killer raccoons in December

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Anyone ever come across aggressive raccoons in the dead of winter? This past December I was pheasant hunting South Dakota with some friends and two dogs. Temps were near zero with snow on the ground. We were pushing small islands of cattails on a frozen lake when my lab bumped into a big raccoon. The coon hissed and growled at my the dog. I pulled him off the coon and my lab immediately bumbed into another one on another island. I once again pulled the dog off, then the coon went after my buddy with his teeth showing, "barking" and growling. He shot the coon in the head and it was over. I saw more coon tracks in the snow heading for the other island so I got those guys and the dogs out of that area, but was shocked to see raccoons out in such cold weather. Anyone have the same problem in the dead of winter? I've bumb into them in the fall, but never during a cold snap.
 

moellermd

Super Moderator
Your friend shot a coon in SD. If he is also out of state does that mean he applied for and bought the $250 fur bearer license?
 

FCSpringer

Super Moderator
Beleve it or not it is common. The coon were not agresive, but rather defensive. They group up in cattails to den up. Especialy in areas with no trees. They sleep in a ball and get covered in them, and form a real nice den when the snow blows in. I have ran in to them many times while hunting cattails, They are usealy pretty slow and lethargic.I blasted 5 last time I ran into them. A good chance to harvest a few preditors.
I know guys around here that take coon dogs out and hunt sloughs late in the year, then they do it during the day. Also have seen and heard of days driving around when the temp gets real cold quick and no wind, you can see where they are from the steam rising or more like your breath as you breath. Prety neat.
 
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mnmthunting

Banned
Not unusual for coons to come out in thawing type weather in Dec. You encountered that many in a short time the area was probably infested with coons. Game bird nest destroyers. When a raccoon comes across a pheasant nest all eggs are lost.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Uncle Buck--
Was it nice just before you got there? Maybe they got gaught out a little.

No. It was fridge cold with snow prior to heading out. By the what it sounds like from other posts, they must have been in a hibernating state. I've bumped into them before, just never had one attack a human before.
 
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Win97

New member
I have run across many coons in cattail swamps. I was hunting a cattail patch last winter and my old setter female stuck her head under a bunch of cattails and came out with a coonskin hat. I had to pull him off her and gave him toss and he stated back at me. Mistake! Bird shot works on them too.
 

kansashunting

New member
I had a coon come after my dog and me the last day of the season here in KS. I was walking back to my truck and had to cross a frozen creek bed. I got down the embankment and saw what at first I thought was a feral cat coming towards me before I realized it was a coon. Luckily the dog didn't know what it was and was more confused than I was and didn't try and eat it. It was swatting and growling and hissing right before I shot it. I thought maybe it might be rabid and kept the dog away. Would sure make me feel better if it was just being defensive tho
 

Uncle Buck

New member
Ran over a coon about an hour ago (intentionally), mile east of my house. Another vehicle coming from the left seemed to be pushing him down the road. He was moving pretty fast. I turned right and harvested him. They should not be out as cold as it is. It was getting dark but I will pick him up tomarrow and skin out this weekend.
________
Yamaha tzr250 history
 
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ford

New member
My dogs got into coons more than ever this year. I am in the field about 100 days a year hunting and guiding and my dogs killed 13 coons total. Not something I am proud of because a coon can tear up a dog in a hurry, and it seemed like when they found one there was always 2 or 3 close together. Most of the time when my dogs got into them we were hunting crp, only one in heavy cattails, which I think was wierd. Driving the roads around here I see dead coons all over the place.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Sounds like you had it worse than us Ford! Thank God your dogs were safe in the midst of all that coon kickin'. :thumbsup:
 
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blackcloud27

New member
we have run into coons in dec. also. hunting cattail slough crusted over with snow and ice. friend was hunting with a brittney. all of a sudden all hell broke loose. coon snarling dog barking and whining. could not hide dog in the cattails. they were under the crusted snow fighting. coon was as big as the dog. finally found them and grabbed dog by tail and tossed it behind me. coon was MAD. dog was MAD. they decided it was time for round two and meet in center ring right between my legs:eek::eek: kicked coon away.threw dog again. round three center ring between legs again:eek:kicked coon farther this time ran back a couple steps and ended the match with a load of 4's. dog was ok just a few small cuts. friend was very happy i saved his dog. we get back to truck and game warden did a licsence check. rest of group shows up and asked what all the commotion was in the slough. Yes i did yell a few words during round 2 and 3. told them all about the coon and dog fight and how i shot coon to save dog. then the warden asks to see the racoon:eek:i told her it was still in the cattails. she then tells me that is wanton waste and that i should go back out there and retrive it. i looked at her and said you got to be kidding. she said no i'm not. we had to explain to her it was shot to save dog and my legs. also it was messed up badly with a close range shot with a shotgun and wasn't worth anything. she finally said ok but next time bring the coon out.
 

UGUIDE

New member
BC, that is amazing story. Cannot believe the wardens position!

That old coon had 3 strikes.
 

henhenROOSTER!!!

New member
@BC: LOL, are you sure that dog's not a bluetick, redbone or black-n-tan? Reminds me of days as a young boy chasin in the dark to keep up behind my dad & his buddies thru an east Texas swamp! :p

I had two raccoon close-encounters this past season:
One was early-season in tall cover so indescribably gnarly that the dog & I both were having trouble just getting thru it, but man was it infested with pheasants like a cloud of ants, flies or mosquitos...Birds were getting up everywhere by the droves! I saw quick movement on the ground directly in front of me that looked just like another rooster crawling around underneath that Gawd-awful thick matt, trying not to have to flush out of there. When I sent the dog charging in to force the flush, I suddenly noticed that it was a very large coon & somehow managed to call the dog off in the nick of time...

The other was late-Dec in thick pheasant-infested CRP cover where my lab suddenly perked up just like another rooster was about to get up in front of him. I started to get a bit ticked off when he kept inching forward & then jumping back and wouldn't finish up the flush like a big sissy. When I finally went wading in, a big ol boar coon was curled up right at my feet & ready to make war! Since the dog was under control we just backed out & went around him...
 

mnmthunting

Banned
I think the "wanton waste" was a personnel view of the warden. What was the waste? Coon meat is not considered suitable for food, hides are of little value especially a close range shotgun blast.

I believe the warden was thinking hard for a reason to ticket you.
Thinking of a Raccoon as a furry little person. :eek:
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
Blackcloud27 told her it was still in the cattails. she then tells me that is wanton waste and that i should go back out there and retrive it. i looked at her and said you got to be kidding. she said no i'm not. we had to explain to her it was shot to save dog and my legs. also it was messed up badly with a close range shot with a shotgun and wasn't worth anything. she finally said ok but next time bring the coon out.

Blackcloud, it sounds like one warden says tomato the other says tamoto (lol). In our killer coon situation, the fish and wildlife agent didn't say a thing about wanton waste. He told us we could not remove the coon from the field. That news was just fine with us seeing the coon was hamburger.
 

henhenROOSTER!!!

New member
Doesn't give a fellow much confidence at all for a state game dept's rock-solid policy or it's wardens ability to consistently be on the same page on any given issue does it, when one says "you HAVE TO remove the animal from the field" (for whatever reason) & the other says "you are NOT ALLOWED to remove the animal from the field" (for whatever other differing line of reasoning)! :confused:

Hmmh, does this give anyone else at least a little pause on several other issues - seeing as some (not all) of those guys behind the badge already walk with a little too much swagger & love trying to hang the rest of us on a technicality! :eek:
 

ford

New member
With all the flooding here in eastern sd I cant believe all the dead coons laying next to the roads. I had one in my window well last night and it scared the holly s&*t out of my son when it started scratching his bedroom window in the middle of the night.
 
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