Raccoons in the Vineyard

raccoon

raccoon

She might look innocent, but this girl weighed 25-30 pounds and I suspect she gained that weight eating my sangiovese grapes!  It took a few nights to figure out what else she might like to eat so we could lure her into our trap.  She turned up her nose at crusty crackers (I guess those grapes are a lot sweeter) and she wasn’t suckered when I threw some extra grapes in the trap either.  Finally I remembered Les Constable’s advice from Brushy Creek Vineyards.  He suggests baiting the trap with a hard boiled egg.  That was it–I found her Wednesday morning in the trap.  She was so heavy, I could hardly carry her to the car.  She was then entered into the Vineyard Witness Relocation Program.  I took her to my home and released her there.

I’ve spotted 3 other raccoons so I tried the egg trick again on Wednesday night.  Well her friends are smarter than me, and they figured out how to get the boiled eggs out, without setting off the trap!  So here I am, 2 master’s degrees and these dang coons are outsmarting me. 

So last night we tried a partially open can of smelly cat food.  That worked!  We found a small female raccoon this morning in one of the traps.  Raccoon # 2, she too was moved under the Vinyeard Witness Relocation program and she was  released in the same place as the first one.  They’re probably buddies, so maybe they can hang out again and talk about the beautiful vineyard they once knew. 

Meanwhile, we’ll be trying to trap the other 2 raccooons that we spotted and any others who move into the area.  We’re trying to save enough grapes to make it to harvest in August.  Hopefully we’ll round up all those devilish racccoons soon.

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