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Old 06-08-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
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Smile Trading - with raccoons

I seem to have collected a set of raccoon twins that haunt my place. They're not much trouble to me - main thing they do is steal any leftover cat food at night. The cats don't fight them - they stand there in awe at them washing the food in the water dish - that whole opposable thumb thing. So I see them as moderately cute - though one of them looks just right for that Danl Boone hat I crave, if I could only catch one with a shot before he runs under my new car or similar evasive move - those suckers are both smart and fast.

Recently, they've been bringing me gifts. If I leave out some decent amount of cat food (the dry stuff), I get little rocks in return, in the dish.

But the other day, I had a couple quarts of really good steak stew getting ready to go bad, so I dumped this out in one of the cat food dishes - it was far more than they can eat in a session, and they don't like some of the components anyway.

Next morning, that dish was FULL of rocks - the 'coons must have loved it, and cleaned it spotless except for the rocks they traded me for it. It's gotta be the 'coons, never seen a cat pick up a rock and put it someplace specific.

Anyone else see stuff like this? It's pretty funny if they aren't causing you much trouble.

Sooner or later, I'll get that hat. I see them about 1 in 100 times I open the door at night - but that takes a lot of being already "locked and loaded" to get one in the 2-3 seconds you get in that case before they are just plain gone (or behind a new car I'm not willing to shoot). And of course, I want a clean shot so I can use that pelt. Tried traps - they're far too smart for that one.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
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That's a fun game you have going there with the raccoons...

I have a cat that brings us treats in return for food and shelter. Although the treats are in the form of live chipmunks that he lets go in the house, frequently.

I've heard of woodrats bring traders:

"A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying, for example a piece of cactus, and "trade" it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pack_rat#Behavior

Cool stuff though.

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Unless they start leaving you Au or Ag get rid of them.
You'll eventually have problems with them,destructive,nasty varmints they are.

GOD BLESS & BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!!!
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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Great tale DCFusor! Or would be "Tail" in a couple of months re your hat...?
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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If you are going to have that kind of relationship with Wild animals, I would gradually move the food away from your home until it's on the edge of your property. The real damage comes later if you aren't careful. They might actually kill your cat. if they view it as eating THEIR food.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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I know they have a bad rap - they've just not earned it with me personally. I don't keep garbage outside to attract them (bears being the real issue with that one, actually). I don't think they'll kill my cats - they seem to be pals. I've caught them having "meetings" for crying out loud, looks like lots of mutual respect going on there.

I do want to get rid of at least one - I want that hat, but damn, they are hard to "hunt" in the way I want one. I don't want it all torn up - I want a good pelt. So hanging far out with a high power rifle (which might take a few days of just waiting) isn't a good option - it'd blow the little guy apart, and I'd be shooting at my own home. And I'd need night vision, or nearly, though I do have a nightlight on my porch.

The edge of my land,,,well, that's a long drive, and I like to keep the cats near the place for the good they do otherwise. My real cat-girlfriend is an indoors animal, no threat to her. No rodents here...except the ones they bring me in case I'm hungry.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #7
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I don't think its very gentleman like to befriend wild animals with food and then shoot them after you gained their trust.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #8
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DC,
If you want a hat you'll have to wait till winter to get the good pelt.I'm sure the fur at this time is not good quality.

GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!!!
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:17 PM   #9
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dont wait too long DCF, or all you will be able to harvest is a raccat pelt
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #10
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Leave them be. Racoons are less bother and cleaner than rats, and they will eat the stuff rats will be attracted to. Also, in a real pinch, they don't tase too awfull bad either. I ate one on a dare as a teenager after soaking it in salt water with vineagar in it. It's really greasy and gamey but edible. A medium sized 'coon will feed four.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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DC, that's a good one for Ripley's Believe It or Not! Pretty neat though.

Coons are on my sh*t list. They have a sweet tooth for corn and canteloupe a few days before they are ready to pick. In fact, plant some canteloupe and you have a sure ringer to get them close to snag that pelt!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
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I don't think I befriended them with food placed literally on my doorstep for my pets. They came and stole it - and they are a long way from "home" here - the creek is a few hundred yards off.

When the possums come, they fight with and endanger the cats. They get shot quick with a HP rifle that actually kills them right now.

In fact, the coons didn't even run away at first, but I kicked them a couple times to make it clear they're not supposed to be here, and now they start running as soon as they hear my footsteps near the door from the inside. Just sayin.

The fur looks pretty good, but with my luck it'll take till winter to get one anyway, they're fast and smart and know they aren't welcome. Seems like they're trying to bribe their way back into my favor with the rocks, which is why I thought it funny. Now, if the rocker were higher grade as someone suggested, it might work. But nope, just common stuff from elsewhere in the driveway.

Anyhow, I thought the behavior was kind of neat to observe. And they really aren't making any serious trouble, yet. Corn - the crows (also smart and fast) take care of that one for me. I've bagged a couple, but now they fly before I can open the window (without a screen on purpose) and bring up the shotgun. They even seem to be able to tell if I've got one loaded - if not, they just cackle at me, very weird.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:29 PM   #13
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Those coons have better morals than bankers and politicians. Cleaner hands too.
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