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The Usefulness of a Live Trap: #1 on a series about live traps

Whether you have livestock or just a garden, a live trap will probably be an essential part of your future.

When we lived in NJ (The land of woodchucks) I had to trap about 8 woodchucks (a.k.a. groundhogs) every spring. This was just a preemptive strike, as every spring the young ones from the previous season would spread out and looking for their own stake. If I trapped them early, the garden was at peace for the rest of the summer.

If you have chickens, soon or later you’re going to have a persistent predator, determined to get into the coop at night. When awakened by the alarmed squawking of a chicken, it’s very hard to get out there fast enough to take care of the predator, by another means. Even livestock guardian dogs will sometimes miss a predator, or as is the case where we keep our rabbits, be unable to get in there to deal with a predator, so, a live trap is a necessity.

A live trap enables you to catch these predators, yet it gives you some margin for error. If you accidentally catch a desirable animal you can still let it go. You certainly wouldn’t want to put any kind of lethal trap in your chicken coop. Chickens would get into it. Also, in some circumstances it’s hard not to guarantee that a dog or cat won’t get into the trap. Believe it or not, I once caught a full grown coon hound in a raccoon size live trap! Since it was a live trap, I was able to let him go without injury.

Do you already use a live trap? Any interesting stories about it?

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