Scouting

Talk about Coon Hunting
trentonmoore292
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Location: Kentucky

Scouting

Postby trentonmoore292 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:42 am

Hey guys I was curious what the best way to scout for raccoons was and y’all know a lot more about all this then I do so any information helps. Thank ya.


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david
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Re: Scouting

Postby david » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:24 am

The surest way to know of their presence is tracks and/or coon droppings. The feces “droppings” can be very distinctive, depending on what they have been eating. Often they will be full of berry seeds or grains or other evidence of fruit, nut or vegetable matter, shellfish remains, etc. sometimes they won’t be so distinctive if they have found the things other predators eat. Yet their location can be distinctive, and you will understand that with time in the woods and hay lofts etc. like if you find feces on a big leaning tree that is level or forked and elevated, there are not very many animals that would likely leave droppings there, but coon would. And if they are crumbly with solids, that would eliminate almost everything but coon. The same in a hayloft will be coon for sure. Farms where grain is stored or animals are fed are going to have coon around. Deer feeders and bird feeder yards will usually have coon around.

If you live near a city you can buy a few cage traps and advertise for racoon removal. Charge $80 per city animal. Don’t even blink or apologize for that amount except that it might be too cheap because you are undercutting the competition. If they have coon in the attic, or chimney, they will pay it gladly. High coon populations often go with people, unfortunately. If you want to do it free for practice, just let people know it is an introductory offer because you need experience. “First one is free”. You might need a permit from the state to do it year-round.

Get a good map of your area. If you need to order one from the U S Geological Survey, you can. But there are cheaper ones available. GPS is nice if you can leave flags on it of tracks you have located. Get your map out and mark every place a stream or low place crosses a road. Use a colored marker and highlight every pond or stream for its entire length from the biggest to the smallest. Use a different color to highlight where a road crosses them.

Then Take your bike or car and visit all these places. Every culvert under the road is usually marked by a reflector post of some kind. Stop at every culvert and bridge and low muddy spot and look for tracks.

Spend time in the woods with a dog. It does not have to be a coon dog. In fact a dog that will stay within sight of you is better for this. If the dog wants to get out of sight you want to leash it because he needs to be connected to your face. He is your sense of smell. And now you are smelling with your eyes. Watch him. Coon do have a distinctive smell that humans might notice, and I have smelled them in trees that they have climbed. But I never noticed this until after I had skinned hundreds of them.

Look for scratches on log crossings over streams and on old hollow trees or hollow logs. Investigate every den you find. The dog will help you know what to investigate. He might also tell you if something is home. He will also show you game trails to study. If a game trail is worn under a fence or log where a deer can not go, coon are among the small animals that may be using it. If the low object is abrasive like a log or barbed wire fence, study it for hair and underfur. If you can pull hair and underfur from the back of a roadkill coon and study it, you will learn to easily recognize it in a barbed wire fence or slivered wood/treebark.

You can draw coon in to muddy areas with just about any food that a human would eat. But fish flavored canned cat food or sardines will pull them hard. (Sweet foods like marshmallows will eliminate some of the other animals that come to protein). Then you can see the tracks in the mud. A lot of people bait them with sour corn. And if you find still water, you can put shelled corn in the water to keep some of the other animals off it. Coon will find it.

Ask people to keep track of where they have seen a coon cross the road, or where you see a road killed coon. Where did he come from? Where was he going? Why? Where there is one there is more.

Any where there is a corn field, there are coon. Especially if it is bordered by trees. And corn, trees, and water is the perfect storm. Even if the corn was harvested months ago. You just have to spend a lot of time out there noticing everything and paying attention.

You could try talking to land owners. Many times they don’t like coon damage and would be glad for some help controlling them.

I lived in a state where people could spotlight deer from the road to locate them at night before the deer season opened, as long as they did not have a gun in the vehicle. If this is your state also, you will see coon eyes in trees along corn fields etc. especially if you have persimmon trees or other fruit trees like Bradford Pear. Oak trees are a source of food for coon also. As with all animals, think food, shelter, water.

Coon will also come in to certain distressed bird or prey animal call at night.

Every time you find a coon track, coon droppings, coon hair in barbed wire, road kill, or a coon is sighted, or you hear of a coon sighting,use another color and put a dot there on your map.

Call your state fish and wildlife and tell them what you want to do and ask if they have any helpful information or if there might be a game biologist who would talk to you. Call your state and universities to see if any studies on RacoonS have been done. Watch racoon trapping videos on YouTube. There are dozens of them. Just as many coon hunting videos.
ethertonee
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Re: Scouting

Postby ethertonee » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:25 am

Trenton when ever you are looking for any game animal remember this. He is just like you or me he needs a place to rest and sleep, he needs a place to drink and a place to eat. He wants to do this in the safest place he can to insure survival. This may be in a remote wilderness, private property or right in town if people don't mess with them. This also changes as the season changes. Right now the coons are starting to rut most places so the will be a little less food focused and a little more breeding focused. Think where he sleeps. I hunt many different things with and with out dogs feathered and furred. I have hunted in a dozen or more states. I always think food rest/sleep and drink to try and locate the best place to be successful. You state you are a young man involved in sports. You have talked about having a farm with around 70 acres to hunt on. I love your thinking to make things more efficient to get the coons on your property. I love your enthusiasm and all the questions keep them coming. Most any bait you use for coons will probably attract bears if they are near by just so you are prepared. A few cheep options for bait would be spilt or waste grain around an elevator or broken dog and cat food bags at the store of the cheepest variety. If you want to up it a notch add some waste cooking oil that they through out at a restaurant. When they leave they will leave a sent trail leading back to your bait to attract other coons. To help keep othe critters out of your feeder make the hole 1-2". Ole tiers on a rim work well but take longer to fill. Old 5 gal buckets with a lid are faster and you can wire the handle to a tree. Put the hole so the grain runs continually to it. You tube videos will help. If you are limited on places to hunt don't kill the coons if you don't have many. Reread the last sentence please. Also not sure of the style of dog you are hunting, but a medium to slower style dog is easier to follow. I started with a slower dog and it allowed me to keepup better. You will tend to have a little longer races though. David gave you excellent places to looks for sign. If you can find water in general you will find some kind of feed near bye for coons. The larger the water the more it tends to hold true. In warmer seasons think berries, and aquatic animals. Once crops start to develop think them. If you can find a sweet corn patch jack pot. Another way to find places is ask around the feed stores and agricultural stores for people having trouble with coons. Good luck.

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