Boy Shoots Raccoon in His Underwear

Today at lunch Marlene told me about a conversation she had with her friend who lives not too far from us. Her friend related that a neighbor woman had been chased by a rabid raccoon in her yard. The neighbor called someone to come shoot the animal, but they couldn’t find it.

Then, a little while later, the critter showed up at Marlene’s friend’s house. The friend’s teenage son ran outside and shot the raccoon in his underwear.

That’s quite a story. I couldn’t help but ask the obvious.... How did the raccoon end up wearing the boy’s underwear?

Seriously, though, I like that story because the boy responded and did exactly what God designed men (young and old) to do, which is to protect their families against dangers. And instead of taking the time to get dressed, this kid runs outside in his underwear to get the job done! Yeah. I like that a lot.

Of course, you can do stuff like that when you live out in the country. Running outside in your underwear and shooting dangerous animals is really not out of the ordinary.

Now, if you lived in the suburbs, that’s a different story. You can’t shoot things in your yard in suburbia. The neighbors will call the police. And if you’re out there in your skivvies, it just compounds the problem.

This story is actually somewhat coincidental because this afternoon, I walked out of my work shop, toward my house and, on the way, I passed a raccoon. He was about 20 feet off to my left side. I almost didn’t even notice him. He was quietly ambling along, with his rear end hiked up in the air, like raccoons do, and not paying any attention to me.

Well, when I see a raccoon walking through my yard in daylight, I shoot it. More likely, one of my kids will shoot it. First, they would probably argue about which one of them was going to shoot the raccoon. But I happened to be home alone today when this incident happened. Oh, and I should make it clear, I was fully clothed.

Once I was in the house, I hastily went to the gun cabinet and chose my son Robert’s single shot, break-action, 20-gauge shotgun—the one I bought him for Christmas a couple years ago—the one he uses to hunt rabbits and squirrels. I had a choice of bird shot or deer slugs. I grabbed two slugs, put one in the chamber and hurried outside. I left our dog, Annie, in the house. The last thing I needed was my dog to tussle with a rabid coon.

When I got outside, the raccoon was nowhere in sight. I wandered around and finally spotted it on the other side of my shop. I closed in as it walked past my compost pile. I walked closer. The coon acted like he didn’t see me. I was off to its side and a little behind as he made his way along one side of my chicken tractor. Then he stopped, and so did I. We were maybe 10 feet apart.

The raccoon slowly turned his head around and looked at me with his beady black eyes. The way he turned his head and looked at me reminded me of a scene I once saw in Jurassic Park, where the big dinosaur realizes there is a human nearby, and turns his head slowly to look at the person, just before pouncing.

Well, I didn’t wait to see what the coon was going to do next. I blasted that thing and killed it dead, right there next to the chicken tractor. That’s what I did.

Deer slugs work real well on raccoons (I only used one, by the way).

For those readers who live in a foreign country where there are no raccoons, or if you’re a city person who has maybe never seen a dead raccoon, here’s a picture of the little beast:


So then I had to dispose of the dead, rabid coon. I can’t leave it outside where Annie would get it. She would chew on it and drag it off to someplace and bury it. Then dig it up a few months later and drag it onto the lawn, by the door to our house (where everyone who visits us would see it) and commence to eat it.

Fortunately, I have a special place. It’s the place where we toss all our dead raccoons. And all the long-dead and half-rotted carcasses Annie hauls in from who-knows-where. It’s an Annie-proof place. Here it is:


That is what’s left of a big, hollow basswood tree that blew down in a storm a few years ago. It is located across from our house in the neighbor’s hedgerow. All the dead animals go in that stump. That’s a real handy stump there.


Unknown said...

LOL! What a story! And WHAT a carcass dump! LOL!

Marci said...

What a great place to put the carcass. The headline should have read.... Boy shoots raccoon in his underwear and man shoots raccoon in his yard!!

RL said...

Your racoon kind of looks like it's smiling there. Sure he wasn't just playing dead? :)

Good shot! With the gun I mean. Nice picture too.

Michael Bunker said...

Glad to know you have the same opinion of raccoons as we do down here. You made that raccoon into a "good raccoon" Raccoons are wanton killers (not just for food) and they are quite often rabid. Good shot, brother.


Matthew said...

This is about to become one of my favorite stories! Adventure, a dash of danger, and something that doesn't happen every day.

It must be this time of year or something, because a few days ago there was a possum wandering around our yard in the middle of the afternoon. Unfortunately, we have fairly close neighbors, so I used a .22 with short shells (less powder that a long rifle shell and very quiet) to do him in--not nearly as quickly and easily as I would have liked though. I'm sure that deer slugs would have worked much better except for all the noise.

You have a great place to put the carcasses; do you know if other animals can catch rabies from eating the deceased?


Anonymous said...

Hurrah! My dear, smart, handsome husband killed two copperheads in two separate houses with his bare hands. Once he was called from the shower by a screaming wife (me, of course) so he actually dealt with it in a towel! He is also a dead-eye shot on bandit raccoons, bobcats and possums. Did I mention he is wonderful?

We so very much enjoy your encouragement.
Kathleen for the Smiths

Herrick Kimball said...

Hey Everyone,

I appreciate your comments.

Russ- It may look like a smile but it's really a snarl.

Matthew- Yes, rabies can be transmitted if another animal (like my dog) eats the coon. I think it's not contagious , though, after a couple hours.

Kathleen-- Killing copperhead snakes with one's bare hands sure does impress me. Wow. We don't have any poisonous snakes around where I live, thankfully.

Anonymous said...

My boys have been wondering about shooting racoons to tan their hides. What is the risk of rabies in doing that?

They also have wondered about catching a baby coon to tame it any comments on that ?

The Midland Agrarian said...

Hi Herrick,
Good Story. My dad once shot an eight point Buck in his skivvies. He just got up on the first day of Hunting season, looked out the window and saw the buck in the hayfield behind the house. He stepped out the sliding glass door, shot the buck, then got dressed and went out to skin it.

About two years ago I also saw a neighbor (Who shall remain nameless, hunting groundhogs beside a round bale in nothing but an orange hat and his white briefs-it was a particularly humid summer. Pa. Law required an orange hat while hunting groundhogs
but says nothing about what else you need or don't need to wear.

Keep up the good writing!

Granny Miller's Husband

Anonymous said...

Coons tame pretty well if you catch them young enough. They can be a handful though :) The younger you catch them the better, and wear a thick pair of gloves when you start out. They will turn ugly when they get older, they always do for some reason. One day your "good buddy" and the next day they can rip the face off your kid. So be careful if you do it. Of course it is illegal to do any of this, so be warned.


Anonymous said...

I love a blog with dead racoon pictures. Can you post something on how to trap a mink? That would be relevant information to me. Blasted things are stealing my eggs and have killed several chickens.

(Aside from a spring loaded claw-type trap.....I think the downsides for injury are more dangerous than the upside of killing the little rodent. Besides, I'd like to be the one to put the 22 shell in his thieving little head.)

Anonymous said...

poor raccoon.
haha i cant believe he shot him in his underwear.


Brad said...

As coincedental as your raccoon is my recent bout with a skunk... I ran outside in my underwear, shower flip-flops, and rifle in the dark... with my rifle, in my front yard... I didn't get a shot, however :>(

I don't know why you didn't let the chickens eat the 'coon, though, Herrick. Your protein source/fly breeding buckets come to mind...

Thanks for a great blog (and books!),