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I almost feel bad - for the Raccoon

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Free Spirit, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
    Today I had been sitting by my computer reading BYC threads and answering one to remind them that the raccoon that killed their chicken would likely be back. Ironically, I turned around to view my ducks and geese hiding behind the kiddy pool. Why? because a big raccoon was sitting beside their fence (So glad we went electric net and it was on). Problem is it was 10:35 AM. The other problem is that the chickens are in a run only covered by chicken wire (they are locked up safe and secure at night). Therefore seeing a raccoon during the daytime had me a bit worried. It's not unusual to see raccoons around here in daylight but they've never been this close to my flocks.

    I went outside to yell at it and try and drive it off (standing about 15 feet away from my front porch). Nope, it just looked at me and kept looking at the ground where I had spilled some feed by accident yesterday. So I went into the house and grabbed the .22. I couldn't shoot at it without risking hitting my birds so I fired a warning shot into the ground (again only 15 feet away). It didn't flinch and just starred at me. So I took a couple steps forward and it finally started to move off albeit very, very slowly.

    I really don't like to kill unless I have no choice. In the country I coexist with many predators because I do everything possible to protect my livestock and cats. But this raccoon is exhibiting an uncaring, unafraid attitude that will be a big problem. So I felt I had to do what I really didn't want to... take a shot. He stopped behind a tree and the only shot I had without risking my birds or neighbors goats was a head shot. I fired and he calmly climbed to the top of the tree. Thinking I must have missed as it is breezy today and it showed no sign of being hit.

    Since the tree is slightly overhanging the duck pen I waited him out for him to climb down and leave with my rifle ready... just in case. After watching me and the birds for a while he did finally, slowly climb down and sauntered off over the perimeter fence and into the wooded area with the neighbors goats.

    I walked over to the tree and found blood. Apparently I did hit him and now he is wounded and has left. Good grief. I don't want a dangerous predator around my birds and pets, but I didn't want an animal to suffer either. So I'm feeling a bad and at the same time hoping I succeeded in being my animals' protector.

  2. philnj

    philnj Chirping

    Jun 2, 2014
    Townsend, DE
    Raccoons out in daytime could very well be rabid. Especially if he didn't show any fear of you.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I wouldn't be concerned about a raccoon just because it's out during the day. That's not as abnormal as one would think. However, I would also have been concerned about the behavior of your visitor. Especially since he didn't move when you came out, yelled, or shot into the ground near him. If you see him again, I would suggest making sure your next shot is a kill shot. (Since he found feed on the ground, he may return) Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
    Agreed and Thanks
  5. Caleb999

    Caleb999 Chirping

    In my past experience, don't cut raccoons any slack. At any opportunity they will attack your flock, so it is best just to make sure they won't come back.
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I have found a .22 isn't the best choice for dispatching a large raccoon. The first time I killed a raccoon, I used a .22 and was very surprised when a head shot from 15 feet away did not drop him. If you have access to something larger, that would be a better choice. If you want to trap them, get a cage trap and use marshmallows as bait. They work like a charm.
  7. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Songster

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    A .22 is what Hubs uses, 2 for 2 this year. Close range is best though.

  8. mommadearest

    mommadearest In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2015
    Northern Ny
    I'd be worried, That was very brassy behavior. I have no luv for racoons period...

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