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Dispatching a Captured Possum Humanely

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  • Dispatching a Captured Possum Humanely

    I finally caught the critter who has been killing by little broiler chickens last night in a humane trap. Looks like a half grown possum. It was tunneling under the door, killing and eating it right on the spot. I've lost four birds now and finally last night, using the carcass of one of his kills, managed to capture the marauder.

    Next question is now I have him, what is the best way to do him in? I have handguns...a .45 Taurus Judge which fires long colts which seems a bit much...and a .22 which unfortunately I can't find the ammo for. My. 45 also shoots 410 rounds. The possum is in a cage also so I don't want to risk a ricochet or anything. I can get quite close of course.

    I considered drowning him but that seems pretty inhumane to me. Turning him loose is not a great option either as he'll just be a pest somewhere else. I sure as heck am not paying for him to be euthanized or any such thing. I would prefer shooting it and have no problem doing so but have never done so in this sort of situation.

    Does anyone have any experience with this?

  • #2
    somebody has it in their signature 'I catch them in a have-a-heart trap, then shoot them through the wires'

    I don't think the trap offers too much for a bullet/shot to ricochet, but I would be worried about the mechanism getting torn up (my have-a-heart is a pain to set as it is...)

    If you can aim well enough I suppose you can use a smallish hand gun...

    (but I only shot a cardboard box once....it held still so I could aim)

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you answered your own question if you're OK with shooting him and aren't into having a vet euth him. Are handguns the only thing you have? I'd figure a rifle would be a safer bet (your aim could be better since theoretically you could put the barrel through the cage) -- do you have any family/friends who could loan you a .22 rifle (or even a .17 would do at point blank range) and some ammo?

      I definitely think a point blank shot would be very much more humane than drowning or gassing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Possums are not territorial - they will wander around from place to place.
        They are omnivorous so take him to a place far, far away and let him go.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
          Possums are not territorial - they will wander around from place to place.
          They are omnivorous so take him to a place far, far away and let him go.
          This^^^.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh by all means, take him someplace else and he becomes someone else's problem. After all the cases of epm, my vet concurs that the only good possum is a dead'en
            In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I do have a rifle. Much better idea. Thx.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you're a decent shot, you could let him out and then shoot him with the .45 outside the trap. I think anything larger than a .22 wouldn't go through the mesh of the trap. Those traps are fairly expensive and I try not to shoot mine up. There's no one around who could give you 1 .22 hollow point? That's what I use.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I did find my 22 ammo. Thanks for the advice. I'll deal with the little bugger as best I can.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by minnie View Post
                    Oh by all means, take him someplace else and he becomes someone else's problem. After all the cases of epm, my vet concurs that the only good possum is a dead'en
                    Your vet is an ass.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by minnie View Post
                      Oh by all means, take him someplace else and he becomes someone else's problem. After all the cases of epm, my vet concurs that the only good possum is a dead'en
                      Is your vet also for exterminating barn cats and all the other critters that are vectors for EPM?

                      While I agree with getting rid of nuisance wildlife - getting rid of critters that are just minding their own business is pretty stupid and shortsighted.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Ok, just so folks don't think I tortured it to death. One head shot and he was dead..it was fast and painless. A much better end than my chickens had I'm sure. I lost one of the best horses I've ever known to EPM and no, I'm not inclined to let it go somewhere...sorry to those of you who feel that way but they are not an endangered species and they are a terrible nuisance when they start killing young chickens and can still infect horses simply by visiting my farm on a nightly basis.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                          Possums are not territorial - they will wander around from place to place.
                          They are omnivorous so take him to a place far, far away and let him go.
                          I certainly do not want people letting their unwanted critters loose on my land and I assume most people feel the same way. It is rude to assume that the animal you do not want is wanted by someone else.

                          Humanely shoot the poor thing and be done with it.

                          Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                          While I agree with getting rid of nuisance wildlife - getting rid of critters that are just minding their own business is pretty stupid and shortsighted.
                          It is not minding its own business. It is killing the OP's chickens.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            It is not minding its own business. It is killing the OP's chickens.
                            Yeah, I read that part. That's why I said I agreed with getting rid of nuisance wildlife. The last part of the sentence was directed at minnie's vet's assertion that the only good possum is a dead possum. That's why I quoted her post.
                            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It should not be too difficult to drive somewhere & turn a opossum loose on public lands where such animals live. A opossum does not have to be dumped on someone's personal property or killed. I realize that by this time, this poor fellow had likely been shot or killed in some other manner.
                              For those wanting more information on the opossum check out the website of the National Opossum Society.
                              http://www.opossum.org/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I truly understand the horses/possum/ epm thing. I do.
                                I truly understand the possum/ broiler chick thing. I do. (Fix your coop. You're inviting predators. Hot wire is easy.

                                What I don't understand is why you couldn't take the time to take a drive with said young possum and release it.

                                Yet you come here and ask what can of firepower will dispatch a possum in a trap.
                                Glad it worked out for you. You're a heck of a shot.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by leaf View Post
                                  I truly understand the horses/possum/ epm thing. I do.
                                  I truly understand the possum/ broiler chick thing. I do. (Fix your coop. You're inviting predators. Hot wire is easy.

                                  What I don't understand is why you couldn't take the time to take a drive with said young possum and release it.

                                  Yet you come here and ask what can of firepower will dispatch a possum in a trap.
                                  Glad it worked out for you. You're a heck of a shot.
                                  Maybe you can post your address so everyone who has a nuisance opossum can drop it at your place.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Good grief people. Grow up...only on this forum would someone mourn the death of a possum that was killing livestock. Do you all say a prayer when you see them dead on the highway too??? My God...it boggles the imagination. As a farmer I have the legal right to protect my livestock...and that includes shooting dogs if I have to. The only protected animals I know of that prey on chickens are hawks and raptors and I know better than to kill one...I have installed aviary netting to protect my chickens from hawks for that reason. My coop is secure and has been until now until this one got the idea to dig under the door...and yes I will take precautions so it doesn't happen again...but sometimes wild animals get accustomed to killing livestock and the best way to deal with them is to kill them as humanely as possible to prevent them from coming back time after time. I could have used poison or some other sort of inhumane method but I did not. He did not suffer OK??? Yes it was a he and I checked before I put it down.

                                    I didn't go out hunting him..he came back 5 times to kill chickens and this last time I caught him in the act. If he'd of stayed in the woods eating his natural diet, he would still be alive.

                                    I was busy processing chickens all day and working here on the farm and still have a lot of work to do. I don't have time to take a long drive today or tomorrow and burn expensive diesel just to carry a possum far away from my farm. I also have no interest in getting bitten by the creature trying to release it or water it...and yes, they will do just that if they can. If you haven't been up close and personal with one, they have big damn teeth and can be very nasty.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                      I certainly do not want people letting their unwanted critters loose on my land and I assume most people feel the same way. It is rude to assume that the animal you do not want is wanted by someone else.

                                      Humanely shoot the poor thing and be done with it.


                                      It is not minding its own business. It is killing the OP's chickens.
                                      THIS! I would be LIVID if someone dumped their problem on my property
                                      I wasn't always a Smurf
                                      Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I had something break into my chicken area and kill one...it buried the body..freaky..but I was able to secure the area better and it hasn't happened again. Even if I had caught the predator I wouldn't kill it. I would have taken the possum somewhere..I even relocate packrats if I catch them! But I don't hate opossums or particularly fear disease either. There are lots of germs and pathogens out there, sure can't avoid them all!

                                        Comment

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