Sunday, 5 December 2021

Unexpected Visitor

 Sunday here. We were planning on putting up our outdoor lights. We string them along the rail fence that goes along the front of our property. It's cold, but at that time it wasn't snowing. We got the box of lights out of the "Rubbermaid Room" and the box of wires that we use to secure the lights to the rails. We discovered that last year's clear white lights only partially lit up, so we went back to the multi-coloured lights from previous years. Husband and I bundled up and began the task. When we were pretty much done, he had gone inside for something and I was at the door facing out to the porch. I saw a big raccoon coming from across the road onto our neighbours property. Hmmm. You don't usually see raccoons in the early afternoon. 

I watched and it went behind the neighbours and came out at the neighbours beside that and stood for a while by their detached garage. I told husband about it and he saw it, too. We continued with putting up the garland around the door and were pretty much done. A short while later I looked out and saw our new neighbour standing at the end of our driveway using his phone to take a picture. I came out to him(it was our first meeting by the way, I introduced myself) and he was taking a picture of the big raccoon which was now in our carport. Husband went out and scared it away from our closed garbage can. Neighbour and husband couldn't see where it had gone.

Husband discovered a little while after that, that it hadn't gone far and was holed up under the car cover which protects his little car that doesn't get driven in the winter. Not good. So, he went to find our live trap in the shed in the backyard. Meanwhile, we checked and found that both of our cats were sleeping peacefully inside, so we closed up the cat door. That's the last thing you want coming in your cat door - a great big raccoon!

We baited the trap with salmon. We had an old peanut container wired to the back of the cage (so the animal has to come right inside and work at getting the bait). Husband set out the trap and weighted it down with a cement block.


I took this picture from the door that looks out toward the car port. You can see the raccoon at the side of the trap trying to reach in to get the salmon. 
And that it did! With its amazing little nimble "fingers" it managed to pull the container toward itself. This was not a metal container, but if you are familiar with peanut containers, they are a very thick cardboard type of material with a metal rim. I think I had used that in the past because I could poke holes through it to be able to wire it to the back of the cage. Well, the raccoon just took its time and bit by bit ripped through the container from outside the cage and had a lovely snack.


After husband "scared" it away so he could retrieve the live trap and try again, the raccoon came back quite quickly and had another mosey around the car port. You can see husband in the reflection of the glass and the beasty out by our blue boxes (recycling).



He had a poke around the recycling box. Look at those paws. Made for disassembly and nuisance. Husband created the Raccoon Trap 2.0 by using a tall yogurt container with holes poked through and a good sturdy wire. This way the raccoon would not be able to reach down far enough to get the salmon from being outside the trap. He also used more cement blocks to prevent the raccoon from reaching in from all sides or the back. As well, a tasty trail of salmon led in from the door hatch. 

The raccoon came back almost immediately and stayed outside the trap, trying its best to get at that salmon. He (She?) would walk around to all sides, but wouldn't go close to the door way of the trap. However, the lure of stinky salmon prevailed and in it went. These are pictures taken through a window, so not the best. It couldn't have cared less that we were watching through the window.







Success! Got the critter! It didn't seem very bothered at that point, just enjoying the salmon.


Then husband thought he would ask neighbour guy if he wanted to go on a road trip to release the raccoon far, far away. He put trap in the back of his truck and drove across the road to neighbour's house. (They haven't quite completely moved in, biding time between here - relatively middle of nowhere- and the big city). When he knocked on the door, he discovered the whole family wanted to see the raccoon, so neighbour wife and three neighbour children all came out to have a peek. Husband and neighbour guy drove quite a ways away to an area where the raccoon could live a happy life without crawling up into someone's attic and creating absolute havoc. He (She?) was released and they came home. 


This wasn't really how we anticipated the day going, but a neat way to get to know the new neighbours. I wonder if they are regretting moving to our tiny dot on the map with the giant mound of turkey manure in the field and ravaging wildlife? Not to say that raccoons aren't a problem in the city, either. 

I do hope Rocky Raccoon doesn't return (they are known to come back from great distances). So, how was your Sunday?

42 comments:

  1. We used to have a mum show up with her kits and clean up the bird seed on the ground. Now we are so over run with fishers we are lucky to see a squirrel.

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  2. Love your snow-topped gate! I didn't know raccoons were undesirable visitors. Do they raid your bins? Or bite you? I suppose their bandit eye-masks should be hint enough that they could only spell mischief.

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    1. Raccoons are incredibly destructive. They can carry rabies. They raid whatever they can - bird feeders, garbage, cat food...

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  3. If it fancies the idea of more salmon - this might be a regular thing all winter!
    Have fun!

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    1. I hope not, but when I googled the best bait for raccoons, marshmallows came up as the number one choice!

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  4. Do you think it might have had family nearby? Do they mate for life or are they loners?

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    1. In terms of family, if this was a mother, the babies would have been born in the warm months, so they would not be dependent upon her at this stage. Not sure about mating for life.

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  5. Good for you relocating the little bugger. They can be destructive, and of course can carry rabies in the spring and summer. I had one at our other house that use to take down the bird feeders and carry them into the woods behind the house.
    Wild animals are best left in the wild.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Yes, I know they look cute but until you've had a critter cause big problems, you don't know how bad it can get. We had major damage to a riding lawn mower because of a mouse. We've had problems with raccoons in the past, as well. (hence owning a live trap) -Jenn

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  6. OK, you have to explain.."giant mound of turkey manure"..please? We had the wiring chewed on our car by rodents last winter. Wrapping here and there with those stinky Gain fabric softener sheets seems to be working this year!

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    1. The farmers who own the land around us have the contract on the turkey barns down the road. (Think Butterball turkeys). When they ship all the turkeys out, the huge barns get cleaned out. The farmer dumps truck loads of turkey manure in a field close by. It is the size of a small house by the time they are done. The stench is horrible for a couple of weeks. Then when it’s time ( spring) to spread it on the fields, it’s horrible again for another couple of weeks. I’m a country girl and I am totally used to manure as fertilizer, but it was never stockpiled like that where I grew up.

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  7. Quite the live entertainment at your house. What a fun way to meet your new neighbours too.

    I'm happy to hear you were able to catch and release the raccoon. Hopefully it can find a source of food without getting into someone garbage or home.

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    1. Raccoons are wild animals who just know a good thing when they see it. I have no doubt it will be able to survive in its natural habitat. It seemed pretty smart.

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  8. Raccoons are amazing critters, but real pests. Wily little buggers!

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  9. It kind of sounds like it knew about traps lol. but just could not resist the salmon.
    We had the same kind of the thing with a skunk but we lived in the city at the time.
    Cathy

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    1. Yes we get skunks, too but they just dig up the lawn for grubs rather than taking up permanent residence ( as raccoons are known to do). This was one smart raccoon!

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  10. Raccoons can be smart. They can open anything you leave accidently on your porch. We get them all the time and they usually bring their babies. They even curl up under the heat lamps with the feral cats in winter. Lucky for us, they have never caused us any trouble. But yes, they can carry rabies. DH had to have a rabies series once when one accidentally scratched him when he was out feeding the feral cats.

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  11. Certainly a good welcome to Nature for the new neighbours!

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    1. It was an interesting way to meet him. They seem like very nice people.

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  12. They are so bold and just don’t care. I remember camping once and, in broad daylight as we were sitting near-by, one climbed up on the picnic table, looked me straight in the eye and started to dig around in our food bin. Cheeky bugger

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  13. I can remember when I was much younger and living in Ontario the racoons trying to get in our garbage cans during the night. They made such a racket.

    God bless.

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  14. Mine wasn't nearly as exciting as yours but it sounds like a great adventure. Boy, they're clever, aren't they? I've had them too. And it is a fun way to meet the neighbors! I hope it enjoys its new home. It probably is going there with a far greater gourmet palate than many of the new cohorts it will meet in the wild!

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    1. The stories he will have to tell his little wilderness buddies!

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  15. At least you got to meet the new neighbours and they seem ok.

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  16. Very interesting. You did very well trapping the raccoon. They can do lots of damage if they find a way inside a home. My neighbor had a family living in his attic and had to hire someone to remove the raccoons.

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    1. I was amazed at how quickly we were able to trap it!

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  17. Let's hope the raccoon wasn't someone's mommy. My brother used to put food and water out for the raccoon and it never bothered the house. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I’m not really a fan of feeding wild animals with the exception of birds. Your brother obviously really liked them.

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  18. I am not a fan of raccoons in my garden. I'll say no more, other than feeding him salmon reminded me to send you the link for the Three Pines free download recipe booklet - there's a yummy salmon recipe in there. ... Mary-Lou =^[..]^=
    https://www.flammarion.qc.ca/livres/564/les-saveurs-de-three-pines?fbclid=IwAR20o5VIv4EC02TYG9zQQ2ESbxBxEpgEAz1vbhQUxtCOsx8-RhERSGZpmoA

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    1. Ha ha- the raccoon loved the salmon, however I’m not a fan. But anything Three Pines would be wonderful!

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  19. Loved the story! We had one around the cabin just before we left for Denmark. We didn't want a raccoon around the cabin while gone for two weeks so we drug out the live trap. We had the same trapping problems as you. We finally nabbed him at 2:00 am and took him on a drive. As we were releasing him someone drove by. My husband hid, as I sat on the tailgate with the coon. We left for Denmark that morning. We were apprehensive if he would return while we were gone and exact revenge, but he didn't. Hope yours doesn't return. He/she seems a tad bold.

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    1. I can imagine your husband diving into the bushes or ducking down in the front seat! I’ve heard that people have sprayed a little bit of spray paint on the back of raccoons they have trapped as a way of identifying them, and after releasing them somewhere else, the raccoons returned.

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  20. Sounds like that coon was familiar with the trap. Great way to meet the new neighbours. But, please explain the "giant mound of turkey manure"???

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    1. If you look at the earlier comments, I explained about the turkey manure. You must have missed it. ­čÖé

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    2. Thank you Jenn, and sorry! I was having trouble getting a comment to go, and was sure it hadn't, so didn't look back when I tried again later. I was just so darn curious about the pile of turkey do-do! Thanks!

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  21. Oh, I know that sort of day! We have a squirrel trap and used to drive the captives a few miles away and release them well away from our local woods. But we were never free of squirrels, after a while we felt sure they were running back saying, "those Murphys will tire of this before us." They were right!

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