Update 6-6-11: I've had a couple people suggest to me that I should use the "Coke & fly bait" recipe to get rid of these backyard raccoons. "Won't get 10 feet before he drops over" was one of the comments. In case any of you are wondering why I don't just poison these pests it's because I absolutely refuse to use poison in any way, shape or form. Have you ever seen an animal that's been poisoned? It's not a pretty sight. And then, what do I do with that dead, poisoned animal? Because any creature that feeds on carrion will be poisoned too. I know there are people who don't care whether a coyote, crow, or vulture dies either, but there are all kinds of bugs, mammals, and birds (including bald eagles!) who eat dead things. Nope, no way, no sirree......no poison in MY backyard! There are enough wild spaces around here far away from my yard where I can let a raccoon go free and that's just the way it's going to be.
For the first time in as long as we've lived here, raccoons have become a problem in the backyard. There was one particular birdfeeder that was continually being knocked down. No matter how far out I would hang it on a really skinny branch, I'd get up in the morning and the feeder would be laying on the ground. So I called up my neighbor to see if he would loan me his Havahart trap and the very first nite we put it out, we caught this big guy! (His love of the birdseed with peanuts in was all it took.)
So I hung that birdfeeder back up again and dang, it wasn't 2 days later and I woke up to see the birdfeeder on the ground again in the morning. (Fortunately it's a Wild Birds Unlimited tube feeder, so the thing is virtually indestructible.)
So, out came the trap again and the next morning I woke up to find the trap turned over on its top with no raccoon inside. This smart raccoon knew that if it could get the cage rolled over on its top, the door could be opened for a speedy escape. Obviously one smart critter.......
OK, so on to Plan B -- a fencepost on either side of the cage to keep it from rolling over. Yeah, that'll do it! But the coon was smarter than that -- for the next 4 mornings, I woke up to find the food dish empty but so was the trap! This raccoon was clever enough to know not to step on the plate in the bottom of the cage that would make the door snap closed. #*%&!!
So yesterday while mowing the lawn (plenty of time to think......) I came up with the plan of putting the food dish under the cage, so the raccoon wouldn't have easy access to the food and would most likely have to step on the trip-plate while trying to get at the food through the bottom mesh of the cage. And then I also added 2 posts through the cage to secure it from tipping over and to keep the coon from being able to lift the cage from the outside to get at the birdseed dish.
The first thing I did when I got up this morning was look out the kitchen window.......Yes!! Gotcha clever raccoon!
It's nice to know that I'm smart enough to outwit a raccoon (and it only took a week!)
This raccoon is much smaller than the one we caught last week and a little bit different colored too. I think maybe she's an older (therefore, smarter) female. She wasn't the least bit excited about riding in the back of the pick-up.
A few miles away, we arrived at her new home. Mr. Johnson got to do the honors. Ready, set......