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Thread: Problem with big cats and my free range chickens

  1. #31
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    Cougar, we call them Panthers down here. It is my high schools mascot. The last time I saw one in the woods was the fall of 1978. It was bigger than any 4 foot. We were driving down a logging road on international paper land when it crossed the dirt road a good bit ahead of us. When it jumped the road, It's back feet were in one ditch and it's front feet were in the ditch on the other side. That was a big cat! Our lynx are the size of a Labrador retriever.
    Last edited by Ickthus; 05-12-2019 at 07:40 PM. Reason: Auto correct or dyslexic hard to say
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  2. #32
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    My main problem had always been hawks killing my chickens and shooting those is a big no no. I locked the girls up in their coop at night, but hawks would get them when they roamed around the yard during the day. The all white leghorns seemed to be the most susceptible, not so much with barred rocks or rhode island reds. I have had the occasional raccoon show interest, but I'm allowed to shoot those. I've never seen any kind of cats after them and I believe the only ones that we have in PA. are a type of lynx.
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  3. #33
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    Around here anytime I start having problems with bobcats I'll set out traps baited with fresh kill rabbit and crushed catnip. I use to free range 300 laying hens and 200 laying ducks. I have cut back over the years but the predators return every so often. I use mostly live traps and do have some steel ones. Over the last year and a half I have caught approx. 22 possums and 28 raccoons. It doesn't take long to have a problem that needs to be taken care of. I wish you luck.
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  5. #34
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    I would contact the local game warden and see if they have a program for removing the big cat.
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  6. #35
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    Exclamation Sir one thing You may want to consider:

    Sir one thing You may want to consider: If it is hunting in the day time which is normal but taking this many of yer birds it may have Cubs near by possibly in that gully by yer pond! Puma or Mountain lions tend to go after big game unless they are hurt or trying to feed their new born. They will try and stay as near to their den as possible so smaller game AE your chickens are easy and fast to get. I would not mess around with a .22 lr nor a .22 mag. unless that where all I had because they are very fast and can be on you in a snap! Also be very careful because they are stealth and ambush predators and will lay in wait for you and they are very, very quiet! Keep yer Guns on You and some good dogs with you at all times if you have some. As You said it doesn't seem to be very afraid of people and that is very dangerous especially if it has Cubs because as She regains Her strength from having them She will be looking for something bigger than chicken and You, Your Wife, Children, or Goats, Sheep, Cattle, or Even Horses could be Her next kill the rancid chicken will probability not work to well on a wild Puma or Mountain lion as they like a fresh kill unless they are ill or hurt. Not trying to frighten You But just want to warn ya what may happen! I think I saw where you said you had a .357 lever action? I would use something that size or larger and make my 1st shot count just to be safe and also keep a good fixed blade long knife on you cause it could be yer last defense if She gets ya down! Pray ya get it! One other thing....... They don't call them the ghost of the woods fer nothing! They know yer there before you do! God Bless and stay vigilant my friend fer they can stalk you fer miles unseen and unheard.


    Quote Originally Posted by silverstring View Post
    We've lost three chickens the last few days to some kind of big cat. I've been told Bobcats are the local big cat, but this one has more of a body profile of a Puma or Mountain lion. No spots, about 4 feet nose to rear( not including tail), about 2 - 2/5 feet tall at shoulder and looks solid medium gray in color. We've seen him twice hanging close to our coop and always runs off to a small gulley by my front pond. For now we are keeping the 6 we have left in the coop, but I need to put this critter down.
    Considering baiting with slightly rancid store bought chicken parts, but really have no idea what I am doing. Not like posting up in a stand for a deer, I will be probably be posted up on my raised deck as that has the best vantage point to the area where the cat is hunting. Want to try and handle myself as opposed to hiring someone to setup a trap..Any advice???
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtg452 View Post
    Have you contacted your local Animal Control or Fish and Game?

    It'd be kinda ugly if you did catch or kill the thing and end up in a mess of trouble with them folks. Fish and Game could decide that you are poaching (as in trapping without a license) instead of pest control.

    Besides, if it is a wild animal like you think, they have the knowledge and equipment to deal with the trapping or they know someone in the area that does it.


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  8. #37
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    Thanks for the tip Jgrey. I also was wondering about the poss of a young ones and a den. I realize this is no little critter, and will likely hunt me as I am hunting it. So I am not going into the woods after it, just not spry enough anymore to seriously track. So far we haven't lost any more chickens since we kept them locked up in the coop for 3 days, hoping he got frustrated and moved on..
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