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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Raccoon in the Pond

Early this morning I got up and let Nate out as I do most mornings. Usually Nate runs around for about an hour than wants back in. This morning I heard him barking furiously at something in the distance. I went to the back door to see what he was barking at but is was still dark. All I could do was hear him off in the distance very excited about something. When it got light about an hour later he was still barking at that something. I looked out the window and saw what Nate was all excited about.

It was not a fish and it was too big to be a muskrat (which we do not have at this pond, though we may in the future). So I grab a pair of binoculars and see that Nate has cornered a rather large raccoon in the pond and it is not at all happy.

I grabbed the camera and walked out in 40 degree windy conditions in my robe and got some pictures of the poor thing.

My presence distracted Nate, who very wet and tired. This allowed the coon to try and get out of the situation by hiding in some cattail reeds. I took some pictures and went back in the house and let Danny out to help Nate bark at the raccoon. Than I got thinking that if the raccoon cannot get out of the pond soon it will die in the pond and than someone has to extract a bloated, fetid coon carcass from the pond at some point in the future and decided to call the dogs back in the house for a few minutes. this allowed the poor animal to get out of the pond and the last I saw it it was sitting in a half dead tree on the west edge of the property drying itself .

I have mixed feelings about letting the raccoon live. When we have chickens coons are a real pest. they will damage a coop to get at hens of young chicks and kill more than they eat. But I felt the raccoon had been harassed enough and likely will not come back onto this property if it thinks there is any chance a dog might be out (and there is an excellent chance at any time of day this will be the case).

Years ago Arlo almost killed a large raccoon trying to get some free chicken babies for lunch. We called Arlo off before he did too much damage and that coon crawled across the street and cried like a human infant for about an hour than disappeared. We saw it a couple of days later crossing the field across the street from us. It paused and took a long whiff of chicken. Than it started walking towards the chicken coop (it was about 1/4 mile away). It took about 3 steps than stopped and you could see it was thinking about Arlo and the fact Arlo will kill a raccoon. The coon decided it was not worth trying to get some chicken and ambled on and never stepped foot on that farm again, though we did see him many times but always at a very safe distance from the dog.

This is why I suspect this animal will not come by this farm ever again-just too risky. Raccoons are not stupid

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