July 5, 2022
If I knew then what I know now about wildlife, I would not have laughed at the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. They featured Rocky the Squirrel, Bullwinkle the Moose, and Boris and Natasha, Russian spies. Frankly, I’m still more worried about “moose and squirrel” than the Russians!
My wife, Carla, and I have seen a racoon traveling from the toolshed to the sheep barn, where the feed is kept. And it’s brave enough to attempt it in broad daylight.
It is likely the great-great-great-grandchild of a raccoon I battled a few years ago. That one was strong enough to knock a 60-pound bale of hay off an old cooler filled with cat feed. This one is attempting to develop that kind of strength.
How do I know this raccoon wants to be big and strong? It has targeted a special feed the sheep get before a show. It’s called Power Fuel, from Purina. Reportedly, it provides fat that a ruminant can turn into muscle, or at least that’s the yarn feed salesmen spin. To me, it’s another voodoo juice that I only feed because I don’t want my grandkids to think I didn’t go all out to give them every legal advantage.
Does it help? Who knows? I know it’s pelleted gold — over $40 for 25 pounds. That’s north of $1.50 per pound. Fortunately, you only feed ounces per head per day.
Unless you are a raccoon. Then you chow down on as much as you can steal. The wily rascal targeted Power Fuel as its feed of choice.
The first time I suspected the coon had dipped its grimy paws into the plastic pail of feed, I thought I was paranoid. So, the next night, I shut the snap-on lid tight. The lid was open in the morning. The rascal acts like it has hands.
I decided two could play at this game. So, I put the pail in the feed barrel and put on the lid that keeps varmints out. That worked well for a few days, until I forgot to put the pail into the barrel. Sure enough, next morning, it was not only open, but knocked on the ground and empty!
This was getting serious, and expensive. My feed salesman dropped off a new pail. I left it in the barn, unopened with the hard plastic seal still in place. No way could the coon get into that pail!
It didn’t, but not for a lack of trying. I stood there for a good 30 seconds, seeing but not believing. About 6 inches along the edge of the seal were covered in bite marks. Fortunately, it is not quite strong enough yet to rip off the plastic tab.
There is no end to this story. We’re only in the middle rounds of this heavyweight fight. I can only hope the raccoon meets a similar fate to its great-great-great-grandparent. It opened the lid on a pail of rat bait in the toolshed one night and wasn’t heard from again!
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