Effectiveness of Trapping

By GrowingDeer,

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With your predator trapping program, do you do any kind of survey to measure its effectiveness?  I remember an episode where you stated most of the animals you trapped were yearling males who were probably recolonizing the area.  Do you do anything to document that your trapping efforts in January are still noticeable in the spring during nesting and fawning season?  Has your catch per unit effort or anything changed since you first started trapping?



I do record the species, gender, and weight of each critter trapped at The Proving Grounds.  I haven’t analyzed the data, but is certainly appears that there are fewer raccoons and opossums at The Proving Grounds for awhile after trapping season.  However, by August there are several raccoons visiting our camera survey bait sites again.  Another measure is that I’ve caught 45 to 55 raccoons and opossums each year for the past four years at The Proving Grounds.  The critters I catch are now almost all male and yearlings.  It appears I’m removing a high percentage of the predators, but yearling males disperse and fill the open habitat by the next year.  However, effectiveness should be measured by the number of predators that are still reduced during the fawning and nesting season.  I haven’t addressed when the predators are recolonizing after trapping with a research project.  The turkey population has increased substantially at The Proving Grounds during the past few years, but I can’t state with certainty the relationship between this increase and removing predators.

Trapping is a viable wildlife management tool.  With fur prices being significantly reduced for years, it seems the predator/prey populations are out of balance in many areas.

Growing Deer together,