Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by doc623, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    Last year the raccoons destroyed our sweet corn.
    They seem to know it is ready.
    I would like ideas of how to keep the coon out of the corn this
    Any suggestions or has anyone had success in the past?
  2. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I have always hear that you should plant cucumbers in your corn field because racoons do not like the way they feel and will not go into them (the cucumbers) and therefor cannot eat the corn.


  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    Only way I know is to build a cage around the garden being sure the top is covered too.
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    The only fail proof thing I've tried is running a hot wire about 6 inches high around the area where the corn is located. I first took the weed whacker and cut every thing down to the dirt about two feet wide where I wanted the hotwire. I put the little posts and insulaters in my path and turned it on. I didn't know one of my cats was in the garden when I turned it on but I got to see him leave the garden. He squated down a little and got almost under when his tail hooked the wire. Who never knew how speedy that cat got to be so quickly.
    Another thing I've tried but don't really trust is hanging a bright light in the patch and putting a radio out there on full volume. Got that idea from a neighbor who had over an acre of sweetcorn a long way back in a field. He parked his tractor back by the patch and left the radio play full blast. Some civic minded citizens called the sheriff and reported a wild drinking party going on back there about 2 in the morning. The Sheriff got him out of bed and made him show them how to get back there before he was satisfied. I used that two years and the coons stayed out.
  5. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dust some snuff on the silks on the outside rows.
  6. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2003
    New York
    We have a dog boarding kennel and do grooming. We save the dog hair from grooming and about a week before the corn is due we start putting the dog droppings and hair from the groomings around the corn field with our small manure spreader. Have to keep it up every 3 days but no coon. You could get hair from groomers or beauty shops...Joan :haha:
  7. poppy

    poppy Guest

    I have a friend who uses empty milk jugs filed with sand and runs his electric wire through the handles. It works pretty well and you don't need posts or insulators.
  8. LindaT_AK

    LindaT_AK Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    Alaska to N. Maine back to Alaska
    All these posts are interesting. I don't have coons up here, but where I am moving to has them I hear. So I am interested in learning all I can about the creatures that I may encounter that do not live up here in Alaska.
    I grow corn every year, but it has to be in a greenhouse. Normally each year i grow a garden and have three big greenhouses for all the things that will not grow outside in the ground. The only problme I have is moose and i solved that problem by building a stockade around my garden and house. Not to mention that my greenhouses border my garden as well.
    Linda T.
  9. Jagger

    Jagger Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Ohio...but not for long
    A good method of getting rid of coons is to trap them out. Yes it is correct to state that coons travel far and wide in search of food, but if you eliminate the core group your problem may be solved, temporarily. I would reccomend box traps. Either store bought, or homemade. These will not harm the animal. You can release the coon at a distant place, very distant. But then all you are really doing is giving your problem to someone else. The coon can easily be dispatched in the trap. But i would rather release them since there furs are not prime and are worthless. Better to re-trap them in november. A store bought trap will run around $30-$50, depending on the size and maker. Havahart is a good quality trap. Stoutly built, easy to set and release. I make my own box traps for virtually free. I like to use box traps in heavily populated areas, when i'm running trap lines. I like to use the box traps in town as well. I would rather not harm peoples cats and dogs. But it happens. I use 2 5 gallon buckets. Remove the bottom from one. Top to top they are placed, then wired together with peices of wire coat hanger or something similar. Make a frame for the open end out of scap 1X lumber. This fram only needs 3 sides. 1 bottom and 2 sides.The frame needs to extend past the top of the bucket at least half the distance across the front of the bucket being used, for stability. Then from scap plywood, thick plexi-glass, metal sheet or whatever make a door that will slide up and down in the fram via grooves on the inside. The door must be heavy and stout. A weight may be needed on top part of the door. A scrap peice of wood works well for this. The weight helps the door to slam (slide) shut. Make sure the door slides a good 1/2 inch into the bottom board of the frame. This keeps coon from getting their fingers under the door. At the top of the bucket opening attach a small 2x2 inch scap of wood with a 3/8 or so hole thru it. Take a small gage braided metal line, or heavy fishing line will work too, but will not last. At one end of the line attach a large nail, or something similar. This nail or rod will go thru the hole on top of the bucket. Now run the line across the top of the bucket till about 2 or 3 inches from the back. Here drill another hole just big enough for the cable to go thru. Use of old brake line, fuel line is a great way to protect the cable on top of the trap, it keeps it in place as well as keeps debris off of it. Take the cable end that is inside the bucket. Tie a slip knot at the end, so it will hang a couple inches off the bottom of the bucket. Use this slip knot to hold bait. Raise the door all the way to the top set rod/pin. Trap is set. When the coon pulls on the bait the rod/pin is slid out and the door falls. Simple. Drill some small holes around the bait area to help let the smell escape. A good bait wood be fresh or tainted fish. Marshmellow with a little vanilla is good too. Any fish bait. Old fried chicken or just chicken bones is good too. Coons have sweet tooths too, so any combonation of things may work. The coons will not hesitate entering the trap. I have caught so many coons this way i lost track. Hundreds. You will proably catch several coons at first. But continue to monitor the traps and keep them set. The trap is always on guard and ready to strike. You will catch alot of other critters opossum, cats, skunks. I have even caught more than one coon at a time in one of these traps. I hope this helps. Have fun

  10. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    I appreciate the input.
    I have several questions.
    With dusting the silk what good would that do as the coon would have already
    knocked the stalk down to discover they didn't like the dust and the stalk is ruined.
    The trapping idea is fine and have thought of Havaheart traps, however, what do you do if you find a very angry skunk in the trap?
    I am considering the electric/battery fence.
    I have heard of punpkins and etc planted betweenand among the corn rows but sdo not want to experiment and lose corn.
    I have heard of poisonous bait but there are too many neighboring farm animals
    that may get into it and would not make for good neighbors having poisoned
    someone'e dog.
    I have heard of hair and the radio.
    I ahve also heard of using moth balls.
    Any other suggestions other than putting a cot by the patch and having the wife sleep there to scare away the coon?