It was extremely nice out and time for us to pull the grill out. We enjoyed our grilled chicken on the back porch all the while trying to prevent our 1 year old from throwing his food on the ground. We then brought the dogs in and let them finish up our sons mess, then heading in to relax and watch a bit of TV and off to bed. I awoke the next morning to the alarm clock as i always do then finish up my morning routine before sending the dogs out to do theirs. As I walked out onto the porch I noticed that the top of my screen was sliced open, and upon further inspection the dog food bag had been ripped to shreds, along with another screen to a window leading to out deck.
After searching around for clues to who the invader was It was then I noticed the paw prints heading up the corner trim and gutter to the middle trim along the back of our porch. I sat there in bewilderment for a minute and then decided I needed to get some photos of the ninjas way in. She used the deck railing to gain away to the gutter and corner trim. After reaching the middle trim of our porch she then shimmied over to the point of entry marked by the duct tape holding the screen back together.
Laura didn’t know what she had gotten herself into. After all I catch and relocate wildlife for a living. I decided to set up two traps to try and catch the acrobat. Using a little peanut-butter and jelly I set the traps headed off to bed I was sure that I would catch the thief. The next morning came, I jumped out of bed to go and see if I had indeed caught the masked bandit. I peered out on the porch and the one had not been touched. I then looked to the Trap I had set on my deck and the trap door was shut, however no raccoon. She did manage to get all the bait out from the back of the trap. I mumbled to myself and vowed that I would reset them once I got home and would be taking her out to the country in the morning.
Morning arrived and there was no activity on either trap. I set the trap two more nights in a row and no activity. It had appeared that our porch no longer was attractive to Laura. A week went by we again grilled up some food, and ate out on the back porch. Little man through most of his to the floor again, the dogs cleaned up his scraps and we then returned inside. Now around 3 am my wife whom had been up all night with our newborn had happen to some noise on the back porch. She turned on the lights and managed to catch Laura back in action. Now I don’t know who was more scared my wife or the raccoon that went into a state of panic leaving out the window once again. So Again it was time to set the traps once again.
After cleaning up the dog food, I did what I tell everyone of my customers to do. went out and bought a bin to keep our dog food. (Don’t know why I hadn’t followed my own advice). I then set the two traps again. The next morning came, I went down to view my catch. Again the trap on the deck had been triggered, and the bait gone but no raccoon. Laura had been in the porch and tried breaking into the bin.
The latches on bin had prevented Laura from getting into the dog food that lay just inside under that lid. Although she tried and tried she just was not able to get it open. So yet again it was time to clean up after Laura and head to work all the time swearing up a storm that me a NWCO has been unable to trap the raccoon posing a nuisance at his own home.
Now by this time my friends and family have been keeping up with the exploits of Laura Coon “Porch Raider” and laughing up a storm at the fact that this one raccoon had been driving me crazy. So I vowed that I would set the traps one more time and this would be it. I used some hardware cloth on the lower window to keep her from using her new found spot (mind you I had mended this area 4 times by now). I hung the bait on the inside of the trap, headed inside swearing that if I don’t get her this time I should just give up on my profession. Never had I experienced such a worthy adversary. I then headed off to bed and dreamed of raccoons invading my home.
The next morning I walked out not at all enthusiastic that I had caught my quarry. But to much my surprise, there she was sitting in the trap damp and wet from the rain storm that had rolled through just before I awoke that morning. Now this raccoon was smaller than I had thought she would be, but she made up for it in exploits. Now she happily lives in the woods far from homes, and I rest easy at night knowing I’m not walking out paw prints all over my table.
Looking back there were three reasons I was visited by the Laura Coon. The first being when I first pulled out the grill I did a real deep clean on it (of course it was on the deck). While cleaning it some of the grease from the bottom must had fallen into the garden next to the deck or between the slats of the deck. The second thing bringing the raccoon in would have been the tempting smell of the dog food bag that of course we left wide open out next to the back door that leads to the porch. Thirdly the dogs may have missed some of the scraps that my one year old had thrown on the floor.
I know I should have been a bit more careful trying to keep the grease from falling to the ground, had i known it did i should have cleaned it up the best I can. The grease is what drew her in. Her visits and cooking coincided. But the dog food I knew about and should have always had in a locking bin. It is one of the first things I point out to customers having the same problem as I had. The kids scraps were just icing on the cake and not a major player in bringing Laura into our life, but I’m sure the dogs missed some of them.
This little tale also goes to show that trapping an animal is not always cut and dry. Although most cases can be done from a few hours (trapped 1 raccoon in 2 hrs during the day) to a week or more depending on the craftiness of the animal. Looking back now I find this really amusing, and tell customers about the exploits of Laura Coon. They usually find it funny, but also then understand that it can take some time to remove your nemesis.