Tuesday, February 11, 2014

# 501 - Raccoon Visit - Caught in the Trap

Man, I am far behind in my posts! I am trying to catch up, so I'll be hitting the posts heavy.

We had bought a trap set at the local Tractor Supply store and after setting it every night, we were pleased to soon discover a raccoon in the trap. Perhaps this raccoon was a small female, not yet grown, but very observant.

Truthfully, she was pretty darn cute with that mask-like appearance circling big brown eyes. But, she had to GO, and I was hoping she would run far away, but I doubt it. I don't want her hanging around here because she'll likely come back for my chickens

The little raccoon was rather docile, up until the part when Sgt. Dave's fingers got too close to the top of the cage. I have that moment on video. Otherwise, she kept an inquisitive expression.

Of course, our youngest daughter, Stefie, wants us to keep every creature we find. If we did, soon we would be opening our own wild life park. And our oldest daughter, Heather, is very involved with abused, neglected animals, but I think she knows this raccoon belongs in the country as a WILD creature!

To be honest, this raccoon's small size saved her life. Sgt. Dave said that her fur pelt did not have enough fur to cover his big head. I agreed.

The dogs were extremely curious, but we kept them at a them enough room to get a look at her as she began the nasty hissing with arms reaching out of cage to scratch and attack. No, that's no so cute.

But, I am so fascinated by the unique appearance, intelligence and scavenger abilities of a raccoon. It's interesting that they usually stand at some body of water while eating so they can constantly wash their food as they eat it. I guess they are the OCD critter of the forest.

These Bandit-Masked Raccoons can get to about 23 pounds and they usually live 2-3 years in the wild. This little gal probably finds a lot of her food in the creek; she omnivorous and that means she's a mammal that will eat just about anything, including meat. But, most of her diet is likely to be frogs, insects, mice, and raccoons love to raid nests...yikes for my chickens!

As a side watching the video, you see how fantastic it is for me to tackle a task with Sgt. Dave nearby...I try to video the raccoon and Sgt. Dave continuously puts himself in front of my camera action. Blah!

I joked with Sgt. Dave that his bait of the raccoon traps with cat treats has probably taught this little raccoon gal a lesson on traps. I wouldn't be surprised if we woke up to find her in the trap again in the morning, her tummy full of cat treats.

What will be next? A skunk?


Dreaming said...

She is too darned cute! We tried to trap raccoons who were taking our chickens one-by-one. They were too smart. They'd get the cat food every night! We joked that they watched us fom the trees to see what was on the menu that night, and then one would hold the trap door up while the other snatched the can of food!
Good luck with your 'coons!

Rae said...

Ew ew ew. Really don't like raccoons much. Vicious things, and I hope my dog never finds one. Glad you were able to catch that one. Did you relocate her far away?

LindaG said...

They will help themselves to your garden, too.
Glad it was a little one. Hopefully it will learn to stay away!
Was thinking of you, with all this crazy weather. Thanks for posting!

Karen said...

Oh, raccoons, the bane of my existence. Yes, they are adorable, just look at that face! But as you said, Lana, they will kill chickens without mercy. My friend had some hens in a cage and the raccoons pulled the chickens to pieces through the wire to devour them. Not so cute then.....and we've had skunks in the live traps too. That's exciting. And smelly.

Glad to see you're back! said...

Dreaming - we do hear them in the trees. Scary. And they ARE very intelligent with observing and figuring things out. I will take measures to make sure my chickens are safe, if I see one while by myself. :-)

Rae - No, she wasn't relocated far away. Unfortunately. And they definitely can be nasty. My mom was camping, as a child, and she saw a child in a wheelchair horribly attacked by a large raccoon. I've been TOO up close and personal with some and their claws, etc., can be extremely threatening. I don't want them savaging around here, for sure. I'm glad it was trapped. The dogs run it off as well.

Linda - I can't wait to post the pictures of the winter weather that came through here. I think we had a total of three burst pipes over the weeks. I am very sick of cold weather. In the South, we like our lukewarm winter weather and this has not exactly been a winter with Southern-Style temperatures!

Karen - I have been very fortunate with my chickens. Scary to think about them being attacked. Another good defense I have is Howdy...he is EXTREMELY in tuned with the sounds of a chicken and will be in major distress if he hears any "off" cries by his feathered gals. But, there's always that risk. I'm surprised we've been okay for this long.

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Kudos to Howdie for keeping your girls safe. Raccoons are cute until they start doing something to something you don't want them to. We've had to relocate a few over the years. We make sure to take them 10+ miles away and then release them by a creek. Hope they stay away from now on... and glad you're back. :)

Karen said...

Lana, someone sent me a video I just had to share with you, it's about raccoons going crazy for Doritos, if the link doesn't work, just type the title into Youtube....Can you IMAGINE that many raccoons?! And they're feeding them...Oh my!! Howdy would go crazy chasing them all.