My Backyard Is Becoming A Wildlife Refuge

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MoonstoneWolf

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To be clear I wasn't complaining. I'm happy to have all this wildlife in my area. I was just making a joke because of the "zoo" that's appearing in my subdivision lately lol
 
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MoonstoneWolf

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What a great story! When I just started helping the feral cats there was a yellow I trapped that was so vicious in the cage it was just super scary. His tail was mangled so his first stop was to the vet to have his tail fixed. Most of his tail had to be removed so he just had a little stub, hence the name: Bobtail.

I went to see him each day while he was recovering. He wouldn't growl at me...just stare at me as though I had just ruined his life (he was fixed too.) The vet had worked with Lions and Tigers in her younger years and she told me there was no hope of taming Bobtail. She thought it best if he became someone's barn cat.

I have a friend who has a barn, and she agreed to let him be her barn cat. I picked him up from the vet and dropped him at the barn, about 8 miles from my house. Just as I was leaving, I opened the cage door, gave him a sad farewell, and wished him luck in having a long and happy life.

At 2:00 a.m., about nine hours after I left him at the barn, I woke to a cat crying outside my window. It was Bobtail who somehow had made it all the way back to the house after crossing over Highway 1 in California (a very big, very busy highway). He became one of my favorite cats. It wasn't long before he slept next to me every night. And he was a complete lap cat. Never saw a cat give up the "feral life so quickly and so happily!
The Center also had a bobcat they rescued. The bobcat was so mean (and we wanted him to be that way so he wouldn't become human imprinted) the workers would draw straws to see who was to go in to feed him. But yea they had lots of venomous snakes too that were less a threat then that bobcat. The day came to release him back into the wild and it took 5 people to chase him into a cage to get him and transport him to the woods where he was extremely happy to be released. They opened the cage, out he shot like a cannon and off he went never looking back.
 

kashmir64

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To be clear I wasn't complaining. I'm happy to have all this wildlife in my area. I was just making a joke because of the "zoo" that's appearing in my subdivision lately lol
Oh, I'm not complaining either. Except at night when I take my dog out and I see eye reflection, about knee high, just out of reach of the porch light.
 

catspaw66

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Oh, I'm not complaining either. Except at night when I take my dog out and I see eye reflection, about knee high, just out of reach of the porch light.
Buy yourself a green "varmint flashlight". It makes their eyes glow from a long distance. Mine is used mainly when the coyotes are howling 30 feet from the back porch, but will illuminate the eyes for 50-75 yards.
 

kashmir64

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Buy yourself a green "varmint flashlight". It makes their eyes glow from a long distance. Mine is used mainly when the coyotes are howling 30 feet from the back porch, but will illuminate the eyes for 50-75 yards.
Oh, I don't need a light to tell me they're there. It's just rather scary knowing something is there, but not knowing if it's dog, cat or bear.
Actually, any of those is rather scary when you only see eyes at knee height.
 

catspaw66

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Oh, I don't need a light to tell me they're there. It's just rather scary knowing something is there, but not knowing if it's dog, cat or bear.
Actually, any of those is rather scary when you only see eyes at knee height.
Oh, I understand you there. I have all of the animals mentioned coming in my yard. My property line closest to the house is National Forest. I have a mama bear that likes to scratch her butt on the corner of the house by the bathroom. I have heard a mountain lion a few times, but have never seen one in my yard. I have seen a bobcat marking my car as HIS.
 

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When I first moved in my house 14 years ago there were cats everywhere. Over the years I've seen less and less. I don't know if it's coincidence or directly related but, over the last 3 years a lot of wild life has moved in. Possums, Fox's, Raccoons, Ground hogs, Lot's of owls and, an occasional skunk. I've never seen a Coyote but, they are definitely around. I've also noticed I don't see any rabbits or squirrels around anymore.

My last 2 cats were indoor, outdoor cats. Tama was an MC and 25 lbs so he could have held his own against anything except may be a Coyote but he never had any issues even with the neighborhood cats. Blackie was just a small domestic short hair at about 13lbs but she was feisty and very "street smart". Both of them were street smart for that matter. They never really left the yard and didn't roam the neighborhood.

Tama lived to be 16 and died of cancer and Blackie was 14 or 15 but, she disappeared and I suspect it my have been an owl. I really don't know for sure.

I usually get home late due to work and usually after dark, even in the summer. I've always gone out with the cats, piddled in the garage, around the pool or whatever. I've never seen the wild life in my yard like I have the last 2 years especially.

Recently there was, I'm pretty sure a family of foxes with a den near by. I seen what appeared to be a male, female and a cub/pup playing in the back yard a couple times.

I have Manny now and he is an indoor cat but I do take him out when I get home and he just runs around in the yard and does what cats do. Sniffs bushes, chases bugs, etc. After about 30 to 45 mins. he's ready to come in.

One night we had just gone out and Manny had walked half way down the drive way, looked around and walked back up to me. Only a minute or so later I seen movement right were he had been standing. I have a rechargeable spot light that will flat light up some woods or a yard. I shined it toward where I seen movement and it was what I think was the momma fox. She stopped, turned around and looked at me and had what looked like a rabbit in her mouth. She turned around and trotted across the yard and went up the road and then into the vacant lot beside my house. I figured that was the last I would see of her. About 15 mins later I seen movement at the end of the driveway and it was her again. Me and Manny was in the carport and the fox was coming up the driveway. I lit her up with the spot light and she stopped, stood there a min. and then turned around and went up the road. The next night me and Manny was sitting on the step over by my detached garage. The opposite end of the house from the carport and I seen movement out by the road at the edge of the yard. I lit it up and it was the same fox coming up in the yard. She stood there a minute and looked at me. I was actually walking toward her and she finally went back up the road but stopped several times and just looked at me. I had a 30 shot semi auto bb gun with me with several clips in my pocket just in case. Manny just sat there calmly and watched.

Several nights there where as many as 4 barred owls around the house. I figured out pretty fast they don't like spot lights and will move on if you light them up.

The other night we walked out on the back deck and there was a raccoon over by the garage. I lit him up and he didn't even notice it at first. Manny seen it and acted like he was going the go after it and I yelled at him and told him no and he stopped. Then the raccoon realized we where there and he just walked off. He showed no fear at all.

So now when we go out I do a scan with the spot light around the perimeter of the front and back yard, turn on all the outside lights and, carry a 9mm with a 17 shot clip just in case. I make sure Manny stays close to me and the funny thing is, he acts like he realizes it's dangerous out there and stays close to me. If we're sitting down he's constantly looking and checking his surroundings. If I see him lock in on something I light it up. I'm always scanning the sky for movement too.

My neighbors across the street lost there cat a few weeks back. He just went missing. He was indoor/outdoor. He was fairly good size, young and strong. I have a feeling he may have stumbled across that fox den over in my vacant lot. He liked to go over there.

So look after your babies cause there are a lot of predators roaming around looking for their next meal!!!
 

catspaw66

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Mine are all inside or on the screened-in back porch. I have CO2 powered pellet guns to scare the animals away. If needed, I have several firearms handy. I really don't want to hurt any animals, their ancestors were here before me. I am the intruder. Two-legged animals are my biggest worry.
 

sabian

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Mine are all inside or on the screened-in back porch. I have CO2 powered pellet guns to scare the animals away. If needed, I have several firearms handy. I really don't want to hurt any animals, their ancestors were here before me. I am the intruder. Two-legged animals are my biggest worry.
Funny you said 2 legged animals. I came home one night and the police were sitting basically in front of my house and another was on the street behind me. I got home around 10:00 pm. There were another couple cars patrolling around the neighborhood. When I asked what was going on they just told me to go in the house and lock the door. Apparently they were looking for someone in the woods. I still don't know if they were caught or not or, the reason they were looking.

We never have any problems in my neighborhood with break in's or anything else. I would never hurt any animals for no reason but, after that and the possibility of rabies in one of the animals I figured maybe some more stopping power was in order.
 

catspaw66

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I can understand that. That's what the 20 is for.

Since I see all kinds of possibly rabid animals. So far, I have been lucky. There was an outbreak of rabid skunks about 20 miles from me two years ago. That is not far in the heavily forested area I live in.
 

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We are in a semi-rural area of New Jersey, close to the Delaware River. Two different neighbors have sheep, in season someone bow hunts for deer on our property, I see foxes. But what I really enjoy
Box Turtle_2019-08_in the weeds.jpg
are the box turtles. This year we had a female nest right next to our front walk. The 4 to 6 quarter-size hatchlings should dig their way out in early to mid-September. Very exciting!
 

muffy

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I enjoy the box turtles the most. I feed them tomatoes and fruit.
 

catapault

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When relocating box turtles off the road - always a good and kindly thing to do, btw - it is critical to move them in the direction they are headed. Box turtles are very territorial and if relocated elsewhere / otherwise will do their best to get back where they were going.
 

catspaw66

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When relocating box turtles off the road - always a good and kindly thing to do, btw - it is critical to move them in the direction they are headed. Box turtles are very territorial and if relocated elsewhere / otherwise will do their best to get back where they were going.
Of course. They just get...advanced...in the direction they are going. There is a Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown throws a rock into the surf and Linus says "Way to go. It took that rock thousands of years to get to the beach, and now you have thrown it back"
 

Sidewinder

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I always stop and move them out of the road if I can.
Yes, I'd do the same for desert tortoises in Anza-Borrego... not only out of compassion for the critters themselves, but also as a safety measure for cyclists, wouldn't wanna hit one of those tortoises when going 140 m.p.h. on a rice rocket, LOL. I'd always take the tortoises the way they were headed, walk 'em across the road and into the scrub a bit, then set 'em down in the same orientation so they could carry on their mission. No real harm in a tortoise, but it CAN be a road hazard for unsuspecting motorists & cyclists. :confused:
 

catapault

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Years ago we visited Anza Borrego! Did not see desert tortoises but I did see a little kit fox eating dates that had fallen off a Washingtonia fan palm. Lovely! We - me, spouse, our daughter, her husband, their infant - spent a night at La Casa Del Zorro. Appropriate, don't you agree?
 

Sidewinder

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La Casa Del Zorro... great place back in the day, I spent the night there with a gal I used to know. Poolside fun, warm sunshine with virtually no humidity... very nice lodging, I heard it changed hands or got sold to (re)developers, can't recall the final outcome. Usually, I would remote camp in the desert, maybe hit a campground like Borrego Palm Canyon with a little stone casita in my space for setting up a field kitchen, but that was a nice visit to La Casa Del Zorro. In my own circle, I'm known for camping in remote locations with awesome scenery, geological features, wildlife galore, the whole nine yards. I used to like watching the bighorn sheep, they are such good leapers & climbers... very stately and elegant in their movements, with minimal waste of energy. In a way, they're like cats when it comes to leaping & climbing, full-on precision movements, LOL. :rolleyes:

As for wildlife in general, I don't like to see any animals suffering... a quick kill according to the laws of nature, well, that's one thing, but needless suffering really chaps my @$$, and mankind is often the cause of it with pollution, bad design, poor field habits, straight-up ignorance, etc. I also dislike sport hunting---hunting out of necessity is another matter, but to kill a beautiful creature just to put its head on your wall, that plain sucks. I say this as an avid outdoorsman with a lifetime of field experience... why not go on a photo safari instead of killing animals for no good reason? I've been blessed to see many magnificent wild critters up close in their own natural environment or habitat, and in most of these encounters the critters did not feel threatened by my presence. :cool:

I've even spent the night among colonies of critters on Los Coronados, islands and designated wildlife sanctuaries off the northern end of Baja. It was almost as if the critters sensed my good karma, therefore they accepted my presence and went on about their business. On one memorable island voyage, I saved a sea bird from certain death by freeing it from an avian trap, some fishing line which had blown up the windward slope and become tangled between scrub bushes... truth be told, I myself never realized that discarded line could pose such a hazard. But no worries, I cleared the trap and mentioned the danger in a story of mine, just to pass the word on to others... I've always been big on this sort of enlightenment, it doesn't cost me anything but time. Here's a link to that tale of adventure, a classic seafaring story for sailors & animal lovers:

Isla Norte
 
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catspaw66

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We are in a semi-rural area of New Jersey, close to the Delaware River. Two different neighbors have sheep, in season someone bow hunts for deer on our property, I see foxes. But what I really enjoy
View attachment 296585
are the box turtles. This year we had a female nest right next to our front walk. The 4 to 6 quarter-size hatchlings should dig their way out in early to mid-September. Very exciting!
We want pictures when they do.
 
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