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record size for raccoon

November 11 2003 at 1:02 AM
  (Login MAD-dogs)
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from IP address 68.86.216.110

 
According to "Raccoons: A Natural History," by Samuel I. Zeveloff, the average weight for an adult raccoon is 8 to 20 pounds, but occassionally a very old, very well fed boar raccoon will top 30 pounds. The heaviest raccoon ever recorded was a monster Wisconsin raccoon that weighed an amazing 62 pounds and 6 ounces. Zeveloff also notes an old and quite rotund Texas raccoon that tipped the scales at 56 pounds.

Another odd bit from the same book: a raccoon holding onto the inside of a tree once supported a 200-pound man hanging from its tail.

P.





 
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216.93.115.82

record size for raccoon...

November 11 2003, 1:51 AM 

My husband was hunting with a friend up in Northern Michigan a few years back. Bear hunting. The guy radioed to my husband that the dogs had a bear bayed up in the stream. He could hear the dogs howling. The guy was trying to get to the stream (he's about 300 pds.) and told my husband to dump his dogs in. He did and when they got to the stream the hounds had a 50+ pd. coon in the stream. It had torn up two or three of the hounds was working on another. Big raccoons on the ground, especially in the water is BAD news for any dog. Needless to say my husband was BEYOND upset. He worked hard to break his dogs OFF of coon. LOL! Anyway. Yes they do get big. Biggest I've seen so far here has been 16 pds. or so. Heading back out tomorrow so who knows what we'll find....

Jean
BTW... got a woodchuck today. In a culvert... by accident. Dog bayed for FOUR hours. Ugh! Thought they were dug in.

 
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68.86.216.110

A bit more raccoon trivia and history

November 11 2003, 10:45 AM 


From the same source as above:

The raccoon has had a tremendous reversal of fortune in the last 70 years both in terms of numbers and distribution. By the late 1980s, the number of raccoons in the U.S. was estimated to be 15 to 20 times larger than the amount that existed during the 1930s. This reversal of fortune is partly due to the widespread regrowth of forests and revegetation of riparian areas, partly due to the rise of suburbia where they do so well, partly due to a decline in trapping and hunting, partly due to raccoons spreading out into new areas with the arrival of human-based food and denning structures (especially in the Plains states), and partly due to the stocking of raccoon in areas as far flung as California and Alaska (where islands were stocked with raccoons from Indiana).

Raccoons are not native to most of Canada, and in fact some tribes in nothern Canada still do not have a name for the raccoon.

There are now raccoon populations in Germany (introduced in 1934) and they are spreading into France and the Netherlands. In 1936, raccoons were released into the former Soviet Union, and commercial trapping began in 1954. By 1964 the number had risen to over 40,000, but due to deep loose snow (which makes winter foraging very difficult) the raccoon seems to only thrive in the Caucus region and Byelorussia.

Most of a raccoon's diet is fruits, berries, nuts and seeds, and they strongly prefer to den near water (average distance 200-400 feet) which is why berry-rich and nut-rich hedgerows near water and corn and soy fields are the most likely location to find them. In the spring diet may be supplemented with birds eggs and hatchlings, and in the fall wounded wildlife may also be an important food source. In late fall acorns are important, and in the summer insects. Crustaceans are prefered all the time. Frogs are rarely eaten (hard to catch?)

Raccoon population densities are very variable and depend almost entirely on food. Densities range from a low of 1-3 per square kilometer for North Dakota and Manitoba to 4-14 per square kiolometer in Texas chaparal, to 15-20 in the tidewater and marshy areas of Virginia. Numbers as high as 30 per square kilometer are reported in some swamps and waterfowl areas (where eggs, nestlings and wounded birds are important food supplements), and on the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri (a marsh), 100 raccoons were removed from a 102 acre tract -- a density level of 250 per square kilometer.

Raccoon home ranges also depend on food density. A typical range is 100 to 250 acres, but they may be as small as five acres to as much as 12,000 acres depending on food availability. Male racoons always have much larger ranges than females, and almost always leave the area they are born in.

Canine distemper and rabies appear to be the big population control dieases for rabies, with distemper capable of wiping out a raccoon population in an area. The spread of rabies was greatly accelerated northward in the eastern U.S. in the 1970s due to several thousand raccoons from Florida being used to restock depleted hunting club lands in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Raccoons often move their young from tree dens to ground dens in the spring, when they are 45-65 days old, perhaps so they will not fall out, and perhaps to encourage them to start foraging on their own.

Raccoon harvest has gone up and down with the price of pelts, fads (for coats and hats) and population densities. The peak raccoon harvest was about 5.2 million pelts a year for the years 1980-83, but pelt prices have plumeted since then, and during the first half of the 1990s, only 1 to 2 million raccoon were trapped a year. Unlike fox and mink, raccoons are never farm raised, as it's simply non economical. Only about 200,000 raccoons a year are harvested in Canada, reflecting their much smaller populations (most are taken in Ontario). The majority of raccoon pelts are exported to Europe, especially West Germany, where they are sheared and dyed and sold as imitation otter, mink or seal.

The colloquial name for the raccoon in Mexico is the "tejon solitaria" which means solitary badger. Columbus called them the "perro tejon" or badger-like dog.

P.


    
This message has been edited by MAD-dogs from IP address 68.86.216.110 on Nov 11, 2003 10:56 AM
This message has been edited by MAD-dogs from IP address 68.86.216.110 on Nov 11, 2003 10:54 AM


 
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216.93.115.74

Raccoons...

November 11 2003, 4:13 PM 

Thanks for the info. Patrick. I'll have to get a book on them. I will put what you've posted to good use. I look for signs all the time. Now I'm trying to figure out when they are most likely to be in holes. I know after a very cold night they are. But how about a cool rainy night? Or a cold night but then it warms up during the day do they usually leave a hole to sleep up in a tree by afternoon? I'm lucky in that I can test out my ideas. I head out about everyday.

Was surprised to see the woodchcuk yesterday. It's warm out today to so maybe they will be out. If I go (it's been pretty rainy) it won't be until later this afternoon for an hour or so (HOPEFULLY).

Also the neighbor mentioned seeing lots of fox in the fields behind his house. The cows are gone now so I may go back there and see what I can find for signs.

One more thing.. he used to run trap lines in the area. Said the town next to our used to have quite a few Badger. That would be interesting to see. Wouldn't want my dogs on one though.

Jean

 
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(Login MAD-dogs)
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65.86.247.66

coon always den

November 11 2003, 4:36 PM 

A raccoon will generally find a den, 365 days a year, to "sleep it off" during daylight hours (they are almost entirely nocturnal).

How many raccoon are in ground holes depends on how many trees and other locations they have for alternative denning sites, as they will use almost anything as a place to doze off during the day -- brush piles, outbuilding, culverts, wood duck nesting boxes, old cars, groundhog holes, old squirrel nests, tire dumps, stumps, barns, beaver dams, hollow logs, attics, tree crotches, etc. If a raccoon can sleep there and stay dry, they probably will.

Raccoons will not move too much in deep snow or crushing cold weather, except for the males that will take "romance" breaks when it's not to bad out in an attempt to find a mate. Whether a raccoon actually hibernates or nor depends on how cold it is -- they clearly do so in the north, but not completely in the mid-Atlantic from what I can gather. A raccoon can enlarge a dirt hole, but is less likely to do too much renovation as they generally move around a lot other than for natal dens.

P.

 
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Sooner
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209.240.205.61

thanks patrick

November 23 2003, 11:48 PM 

Patrick....that was very informative....thanks

 
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24.210.255.76

coon... size and denning

November 27 2003, 8:39 PM 

I can't say I KNOW this but I believe the Big Coon do not "hole-up" in the sense that most terrier hunters would expect. They tend to take advantage of old buildings, storage buildings, barns, Large Trees, etc. Also, just my opinion based on my hound days... the larger coon are mostly above ground because of their size... its easier and quicker to take cover for them.

If anyone wants the bigg'ns... they might better change hunting tactics... maybe do some barn-busting if they live in farm country for starters. JMO....


 
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