“Midnight Battle With The Raccoon Of Doom”

That’s the title of a very funny blog post by Ken Thomas, self-proclaimed ‘Hillbilly At Large’. Here’s an excerpt.

One night around midnight I put on my slippers and bathrobe, grabbed a gun and a flashlight, stuck of box of .22 shells in my pocket, and headed to the backyard for my (unexpected) date with destiny.

I should mention something about the particular gun I decided to take with me. It’s one of my favorites, a little single-shot survival rifle made by Springfield Armory called the M6 Scout … The downside being that it’s a single-shot, so you have to kind of break the whole gun open and put one little round at a time in one little hole, then close it all back up in order to shoot it. Since it takes a long time to reload, and fires a very small .22 bullet, this isn’t normally the kind of blunderbuss a person would bring along to a life-and-death encounter with a ravenous hellbeast . . .

. . .

I’d just turned around to head back to the house when I heard a faint scratching sound from somewhere above me. I turned the flashlight upward, and there in the beam, was a raccoon. Not just a raccoon mind you, but a raccoon 10 feet over my head, looking down at me, with one arm wrapped around the trunk of the tree and the other arm buried elbow-deep in my woodpecker feeder. Frozen in the light, and caught in the act.

I think it would be fair to say that we were both pretty damned surprised.

Now, I had a decision to make. If there’s a person on this continent with a wide variety of firearms-related options readily and easily available, then I’m probably that guy. I’ve got a decent collection of guns, and they were no farther away than my house, right across the yard. The problem? The problem was that by the time I got to the house, selected a more appropriate shootin’ iron, acquired suitable ammunition, and returned to the scene of the crime, I knew perfectly well that the masked suet junkie would be long gone. As Don Rumsfeld wisely pointed out, you go to war with what you’ve got, not with what you wish you had.

So I commenced this fairly complicated loading procedure, and that raccoon started climbing, and he’d probably gotten about 20 feet up into that maple tree when I popped a cap in his ass.

Now, I’m a pretty good shot, and normally when I shoot something it dies. Sometimes there’s a little bit of thrashing and flailing and such, but there’s generally a predictable result on the downstream end when I take it upon myself to deliver a little lethality. This raccoon however, apparently hadn’t gotten the memo. Not only did he not die, but he didn’t thrash or flail or anything at all. Instead, he stopped, turned around, took a good look at me, and he growled. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a raccoon growl. I also don’t know if you’ve ever heard a raccoon growl at midnight on a cold December evening when you’re standing there in your bathrobe and a pair of slippers with nothing but a $3 Wal-Mart flashlight and a single-shot .22 rifle in your hands. I’m not going to go into a tremendous amount of detail trying to describe the sound – let’s just say that raccoons make this high-pitched hissing and yowling sound when they’re irritated, and this guy was definitely irritated.

Looking back on the events of the evening, this is probably the point when I should have realized that things might not work out exactly as I had anticipated.

There’s more at the link. Wonderfully entertaining reading, particularly for those of us who’ve encountered raccoons in the wild at uncomfortably close quarters. They’re not nearly as cuddly or appealing when they’re trying to rip your face off!



  1. 1) M6 Scouts have a .410 shotgun barrel, which would be damn well be loaded if I was going after a Bull Raccoon.

    2) I was walking my 2 German Shepherds (180 pounds of cranky Nazi fury) when we happened upon a nuclear family of raccoons. Dogs wanted to party – I wanted none of it, vet bills being so high. Bastards followed us for half a block.

    3) A guy at work took a Glock and flashlight after a bull moose raccoon. The raccoon didn't survive the fracas — and neither did his trashcans.

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