long! stake-out! got the racoon!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Hi!
    From 10:00 to dawn the last 2 nights, I sat and waited for the unknown chicken-killing predator to show back up here.
    I'd reinforced all the coops and have been screwing all the doors shut every night, but you know a determined predator can find a weak spot.

    So I sat in a 'blind' last night and night-before from dark til daylight and NOTHING! Not even a visit from out resident owl (I was hoping to see the owl). I can't imagine anything more boring than the last 2 nights --- sitting 'still' (I don't do still well) in a hard chair just waiting. I have a flock of ducks that I could see from the blind, but watching the ducks playing off and on in the wading pools gets old after a couple hours.

    Tonight was the pay-off! In case you didn't know, ducks don't miss much. I had barely got settled in and all the ducks (40 of them) went into full alert and lined up along the back fence. They (as a group) walked the back fence of their yard for about 10 mins and then I saw the raccoon! Brazen coon, bot not bold enough to take on a flock of 40 ducks (when it's just a walk away there are sleeping chickens)
    She actually climbed right over a Hav-a-heart trap freshly baited w/ a can of tuna, climbed the fence and headed straight to a coop.
    I was fascinated and could have taken a shot then, but just watched.
    She took both paws and grabbed the edge of the coop door, no go. Wedged both paws in and pulled and shook, door won't move. Other side, no go either. Frustrated, she went straight over the fence and to the next coop. Right to the coop door. Same deal (I've been screwing all the coop doors shut), no go. She tried from very angle to get the door open. No go.
    She stood up on her haunches (to decide which coop to try next or should she try for one of those youngsters roosting on the fence?) and I had a clear shot.
    Honestly, I hated to do it. I don't like to kill anything. I'll trap and relocate if that is possible. I've been trying to find some bait that would work for 3 wks now with no luck. There was just no way this one was going back in either of the traps.
    I *think* this was the same sow coon I caught last year and turned loose the first time because she was obviously still nursing youngsters (I won't intentionally relocate a "Mom" and leave young to starve). The other 2 times I trapped her, Hubby turned her loose too close to home (it was more convenient for him and he didn't believe it was the same animal).
    It's a balancing act.

    I'm constantly reminded how glad I am that we don't have large predators (bear, mountain lions, etc).
    I just can't imagine building a 'bear-proof' chicken coop.
  2. chickens4jojo

    chickens4jojo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2008
    Upstate South Carolina
    Oh my, that was one determined coon! And so were you!!!!

    I think I would have had a very hard time staying awake at nite as you did. You did a good job of protecting your chickens. [​IMG]

    You also have a good heart, but sometimes something like that should "go" for sure even though it's hard....
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    What a long 2 nights for you. As hard as it is sometimes.....it has to be done. Glad you got her....and hope the flocks will be safe now.
  4. Carole AM

    Carole AM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2007
    Goshen, Indiana
    You KNOW you did the right thing! I have NO MERCY when it comes to coons--male or female. Theres too many of them around, and anything that may threaten my birds---goes.
    I just wish I had a gun![​IMG]
  5. paul65

    paul65 Out Of The Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    SW Pennsylvania
    Good for you. Right before the 4th about 9pm i go out to lock my chickens up open the door to go out theres a coon right by the run gate my dog ran it up a tree i could tell it was a young coon i belive he was in that tree all day watching and as soon as he thought it was safe he was going in well needless to say he never had a chance i know he would have come back till he got all my birds i live by a hiway that takes care of most preditors but i guess one will slip though every now an then.
  6. BirdBoy88

    BirdBoy88 Angel Egg

    Dec 26, 2007
    Great Job Lisa [​IMG]

    I'm like you i will try to relocate and animal or try something else leaving the killing as a last resort but when you have no choice you just gotta do what you gotta do and you did Great [​IMG]

    Just shows how much you love your babies.
  7. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    I am so glad you finally got it. Good for you
  8. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2008
    Congrats on getting your perp [​IMG]

    While it seems to us that relocation would be better than killing, for most animal species it is not. If you relocated that raccoon, it would be out of its home range, not know any food sources or shelter areas, and probably die stressed out. If it did survive, it would have to dislocate/kill the resident raccoon of the territory you plopped it in.

    Studies show 90% of relocated raccoons die shortly after relocation. You did the raccoon a favor. Another raccoon will move in, but hopefully will not be so determined to get your chickens and you can coexist.

  9. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    When we first starting raising chickens 10 years ago we trapped and hauled away the coons and possums.
    My brilliant husband would spray them on their back end with bright orange spray paint so if they returned we would know it!
    Just aimed the nozzle thru the cage!
    Not a one came back to be caught again.... [​IMG]
  10. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    couldn't u like build a scarecrow? just like they do for birds? ROFL! [​IMG]

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