Raccoons: Take 'em seriously

10:23 a.m. on July 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Though Raccoons are often not overly aggressive, this story illustrates how they can be, especially when in "gaze" (group).  It is also important to note that they are one of the most frequent carriers of Rabies. I have seen a gaze of them successfully chase off dogs and kill cats. 


12:46 p.m. on July 11, 2012 (EDT)
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washington sounds pretty rough.  Dangerous goats and now raccoons.

12:57 p.m. on July 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Raccoons are viscous little critters. I have seen them tear dogs up and by dogs I mean larger hunting breeds. 

Plus they are smart.

Honestly, I hang a bear bag more for them than I do bears but I suspect that if they wanted to get to my munchies they could regardless of what I do. 

9:38 p.m. on July 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I have seen a single raccoon take on two afghan hounds and win. I did hit them all with a hose before they could kill each other. The afghan house had a bloody lip after the encounter.

2:10 p.m. on July 12, 2012 (EDT)
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The worst raccoon problem I've ever seen was when I camped in 2005 or so at the Portola Redwoods State Park in California (it's in the bay area, in the coastal hills between Silicon Valley and the coast).  There were hoards of the little beasts!  And (I guess used to being near people) they were pretty brave, coming right up close to try and grab food and such.  They seemed to have a pretty nasty demeanor.

I think that campground is closed now, one of the many parks California has/is shut(ting) down due to (real opinion withheld) "the state's current fiscal crisis".

2:35 p.m. on July 12, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm glad to see that Washington is still a little bit wild.  

If people ask if there are snakes at the places I climb, I always respond with an enthusiastic YES, hoping to keep them more to myself.  Judging the crowds at my favorite hunting, fishing, hiking and clmbing areas, it isn't working. 

2:25 a.m. on July 13, 2012 (EDT)
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Montana de Oro State Park in California has a limited area for car campers.  We were there in the early off season (late October).  Apparently the population of raccoons there is spoiled by the tourist campers, as these guys have no problems strolling into camp after dark, right up to occupied picnic tables, helping themselves to whatever they desire.  Since I had a young daughter with us, I felt compelled to chase them off.  The only thing that got their attention was throwing decent sized split fire wood and hitting them.  But that only lasted until the sting went away, then they were back.  These guys had the nerve to individually attempt to make me yield to their advances, even after getting whomped by fire wood.  I even witnessed one coon stealing a steak right off a grill being tended by a drunk, then later stealing another steak right of the drunk’s plate while he was eating.  And if one should ever question the fierceness of raccoons, the sound of them maintaining pecking order in the briar surrounding the camp would quickly quell any doubts.


3:02 p.m. on July 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Maybe you should catch a few of these raccoons and train them to guard your favorite spots.

4:45 p.m. on July 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Interesting thread..

The raccoons in my neighborhood are remarkably intelligent. We have an automatic cat feeder that works well for our outdoor cat (and our lifestyle) but so far I can’t make it raccoon proof.

I’ve been trying to trap one coon in particular that has caused us a lot of grief in terms of eating our cats food. (Our cat is no match at all.)

The dang coon is smart enough to not enter a box trap (we've used two different "pro-sumer" traps like Havea hart). At first the racoon was getting the bait by reaching in through the side grate of the trap; so I stacked flagstone around the trap to prevent the “reach-in” and it figured out it could remove the stones one at a time.

I was finally able to use heavy rocks and blocks that it couldn’t move to guard the sides of the trap and the coon just stopped trying to get the bait.

Yes, I even spent a few nights sitting up with a 22 rifle and the window open but it never showed ( and I can only deprive myself of so much sleep).

I built a larger box trap out of wood and some old mesh hoping maybe it would not recognize it as a trap, but it never takes the bait.

We finally gave up and are back to getting someone to stop by and feed the cat when we aren’t there.  

I really love seeing the wildlife when I’m on the trail but not so much at my house.  :)

9:50 a.m. on July 20, 2012 (EDT)
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I had a gopher eat half my garden before I "dealt" with the problem.  He had also dug a ton of holes under everything in my garage, which is an old dirt floored structure. It's more of a glorified barn, really. 

5:59 p.m. on July 21, 2012 (EDT)
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My grandmother used to leave the door open on summer nights so the raccons could come in the lving room and get apples from her hand on Puget Sound in WA.

You guys need to relax a little .




8:56 p.m. on July 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Sure, Racoons aren't always a problem. I like them, actaully. But I don't think most of the discussion here is about the exceptions; the instances where they do become an issue. not related to the backcountry, but A very close friend of mine had an ongoing struggling with them invading his attic. After 15 years of trapping, shooting, poisoning, and boarding up holes they continually ripped open he finally got rid of them. The bill for all the damage they did, however, was in the thousands.

 Often campgrounds, running trails, and shelters are locations that produce habituated and violently aggressive groups. 

12:05 p.m. on July 24, 2012 (EDT)
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My family settled in Washington State in 1889 in Kalama on the Columbia River.  You could say it is still wild, especially in the North Cascades which are now home to griz, wolves, wolverines, and mountian lions, lot of mountain lions.  I had a neighbor once on Camano Island that grew up in Nehalem when it was a company town at the end of the road.  His family was in the logging business.  His Uncle Louie brought him a bear cub which hed for a year and half, and then a mountain lion cub.  He used to walk around town with it on a leash.

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