Regular readers of this little blog will remember my never ending battle with the local raccoon population, sort of like the Israelis and the Palestinians, but without the rockets and the fighter planes although it could come to that.
I thought I had them outsmarted when I went to the electrified chain strung between two trees to support the bird feeders, but no. Not to worry, no harm came to the little critters. The shock was, as the label described, non- lethal but “memorable.” And yes, I can verify this from personal experience, unintentional but certifiable.
The problem, you see, is to make the feeders easily accessible to the filler-upper (me) and at the same time, secure from the ravaging raccoons. The latest idea to use carabineer clips failed miserably, child’s play for the coonies. At wits end, I brought out the mother of all retaliation, the weapon reserved for the most dire of circumstances, the live trap.
Next morning, success. He was a big one, heavy, and not in the best of spirits as I loaded him in the back of the pickup for relocation and a new life down by the scenic Arkansas river, some five miles away. He did not wave goodbye.
One day later, I find the back of the live trap shoved inward, bait seeds gone. Hmm. A closer inspection revealed I had somehow missed a couple of loops on the cage when I had re-inserted one of the restraining bars. Easy fix. Reset and waited. A new dawn, another coonie. This one also released to join up with his buddy at the river.
Then last evening, just before sleepy time, I once again re-bait and reset. I’m awakened at five-thirty by thunder, lightning, and driving rain. Uh oh. A flashlight reveals the bad news. A coonie is in the trap, soaked to his little coonie skin. I grab a raincoat, quick step outside, and bring the coon, trap and all, to the covered back deck and sit him on the glass-topped table, high and dry. I couldn’t tell if he was happy to be out of the rain or pissed to be in a trap in the first place. I suspected the latter.
Yeah, I could have released it then and there, but that would have defeated the purpose of the mission wouldn’t it? Instead, I opted to go back to bed, wait and an hour or so for daylight, and assume the role of reunion coordinator for the raccoon family on the banks of the beautiful Arkansas.
I wake up, dress, and glance out the window. What? Wait a minute. Hold on there. What happened? No coonie! Somehow, someway, Mr. Coon had ripped the whole back end out of the trap and was long gone. I step outside and am met with a powerful stench. You guessed it, coonie revenge. My table had a new centerpiece, a pile of uh, uh, oh you know, excrement. And lots of it. OMG. The mother of retaliation had been met with the ultimate insult. It was a bitter and embarrassing defeat, perhaps the worst of many.
At this point I can see only one solution. I need to relocate.