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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Wildlife redux

  • For the last few weeks I have been visited by a wild turkey and a raccoon, one of whom has been a welcome visitor.
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  • For the last few weeks I have been visited by a wild turkey and a raccoon, one of whom has been a welcome visitor.
    The turkey is a young tom who likes to hang around my flock and flirt with the hens. I didn’t get within 100 yards of him for some time and thought he was a hen because I never saw him strut.
    But he walked within 15 yards the other day and I could see spurs that make me think he is a second year tom. Just bashful, I guess.
    I am amazed that he has survived so long with all the coyotes, foxes and coons in the area.
    The raccoon has been around a while longer, but recently tunneled under the fence and helped himself to two young roosters, thus violating the live-and-let-live agreement I maintain with wildlife in the area.
    So I put out a live trap and, on the advice of Google, baited it with watermelon.
    This raccoon apparently doesn’t use Google. Two nights and no coon in the trap.
    So, I tried a Yahoo search, which said cat food is the definitive bait for coon trappers in the know.
    This raccoon apparently doesn’t use Yahoo, either. Two more nights of an empty trap.
    Finally, I grabbed a can of tuna, opened it in the garage so my cats wouldn’t hear, and shoved it inside the trap.
    Voila! The next morning, there was yonder coon, captured and hissing like a trucker with biscuits and no gravy.
    Prima facie evidence was enough to convict the coon of crimes against poultry, which are capital offenses in this jurisdiction, so we moved quickly to the sentencing phase.
    I’m all about letting the punishment fit the crime and have no issues with dispatching anything that has killed my chickens, but, in the end, I declared mercy and just drove the coon a long way off and let him out.
    If you’re wondering if I left him near your house, relax. I would never do such a thing.
    I dropped him off by your friend’s house, halfway across the county.
     
    - Brian Blansett is publisher of The Shawnee News-Star.

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