“Friendly” raccoons, need a deterrent

Discussion in 'Camping Around Wildlife' started by hmhheather, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. hmhheather

    hmhheather New Member

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    Last year we camped near Lake Michigan at a state park. The raccoons were a little too used to people. They were coming right up to us at the fire, walking under our chairs. We were not feeding them!!! But on Monday when 85% of the campground emptied they became a gang and you could not have any food outside or they would attack you for it. They also pawed at the door of the camper trying to get it to unlatch. And the final night they opened the Velcro around the door and almost got in. IS THERE ANY DETERRENT for them?? Like DEET but for raccoons??
     
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  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Bring an unfriendly raccoon with you!
    Ok, this is what happens when people feed the animals, and they get used to people. I would try a motion activated light around the camper. Might help to startle them. Racoons are said to not like sents like pine sol, maybe spray that around the camper and the chairs at night? Dont feed them, and dont leave food or garbage out. Keep open food in the TV.
     
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  3. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Well-Known Member

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    we had raccoons going through stuff at Huntington Beach in South Carolina - but they were no where near that brave. Had one tip over a table in our site during the night. I opened the door and the dang critter was just sitting there with what i would swear was a "uh oh got caught" look (but thinking about it - raccoons may always have that look). I closed the door and it left.
    Short of having a coonhound with you - I would ask the ranger what they would recommend.
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I would also notify the ranger or someone there. It sounds like people fed them and have now become a nuisance. I personally always keep ALL food, trash, etc in my tow vehicle or bear box just because of this situation. Doesn't help if your actually out and enjoying the fire with snacks. So perhaps a noise to scare them off assuming it's not past quiet hours. Racoons are smart tricky buggers. I've even seen them get into coolers. A friend had his portable table top grill haulled off into the woods when he left it out over night. So I treat them much the same way as I do when in bear country. No food in popup, no food left out. Trash thrown out in appropriate containers or put in your locked car.
     
  5. hmhheather

    hmhheather New Member

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    Yes, I went to the office, they said we are in their home... ‍♀️ I was already doing everything they suggested, not leaving food/trash out. He also said sometimes they get into their office. That’s beyond smart....
    I grew up with a coon hunter, sometimes he shot a momma and would bring the babies home and we raised them. So I’m very familiar with raccoons. I’m not afraid of them, at least I wasn’t until I met the raccoon gang!!! This pack was straight up thug!!
     
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  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    The easiest thing to do is find another campground. They can not be retrained or scared off. They can be a bit dangerous when they feel threatened. I've fended off what I thought were aggressive coons in the past but they didn't hold a candle to what you're describing.
     
  7. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I found them!
     
  8. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    Pepper spray works on all creatures great and small. Seriously I have discouraged a lot of campground scavengers that way.
     
  9. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I've encountered what I call '"state park raccoons" before. I've experienced sort of what you are describing, short of them becoming aggressive or trying to get inside the camper. At that point, I think I would have to camp somewhere else. That's just too much.

    We have had them occupy empty seats around the campfire, walk under our chairs, grab food that was just sitting down for a second, show up as a gang and surround our campsite, but still they would run would someone came toward them.

    At my favorite park in Western MD, we just literally stopped staying outside at night. There was no way to have a campfire, even with no food around, without them joining us. At the park we frequent most often, here in Florida, they stay right in the edge of the woods and stare, but don't come out while we are out.

    There is also a better side of the loop to reserve on. What I refer to as the "raccoon side," is where you can count on being stalked. The sites in the middle of the loop, they don't usually show up. The sites on the opposite side, while also backing up to woods, you may see only one or two.

    So there may be better locations within the park, or even the loop, where you can get away from them.
     
  10. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    Pepper spray is the only humane thing that I can think of.
     
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  11. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of a time my friends and I were tent camping. We were drinking by the fire and a friend says look a raccoon and sitting right next to me enjoying our fire was a skunk.
     
  12. tzmartin

    tzmartin Not here for a long time but here for a good time!

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    We had a slingshot around. It chases them away for a while.
     
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  13. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    A fed animal is a dead animal. Don't people get it that those cute little forest creatures don't need your hand out.
    The plethora of new campers here need to know this.
     
  14. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    We had a rough go of it with racoons this week. They won and ate pretty well. Our own fault really. We have not had any critter problems in a long time and got lazy with precautions. This was not a campground for that. I'm glad it was JUST racoons. We'll go back to old habits now.
     
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  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I usally wake up early, go outside with my coffee at 6 am , and watch the critters rip through the neighbors trash, food , coolers etc. This is usually at resort style campgrounds.
     
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  16. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    CO2 pellet pistol.
     
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  17. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    May not be the PC thing to do, but when I was a kid, the neighbors had a German Shepherd that would always run out & try to bite me when on my bicycle. At my dads suggestion, I filled a squirt gun with household ammonia, & the next time the dog came out, I let him have it in the face with the ammonia.....stopped him short, & he never bothered me again, would just watch me ride by. Granted, this was a good many years ago.....
     
  18. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Don't even need the ammonia. Just a squirt gun/bottle filled with water.

    Found these ideas from gardenguides.com:

    Sprinkle cinnamon, ground dried hot pepper, or ground black pepper around your yard and/or garden to discourage raccoons. Potent spices irritate their keen sense of smell, and they will move on. The spices are safe for garden plants.

    Make a homemade raccoon-repellent spray. Boil several hot peppers, an onion, and one tablespoon of cayenne pepper in 2 quarts of water for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid and spray it around trash cans, plants, flower beds, tree trunks, and the outside of buildings. Not only is there an unpleasant odor to this mixture, but it is uncomfortable on raccoons’ paws and they will learn to stay away. The effects of this spray are temporary, so you'll need to reapply it every 2 or 3 days—or after any rain.

    Do NOT try to chase them or confront them. They can and attack. They can injure you or yours, as well as spread rabies, etc. So if none of these non-aggressive ways work, find another place to camp.
     
  19. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I'm not sure when coons become accustomed to living around people there is anything you can do in a short term to get them to stay away. I would go to different campground if the rangers are not interested in solving the issue. That's not for me, At home if a coon gets in my trash, etc... I perform wildlife management and trap it and let it go in the state forest. Coons have been known to be a rabies carrier and I sure would not want my dogs getting in a fight with them.
     
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  20. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    A couple or three years ago, we encountered a persistent young coon at a campground in southern Missouri. When he would come around in the evening, I threw rocks at him to run him off. But every time I ran him off, he was back in a few minutes.

    Fortunately, we don't have a raccoon problems where we do most of our camping. In fact, we've been camping there for five or six years and saw raccoons for the first time last fall.
     

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