Another Bandit

Happy Acres seems to have turned into a playground for raccoons. Just five days after trapping one in the Havahart trap, and losing the bluebird babies to a predator, I found another one in the trap this morning.

I was out for a morning stroll around the grounds, snapping photos for a garden update, when I noticed the wooden nest box was open. The bluebirds have started building in one of the PVC boxes, so I wasn’t too worried. It looks like English sparrows are trying to build in this one.

 

open nest box (click on any image to enlarge)

When I looked a little closer, I found the raccoon in the trap, no more than 10 feet away from the nest box. This one wasn’t as covered in mud as the last one, but it had been digging in the ground beneath the trap.

 

another masked bandit

I think we now know for sure that the raccoon(s) are the ones getting in the nest box. They are amazingly adept. This one managed to remove the handle from the top of the trap, which forced me to load it into a wheelbarrow to haul it out front to my truck. The door to the nesting box is secured by a small nail, which seems to be no match for the wiley raccoon.

 

nail holds door closed

 

This raccoon, like the last one, is ready to get out. He didn’t have long to wait. I got in the truck and took him to the secluded place where the last one went, about 4-5 miles from HA.

 

if I could just get to that latch, I'd be outta here

Still, I can’t really get mad at the raccoons. They are doing their raccoon thing, and living up to their reputation as bandits. And this one was more photogenic than the last one that was covered in mud.

 

look at me, aren't I cute?

Ironically, while I was dealing with the raccoon in the trap, the big rabbit I am trying to catch scampered off nearby. It seems to be saying “na-na-na-na, can’t catch me”. HAH! I don’t give up so easily. We will meet again, wabbit. I’ve got more apples, and plenty of patience.

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8 Responses to Another Bandit

  1. Ali says:

    I know they are just doing their thing, but I find it hard to be sympathetic to raccoons after losing some hens to them. We trapped a family a few years ago after they figured out how to open Henbogle Coop’s door. I felt really bad for my poor hens. We had a large raccoon, and 2 smaller ones. The one in the photo looks small, maybe a kit? Might there be a big scary momma around?

    Good luck, I am rooting for the beautiful bluebirds!

    • Villager says:

      The one I got 5 days ago was bigger, so it might have been mama. But then she might still be out there. Thanks Ali, I am rooting for the bluebirds too!

  2. It’s because of raccoons that we construct all of our coops and portable poultry pens with two part latches on the doors. A slide-bolt or hasp latch is a no brainer for this nimble fingered critters. A spring catch with a hook, or a slide bolt with a padlock seems to work. They can do one thing (unhook a catch), but if they have to hold back a spring while they unhook it…well, so far I haven’t met a bandit that’s quite that clever 😉 I must admit though, he is sort of cute. Has that ‘who me?’ look on his face in that last photo. Good luck catching Benjamin Bunny!

    • Villager says:

      What I’d like to have is a photo of the raccoon climbing the metal conduit pole, then pulling the nail enough to open the door. It’s such a tight fit even I have a hard time opening that door!

      Right after I took the ‘mug shot’, it started growling at me, so I guess cute only gets you so far! 🙂

  3. Robin says:

    Good luck catching that bunny! They have always eluded capture by me. I’ve trapped many a squirrels, a groundhog, feril cats, raccoons, and opposums…..but not one dang rabbit!

    I think that raccoon is kind of cute. It does look young so you may have a few more to go!

    • Villager says:

      I’ve gotten quite a few rabbits, but it seems the older ones are more wary. I’m going to keep the trap out because the rabbits and raccoons can both eat a lot of goodies, and I’m not wanting to share with them!

  4. GrafixMuse says:

    Oh that waskily wabbit teasing you when you had your hands full with the raccoon. I hope you don’t have a whole family of raccoons to contend with.

  5. Kelly says:

    Oh the trials! Can’t blame the raccoon for being ornery I suppose; good luck catching that rabbit. 🙂

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