too much excitement before breakfast.

How you probably didn’t spend your morning:

You probably didn’t let the dogs out at 5AM to have them encounter a raccoon in the enclosed porch.  Your dogs probably didn’t proceed to go into full Mortal Kombat mode, and they probably didn’t engage in an all-out fight that took them from the porch out into the yard.  You probably didn’t try to pry four dachshunds off a screaming raccoon while trying not to get bitten in the process.  You probably didn’t finally pry the dogs off the poor raccoon long enough to end the fight with two rounds of .38 Special*, and you didn’t spend a half hour afterward with the patching up of puncture wounds and claw scratches.

Of course, that also means you won’t have to go out to the vet this morning with four dogs in tow, for emergency rabies booster shots.

If dachshunds could talk, they’d talk of this day for the next few years as “that time when we cornered that raccoon and totally brought it down like the bitch it was.”  We adult human members of the household will remember it in a slightly less glowing light, considering the inconvenience of having to pay an unexpected vet tab for four dogs, and having to call Fish & Wildlife.

Ah, rural life.  Should have remembered to check the enclosed porch for raccoons.  Still, could have been worse—could have been a skunk, or a fisher cat…or a black bear.

*(To pre-empt the “Why’d you have to shoot the poor little thing?” comments: it was badly injured, killing it was the only way to get the dogs to stop tearing into it, and if it had scampered off in its state, it would have most likely died anyway.  Also, an absent raccoon can’t be checked for rabies.  Trust me, I didn’t enjoy shooting the little bugger, and I would have just as soon let him be on his way.)

UPDATE: Autopsy pics after the cut.  Not particularly gruesome, but do not click if you don’t like the sight of dead animals.

Raccoon 001

Raccoon 002

For those  who have asked: two .38 Special +P LSWCHP, from a three-inch Smith.  One center mass, one behind the ear.  Mr Raccoon expired on the spot.


50 thoughts on “too much excitement before breakfast.

  1. crankylitprof says:

    Wow. At least it wasn’t Quinn or Lyra who wandered out on to the porch first.

  2. mikeb302000 says:

    You do live in a rural area, raccoons and black bears. What about that intrepid rocky raccoon though? It took 4 dogs and a man with a gun to bring him down.

  3. MarkHB says:

    That’ll lead to a Full Irish Breakfast… Shame about the racoon. Wrong place, wrong time. At least you had the kit on-hand to put a swift end to it’s suffering.

  4. Tam says:

    Doubleplus 1 on the rabies check. Hope everything turns out okay for the pups.

    Raccoons can be pretty bold around people; had a roommate once with a penchant for feeding them. They’d cheerfully nom on bread right there on the balcony and then schmooze up and demand more. Like little panhandlers.

  5. BobG says:

    Not much sympathy for a raccoon, myself. Though they are not native to my state, a lot of idiots brought them here as pets, and they have become a nuisance in many areas. As far as I’m concerned, they’re vermin, just like rats and cockroaches.

    • Tam says:

      In Tamaraland, raccoons or possum are shoot-on-sight if you have outdoor pets; too much chance of rabies and too eager to tussle with dogs or cats. Also, ‘coons can transmit other doggie diseases, like canine distemper.

      I don’t shed a lot of tears after shooting one. I eat things a lot cuter than either.

  6. Jay G. says:

    Here’s hoping the pups come back with a clean bill of health, Marko.

    And, seriously, we need to work on the “Shotguns For Markos” rebate program or something… 😉

    • Jeff says:

      I’m guessing even if he had a shotgun, he would have had to go back in the house to get it, leaving the dogs and/or the raccoon unattended. The whole point of handguns is that you already have them with you. 🙂

      • perlhaqr says:

        Handguns are handy.

      • Tam says:

        I’m guessing even if he had a shotgun, he would have had to go back in the house to get it, leaving the dogs and/or the raccoon unattended. The whole point of handguns is that you already have them with you.

        Quoted For Truth.

        • Gregg says:

          There’s always the Judge.
          OTOH there is also the Serbu Shorty, but that requires the tax stamp and may not be legal for concealed carry in your state.

          We can carry it concealed here in AZ, though I expect it would get a bit problematic to conceal it during the summer.

        • Weer'd Beard says:

          Marko lives in NH, After Vermont it’s probably the most gun friendly state in the Union. WAYYY better than Texas.

          It’s legal there!

        • Tam says:

          Marko lives in NH, After Vermont it’s probably the most gun friendly state in the Union.

          Actually, Weer’d, New Hamster is nothing special in the gun law department. Most states outside of MA/NY/NJ/CA/IL are like that.

    • Regolith says:

      A shotgun isn’t really necessary for raccoons. It can make hitting them while they’re running away easier, but they’re fairly small; they’re often dispatched with the lowly .22LR.

      A pistol was perfectly suitable for that particular job.

  7. Rey B says:

    Raccoons can and have killed larger dogs so glad all yours got were a little chewed on. No sympathy for the coon it got what was coming to it. I am with Tam on that.

  8. farmist says:

    BBQ raccoon is TASTY!

  9. aczarnowski says:

    That’s one hell of a morning wake-me-up. I’m betting it made a hell of an alarm clock for everybody inside too!

    Glad everybody in your household came away standing.

  10. lenf says:

    You & the dashies are lucky. This is a little guy. Young adult/adolescent. I’ve trapped a couple of dozen this size and when you release them they roll around on the ground and look at you, then wander off. Adults are twice this size and are deadly serious when in close contact. Right now, the little guys are out wandering, having been kicked out of the dens. The last week or two have seen a lot of them this size as roadkill here in NH, along with skunks, porcupines and even possums of the same age.

  11. SayUncle says:

    I’ve known raccoons to hold off many larger dogs as well. Raccoons are not to be messed with if avoidable.

    At a friend’s once and there was a raccoon going through his trash can. We heard it one night. He goes to get his gun and comes back with a Marlin 22. I said ‘you’ve got to be kidding?’

    Also, shotgun on enclosed porch may have resulted in a bit more damage to property.

  12. Bob says:

    You were lucky the coon was not full sized. You were luckier it was not a porcupine, My cow dog went through a phase where her mission in life was to herd porcupines, or maybe she was into facial piercings.

  13. Al T. says:

    Center punch a few more for hats and coats! 🙂

    Looks like the FBI load worked fine – any exit wounds?

  14. LabRat says:

    Adult raccoons are mean, mean sons of bitches. I wouldn’t guarantee that our dogs would come out the winner versus one, and this is with Kang the Destroyer of Wildlife in the mix.

    Rough times.

  15. Reuben says:

    I guess he broke into the wrong god damn rec room.

  16. Jay says:

    Reuben for the win!!!

  17. Gerry N. says:

    Adult ‘coons are no joke. The sumbitches can go full 180 inside their own skin. There is nowhere an adversary can grab one where he won’t get bitten. ‘Coons bite four ways, high, low, hard and repeatedly.

    If you need good ‘coon medicine for your .22 get a Paco Kelly “Nasti Nose” kit. There won’t be any through and through’s even from a pistol.

    Gerry N.

  18. Marko Kloos says:

    NH Fish & Game just picked up the deceased interloper. The officer said it was a fair-sized adult raccoon.

  19. James Nelson says:

    Coons are vermin to me, I farmed for a number of years and they caused way too much damage. I killed many with various pistols and a 10/22, but the best solution was a bull barrel Ruger Mark 11. A flashlight in one hand and the Ruger in the other was a wonderful solution.
    I had many helpful dogs, but the best was a large female German Shepherd. Not only would she go after them full out, but when I showed up, she’d jump back for about 30 seconds to let me shoot. If I didn’t, she would decide to settle it herself.
    That was one smart dog and I still miss her. She figured out how to kill skunks without getting sprayed, how I don’t know. I never saw her do it. The whole area might be one cloud of skunk spray, the house might get sprayed, but she would come into the house proud and unscented.

  20. Steve says:

    Repeating other’s sentiments, hope the dogs are okay. Good job saving the racoon for Fish and Game to test for rabies, a lot of people don’t think of it. BTW it is Fish and Game still, we haven’t fully morphed into Massachusetts… yet

  21. RevolverRob says:

    What I want to know, is how you got four Dachs, to stand back while you shot the thing, or how you held four dachs in your arms, while dispatching the thing one handed…that’s a mighty feat sir.

    What kind of training program have you got them on?


  22. Glamdring says:

    Maybe you need a 22 WMR for BUG?

    Model 51 or a K 22?

  23. Ted says:

    Good shooting, glad the dogs are ok.

  24. Tennessee Budd says:

    Glad the dogs are okay. My landlord kills I-don’t-know-how-many coons a year. They kill his chickens. Once I hear him shooting, I head out the back door with a 1M-candlepower light & a .22–they flee towards me a lot of times (and yes, the Four Rules are faithfully obeyed). I’m a little slow with the bad leg, but there’re always plenty left for me.

  25. john b says:

    good for your dogs sir! My 4AM scare was my Rottweiler and female Cocker VS 3 Coyotes. Two of them were trying to get Chester the Rott, and the third was trying to get at Ruby the bitchy Spaniel. I fired a 22lr rifle shot into the ground hoping to get the intruders to go, but they were determined to stick it out. I got Ruby’s coyote with a near contact shot to the head. She bolted out from under the porch, over Chester’s flank, and attacked snarling into the face of Chester’s main aggressor. I killed the second one, and by that time, Chester, with Ruby’s debatable help, had killed the third. The two mutual girlfriends to the east of the house came out and were shocked that I had shot someones dogs. I told them they were God’s dogs called coyotes. Girls were from urban California. Seattle native came screaming out in full Democrat mode, said she had called the police, I was going to jail, and having my guns taken away from me.

    Police arrived, checked the scene, called a Sergeant, called fish and wildlife, wildlife warden arrived, inspected coyote corpses, loaded same into his pickup, wrote me a check for $90 minus varmit permit, departed with a cheery “Good job, don’t forget to feed and treat those dogs, and clean your rifle.

    Needless to say the Seattle Democrat was seething, the California Lesbians were cool about it, treated me to breakfast, and a pre breakfast beer. This was back before I stopped drinking.

  26. Louise Townsend says:

    That was a large racoon in my mind.
    Now as for rabies fears, did you get any cuts or scratches?
    That would freak me out more than the dogs since they will simply get a booster and as you said, sit back and jabber on about what an awesome morning they had.
    Or… they’ll see a racoon in the future and equate it with a trip to the vet?
    Either way, that sounds like and extremely freaky way to start a day!

  27. PA State Cop says:

    Dachunds were bred as hunting dogs. They just reverted to form. Good on them. Hope the vet bill wasn’t too painful. Throw them a bacon for a reward. 🙂

  28. Marko Kloos says:

    Turns out Rocky Raccoon was not rabid. Puncture wounds and rabies booster shots ran just north of two bills. Now the little shits check for raccoons every time we let them out.

  29. Our dogs have killed many a possum, skunk, and rat. There’s a family of five raccoons that wanders through but so far have been smart enough to avoid trouble. Doggies tend to crunch away until the critter stops moving, at which point they come bark at us to reanimate their toy. I always take care to ensure the animal’s truly dispatched with a .22 Colibri or two to the head out of my Smith 317 (this is the San Francisco Bay Area, so quiet=good).

    I always feel bad about the possums, though. They can’t carry rabies, and they’re slow and inoffensive, so the doggies crunching on them is just pointless and rather cruel. Dunno why Tam dislikes them — they can’t help being ugly.

  30. E says:

    Our house was assaulted by 3 raccoons a few weeks back. I was woken up: “E! something’s looking at me!” I could hear them on the roof, and one had been peeking through the skylight into the bedroom. I got my light and glasses to check things out. On the little balcony I spotted one hiding next to the chimney. Hit him full in the face with the surefire and he just stared at me. I talked at the thing while searching for the others, and it didn’t move.

    Back inside I reported “coons”, and then we saw them playing on that same balcony through the glass door, and the same downstairs.

    It’s too dense around here to shoot at them with a .22, and on the roof would just cause leaks…..

    They kept at it, so I loaded an air pistol and went out with intent, which apparently they could smell. I gave them a parting shot as the ran into the woods. (they jumped at the noise)

    One or two came back a few nights back, but disappeared quickly when I went out looking for them. Fortunately the cat hasn’t tangled with the buggers yet. If they’d chase off the damn groundhog I’d be happy…


  31. […] Rampaging raccoons are all the rage: A pack mauls a woman. And blogger raccoon sightings here, here and here. […]

  32. Mikee says:

    I post this reminiscence only because it is absolutely true, and if I put it out there every few years eventually others will try the same thing and confirm my story as true.

    In 2000 I was living with the wife and two subteens in an apartment in Austin, TX, as we waited and waited and waited for our new home to be completed. We were on the 3rd floor, and our balcony looked out over a wooded area in the center of the apartment complex (Hard Rock Canyon Apartments). The first floor balcony two stories down from ours was actually a ground level patio with a railing. The resident there either had a dog or liked to feed the critters, because he kept a large bowl of dog food on his patio/balcony at all times. The local critters would troop up and snack on this dog food every night.

    After finishing a roast chicken dinner one night, we were all bored, and sat on our balcony watching the racoons, opossums, armadillos and skunks below as they shuffled onto the first floor balcony and fed. I was suddenly inspired to try “monkeyfishing” with a chicken leg and some twine.

    I lowered the baited line down to the critters below. Soon a raccoon was gnawing on the chicken leg. I slowly pulled in the twine, and soon had a suspended raccoon hanging on the chicken leg and continuing to gnaw it. Slowly at first, and then with a steadily increasing amplitude, I swung the clinging racoon in a long arc. The raccoon was soon swinging twenty feet or so back and forth, about 3 feet off the ground. I lowered it back to earth, and it contentedly continued to eat the chicken leg.

    While raccoons were the best aerialists, opossums and skunks were also taken for airborne rides that night and many others. Armadillos, alas, were never induced to cling tightly enough to fly. They just leapt up startled when the chicken leg was pulled upwards, and jumped away in armored alarm.

    I swear this is true, even though James Taranto see monkeyfishing link above) never acknowledged my email to him about it. If ever I meet him, I shall certainly remind him of the flying racoons and insist to him that not all tales of amazing animal activity are fictitious.

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