Back in May I was out of town and a friend who was locking the birds up at dusk for me found a raccoon eating one of my ducks. One duck was injured and survived with just a scar around her eye, the other was well when my friend interrupted it's meal and chased it off. Sadly he was unarmed and the masked bandit got away.
So I immediately ordered some "dog proof raccoon traps" and while waiting for them to arrive I was going down to the stream where the ducks live every hour or so and the first night after we even set up a sniper nest at the top of the hill at sunset. All to no avail. I set and baited the coon traps for about 2 weeks with no results and no further signs of the suspect.
Fast forward to yesterday morning while letting the ducks out in the morning I noticed their food bowl was empty and moved from where it's usually placed and also some marks around the door to the duck house as though something was trying to dig in. Since the traps were still where I left them I put a 1$ can of tuna into them and viola... this morning I found my duck burglar and put it to rest with a .357 magnum head shot.
She was a pretty healthy critter with plenty of fat and quite a full pelt considering we're not really even into fall weather yet.
Sadly the tail broke (next time I'll slit it all the way down) and I cut a bit of it crooked. I'll admit I haven't properly skinned an animal (trying to keep skin intact) in many years and I tried a new method of skinning which didn't work out so well as what I used to do.... that and the exit hole made the top side a bit sloppy.
Still a good bit of usable fur here and we may yet be able to patchwork the tail back together. It's fleshed out and salted now and I'll be ordering a tanning kit this weekend. My dad is very skilled at working with leather and if/when one of this girl's friends tries to stop in for a meal we'll be making a Davey Crockett hat.
By all accounts you need about 2 coons worth of fur to make a good sized men's hat and Ideally I'll get the tail and head intact off of the next one.
If I can't get another one before winter I may just buy a second fur and just use mine to fill it out..
It felt pretty good to get retribution for my lost duck also.