How to Trap a Hawk

By Rachel Asher

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.


Step 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 carcass.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

Purchase live mice for the trap.

Step 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 center before releasing.