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,