Thursday, May 28, 2015

That Varmint

I've been a fan of game cameras for years.  I've used them to watch wildlife and considered them just another way to enjoy the outdoors.  Also, as a full-time cop, I've used security camera footage to try to help solve crimes.  The downside to using video to solve crimes is that you have to watch the video.  For example, a high school where someone is suspected to have been in the building between the time that the custodian locked up at night and the time the principal unlocked in the morning might be 10 hours.  Do you know how long it takes to watch 10 hours of video?  You guessed it, 10 hours.  It's like watching paint dry.

Sometimes your video doesn't show anything, but sometimes there's that "AH-HA!" moment, when it all comes together, and you've got it all on tape.  Those are good times.

In this particular case, Milady and I have been plagued by a varmint, eating cat food and re-arranging the furniture on the patio.  I suspected a raccoon, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and I wanted times so that I could mount a proper response. So, in proper police fashion, I laid a trap for my bandit in the form of my old, trusty vame camera.  And sure enough, he tripped it.

 There's the varmint, right there.  Just as I suspected.  I know what he looks like and I know what time he tripped the camera.  A review of the evidence shows that's a big ol' coon, fat and healthy.

So now I consider my options.  Several come to mind, but I've rejected a couple.  For example, if I set a box trap, I'd probably catch my inquisitive cat, leaving the coon to continue his depredations.  I live in a suburb, so the idea of gunfire isn't particularly appealing.  I admit, as a gunny-person, it was the first thing that comes to mind, but I have to deal with the possibility of pass-through, fields of fire, and collateral damage.  These things I'll ponder in the days to come.

However, the first problem to consider was how the varmint was getting into the yard.  He's been doing this for several days, so he's probably found a route in and out.  It's simply a mattter of finding it.  Fortunately, the weather has conspired against the coon, in that the ground around the house is saturated.  My son, who was spending the night with us on a job, found the trail as he was leaving for work this morning.  In the mud outside the patio gate, he noticed two small tracks.

Sure enough, those are raccoon tracks in the mud outside the  gate, so I can be fairly certain that he's coming in from that direction.

So, now we've identified the target and his route.  We know approximate times.  All that's left is to determine an effective response.  Readers are invited to game this scenario.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cb longs

Old Grafton said...

Large wire box trap, canned corn bait, or peanut butter on crackers, CCI MiniCap Longs administered orally via rifle barrel (Ol' Coon always bites the barrel when it's threaded into the trap). Don't worry about the cat, cats only get caught in a box trap once-- they're fast learners. If trapset is in the open, place a piece of plywood over the trap (just avoid the trigger mechanism) to act as a rain shield for kitty if accidentally caught and protect the bait.

Remember, shoot the 'coon IN THE TRAP. They are very unfriendly.

bluesun said...

Second everything Old Grafton says. I only ever catch my cats once when I have coons I'm dealing with.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Coons can scream. I haul them away for release. Unsealed babes now if you are tenderhearted.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

unweaned

Anonymous said...

.22 CB caps are totally silent in a rifle they can be deadly on suburban varmints as big and eastern woodchuck at up to 25 yards allegedly. One might still want to think about rule 4 as these low velocity slugs have a surprising amount of penetration. A quality air rifle would also work, but they tend to be louder than the CB caps.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

I've used CB's, and you just need to re-zero before you do that. You can put it in one ear and out the other.

Termite said...

Box trap with bait. 6ft pole with hook on end. 3 ft of water; pond, deep ditch, etc. Wait 15 min.
Dispose of carcass in woods; Buzzards, possums and fire ants gotta eat too.

Theother Ryan said...

Have you considered a pellet gun? I have it on good authority (from not especially nice people who would know) that the Benjamin ones they sell at Walmart will kill dogs.

Old NFO said...

I agree, CB cap IN the trap. Downward angle, and you've met the four rules.