Last year when I casually told my sister in Texas about the mountain lions and bears and other wildlife we live among, she laughed at me at said it sounded made up. Those in northern Idaho know we have an abundance of wildlife. We love having them around us, even the predators. It's an amazing place to live. At the same time, it presents problems to homesteading and farming.
Naturally, predators can kill your animals just as they may anywhere else. Still, we have a lot of them to content with. We have a resident pack of wolves to the east of us which regularly has young lone wolves that leave the pack. Even though they have been spotted on neighboring property, we have had no problems from the lone wolves.
Coyotes are all around us. They live all over, but the mountain coyotes in our area are the largest type and they often form up into packs. They are also exceptionally noisy. We find them to be like hyenas with how noisy and social they are, especially at night. We haven't had them kill anything, but they have been very close to our livestock. They drive our guardian dogs crazy most nights.
We also have wild cats including bobcats and mountain lions. We have had problems with the lions, which I will elaborate on in another post. Pound for pound, they are the strongest cat in the world, so they are a serious force to contend with. We also have bears that frequent our forest scratching up the trees and tearing things up. We leave the forest for the wildlife, so that works out well. They can be especially bad in the spring after waking up from hibernation and in the fall as they go crazy getting ready to sleep for the winter. They will raid bees, eat all the fruit out of the trees, and pilfer.
Birds of prey and crows can also be a problem for lambs and cats. Owls will disappear cats without warning. Hawks around here are large enough to take cats, small dogs, and wipe out a flock of chickens. The crows, however, are the ones I really keep an eye on because they will kill weak or newborn lambs. I haven't had problems with kids, which are more vigorous.
Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.