Badger Facts

The badger is a medium-sized, heavy-bodied animal with a broad head and a short, thick neck that is the same size as the head. It has a short, bushy tail and short legs. Its general color is gray with a yellowish hue. The badger's brown face is marked with a white stripe reaching from near the nose to the crown of the head and sometimes onto the neck and back. Pairs of white areas extend from around the mouth onto the cheeks and inside the ears. A prominent vertical black bar, or "badge," is found in front of each ear.

Badgers measure from 26 to 35 inches in length and weigh between 13 and 30 lbs.

The badger prefers open areas, living in the prairies and plains where ground squirrels, prairie dogs and other burrowing animals, which are their food source, are abundant.

Badgers are strictly animal eaters. Their most important foods are rodents, rabbits and squirrels.

For most of the year, the badger's home is a shallow burrow about one foot in diameter. During the breeding season, a deeper burrow is built, usually from five to thirty feet in length, leading to an enlarged area about two to three feet below the ground's surface.

Badgers usually spend their lives within an area of one or two square miles. If food is scarce, they may cover a much wider territory.

Badgers are usually active at night, but occasionally in the early morning or late evening they may be seen near the entrance to their burrows. In the winter, badgers spend most of their time sleeping, but they do not hibernate. Badgers often travel in search of hibernating animals during the winter months. When a badger finds a hibernating animal, it digs the animal up and devours it, then returns to its burrow for another period of sleep.

Badgers are excellent diggers. They can dig at a faster rate than a man can dig with a shovel.

Signs

The most prominent sign of the presence of a badger is evidence of digging. Where badgers are abundant, their burrows are numerous.

Badger Prints

Pest Tips

Suggested Bait: Meat that has become tainted but not spoiled, freshly killed ground squirrels, rabbits and other small rodents.

Suggested Lure: Fish oil, natural gland lures.

Set cage traps to either side of the den. Conceal traps with loose dirt and avoid leaving odors while setting.

When a badger has been digging numerous holes, and the actual den is unknown, use a baited trap. Put a piece of tainted meat or freshly killed ground squirrel in a concealed trap at the side of the hole. Place a drop or two of badger gland lure next to the opening to insure that the badger will investigate the trap.

Stake the trap so that the trapped badger cannot tip the trap over and release itself.

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