How to Trap a Hawk

Written by rachel asher
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How to Trap a Hawk
Swedish goshawk trap for wild birds. (

Hawks are known to be a nuisance to farmers. They are fond of smaller warm-blooded animals for nourishment. Hawks will feed on free-range chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese when the opportunity arises. When other methods have failed, trapping and moving a hawk away from the area is a successful way to protect smaller farm animals without harming the predatory bird in the process.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Hawk trapping permit
  • Humane raptor trap
  • Mice

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  1. 1

    Determine that the farm animals lost are due to raptors, or predatory birds like hawks. Sightings of hawks in the area, and no more than one kill a day are signs of a predatory bird like a hawk. Puncture wounds from the hawk's beak and talons will be visible on the carcase.

  2. 2

    Try other options to protect farm animals before attempting to trap or kill a hawk. Bringing the animals inside at night is one way to protect them from hawk attacks. Try to scare the hawk away from the area using a scarecrow that is moved frequently, and pyrotechnics that create loud noises and are approved by your fire warden. Also increase human presence in the area.

  3. 3

    Obtain a permit to trap a hawk from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also check with the local wildlife agency to see if a permit is necessary on the local level.

  4. 4

    Purchase a Swedish goshawk trap or a bal-chatri trap. These are both humane traps that will not kill the hawk. They both use live mice as bait for the hawk.

  5. 5

    Purchase live mice for the trap.

  6. 6

    Set the trap in an area where the hawk is seen frequently, and check the trap at least twice a day. To transport the bird once it's been trapped, cover the trap with a blanket. Be very careful of the hawk's talons, as they can be dangerous, and ask a wildlife manager for assistance if needed. If the bird appears injured or sick, bring it to a raptor rehabilitation centre before releasing.

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