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Wildlife Damage Control/Crop damage by wild animals


QUESTION: Hello Stephen.. Hope you are doing good. I am Nitin Sharma from India,, resident of Western Himalays state Himachal. I have many acres of Maize plantation and the wild animals like himalayan black bear, wild boars, monkeys, hanuman langurs, jackals, and finally the leopards.. Every season they ruin the crops. Here in India hunting is not allowed. Although Law provides you the option to hunt them as a vermin but then you know one has to go through long procedure...So I am thinking of running a pack of guard dogs. And I need your advice for the right breeds of dogs. Here the diurnal temperature goes upto 29 degrees during summer and night temp around 1-3 degrees during winter. Please guide me which breed would suit the job..and how large the pack should be.. moreover the fields they would be guarding is not at all visited by the people...So no problems of dogs attacking people.. Thanks in advance.

ANSWER: Tough question. But why isn't electric fencing an option?
Dogs in the USA used to protect as well as principles for their use can be found here

Hope that helps

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QUESTION: Well I should have explained it to you prior that the fields are located in slopes its sort of terrace farming so landslides are expected. Notwithstanding if I install the fence it would be expensive. Secondly there are large trees around so fence could not deter the langurs and monkeys.. Hope you understand the problem on ground zero...

Cost is relative to the value of the crop and goals of the farmer. Electric fence is certainly cheaper than lock-tite or chain link. It can also be used to stop animals from climbing trees. Understand that dogs also carry costs and run the risk of sometimes failing too. Using both fences and dogs may be your most effective option but also your most expensive.  

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Stephen M. Vantassel


I can assist the public in responding to all kinds of wildlife related problems in the United States and Canada, including birds, mice, rats, skunks, raccoons, beavers, opossums, voles, moles, chipmunks, woodchucks, pocket gophers, and more. Please note that I specialize in vertebrates only, (animals with a backbone). While learning about insects, other experts should be consulted with insect questions. My passion is wildlife damage identification, for if you don't know what animal is causing the problem, you can't begin to resolve it responsibly. My latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd edition (2012). It is available at my site or by visiting my various vendors. (A simple internet search on the book's title will bring you to them).


I was a full time animal damage controller for over 5 years and a part-time animal damage controller for over 10. I have been a volunteer for for over 5 years under the Pest Control Category, when they graciously created a new category that better suited my experience (I don't answer bug questions). I was a licensed animal controller in both Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nebraska. I presently run the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and

National Wildlife Control Operators Association, Community Integrated Pest Management group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I have published multiple books, including The Wildlife Removal Handbook rev. ed. and the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook 3rd ed. Additionally, I have written dozens of articles which have appeared in Wildlife Control Technology Magazine, Fur-Fish & Game, The Trapper, The Fur Taker, The Probe, and others. I have co-authored wildlife related publications for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension program and was responsible for revising the handbook designed for the Pest Controllers looking to obtain their category 14 license.

I was a trapper education instructor for the state of Massachusetts, and have attended a variety of conferences and trainings, including but not limited to Vertebrate Pest Conference, Wildlife Damage Management Conference, National Wildlife Control Association national conference, Wildlife Control Technology Conference. I have not only attended these meetings but have also been privileged to have been a speaker. I have received the National Wildlife Control Operators Association Educator of the Year Award in 2008 and 2012.

Awards and Honors
Certified Wildlife Control Operator (2001), Academy Certified Professional (2008), Master NWCOA Instructor (2012)

Past/Present Clients
I have helped thousands of people around the U. S. through my work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Wildlife Control Consultant. Specific tasks include: Ghost writing, Research, Expert Witness, Writing Training Manuals, Public speaking at Conferences, Workshops, and Trainings

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