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I got my dog proof traps set the other night along with a Box Trap. Caught a Possum and a good size Raccoon.

I'm going to preface this with I should have gone with option 5 first and I made a LOT of mistakes.

I had one trap triggered with no critter. Nothing in my Have-a-Heart. One trap had a medium possum. Wish I wouldn't have caught him. and one trap was GONE.

Pictured is something similar to the GONE trap....but not the trap that was missing. I'll get into that in a minute. I've searched everywhere and haven't found the missing trap or varmint. (See photo below)

I had set the trap with the Raccoon too close to the coop door and he made his way inside and of course was asleep when I came upon him. Being on a concrete floor I weighed my options worrying about ricochet, I decided on some 22 Mag. Rat shot. 1/8 oz. 52 grains. I woke him up and blasted him in the head from about 4 feet. He was badly damaged, but not fatal. I moved in closer and hit him again...still alive. First mistake was not having a backup plan. I had to run inside to grab a 22 pistol and my safe was locked and the only available ones on that side were a 9mm, 380 and my 22 Hi-Standard. I selected the 22. The magazine had rat shot in it which I had already decided was no bueno. Opened up my ammo cabinet and selected some 40 gr. Remington Sub Sonic hollow points. I came out to this. Less than 3-4 minutes...this mortally wounded raccoon had the strength to pull the ring apart.

Material property Art Tints and shades Wood Font


I could not see him immediately and decided to dispatch the possum at this time. One bang and half of his head was gone with the sub sonic hollow point round.

I did not want to encounter a wounded raccoon inside my chicken coop so slowly opened the door and found him inside one of my nesting boxes. Decided it was a safe direction to shoot and put one in his head. He flipped back and after about 5 seconds came back to life. I hit him again and he was still moving. DAMMIT....I went back to my cabinet and grabbed a few CCI Stingers and one of those ended it.

I am sharing this and really don't want a bunch of shoulda, coulda, woulda comments. I fully understand where I screwed up. I am re-thinking my trapping layout along with safe shooting lanes to take into account neighbors etc.

I also went to Ace Hardware and got some rings that NO creature on earth can separate.

I really regret that two critters had to pay for my mistakes but I learned something by it. I am watching for buzzards hoping to get the trap that got away but am not hopeful.
 

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A big he raccoon can take a whole bunch of abuse. I had tattered-eared raccoon dogs to prove it!

I shot a big possum with a .41 Mag one night and carried him out of the woods by the tail. He was worth three dollars but the truck stop cheese burgers were first. My buddy and I were sitting and eating when somebody 'made an exclamation' that stirred the place up. I looked out the big plate glass window at my Power Wagon sitting outside. The possum was on the dashboard, bleeding and limping and evoking sympathy from the watching crowd as he smeared my windshield and then climbed on the gun rack. I was going to turn him loose but then the possum wanted to fight instead of leave, all in the bright lights of a truck stop cafe' parking lot. He got under the truck seat and hissing and snapping while the tourist took flash pictures. The dogs in the box were going nuts. I had a bulldog that was a catch dog that just grabbed the first thing he saw and ripped it out of where ever it was and bully-ragged it to death. His ears were seriously cropped and ripped from close raccoon and cat encounters and his entire head seemed to be a big scar. The possum was already leaking from the .41 Mag hit and was intertwined with the seat springs. Shooting him was a bad idea and there was no way to grab anything but teeth. Bully didn't care. He jumped right in, bit the possum's head and dragged him out onto the gravel parking lot where he had some traction. Bully flung most everything but the possum's skin in all directions, including the big plate glass windows and big shiny trucks in the parking lot. Possum guts and scrambled eggs is not a good match, so the management made demands for restitution that we were unprepared to pay....in fact, our net worth had just been ripped apart by a bull dog. The deputy came and wrote a report (that I had to explain when hired as a deputy) and we spent most of the night washing windows and semi-trucks.
Beware possums that don't seem to die.
 

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The only time I've shot a raccoon and had it go DRT, it was at 20 yards, with a .357 Mag. Marlin carbine, with a 125 gr. Sierra JSP, under a MAJOR dose of W296. The critters may be small, but the weapons needed to dispatch them generally are NOT.
 

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When I first started to hunt the raccoons that were killing the chickens I used a 22LR Henry levergun. I put 7 rounds into that racoons head from less than 8 feet and the raccoon was still trying to waddle away. After that I started loading my 12 gauge with buckshot. Now I get the raccoons with 1 shot
 

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Only raccoon I ever shot was @ about 15 yards, .22 LR (actually was more likely a short hollow point as I wanted it quiet) out of a Reminton Nylon 11, @ night. So dark I couldn't see the cross hairs of the scope, had to find them in a light spot then keeping that place in the scope move it to the raccoon. One shot just under his outstretched arm, he flipped over, was DRT. Never moved again. Mission accomplished.
 

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In the Texas Panhandle there are low flat tough critters named badgers. They burrow in the ground and have been known to dig up prairie dogs. Coyotes do not mess with the badgers. They have a bad attitude and a smell to match. I had run one over in a pickup and had it walk off. I had a new 9 mm pistol with 13 hollow points in the mag and one the chamber. So armed with a new wonder nine I ventured into the corn field to finish off the badger. He found me and the gun battle was on. 14 rounds latter he was still in a fighting mood, and I had never imaged needing a second mag. So back to the truck with a badger full of holes in hot pursuit. Well, he was still moving. My trusted 41 mag Blackhawk was in the console and two hollow point finished the business at hand. Stuffed him in a bag and headed to a buddy's place who made stuff out of badger, fox and coyote hides. All he could do was bury the evidence because of all the holes. His advice was to use enough gun the first time. Never shoot a racoon, they were too much entertainment. Did have to dig one out of a baler once. It was catching mice in the windrow and got bailed. The bailer jammed with the racoon in the binder. He was dead. If it had been a badger jammed in the bailer, I would have recommend selling the machine at a reduced rate.
 

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:oops: I guess I've been lucky with raccoons. Only shot three. One shot each with my Single Six with 22 mag cylinder and they fell out of the tree dead. Badgers are a whole different story. I've had many gun battles with them using 22's, 357, 44mag and 12 gauge. BTW, 6 shot makes them mad and they come right after you. They soak up a lotta lead!
 

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So I shoot racoons on a regular basis killing them with one shot using a 177 pellet rifle. Their brain sits pretty high/far behind their eyes. Get a 22lr or pellet inside the skull(it's thin) where the brains located and they're drt. I use a 17hmr with CCI 20gr game points on badgers, an inch behind the eye on a profile shot or under the chin will put them down for the count. On both animals the brain cavity is farther back than it would seem. Never shoot a badger with a small cartridge in the body.
 

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I used to carry a 1902 winchester on my trapline. I found that if you stick the muzzle in their face, they would bite right on to it. One pop with a 22 short, no pelt damage.raccoon brought a premium in the late seventies, but my fur buyer deducted for "shot fur". I liked plain round nose CB caps, through the roof of the mouth they didn't exit.
 

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i shot a few racoons with my 22 and they were all in the head. i shot a raccoon once with my 30-30 and he did a bang flop.

my brother has a whole bucket of racoons, skunks, opossums, neighborhood dog or two....when he's trapping. beavers, red and grey foxes and coyotes are what he wants.
 

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JW,

Get some .22 short HPs and a rifle. I have an old bolt-action .22 and put a .22 short in the chamber. The magazine (with .22 LRs) stays in the house and I keep a second .22 short handy in case I have to reload. I haven't tried feeding shorts from the mag, but just looking at the geometry, it would be a surprise if they did. The gun is an old military trainer and not something I'm too worried about propping behind a door instead of in the safe. In theory, my 39 would feed shorts but I've never tried and the 6x scope on it isn't real conducive to short range shooting, anyway.

The .22 short HPs I have aren't obnoxiously loud and should be plenty to do the job. I've seen CCIs on the shelves in a few different stores, so perhaps production has started keeping up with demand. A box of 100 ought to last for more raccoons than you want to mess with, anyway. I bought the box I'm using decades ago and it is missing just a handful of rounds. Bought a second box not long back when I saw them on the shelves again.

I've used a .17 air rifle but you have to be even more careful with shot placement and especially pellet type. They do work!

As noted, shot placement is everything, so study the anatomy a bit. I've got a raccoon skull around the place that my son found many years ago while deer hunting. Most animals, and pigs especially, seem to have the brain lower and farther back than it appears. In any case, the neck/head junction will put a stop to everything, pronto ;)

They are strong and I've had a big raccoon or possum spring the sides of a cage trap and escape.

Suppose I could put a bayonet on an old Mauser for ultimate non-ricochet dispatch, but that might get pretty messy.

Sounds like you're making a dent in the problem. Wait a week, set traps again, and see what happens.
 
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For close, quiet dispatch of tough animals the Aquillia 60 grain SSS will do a number on possums, raccoons and porcupines, which have a nervous system like a shark. Don't expect accuracy unless a tight twist barrel but out to 20 feet, they're a real thumper from any 22.
 

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I guess over 20 years of trapping I probably shot close to 500 raccoons. Most with a Ruger Single Six. For a couple years I carried an 1849 Baby Dragoon, 31 cal, just for grins and giggles. One worked as good as the other. One shot to the head and it was over. However, on a creek bank in the middle of nowhere I wasn't very worried about where the shot was going.
 

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When I was a kid living on a farm in Southeast Missouri I accompanied my dad on a lot of Racoon hunts. We used a single shot 22 or a 20ga. pump or my 410 single shot shotgun. We had two good dogs, a hound and a Cur dog, that were equally good as squirrel dogs. Once treed, if we could see the racoon well in the spotlight, we'd use the 22, if leaves obstructed the view, we'd use a shotgun. We never lost any, but they didn't always fall dead either. When they hit the ground alive, the dogs quickly administered the coup de grace. As a 10-13 year old kid, I came home many a night (actually early morning) completely worn out...a racoon can take the dogs on quite a lengthy voyage before treeing, and walking over hill and dale, and creek crossings in the dark can get you pretty tuckered out! Some nights you just have to give up on the dogs and either go find them the next day or simply wait for them to return home on their own, which they always did.
When I was long, long gone from home, dad still carried on racoon hunting with his BIL well into his 70's. He had two very good Blue Tick hounds then. A good racoon hound can bring a pretty high price ($2000 - $3000 each!), dad had guys coming from Arkansas to look at his for purchase....and he didn't sell!

P.S. When dad was hunting later in life, racoon hides were bringing $15-20, or more each, so he was not about to sell his 'meal ticket'!
 

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To JW's point about carrying off a trap. When I was that kid on the farm, I used to set limbs lines on a creek on our farm. I would bait it with live small green sunfish to catch bullheads. The racoons would steal my bait and I would pull up my limb line with empty hook at the end. Don't tick off a kid...I took a hefty piece of 2 x 12 dad had laying around and nailed a piece of heavy braided fishing line to it with a hook and green sunfish, and laid it on the creek bank near my limb line hole. When I went [armed] to see what I had caught the next morning, everything, heavy board and all were gone...never to be seen again!

P.S. Might have been a Bigfoot!
 

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Raccoons are the bane of pest control, if you use inexpensive rodent bait boxes they'll chew into them to get the bait. I use heavy duty ones and if they're not double staked into the ground at some places they're carried off and rolled around until the bait is dislodged and eaten. When the bait box can't be staked down {sitting on concrete} I glue them to 10"x12" concrete paving stones.
They're interesting intelligent animal that's pretty cute, I don't put them down unless regulations require it or there's clearly no other way to handle the situation. Almost half the ones I see at customers houses are either injured or have distemper, those are put down.
A couple of weeks ago the customer let me cut down the tree they were climbing to access his roof/attic after I flushed them out, perfect solution!
 

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We have a pest service that comes by every two months. They spray for wasps/mud daubers, ants and service four rodent bait boxes around the house perimeter. We have about 1 acre of woods on our 3 acres, so there are plenty of mice, voles, etc. The bait boxes seem effective at keeping the mice out of the house. What's funny is with every visit the pest control technician sends me an email with a summary of his treatment application quantities and, invariably, he reports that there has been 'heavy activity' at the bait boxes and he replenished the baits. I haven't told him that I don't think it's mice eating all the baits! The boxes are always still there but moved around, turned upside down and such, don't think the mice are that capable.
When we first moved here 30+ years ago, we had cedar board decking with baluster type cedar hand rail. The racoons would climb the posts and get on the deck regularly. We thought it was 'cute' (at first!) and I would sit at the slightly opened door and feed them cookies. There was one big male, easily over 20#, that was very friendly and would come close and stop just the distance of his stretched out arms (front legs?) and take the cookies from my hand, move back a few inches and when done come back forward begging for another. The mama's started bringing the little ones up, and I could actually step out on the deck and feed them. One night I counted 13 total on the deck at one time. The 'cuteness' wore off pretty quickly, after they started leaving us little 'gifts' to clean up....nasty! What a way of saying 'thank you'! They never were destructive though. When I replaced the deck boards with Trex and the handrail with metal, they stopped climbing up and their visits were limited to the ground level for thrown out leftovers/expired food. I still enjoy flipping on the spotlight and watching them, and possums and skunks eat along side each other. Though, when the foxes and coyotes are present, the others are gone! They all are an excellent 'clean up crew', anything thrown out is gone the next morning.
 
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