Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thief caught on film

I've read on several other blogs where people were having raccoon problems. I have them as well. They can clean out a not quite ripe plum tree over night. My peaches are on their favorites list as well. I was able to break them of that by putting wire rings around my fruit trees and hooking them to an electric fence charger for pets. It worked very well.

Lately the little varmints started getting into the buckets that we keep our deer feed corn in. We keep it in 5 gallon buckets with a screw on lid. They would turn over the buckets and roll them around the yard till the top would come off. I was able to get some different buckets with screw on lids that had a little latch that had to be held open while you screwed the lid open. That stopped the problem---for about a week. They wouldn't even roll these around, they would just be open. I just had to know how they were getting into these new buckets. In my mind I could see one holding the bucket still, one holding the latch open and a third unscrewing the lid. They just couldn't be that smart. I had to know.

I put out a game camera pointed at the buckets. The game camera takes a picture when something moves in front of it, waits ten seconds and takes another, waits ten second and takes a third. After the third it rests for a minute and if something is moving starts the sequence again.

This sequence shows the coon on the table with the lid in his mouth, then peeling the top off, and finally getting the goodies.

I have no idea how this little coon can pry that lid off with it's mouth like it does. I tried to pull it off with my fingers and couldn't do it. These lids are pretty stout.

On this night there wasn't much of a mess made but some nights it can be really bad with corn strewn everywhere. It does eventually get cleaned up by the Cardinals and the dreaded tree rodents, the squirrels.
This picture is another night where a real mess was made as they turned the bucket over.

My dog smelling where the little varmints have been.

And the camera catches me doing what? The clean up, of course.

I finally had to resort to the electric wire again. Problem solved in just a few nights. I put the buckets on the table to make sure my dogs didn't get into the hot wire. If the coons are a problem at your place, I highly recommend the hot wire as a solution.


Lancashire rose said...

I notice he turned round and smiled for the camera.

walk2write said...

I wonder if the little corn (ty)coon could figure out a way to tap into taxpayers' pockets like the banking moguls have. ;>}

Texas Mom said...

My mother was down visiting 2 weeks ago for my son's wedding and said, "Did you know you have raccoons?" And I said, NO?

She spotted one on my deck after dark.

Sure enough, 2 nights ago, I heard something knock over outside. Flipping on my outdoor light, I swung open the curtain and caught a coon staring at me through the window. With lazy ease, he CLIMBED UP THE SIDE OF MY HOUSE (like Spiderman.) I dashed out side and caught him disappear over my roof to the other side.

Hope they don't become a menace to my garden!

katina said...

about a week before we left for our first vacation i walked into the kitchen and was cleaning when I got that eerie feeling of being watched. I walked over to the table and then noticed that a raccoon was sitting right by my screen door watching me. We sat there and stared at each other for a bit before he went over the fence to my neighbor's yard.

Annie in Austin said...

Raccoons are so smart and interesting that if it weren't for the rabies thing I'd almost like to have them close enough to watch, Bob!

We know they're out there, even if we don't see them often. Last year our pecan had a genuine crop and we were awakened by midnight battles over the nuts.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Tabor said...

We thought we had one of these little devils in the attic, but fortunately that was not the case. They are very clever and quite dexterous.

Bonnie said...

Good lord, that is funny. Just the pictures are so priceless. I'm battling a varmint, probably a rabbit, in my tomato patch right now so you have my sympathy. The trap has tripped 4 times and still no rabbit in it.