This furry creature is an omnivorous character found everywhere. His curiosity has put him in homes, garages, cars, you name it he's been there. You can see his prints on the sand bars along the river. They are very human like. The Raccoon has a foot and hand print like ours. It can use its hands in most amazing ways. To open doors, windows, trash cans and even to wash his food. Uncontested he can be harmless. Trap him and you will be in for a vicious fight. Weighing about 10-20 pounds his black mask and ringed tail makes him easy to identify. Nocturnal, they travel looking for an easy meal. They can be a big nuisance around the cottage. Food in your trash will drawn them ever time. Securing last nights chicken bones in a locked bin will create a challenge to a raccoon. He is fun to watch. The raccoon uses its hands to fiddle with locks or even roll trash cans around until they pop open. Once you are on his nightly route your problem begins. Removal of all garbage is the best way to get rid of them. Picking up your trash time and time again gets old fast. The raccoons waddle is a side to side rocking motion and his run is like a rabbit or the gallop of a horse. He is related to the bear, but thank heavens only a fraction of the size. They have different color phases of grey to brown. They can cause a lot of damage if they get into your cottage. They seek out secure locations like an attic as winter approaches. Many cottage owners return to the north this time of year to find that a raccoon was your winter guest and not a very neat one.
My favorite Raccoon story; the article is based on a true story. Information was hard to obtain due to the fact that Mr. Miller was reluctant to talk about it.
The Millers Last Stand...Once upon a time in late summer the Millers were entertaining a couple with a barbecue dinner of steak, sweet corn and red skin potatoes at their northern Michigan cabin. It was decided by all to have an after dinner drink at a nearby rural roadhouse. Leaving the dirty dishes on the dining room table, off they went. Upon their return to their cottage they walk in on a masked burglar. It was sitting on the dinning room table enjoying the fair. The dishes, bones and spent corn cobs, were strewn about the room. The raccoon advanced towards them. The panic stricken Millers retreated to a sofa located in front of the fireplace. Using the couch as a barricade, Mr Miller was able to reach his revolver from his desk along the way. The Millers were a union of metropolitan dwellers not accustomed to a back woods confrontation. The raccoon made repeated charges at the couch as Mr. Miller rebuffed the "attacks" with gun fire. The critter then used a Chief Crazy Horse flanking move. Mr. Miller, down to his last round, knew the end was near. The raccoon came around the corner of the couch along the fireplace hearth and in desperation Mr. Miller fired his last shot. It was another errant discharge that ricocheted off the field stone fireplace. Miraculously the raccoon, unscathed, disappeared into the fireplace never to be seen again. Due to Mr. Millers poor marksmanship the casualty list was a Tiffany floor lamp, a picture of a Lake Michigan sunset, and a Kelvinator refrigerator. All three involved survived. No one was hurt...physically. I later told the Millers that the Raccoon meant no harm, his charges were only an effort to gain freedom by exiting the way he had entered the cottage; the fireplace. The Millers versus the raccoon, like all battles or wars, was a terrible misunderstanding!
Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Sweet Is The Lore That Nature Brings