Corn and ‘Coons

Mike is feeling frustrated.

Seems the raccoons are already sampling the yellow sweet corn. It is time to put up the electric fence around the field and set the cat traps with mackerel. If he doesn’t control them now, every night will be a smorgasbord of corn and that much less income for us. Two years ago, they nearly wiped it out. He planted about a quarter of an acre and we got ONE dozen ears of yellow corn. They even hauled it away with them, leaving a trail of opened and partially eaten ears in the direction of the woods! I bet they even high-fived each  over their haul! (They have hands, not paws, you know.) Just think about that. Corn is planted about six inches apart in the field, he planted about twelve rows, and each plant produces two ears. That’s a lot a corn, but we gleaned the equivalent of six plants!

That was the same year they wiped out all the plums on four trees and all the pears off of two. Now, we are animal lovers, but greed is greed. They could at least share with the people that planted and tended the plants. Yep, I’m thinking it is a good thing they love mackerel more than corn!

Unfortunately, so do the cats. More than one of ours found themselves behind bars in the cages too. It is one reason, besides kind-heartedness towards wild animals, that Mike checks the traps several times a day. It would be a very bad thing to cage a critter or house cat in the heat of the summer with no water or shade. That fate is not acceptable, even for the stray oppossum that wants to enjoy the mackerel feast too. And oppossums, by the way, do NOT play dead. They come equipped with sharp teeth, just like the raccoons, and are quite willing to use them! Mike has to be extremely careful lifting the cages into the truck to haul the wildies away, and even more careful when he empties them out in their new home.

He says he caught nine raccoons last year in two weeks. I think he caught the same one nine times and it just hitch-hiked its way back. They have thumbs, you know! If they are smart enough to figure out how to open latches, when the corn is at its best, and how to get a free meal of mackerel, they are certainly smart enough to hitch their way back to the vittle feast. Their cuteness belies the mayhem they commit. So I’m also thinking ole Daniel Boone and his cronies in the coon-skin caps weren’t just wearing those furry hats to keep their heads warm. It was their way of knowing exactly where that nuisance critter was at all times and keeping it out of their corn!

Yeah, Daniel Boone was the man!

I can just see Mike in a coon-skin.

No, this is not Mike, but how I picture his cap. Photo courtesy:


About cattlebaroness

I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BA in History, nearing completion of a Master of Arts in American history. Born and raised first on military bases around the world, then in Orange County, CA, I moved to Kentucky when my children were small. I now live on a small family farm and am learning about farm life, planting and our newest addition to the landscape--cattle. Until a month or two ago, all I knew about 'cows' were that they came in brown, black and white and that some are raised for milk and others for meat. I am a quick study out of necessity.
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