Critter ID Help

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cabin Fever, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,597
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    Some kind of animal is removing (eating?) the bark off of some of the white oak branches on our 40 acres. Generally, the limbs are about 2 inches in diameter and the debarked area on the branch is about 2 feet long. It's only happening on white oaks and on only one branch per tree. The affected branches are anywheres from 8 to 20 feet off of the ground, so it's not a rabbit. Could it be a porkypine? I thought porkypines only ate pine bark?
     
  2. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    847
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    It could be a porky...they might be after the salt in the tree bark. Porkys eat most anything! I have seen times where they ate through radiator hoses (antifreeze is sweet)...some have chewed on the tires of vehicles that had been driven on icey roads that had been salted to melt the ice. I know of one time where a porky came onto the porch and knawed on some new boots...never left any more boots on the porch after that happened. :grit:

    They love to eat saltine crackers for the salt too. :eek:
     

  3. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    762
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Yep Porkypine. They also love the new buds on yellow maples trees in the springtime! :viking:
    They really hate it if you spray them with the hose, we did that once when he was at the bird feeder and he didn't come back! Our yard was the porkypine hwy for the longest time.
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,597
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    Here's a photo taken this morning:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Cabin, I noticed that branch is on a level with your head. Do you ever sleep-walk and dream of chewing on a drumstick???
     
  6. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    I'm going to guess it's porcipine as well. The telltale signs here are random fine wood chips all over the affected area, then you look up into a tree and see about a 2 foot. section de-barked. I'm wondering about the small branches you're pointing to in the pic., though. That could be deer or moose.
     
  7. dixiedoodle

    dixiedoodle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Tenn
    Could be a beaver with wings???Do ya guess!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

    Messages:
    3,086
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    My first thought was deer (are you sure it's 20 feet up----if a bit lower, it could be from deer standing on their hind legs). Those branches you're pointing at are at eye level. The smaller branches tend to have softer bark and maybe it's just a tasty breed of tree.

    Or like everyone else says, it could be a porcupine. Those suckers really can strip a lot of bark in short periods of time. There was this porcupine in one of our city parks, it killed a large (maybe 60 ft?) tree by bark stripping before they caught it. I don't know what it was about that one maple tree, it left the others alone, but there was very little bark on it when they cut it down.

    DD
     
  9. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,597
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    The photo does not give a good perspective as I am standing several feet away from the tree. The branch I'm pointing to is at least 8, probably 10 feet off the ground....so it's not caused by deer. Most of the other affected trees have damaged limbs much higher than the one I'm pointing to. One didn't lead me to believe that it was porcupine damage was the small diameter of the damaged limbs....about 2 inches. Didn't think a porkypine could climb out on a 2-inch limb!

    So, since I have today off, I think I'll do a little porcupine hunting.
     
  10. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    I've seen squirrels stripping bark before. Usually in long strips off the top of the limb though. Maybe a bit off the sides. Didn't quite look like that. I had an aspen and a maple in the yard they liked to chew on but one year in particular they simply tore it up for some reason. Musta been inordinately hungry or had a hankerin' for tree bark.
     
  11. wiggles12

    wiggles12 Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Any quills, dung or other tell tale signs at the scene of the crime?
     
  12. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    PA.
    I've seen red squirrels stripping bark off small limbs like that. Possibly using it for nesting material.
     
  13. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,361
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota

    Be sure to skin them out, they are delecious.