Snap goes the weasel.

No, we haven’t trapped it yet. But we’re gonna.

I swear, as God is my witness, with a scrabby carrot clenched in my dirty, chapped fist, we will get the weasel(s) what done it. The Man has turned to the knower of all things (Youtube) to learn the best way how. It worked for beer; it’ll work for this.

First off, let’s get to know our target a bit. From Wikipedia:

They are small, active predators, long and slender with short legs. Weasels vary in length from 173 to 217 mm (6.8 to 8.5 in),  females being smaller than the males, and usually have red or brown upper coats and white bellies; some populations of some species moult to a wholly white coat in winter. They have long, slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from 34 to 52 mm (1.3 to 2.0 in) long. Weasels have a reputation for cleverness, quickness and guile.

Weasels feed on small mammals, and have from time to time been considered vermin, since some species took poultry from farms, or rabbits from commercial warrens. They occur all across the world except for Antarctica, Australia, and neighbouring islands.

Weasels are related to ermine, stoats, minks, polecats, and ferrets. And, you know what? They’re pretty cute:

702px-Mustela_nivalis_-British_Wildlife_Centre-4

long_tailed_weasel

But, like so many people you dated when you were single, they’re only cute until they open their mouths:

stoat

That’s what killed Buffy, and that, according to Tricia of Tricott Dairy, is what could potentially kill one of our cats. It/they has/have to go. End of discussion.

Our research revealed that New Hampshire is ground zero for the weasel, right next door. Here’s what you should be looking for in the snow, if you are concerned you might have a local population:

LeastWeaselPrint

Now, how to trap. This is tricky. They shun Hav-A-Heart traps, and ignore poison. The best way to catch them is with snap traps, but to put them out is to endanger livestock, pets, and other local wildlife. The solution is to use the litheness of the weasel to its own disadvantage.

(Things get a tad graphic from this point on, gentle reader. Please use your best judgment as to whether or not to continue reading.)

A regular large rodent snap trap is baited with meat, the bloodier and fresher the better. The snap trap is placed in a long wooden box, with a removable or hinged lid. The box has two openings, one at each of the small ends. One of the openings is large and closed off with wire, so the weasel can smell the bait but not access the box. The other opening is a small  circle, left open as an entry. The trap faces this opening.

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The round entrance is high on the box so the weasel must jump into the box, facilitating trapping. This is the desired result (you were warned):

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The brush has been cleared from the left front of the barn, the cover the weasel used to hunt Buffy. As a precautionary measure, I shoveled a bit of Billie poop there, as well. The Man will get to the traps soon, I hope; he is pulled in so many directions, and our task list is miles long. Goodness knows, we have the scrap wood for the job.

Our intention is to set traps at the barn, and westward along our northern property line, toward the other home where the weasel has killed.

And we will keep setting those damned traps until my girls are safe.

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