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MTRookie76

Opossums , tick terminator

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sharptail grouse

I like it. I've always had a soft spot for opossums. 

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Brad Eden

I think they are cool critters. Do people actually randomly shoot them? Imagine the dilemma many birddog folks would have if porcupines were found to be such good tick eliminators too. 🤔😉

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Zkight89

Of all the various critters that I've had on the Shoot on Sight List opossums have never been one of them.  Other than killing some for folks that like to eat them, I leave them be.

 

  One provided a few laughs and a good lesson to my oldest boy, Remi and I Saturday morning walking in to the duck blind.  One of the best "playing possum" examples I've ever seen, each time the dog would go to sniff it, it'd rag doll onto it's side, mouth open and tongue hanging out. Remi couldn't understand why her new pal kept fainting and we laughed our asses off all the while.  

 

 

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MTRookie76
26 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

I think they are cool critters. Do people actually randomly shoot them? Imagine the dilemma many birddog folks would have if porcupines were found to be such good tick eliminators too. 🤔😉

Can't speak for other parts of the country, but down south Opossums have good reason to be wary of humans.

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sharptail grouse

I can't imagine randomly shooting any native animal. I think the last time I did that I was maybe 17 years old.

I did used to trap quite a few opossums as a kid. A big male (we called 'em "blueballs") would net you $5.00 - skinned, fleshed and stretched. Being a mountain man I didn't care what they were worth.

I did learn the hard way how difficult they are to kill, even when shot in the head with a .22. I suspect many that are shot that way get up and stagger off to die a slow death. They have a tiny brain.

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chilly460

I have a few in my yard, only seen a couple times at night, that occasionally get in the garbage but I tolerate them because they keep the other critters at bay.  

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topdog1961

I gotta play my BS card here. 5,500 ticks a week is one every 1.8 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If an opossum groomed itself 3 times a day, it would have to eat 262 ticks each grooming. My dogs are tick magnets, but they don’t attract almost 800 ticks a day, and they are 5-6 times bigger. 

 

Judging from the amount of ads on this website, and some of the equally outrageous links embedded in it, this looks like an outrageous claim designed to get you to click on it. 

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mister grouse

Mountain song, first verse:

 

 "Possum in the headlight, its eyes are shining bright

Possum for dinner if we aim them tires just right"   

 

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MTRookie76
25 minutes ago, topdog1961 said:

I gotta play my BS card here. 5,500 ticks a week is one every 1.8 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If an opossum groomed itself 3 times a day, it would have to eat 262 ticks each grooming. My dogs are tick magnets, but they don’t attract almost 800 ticks a day, and they are 5-6 times bigger. 

 

Judging from the amount of ads on this website, and some of the equally outrageous links embedded in it, this looks like an outrageous claim designed to get you to click on it. 

The article is just an cliff note summary of this study. They gave you a link to click.  It's the larval ticks that get decimated by the Opossums.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825780/

 

 

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mccuha

I was duck hunting in MS one year. I had a young , strong will lab. We were walking down a trail to where we were going to hunt.  The dog was healed next to me.  As we were walking he broke and ran ahead of me in the dark    Next thing I know is he’s bringing me to hand a live possum that’s playing dead in his mouth. He had a soft mouth and was retrieving it as though it was dead.  He had a proud trot coming to me.  I couldn’t get him to drop fast enough.  The possom hit the ground. Hissed at us then ran off.  I had to make him stay healed and not go back after it.  It was a sight.  Something to this day my buddy whom was hunting with me talk about from time to time. 

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sharptail grouse
29 minutes ago, topdog1961 said:

I gotta play my BS card here. 5,500 ticks a week is one every 1.8 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If an opossum groomed itself 3 times a day, it would have to eat 262 ticks each grooming. My dogs are tick magnets, but they don’t attract almost 800 ticks a day, and they are 5-6 times bigger. 

 

Judging from the amount of ads on this website, and some of the equally outrageous links embedded in it, this looks like an outrageous claim designed to get you to click on it. 

I'll bet your dogs don't spend quite as much time among the ticks as an opossum does.

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vabirddog

As an added bonus if you Find yourself lost, follow a possum. They are always headed for a road. 

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topdog1961
33 minutes ago, MTRookie76 said:

The article is just an cliff note summary of this study. They gave you a link to click.  It's the larval ticks that get decimated by the Opossums.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825780/

 

 

 

“Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.” I briefly scanned this study, but it appears they took one opossum, and several other species, and infested them with 100 tick larvae. One of each species is a pretty small sample size. They then determined this one opossum killed 95% of them. They then took the average number of feeding ticks on a wild caught opossum (199) and statistically worked backwards to determine wild opossum must therefore destroy 5,500 ticks per week. I see two immediate issues, they assume this one opossum is representative of the entire species, and they assume it’s behavior in captivity, in a human induced situation, is representative of opossum and tick behavior in the wild. Less than 1% of tick larvae in the wild successfully find a host, over 99% die hungry. So infesting an animal with 100 larvae at once is not representative of what happens in nature. 

 

While opossum may well be the best tick killers of the species tested, I have to question whether a 10lb critter with an an average of 199 feeding ticks on it can be considered such a voracious tick killing machine. I’ve spent 35 years analyzing and reporting data. As I told a young intern I am training the other day, at each stage of the analysis process, step back and look at the data and give it the old fashioned smell test. In this case, their results stink. IMO. 

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MTRookie76
5 minutes ago, topdog1961 said:

 

“Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.” I briefly scanned this study, but it appears they took one opossum, and several other species, and infested them with 100 tick larvae. One of each species is a pretty small sample size. They then determined this one opossum killed 95% of them. They then took the average number of feeding ticks on a wild caught opossum (199) and statistically worked backwards to determine wild opossum must therefore destroy 5,500 ticks per week. I see two immediate issues, they assume this one opossum is representative of the entire species, and they assume it’s behavior in captivity, in a human induced situation, is representative of opossum and tick behavior in the wild. Less than 1% of tick larvae in the wild successfully find a host, over 99% die hungry. So infesting an animal with 100 larvae at once is not representative of what happens in nature. 

 

While opossum may well be the best tick killers of the species tested, I have to question whether a 10lb critter with an an average of 199 feeding ticks on it can be considered such a voracious tick killing machine. I’ve spent 35 years analyzing and reporting data. As I told a young intern I am training the other day, at each stage of the analysis process, step back and look at the data and give it the old fashioned smell test. In this case, their results stink. IMO. 

I'm tempted to post a climate change study for you to look over. :)

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