The lease I am on is approximately 14k acres unfenced and is loaded with wildlife. I'm a meat hunter so it works out well for me as far as deer are concerned. However, I may hunt it 5 days a year because of work and family so the little time I get out there is important for me on a number of levels.
There are wild cattle, hogs, a few wild horses, etc on the property that run up and down the river that runs through the property. These animals are feral, have lived there for the past 50 years since the prior owner of the property dissolved all ownership and released EVERYTHING. The cows are a nuisance and have begun tearing down feeders, wrecking food plots, and costing us a lot of money. I have purchased multiple feeders and hunting equipment as a result and its getting very costly very quick.
Last night I went to check on the feeders again and I spooked off 4 wild cows: 1 bull and three heifers from my feeder. They emptied out 300lbs (for a second time), but I managed to salvage the feeder.
I called the Lease Manager and he informed me that they have tried to round them up in the past but the woods/swamp are too thick and the dogs haven't been able to pin them. The LO could care less what happens to them and doesn't mind if we "remove" the cattle from the property as long as we don't leave carcasses laying about.
I'm thinking I could fill up a freezer and then some if I drop one of the older calves, but Im not sure how I feel about shooting a cow. I know it would be good meat, but jeez, its a cow, and there is no way I would be able to quarter and carve it out in the woods and make maximum use of it. I have no way of getting it out of the woods in time to save all the meat, I only have one ice chest and Im an hour away from the house so I know for a fact I wont be able to salvage it all. But man, 30 lbs of filet mignon sure sounds delicious.
So, I'm kind of in a conundrum. Do I:
Shoot a nuisance cow and take what meat I can, then remove the carcass?
Try to scare them off and hope they don't come back?
Do nothing and hope they eventually move off?
What are your thoughts?
Again, I have permission to "remove" them so that's not the issue, the issue is whether or not I should considering a) its a cow, and b) there will be wasted meat.