Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bring-em-back-alive coon hunting

Let me assure you that , knowing the ferociousness of a cornered raccoon, not everybody has tried to capture one bare handed. I will tell you the secret and you can do it and have bragging rights.The dogs have "treed" a raccoon and there it is high up in the tree the dogs have indicated. The first step is to leash all the dogs except one who is the poorest killer. The poorest killer is aware of the danger of attacking a raccoon because of the strength and bites it is capable of. That dog is the detainer Someone has to climb the tree to shake the animal out. I used to be a really good tree climber and sometimes the only one in a hunt and I had to handle the raccoon once it was on the ground. First the brush would be cleared where the raccoon would be expected to land. The climber would have to approach the animal in the tree so that it would be in a position to be out on a limb that could be shaked until it either jumped or fell to the ground. When the animal lands it is stunned usually for just enough time for me to get a foot on its shoulder area pinning it to the ground. Then reaching around I pull a burlap bag that I had tucked under my belt out and ran my right hand and arm into it to the bottom. Then grasping the coon's tail through the bottom of the bag I would pull the creature up into the bag and voilla! A raccoon in the bag. Remember this is done at night with flashlights and the animal lands where you don't expect it where it is difficult and if so the loose dog may detain it or it may escape for the loose dog to chase up another tree. Try it. You'll like it. Then you take it home and release it in an area where there are few wild raccoons. About where there are few raccoons, I wondered about how many there might be around our Orance, Conn. house. How about an experiment. I bought old donuts from a pastry shop and put them out on our terrace where we had a subdued light. In fifteen minutes there was not one but two animals eating away. A coffee cake and another dozen donuts brought five raccoons out the next night. I wondered where so many were coming from. The nest night I put four coffee cakes and a pound cake broken up and had to leave for an hour. On returning, looking out of a picture window there was not a crumb of food left. In a week's time the count was sixteen at one time and some would grab a jelly donut and run off with it. Soon there were too many to count but those I did added up to twenty four with many close by but out of sight. By releasing raccoons in areas where there were few in my opinion when I was bringing raccoons home alive was a joke. Raccoons must travel distances for pastries.They preferred the apple pies over the cherry pies.

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