Do raccoons learn to outsmart traps or is it just me?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cupman, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I built a home made trap and caught one raccoon with it. I built more because there was obviously more than one raccoon around when it was captured. There's a pair of raccoons that always travel together, I shot one about a week and a half ago in a disrupted attack on my chicken coop. Well, the other of the two, one with a very recognizable brown tinged coat, came out two nights back alone. My motion light went off on the edge of my house and I went to go check it out... there she was, watching my trap, looking at the bait through the hardware cloth I nailed to it. The raccoon tried to reach at it, then circled my trap and decided not to enter it. By then I had my rifle and shot it, finally ending that pair of raccoons reign of chaos. But what surprised me is the raccoons response to my trap. It seemed skeptical of it. Has anyone had experiences with raccoons learning what their trap is and then avoiding the trap? Should I cover it with branches and leaves or something? Thanks.
  2. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Raccoons are crazy smart. Every time I beef up the security of my run, they manage to find a new way to get in.

  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Raccoons, rats, weasels, and cats can become 'trap-smart.
    so sorry.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Re located raccoons generally become "trap smart." Just one of many reasons why predators should not be relocated. Such coons will frequently turn box traps over in an attempt to dis lodge the bait. They are intelligent enough to not repeat unpleasant experiences.
  5. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    It is my firm belief that once we humans drive ourselves to extinction, raccoons will quickly rise up and conquer the world. They're smart, they have opposable thumbs, and they can eat almost anything and live almost anywhere. Just like people.

    Yes, they can become trap smart.
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    YES they do! That's why a released raccoon is so much harder to catch the second time!!!!

    In my experience so far, the males are far more trap savvy than the females. I trapped nearly a dozen females last fall (really seemed to put a dent in the spring baby populations) using a regular hava-hart type box live trap. This spring/summer I've been having a lot of trouble with coons that refuse to go into the traps and so far upon their demise they have all been males. The most recent one behaved like you described, his tracks went up to the box trap (fresh can of sardines inside) and then just left. I took the very same can of sardines out, set it up with a leg hold trap instead, and caught him that night!
    I'm not sure if it's a coincidence at this point, but I've noticed a trend.

    ETA: I've had luck covering the box trap with cardboard. I just set the trap alongside a fence (the run) and leaned a piece of cardboard over it. Of course he shredded it trying to get back out, but cardboard is pretty easy to come by. You can try all kinds of tricks. I really prefer the box traps, but I'm happy that I have learned to use leg traps on those that refuse to be trapped otherwise. I refuse to let them outsmart me for very long.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Oh goodness yes they get trap smart fast. Scbatz33 had a coon push a large loaded trap about 3 feet out of his way and go on about business trying to get into her feed bin and her bird areas.
  8. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    AND ... they go tell all their friends... [​IMG]
  9. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:I use several different style of traps if they are cage wise they get caught by a snare or a coil spring trap sometimes especially with cages a cage can be just a little too small and you will get a lot of refusal of the animal to enter when a critter does not have to bend don or crawl on its belly to get in you catch a lot more critters "blending" the trap a little bit always ups your catch ratio
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  10. jacoblipford

    jacoblipford Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2011
    coon are super smart theres one been getting in my nieghbors humingbird feeders i put a trap out he stretches out in the trap trips the door eats the bait backs out and rolls the trap down the hill then goes after the humingbird feeders got it all on my game camera best way to catch one like that is dig a hole put some sardines or something that smells good in there put a foot trap in there and cover it up the trigger needs to be even with the ground should catch him in no time but dont leave him in there to long he will chew his leg off and take off

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