Predators: We love them and we fear them right?
In my area mountain lions used to be seen now and then. I was never afraid of them and loved to see them in their natural environment. We have many deer back in the woods here and they kept the lions well fed. But when a pair of young lions were spotted a few years ago walking down a main road, folks posted them on Facebook. This alerted hunters and led to all the lions in our area being hunted down and killed.
Now we see more black bears, bobcats, hawks, eagles, coyotes and other predators. They fill in when lions are gone.
At my homestead it's the three above that have been stalking about where they shouldn't be.
HAWK: A Cooper hawk flew right into my chicken run this year killing my brave rooster. She flew in the wide open door so I know that a smaller door for entry and exit would protect my free ranging chickens and duck. I also use an inner door for the attached coop area so if a predator does get into run at dusk (like hawks seem to do) then chickens can run into their inner sanctum. ALSO: bring in your chickens before dusk. Hawks seem to like this time, and seemed to have figured out that chicken head home in a group, thus easier to pluck out and kill. Train your birds to come with best treats and a noise to associate with. I say high pitched ' chick chick chick 'noise and use bread.
BEAR: Last year a local bear became a nuisance. SHe had lived in the woods nearby but was rarely seen. She began to climb on decks with birdseed, knock down garbage cans and invite herself to my bbq with friends. Some folks thought this was ‘cute’ and other neighbors just kept putting food into the cans. But we still managed to find solutions.
One brilliant neighbor placed apple cider vinegar soaked towels on only one of the 6 cans. It worked like a charm and she never raided them again. Bears are very sensitive to smell.
I used a think line of bleach around my property (I know this sounds bad!) but it worked well. I had found a bear nest near my coop and was pretty worried for the bear actually. A few years ago I lived nearby but in a different place, a bear tore my coop wall off and in general was a nuisance to all folks with chickens in the area. Once they become this kind of nuisance it becomes more dangerous for the bear as well as the humans! it becomes a much bigger matter and bear had to be removed.
SO fast action is important for BEARS:
REMOVE all food from composters, garbage cans and extra grains in coop….just for a few weeks until bears can use other food sources that are coming on.
DETRACT with bad smelling things like apple cider vinegar
USE loud banging not a loud voice (this seemed to make my bear come closer faster!!!) like a pan and soon.
PS one of the things I never knew: after finding a dead newborn fawn and her mom eaten, that black bears are big killers of fawns, especially in that time of leaving hibernation, may and June. But the bear we had seemed less hungry after so I think it helped lessen with human-bear interactions.
I see bobcats in the day lately a new batch of less- scared -of human- cats. The best method I found was to run after them making very loud noises. I hissed and clucked in bizarre ways I could mimic later. It scared them bad and they never came back (tried on two different ones).
And in conclusion These were my best tools so far:
SMELLS: apple cider vinegar, bleach. And I will add that urine from my urine diverting toilets, urine from neighbors dogs coming to visit seems to help as well.
NOISES: Dont hesitate to make loud unpleasant noises one smaller predators
PREDATOR LIGHTS: I use predator lights like these for ten years. I believe they work. It’s only in last two years that I get more predator action. SO I am replacing the worn out solar predator lights.
Hi! I am an artist and a carpenter living in the woods of Washington! This is my off grid story.
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