With Conservation Week and deciduous trees coming into leaf, it is time for possum action says Andrew Sinclair of Whakaupoko Landcare.
“Night shooting at this time of the year can give some great results if you know where your poplars and willows are. Possums love the new shoots and with a spotlight on them they are so easy to see. They have nowhere to go,” he says.
Normally night shooting is not very successful with getting possum numbers low, as there is too much cover on evergreen trees and possums soon learn to shift their eyes away from the spotlight. So this is the one time of the year to use the opportunity that poplars and willows provide.
Many people say that it is difficult to control possums but Andrew Sinclair disagrees. “They have a very low breeding rate of only one per year and at best three, every two years. Once you have possum numbers down over a larger area they don’t suddenly bounce back. At low numbers a few traps and some bait stations will maintain very low numbers. Pest control can shift to primarily rats, mustelids (stoats), and feral cats.”
If you are spotlighting just remember firearms safety and be sure that your bullet will land safely if it misses the target.