When I was a kid, and we used to hunt on the farm, there was plenty of game on the farm. Rabbits, pheasant, quail, and squirrel. Over the years, farming practices, and the fact that many farmers removed any and all trees from their property to make more room for crops, the wildlife population has dwindled quite a bit. You will see a rabbit once and a while, and it is not out of the question to see or hear a quail or pheasant. It is a treat to hear or see a quail or pheasant in the area.
Today, wildlife has taken on a different look. Lately, there has been an uptick in rabbits, I think the fact that we let the pasture grow now has helped with that. Today though, it is more common to see deer, a lot of hawks, and an occasional heron in the area. Of course, there are plenty of raccoons, and with the increased deer population, there are plenty of coyote running around the place as well. I haven’t seen any, but there have been reports of bobcats in the area as well. What a treat that would be to see one trotting across the field.
A couple of years ago, I was walking the creek when I saw something really odd for the area. It was obvious that there was a beaver on the farm. Not once in my lifetime, had I ever heard of a beaver in the area. I was excited to say the least. I did some poking around, and I found the beaver den, and after more investigation, I found the dam “Bucky” was building. It was hiding, right in plain sight at the south edge of the whistle/bridge over the creek. Now my excitement is growing.
I started to read up on beavers and their impact on the environment. Most of their impact is actually quite good. The negative in farming area’s is the potential for flooded fields. More reading, and I discovered ways to help control that so it would not be a problem downstream. It was going to be my plan to put those measures into place in the creek, so that we could let the beaver maintain his home and hopefully we would get a little beaver pond along the creek bed. It was all very exciting for me and the rest of my family. I had all kind of plans on documenting the beaver and his work as he worked forward.
Part of my efforts to document Bucky would be to collect pictures via a trail cam mounted close to his den so that I could catch him coming and going. The camera would also catch activity along the creek bank to see what other wildlife was hanging around the farm.
It didn’t take long to see that one of a couple of things happened with Bucky. Either he was trapped in the area, or he decided there was too much human activity in the area so he moved on. Maybe a coytote got him. Who knows.
Never did get any pictures of Bucky. We did however, get some pics of some of the other critters wandering around by the creek. It looks like an otter or maybe mink, some raccoons and one of the most beautiful coyotes I have ever seen.
On a positive note, there is more wildlife in the area, and with any luck, we will do our part to see that population grow, at least on the farm…