I love my rifle. I never imagined myself saying something so…redneck. But I do. Last winter a mink had a chicken by the neck…total hostage situation. One shot took out the mink and saved the bird. Raccoons molesting my turkeys? Problem solved. Rabbits escape their pens? Got it handled. Recently I have had an issue with a something tearing open bags of feed in my shed. Early this morning the wife called out while walking the dog, “It’s a skunk”.
My poor rifle has never been used this early in the morning and was still asleep but it didn’t complain. It fired two shots at the skunk. The first shot scared it enough that it stopped running. The second shot was clean…instant. He didn’t know anything happened. One second there was a skunk. The next second there was dinner for a vulture. In fact, the vultures really seem to like him.
That little stinker didn’t just stop at feed bags. He’s been digging in my garden and generally stinking up the place. I don’t mind a skunk if it just scavenges away from the house. When they try to move in I have to take action. I think he was digging up worms. I need those worms…
I’ll say it again, I love my rifle. It’s just what I wanted. A stainless steel Ruger 10/22 with a few minor modifications. It’s the cat’s meow. Take some time to understand the gun laws where you homestead. Learn to use the tool properly. It’s a real help at times when homesteading.
My brother would envy your gun laws I’m sure – he lost 40 chickens last year to a mink that came twice. I am definitely not up on these regulations, but I do know that In Canada you cannot own a gun for anything except hunting, and hunting is restricted to certain areas, certain times, certain quantities. Not only that, but only certain types of weapon can be owned. I sense a loophole somewhwere, since it is lawful to destroy a dog damaging livestock – and how are you supposed to do that humanely if not with a gun?
Our gun laws are pretty restrictive in the People’s Republic of Illinois. There has to be something you can do to protect your livestock at home.
I wrote this post a few days ago. Since then I have learned the skunk population is much larger than I had thought. Also an owl attempted to attack chicks in the chicken tractor on pasture last night. He must have killed one directly, 3 more died when the chicks piled up trying to get away from it but he didn’t eat his kill and lost several feathers crashing into the tractor.
I know a mink really hit your flock a few months ago. I know that Pepee La Pue is all image not reality, but I really think owls and hawks are the cause of an aweful lot of damage, possibly more than the others. They destroy chickens, turkeys and other little live stock but they also destroy cats and kittens. Probably small dogs, too.
That may be but great horned owls eat skunks…lol.
And I found out today from looking up some bylaws for someone that as of 2010, farmers in my district can get a permit to have a shotgun, and are allowed to use it to protect crops and livestock. And whatever happened with the more recent skunk attacks, through/over/under the electric netting?