Trapper moves in on animal predator
June 25, 2008 · Updated 12:25 PM
"A large turkey is its latest victim, but a trapper is moving in on the predator that has been plaguing the small farm of Mel and Frances Ogden in recent weeks.A story about the Ogdens' predator problem appeared in the Aug. 26 South Whidbey Record, but the story didn't make the problem go away. Until that day, they had lost several pygmy goats and a number of geese, ducks and chickens to the predator. And still it comes back to their Midvale farm.The latest killing occurred last Saturday, according to Frances Ogden. It killed a 25 pound turkey, she said. I found him dead in the coop.Two professional trappers have examined the scene. John Barone of Oak Harbor took Mel Ogden to a hill above the farm where he pointed out scratches on a tree. Ogden said the trapper then pointed to a pile of fresh dirt under a pile of tree limbs, and predicted he would find cat droppings there. Sure enough, he found something he identified as cat scat, and suggested a small cougar-like animal or bobcat might be loose.Trouble was, Barone wanted $200 to return with his dogs to track the animal. I don't have that kind of money, Odgen said.Then another trapper, Fred Goodman, stopped by. He works for the USDA and won't charge the Odgens anything for trapping the animal. He examined the 5-foot fences the animal jumps over and found a tuft of white fur, which he identified as the belly fur of a coyote. Goodman instructed Odgen to cut a hole in the fence. When the animal crawls through, the prints should positively identify it as a coyote. Then Goodman will return with a snare to capture it.Ogden said he cut the hole in the fence Wednesday night but as of Friday there was no sign of an intrusion. He has learned patience, however. The wily animal has foiled the family's efforts before. Recently they placed a deer carcass in the pen plus some pork liver and surrounded it with traps. The next day, something had fed on the bait but skirted all the traps. "