Raccoon Hunting

raccoon hunting


07.27.2007 - Ha ha HAA!!! I've got the little sucker now! I'm going to blast it with my .22 rifle, let the dogs get at it, skin it, tan the hide, make raccoon stew, and pick my teeth with the bones! Rar! That raccoon doesn't stand a chance against my superior manly intellect and my super manly weapon that I carry with me. I can't wait to take my rambo knife to this sucker's throat! No way you could outrun my trusty pack of hound dogs, you sneaky little raccoon. You thought you could get away from me, but now it's lights out! The final curtain for you!  I see you trying to hide up in that tree, you think you're smarter than me, well come here my precious, and have a taste of cold steel, hee hee...  I am so keen and so smart, I beat you raccoon! HA HA HAAA, OH HOW I LOVE RACCOON HUNTING!!!

The raccoon (Procyon lotor), is a unique animal native to North America. It's not closely related to any other animals, with distant relatives such as bears and weasels. Coons are easy to recognize, with a black mask and ringed tail. Raccoons tend to weigh between 10-20 pounds as adults. They are mostly nocturnal, and are omnivores. Racoons average a lifespan of about 5 years in the wild, and have a litter of 3-6 young each spring. They are very strong, excellent climbers, very intelligent, and they are very skilled with their hands. Raccoons have learned to thrive in urban areas, and live in very high densities in cities, where they eat garbage and pet food. They commonly break into homes and attics, where they cause considerable damage, and they also destroy other property, and thus racoons are considered pest animals by many people. Raccoon control and removal, especially from inside homes, is best left to a professional.

It is very important to me that all wildlife is treated as humanely as possible.  I have observed raccoons up close for many years now, and it is obvious that they are very intelligent animals with very real emotions and feelings, and unique personalities, just like dogs have.  I can tell when a raccoon is scared, when it wants to get back to its babies, when it is relaxed, and so on.  It's not rocket science.  We're all animals together on this planet.  It is my job as a nuisance wildlife removal specialist to solve conflicts between people and wildlife.  If someone has a problem with an animal, they are going to address the problem.  I'd rather have myself on the case than anyone else, because I take the greatest care to ensure that the animals are treated humanely and do not suffer or receive any injury.

The above photo is one of my favorite photographs that I've ever taken, because it's of a cute, vulnerable juvenile raccoon.  It's a very pretty animal, and very capable.  The only raccoon hunting that I do is with my camera, and when necessary, a humane live cage trap via which the animal is quickly relocated.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Raccoons page for tips and advice.
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Article on How to hunt raccoons - Raccoon hunting is a sport that has been around for hundreds of years. Hunting raccoon is not only considered sport, but raccoons make a tasty meal and their pelts fetch a pretty price. Some farmers and ranchers will gladly invite you to hunt raccoon if they are having a problem with the pesky thieves. There are many ways to enjoy this sport. If you decide that you want to take up Raccoon hunting look at your options. Do you want to hunt with a bow or a rifle? Are you going to use dogs? Are you going to use a raccoon call or "squall"? Do you want to hunt during the night or day time? Once you decide your style there are a few basic things you need. First, find a suitable place to hunt. Not everywhere is home to raccoons. If you already live in the country, you probably know whether or not you have "coons" on or around your property.

If you don't live out of town, you can check with local farmers and ranchers in your area. We're going to discuss the most common type of raccoon hunting. This particular method takes place at night and involves several hunters, a good raccoon dog, and one rifle (usually a .22). Other basic equipment is a light, a compass, wading boots, a good knife, and some basic provisions like snacks, water, coffee, first aid kit etc… If you want to go high tech with your hunting, a night vision scope, a GPS and a squall call or electronic game call can up your game. Raccoons are nocturnal, and many areas only allow you to hunt them at night. When you are ready to begin hunting, first step is to know your prey. Scout out the area you are going to hunt during the day. Look for signs of the raccoon and learn his feeding and travelling habits. Also use this time to look for dangerous areas you might need to avoid.

Take your dog along so he gets the lay of the land as well. When you are ready to set out on a hunt, make sure you are aware of the rest of your [party (including your dogs) location to avoid any accidents. As you move through the woods the noise will roust the coon, using a call also helps with this. When your dog catches ascent, he will pursue till he "trees" the raccoon. At this point it's your job. Everyone shines their lights in the tree till the animal's eyes are visible due to the bright reflection. Shoot the raccoon from the tree. Bag your trophy and continue hunting until you feel you have a good quota. Be sure to clean you kills as soon as possible to prevent ruining the meat or pelt. When you finish your hunt, e sure to leave no signs (trash or refuse) that you where ever there! I you follow these tips you can embark on the fun and profitable hobby of "raccoon hunting"

Hunting raccoons for meat, fur, and sport is a tradition that has existed since before colonial times, and which has thrived well into modernity. Raccoon hunting usually involves either using dogs to assist tracking and chasing down raccoons, or trapping raccoons which are later either killed or released.

Hunting with hounds
Hunting in this way requires specialized dogs called coonhounds, which are specially trained to seek out raccoons. Coonhounds come in two varieties: hot- and cold-nosed: hot-nosed hounds follow fresher scent trails than cold-nosed ones. While coonhounds are trained to chase raccoons, they are also attracted to deer. Since in most of the US hunting deer with dogs is illegal, avoid hunting in deer hotspots. Additionally, observe state regulations on owning and training coonhounds: in some states, a permit is required to simply train a coonhound.

Once a coonhound has tracked down a raccoon, it chases the raccoon up a tree and keeps it there. This practice is called "treeing" and is used to buy time for the hunter to arrive and dispatch the raccoon. To find the dogs, hunters either rely on the dog's barking or use GPS enabled collars to track the dog. As hunting operations usually take place at night, hunters carry a light source; headlights are preferred, as hunters prefer for both of their hands to be free to wield a rifle, usually chambered in .22 calibers (5.56 mm). However, not all hunters hunt to kill: some hunters use the hunts as tests of their hound's treeing ability. This has the advantage of being legal year-round, whereas killing raccoons is only legal during a hunting season (usually September to February, though it varies by state). Additionally, in some states, there is a limit on how many raccoons can be killed per person per day, which makes the traditional method of chase-and-kill unsuitable for training coonhounds.

While trapping raccoons seems like a less invasive activity, it still requires permits in some states, even if it is a catch-and-release activity. As well as that, diseases carried by raccoons, like roundworm, distemper, rabies, and salmonella (among others) make raccoons difficult to handle in close proximity, meaning that trapping should only be done if you have the necessary experience.

Trapping raccoons requires a large trapping box, owing to their large size: raccoons can be up to 70 cm (27.5 in) long and 30 cm (12 in) tall. Transparent boxes generally work best against raccoons, who tend to be cautious about entering any enclosed space that they cannot see; moreover, raccoons, being highly visual animals, feel more confident both being able to see and smell the bait inside. Two-door traps tend to outsmart raccoons, who are able to see through the machinations of a one-door trap.

Trapping also requires good bait: raccoons prefer strong-smelling foods like meat or fish, sweet foods like marshmallows or watermelon, and eggs, with which they like to play. To keep the bait attractive, keep it fresh by switching it out every two days. Additionally, keep the traps accessible by positioning them close to potential raccoon dens, such as tree hollows and tree crotches.

If you are planning on merely catching and releasing the raccoons, it is important that you do not stress the captive raccoon out. To minimize the animal's distress, make sure to:

  • Check traps every morning—raccoons become anxious if they are inside a trap for too long
  • Talk gently and quietly around the animal
  • Drape a dark, opaque cloth over the trap while it is moving.

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