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Author Topic: Baiting critters  (Read 4389 times))

Offline JonnyReb

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Baiting critters
« on: July 25, 2010, 09:26:15 AM »
  I'd like for some of you guys to share what bait has worked best for you in luring in pests. I have no trouble luring in critters with fur, my trail cams take plenty of pictures of possum's, racoons and coyotes, with any flavor of canned catfood i set out. I have herds of squirrels in my yard as the birdseed and sunflower seeds are obviously a big hit. My problem is i don't care to hunt these particular animals, with the exception of the coyote, and so of course they are everywhere. What i'm interested in hunting is just the English sparrow and starling, but nothing i do brings them in.

  I've been to places recently where the english sparrows have decimated the native population of small songbirds and the only thing left is house sparrows. They run in large flocks, at niagra falls, N.Y. there were hundreds of them traveling from picnicing groups of people to the next, begging food. There were no other small birds present. They squabble and fight constantly. At another part of N.Y. i visited, i watched a group of english sparrows attack a goldfinch, stretching the bird out between several of them as they tried to peck it to death. They were to far up in a tree to do anything, it was the goldfinches nest i think, if only i'd had a pelletgun.... Anyways, they are evil birds and i guess i should be glad i have none where i live, to far out in the woods for them to make it i guess. They seem to prefer city to country.


 What baits work best for bringing in the starlings? I've seen them in my yard only twice in the last few years. Both times scarfing dogfood. What baits do you guys use for them. They don't seem to care about my feeders at all. I guess also that they like large open areas, rather than the wooded setting i live in.

  Anyone post on baiting any various animal as you would like, although i'm real interested in what you folks use to bait the starlings.  Thanks,  Jeff
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Offline longislandhunter

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 11:06:45 AM »
In cold weather starlings go nuts over suet cakes, especially the ones labeled as "nutty" with peanuts or the peanut butter in them.  Just hang them from a tree, using wire that the squirrels can't chew through and get ready for some starling action.  In the warmer months I've had great success luring in starlings with popcorn thrown out on the lawn, cat food, a box or 2 of cheap or stale breakfast cereal and any kind of crackers. 

As for the English sparrows.... I never tried baiting them so I can't help you there......

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Offline only1harry

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 12:47:31 PM »
I use 1 thing for all the critters and birds except for sparrows - dry cat food (ocean/fish flavor).  But this only works with Starlings in the winter time when they need a high fat diet to keep them from freezing and starving.  Starlings try to stay away from people's yards as much as they can, unless they really have to and are desperate. It's a lot harder to lure them during the warmer months.  Sometimes they do come in, but after they have been harrassed or shot at 2-3 times, they just don't return because they can find food easier somewhere else.  In the winter time they can't do that, so they will keep coming in for 2-3 weeks even after you shoot several per day.  But that won't last all winter either.  They eventually wise up and keep their distance, or you will have shost most of the flock, and the few remaining may join another flock at another location.

As far as Enlgish Sparrows go, I have only been able to lure them in the winter with regular bird seed - the cheap round seeds.  Also bread works but usually the song birds, song sparrows, Jays and others pick up the bread fast.  I too used to have sparrows and shot most of them.  Now all I have is song sparrows which are plentiful.  You have to be careful to distinguish between English Sparrow and Song Sparrow.  The song sparrow will usually have a yellow spot on its cheeks or right behind the bill.  Otherwise they look very similar to the female English/house Sparrow.  The male English Sparrow is easier to spot because it has larger and distinctly darker brown (sometimes black) areas/spots on its upper chest and top of its head.  Make sure you are not shooting Song sparrows and look up pics in a bird book or the Internet, but beware. There are many amateurs posting pics on the net of other Sparrows and calling them English Sparrow and vice versa.  

Anyway you put out plenty of regular small bird seed (round pellets) and they will eventually come, but mostly in the winter time when there is snow on the ground and they can't find any other food.  Throwing them out on the hardened snow or ice in your backyard (so they don't sink) works wonders too, but only in the winter of course.  Sometimes you have to give them 2-3 days to find your place but they will eventually.   Make sure you shoot them from a concealed location and from a good distance, otherwise they won't hang out for long.  Again I have to warn, the Song sparrow will hang out near its dead sibling or relative, or even fly near you and chirp or sing.  Those are usually not English Sparrows and not how they behave after being shot at.  Look at markings carefully is all I can say, because it is easy to mistaken them for the "bad" ones.  Here is a good link on Song and Chipping sparrows which are very common in most backyards:
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.duncraft.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/songsparrow2L.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.duncraft.com/blog/index.php/2010/03/26/our-native-sparrows/&h=489&w=650&sz=316&tbnid=a9iqld-gl6OITM:&tbnh=103&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsong%2Bsparrow%2Bpictures&hl=en&usg=__GvcD7GYShYN-9bJgmbnLWLrCiXI=&sa=X&ei=1F5MTM70FYS8lQeRwMj4DQ&ved=0CB0Q9QEwAg
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 01:02:11 PM by only1harry »
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ray1377

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 04:34:51 PM »
crushed up dry breakfast ceral.
Like lucky charms, cheerios, honeycombs.
Long as its light colored and hard.
throw it around on the ground, it can be seen easily from the air.
Or at least that works for me in the summertime.
In the wintertime, I use mostly cheap dry catfood.
Thanks
Ray

Offline JonnyReb

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 05:00:49 PM »
 
Thanks guys, i'll try the suet and catfood, maybe i'll get lucky.

  As for the sparrows, thank you so much for the websites allowing good identification, harry. It is a a fantastic resource for anyone reading this thread to quickly double check their sparrow ID. I personally have never shot a sparrow in my yard(15yrs) because all i have are song and field sparrows. If you guys only knew how much time... how many hours a year i've spent staring at my birds feeding stations with bino's hoping for a english interloper... i should instead be glad there's none of them around..  J 

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Offline only1harry

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 08:33:03 PM »
Then I think Jonny someone else has taken care of the English Sparrows in your area  :)

Have you shot a Coyote yet?  What gun do you plan on using?  I have a couple of them around too but they are very elusive and don't come to my backyard very often at all.  It took me 2 seasons just to get a fox that was coming around about once or twice a month.
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Pro-tuned guns:

AF Condor .25 #1,  Condor .25 #2
Condor .22,  Marauder .25,  Disco .22 camo
RWS Diana 350 .22,  RWS Diana 48 .22,
RWS 34K .20 Premium #17 of 30 custom built by Diana
RWS Diana 36 .177  (Gene & Bob tuned)

Factory stock & home tuned:

Gauntlet .22,  Disco .22 #2,
Fortitude .22, Prod .22
RWS 350 .177,  RWS 5G .177
Hammerli 850 .22,  Crosman 2240KT
Remington NPSS .22, Umarex M&P 45
Crosman 66,  Crosman 760, Beeman P17
Crosman Air17,  Crosman 38T
Several other Umarex & Crosman CO2 pistols

Offline JonnyReb

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2010, 09:42:48 PM »
 The coyotes are farther back in the woods, i've never found any sign of them within 100 yards or so of the house. Probably because of my dogs.I'm figuring my best chance for a coyote is going to be during deer season, i missed one 2 years ago with a bow, he literally "jumped" the shot at about 40yards. I'll be using a shotgun or a bow when i take my first yote. Heres one i caught on trailcam last week.  The date on the camera resets itself everytime i put batteries in it. I never reset it. It says 05 but so does every picture i've ever taken with it. Its a bad exposure but i'll bet it sure scared the &^^& out of the yote.


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Offline 454 Big Block Chevy

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2010, 09:48:24 PM »
That almost looks like a hog....

but i'm young and dumb.
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Offline JonnyReb

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2010, 09:49:28 PM »
 Look at the tip of his tail, he's got his ears laid back as he goes to smell the camera. I wish it was a hog ;D    I want to know what the two glowing orbs are in the woods behind him. Looks like a superimposed reflection of his eyes maybe?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 09:51:30 PM by JonnyReb »
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Offline Atchman2

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2010, 04:24:29 PM »
Look at the tip of his tail, he's got his ears laid back as he goes to smell the camera. I wish it was a hog ;D    I want to know what the two glowing orbs are in the woods behind him. Looks like a superimposed reflection of his eyes maybe?

Noper that is the coyote god looking over him telling him "get away!". :D 
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Offline 454 Big Block Chevy

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2010, 06:26:09 PM »
Its the Illuminated REticle on my CP4-16 before i whack him with my Titan....
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Offline JonnyReb

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2010, 06:41:33 PM »
Quote from: Atchman2 link=topic=726.msg5444#msg5444
Noper that is the coyote god looking over him telling him "get away!". :D 
[/quote

 I don't doubt it, that will be the latest thing to be running around out there. It will give me something else to think about when i come out of the deer stand in the dark. Thanks a lot.. :)

  Would a titan really drop a coyote B.B? I mean sure, with a perfect temple/ear or eye shot at 20yrds, i can see that. But other than that wouldn't you feel a bit undergunned? Jus askin.   J
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Offline 454 Big Block Chevy

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2010, 06:47:22 PM »
in all honesty, it would depend on how big the yote was... if it were just a 14-18 lb small one i'd try... if it were one of the 35+ lb ones i shot with my .243... i'd pass. 

considering how many coons and opossums get shot and there skulls are about as thick as a small yote.
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Offline JonnyReb

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2010, 06:56:25 PM »
 I'd be comfortable with that... RWS 350 with the 18gr. Jumbo.. 20lb yote... good shot  = no problem. :)
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Offline Mebits

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2010, 08:27:24 PM »
I use cracked corn, on the ground, for the sparrows. I'll also put out stale bread and that ALWAYS bring them in.

The starlings love bread and left over pizza. I use the cracked corn to bring in Grackles which seems to make the starlings more comfortable. Dry cat food and bread will be the baits of choice during the summer. During winter, I just buy big blocks of suet from my butcher (like 8# for $0.99), cut it into cakes, and freeze what I don't put out. I just lay it on the ground with cat food.

Last year, I killed literally hundreds of them. It was wonderful. :)
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Offline Atchman2

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Re: Baiting critters
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2010, 12:24:03 AM »
Not to steal any "baiting" thunder.  One of the guys on the Predator Masters forums says to get a bunch of discarded meat, bones, etc and freeze them in a big bucket.  It takes a long time for the stuff to thaw in the fall and winter and they continually eat off of it.  I'll bet it would work for birds too, but I'm not sure of the mix you would use. 
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