Anyone else saving muskrats for the PGC? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone else saving muskrats for the PGC?

I got a letter from the PGC last fall asking me to freeze muskrat carcasses for research they were doing. They wanted up to 10, and gave me tags for each rat. ( date and location ). I got a post card today, inquiring as to whether I have any. I did save them 10...theyíre supposed to pick them up soon.

Forty years ago we had a good rat population. In 1980, Thanksgiving night, I caught 60 at Moraine SP. it wasnít hard to catch 150-200 a year. Sure do miss those days. Maybe the PGC can figure out what went so wrong with our rats.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 11:53 AM
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yes, I saved 10 rats for the PGC. I made sure each one I caught was from a different stream, to give them a good sample.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 12:13 PM
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I tried but got zero.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 02:23 PM
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I was going to try but when I got home from Kansas the river was way to high and we just keep getting more rain.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 03:41 PM
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What do they figure has happened?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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I donít know, but any minute here on HPA Iím expecting hawks and owls to get the blame.🙂
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbrownie View Post
I donít know, but any minute here on HPA Iím expecting hawks and owls to get the blame.🙂
I believe you are correct, a study a few years ago found that great horned owls were keeping numbers down. Also the water was too clean, that was suppose to be part of the problem. I do believe this was a PA study but not sure. Just as hawks and owls reduced all the small game numbers, why would they not have an impact on muskrats. Everything they prey on has been reduced in numbers since they were protected. They always say the habitat is the problem, but our predators have no problem increasing in numbers, in the same reduced habitat.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 08:55 PM
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Good to see you guys saving the carcasses to help out. I have muskrats in one of my ponds again for the first time in three years. I used to take a half dozen or so from these ponds every year but stopped when they became scarce. Glad to see them back and I have no idea why they were absent for so long.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 09:24 PM
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It was Tom Hardisky, that wrote, where have all the muskrat gone, blames clean water and predation, redtails, owls, mink. It seems that there are cut and paste versions on the internet, many take out the predation concerning raptors, but Tom talks about increased raptor numbers as a main problem, and blames clean water on the predation. Its not the clean water that does the killing its the predators. I also notice that farmers have a hard time keeping tame ducks on ponds due to owls, I guess when the owls clean out the muskrats, he finds ducks tasty too.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 10:31 AM
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I don't have the answer but do know there are no signs of any along the small creeks I trapped many, many years ago?
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