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Thread: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

  1. #1
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    Default Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    I found about 20 of these holes in a 10'x10' area in one of our pastures this morning. If it was warmer I might think it was an off peak hatch of cicadas. Also, it looks like something dug into the ground rather than something emerging from under ground. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Alien settlements. They got the scale wrong. acknowledgements to D Adam's idea that after travelling for millions of light years in a fleet of warships armed to the teeth to invade earth, the entire Vogon invasionary battleforce got here and was swallowed by a dog.

    Seriously I'd go for the cicadas theory...some have a once in fourteen year cycle which might account for them not having been seen in recent memory.
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  3. #3
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    Default

    Skunk looking for grubs?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Last edited by George Jung; 12-28-2014 at 09:52 AM. Reason: skunk, looking for grubs.... google search
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Voles?
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Resistance is NOT futile.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Armadillos do that here.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Perhaps a buck. The holes are made by the buck's antlers as he browses short greens on the ground. Do you have deer in the area?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    skunk, armadillo, even squirrels... probably the skunk though
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Blue View Post
    Perhaps a buck. The holes are made by the buck's antlers as he browses short greens on the ground. Do you have deer in the area?
    ya kin tell which ones are doing it by the divots on their antler tips
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Voles eat grass and fine leafy stuff, and winter under the snow or under brushpiles or overhanging streambanks. Birds sometimes peck holes like that, going after grubs. Not sure how they know where to dig- maybe the grubs make a noise. The size of the holes and the presence of clawmarks would narrow it down. The funnel shape that narrows at the bottom seems more like the trace of a beak than digging with paws.

    I love this sort of puzzle.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Funnel web spiders, they live in holes in the ground.



    Yes, yes I know, you don't find them in Virginia. But it was an opportunity not to be wasted

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    be sure to stuff rags under all the outside doors before you go to sleep tonight... nothing to worry about though... don't forget the rags
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    A wanderer;
    carrying a spiked hiking stick;
    jabbing at the ground.



    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    birds

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    certainly not bandicoots or echidnas.
    Xanthorrea

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    jonboy has nailed it.
    basil

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Cicadas don't make a conical 'hole' as in the OP. I couldn't find anything from 'birds searching for grubs'. Closest in appearance is skunks digging grubs.

    Live trap needed! I'se gotta know!
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    put a jack in the box near where the digging takes place and rig a trip wire... you'll know if it's a skunk the next morning... or sooner
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Dung beetle maybe.

    I like those knives, have the same in my pocket.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Its birds, I've seen similar holes left by wild turkeys in colorado. If there's some bug they like, they'd dig and scratch. Are their any tracks ?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    How big are the holes? I watched a pair of Northern Flickers digging up grubs not too long ago. They feed on the ground very often.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    obviously one of these

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Thanks for the suggestions. My thoughts on what has been suggested so far:

    aliens - always possible, never probable
    ant eaters - wrong continent
    armadillos - wrong climate
    cicadas - wrong season
    dung beetles - not sure, probably would see it more often
    spike buck - maybe, but doubtful as the spot is near a barn and dogs
    northern flickers - maybe, we have them around
    skunk - most likely, based on George's picture that looks very similar to what I am seeing
    squirrels - would see it more often
    spiders - probably too cold, although there are a bunch in the manure pile. It steams at night.
    turkeys - possible, as we have several around, but there are no big scratch marks
    voles - would see it more often
    wanderer - possible, but there was no lingering scent of patchouli oil, whisky, or weed
    woodcocks - we are in their range, but I have not seen any in 19 years of living here. I saw some in northern Virginia

    I am thinking skunk or bird. I may put the game camera up there, but I don't know if it will happen in the same spot.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshcat View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. My thoughts on what has been suggested so far:

    aliens - always possible, never probable
    ant eaters - wrong continent
    armadillos - wrong climate
    cicadas - wrong season
    dung beetles - not sure, probably would see it more often
    spike buck - maybe, but doubtful as the spot is near a barn and dogs
    northern flickers - maybe, we have them around
    skunk - most likely, based on George's picture that looks very similar to what I am seeing
    squirrels - would see it more often
    spiders - probably too cold, although there are a bunch in the manure pile. It steams at night.
    turkeys - possible, as we have several around, but there are no big scratch marks
    voles - would see it more often
    wanderer - possible, but there was no lingering scent of patchouli oil, whisky, or weed
    woodcocks - we are in their range, but I have not seen any in 19 years of living here. I saw some in northern Virginia

    I am thinking skunk or bird. I may put the game camera up there, but I don't know if it will happen in the same spot.
    well... THAT narrows it down
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    There are quite a few birds with long, sharp beaks who dig holes. Clark's Nutcrackers (probably not in Virginia) bury pine nuts and later dig them up. Flickers, woodpeckers, crows, ravens, and jays dig for grubs and worms. Magpies were pecking out peas I'd planted until I put some mesh down, leaving holes much like those pictured. If birds are responsible, keep a watch around dawn and dusk, as they're unlikely to be doing it at night.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    I left the game camera on a fencepost near the holes for a few days, and all I got was this guy. I am not convinced he was doing the digging, as it would probably be much messier. I saw some Flickers in the general area, but they may be too small to trigger the IR camera.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Aren't those game cameras a kick? Nice photo - and fun thread.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    Aren't those game cameras a kick?
    I love mine, and I stopped hunting several years ago. They are way more versatile than I would have guessed before owning one. I move it around based on any interesting sign I see. I have also used it to keep an eye on off-limits rooms while contractors were working in the house. When it is not moved to an interesting spot, I keep it on a tree pointed at the drive, where it snaps pictures of any vehicles that go in or out. With a 32 gig SD card I only clean it off every few months.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Who is digging holes in my pasture?

    Yea I'm still thinking birds

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