Raccoon Wars
The Good Life|September 2020
Sure, they’re so cute, but pooping under the deck?
SUSAN SAMPSON

My war with raccoons sounds like a tall tale that my Uncle Buck used to tell, so imagine I am telling you with a western twang in my voice.

It started with a sewage smell when we used our deck that surrounds the south and west sides of our house. Our septic tank is pumped; I assumed we had negligent neighbors.

But then we caught sight of plump, fuzzy raccoons moving underneath the deck. The space beneath the deck wasn’t large enough for me to crawl in to inspect, so I sprawled on the ground, shined a powerful flashlight under the deck, and used my binoculars.

I was horrified to see a huge pile of poop studded with cherry seeds. My husband installed a critter cam, and in short order, we saw that raccoons were using the space under our deck.

We did whatever any red-blooded American couple would do — we checked online to see if the government would help.

Chelan County and local animal control were clear — they do not deal with wildlife, especially raccoons.

They referred us the State Department of Fish and Wildlife. We did not call. We could imagine a State SWAT team coming in to trap our visitors and to eliminate them with “extreme prejudice” or to relocate them at taxpayer expense.

I don’t know about raccoons, but not all animals can be relocated.

The wild animal that has been most successful in moving into cities, beside the raccoon, is the coyote, but it cannot be relocated.

My friend Rick Kieffer, a retired chief of police, had to look into that for his city, the City of Normandy Park. The issue arose when coyotes started confronting pets on leashes while their owners walked little Fifi or Muffy.

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