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Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by California Flyway, Apr 12, 2019.
I hate when we agree
Owls make interesting kills on bunnies. I have (lots of) free range bunnies in our yard. Sorta pets, but just for watching. Draws in the fox, bobcats, and weasels. The worst, however, are the owls. I can take care of the others via the 10/22 at the back door. Can't do anything bout the owls cept shoot at the tree they are watching from to try to scare em away.
Anyway, after we first got the rabbits, in the winter, I would find clean gut piles in the snow. When I say clean, I mean surgical clean. No track, no fur, no blood. It looked like you gutted the bunny, put the guts in a bowl, and plopped it into the snow. It would melt in a little, then freeze. I had no idea what was doing it. Then a local told me it was owls. Said to keep an eye out for the heads also. They will clip that off before they take the carcass.
That reminds me, I gotta see if there is a youtube video of that. I have no idea how they accomplish it.
Recovering falconer, started ca. 1971. still like to watch them/ all raptors esp. hunting but in my experience it's preferable to a) divorced and b) unemployed to do the sport justice. Being neither, I surrendered more or less for good about 8 years ago when my last peregrine disappeared over the horizon. Mixed feelings about raptors killing game; bobwhites, especially, although for the most part they're just protected because they're raptors, not because there's any particular shortage - eg horned owls are common as dirt (to the chagrin of rabbits, pheasants, ducks etc etc)
Great Horned Owls are bad *** hunters. They rule the night killing even Red Foxes by running talons through their eyes into the brain.
More than a few Falconers have lost Peregrines to Horned Owls hitting them jessed to their blocks outside.
Actually, doing nothing IS management, whether it's timber or wildlife...it's always an option. Sometimes it's a bad option, sometimes it's the only option.
I love raptors, and we seem to have come full circle. There is something about them, no matter what... Guys like Nash Buckingham wrote about game wardens killing "duck hawks" in the early to mid 1900's. Then we started protecting raptors of all kinds, got rid of DDT, etc. Now, we are back to shooting them.
Honestly, and I know my wife would be angry with me for saying this, but I'd rather see every feral cat disappear. I've never understood why people feel the need to put their cats out at night or whatever and let them wreak havoc on the birds, rabbits and squirrels. Thin out the skunks, coyotes, opossum and raccoons, too, while we're at it.
Glad your fingers got some exercise today. Take the breather, you’ve earned it.
Years ago, I watched a great horned owl swoop down on a bunny in my front yard. The owl was quick but the bunny was quicker and ducked into a tangled mass of blackberry canes. The owl landed and paced back & forth by the canes kinda like a chicken, finally flew up into a tree where the tweety birds started giving it grief. It finally flew on.
Up on my roof checking for wind damage, I found the skeleton of a large 'possum where either a red tail or great horned had it for dinner. I don't think any of the other raptors I have around here would be large enough to pull that off.
Ok, enlighten me...since you seem to make snide comments and then disappear...
I make snide comments until I conclude that those with whom I am trying to converse cannot communicate an opinion in a debatable manner or they are too dense to understand what I am saying.
You chose to disagree with me because it suits your purposes. Great.
Doing nothing in the manner we do nothing today by emotional knee jerk decree is not management. Making animals scared and beyond our control because of there sacredness is worship not management, as an example birds of prey and their effects on other species.
True we could be in a management situation and ascertain that at this point in time nothing needs to be done, but that is not how we manage birds of prey or many other groups of animals. Seals and sea lions in the Pacific Northwest on the Colombia river as another obvious example.
So you are intellectually dense (most probably) or just being a whiny little argumentative female dog.
But your fat finger got some exercise today. Whoopi.
No, you said, "Doing nothing is not management". I disagree with you because that's a blanket statement that is misleading and quite frankly, ignorant, no matter how verbose or insulting you may attempt to be. You even clarified it when called on it, so your indignance and condescension really does nothing except belie the weakness of your own position.
If you go and do even a quick search for raptor management USFWS, you will find multiple pages of papers written on population management through habitat management among other topics. Some are back into the mid-1980's, and a great many are on species like the Northern Goshawk, Spotted Owl, Osprey, and others that are of concern. But "emotional knee-jerk decree" doesn't really seem to fit, either.
As far as raptors' effect on other species, the predation estimate for birds by cats in the US was one billion per year in a 2009 paper, and a range of 1-4 billion birds and 6-22 billion mammals per year in a 2013 paper. Urban area mammal take was mostly non-native mice and rats, but semi-urban and rural area take was native mice, voles, squirrel, shrew and rabbit, and the paper noted a preference for killing mammals over birds. The reptile estimate seemed more like a SWAG due to no distinct research, but was a range of 228-871 million annually, with amphibians at 86-320 million killed per year. Which I guess is a long way around to saying that it seems like improved feral domestic cat management is a better place to start than shooting a hawk or an owl, but that's strictly my opinion.
I'm glad your fingers got exercise today also. I'll lift a glass of bourbon to your fingers this evening. Cheers.