hunting a %$#@* woodpecker


March 30, 2003, 11:31 AM
So there's this blasted woodpecker that hits our house around 5am every morning, pecking so loud it wakes everyone up. I've decided it's gone on long enough!

But, I've never so much as pointed a firearm at a living thing, so I don't know how to go about it. I have a number of pistols in .22, 9mm, .357, and .45 handy, as well as two .22 rifles, and a 20ga shotgun. The shotgun's right out, way too loud for urban use. So I'm thinking either a .22 slug or some type of pistol shotshell.


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March 30, 2003, 12:02 PM
First, please make sure what you are proposing is not a crime. Either shooting in your environment or, more importantly, shooting the particular species that's bugging you.

March 30, 2003, 12:12 PM
Too loud for urban use. Probably not safe for flying lead either.

Solution? Rat poison in the bird feeder.

March 30, 2003, 02:03 PM
Try putting a small strip of raw bacon in a rat trap and fastening it in the area your feathered friend frequents. Have neve tried it but have heard they like bacon. This would probably be a little more selective than poison and I'm not sure but don't think woodpeckers will eat bird seed.

Once had a cat that, for reasons only known to the stinkin feline, took great joy in jumping up in the middle of my fresly painted car and scratching about a 12" circle in the fresh paint. Finally cured him by tying a rat trap to rear view mirror w/parachute cord and placing set trap in the middle of "his" circle. Each morning the trap would be hanging from mirror, but no fresh scratches. Repainted hood, problem solved.:D


PS If you try the trap, let us know how it works.

March 30, 2003, 07:22 PM
Like ChristopherG said, make sure it's not protected. If not, in an urban setting a BB or pellet gun would work.

March 30, 2003, 07:33 PM
ha ha haha ha
ha ha haha ha
ha ha haha ha

Woody's revenge....:)

CZ 75 BD
March 30, 2003, 08:00 PM
Aguila Colibri or super Colibri. .22 LR, 20gr bullet, primer only, no powder. Really thumps the backyard pests. Colibri suitable for handgun only, may noy make it through a rifle barrel. Not as loud as a .22, but about like the old super cap guns. About $12.00 brick of 500. They're great fun.

March 31, 2003, 02:27 AM
Scoped Pellet Rifle.

Shut Up.

Not that I know anything.


March 31, 2003, 02:49 AM
Those wooden owls seem to work pretty well, or so I'm told. We just moved to an area that has many wood exterior homes and several people swear that those owls keep woodpeckers away.

March 31, 2003, 02:52 AM
I put two boxes of Colibris through my Savage MK II with no problems. Still tore up aluminum cans pretty well, too!

The Super Colibris are quite a bit louder than the Colibris. Been a long while since I've shot CBs in a rifle so I can't compare the sound of the Super Colibris to CBs.

March 31, 2003, 11:16 AM
I had a woodpecker working on the eaves of my house-really tearing things up.
I have a pest contract with Terminix and I asked them about it.
I was concerned about the Woodpecker being protected by law.
The guy said there wasn't much they could do-- I said OK as long as I tried to be law-abiding. Needless to say he isn't around anymore. I don't condone taking out protected species but there are times when one becomes a pest.

March 31, 2003, 11:49 AM
According to the local TPWD guys protected animals are no longer protected when they do damage to your property. If the woodpecker is attacking your house (as one did mine) you are free to respond in an appropriate manner. That being said, owl decoys have worked for me and my family.


March 31, 2003, 02:04 PM
Glad the owl working for you. I had less success with one in the S. Tx. brush country. :)

We had problems with woodpeckers pecking holes in a box blind during the summer and then when you climbed in before daylight on opening morning, you found blind full of yellowjackets! Put one of those paper mache (sp?) owls on top of the blind early in November. Worked great all deer season.

Next year, went back to find the pesky birds had pecked a large hole in the side of the owl's head.:mad: . Wasn't all bad, at least the yellowjackets were in the owl, not the blind.


April 2, 2003, 12:30 AM
know your target and what lies behind it

tying streamers to the affected area works for flickers

i had a robin that decided that my deck sliding glass door
was an enemy robin and he spent a week attacking his reflection.

with each attack he took a dump on my deck

i put out a rubber snake

he dumped on the snake

an amusing silly bird, rapidly became an agrevation worthy of a sniper blind

mr. robin met mr. assault garden hose

mammals rule!

April 2, 2003, 12:43 AM
You may have another problem....

Woodpeckers are always on the search for bugs. Bugs to live in wood. Have you looked at the area that he is attacking, you could have an infestation that could cause some damage to your home over the long run... Get rid of the bugs, Woody goes away... If that does not work, then get your 22 some of those bird shot loads, there deadly within 20-30 feet and do not travel too far...

Just one question.... Is this Pecker endangered?.... Ha Ha

Good Luck and Enjoy...:rolleyes:

Double Naught Spy
April 2, 2003, 02:03 AM
Woodpeckers are protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. There is no woodpecker season as with other game birds like ducks, geese, etc. If you shoot the woodpecker, you will be breaking the law.

The following site gives some ways to chase them off.

A word to the wise, more than one person has seriously damaged their home trying to shoot woodpeckers.

MoNsTeR, you will likely break firearms laws discharging a firearm where you are as it sounds like it is in the city or 'burbs of the city.

I would suggest you call animal control and see if they can trap and remove the bird or make other suggestions pertaining to chasing woodpeckers away.

Dave McCracken
April 2, 2003, 05:47 AM
How about a blowgun? My Cherokee ancestors used them for most small game, and there shouldn't be much noise or danger to bystanders.

Anyone seeing the Reverend Stacey Groscup do his act would know that at close range blowguns are quite accurate and effective...


April 2, 2003, 09:03 AM
A woodpecker drumming at dawn at the same locale is most likely announcing his territory. My Dad has one spot on his redwood siding that the flickers and peckers attempt to use every year. I gather its an accoustic sweet spot for the neighboorhood. Dad has 10 foot streamers hanging there now. The only way i could see to trap the bugger, would involve a vertcally mounted rat trap.

Double Naught Spy
April 2, 2003, 10:22 AM
McCracken, I am rather surprised that as a moderator for this forum that you would be advocating an illegal act.

Art Eatman
April 2, 2003, 10:36 AM
Hey, what's illegal about a blowgun? And protecting one's home is quite legal under that Higher Law from which all else derives. :D


April 2, 2003, 11:08 AM
Well, just for the record,
1. I don't give a hoot if it's a protected species. Unless the garbage men are working for the EPA or Forest Service or whatever federal acronym enforces this nonsense, I'm not worried.
2. Denver animal control is a joke. You should have seen how hard it was to get them to send someone to clear out a pack of raccoons who had invaded our house and were tearing the place up. If I called them about a woodpecker they'd just laugh and hang up.

I had thought that shooting it with an actual gun might be taboo, so I appreciate the suggestions of alternative means.

April 15, 2003, 08:17 PM
I don't give a hoot if it's a protected species. Can I have your guns if they convict you of a Federal felony?

Seriously there are ways to repell woodpeckers. Being the peaceful sort, I don't advocate any harm to any nongame animal (except for feral cats which should be killed on sight).
Webpage 1 (
Webpage 2 (
Webpage 3 (

(Some of these links are to really expensive industrial size amounts but your pest control guy should be able to chase it off cheaper. Cheaper than bail bond money.)

April 15, 2003, 08:34 PM
I could not countenance shooting the bird. Bad form. Bad PR, and unless you live on a farm, most likely against the law.

to say:"Well, just for the record,
1. I don't give a hoot if it's a protected species. Unless the garbage men are working for the EPA or Forest Service or whatever federal acronym enforces this nonsense, I'm not worried."

........shows a decided lack of ethics, and that you are totally devoid of sportsman like attributes. I for one am thankful that you do NOT hunt.

April 15, 2003, 09:48 PM
it attracts annoying screaming crows like flies.used the owl to keep squirrels out of the birdfeeders and digging up my never ends.the joys of city life.get an airsoft pistol(plastic bbs) for that woodpecker,wont kill it and wont damage anything,maybe itll leave.

April 15, 2003, 10:52 PM
You'll have to excuse me, Mannlicher, if I have no idea what you're talking about. I flat don't know what "sportsman like attributes" are, nor can I conceive how killing a pest animal constitutes a "decided lack of ethics".

And feral cats are of much more redeeming value than woodpeckers. A cat can be tamed and made into a family member, a woodpecker merely destroys property and makes noise.

Art Eatman
April 15, 2003, 11:13 PM
Ahright, guys, don't get all wadded up over one lousy peckerwood, protected or not. A pest is still a pest. And remember, they're protected by the same people who WILL NOT reimburse you for the damage resulting from their laws.

As far as feral cats, ask any animal shelter person about the excess feline population. Add up the feral cats and the unwanted non-feral cats and you need more 9 Lives than I'm gonna buy.

IOW, save the personal attacks.


April 15, 2003, 11:55 PM
I think the main Federal law applicable in this situation would be the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits the "taking" (including touching) of any wild migratory bird, with the exception of game birds during hunting season and non-native species like the starling (and certain pest species like the crow, if I remember correctly), unless you have a special permit. This is the law that makes it illegal to shoot a songbird. I'm not sure if there are exceptions for a bird causing damage to your house, but you could do a search on the above term and probably find out.

BTW, I believe violations are a felony if the person had reason to believe the action might be illegal.

Art Eatman
April 16, 2003, 10:53 AM
Most folks are aware that if the DEA-types find a few marijuana seeds in your car or home or airplane or boat, they can seize it.

Most folks are not aware that if the USF&WS folks find some songbird feathers in your house, they can seize that house.

Ranchers in the west discovered that with respect to the re-introduced wolves and the present legal structure concerning grizzly bears, "Shoot, shovel and shut up." is their safest course.

I'm not advocating anything; I'm just reporting. I have noticed that most folks do whatever they think they have to do to protect their persons and property--right, wrong or indifferent. That's why I don't get all excited over other folks' excitement about violations of their own territorial imperative.

:), Art

April 16, 2003, 03:29 PM
Gamo 440, scoped.

April 16, 2003, 06:22 PM
I was under the impression that you could take birds, even protected migratory birds, that were damaging property, crops or other wildlife.

April 19, 2003, 01:23 AM
Talked to a Fish & Game official today and gave him the woodpecker scenario.
His 'advice' was if it's damaging your property kill the darn thing, just don't go telling everyone about it. If it's pecking on your house itself you might want to call pest control and find out what it's eating.
(This guy has a hardcore rep. too, would give a ticket to his own Momma if he caught her in violation!)

April 20, 2003, 05:45 PM
I don't know if this is the place for philosophising, but I wonder about the unintended consequences of such laws. I know that since they made certain critters (the red cockaded woodpecker and spotted owl come to mind) endangered timbermen, who would otherwise be happy to leave a few trees standing for them to nest, go out of their way to kill them on sight before the procters find them. :confused:

Art Eatman
April 20, 2003, 08:55 PM
M&M, I reckon it's as good a place as any. :)

Having worked in environmental protection stuff, I've watched the various approaches to it. One problem is the "one size fits all" view of many in the federal system. Another is the tunnel-vision of many who attach no importance to economics when the issue of protection is involved.

I grew up in a mix of town and country. Probably not many of us left who plowed behind a horse before learning about tractors. Who doctored cattle for screw-worms. With farming and ranching in my background as well as hunting and fishing, I've always figured I am just as much a part of the environment as any bird. "The environment" is my home, and it's just basic responsibility to treat it wisely.

:), Art

April 21, 2003, 11:28 PM
Probably not many of us left who plowed behind a horse before learning about tractors. I plowed behind a horse before I ever learned about tractors. I've also picked cotton, and let me tell you, it wasn't so bad.

Back on topic, this business of one size fits all and felonies which are just political crimes will be the destruction of the peoples' confidence in the government. One day one too many folks will have to pay an exterminator fee to have some critter trapped and moved away to a safe area and they will just happen to be a billionare with nothing to do but sue every man jack in the governement individually and collectively.

April 22, 2003, 12:02 AM
I've also picked cotton, and let me tell you, it wasn't so bad.

MeekandMild: It's obviously been a long time since you last picked cotton! (It's been 50 years ago and I still remember it as something less than my favorite passtime.):D

Sorry for the off topic post, just couldn't resist.:evil:


Art Eatman
April 22, 2003, 01:06 AM
1946. Two cents a pound. Hardest dollar I ever earned. Ah, the visual excitement of staring at an endless line of cotton plants, from about a foot away! :barf:


Still Learning
April 22, 2003, 09:11 PM
Especially fun to read after I spent the day shooting crows near the barn. The darn things figured out where the corn bins were IN the barn and have been having daily feasts. I had a great day with the Kimber 82 .22, a thermos of coffee and some snacks--used the cattle trailer for a blind and a Larry McMurtry novel to fill in the slack time. Great day!

When I was a kid we had a woodpecker that took a fancy to our house. We tried an owl decoy and a rubber snake. Neither worked. Benjamin pellet rifle did the trick.

I grew up ranching (still do) and we spend a great deal of time and money improving wildlife habitat. We build nesting boxes for the song birds and feed them. We don't mow or hay during nesting season. We also don't tolerate damage to our home or property from wildlife. When wildlife is causing damage it can be eliminated legally in my state. The exception is endangered species.

Art, I never worked ground with horses or mules but Dad still had the harness when I was a kid. I DO remember fighting screw worms. I can remember helping Dad cleaning screw worms out of a freshly castrated steer's scrotum and doctoring it with that thick, guey, blue ointment we used. Glad we don't have that problem anymore!

May 3, 2003, 09:48 PM
About as scared as I have ever been was once on a deer hunt down in West Tennessee. I was in a shallow draw, and heard a noise just over the top of the draw, perhaps 50 yards away, and the noise was terrifying. It could only be described as a mean, mad, 1200 pound dog with a sore throat letting out a single, hoarse bark. I had never heard the sound before, had no idea what it was, but was convinced that whatever made it was big and mean enough to eat me. After crouching and listening to it twice more, I decided my only chance to get out alive was to try to kill it, whatever it was. I had heard and was comfortable with, about every sound imaginable that could rightly be in that part of the world, and this was something new, unknown, and therefore terrifying. I silently crept and crawled to the lip of the draw, had my old rusty, er, trusty 94 cocked and ready to shoulder, peered out over the floor of the woods, looking, and the sound came again, and movement caught my eye: Up in an old hollow snag about 100 feet in front of me there were TWO of those large, red headed woodpeckers, one on either side of the hollow tree, and they somehow started their pecking together, 180 degrees out of phase with each other and both ended at the same time. I lay there with my head across my arm and shook for a while. Had I heard ONE of them, the sound would have been easily identified and therefore dismissed as harmless. It made me aware of how we depend on prior knowledge and of how the unknown is terrifying.

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