How do you deal with raccoons?

keepitlow(6)August 4, 2014

My 2 Asian pears and 2 plum trees were loaded with fruit. Maybe 150 or more just on one Asian pear. I've been noticing bits and pieces of fruit on the ground. Today when I looked at my Asian pear it had 3 pears left on it. The plums were all stripped off weeks ago and I got nothing.

I know the deer are not doing it. My trees are too tall for deer. (12 feet)

Either raccoons or possums are what I think are eating them. I've noticed some broken branches too. Looks like I wont get one fudging piece of fruit this season.

How do you deal with raccoons?

This post was edited by keepitlow on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 13:20

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lazy_gardens

Electric fencing around the trees, and make sure nothing overhangs the trees - they can jump out and down quite a ways, not so good at jumping UP and over things.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:21PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

They strip all my fruit if not controlled. I've lost everything from cherries to grapes and apples.

I trap and shoot. If done in spring they may not return that summer. But you might have way more than here. I usually need to remove 6-12 per yr.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:31PM
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keepitlow(6)

Do you need a hunting license to trap them?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

I don't think you need a hunting license to trap raccoons. I used Havahart trap to catch them then used a pellet gun in the head.

Tony

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:24PM
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mrsg47(7)

Since I cannot shoot in my city, I net my entire trees. I see a lot of frustrated raccoon footprints around my trees, but I have my fruit. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:33PM
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alan haigh

The easiest way to exclude racoons is to wrap the trunk with roofing coil- if they can't get their claws in the wood they can't pull themselves up. The aluminum stuff can be stapled directly to the trunk- 2.5 ft of it starting at least a foot up the trunk will stop coons and possums.

Takes 4-5 feet of trunk with the coil starting a couple feet up (same length of coil) to stop squirrels and on thin trunks it must be kept slick. I use a blend of oil and axle grease. Grease alone they can climb once it gets a little more sticky. But you didn't ask about squirrels.

They are also easy to lure into live traps with marshmallows, but then you need to kill them. That is what I do with my coons but my clients usually opt for roofing coil. Coons never get any of the fruit protected this way. Never. I remove the coil annually after harvest.

If you opt to trap and kill them, best method is with a powerful 1,000 fps pellet gun with hunting pellets just above the spot between their eyes. Well placed they die extremely quickly and are instantly in death throws. Your song birds will sing you praise.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:25PM
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keepitlow(6)

Thanks Harvestman. I looked up roofing coils and all I found was nailers.

https://www.google.com/#q=roofing+coil&safe=off

What exactly are you using?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:43PM
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glib(5.5)

I do not have the extensive experience of others, but single raccoons are readily caught with a Havahart trap. Best to have a 55 gallon drum close by if you do not have a pellet gun.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:14PM
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devonhubb

Google "aluminum roll flashing".

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:24PM
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appleseed70

keepitlow, Tractor Supply sells two fairly nice live traps for 19.99 on sale. Awesomely good deal and they work very well. When I say 2 I mean you get 2 for $19.99 (on sale). Pakaged with a smaller trap inside a larger one. The larger one is a good size for coon. Bait with almost anything...coons aren't picky.
Find a place where they shouldn't pose much issue for others and let them go. They shouldn't have young this time of year.
I can see this thread downward spiraling like the squirrel killing thread that got 100 posts. Imaginations just run wild on killing critters.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:44PM
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appleseed70

Consider a trail cam. Maybe your troubles are the 2 legged kind.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:47PM
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appleseed70

keepitlow, Harvestman is talking about aluminum roof flashing...at least I think so. It's soft and staples will probably go through it. It's also slippery, malleable and doesn't rust. It's also not cheap if you have to buy a full roll, so look for some scrap or maybe you can find a small roll.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:03PM
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don555(3a)

Am I the only one noticing the irony of using a Havahart trap ("Have a heart") and then putting a bullet through their head or drowning them in a 55 gallon drum?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:43AM
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alan haigh

This is the type I use at the base, the second piece (one on top) I use is a less expensive, unpainted and lighter type which is easier when you are making a bit of a cone to accomodate lower branches. I spray paint that. You could use only the inexpensive,unpainted type and leave the whole thing unpainted but the people I work for are very proud of their expensive landscapes and shiny collars don't go over very well.

Releasing trapped animals is illegal and moving your nuisance to another neighborhood is very cruel to the animal according to wildlife experts. It will likely be driven off by established coons and eventually starve to death.

I don't like drowning them either, it takes much too long. If you can't afford a pellet gun with enough power to puncture their thin skulls I can't recommend live trapping them.

Here is a link that might be useful: roofing coil

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:52AM
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keepitlow(6)

Thanks Harvestman.

I live in the tri-state area of PA - OH - WV, we got lots of coons here. I thought about letting them go in a local park, but I don't have the time to drive them 5 miles away every time I catch one.

Guns are no problem for me. I am not a hunter, but I like guns and have a few. I don't like killing animals but I don't like having a small orchard and never getting even one piece of fruit to eat.

We used to have a neighbor that said he did exactly what they recommend here...catch and kill the coons. He didn't have any fruit trees so I don't know why he did it. Maybe the coons were eating from his vegetable garden? He just casually mentioned to me one time that he had a coon problem and was trapping and disposing of them. He moved away and I guess there is no one around here that takes care of the coons, so they must be thriving.

Nope, not a 2 leg critter. The Asian pears wont ripen for 2 more months. They are not any good to eat. It has been the same with everything I have grown, plums, the very few peaches I had this season, apples, Asian pears. everything is gone before they are anywhere near ripe. I never get anything except a half eaten piece of immature fruit they may have discarded on the ground.

In the spring when I looked at all the fruit that had set on the Asian pear I thought to myself, wow it has so much fruit on it that it looks like the tree will break from the all the weight. I don't care how much fruit a tree has on it, it does not mean you will ever get 1 piece with these animals working on them.

There is not anything left for this season, so I will have to consider this for next year's season. The raccoons or possums have destroyed the entire seasons potential production from 15 fruit trees.

This post was edited by keepitlow on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 8:32

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:19AM
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fireduck(10a)

tried several times to catch my coons...no luck. I baited the havahart trap with dog food and marshmallows. Nothin'...These suckers steal fruit, and dig in my yard for grubs. Can't entice them....suggestions???

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:25AM
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Bradybb(wa8)

fireduck,
Do they take the marshmallows out of the trap without tripping it?
They did that with mine when I was first using it and sometimes even now,but I caught a big and little one so far.
I use to put the bait in the back of the trap and they'd get and I wondered how?Then I saw a few videos of them reaching in and pulling the marshmallows to the side and through from the outside.
I'm still experimenting and I hang a marshmallow on strong monofilament,with a stopper at the end,(so it's takes some effort to pull it off),behind the trip plate.I also put one underneath the trap in the back.Only once were they able to get the hanging bait.
My neighbor wired hardware cloth to his trap,so they couldn't reach in.He told me a study was done and raccoons were able to open 11 out of 13 different locks.We have to be smarter than they are.
I saw one video where the guy put the bait like smelly fish and marshmallows in a jar and punched a bunch of holes in the lid and wired it to the inside of the trap.It caught the coon,but somehow the animal was able to open the lid.
The big one I caught tore the carrying handle off. Brady

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:20AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I've occasionally lost bait without catching a coon but not very often. I do put the marshmallows under the back of the trip plate. Lay the bait on the ground and set the trap on top. Sometimes I lead them in with a trail of marshmallows but that can lead to a trip before they are far enough inside. My trap needs the door set as light as possible although failures to catch might be stolen bait through the sides.

My best baits are the marshmallows and fruit pieces. Any kind of meat catches cats and fox.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Don't assume for your sake. For those who live in a city be sure to check local laws. In some, a b-b gun is treated exactly the same as discharging a firearm. Even if it is legal don't be surprised if police arrest you anyway, a prosecutor files the charges and it is all hunky dory with a judge who denies you a defense of, "but it is legal!" And even if legal if someone sees you firing a "rifle" a visit from a nice SWAT team is not unlikely. Just a question of right away or at 3AM. Where do you think you live...the land of the free?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:22PM
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myk1(5 IL)

Whether or not you need a license depends on the location and the determination of the species caught. I'd say for Raccoons you'd not only need a license but have to catch them in season. Otherwise release them on the spot.
At least that's the legal way it works here.
When in doubt, SSS.

Luckily they don't bother my fruit yet, only the corn. The whole reason they're even here is because of a neighbor who should know better intentionally feeding them which pulls them right through my back yard.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:28PM
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keepitlow(6)

"I use to put the bait in the back of the trap and they'd get and I wondered how?Then I saw a few videos of them reaching in and pulling the marshmallows to the side and through from the outside. "

They must be very smart.

"The big one I caught tore the carrying handle off."

...and mean as hell too!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:33PM
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alan haigh

In NY state, and probably most, coons are considered a nuisance animal and you are free to kill them. It is true that sometimes local ordinances will come into play and nosy neighbors who were raised on too many Bambi movies will have someone arrested in an effort to make a sweeter gentler world. I'm sure the coons themselves are snickering and smiling with bits of fledgling songbirds between their teethe.

Coons are an animal that exploits human waste like rats and similarly multiply far beyond what is possible in a natural (non modern-human) environment. They are a symptom and cause of ecological collapse, IMO. No way I should be able to capture and kill over 30 of them on my 3 acres in a single season, but it has happened more than once.

I have been at small orchards that smelled like stockyards from all the coon feces. And their feces can carry a disease that causes blindness in humans according to my vet sister.

I've never had a coon that wouldn't climb into a trap if led in by a few stray marshmallows with a small bag of them staked to the ground with a small piece of apple shoot in back of the cage- not once in 25 years of trapping hundreds of them. If the bag isn't secured it can be another story. Good to have a spring gate, as well.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:41PM
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keepitlow(6)

I looked at the roof flashing and they only had rolls 1 foot high. Do you stack them to make them 2 or 3 feet high?

How do you secure the sections so they don't drop down?

How high should they go up the tree?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:15PM
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swampsnaggs

Raccoons really like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I am not kidding. Other good baits are sweet corn, and the marshmallows with a little bit of honey drizzled over them. Don't bother cleaning the live trap after you get rid of the first one. They are attracted to the smell.

Place your live trap such that access to the back of the trap and the sides near it are blocked, yet travel routes into the trap are not impeded. Hang a piece of wire from your trap in the baiting area with the marshmallow and honey on it.

Buy good live traps. Many of the cheaper traps will not hold up to a raccoon.....they will bust out through the trap door!

This post was edited by swampsnaggs on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 19:08

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:52PM
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alan haigh

Home Depot stocks it in 50' and 10' rolls of prepainted 24" width. They also carry cheaper unpainted rolls of the same length selection and a 20" width. 40" is enough width so you can use the cheaper stuff. Staple on the lower piece first so there is no helpful seam.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:23PM
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socks

Keepitlow, I'm so sorry this happened. It's just so maddening, isn't it? We have a fish pond and 'coon problems too, but nothing like yours. Ours must live in the sewers because they smell horrible. They are brazen and not always fearful when encountering humans.

My neighbor, who feeds the cats on her porch, said she saw 2 mothers and a total of 10 babies recently. Gee, I wonder why they are reproducing so well????

Could it be be 'possums eating your fruit? They climb trees too.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:34PM
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keepitlow(6)

"Could it be be 'possums eating your fruit? They climb trees too."

Don't know, I never see a thing.

I just know we have coons, squirrels, possums, deer, rabbits and birds that eat my stuff. I got broken branches and lots of leaves on the ground. Attacks are always at night.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:06PM
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DA_Mccoy

Just passing through.

I have racoons come out of the woods every spring as the ground thaws so I have a lot of experience with them. So,

Live trap, cat food or sardine in a short can back of trap, relocate 5-6 miles (perhaps at a park). It's so easy even I can do it.

Just be aware as the coons appear to be docile, almost tame like, they're not in any way.

Always release away from your person or you may be wearing one.

DA

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:22PM
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fireduck(10a)

I don't want to write a thesis on "Law in America"...I just want to kill these coons. haha. Thanks for all the good info above. I do have possums too...but my neighbors' new pond has brought a bunch of coons in. My son sees them late at night (I am asleep). Maybe they are smarter than me???

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:34PM
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colonel_kernel

Trapping, shooting... That's all good, but the easiest way to deal with them is a medium to large breed dog or two. No muss or fuss.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:37PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

You'd be surprised how many people admit their dog chewed off, broke over, or otherwise damaged trees and then ate the fruit. If they're chasing coon they'll run over anything.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:46PM
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ajames54(5)

I have a family of racoons living in the garage behind my neighbors house.. 40 feet from my fish pond and 20 feet from my garden. (25 x100 foot city lots)

I also have a fi-shock electric fence around the pond and around the garden.. the racoons go out of their way to avoid setting foot in my yard.

It is on a timer so it comes on at 8PM and shuts off at 8AM.

I occasionally move it around a little in the spring but it is easy to do.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:56PM
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appleseed70

keepitlow; if you think there is a possibility of it being a possum or even a coon/possum combo, follow swampsnaggs advice on the peanut butter/jelly sandwich. That's what a lot of folks here have used for coon and possums love it too. Probably possum would go for the marshmallow too, but I think the PBJ might be more effective. It smells strong, possum are nearly blind...they go on smell.
Truth of the matter is both will eat damn near anything.
How many of you have caught a skunk in your traps? Bet that's a good time.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:22PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Swampsnaggs, raccoons being attracted to other raccoons' scents would explain why I caught a 2nd raccoon one day after the first, even though I hadn't gotten around to baiting the trap. It surprised the heck out of me.

A couple days ago, I got two in the trap at once, a first for me. I use apple cores, with a smear of peanut butter. It seems that most things (like raccoon, squirrels, and groundhog (sometimes)) will go for it. Regrettably, it hasn't worked for a rabbit which has been eluding me for more than a year and chomping on my garden.

I've gotten 2 skunks, but haven't been sprayed yet (*knocks on wood*). I've tossed a tarp over the cage so they couldn't see me and it seems to have kept them calm.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:46AM
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don555(3a)

Seems like folks having lots of problems. Guess I should count my blessings that we have no raccoons in my area. Also thankful we have no rats or groundhogs either. Or earwigs...

Rabbits and squirrels could be an issue though... haven't caused any problems yet, but definitely around and something to watch for. Got slugs, wish I didn't.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:40AM
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Bradybb(wa8)

I was panning through the documentary section on Netflix streaming and found this one about them.Nature:Raccoon Nation.It was interesting and I learned a few things. Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Raccoon Nation

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:49AM
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alan haigh

BTW, KIL, coons eat only ripe or nearly ripe fruit- when green fruit is taken it is generally the work of squirrels.

The reason the pros around here use marshmallows instead of sardines or pet food is that you are less likely to trap skunks or farrow cats. I've noticed that skunks don't usually go after MM,s except during drought when I assume there isn't much for them to grub out of the earth.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:29AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I caught this critter last year in my coon trap. The beauty of live traps is that you can open the door and release non-target animals, which of course I did. As Hman mentions, I sometimes catch feral cats and release those too.

I use plain old cat food as a bait. Coons/possums seem to like it well enough. Marshmallows would probably minimize trapping non-target animals, but since I release non-target catches anyway, the cat food works OK for me.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:21AM
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alan haigh

Olpea, that works for you because skunks are in your vermin category.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:37AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It's illegal here to trap and move a coon to a new home. They taste better than beef to me. They are a delicacy to some people here in the south.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:42AM
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fireduck(10a)

I do have skunks too. If I catch one in my trap...what to do??? I don't want to get sprayed for sure. haha

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:05AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I hope you don't get a skunk in your trap. When I was about 6 years old my little friend and I found two baby skunks in the field. We thought they were too young to spray. We threw some kinda chicken wire box over them to try and trap them and Surprise! we got sprayed.

This post was edited by zackey on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 11:11

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:09AM
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myk1(5 IL)

Marshmallows have worked good for me and coon. But that was before I got 2 Dachshunds. I haven't tried since.

Skunk in your trap, hopefully it's too small for them to turn around. Approach from the front and cover with a tarp. Drop the trap in water (big blue plastic tub works for my trap, better than trying to shoot anything through the trap and tearing it up). Look up the recipe for the hydrogen peroxide skunk odor remover and have that on hand.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:48AM
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alan haigh

I might need a stronger stomach to skin and dress coon. Deer are hard enough for me. I was raised in suburbia and the only flesh we harvested and cleaned ourselves was fish. I'm probably the only family member in many generations to even skin a deer or own a gun capable of killing them.

Skunk is said to be pretty tasty as well, isn't it?

Do not drown the poor skunk if you don't keep bees or have good reason, at least if it's just because you are afraid of being sprayed.

Easiest thing is get a trap with a separated locking door on the trip side. These traps allow you to free the varmint without exposing your hands much and it is easy to release a skunk without getting sprayed if you use a tarp. Gemplers carries them.

If all you have for a door is a spring front, just wear rubber gloves. Rarely does the skunk spray in the process if you move slowly anyway, especially if you through the tarp over and come back in a few minutes.

Usually the skunks are so mellow they don't even rush out of the traps and seem to appreciate the tarp to help them snooze. They might just hang out until night time it you don't shoo them out.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:23PM
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fireduck(10a)

Thanks all. I have caught random stuff in my traps. Amazing what comes around at night. The neighbors cat was not happy when I released him from my trap. The opossums can get grouchy too. haha

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:41PM
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alan haigh

Possums- you let possums go? They are fruit destroyers on par with coons.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:51PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I think it's still illegal to release a skunk in IL. Too many with rabies.
Of course it's illegal to trap furbearers without a license, and skunks are a "protected" species so I don't know how the two laws mesh if you're trying to catch something unprotected like a feral cat and get a skunk.

Drowning (preferably in running water like a stream) is how you kill them for fur.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:57PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"Olpea, that works for you because skunks are in your vermin category."

Surprisingly, I've only caught a couple skunks in many years of trapping. I did destroy those two skunks (one by shooting, the other by drowning. The one I drowned was completely unconscious at the time. I knocked him out w/ ether. I think this was the most painless way to euthanize the animal) because my neighbor keeps bees and skunks will visit the hives at night to eat the bees. I know that sounds freakish, but skunks will visit hives at night and scratch on the entrance. When bees come out, they snap them up. I've read skunks have been examined and found to have dozens of bees stings in their mouths, but apparently it doesn't phase them.

That said, I think if I catch any more skunks, I'll let them go. They are beneficial in their own way. Even though I like bees, skunks are purely carnivorous and don't eat any fruit. Plus they are just interesting animals.

I've eaten coon, and prepared properly, it can be quite good. I prepared it for my family once (with a coon I shot in a live trap). It was good boiled, then barbequed, but my kids didn't eat much. They couldn't get over the fact they were eating coon. My wife refused to even sample it.

Interesting to me how psychology plays into our food choices. I doubt I'd ever eat insects (unless I was next to starvation) regardless how tasty they were prepared.

This post was edited by olpea on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 21:09

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:02PM
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appleseed70

Olpea...skunks are omnivores.
Just throw out some watermelon rind and watch them go to town.
My family once had a pet skunk...I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. My grandfather and father actually operated on it using chloroform as anesthesia. They removed his spray gland (sac) so he couldn't spray. They knew of the process from a very old book my grandpap had called "Practical Fur Farming". I think the procedure in the book was for muskrat or mink (they have scent glands too). According to my Dad they still smell pretty bad even after the surgery, but cannot spray. They secrete an oil from their skin, much like a ferret does.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:43AM
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curtis(5)

Sardines for coon bait. At a teen we trapped for fur. You can eat about any animal, but omnivore meat must be thoroughly cooked.(wild hog, bear, coon etc) trichi-something is the food borne illness risk there. But that probably dos not need mentioned, no one orders their coon steak medium rare.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:48AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Thanks for the info Appleseed. Didn't know skunks were omnivores. Still probably let them go, as I don't think they eat fruit.

Thanks too for the caution cckw. I am familiar w/ trichinosis. Undercooked home grown swine are the traditional caution, but it's a good post as a reminder for wild game too.

When I've cooked coon, I boil the meat for a good while, then bake in BBQ sauce for several hours. Probably the greatest risk is rabies during the dressing.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:56AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I never cooked it myself. We have game night once a year at church and it was the mystery meat. I wouldn't have eaten it otherwise. I thought it was black bear. We used to have raccoons as pets.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Johnnysapples

I build my own live traps but the metal wire ones in the picture work the same way. I found if you chum the ground around the trap and into the trap with popcorn it gets them into the trap. With the wire trap in the picture that might be all you need for bait. Mine I trigger with 30lb fishing braided line tied to a hanging onion bag with all kinds of bait like chicken hot dogs, peanut butter, or what's ever on hand. The other end of the braided line is tied to a ten inch lever on the top. At the bottom of the lever I tie another line to a large spike that goes through a hole in the bottom of the trap door. I use 1/4" steel for the lever set it so it's just about pulled the nail out with it leaning just passed the upright position. This way when they pull on the bag it doesn't take any effert to pull the lever down and the nail comes out right away. I used to leave the garge door open and set the trap in the garage with a glass beer bottle on the top in the way of the lever. Then when I here the bottle bouncing on the concrete I know I got one. I also learned I could just put it in the back of the van with the doors open. Then when I got up in the morning I could close the van doors and drive away. I make the frame out of 1x2 and sheet it with 3/8 ply. The trap door is just a guillotine inside a 1x2 channel that sticks up so it can hold the door when in the up position. It's illegal to transport the animals but I don't like shooting them. I have shot lots of them. They eat my grapes every year, and this year they destroyed my red raspberries. Ground hogs climb trees too. They climb way up into my mulberry trees and eat the berries before they are ripe! They go way out to where the branches are tiny and can run on horizontal branches and down the trunks. I have big trees and catch them in them all the time in the spring. They are very fast and allusive. They do lots of damage!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:31PM
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appleseed70

Olpea...I think you're doing right by releasing the skunks. I would think they do far more good than any slight harm they may cause. I have seen them under my plum tree eating drops before, but they never bother anything else. They also from what I'm told will capture and kill moles/voles also. If that's true that's good enough reason for me right there to leave them alone. My wife (foreign born) thinks they are beautiful animals, and you know, they really are. I read once that a skunk was the cleanest animal in the woods.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:45AM
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JIrene1(8)

I HATE RACCOONS!!! They are nasty critters and my husband and I have been at war with them in our backyard for years. We worry about roundworm infection, our dog getting into it with them, distemper/rabies, etc.......they are just totally freaking gross, worthless animals and there are WAY TOO MANY OF THEM!!!! We had beautiful grape vines covering our arbor, which we used to love to spend time under, until the battle started....grapes were removed. Then, we had a beautiful weeping willow tree, the only tree in our yard. Came home from a 1 week vacation last summer, and one of their little faces stared back at my husband from a hollow spot in the trunk. GROSS! Tree was cut down 2 days later. I HATE RACCOONS!!!!! No good advice for you, as all we came up with was to remove things we loved about our yard out of frustration from trying to defend those things from them. Although, we do use carpet tack strips on top of our fence now, because I've read they have very sensitive feet, and that may have helped. But my guess is removing their home (the tree) and their food (the grapes) is what has really decreased their constant traffic through our once lovely backyard. Good luck, so sorry you are dealing with this too. They SUCK!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:11PM
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keepitlow(6)

We have lots of groundhogs. I've never seen them climb a tree though.

I was going to wait until next spring as was recommended to start trapping the raccoons. Now that that ate all my orchard clean they started getting into my attic crawl space. I'm going to buy the traps tomorrow and get to work. I got some stinky Thai fish sauce. It reeks, I hope they like it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:58PM
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mamuang_gw

I can assure you that groundhogs climb trees. They've climbed my Asian pear trees and my Mammoth sunflowers. I wish I was fast enough to take pictures. They have good hearing and can hear you from far away.

Mine are very difficult to bait. So far, only ripe cantaloupe has worked. I still have more to trap.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:17PM
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Raq_(9)

I'm curious: once the coon is dispatched, how do you dispose of the carcass if you have no intention of skinning/eating it?

I ask because although racoons are not a problem in my yard yet, I have seen them around and know it's just a matter of time. I toss squirrels/rats in the trash after they are stuffed in a zip lock bag along with a bit of baking soda then triple bag that with plastic bags. That mitigates the smell for almost a week. But if its been a productive week of trapping, the bin gets pretty ripe so I don't think that would work with a coon.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 3:24PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I only trap for about 2 days prior to trash pickup. But I do have two locations for disposal so that covers most of the week.

I've taken out 5 so far this yr and they've quit showing up. Once the occupants of a territory are gone it takes a while for another pair to move in. Another area might have constant pressure. From now on I'm trapping whenever I see evidence. I'm not waiting for damage.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 3:55PM
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swampsnaggs

Raccoon disposal option:

Dump raccoon onto the hood of your late-model automobile, placing it toward the front of the vehicle such that it won't immediately slide off. Drive slowly and cautiously to the nearest roadside disposal area, making sure no traffic will be affected and no cars are behind you. Slam on the brakes directing the carcass off to the side of the road, simulating an actual road kill. Rinse hood with a bottle of water.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Raq_(9)

They are like weeds and need to be managed as such.

I had thought of the simulated road kill scenario, but wasn't sure how to go about it. Very creative. ;) Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:28PM
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chikn

I was so surprised by not seeing the easiest raccoon cure, I had to join the forum. 1/4 cup Golden Maldrin fly bait dissolved in a sugared can of soda pop, placed in a plastic open container around what you don't want raccoons in. This mix works so quickly that raccoons don't usually get more than a few feet from the empty container. Pets or other wildlife won't get close to the stuff and raccoons never develop fear or resistance to it. It works for sweetcorn, chikns, fruit, garbage, you name it. Raccoons just can't resist.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 2:10AM
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alan haigh

Thanks chikn- I forgot about that old farmers remedy although I first read about it on this forum several years ago. I prefer trapping and shooting them just because a pellet to the brain seems more humane.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 4:50AM
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ltilton

Well, I made a big mistake. My Charentais melons are coming ripe now, and you can smell them halfway round the world. I picked the first two yesterday and decided to leave one more that was just starting to color and didn't have much of a scent.

This morning, it's gone.

And now, of course, the varmint will be back for more every night.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 11:53AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Well, down here in the south...and rural, this is how we deal with them.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Cook a Raccoon

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 11:58AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Well, down here in the south...and rural, this is how we deal with them.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Cook a Raccoon

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

That's an interesting idea using Malrin.People may want check their local laws about using it though.
I found this discussion on another forum about possible legalities involved. Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Malrin to Poison Coon

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 9:22AM
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rober49(5 St Louis)

if you catch a skunk in your trap approach it slowly holding a piece of canvas tarp or a large beach towel in front of you & lower it over the trap. you can then carry the trap to your drowning container or open the door & prop it open & walk away. if you drown them add the water After putting them in your tank or they'll spray. I'm a beekeeper so I drown them. in Missouri & a lot of states it is illegal to trap & relocate coons. I like them barbecued myself.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 3:15PM
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swvirginiadave(z6 VA)

If you use an electric fence for raccoons, what is the best spacing for the wires?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:29PM
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keepitlow(6)

dbarron I was told raccoons taste bad because they are scavengers. Did I get the wrong info?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 8:53AM
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keepitlow(6)

My neighbor has a couple cats that roam around. Will malrin be a problem with the cats?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 8:56AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

Well, that may be so...or maybe there's a best age/sex to cook...but the one that we once DID cook, wasn't nearly as bad as the opossum that we also tried once.

Hey, if you don't try something, how do you know you don't like it?
For that matter (reply), pigs are scavengerous omnivores, and we love bacon!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:03AM
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chikn

We've never had cats interested in our raccoon "fix". This works on skunks also.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 3:26AM
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bberry_gw

In Maine it is standard practice for farmers to protect their crops from wildlife threats. I think most states have laws to help farmers. We are exempt from the season and bag limit thing. With deer and some other game animals you can contact your warden service and they will help. They generally don't want to bother with coon, squirrels, wood chucks, skunks etc. With wild geese you can get a permit to shoot a few and hang up the carcasses and the rest will not come back. For years I shot a crow for pulling up corn. Hung it up and no more problem. I now find light twine over the top of the garden 10 feet in the air also keeps them out. We don't eat coon due to rabies but do trap and kill them to keep them out of the corn. Farmers should always know their rights in protecting their crops! Having said that it is not a good idea to go down to the local coffee shop and brag to animal rights activists that you had to trap 15 coons. Those people do not care about your fruit or garden!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 1:28PM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

This is how I deal with them.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 9:51PM
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derby41

I didn't see any one mention using sardines for bait in a live trap. That is what I have always used or fish flavored canned cat food.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2015 at 10:01PM
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