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Listeners weigh in on John’s raccoon problem

John Curley doesn't know what to do about a pesky raccoon that killed Annie the chicken. (AP)

Little Annie, the chicken, was minding her own business when a big, bad raccoon showed up and ate her.

Now, John Curley is trying to trap that raccoon, but he’s not quite sure what to do with it when/if he succeeds.

His neighbor, who lent him the trap, says he ought to give it a lead sandwich.

“The thought of firing the .38 that I have at the house into the trap scared me because I knew that the neighbors would calls the cops, ‘shots fired,’ cops would show up ‘City councilmen kills raccoon.’ I don’t need that sort of headache.”

So John posed the question to you:

Jeremy in Seattle wrote:

Best thing is to drown it. Or you could gas it with vehicle exhaust. I say shoot it. If you gas it, be careful not to kill yourself. If you drown it you may be surprised, it can take a while. Cheers.

Gary in Bonney Lake:

A number of years ago I called the wildlife department to ask what to do with Possums and raccoon. I was told not to let anyone see me but I should dispose of the possum. The raccoon I should transport at least 10 miles away. He said if I transported the raccoon any closer he would beat me home. I’ve since trapped and relocated about 15 to 18 possums and maybe 5 raccoon.

Sue in Tacoma:

Make sure the door to the trap is secure, then gently drop the trap into a plastic garbage can full of water. It is the most humane way to dispose of a destructive critter. We employed this tactic w/ eastern gray squirrels & possums. If the door to your trap is NOT secure, I can tell you that Rocky Raccoon will come shooting out at you like the Washington Health Care commercial. If all goes well, Rocky’s demise will be complete in about 2 minutes.

Lynn in Seattle:

I would suggest that you just release it in a nice location far away from humans and don’t make a big deal out of it. Usually from the animal’s viewpoint the worry is that you are releasing them into an area that another raccoon has made its territory. But I think if it is already a wild savvy raccoon it will work it out. Please don’t kill it – that is not necessary.

Raymond in Bremerton:

First of all John, if the raccoon is still alive you are using the wrong trap. I used to trap as a young fellow back in Pennsylvania and I would use a “conibear trap.” Once that trap was set off life was never in question. It did no damage to the critter. I would then skin it, give the carcass to some local folk for dinner, [and use the skin for] pair of gloves or some other type of warm clothing.

Robert in Seattle:

It is illegal to NOT live trap raccoons and squirrels in Washington.

No names please in BI WA:

Coons. Nasty little things. They always trash my corn crop the day before I want to pick it. Knock it down, take one bite, move on to the next. Grrr.
I live trap them and transport them across the Agate Pass Bridge.
At least I did until I met a guy from Suquamish who live trapped them and moved them across the bridge in my direction. We may have been shuttling the same animal back and forth all these years.

Collins in Seattle:

I’m originally from Kentucky. The easiest way to take down a raccoon humanely (and not have to deal with gassing it from your car, seriously who said that?)is to setup a box with a ball of tinfoil on the inside — the trap needs bars of some sort so the raccoon can reach in and grab the tinfoil ball (they love shiny crap) — and when they try and pull the ball out they won’t be able to. Raccoons won’t let the ball go, they’ll sit there just trying to pull the ball out constantly. If it was me and they were killing my chickens I’d shoot it but if you want to do the nice thing, drive it miles and miles away.

Anne in we don’t know:

Tom is right. I’m sorry, but you need to build a more secure pen. Where there has been one raccoon, there will be many. You’re going to have more after you get rid of this one.

Eric in Bothell:

This is easy; first you contact the department of game and asked them to apprehend the raccoon and take care of the problem. If the local Department of Game will not help, then you capture the raccoon in your cage and release it in the parking lot of the local Department of Game.

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