Pelican Flyer •
November 8, 2020
Raccoons can be a nuisance. And unlike other pests, these scavenger ringtail critters have deft little hands that can cause a whole lot of chaos, from scattering trash to even harming our beloved pets. In fact, they can be quite vicious to anyone or anything that tries to tangle with them. So, sometimes, a raccoon or two just has to go. And whether it’s to get rid of annoying trash pandas in the neighborhood or to hunt them for game, here is how to hunt raccoon successfully.
Raccoons stick around areas that offer a good source of food. They’re more common in rural areas and typically build homes in tall trees; however, they can also thrive behind an apartment building’s back alley and even in urban areas. Anywhere that provides raccoons with a safe place to live and a steady food source invites them to cause an infestation.
In rural areas, farmers often allow hunters the range of their property to remove troublesome raccoons. Whether they pay for the pest removal service or invite you back to use their land for hunting bigger game, like deer or turkey, it’s a win-win for both farmer and hunter. Placing a local classified ad or using social media connections is a fantastic way to find folks looking for raccoon removal.
Like most game, mating season is a prime time to hunt raccoons. From January to February, raccoons go searching for a mate and, of course, den sites where they can have their young. Males go into rut, sparring and making squealing sounds.
Once raccoons mate, the females will seek out a nest. This could be anything from a tall, hollow tree to an attic space – whatever is warm and dry! And they’ll hole themselves up there until a June-ish timeframe when the babies are big enough. Signs of a raccoon den can be food scraps, scat and even structural damage to siding or the roof.
As you learn how to hunt raccoons, “squaller” calls come in handy, luring out aggressive males during the January and February mating season. However, chittering and purring calls can also draw out entire families, especially juvenile raccoons.
Whether using a trap or rifle, bait can help draw raccoons out, especially if you already know they frequent the area. While these trash pandas will eat just about anything, marshmallows, hard-boiled eggs, watermelon and fresh fish make enticing baits. Even a tin foil with nothing inside can tempt a raccoon’s curiosity. However, when it comes to choosing bait, consider their usual, local cuisine.
An experienced hunting dog with a strong nose can catch the scent of raccoons in the breeze and help you track them down. One of the best hunting dog breeds for catching raccoons is the Treeing Walker Coonhound, which will tree raccoons, howling and keeping them cornered until you arrive. A loyal hunting dog will also protect you from aggressive raccoons that decide to put up a fight.
Raccoons are small but surprisingly tough critters. Unlike hunting deer, it’s best to avoid larger calibers and shotguns. If you are after a trophy pelt or want to turn your raccoon into taxidermy, smaller caliber rifles are the best option. However, if you’re simply hunting raccoons to eliminate pests, larger calibers like a shotgun will get the job done.
As you learn how to hunt raccoons, also be mindful of the type of bullets you use. Many hunters assume generic ammunition is adequate, but are sorely mistaken. Never take for granted how tough raccoons can be. To take down a larger, aggressive male raccoon, you better get yourself predator and varmint cartridges that can deliver a clean shot and penetrate their tough hides.
Get yourself a scope, especially for hunting this nocturnal game at night when they’re most active. Of course, make sure to protect your investments with a gun case, specifically a rifle case
if that’s your weapon of choice. And keep your bullets neatly packed with a watertight, hard ammo case. A motion-activated night camera can also help you determine the route these nocturnal critters take each night, which can help you track them.
Whether you hope to rid the neighborhood of a trash panda nuisance or want a custom-fit Davy Crockett style cap, use these raccoon hunting tips to catch them in no time.
Using proper hunting equipment and learning how to lure out the big boys with squalls, you’ll become the king of the wild frontier. Or, at least, king of the neighborhood alleys.
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