Deer and gardens

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Are not a good mix . Went out last night to water , found the tops of many of the field peas nibbled off . I bought an electric fence setup , but haven't taken time to install it . Gotta get on that before they eat it all . I thought it was rabbits , but they don't crop the tops . I was hoping they'd hold off until I pick the blackberries , they're kinda crowding the tomato cages . Oh well , looks like I'll be losing some of those in the interest of saving more important stuff . Not like the whole countryside isn't covered with blackberry bushes , but these I've kinda kept cut back so I can get at the fruit . I'm also having a problem with probably armadillos , not sure how to handle that short of a night or two without sleep ... I know they're digging for worms and grubs , but they could find a better place to do so . Found they've dug up a couple more pepper plants , a habanero and one other that I don't know the type , I just call them hot red cones . I'm not sure if they'll respond to the 'lectric fence or not . Gotta get the weedwacker fixed first and cut down the vegetation where the fence will be . Tomorrow , today is "get the washer and dryer moved" day .
--
Snag



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On 7/3/2016 7:30 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

The best way I ever found was a .22 rifle or pistol and a headlight. No amount of ammonia or other stinky stuff gets them away. Maybe a low electric wire stretched about five to six inches above ground would work. Here's a URL that gives dillo advice: http://www.wildlife-removal.com/armadillosyardgarden.html
If you kill them pick them up with sturdy gloves and bury them deep, some do carry diseases. In SE Texas, when I was a boy, we referred to armadillos as "possums on the half shell." Once we found they carried leprosy we just shot them and buried them.
If you put up a regular fence you would have to bury the bottom about six to twelve inches in the soil to keep them out. I've actually seen armadillos run through an electric fence jumping and carrying on but they still were in the garden. Good luck.
George
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Terry Coombs wrote:

groundhogs will also eat just the fresh tops and leave the lower part alone.
we have a tall fence around the veggie garden area (7-8ft).
i wish we'd put in a finer mesh down lower as rabbits can sometimes get in, but so far this year they are staying away. and the groundhogs can also squeeze through when they are young. i just plugged up their hole again.
likely culprits here for uprooting plants are the skunks, raccoons or possums. we don't plant any potted starts outside the fenced area because they smell the fertilizers used and think there are goodies down there... since we've switched to doing that nothing outside is uprooted any longer.
the chipmunks do some damage to the bulbed plants at times. we have to trap them almost continually.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

Checked the garden a little bit ago to find one of the nicest sweet pepper plants uprooted ... tonight I'll be setting the live trap I have on loan from a neighbor . I suspect either possum or raccoon . It seems whatever it is has the idea there's something good to eat under the plants where I mixed manure into the soil as fertilizer . Today's objective was acheived , the washer and dryer are in their new room . Tomorrow it's 'lectric fence time .
--
Snag



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On 7/3/2016 9:11 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

First time I set out a trap to get whatever was going under my garden fence I caught a skunk. I did not know how to handle them at the time but now understand that they will not spray when confined and I could have removed it to someplace else.
I've caught numerous groundhogs and raccoons in my Hav-a-hart trap but wish I had the largest one as some raccoons get very large and my double door trap will not hold them. I've had raccoons uproot plants.
Rabies is endemic around here and a woman was bitten last week a few miles from here by a rabid raccoon so you have to be careful with anything you trap.
Electric fence should work for deer. Friend had one around his garden and deer did not trouble him.
Your electric fence should work for deer.
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Frank wrote: ...

i didn't know that, but i wonder if a blanket over them would be a good idea too as i sure wouldn't want them to spray by accident in the trunk of a car and not have it contained...

yes, like i said, they think many of the common fertilizers are food (they smell like fish because many places use fish emulsion). they also eat grubs, worms, snails, slugs, crayfish, frogs, etc. so if it smells like a worm they'll go after it too.
the other problem with trapping raccoons is that as soon as you catch one, another will come along and take up residence, so if you can get your garden fenced and keep them out well enough then they are mostly harmless. around here with all the decorations and pieces of wood they can go around flipping them looking for worms,etc. underneath but i don't mind them because they do stay out of the veggie gardens. unfortunately, Ma hates them and wants to trap them so we have to move them on.
the ones that don't do any damage are the ones i'd like around, but i figure we'll keep on trapping them and end up with the mean ones. a few of them have been rather snarly. the most recent one was young and very tame.

yeah, we are.
they also have the worst poo/pee stench i can't eat breakfast if we're going to transport one...

put up about 4ft high and put a little peanut butter on it. one lick and they won't be back...
songbird
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On 7/4/2016 8:39 AM, songbird wrote:

I've had them on my deck, turned the light on, opened the slider and yelled and they refused to leave.
Once sprayed them in the face with wasp spray jet to get rid of them.
This year, if wife is asleep, they are going to meet Mr. Pellet Gun.
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Frank wrote: ...

deer, raccoon or skunk?
they hunt deer around here so it is rare they come close the house here, but i have had some winters when they've bedded down overnight about 20ft from where i'm typing.
my pellet gun will sound like a 22 if i use the alloy ammo. every time i change ammo i have to resight the scope. i'm looking forwards to finding ammo that i can stick with all the time as sighting it in takes time and pellets. it will probably be next year before i run out of the current batch and switch to the expensive pellets i bought. then i have to use all that up before i try something else...
it was nice before when i could get a one inch group at 33yards (my previous air rifle). this new gun isn't that accurate yet (still breaking it in), but i also need to find the alloy ammo that works the best. some rainy day i'll have to look on-line at more reviews...
be careful and don't shoot your eye out!
songbird
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On 7/4/2016 8:37 AM, songbird wrote:

What brand and caliber Songbird? There's two calibers IIRC, .177 and .22. Mine is a Gamo Air Recon .177 with an air rifle suppressor built in. Being that is spring operated it isn't that quiet but it gets the job done within 20 feet maximum for my old eye's. The graduated iron sights are fairly easy to dial in. I shoot from the back porch to the back fence, about 18 to 20 feet.
I had an offer the other day to go back to gunsmithing but turned it down. I closed my shop in 1982 and haven't looked back. There's two things most Texan males seem to thing they know all about, guns and women, and, in my opinion, they don't seem to understand either. <G>
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On 7/4/2016 11:23 AM, George Shirley wrote:

Had not read your note when I responded to Songbird. Mine is .177 but I'm not sure of the action. While I think it may be some sort of spring it does not have a bad jolt which I hear strangely that some airguns with a spring have trouble with a scope because of this.
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Frank wrote: ...

yes, the scope should be pretty rugged to hold up to most air rifles. at least that is what the dude at the store told me when i was buying the previous gun. and considering the mounting that had to be done to get it to stay put (it actually never really did stay in place well) i can believe it.
the mounting for the more recent gun is more solid and it hasn't moved (except when i first put the scope on and didn't use the set screw which keeps it from sliding - after 100 shots the scope was holding on by one set of grippers before i noticed it was off. good laugh, but it explained why sighting it in was taking so friggen long...).
songbird
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George Shirley wrote: ...

Benjamin Prowler Nitro Piston .177, the scope is a Nikko Stirling 4x32 AO IR MD, Mountmaster Side IR. there is also the .20 caliber - that is what i had before, multipump Benjamin gun of some kind, i gave it away not too long ago - i could bring down rabbits with it. took too long between shots to pump it up. the new gun is single pump breaking barrel type.

most of the shots i need are 50 - 120 ft. i sight it in for 100ft (starting closer and then moving the target further away).
it sounds like metallic clunk when i shoot the lead ammo. not very loud at all, it has gotten quieter as the gun breaks in.

i don't really like guns, but the warden here has shoot to kill orders for various varmints and i'm her hired gun. luckily these days we are able to live trap the bigger ones (raccoons and groundhogs) and the rabbits run away enough and the other traps are working ok for the chipmunks (buckets) that i only really have to go after the once in a while grackle (now that nesting season is over). our bird population is very diverse here, i like to keep it that ways. 50 grackles can make a mess...
songbird
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On 7/4/2016 4:12 PM, songbird wrote:

Most of the critters you've mentioned are considered food in most of the US. We used to go to Maryland every other year, where Miz Anne's folks lived most of their lives. Her Dad would break out the eighteen nineties single shot .25 rifle and have me snipe the ground hogs off the property. That's when I found out they were right tasty critters. Some went to the neighbors but at least one got roasted right away. Never did find any use for the hides.
I hunted squirrels a lot when I was a youngster. We ate the meat and I sold the cleaned out tails to a guy who made fishing flies. Got 25 cents for each and, back then, was pretty good money for a half cent .22 round. Mostly I shot shorts for squirrels back then. Even Sears sold guns and ammo then. I don't hunt anymore, mostly because I can't walk very far with bad legs and back. May go deer hunting with grandson this fall, I have had a lifetime hunting and fishing license since the early eighties, they're very expensive now but were fairly cheap back then. He generally brings us lots of dressed out and prepared venison, just had venison and pork sausage with our dinner.
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George Shirley wrote: ...

if i knew someone who would kill and eat them they could have them. all they wanted. we seem to have a near infinite supply. saw three large groundhogs yesterday. several raccoons at night.

i like venison sausage, but don't eat it that often. never had squirrel.
if i'm ever starving i'll learn how to kill and clean the various critters around here. until then they get live trapped and released or buried for worm food.
songbird
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On 7/6/2016 7:07 AM, songbird wrote:

Sissy, it's all good, wholesome, organic food. <BSEG>
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On 7/4/2016 9:37 AM, songbird wrote:

My Gamo airgun has a suppressor but the crack of breaking the sound barrier is suppressed but not silenced. These are for the alloy pellets which break the sound barrier but the old lead ones don't and you don't here the crack. Pellet energy for the lead ones are probably as much as the alloy ones, only a few ft/lb compared to over 100 for a .22. Lead easily penetrates an empty beer can so should do a job on a raccoon shot in the head.
Mine has a huge scope but I would not trust accuracy much beyond 25 yards. I did pop half a dozen deer with it going after my chestnuts last year but avoided head or vitals shots. Wife does not like me shooting at animals in the yard but sleeps late and never heard me shooting them.
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Frank" <"frank wrote:

My wife asked me to stop shooting the squirrels that have been bothering the bird seed feeders ... I have allowed that as long as they stay on the ground they're safe , but if I see one on the feeder itself it's a goner . Rabbits and other critters in the garden however are fair game and I don't care how much she oblects . I work too hard getting that stuff to grow to feed it to the critters . Set the live trap last night , untripped but there's another hole and a volunteer 'mater dug up . I figger it must be an armadillo , 'coon or 'possum would have gone for the meat scraps and baked tater skins I used for bait ... and it's raining today , won't be setting up that 'lectric fence until a dry day .
--
Snag



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On 7/4/2016 12:28 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Try peanut butter as bait. I find it will catch practically everything. Also like to smear it around below the trigger as sometimes it is not tripped.
My wife thinks the squirrels are cute. Even has a picture on the kitchen wall of one she took in old bird feeder. I quit putting out feeder and will surreptitiously remove a squirrel now and then. Tough little buggers.
Different regions have different rules. Here you are allowed to trap live and kill them but not allowed to relocate them. Maybe cops don't know because before I knew this I released a squirrel right in front of a cop in a county substation. I had opened the trunk in front of him and told him I was there to release a prisoner, pulled out the trap and let the squirrel go. Cop said nothing.
I tried to spray paint the tails of a few squirrels while in the trap so I might identify them in the park where I release them but it takes damn near a can full of paint with no result other than to sicken the squirrel.
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On 7/4/2016 12:58 PM, Frank wrote:

I've got a good recipe for squirrel and dumplings if you're interested. If they're eating vegetables and acorns they're good eats, if they're eating pine cones they taste like turpentine.
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Terry Coombs wrote:
...

we've been using sunflower seeds. groundhogs and raccoons go for them.
songbird
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