Lethal Methods of Predator Control:
Lethal methods of predator control have been around for a long time, with varied results. These include shooting and trapping of problem animals. In the past, poisoning has been used, but that method is almost universally banned today. As mentioned earlier, be sure to check the legal regulations before starting a lethal predator control program. Laws can change so make sure to stay up-to-date. Also, in some locations and situations, hunting and trapping licenses may be required.
Lethal methods of control are becoming more controversial each year and can cause problems when domestic dogs are the predators. In most states, owners have the right to protect their livestock; however, they may be required to provide proof of an animal harassing livestock. When using lethal predator control, it’s best to do so discretely and remove the dead animals as soon as possible.
Most predators are territorial and do not allow others of the same species to hunt in their area. However, packs can become large and territory can overlap. It has also been observed that predator populations tend to expand or contract in an area in response to the changes in the prey population. If there are decreases in other prey species in an area, such as mice and rabbits, predators may increase attacks on livestock. It is also known that some packs of coyotes avoid livestock in an area. Because they protect their territory from other packs, removing that pack may increase the chances you are attacked. These things need to be considered before starting a lethal control program on your farm.
Many publications are available on control of predators through trapping and other lethal methods. Any publication consulted should be current as legal restrictions on lethal methods have changed over the years. Predator hunting is becoming popular today and can offer an opportunity for producers in reducing problem animals. There are also people who trap predators. A list of certified trappers may be available at local extension offices or the area Department of Fish and Wildlife.