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I need some advice - found something I didn't expect

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ldawntaylor, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Sep 12, 2015
    ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Overrun with beasties

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    Hi,

    I was getting ready to move some of my compost and found scat on top of the compost pile. Not that unexpected ...until you consider the some of these points...

    1. Compost piles are by the barn inside a fenced area, fences are 4 foot high.
    2. My dogs have not had access to that area recently.
    3. The scat is too large to be from my cat and the wrong type for goat or chicken.
    4. The scat has medium length hair/fur in it, so is definitely a preditor or carrion eater.
    5. The scat was not buried or covered so I doubt feline.
    6. All fencing is intact.

    None of the animals have been uneasy or acting different. I'm just a bit concerned partly because of the size and partly because of it starting to get dark before I get home on work days. Also, there was enough of the scat to indicate more than one "pit stop".

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Lisa

    ps. I live in Arkansas - Ouachita National Forest for a neighbor. I have seen a bobcat, a fox, a raccoon and an opposum as well as coyotes in the area. The bobcat was inside the fenced area.
     
  2. Sep 12, 2015
    promiseacres

    promiseacres True BYH Addict

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    Raccoon make big piles and travel anywhere, wouldn't make your critters concerned.
     
  3. Sep 12, 2015
    SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Loving the herd life

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    Cats don't necessarily bury their poop. I've seen plenty of cougar scat to know. How big is the scat?

    If small, I'd set up some live traps and see if I could catch the culprit. Compost is usually a good way to bring in bears around here, so I'd move it far away from your animals and your house.
     
    EEK likes this.
  4. Oct 3, 2015
    goatgurl

    goatgurl True BYH Addict

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    hi @ldawntaylor, small world. the Ouachita national forest is my neighbor too. is this critter that's leaving its calling card digging into the compost pile or is it just leaving a deposit? my first guess would be a coon but i have also had bobcats leave me gifts in the lower driveway without covering it. what kind of animals do you have?
     
  5. Oct 3, 2015
    HomesteaderWife

    HomesteaderWife Loving the herd life

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    It may well be a coyote, just my guess. I am including some photos of different scat to give you an idea of what it could possibly be. One thing I have noticed is that opossum and raccoon scat tends to have berries in it more than hair. Possum scat tends to be more pelleted like a rat, though.

    Also note the photo in this article, of a coyote checking out a compost pile.
    http://wnpr.org/post/citizen-science-project-trinity-college-taps-trained-eyes-veterans#stream/0

    They are very curious animals, but also mark their territory a lot. Remove the scat, as it may well attract more of them. Many fur trappers actually pick up coyote scat on the trail in order to place it near a trap, because the coyotes mark a buried food source like this.

    Hope this helps.
     

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  6. Oct 28, 2015
    ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Overrun with beasties

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    Thanks for the input everyone. From looking at those pictures I would say that what I found is bobcat or fox. What ever it was wasn't intrested in the other boxes or couldn't reach them because they are taller. A coyote or bear would be much more interested in the content of those taller boxes.

    As for bear getting into where the compost boxes are...maybe...but, I think there would be damage to the fence unless it was a small one that still climbs trees and could climb a fence post.
     
    HomesteaderWife likes this.
  7. Jan 22, 2016
    MMWB

    MMWB Overrun with beasties

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    Canines like high spots and they will deposit their calling card as a marker. Not seeing a picture of it, but based on what you said, I would guess fox. They can get through some pretty fine fencing (as well as dig under). They are much smaller in the body than they appear furred out. I have new field fence around my pasture and regularly find fox scat out there.
     
  8. Apr 12, 2016
    ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Overrun with beasties

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    Thanks MMWB, a fox is possible. If it was okay with having the dogs really close by.

    And question, where is Star Valley? I spent some time as a child in Buffalo and got a chance to get somewhat familiar with the Big Horn mountains and Wind River Canyon. There are a lot of familiar place names but I don't remember that one.
     
  9. Apr 15, 2016
    MMWB

    MMWB Overrun with beasties

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    Star Valley is a mountain valley about 40 miles long, with several small towns in it. The furthest town to the north, in the valley, is Alpine. About 35 miles south of Jackson. Foxes and coyotes don't worry too much about the dogs, as long as the dogs aren't being aggressive toward them.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2016
    ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Overrun with beasties

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    Thanks.

    Jackson, WY is one of the towns my Dad used to talk about. He was a rep. for Christian Record Braille Foundation back in the mid 1980's. He travelled the state regularly for about 2 years.