What is raiding our maize?
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