Fox, coons, coyotes or cats, just about every predator likes a meal of eggs, a tender, young turkey poult or the “fillet mignon” of a new-born fawn. If you want to raise more gobblers, whitetails or other game animals you should consider attacking the problem at its source. Control the predators that are eating your next generation of game animals by trapping. This will increase the survival rates of all ground nesting birds in addition to having better fawn recruitment.
Weather, habitat and predators all influence nesting success. Since nothing can be done about the weather, controlling predators and bolstering habitat can pay huge rewards. Now is the time to get busy hunting and trapping those predators. Ground nesting birds have a lot of things working against them. Some studies have shown they lose over 80 percent of their eggs and over 70 percent of chicks to predators. Even if you don’t stay on top of predator control the rest of the year, putting forth effort now will help dramatically because we’re right before the birds will nest and the fawn rearing months.
If you’ve never trapped before you’ll need some equipment and knowledge to get started. There are a number of websites like www.duketraps.com or www.northerntrapping.com that can set you up with the equipment you’ll need. To learn how to trap you can read books like the Guide to Trapping, by Jim Spencer or seek help from your state’s trappers association or Department of Natural Resources. Some state trapper’s associations even have a list of veteran trappers that will personally show you how for a fee, in exchange for trapping your property for a while or for keeping the fur they catch.