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 Post subject: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4093
Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
I am trying to identify a critter that has been steeling crows after I shoot them. It is welcome to the crow carcass but I wonder what it is. This is coastal S.C., aka "the low country". We have coyotes, foxes, bobcats, raccoons & more. It is a fur bearer, that much I know. A friend claims he saw something that resembled a bobcat but I don't think it is a Bobcat as it has a long, fluffy tail. I think I saw it one night while I was leaving my deer stand. Shooting hours were over & it was getting dark. There were two & they were moving fast! I am not positive it was the same critter on both occasions but I think it was. Whatever it is, it is super slick. It comes to the crow call & watches. When I shoot a crow, it snatches it before I can pick it up without being seen. No, I'm not on drugs nor have I been drinking. Last time it happened, my friend went to where the crow fell & kicked it to be sure it was dead. When we went back so he could show it to me, it was gone! I was watching the area & saw nothing! There was a burrow close to where the crow fell which may or may not be it's burrow. I was thinking coyote but it didn't look like any coyote I ever saw before, from the limited sighting I got from the deer stand. I have seen otters steal ducks like that but it is not an otter.
Any ideas? I don't have a trail cam but maybe I should get one. I could also try to trick it into showing itself so I can shoot it.




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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Fox?

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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
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Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
Could be but my impression was that it was more the size of a coyote. If it is a fox, I won't shoot it. Yea, I've been wrong more often than I care to admit. Just ask my wife, she bought me a coffee cup with the inscription, "I WOULD AGREE WITH YOU BUT THEN WE WOULD BOTH BE WRONG".


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:32 pm 
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I am wondering if it was a grey fox. They have a little bit of that feline look to them. The coloring also throws people off, and they definitely have the bushy tale.

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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:44 pm 
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And they definitely can move fast.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4093
Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
Yea, the more I think about it the more I believe you are right. The only reason I ruled out fox was my perception of size. In poor light, an animal can easily appear larger than it is. I don't mind sharing with a fox but a coyote's hide will be nailed to the barn! I am going to try to fool it into showing itself. Can't shoot crows after March 1 but a dead pigeon will work. I can hang a dead pigeon in a tree near where it stole the last crow & rig it where it will fall to the ground when I pull a string. Then the scenario would go something like, play the crow call, then when it has called for a adequate time, shoot the gun, then pull the string to release the pigeon. If done carefully & if there are no flaws or defects in the hide that will allow the critter to detect your presence, he should go to the bird without delay. I am thinking this is a very slick animal so I need to be careful. I will report what I find.
My cousin once had a pet Red Fox. It was wild & ran free but over time, it became quite tame.
Thank you for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
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Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
Update, it wasn't a fox, it was somebody from the Obama administration & they are trying to blame Trump!
Well, O.K., seriously, I started thinking back a week or two before the crow incidence when I was squirrel hunting. I shot & killed a number of squirrels but never could find all of them. Putting 2 & 2 together, duh!, it had to be the fox(s). I have started referring to him as Mr. Slick. I don't want to shoot Mr. Slick as it is kind of neat having him around but it is a slam dunk that if I want to eat any game I shoot on the property I better retrieve it promptly before Mr. & Mrs. Slick run off with it.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:36 pm 
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geometric wrote:
Update, it wasn't a fox, it was somebody from the Obama administration & they are trying to blame Trump!


Got to be either a weasel or skunk then, probably a cross between the two. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:02 pm 
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Possibly a Fisher? Although it's further south then it's normal range.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
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Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
I thought about a fisher but don't think they have made it this far South. Then when I was a kid, we didn't have coyotes or armadillos either. There have always been wild hogs but not nearly as many as we have now. Lionfish are getting to be a big problem offshore. Nothing stays the same!
I am still planning to try & get a pic. of it if I ever get a trail cam or borrow one. I have been preoccupied with other things.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:44 am 
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Feral Cat.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:31 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4093
Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
I thought it was a feral cat or maybe the neighbors cat when I first noticed something was eating the crows I shot. What I saw running under my deer stand was definitely no cat. What I saw from my deer stand may not be the same critter but the evidence seems to indicate that it is. I think I would have seen a cat.
Speaking of cats, my neighbors cats are disappearing. When I bought the place about a year ago, there were several cats & one had a litter of kittens under the house. I have not seen any cats lately & the kittens are gone.
My thoughts, a coyote or a bobcat will eat any house cat it can catch. Will a fox kill a house cat? A cat is pretty scrappy but two or more fox likely could, especially if they were hungry! I need to get that trail cam.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:15 pm 
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A fox can take a cat, I've seen remains of cats at fox dens several times. Kittens and smaller cats of 8# or under would probably have a tough go of it if running into a larger fox. My neighbor has had more than one show up with bites and other injuries which seemed to be consistent with a fox or at least a small dog. It wasn't a coyote as cats don't seem to escape them.

I once saw a fox stalk one of my cats. The fox realized its may be making a mistake when the cat turned and charged the fox. The fox was quicker and was able to make its escape before the cat caught it. Being in its prime at 5-7 years old and weighing around 20# made the cat significantly larger than the fox so I wasn't too worried about the cat. That the cat had also proven itself by beating up every dog, cat, and mean kid in a half mile radius of my previous home led me to believe it could handle itself.


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 Post subject: Re: mystery critter??
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:07 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 4093
Location: ADAMS RUN, S.C.
Yea, cats can be tough. One of my aunts had a house cat that had kittens sired by a Bob Cat. After the kittens were a couple weeks old, they kept every other cat she had up a tree most of the time.
Most any dog of the tougher/larger breeds can kill most any house cat if they really want to but a big mean cat can inflict enough collateral damage to make them back off unless they have a killer instinct. A couple good licks with those claws & they usually really don't want too anymore. I once had a coon dog that could crunch most raccoons with one bite but my kitten would go in the dog house & sleep on top of him.
Even two fox would likely have a hard time with your cat, but I'm thinking they could handle the average cat if they work like a wolf pack but they would probably have to be hungry if the cat put up a good fight.
Thanks for the input. I was guessing, I didn't know a fox would do that for sure. There is a hole under a brush pile that looked like it was freshly used when I saw it back in February. I was thinking it could be a fox den. Last time I looked, there was no fresh signs it is still active, whatever critter was using it.
I still haven't seen any of my neighbors cats. My other neighbors dogs couldn't kill a kitten & I adopted an abandoned deer dog. He might chase a rabbit but he is pretty harmless otherwise.




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