I've shot two raccoons this week.
I guess I haven't kept you all up with the farm activities much lately. We basically decided that sheep are too much trouble to care for in the winter, so we decided to raise free range turkeys for Thanksgiving, instead. This way, we'll slaughter most of them in the fall and have nothing much to care for all winter.
We kept the turkeys in the barn until very recently. They seemed big enough to go out and take care of themselves. We had ordered fifteen turkeys to start. Two of them died right away, so when we set them out to pasture there were thirteen. This was last week. Now there are eleven. Two were eaten by raccoons!
This week was payback for the raccoons- but I feel really sorry for them, anyway. They were just trying to eat, right? Anyway, I shot two raccoons, and if you can believe it, I kept the fur and tanned the hides because BAH wants a coonskin cap. Seriously. Although, if I keep catching these damned raccoons, we're going to end up like Clan of the Cave Bear around here with animal skins covering every surface in the house. How could I shoot two raccoons in two days? Is there just an endless number of raccoons out there? For the love of god. I have PTRD (Post Traumatic Raccoon Disorder). I dreamed about raccoons last night, nightmares about raccoons dancing around the turkey field. They were doing the raccoon dance.
Now I've basically covered the little roosting area we made for the turkeys, to make it raccoon proof. Having a place for them to be safe from the raccoons would be very much preferable to shooting the raccoons. So I've spent the past few terribly hot days in the blazing sun, sweating bullets, building some sort of raccoon proof shelter. My great fear is really that the turkeys won't go into it tonight! I guess I forgot to mention that the turkeys are super super dooper stupid. People told me they were dumb before we got them, but I didn't believe it because they said that about chickens and our chickens seem not to be dumb. I'm not sure I would call them intelligent, but they take care of themselves. They have personalities. They run inside when they see a hawk, for instance. Not so much with turkeys.
I've started to think of the raccoons as these sort of super beings that can climb anything! Is it possible to make a raccoon proof structure? I guess our house is one, and our barn is the other. At least they don't attack in the daytime. Still, these raccoons are driving me crazy.