I was out in the yard working tonight when our black lab Cinder started barking. The guinea hens where in the yard wandering around and squawking, but not the serious trouble type of squawk. I immediately thought a bear. I had gotten a call on Friday from my parents neighbor that a bear had knocked a hive off my parents’ garage roof, so I knew it was that time of the year. I quickly ran around the chicken coop to see what she was barking at and realized that there was something in the live trap.
I built the trap this Spring when we had a fox coming in broad daylight and killing chickens and guinea hens. By the time I had it working properly, someone else either got the fox or it just moved on. So the trap has been sitting there over a month without bait as the flies and beetles had pretty much consumed the chicken necks and gizzards that where used.
That “something” was a mother raccoon with two babies. It is actually quite ironic because I had just told my wife about how I saw about 6 raccoons on Friday night when I went to repair the downed hive. About 10 years ago, the raccoon population was pretty much wiped out around this area with rabies. It has only been the last few years that I have been spotting them on a regular basis and it seems that they have finally recovered.
I know some find them a nuisance, but it brings back memories from my childhood when we had a couple “pet” raccoons. It sort of came about as a mutual agreement type of arrangement. Instead of putting our dinner scraps in the garbage and having the raccoons get into the garbage, we had a platform on a tree where the dinner scraps would go. The raccoons would come and dine at the platform and leave our garbage alone. IT didn’t take long before they where just like all our other pets….