Killin’ Coons, and Other Spoils of the Country

One of the cool things living here in the Texas hill country, is the wildlife. Being a city boy all my life, I am still surprised when I come across deer in my yard.

I am quick to grab the pellet rifle when I spot a squirrel hanging on the bird feeder…I won’t tolerate that.

Try shooting a pellet rifle in town, and the cops will be knocking on my door quickly. Damn neighbors.

A few weeks ago, I began to find the bird feeders knocked from their trees to the ground, and opened and emptied.

The first time, I just filled them all back up, and placed them back at their perches.

Same thing happened again the next morning, so I set out a Have-A-Heart trap baited with a nice pile of birdseed to catch the culprit.

The next morning, I had forgotten about said trap and walked to the kitchen window for my first view of the morning, and lo and behold, there was a furry critter in the cage…looked like it was sleeping.

I clipped on the Beretta .22 and headed outside.

I started yelling at it because I knew what I had to do. Sho’ ’nuff, it was a raccoon. A rather large one, I guess. I had seen a lot of dead ones on the road in the past few days.

He awoke, and turned and just looked at me while I aimed and popped a round into the top of his head.

The death twitch took a good thirty seconds to complete. My shot was true, it wouldn’t have done any good to fire another, I thought.

I dragged the cage out to the edge of the barnyard to what I call the ‘brushline’, and dumped the body carefully. It turned  out he was pretty mangy, and flies were already buzzing on him.

It took the local turkey vulture population about an hour before they gathered at the fresh kill. It took them the rest of the day, and part of the next to complete their picking over the carcass.

Yesterday morning, I found all the bird feeders again knocked onto the ground.  Same thing; bait the trap and see what ends up in it.

‘Nuther coon. Two rounds to the head this time did not shorten the death twitch, nor make it any more pleasant. No mange on this one. He was busy clawing at the cage when I came after him, unlike the other.

Back to the brushline where his cousin still lie; what is left of him.

I hope this is the end of the coons.

Squirrels only twitch a few seconds. I dread the day when I have to trap a skunk, and they are around. I heard the best way to keep skunks away it lots of light.

A couple of swallows are hell bent and determined to built a nest on my carport, just above where the tailgate of my truck is parked. Nope. I won’t allow it. I have knocked down that nest six times, and they still hang around. I noticed something was eating my wife’s rosebush, and her irises. I am certain that the swallows are doing that too.

I tried hanging a cd above the nest…no effect.

I saw a black squirrel this morning at the bunkhouse heading to the pile of firewood.

Perhaps another trapping is in order.

There is a ring tailed raccoon around, a pair of foxes, and hoot owls too. Since I quit smoking, I don’t sit on the deck any more at night, pouring down scotch and smoking cigarettes, so I don’t see the night wildlife any more.

I have not seen live scorpions in the house yet, but I know they are getting in. I found some dead ones after spraying. One can tell as the bodies are still soft. An old dead scorpion gets real crispy when it dries out.

When ever I go south, I leave Raid Foggers to silently kill any and all bugs lurking.

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10 thoughts on “Killin’ Coons, and Other Spoils of the Country

  1. Nice to hear you’re getting used to “Country Living”.

    I’m wondering what our “city girl” dog will do when she starts seeing other wild animals in the yard, and what she’ll do the first time she sees snow.

    • Your dog will be a hoot jumping over the snow trying to keep from getting covered (depending on how big she is). My boys told me to bring a good jacket at general weather in Denver this weekend will suck…unlessen for Denverites.

  2. Might be deer eating the rose bushes and irises. They have always hit our roses, but ignored the irises until last year. Now they munch on them pretty frequently.

    • That would be really disappointing. I have a 100 bulb garden planted unprotected with lilies, irises, and stuff I cannot pronounce. So far, only the irises have been hit. I moved the rosebush to a fenced area but still is getting nibbled on.

  3. Ever so often, my critter problem shrinks rapidly, when a bobcat decides to come back to my end of its range. From what I can tell, it even has skunks as part of its diet, and it seems possums, and raccoons, are obviously its favorites. I’m guessing a small dog would be quick meal, too, just like any stray cat.

    There’s been no reports of sightings for six months, but I noticed the rabbit population has shrunk to damn near nothing; and still shrinking. It’s about time for the bobcat to move on, and me keeping my .22 close.

    • Wow. Bobcats can be a real problem. There is a story of a rabid bobcat here a few years ago that almost killed a woman before she go into her car to safety. One almost has to weigh the situation: critters, bobcat, critters, bobcat.
      What if a person stepped out his back door early one morning and woke up the sleeping bobcat on his porch?

      • I’ve had bobcats for over thirty years – even saw one in the driveway – but they’re hardly ever seen, and run, when spotted.

        We had a cougar years ago, which didn’t present any problem for me, but when a rancher lost a calf, the cougar’s days on Earth were short.

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