Racoon Trap

There’s an extremely violent and depressing novel that used to be required reading in the 6th grade called Where the Red Fern Grows. It was a story about a boy and his two 'coon hounds. Somewhere in it is described the following method for catching a racoon:

Drill a 1/2 inch hole in a barrell or box. Place a coin or other shiny object just inside the hole. A racoon will come along and grab the object, but will be unable to remove its hand (paw?) without letting go of the object. Apparently, racoons are so greedy that they will never let go. All the enterprising young trapper has to do then is brain the dumb creature with a 2x4.

Does this actually work or is it just the twisted invention of a writer of violent and depressing children’s books?

I’ve also heard this described as a method for trapping certain monkeys (substitute “fruit” for “shiney object”). Combine that with the fact that I have known many coon hunters who continue to invest a great deal of time and money to obtain and train good hunting dogs instead of using this easy, inexpensive method. Plus add that a raccoon will viciously defend itself (that’s why they use dogs!) and I think you have a legend.

The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Maybe Cecil could talk his illustrious assistant Jane (of duck echo fame) into another experiment?

Sounds good, Nick. Just leave out the part with the 2x4!

I give Jane two hours before she says “to hell with it” and drops the coin. Ninety minutes if Cecil gives her that raise she’s been asking for.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”