The bandits I am referring to are the raccoons, here after referred to as coons, which eat most of the deer corn we buy and have taken to destroying the feeders and motors as well. First off I need to say that my wife and girls love to watch the coons while they are in the deer stands hunting. I must admit that I even enjoy them and so we kind of looked the other way when they starting eating about forty percent of the corn we buy for the deer. It then got to where they were spinning the props on the deer feeders and it went to heck after that. The consumption of feed and costs were going through the roof and the coons were eating about 90 percent of all the corn and protein pellets that we were buying for the deer. Some of our coons were getting so big and fat that they looked like small bears.
Spinning the feeder prop was not fast enough so the coons just broke the timer and motor off of two feeders so that all the corn fell out on the ground. Two feeders ruined and 500 pounds of corn eaten by the bandits. I decided that was enough and put varmint cages on the feeders with new timers and motors. Both of the feeders were made of heavy plastic barrels and the coons decided to chew a hole through the top to get to the corn since I had fenced them out from spinning the prop on the timer motor with the new varmint guards. They did not get much corn out of the hole but when it rained it soaked all the corn and the sour mash liquid ran out the hole above the timer and motor filling it with this putrid smelling soured mash liquid and ruined both the timers and motors. The coons had now destroyed two feeder barrels and four timers and motors. I could not afford this and I had had enough of this destruction of property.
I did not want to set regular traps as I did not wish to catch anything but the coons. This group of bandits have also learned not to enter live catch cage traps and just reach through the wire and steal the bait. There were deer, cows, dove, quail, song birds, turkey and other animals coming to the feeders that could step into the traps so I had to come up with something else. I tried some of the new dog proof coon traps and found out they work great. They are made out of galvanized steel pipe and springs that will last a long time. An animal must be able to insert a paw and pull up on a lever to get caught in them so dogs and many other animals can not get caught in them. They are easy to bait and set up to use. Best of all they work and we are cutting down on the number of freeloaders at the deer feeders.
There are two brands that I recommend. The first is the Grizz dog proof and the second is the Duke dog proof coon trap. I have used both and they work. You can find them at some outdoor stores or order them from a trapping supply house. I got mine from the following link.
Bait them with a large marshmallow pushed down to the bottom of the pipe. Squirt a little ground up jack mackerel or tuna on top and the coons can't resist it.
Have a great season, Wild Ed
I call this greed!
Photo by Ricky Cox
This guy got the bait from the live catch trap but got caught in the dog proof trap.