Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Racoon Wars

We woke up last week to find, to our horrifying chagrin, that all of the grapes in our garden arbor were gone. In one night the local raccoon family (Growler, Gerdie, Gilbert, and their Mom) had eaten every last grape. We were hoppin mad (cursing them with tummy aches) and immediately instituted the Racoon Relocation Program.

We bought a big live trap.

The first thing we learned: Don’t bait a live trap with anything your cat likes. The first night using cat food for bait we caught (duh) Marla Mayhem the cat. We tried marshmallows next. (Racoon Kryptonite we were told.) These raccoons obviously are immune to regular marshmallows – until we pushed peanut butter inside the marshmallows and threw in a fish head for a bonus. (Marla hates fish) That caught Growler.

Growler did not take well to captivity. When we moved him to the truck he growled, hissed, and chomped his teeth like an angry alligator. We dropped him off about 20 miles from here in the wilderness.
Growler
We baited the trap again with a peanut butter marshmallows and a fish head. We caught Gerdie and Gilbert in the same trap. This is a door-at-each-end trap that closes as soon as somebody touches the bait. So they must have run in from both sides at exactly the same time – probably yelling in raccoon language: “Dibs on the fish head!” When we found them this morning they were just sitting there calmly like “Hey what’s up dudes?” They acted like they enjoyed the drive in the truck. We dropped them off at the same place in the mountains as their brother and they immediately climbed up the same tree Growler did. Hopefully tonight we’ll catch Mom and they will have a family reunion in a much more raccoon-friendly neck-of-the-woods.
Gilbert & Gerdie 

By the way, sorry again about telling everyone my kit was going to come out last week. Obviously I can never accurately predict when a kit is going to be done. I am not going to predict when it will be ready but, er, it feels like really soon. I really love this one and want it to be perfect. I guess that’s why it’s taking so long.  …….

12 comments:

Mom2*Lauryn*Jacob* said...

I love that last picture of both in the tree, how stinkin cute is that! I'm sorry your grape crop was distroyed, ugh! (Your dialog was killin me too) haha. Thank you for the update on your kit, I have been stalking your store for a bit =P I can't wait to see it!

~Heather~

Lorie said...

I know. I think their stinkin cuteness is why they are so successful. As bold and hungry as they are, if they looked like wharf rats with horns they'd be extinct by now.

I caught them in the tool shed eating the cat food early this summer. The Mom instantly jumped out the window with one of the pups. (Probably Growler) One of the other pups looked surprised and fell back on some rags with her legs in the air. Neither tried to run. They both ended up looking at me like "Is there desert?"
I thought "Awwwww you two are sooo adorable!"
Then they took out the pears and were working on the plums but the grapes - that was the last straw.

Astrea said...

Oh Lorie, I have been stalking your store too, because I cant wait to see your new kit;)I know all your kits are perfect:)

Olushka52 said...

What miracle! Fantastic photos!!!!

Abeille said...

Aww sorry for your grape but the last photo is too cute!!

Anonymous said...

Those are so adorable! that last photo is just priceless. Does the new kit have raccoons??? LOL seriously though, you'll have to make a kit someday with them in it :)

Well I'm an SBG stalker in general, various times during the day, every day, so I'm sure when you release your newest fabulous kit, I'll notice it right away!

thanks for the chuckle!

xoxo Jenna in Canada

debraking359 said...

ha! growled like an alligator! I trap em too Lorie and that is exactly how they sound!

Lorie said...

We caught another sibling last night. I didn't know we had that many. He was grumpier than Growler. Mama cleaned out the neighbors dog food a couple nights ago so I'm using dog food and marshmallows dipped in bacon grease now for bait. What more could she ask for? What do you use Debra? I bet they'd love your doughnuts.

debraking359 said...

I have the prettiest opossum's in the land, or so I'm told by my visiting friends, staring out the window at them gobbling up my cat's "sience diet" cat food. Their coat is sooo shiney! They are so fat! The cute racoons were sooo fun to watch with their 3 little cubs...scarfin down even the tiniest little crumbs left behind by the fat cats, ....till like you, they ate my bird suet. ALL IN ONE NIGHT. It was on!

debraking359 said...

ha! no doughnuts!

Mirta Lu said...

Hah! These raccoons are just too cute to resist, but they definitely look lovelier in the woods and not in someone else’s garden. :D We used raccoon repellents but nothing beats the efficiency of a live trap. Anyway, how’s it going now? Do you still use live traps?

Lorie said...

Hey Mirta, what do you use to repel racoons? We set the live traps this year but didn't catch anybody and nobody really bothered the grapes, except for the blue jays, who don't eat that much. There's a new bobcat in the neighborhood and a couple of wolves who may be discouraging the racoons from moving back. If so, that's a fair trade.