What is raid­ing our maize?

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

I help to man­age a small DIY shoot that re­leases about 400 pheas­ant poults. For the past three years, we have planted two cover crops of maize and while th­ese have grown well, the cobs are se­verely dam­aged by ei­ther bad­gers or roe deer, or a com­bi­na­tion of both. Is there any way of iden­ti­fy­ing the cul­prits and de­ter­ring them?

If the dam­age is se­vere, the raiders are likely to be bad­gers. You should be able to see bad­ger tracks in moist soil and iden­tify the cul­prits by the way the cobs are taken. Bad­gers will push the stalks down to get at the cobs and then chomp them up. Tooth marks will also be left be­hind as fur­ther ev­i­dence. Roe, with a very dif­fer­ent den­ti­tion, can only ex­tract each grain and are un­able to crunch the cob in the fash­ion of a bad­ger with its for­mi­da­ble ar­ray of teeth.

While you may be able to shoot one or two prob­lem roe­bucks, it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to de­ter bad­gers un­less the game crop is com­pletely fenced in with strong mesh wire. Even then, a de­ter­mined bad­ger will break in. TJ

Tell the tooth: you will be able to tell what is dam­ag­ing maize by the way cobs are taken

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.