I thought I was going to Jail!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TxCloverAngel, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    ok heres the scoop.. I have been kinda worried the past 2 days thinking I broke a MAJOR law.

    I have been having trouble w/ chickens getting eaten. Have gotten rid of a few cats.. Possums, etc etc etc...

    and decided that the ones who wouldn’t be good and go into my trap would have to be shot to save my birds and goats.

    Well.... there is a big black Tom Cat that I haven’t been able to get yet, I went outside and saw him sneaking thru the back pasture towards my girls.
    I went and got my gun.
    All of the sudden a HUGE hawk swooped down to grab one of the chickens.
    I shot him.

    Well.. My FIL came by and saw it and told me to burry it right away and dont let anyone know what I had done because it is illegal to shoot hawks.

    I called my neighbor and asked him.. He agreed.. Hide it and never tell anyone.

    I felt terrible! I mean I have a policy around here now that if you eat my livestock.. You Die. Period.

    But I also dont want to do something that could bring me a $800.00 fine or a 30 day stint in the Big House! lol

    So, I called the game warden to ask about hawks...

    He called me back today and told me to shoot em all! Whew!

    He said I can’t go "Hawk Hunting" but can shoot anything that’s a problem around my place except an eagle and we dont have any of those here, so I'm safe.

    Everyone I have talked to thought it was illegal to shoot em.. so I thought I’d pass it along here from Texas.
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the advice.
     

  3. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Dana,

    Be prepared for people wanting game warden numbers, calling you a murderer etc.

    Hang tough.
     
  4. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Oh yes your right..
    ok let me make myself clear.

    I love animals. as a matter of fact I love hawks. Love to watch them. they are magnificent creatures.

    That being said...
    You kill someone or something living on my property.. you die.

    I take all reasonable precautions to keep my family and my livestock safe.. but if that doesn’t work and you kill something living here...
    see above mentioned rule.
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    From an unfortunate experience involving the neighbor's cat and MIL's chickens several years ago, we learned that if something attacks your livestock in Texas, you can kill it.
     
  6. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unless things have changed very recently, all raptors including hawks are strictly protected by an international treaty, The Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Killing one is a serious Federal offense.

    You have subjected yourself to some unbeliveably stiff fines and possible jail time. I don't know whether that game warden is trying to set you up or is just woefully ignorant.

    You have just made your third big mistake, # 1 was killing a hawk, #2 was telling the neighbor, #3, and by far the worst, was posting it on a public forum.

    You should check sources other than that game warden, google Migratory Bird Treaty Act and see what you find.

    Oh yeah, you should also pray really hard that some law enforcement type doesn't see this or someone doesn't rat you out. You should probably delete your post ASAP
     
  7. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    I was curious, so I just asked one of my old professors who happens to be an avian expert, and the news wasn't too good. She said:

    --Unfortunately, state and federal permits are required to shoot hawks and owls. They are issued only when there is a serious public health or depredation problem and when nonlethal control methods fail or are impractical. --

    So, yeah, bury the sucker and keep it quiet. To protect your chickens... keep them in a chicken tractor, put up scarecrows (not sure how well this would actually work), hang metallic tape on thread all around where your chickens scratch if they are not under cover, or enlist the help of a guard dog. You wouldn't have a problem with your chickens being killed if the proper precautions were used, and then you woulnd't have to shoot protected predators.
     
  8. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    the most important part of SSS is the last S. Good thing you did not need to follow that code afterall, cause you musta told everyone!
     
  9. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    What the game warden said; Shoot the damned things. In the past two days I have lost three geese and a bantam hen. My gun is loaded for bear.

    Just shoot and be quiet about it. Certainly you don't post a sign saying you shoot raptors, nor do you carry the thing out and drive around with it in the back of your truck. Shoot, shovel, shut up.
    Ox
     
  10. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    not well I'm sure.. remember.. it swooped down right in front of me! no more than 8' from my face!! I was shocked. I didnt go out planning on killing a hawk.. but good grief.. I had my gun... and he was in the act of trying to kill one of my mamma hens... It is also my job to protect them.

    thanks for the imput
     
  11. FLhomesteader

    FLhomesteader Who's got my BANANAS?

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    Here is a list from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act on protected Hawks
    Sorry to say but that warden didnt give you the right info
    here is a link to all protacted birds

    And here is one about the Act

    Hawk, Asiatic Sparrow, Accipiter gularis
    Broad-winged, Buteo platypterus
    Cooper's, Accipiter cooperii
    Ferruginous, Buteo regalis
    Gray, Buteo nitidus
    Harris', Parabuteo unicinctus
    Hawaiian, Buteo solitarius
    Red-shouldered, Buteo lineatus
    Red-tailed, Buteo jamaicensis
    Rough-legged, Buteo lagopus
    Sharp-shinned, Accipiter striatus
    Short-tailed, Buteo brachyurus
    Swainson's, Buteo swainsoni
    White-tailed, Buteo albicaudatus
    Zone-tailed, Buteo albonotatus
     
  12. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    well, this is a small town, but I dont think my FIL and trusted friend/neighbor is actually everyone.

    I asked the warden about hawks & shooting.. I didnt call him up and say "Hey!! I just killed a hawk...
    and your right.. I was not following the SSS "code" after I was told my the authorities that I had done nothing wrong.
     
  13. FLhomesteader

    FLhomesteader Who's got my BANANAS?

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    Hey it went after your chicken right Im not gonna tell untill this post I had no idea that they were protected. So I probably could have found my self in the same situation

    My lips are sealed.

    Now come on everyone pinky swear...........
     
  14. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    *pinky swears not to tell*

    I would rather see your chickens safe and protected than having both your chickens and innocent birds of prey dying. Do you have such a large flock that you can't somehow enclose them?

    I got in trouble up in Alaska when I was about 9 for having an eagle feather. I just found it on the beach when we were clamming, and thought it was pretty. Luckily, Ninilchik was a small town and we knew most of the people... so I was able to just give the feather up without punishment. I guess even the feathers were protected.
     
  15. MrPG

    MrPG Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like the hawk was close enough to attack you, so in order to protect yourself ...
     
  16. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    well I think I do. I have approx 50 chickens. They used to free range, till I started losing them to preditors.
    So I fenced in about an acre for them w/ a very secure hen house, and several shelters in the yard for them to run under if needed. They run w/ 2 goats.
    I do believe I have done everything that I could to protect them. I agree.. I wish this were not a problem. But its a fact in keeping livestock. There are dangers and I do have to protect them.
    I feel bad about having to kill the hawk, but I also am not willing to sacrifice my innocent hens either. Its not like they would just take one and move on. I know people who have had an entire flock wiped out in a matter of days. They find an "easy" meal... they will be back. I dont know what else I could have done.
     
  17. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    I think I know what you must have felt like... a few years ago, I woke up to a terrible commotion in the chicken coop. Went racing out there, gun in hand, and found a canine going nuts INSIDE the coop. I could barely see through all the flying feathers. Well, it scooted out the little hatch, I scooted out the door, and we played catch in the pitchdark backyard for a minute or so... it couldn't figure out how to get out of the chainlink-fenced yard, and I really wanted it to. Finally fired at the gray streak in the black night, it went down, I went to get the flashlight to see what the heck it was.

    It looked a LOT like one of the wolves that they'd just let loose for the wolf reintroduction program. If you're familiar with those, you know what kinds of fines and such they dole out to anyone who harms one of the precious darlings. So, I was mildly terrified... next morning, I went out for a better look and saw no radio collar of any kind. The wolves had radio collars. This was a coyote. WHEW. (The law specifies that you may only harrass or kill a wolf if you catch him in the act of killing your livestock - livestock being a horse, mule or cow. Not a goat, sheep, poultry, llama or pet dog. If you shoot a wolf which is in the process of mauling your dog or goat to death in front of you, you are breaking the law and the penalties are severe).

    Btw, this critter went on a murderous rampage in the coop. So much for "predators will only kill what they need for food". He had a ball in there, and it was a wake-up call for me. The hens got a nifty chicken run, fenced in on all 6 sides, to the chagrin of assorted customers like hawks, eagles and owls. The dead coyote apparently convinced others of his kind that this was an unfriendly place to visit - never had another one hop the fence. But I did have one of the wolves sleep in my driveway next to the truck, and the next day it prowled along the fence on three sides, trying to find a way to the chickens... radio collar was plain to see. I called the wolf program people to come get their damn pet and prayed that he wouldn't hop the fence before they responded. He didn't. Double-WHEW.
     
  18. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    that's rich, i'd love to meet the person that said this.
     
  19. kenuchelover

    kenuchelover Well-Known Member

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    I'm a fish farmer, we've got major troubles with predatory birds here in California. Yes, it's illegal to shoot ANY type of nongame bird without a kill permit, and it's hard to get a permit, and they never give you a permit without you first spending a fortune on "other" exclusionary measures (like bird netting.... try THAT on 400 acres of fish ponds!), and they never give you a high enough permissible kill to prevent significant losses. And some birds you can't EVER shoot (ever see several THOUSAND white pelicans flying overhead in multiple formation at various altitudes, just waiting for the desperate fools driving pickups FAST on pond dikes & armed only with starter pistols that lob "screamers" or "bangers" that purportedly scare birds away....to slip up and leave a single square inch of pond temporarily unguarded? Ever see several thousand white pelicans so hungry that they land right in front of you and eat your fish even while screamers & bangers (similar to an M80 firecracker) go off a few inches from their heads? I have.....)

    Kill any protected bird in California without a (expensive & hard to get) permit & you're in big trouble, no matter how much monetary loss you were suffering. Kill an endangered bird (no permits exist for these) & you're in bigger trouble. So not matter what the situation, you simply have to live with it. I personally know of several CA fish farmers who were driven bankrupt by the birds, others who suffered MAJOR economic losses (hundreds of thousands of dollars worth in a single year).

    Meanwhile, over in the deep South (according to the industry grapevine AND several farm managers we've hired from out that way), the game wardens TELL the fish farmers to shoot whatever they want and damm the law.... and only try prosecuting if you do something stupid like film yourself doing it and broadcast the tape on national television during an election year. Maybe not even then, if their candidate was favored by a big enough margin.

    So....Texas being Texas, it could well be that that game warden KNOWS the law, but plans to disregard it when it comes to somebody protecting their livestock.
     
  20. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd still recommend SSS.

    Some areas allow you to shoot hawks, others don't. I'm not allowed to here for example. And, they do happily prosecute farmers who make the mistake of doing it.

    There's also the various anti-cruelty laws on various state and jurisdiction books. That can get you with the cats your removing. The various animal rights whackos love these laws, and enjoy bringing charges against folks under them.

    So do what you need to do, but I wouldn't bring attention to myself if I were you.