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Category: Wildlife

Ermine, Nature’s Mouse Trap

Ermine, Nature’s Mouse Trap

Ermine – Short-tailed Weasel We have an ermine, called a short-tailed weasel or stoat when from spring through fall when its coat isn’t white. I mentioned it before. It still comes around now and then even though it’s wiped out the mouse problem for us. There’s been some concern by folks who get a glimpse of him about the safety of our ducks and chickens. So far it’s fine. If it’s going into the hen house it isn’t causing a…

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Track Maker – predator on the homestead

Track Maker – predator on the homestead

The Track Maker I waited until it warmed up before going out this morning. Six below. -6°F, “feels like” -17°F (feels like needles on bare skin) when I went out. The ducks peeked out the door. A hen waddled out, looked around, stretched her right leg behind her, wings out straight, turned around and waddled back inside. I closed the door behind her and filled the water pans. The chickens are pecking at a pan of bacon fat I gave…

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Snowy Food Plots and White-tailed Deer

Snowy Food Plots and White-tailed Deer

Snowy Food Plots We’ve been waiting for snowy food plots to learn how to the wildlife will react to the food we’ve provided. There are turnip and radish tops above snow but as you can see, the deer are pawing through the snow to get to grass. Unfortunately we don’t know what kind of grass seed was in the seed mix. The deer have flattened one food plot, their favorite, and moved into the larger plot behind the house. The…

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Hibernation in the Woodlot

Hibernation in the Woodlot

Hibernation Hibernation is underway in our woodlots. We can let the dogs out in the evening without worrying about them bumping into raccoons, skunks, porcupines and bears. Or…can we? Sometime during the night a small animal chewed the bottom out of the mesh bag and dropped the suet to the porch floor. Late one December I stumbled upon a soaking wet carcass.  I assumed from its black fur that a neighbor’s cat had fallen prey to a coyote or fox…

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Beaver Damage in the Woodlot

Beaver Damage in the Woodlot

Beaver Damage Beaver damage – a problem that creates beauty. Now what do we do? We had a surprise, unwelcome discovery in the woodlot late in the summer. Steve discovered a beaver lodge and bog a few hundred yards from the house. It looks like I need to spend more time poking around in the woodlot to see what’s happening out there. Beaver damage can happen fast and I don’t want the little buggers to get any further ahead of…

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Young Bull Moose on an Afternoon Stroll

Young Bull Moose on an Afternoon Stroll

Young Bull Moose A young bull moose visits the food plot on his way to somewhere more interesting. He’s been here night and day, always coming into and leaving the food plot in the same directions. On Tuesday he swung a left at the Y and walked past another camera. We’re game camera junkies. They’re all over the place. Living with wildlife is never dull and usually a joy. I’d like to see this little guy so I’m thinking of…

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Deer Blowing, Skunk Waddling, No Bear

Deer Blowing, Skunk Waddling, No Bear

Deer Blowing It was a good day to be seated in a mini chair behind the pile of trees I use as a ground blind. After sitting in the rain at two sites on Wednesday my boots were soaking wet, and I’d forgotten to dry them in the sun and breeze. A middle-aged brain cramp left me sitting in the shade, in a breeze, with cold, wet feet. Cold feet make the rest of me cold. You’d think I’d learn….

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Catch a Snapping Turtle Using Only Two Tools

Catch a Snapping Turtle Using Only Two Tools

Taylor caught a small snapping turtle in the pond while fishing one early summer day in 2000. She reeled him in but half way up the steep bank, he got away. He was small, maybe 5″ from one end of his shell to the other. We threw lines out for him the entire summer but didn’t see him again until the following year. We wondered how to catch a snapping turtle but didn’t put much effort into the task at…

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Snowshoe Hare Kits

Snowshoe Hare Kits

Snowshoe Hare Kits Last week, in the midst of our quest to add beauty to the homestead, Steve backed the bush hog under a clump of wild apple, pine, spruce and black cherry trees. Ava and Zoey followed their noses to a young porcupine two days earlier, and Zoey came out with quills in her nose, lip and mouth. We got them out but don’t think ZoMonster knows what happened since it was dark, and that she’ll do it again….

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Preventing Nuisance Black Bear Problems

Preventing Nuisance Black Bear Problems

Preventing Nuisance Bear Problems There’s a rogue bear on the loose, being a pain in the backside, and scaring people. It’s probably a yearling that’s been through family separation and doesn’t quite know what to do with itself yet. Sows drive their yearlings away, sometimes violently, to prevent them from being killed by boars during mating season. If the youngsters haven’t mastered finding food they can become problems. Others can find food just fine but take advantage of easy opportunities….

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