secured with clip and a chain thru it with a clip.

                    In the nicest way possible I may have suggested that would be a very bad idea. My grandkids and my wife love that mut. He got the point. Anyways the neighbors always $h!t bricks everytime i shot one in the backyard.

                    We have some very large trash pandas around here and they would make a quick snack out of my wife’s 9lbs lapdog. But in the woods I let them be unless they start hitting the corn a little to hard.
                    ‘Dawg, not looking to start something but you need to realize that utility workers have to put up with dogs on a regular basis and it gets old dealing with the mean ones. I’ve been bitten about twenty times in the past 25 years just trying to do my job. About half of them drew blood and you never know if the owners had them vaccinated for rabies. Couple years ago I got bit the day after finding out another account had their dog in quarantine from playing with an infected bat. The pup had only finished two of the three shot series.
                    The one that got me had me bleeding good, first call to the owner was for vaccination papers, standard procedure since then.

                    I can tolerate a somewhat aggressive mutt, but if one ever really lays into me for doing what I do it will be the last thing it ever does.

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                    • #11
                      Oppossums diet consists of ticks.

                      Comment

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