When I was young, I thought raccoons were so cute. They still are on cards. In real life trapping raccoons happens every year.
Raccoons are vandals. They get into a stand of corn tearing open every ear, taking a few bites and moving on ruining the entire patch. They rip open feed sacks even if they don’t want the feed.
These masked bandits spent last spring digging up my potatoes. This year it was the tomato seedlings. They don’t want the plants, only any possible worm or grub under the plants.
Populations have soared. Every place has raccoon surpluses. All are hungry and putting on fat for the winter. Newly on their own young want to survive.
I set live traps. At various times I’ve caught skunks (difficult to remove), opossums, cats, chickens, woodchucks and raccoons. Some I release. Some I don’t.
Someone other than me is eating my tomatoes. I’m not greedy. The garden resident chipmunk (evidently not a ground squirrel as previously thought) is welcome to a few. Any stray turtle is welcome to a few. I even don’t grudge raccoons taking a few.
However, raccoons are vandals. They go through every vine taking a bite out of a tomato here, a tomato there eventually ruining the entire crop. Trapping raccoons becomes necessity.
However, setting the live trap won’t work well now. The culprits are young raccoons. One will not trigger the trap. Two arguing over the bait might.
I did manage to trap a young raccoon last night. By accident.
I moved my pullets into the hen house. There is still feed scattered on the floor of the chick house so I open it during the day.
Last night I closed the doors up late, after dark, without a flashlight. Around noon today I wandered over to open the doors. Everything was knocked over. A young raccoon was backed up into a far corner.
It will be back tonight to dig up the bricks in front of the chick house for the umpteenth time.
Another garden pest is the hornworm. Fortunately chickens like them. Unfortunately raccoons like chicken dinner.