If you’ve read the recent raccoons posts (With A Hotdog Stick, A Huntin’ I Will Go, The Saga Continues – There Are Hardly Words, Raccoon Update…), you know that we’ve recently been having raccoon problems.
Last weekend we attended our NWTF’s (National Wild Turkey Federation’s JAKES Day. (JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) The kids get to do all kinds of activities when assist them learning about hunting and fishing (I’ll have another post on that topic later). One of the ‘stations’ is discussing poaching and safety with a Conservation Officer. When Q&A time came around, I asked what our options might be for getting rid of these raccoons (who our living under our neighbors deck). He said remove the food source?! I tend to dislike using this particular slang word but “Really??”
Con #1: Cutting down our 5 Mulberry Trees would mean no more Mulberry Wine. Which isn’t good because my hubby has become famous for his wines. One of the most popular is the Mulberry.
Con#2: Three of the trees provide shade for the pasture.
Con #3: Two of the trees are the older two boys’ favorite climbing trees.
Con #4: The ducks love to eat the mulberries, especially when they are swimming in their pool which is located under one of the trees.
Pro #1: Fortunately, we collected our berries when they first came on back in early June. Part of the problem is that it was a fantastic crop this year. Finally, almost two months later, the berries are beginning to thin out – hopefully, eliminating part of their food source.
Pro #2: We later found out that if the ‘coons are that much of a problem our county allows us to apply for a nuisance permit….I’ll have to remember that for next year.
Pro #3: The kids keep their tree and shade for the pasture. ;0)
Glad we’ve got that all figured out now! Stay tuned for more wine making posts! (our blueberries came in yesterday)
Right now I’m feeling pretty ingenious about the Raccoon situation. It seems that a Hot Dog Roasting stick will scare off an entire family of Raccoons….at least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! After we found the present they left in my birdbath we did find a pile on one of our windows just next to the back porch. Other than that, we’ve seen very little evidence in the last few days.
For the first time in 10 years, our neighbors had their garbage cans broken into the other night. So we’re thinking they’ve moved west. We hope and wonder if Nicki, our new Rat Terrier has been helping with keeping them away. Believe it or not she’s been known to kill one…although she was a few years younger than now.
I’ll report any new sightings!
Do you know what this is? This is my birdbath converted for safety purposes. With a 20 month old boy I felt that taking the bath portion of the birdbath down off the pedestal would be the safe thing to do. It was working just fine. You’ll notice there isn’t just water in there though.
Apparently the raccoons don’t find the humor in having some crazy lady running after them with a hotdog roasting fork. My friends, this additional mass of mush laying in the birdbath is ‘coon poop!!!!!!
There will be revenge….
A few nights ago we had a break from the heat and humidity. From our open windows, there was a lovely chorus of crickets, toads and a slight breeze moving the leaves on our maple tree. Until we heard an awful screech. “The Chickens!” I yelled. With a capital ‘E,’ I immediately jumped out of bed to see what was the matter. I ran down our 14 stairs out through the mudroom, put on my boots, grabbed the closet thing I could defend myself with – a hotdog roasting stick – went over the river and through the woods (not really), grabbed a flashlight and headed to the pasture. The glow of the flashlight quickly caught 6-8 eyes peering at me from under the Mulberry trees. RACCOONS! Urgh!
By that time my hubby was stumbling out of the front door and watched as I used a hotdog roasting stick to scare and chase four raccoons away. I’m sure I was a sight to be hold. The worst part of it is that because they are out of season right now there’s nothing we can do until we feel our well being at risk. Then you can contact a Conservation Officer who can trap and release them to another area.
Until then I’ll have to wait for opening day. Watch out ’cause I’ll be counting down the days. Pesky AND messy little things!!
ps Thankfully, the chickens were all fine.