June 2009

   "Howdy Folks" A trend that started a couple of years ago seams to be getting to be a bigger problem as the years go by. I noticed that more and more folks are buying animal traps and trying to take care of their wild animal problems themselves. There is more to wild animal trapping then buying a trap and a jar of peanut butter. Wild animal trapping has a ton of rules and regulations that the common person doesnít know about. These rules and regulations have been put into the system for a reason.

   So you have, what you think is a woodchuck hole in your back yard. You go and buy a live trap from the local hardware and a jar of peanut butter and set up hoping to get "Woody" the Woodchuck. The next morning you and the kids run out to see if your first venture in trapping has produced good results. You canít believe what your eyes see. "Peppie-la-Pew" (a very unhappy Skunk) is in the trap. What do You do now? What happened to the woodchuck? Panic sets in and all of a sudden you find yourself calling for help. Things get worse when you find out that it will cost anywhere from $100 to $150 for a certified trapper to come and take care of the problem. For most folks, this is a weeks pay and they canít afford to pay it. So then what? You, as the homeowner, have the option to dispatch or release the animal yourself. If you dispatch it you have to bury it on your own property. This is a very complicated decision as contact, in any way, with this animal may result in the spread of the rabies virus; if the animal is infected There are a number of steps that have to be done if this is your decision. If you decide to release the skunk, you have to have written permission from the landowner to release it on his land. Donít forget that getting sprayed is a very good possibility. If you have never been sprayed, you are in for a treat!! If the land is in another county, you have to have the County Health Departments permission to release it. The regulations go on and on and on. So as you can see, maybe we should have just filled in the hole, or called an agent, or just forgot about trying the art of trapping.

   Not all wild animal control agents charge the same fees. Some do it as a part time deal and then some make a good living at it. An agent has a lot of equipment to pay for, a lot of experience on his side and licenses and permits to renew every year. He has a vehicle to support and insurances to keep up. He doesnít keep every dollar that he collects doing a job. It is a business and has the ups and downs that any business has.

   So, the next time that you want to see what is living in that hole in your backyard, buy a camera and get a picture. Pictures donít spray.

   Good luck and "GOD BLESS"