We finally shot that racoon that was raiding the chicken coop repeatedly all this past week. Shot it 3 times, twice at point blank range from literally only inches away as it was wounded, pinned between a tarp and the chain link fence on the outside of the back wall of the coop where it had been trying to scramble back to the ground, and somehow it had the strength to run off somewhere, but we don't think it will live long, we think it probably crawled under the neighbors porch or maybe went into the woods across the street to bleed to death.
Damn racoon got into the coop again, even after we just spent 2 hours today trying to secure it better, but it found a way in that we didn't see til just now. It was in the coop and killed another hen tonight, so all told before we shot it, it killed 6 hens, nearly half my flock. What a pain in the ass, eh? Matt saw it on the roof of the coop, but we didn't have the rifle in the outbuilding where it should have been loaded and ready to use, we did have it out there, but we brought it in the house to clean it. By the time we got out there it was still there though, it was inside the coop, running along the 2x4 on the back wall, up along the roost, chickens were terrified and flying all over the coop, the coon's eyes looked luminous yellow- a very eery sight in the light of the flashlight.
Matt had the rifle barrel stuck through the chainlink door on the coop while I shined the flashlight but he couldn't get a clean shot at first. Then the coon got back outside the coop through the same tiny hole he had been squeezing thorugh, a hole we hadn't even spotted, and Matt shot him, but he didn't drop to the ground, he was squeezed between the tarp and the chain link, wounded, so Matt put the rifle barrel about 6" inches away and shot him twice more.
We expected to find a dead racoon on the ground right there, but he got away even with 3 shots in him. We ran in to the neighbors yard with a baseball bat and the gun hoping to find him wounded so we could finish him off, but he was nowhere in sight. Somehow I don't think that racoon will ever try to get in the coop again, but I did (finally) fix the hole that he got through so no other one ever will either. Amazing how small a hole they can squeeze through. They have a lot of fur, but can squeeze their whole apparently much larger body through an incredibly small hole!
I hate killing an animal, but those chickens are like pets and I really like omelletes! He not only killed a bunch of hens, he was also eating a lot of eggs! Today I removed all the eggs so at least this time he got no eggs, but I feel bad the he got back into the coop at all! The hens have been badly traumatized. Only one was up on the roost after I finished fixing the hole so no more coons can get in, the others were all down on the ground, scared shitless by the racoon that had been getting into the area right up on the roost where they were sleeping. I feel really bad that this coon ever got into the coop. It is my fault, but now I know better. This will never happen again.
I've now got this coop more secure than Fort Knox. I thought it was before after all the work I did on it earlier today, but now it is truly secure finally. I have a healthy respect for these varmints after this experience, racoons are very smart animals! Anyone got any hens for sale? No racoon will ever get in my coop again! I live in Point Roberts, we have a lot of coons, eagles and coyotes here and a lot of people who aren't careful as hell lose birds to predators, but I vow that this will never happen again!