Sitka Mountain Gear
Any Virginia 'Possum experts out there?
Virginia
Contributors to this thread:
tonyo6302 09-Feb-17
Fuzzy 09-Feb-17
tonyo6302 09-Feb-17
Fuzzy 09-Feb-17
tonyo6302 09-Feb-17
Fuzzy 10-Feb-17
tonyo6302 10-Feb-17
Fuzzy 10-Feb-17
tonyo6302 11-Feb-17
Fuzzy 13-Feb-17
tonyo6302 13-Feb-17
Fuzzy 23-Feb-17
tonyo6302 23-Feb-17
Fuzzy 23-Feb-17
Bowsage 01-Mar-17
Bowsage 02-Mar-17
Fuzzy 02-Mar-17
From: tonyo6302
09-Feb-17
I have a full grown 'Possum coming in to my bird feeders around 2 PM. He comes in even on a cloudless day.

I got a good look at him from about 7 feet away, and he looks healthy. No frothing at the mouth. He is not destructive like Coons, and just eats the fallen seeds off the ground.

Should I be concerned about this 'Possum, or just enjoy the show of nature ?

From: Fuzzy
09-Feb-17
opossum RARELY get rabies, they can, they just are pretty resistant to it. My friend Doc Halsey, DVM with VDACS Animal Science lab, says it's because they're too ugly. LOL

I wouldn't worry about him unless you have chickens, guinea fowl, domestic rabbits, etc. the big males are actually pretty serious predators and will kill grown chickens and rabbits in pens.

I kill every possum I see because they're such serious nest predators on grouse and turkey. They're probably great eating, but I've never been able to make myself cook one after I got it skinned.

From: tonyo6302
09-Feb-17
Thanks Fuzzy. I don't have any chickens or other Farm animals. Live in a subdivision.

I don't kill my 'Possums because they keep the Ground Hogs ran off. I have one Old 'Possum that only scavenges at night. He is huge. The one I have been seeing during the daylight, is a young male.

If you ever skin one, be prepared for a lot of grease on the hide.

I will post a photo of my daylight bird feed raider tonight.

From: Fuzzy
09-Feb-17
yeah they are pretty greasy and loaded with worms. My older relatives would catch them live, pen them up for several days and feed them buttermilk and cornmeal to "clean them out". then they kill and scald and scrape like a hog and bake them skin-on.

I'll just make cornbread from the meal and buttermilk, thanks.

From: tonyo6302
09-Feb-17

tonyo6302's embedded Photo
Bird Feed Scavenger - but he is nice.
tonyo6302's embedded Photo
Bird Feed Scavenger - but he is nice.
Here is my visitor. This one, too, has taken over a Ground Hog den.

I find it funny, that 'Possums will not destruct a bird feeder, but Coons wreck havoc on everything. Coons don't live long around my house.

From: Fuzzy
10-Feb-17
Coons, yeah, I eat coons.

They are a primary rabies reservoir and vector so I do my part to thin the population.

From: tonyo6302
10-Feb-17
Fuzzy, does that Opossum look healthy to you?

From: Fuzzy
10-Feb-17
yeah, he looks ok, is he wobbly?

From: tonyo6302
11-Feb-17
Not wobbly at all.

However, so far his tail seems locked in the position in the photo. I have never seen him move his tail.

I am thinking he was injured. His fur is thick shiny and healthy. When I was a kid, Joiners Hardware would give me 2 dollars for a hide like his. Then I could buy some of those fancy cedar arrows, instead of having to shoot homemade river cane arrows.

From: Fuzzy
13-Feb-17
he may be injured, and he may just have his tail in a twist over something. He looks healthy.

From: tonyo6302
13-Feb-17
He put on a show yesterday, when I filled the birdfeeders.

He showed up about an hour later, and I had to go out on the deck and barbecue some pork chops. He paid me no never mind at all. Only when I walk to the edge of the deck, wave my arms, and talk to him does he walk away.

It was a good show yesterday, and he fed for over an hour.

The Big Old Male only comes at night. He is huge, and you can hear his footsteps coming to the feeder. I think the Coyotes are even scared of the buzzsaw teeth on the Old Guy.

From: Fuzzy
23-Feb-17
Hey Tony, is old crooked tail still hanging around?

From: tonyo6302
23-Feb-17
Yes. We watched him again on 19 Feb, about 2 PM. He still looks healthy, and his tail is still crooked.

From: Fuzzy
23-Feb-17
cool :)

From: Bowsage
01-Mar-17
It is rare that possums contract rabies. Not one of my favorites but they are good to have around. Any animal can contract rabies and being a "reservoir" is not based on fact.

From: Bowsage
02-Mar-17
Referring to possum that is....

From: Fuzzy
02-Mar-17
Bowsage, exactly correct :)

my "reservoir" comment was re: raccoons (since the current rabies pandemic is Eastern Raccoon variant, raccoons are the reservoir) re: "Coons, yeah, I eat coons. They are a primary rabies reservoir and vector so I do my part to thin the population"

"Reservoir" is the term the wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and MD's I work with use to describe what raccoons are to raccoon rabies variant, bats are to bat variant, skunks are to skunk variant, dogs are to dog variant, etc. I'm not smart enough to know if it's appropriate, I just repeat in in conversation to sound intelligent. :)

  • Sitka Gear