Home Forums Miscellaneous Outdoor Tidbits Racoon issues

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  • AvatarMengo
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    Post count: 136

    I’m not sure what forum I should have used, but decided maybe here in Outdoor Tidbits.

    I have a huge issue with raccoons. It seems quite frequently they get up on my deck and ravage my bird feeders……all bird feeders; sunflower, jelly for Orioles, and even suet. The only thing it appears that they haven’t ravaged is the niger seed feeder. Yes, I routinely have to take down the feeders to prevent their assault on both the feeders and the feed, but to be quite frank, it is cumbersome and frustrating to have to do that each and every night.

    I have a live trap and set it out routinely, but it is not very effective, in my opinion. I’ve used sardines, tuna, apple butter, apples, marshmellows, and tried a few other things. It just seems like success only occurs once in a blue moon; meanwhile their assaults continue. I must assume that there are a number of IO participants that have or have had similar problems with these persistant raiders. Not to mention that they appear to be quite intelligent……….they can rob the bait right out of the trap routinely without hitting the trigger. Very frustrating to say the least!

    Does anyone have any good reliable method(s) to prevent these critters from destroying everything and/or keeping them away? I am open to any and all suggestions…………please!

    Cheers!

    AvatarTeamAsgrow
    Participant
    Post count: 9151

    I would remove the feed from the feeders. Bait the trap and set the trigger as lightly as you can. I always but my bait in the back of the trap past the trip pan. We used to catch coons and they would reach past the pan and grab the bait. We then dug a small indent into the ground and put the bait in the hold then sat the trap over the bait and that worked incredibly well!

    Avatardrmac22
    Participant
    Post count: 1909

    If you want them DEAD and you don’t have other pets that will eat it. Blue Marlin fly bait will kill coons and just about anything that eats it. I know many don’t like the use of poison but sometimes the pest can get out of hand.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Dogproof traps rarely cause real lasting harm to critters and are WAY more effective than cage traps. Bait with dog food, cat food, marshmallows and molasses, fish, etc. Lil Grizz, Duke, Z Trap, etc are all decent enough for a few nuisance coon. When caught by the front foot they can easily be catch poled (just make one by threading stout rope through a 4′ section of 1” PVC) and put into a dog kennel or something similar for transport and relocation. Or a swimming lesson depending on your thoughts towards varmints 😉 Plus if you use a sweet bait like fruity cereal or marshmallows you won’t catch cats or dogs.

    Avatartracyiowa53
    Participant
    Post count: 444

    If they’re eating your bird food, put bird food in the trap!! Empty the bird feeders first…………………………….

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: drmac22

    If you want them DEAD and you don’t have other pets that will eat it. Blue Marlin fly bait will kill coons and just about anything that eats it. I know many don’t like the use of poison but sometimes the pest can get out of hand.

    If the OP lives in town or even within roaming distance of a neighbors cat or dog, I would NEVER recommend the use of Golden Malrin (if that is what you are talking about, the fly bait poison you leave out in pie tins). Right or wrong, trespassing dog or not, it’s not worth the hassle and the hatred of your neighbors. Plus if you are in town, your neighbors will be ticked when the stench of dead and bloated coon is wafting in their nostrils. Golden Malrin can kill within minutes and the coons have just enough time to make it back to their hidey holes under your neighbor’s porch before they croak…

    AvatarMengo
    Participant
    Post count: 136

    Great tips. Thanks to all that contributed. I do live out in the country, actually near Mehaffey Bridge on the Coralville Reservoir, so have a slew of coons around. I’ll have to look into those dogproof traps. It seems that any coons that I do happen to catch in the trap……they end up with a terminal headache for some reason. They don’t become someone elses problem. And although my cage trap has two doors, I seem to have better luck with one end closed. And I always set the trigger super soft and put the bait in behind the trigger. Although I have been setting the trap on concrete, I might try the hole in the ground trick. I’ve even laid a broken hammer handle right under the cage where the trigger is…….and make the fulcrum just to the front, so if/when they try to reach back and get the bait, the cage tips – hoping it scares the coon and trips the trigger. It helps, but like most things I’ve tried, they work on occasion. Nothing seems to be a gimme. They are darn coy animals. I also got some good new ideas on bait to try. Sometimes it seems a different bait catches them a little off guard.

    The feedback is much appreciated. Cheers!

    Avatarvcreiter
    Participant
    Post count: 46

    I live in the middle of town and had the same problem.. they not only ate all the food, but damaged a lot of the feeders as well. I put sun flower seeds on the ground or floor and set the live trap over the small pile of seeds with the seeds being at the end of the trap next to the trip (trigger). I carried out 11 the first summer.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: Mengo

    Great tips. Thanks to all that contributed. I do live out in the country, actually near Mehaffey Bridge on the Coralville Reservoir, so have a slew of coons around. I’ll have to look into those dogproof traps. It seems that any coons that I do happen to catch in the trap……they end up with a terminal headache for some reason. They don’t become someone elses problem. And although my cage trap has two doors, I seem to have better luck with one end closed. And I always set the trigger super soft and put the bait in behind the trigger. Although I have been setting the trap on concrete, I might try the hole in the ground trick. I’ve even laid a broken hammer handle right under the cage where the trigger is…….and make the fulcrum just to the front, so if/when they try to reach back and get the bait, the cage tips – hoping it scares the coon and trips the trigger. It helps, but like most things I’ve tried, they work on occasion. Nothing seems to be a gimme. They are darn coy animals. I also got some good new ideas on bait to try. Sometimes it seems a different bait catches them a little off guard.

    The feedback is much appreciated. Cheers!

    If you are using a cage trap you are going to want to change some things but your catch rate will really increase. Instead of setting the trigger light with bait placed behind, set it STIFF and wire a bait to the bottom of it like a marshmallow with fish oil on it. Wire that sucker good or zip tie it so the coon has to work at geting it off. If you are setting light with the bait in the back, they are coming to the closed end and trying to shake or pull the bait through the holes, thus tripping the overly sensitive trap. Get some tent stakes or bend some stout wire and stake that trap in the ground SOLID. No movement, or they will back out. Stabilize it well, set the trigger very heavy, and wire a bait on good and your catch percentage will skyrocket compared to how you’re using the cages now.

    ALso if you want to try Dps without buying one at the store or coughing up the cash for a dozen (they can get pricy) PM me and ill let you borrow a couple and show you how to use them, I’m in Iowa City and get up your way pretty often.

    PCIPCI
    Participant
    Post count: 2117

    Quote by: speng5

    Dogproof traps rarely cause real lasting harm to critters and are WAY more effective than cage traps. Bait with dog food, cat food, marshmallows and molasses, fish, etc. Lil Grizz, Duke, Z Trap, etc are all decent enough for a few nuisance coon. When caught by the front foot they can easily be catch poled (just make one by threading stout rope through a 4′ section of 1” PVC) and put into a dog kennel or something similar for transport and relocation. Or a swimming lesson depending on your thoughts towards varmints 😉 Plus if you use a sweet bait like fruity cereal or marshmallows you won’t catch cats or dogs.

    x2 this is a good plan

    AvatarBushFamilyNine
    Participant
    Post count: 354

    Quote by: Mengo

    I’m not sure what forum I should have used, but decided maybe here in Outdoor Tidbits.

    I have a huge issue with raccoons. It seems quite frequently they get up on my deck and ravage my bird feeders……all bird feeders; sunflower, jelly for Orioles, and even suet. The only thing it appears that they haven’t ravaged is the niger seed feeder. Yes, I routinely have to take down the feeders to prevent their assault on both the feeders and the feed, but to be quite frank, it is cumbersome and frustrating to have to do that each and every night.

    Might try hanging your bird feeders on slicked-up poles in your yard. If you can keep them out of the food, they may move onto other sources of food elsewhere. Having food out on the deck is fantastic for bird watching, but not so fun for the larger critters coming in. I know there are a bunch of funny videos out there of raccoons attempting unsuccessfully to climb a pole to get to bird food.

    If you relocate your raccoons, make sure they are miles away. Or they will come back.

    Avatarbonzo
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    My wife was an animal control officer for 12 years and said canned cat food worked the best for coons.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: bonzo

    My wife was an animal control officer for 12 years and said canned cat food worked the best for coons.

    It does. It is also a dynamite bait for dogs, cats, possums, skunks, rats and mice. If you want a coon-selective bait, stick with something fruity, syrupy, sweet, or sticky. Most other critters will leave stuff like that alone. If you bait a cage with cat food, you will start getting possums, and every hour a possum sits in there overnight is some coon you AREN”T catching. Not to mention what happens when you get a skunk in a cage trap…not fun.

    TheDuckMasterTheDuckMaster
    Participant
    Post count: 1594

    Greg,

    I learned many years ago trapping coyotes that if I didn’t use coyote urine on my buried bait hole sets I would get ridge runner coons and possums in my sets.

    Thus I have used coyote urine successfully here in Cedar Rapids for 10 years to keep storm sewer coons out of my garbage. You can get it by the pint, quart, or gallon from most trapping places. I’ll warn you it isn’t cheap and after rains you’ll have to re apply. I would apply it using a spray bottle. And mist it on instead of a stream type of spray, and I am sure a pint should last all summer and fall until the coons go to sleep.

    Cover all areas of your deck like the base of support poles and the first few steps where the coons could crawl up. When you first put it on it will smell pretty strong but that will go away. Also wait until soaks into the steps before you walk on it.

    If you lived near Cedar Rapids I could give you some of the gallon that I have that is tainted and no longer suitable for the trap line.

    Larry

    AvatarMengo
    Participant
    Post count: 136

    I actually tried the canned cat food a couple of years ago. I did catch one coon, but as suggested I also caught a few possums……….no skunks though. The coyote urine is another interesting and great idea. I’ll have to see where I can find some; or Larry maybe some time when I’m in CR we could meet. I’m usually there most every Wednesday……..we have a group of friends that have a weekly get together and grill out, play pool or darts, and have a few and relax.

    I might try tonight securing a trout carcass that I saved after filleting in the trap tonight. And it sounds like I may want to put the trap out in the yard rather than on the patio………..and secure it to the ground.

    Great tips! Appreciate all of the feedback. If anyone has a passion for ridding of the pests, please feel free to let me know and I’ll host a training session for me. Always plenty of cold ones in the fridges!

    Cheers

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