raccoon in a tree, eating raccoon
Photo by John E. Phillips
If you hunt raccoons with dogs at night during coon or furbearers’ seasons, you can reduce your raccoon population prior to planting and harvesting your garden. Don’t forget they can be delicious to eat.

If you live close to a wooded area or near a stream and have a garden planted, you will have problems with raccoons. Raccoons will destroy sweet corn and watermelons besides other vegetables and fruits. They have been known to kill chickens, bluebirds, and wood ducks. And raccoons will devour wild turkey eggs. Here are

some tips on how to keep the raccoons out of your garden. Also eating raccoon is a popular is popular in some parts of the country. And why not? You caught them. Might as well eat them. They can be delicious.

Trap Them

You can use live traps or leg hold traps to capture raccoons on or near your garden site, especially during the winter months before you plant your garden.

Hunt Them

You can hunt raccoons with or without dogs and allow your friends and neighbors to hunt coons on your property, too.

Guard Dog Them

The Great Pyrenees and some other breeds of dogs can be trained to protect your garden not only from raccoons but other wildlife, including coyotes, deer, turkeys, feral pigs and others that may want to feast on your garden.

Zap Them

Our county agent, Sally Lee, recommends the following: “Use a two-strand electric fence, with the bottom strand about 6 inches above the ground with no grass or bushes touching it, and the top strand about 12 inches above the ground without any obstructions. Turn the fence on in the evenings and off after daybreak. An electric fence always has worked best for me to rid my land of raccoons.”

Go Alabama Style

Try some of the Alabama Department of Conservation’s suggestions that include: removing hollow trees, ground burrows, brush piles, abandoned buildings, haystacks, rock crevices and sewers where raccoons can hide, since raccoons only need a 4-inch gap to enter a space; using repellents like coyote urine, Raccoon Eviction Fluid from Wildlife Control Supplies and Capsaicin oil of black pepper; and employing frightening techniques of lights, radios and aluminum pie pans, although those are seldom effective for very long.

Eat Them: Eating Raccoon

My friend Michael Johnson of Plainfield, Georgia, a predator hunter, never considered eating a raccoon until an elderly man in Chauncey, Georgia, told Johnson his family had been cooking delicious raccoons for more than 100 years. Here’s Johnson’s recipe:

  • Put a quartered raccoon that’s been seasoned with salt, pepper, meat tenderizer, garlic salt, crushed red peppers and ground red pepper in a roasting pot along with onions, bell peppers, celery and carrots, 1 cup of apple juice and 1/2-cup Italian dressing.
  • Baste the raccoon, and put it in the oven for 2 hours on 350 degrees.
  • Wrap sweet potatoes, and bake them in the oven for 2 hours.
  • Debone the raccoon; pull the ligaments, tendons and fat out of the meat; thicken up the juice the raccoon’s been cooked in by adding flour to make a gravy.
  • Peel the baked sweet potatoes, slice them up, and add them and more carrots and onions to the pot.
  • Bake the meat and the vegetables for another two hours at 250 degrees for a delicious roasted raccoon meal.

This article is from the fall 2018 issue of The New Pioneer Magazine. Grab your copy at OutdoorGroupStore.com.

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