Croton resident Dan Maguire wants to be known by his nickname, “Trapper Dan.”
Maguire said last week he received the nickname because that is part of what he does for a living.
Dan Maguire Nuisance Wildlife Service specializes in the humane removal of nuisance wildlife. His has been operating the business out of his house for 58 years. In addition, Maguire owns the Timberline Tree Service out of his home, also since 1960, which has bucket trucks out in back. Timberline provides such services as tree spraying, pruning and fertilizing.
Maguire recalled why he entered the trapping business. “I was always curious about how the trappers caught the animals, so I studied it,” he said.
He learned about the profession in college and became a forest ranger. Maguire said after receiving a phone call from a potential customer he will look at the situation and provide a price for his services.
Maguire explained that he receives calls from homeowners who have wandering animals in their homes. Maguire said he seeks to get the animal out of the house. “We do a lot of trapping on the outside,” he said.
He said he catches most of the animals alive, places them in a cage and relocates them on private property after receiving permission from the property owner without harming the animal. “I just can’t go off into the woods and say this is my spot,” he said.
Maguire said he seeks property to release them where there are not too many other animals because animals compete for food. “They all fight each other,” he said. “We try to pick a stop where we haven’t put one in a while.”
However, coyotes have to be, under state law, be euthanized. “He’s a predator” and will kill something, Maguire said. Maguire will put down other animals, such as raccoons, if they are sick. “You can tell. They’re pretty nasty. They’ll attack the cage,” he said.
Maguire said he has never seen or gotten a call about a wandering bear. Trapping a bear requires a permit from the state, he noted.
However, he has trapped a wide variety of other animals, such as foxes, opossums, bats, otters, deer, rabbits, and snakes.
Maguire’s clients live in many northern Westchester municipalities, including Croton, Peekskill, Yorktown, Somers, Mount Kisco and Pleasantville,
Maguire said he enjoys his work. “I’m my own boss. I’m working outside. What could be nicer?” he said. “When you go and check your traps to me it’s like Christmas. You don’t know what’s there. And you see it and say wow. You’re right there. I’m touching the animal. I like that.”
For more information about Dan Maguire Nuisance Wildlife Service, call 914-271-4680 or visit TraprDan.com.