Written By: Wednesday, May 31st 2017

As you know, we’ve had an extremely WET spring.  I don’t know about you, but it’s hindered me greatly when it comes to my seasonal chores.  My boat was late getting in, yard work in some parts of my yard has been impossible to get done, I know people who haven’t even opened their pools or cottages yet!

Imagine what’s it’s been like for the little critters of the world.  I’m sure it’s not fun for some of these animals to be putting up with the wet spring either.  Imagine waking up to your den or borough being flooded out! (sadly some folks on the waterways did experience that this spring). Back to the critters

Take this little guys for instance…

He showed up at my house last Friday afternoon and was hanging out in that tree for a couple of days.  He was healthy and happy looking, even somewhat inquisitive.  He’d look down from the tree and watch what we were up to, he had numerous naps and he moved around quite a bit in the tree as well.  My daughter even said that he and I looked alike when I have my summer look to me…

But, I refused to let the kids feed him.  That teaches BAD habits.  I was also very careful to make sure we didn’t leave garbage, food or greasy BBQ tools out.  I’ve hung out on Beausoleil Island enough and heard it from the Park Wardens that I can preach it now myself.  After a couple of days, this little guy didn’t seem to be going anywhere.  I hate to be that guy, but he couldn’t stay.  A while back I bought a couple of friendly traps from my local farm store.  I’ve set them up for skunks and other critters, and they’ve worked, but I’ve never actually seen the animal go into the trap…until this weekend.  

Late Saturday afternoon, I decided that this little fella had to move on.  I set my friendly trap at the base of the tree that he was calling home.  Now this tree is just outside our family room window, and I had the couch to myself Saturday night and I was enjoying Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball.  So I was keeping a close eye on the raccoon as he was just waking up for the night.  Eventually he woke up and started making his way down the tree, so I had to start recording.  The James Bond music in the background just added so much to the video.

Now, I edited a lot of the video to get to the point and I added the sound effects in at the end for the kids.  I’m also well aware of the MNR’s rules for relocating animals.  This is taken directly from their website:

So with these rules in mind…I put a towel on the trap, carefully put the trap in the back of my SUV, drove 1 km down the road and let the little guy free in my friend’s forest.  He took off from the trap, turned around and looked right at me as if to say ‘Thanks Pal’, then off he went.  Like nothing even happened.

So, with all this in mind, here are some tips for keeping critters away from your Home and Garden

  • Don’t leave food out, and don’t feed them (the most obvious one)
  • Eliminate all potential openings around your house including Vents, Screens and Floorboards
  • Put lattice or chicken wire around the bottom of your deck and/or sheds
  • If you have trees with branches overhanging onto the roof, trim them!
  • Predator urine.  Laugh now, but store bought predator urine can be one of the best deterrents.  Google it!

 

Good luck, and stay Critter Free this summer!