By MICHELLE CAIN
DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife
Nuisance wild animals are a common problem in the spring. Hoosiers have several options for dealing with them.
Calling a licensed wild animal control company is one. For the name of a licensed company, visit wildlife.IN.gov/2351.htm.
Hoosier landowners or tenants also can trap and release or kill, using legal methods, raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, beavers, muskrats, minks, long-tailed weasels, gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red foxes and gray foxes on their own property without a permit if these animals are damaging that property. Ground hogs, moles and chipmunks may be taken at any time using any equipment without a permit.
Live traps for capturing animals can be purchased from garden supply or home improvement stores. Have a plan in place for how you will handle the animal once it is trapped.
Be careful when live-trapping wild animals in the spring because they may have young. If you know the species of animal you are trapping, it may be best to wait until after peak birthing season which can be found by species at wildlife.IN.gov/2351.htm.
If the animal is to be released after capture, it must be released in the county of capture and cannot be kept as a pet, sold, traded or given to another person. Releasing wild animals on a city, county or state property may be illegal or require written permission. Contact proper officials before releasing wild animals on public property.
At any time and without a special permit, landowners may take coyotes on land they own or provide written permission for others to take coyotes on their land. A valid hunting or trapping license or nuisance wild animal control permit is required to take a coyote on land that is not yours. Coyotes that are taken outside the hunting and trapping season by a landowner or someone with written permission from a landowner cannot be possessed live for more than 24 hours, and the live coyote cannot be sold, traded, bartered or given to someone else.
To keep wild animals from becoming a nuisance, DNR wildlife officials recommend the following:
- Take in dog and cat food at night and keep birdfeeders out of the reach of wild animals or take in birdfeeders at night.
- Install a commercial chimney cap made of sheet metal and heavy screen. Repair soffits to prevent access to attics, and install strong, metal vent covers.
- Prune tree limbs at least 10 feet away from the roof.
- Buy heavy metal garbage cans with lockable lids; otherwise, keep garbage cans indoors as much as possible.
- Install metal skirting around the bottoms of decks.
- Provide shelter structures for fish in ornamental ponds and water gardens; cover the pond during the night with metal screening.
Nuisance Canada geese also can create problems in the spring when nesting. You can oil the eggs of Canada geese or remove their nests after registering with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. A link to the USFWS goose egg and nest destruction registration page is at wildlife.IN.gov.
A list of licensed nuisance waterfowl control operators who are trained to remove adult geese is at wildlife.IN.gov/files/fw-NuisanceWaterfowlControlOperators.pdf.
Landowners experiencing conflicts with white-tailed deer should contact their district wildlife biologist for information on handling the conflict. A district biologist contact list is at wildlife.IN.gov/2716.htm.
Pond owners experiencing problems with otters should contact their district wildlife biologist for more information or to request a special control permit. Information is at wildlife.IN.gov/2716.htm.
To view all DNR news releases, see dnr.IN.gov.