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Raccoon #2 down, going back for #3

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Furseeker:
Well I just finished up another night hunt at the dairy farm. This night hunting thing is really getting into my blood. Tonight I was alone and it was very peaceful just sitting down there in the cool evening air. I head several coyotes, saw a few Barn Owls flying around. All that while racking up raccoon number 2 and 3 for the month. I donít know if I mention this in my last post, but one of the farm workers shot six bandits the other morning. He arrives at work everyday at 4:00 am and he told me he snuck up to the corn pile and turned on his overhead light and shot them with a shotgun. Iím not sure how to feel about harvesting that many at one time, but he said the owner has had it with them. Not only are they raiding the corn pile in great numbers every night. I guess theyíve got into a camping trailer parked down on the farm and tore up the inside pretty bad. They have even been tearing up the seats in some of the tractors. I have no idea how many raccoons can be down there but this property is right on the boarder of a waterfowl refuge so Iíd imagine there could be quite a few. I use to do a lot of trapping several years ago but laid of when the fur prices dropped and so did a lot of other local guys I know. So I guess without much predation there numbers are exploding.

Anyway I went down tonight and set up on the corn pile but after an hour or so with no action I move to the silage pit. When I got there I checked it out with the spot light and there were no bandits in there. I positioned myself were I thought I could see them come in but after another hour I hit the silage pit with the red light and was surprised to see a pair of eyes glowing back at me. I made a good head shot on that one from about 35 yards and was about to but a pellet in him when I noticed 5 more going across the top of the silage pit wall. I lined up on the largest one in the front of the group and sent the pellet. No growl or bark this time but he stiffened up and I thought he was going to roll over and die. But before I could get loaded up for a second shot he was on the move again. I did hit him one more time and he tumbled of the back of the silage pit wall. I quickly grabbed my lights and headed out on foot because I thought I could get to him faster then driving around to the other set of gate. As I rounded the corner at the back of the pit I was surprised to see him still up right and moving through the tall weeds. He hit the edge of a small pond and started swimming for a small island that was only about 6 feet away from the waters edge. I waited until he hit dry ground and finished him with a 45 shot to the back of his head. Iím not really happy with myself for having to hit him 3 times to finally anchor him, but at least I did get him stopped.

I grabbed up the first one, which was a lot smaller then I thought he was, but in the dark and not being around any of the others I had nothing to judge his size. I also donít know how to feel about harvesting such a young animal but I feel some what obligated to thin the population no matter the age. Do I have some harsh words coming for shooting such a little feller? I guess Iíll seek some advice from you guys out there, given the damage they are causing should I shoot everyone I can or should I pass on the young ones and hold out for the bigger ones?

I just came home to get my hip boots and head back out to get the second one. I talked to a guy at work today and he says he knows how to cook them up so I will get them cleaned up tonight and take them into work with me tomorrow morning. Wow long post, sorry for the noval.

shadow:
Great story shooting and pic's and I see no problem in harvesting a younger Bandit. You are there doing pest control  and the younger Bandit's are doing the same thing as the older ones raiding the silage pit. Believe me there's plenty more Bandit's out there and their coming from miles around to dine at the farm. The more you night snipe them the more successful you'll become. It's a whole different world in the night and your night hunting skill's will get nothing but better bro. Ed

dk1677:
Nice shooting there!

longislandhunter:
Really enjoyed your hunt, I could almost see it taking place :)  I've always loved Eds night hunts, now I have a second night hunters posts to enjoy :)

As for the young bandit, no problems here with shooting them.  They are doing damage  in a place they are not supposed to be.  Cull out as many as you can.  Like Ed said, there's plenty more of them in that wetlands, you can be sure of that.  Besides, the younger ones are more tender :)

Jeff

Atchman2:
Hey if they are doing damage I wouldn't worry about young, old, whatever.  Like the guys said there are PLENTY of them around.  You could probably kill a couple a night there and not dent the overall population in the area.  New ones will move in with a food source like that.  

Remember you have to kill 80% of any predators creatures to have any real impact on their numbers!  That is why those guys can harvest 20+coyotes and go back to the same place the next year and harvest another 20!  

I'd be sorely tempted to jump on the shotgun band wagon there.  While it is fun to shoot them with an air gun, if they are causing that much damage I'd think they would want them taken down even faster.  Two in a night though WTG!  If you don't watch it Shadow will be on a plane to UTAH! :

You DON'T want him in your state!  He will clean it out!  That is why I've bought LifeLock so he can't track down my raccoon hunting spots!   ;D

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