2019 Varmint Report

Each year I post a varmint report showing all of the animals
that I disposed of during the year. I’ve been doing this for a number
of years, so you can search for the others years numbers, as the report has become quite large. I have 5 Safeguard traps, 2 large and three small size. When I do use bait, and sometimes I don’t even
have to, I use sunflower seeds. I also use a scoped air rifle, as regular fire arms are not allowed in my neighborhood. All animals are disposed of humanely. If I didn’t dispose of them, they’d be right
back destroying my crops and song birds, which I rely on heavily to
combat all of the insects with which I have to contend. I did set up a
bat house last year, but so far no bats.
Squirrels 32
Rabbits 6
Possums 4
Foxes 3
No raccoons this year
Cats 2


Just curious, why are you killing foxes? Around here foxes mostly feed on rabbits, mice, voles, grasshoppers, and such. I’m sure they’d eat a song bird if they got the chance, but they’re a minute portion of their diet. Have they adapted in your area to preying on more birds?


I have a few gray foxes around, and I have watched one eat my peaches. It almost jumped out of its skin when it saw me 20 feet away. It was so into eating that peach it seemed almost oblivious to everything.
I still don’t and won’t kill fox, (raccoons and opossums are a different story). Unless I had chickens they were getting into, I think the peaches they ate were not many and the benefits out weight the disadvantages. I’m assuming since 2 cats is on your list you must have poultry or something?

Foxes, here, are well known carriers of Rabies, and they
do climb trees and eat fruit. I don’t intentionally try to trap them,
but I can’t take a chance on one of them turning on me, if I released
We have a leash law in my county that applies not only to dogs, but also to cats. They kill my song birds, crap in my rose garden, and one even climbed into the engine block of my neighbor’s car, and destroyed his radiator and fan belt, when he started his car, causing a major repair bill.

9 squirrels
8 rats
8 voles/mice
2 possums

I almost wish I had been more active in taking out squirrels. They are the bane of my gardening existence. With my yard being so small, there are moments when I have a dozen or more out there wreaking havok.


10 Squirrels
4 opossums
3 coons
2 dogs

My property buts up against several thousand acres of forest. I have chickens and there is a leash law here for dogs, which not everyone adheres to. Over the last 8 years I have had over 150 chickens killed. The majority of those have been killed by dogs that have been set loose into the woods by some distant neighbors to go “play”… When they find my chickens free-ranging in the yard they treat them like squeaky toys. Once they stop squeaking they run and grab another one. If I find a dog anywhere near my aviary, it is doubtful its owner will ever see it again.

I killed

0 Animals in 2019.

(But, there’s some bears I’d sure love to catch in the act eating my apples…maybe the tally will be a higher number next year!)

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I’m surprised you only killed 2 dogs. I would have killed a lot more.

Well, last year I think there were 7 dogs that I either caught in person or were caught on camera. Two of the dogs belonged to my tenants a few houses down. Having dogs is a violation of their lease. They don’t want to get rid of the dogs, and I don’t want to be bothered with trying to evict them right now, so, they have put shock collars on their dogs and I have not seen the dogs since. Four dogs came in pairs. I wound up killing one of each of the pair and the 2nd ran off before I was able to eliminate it. Neither of the remaining dogs have returned. The last dog I caught near the aviary, but it was not after the chickens, it was just smelling around. It was some type of hunting hound and it had a GPS collar on. I grabbed the dog and tied it up and then called the cops to come sort it out. Turns out the dog was from a few streets over and belonged to some guy the cop knew. Apparently the dog dug out from under its pen and went awol. I told the guy and the cop that if I catch the dog again it won’t be coming home. They both understood.

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I’ve probably shot 30 squirrels this year. crows are a real pain up here and are everywhere. very smart so they are hard to get a sight on. like they have a 6th sense. i still managed to whack a dozen of them. i have a lot of skunks that i used to live trap and relocate but i noticed they love junebug grubs and gladly rid the lawn of them for me so now i leave them alone. my dogs are fenced so i don’t have to worry about them getting sprayed.

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@moose71 I have zero experience with skunks; what shall I do if I find one inside one of my cage traps? Will it spray me if I approach the trap?

Skunks are super smart you should throw a blanket over the trap and let them out, there diet is basically almost entirely pests, If they go after your chickens usually a electric fence and giving them access to your compost is enough. Many people supplement them with cat food as they can be beneficial and back in the day farmers in Colorado would keep them around.

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With four traps, baited daily, I eliminated 40+ squirrels and two raccoons. I didn’t plan on catching the raccoons, but they got inside my squirrel traps. Luckily I don’t have to fend off other varmints; squirrels are painful enough for me.

(" I have zero experience with skunks; what shall I do if I find one inside one of my cage traps? Will it spray me if I approach the trap?")
I have approached skunks in live traps , very slowly , holding up a small tarp like a wall, gently covering the trap, and ever so slowly opening the door, have not been sprayed if this is done slowly, in a non threatening manner.
Don’t wear your "good clothes ":grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Also should add I had a skunk "stay in "the havaheart trap with the door open covered with a tarp , except for the exit ,
For 3 days !
I guess it felt comfortable in there, it could have left.
So just make sure it’s gone before you pull the tarp off !


This is my theory (and excuse) for releasing any possums that wind up in my squirrel traps. I assume it’s true.

i cover all 3 sides of the trap with thin plywood held in place with zip ties so he can’t see you approaching from the sides. I’ve relocated dozens of them and never got sprayed. just hold still after opening the door and he’ll just mosey on into the woods.:wink:


When releasing skunks it is important to make sure to set up a video camera to record the release. If things go badly you can at least comfort yourself by knowing you were able to entertain thousands of people on YouTube.


I made use of an injured deer that walked through my orchard during hunting season. I’m afraid the leftovers are helping the skunks, raccoons, possums, fox, coyotes, and hawks survive the winter. I would never trap any of these. Not morally opposed to dispatching raccoons or possums…just too many of them to worry about.