June 09-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: June: June 09-05
What's for dinner?    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Ruth Beljan

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 04:58 am:

Today's Pasty Cam visitor was not the least bit camera shy when Ruth Beljan snapped his likeness. He may have been more interested in finding a handout than providing entertainment at that moment, but humor us he has. Raccoons can amuse you with their antics for hours, with that masked little face and those versatile paws they possess. I know there will be plenty of folks who have had a 'not so good' experience with one of these critters, but admit it now….he is a cute little guy! For those of you that would just love to have one for a pet, you'll need to check and see if it's legal to possess a Raccoon as a pet. It is here in the U.P. (and below the bridge too), as long as you buy it from a licensed dealer and buy a permit beforehand.

No permit needed to attend Pasty Fest 2005, in Calumet, on July 2nd. But don't procrastinate too long, since time is getting shorter and shorter. I was surprised when I checked my Pasty Cam Calendar and saw there are only 23 more days to make arrangements to be there. Unlike the raccoon today, you can get your handout of a free pasty, without having to don a mask! Just be one of the first 400 with coupon in hand from the Mining Gazette. Rumor has it, a printable free-pasty-coupon will soon be available also here at Pasty Central. Stay tuned!

By smf in troll land on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 05:12 am:

What a cutie!

By julie b., MI on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 05:49 am:

I must admit that while i used to hold some affection for these little critters, my reaction when i see one out on the bird feeeders now is: "get the 22!"

By Gerry,Mi on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 06:25 am:

Cute picture! What is he/she doing out in the daytime? We bring all our bird feeders in at night to discourage the "bandits".

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 06:39 am:

Great shot!

By Donna on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 06:58 am:

The little visitor I had last year has returned. Time to put away the bird feeders at night.

Also had a fox peeking in yesterday. Gorgeous little critter..no mange.

I thought the fox was a natural predator of raccoons and skunks? Anyone know?

By Troll Steve - Michigan on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 07:31 am:

Raccoons - I caught 39 last year in my live trap and relocated across a large river and 8 miles away. This year 19 caught so far and the summer is just beginning. They are cute but, such a nuisance!!!

By JOHN AND ANNE IN KENTUCKY on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 07:34 am:

We can no longer think of these guys as cute,as they broke into our chicken barn and ate around 60 baby chicks!We would much rather have a pet pasty than a raccoon.

By sur5er on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 07:41 am:

What a cutie. When my daughter was younger, and I was considering moving us to the UP, my daughter excitedly told everyone, "we may move to the UP so I can have a pet racoon". Oh well, better than a pet skunk, eh.

By Larry IN on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 07:55 am:

Hey Troll if you are moving those racoons only 8 miles and across one large river I bet some of them are beating you back home!!!

By Janie, IA. on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 07:56 am:

Cute indeed! But not so cute that they are a rabies carrier.

By danbury on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 08:10 am:

Hey Bandit, where's Smokey?

By llamamama, MI on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 08:20 am:

John and Anne in Kentucky:
My chickens free range with my llamas in the llama pastures. Coop is also in the pasture. Llamas don't take to critters messing with their buddies. Includes coyote and fox. If your set up allows it consider a Guard Llama.

By rob in dc on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 08:43 am:

Red foxes only weigh about 15 pounds on average, making raccoons a little out of their league. I suppose an occasional hungry fox might attack a sick or old 'coon, but they prefer rodents: rabbits, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. Is anything crazy enough to attack a skunk?

By FLYIN da MOONEY on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 08:46 am:

I run an animal shelter and we have seen more possums this year by far than previous. Different cycles I guess. Even tho I live within blocks of a suburban downtown, I have rabbits and one racoon in my backyard. Must be the weather.

By hereibe, mi on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 08:55 am:

Had one of these cute pesky critters up in the tree here this a.m, eating the orioles' orange! Didn't get the shot-gun out YET; but he just better not become too much of a pest.

By Suzanne, Ada Michigan on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 09:13 am:

One of those little critters scared the pants off my husband last week. He went out to find our little 15 pound dog at night and thought he saw him on our deck- went down to pick up what he thought was Scruffy and had the scare of his life...now I'll have to put up the birdfeeder in at night to prevent this from happening again.

By allouezandre@PHX AZ on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 09:20 am:

Watch out for 'coons seen during the day. A few years back the mid-atlantic states had a problem with rabid racoons attacking/biting during the day. Racoons are nocturnal. So if you see one in broad day-light, there might be a problem.

By Ms. Katie on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 09:53 am:

We're always having trouble with 'coons tiping the cement bowls off the pedestals of our birdbaths. Finally gave up and layed the bowl on the ground. Works fine. They only pick on one of them. Of course the kids had "pet" racoons when they were young. One got into the house thru the basement and ran with a huge family-size loaf of bread. It made a "trail" thru house to front door.They're cute but still sassy.

By shelly on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 10:03 am:

When I lived in Florida I worked in the Everglades and we would feed this huge racoon by hand. Now I look back and think how dumb that was! Oh well, you know everything at 18!

By DK, Bootjack, MI on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 10:05 am:

We spotted a weasel-like critter undulating across our lake front in Bootjack yesterday. It was about the size of a big gray squirrel, but longer and thinner, and darker. It was carrying a small creature in its mouth, either its baby or its dinner. What was it?

By Janie, IA. on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 11:01 am:

DK: could it have been a mink? Just a wild guess.

By Roudy Mi on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 11:46 am:

Wild mink, wild racoon, wild fox;I suppose a wild guess is in order.

By Pegg, fla on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 11:53 am:

Had a wood type box turtle lay it's eggs next to my back door the other day. The coons found them despite my two labs and basset hound. Florida is weird. I have seen the most bizarre stuff. Can't wait to get to the Keweenaw out of the stupid humidity for a while. Anyone know the lake temp?

By Janie, IA. on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 11:55 am:

Roudy: never looked at my comment like that! too funny, LOL! :)

By me on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 12:36 pm:

i hate racoons

By Trollette, Lwr MI on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 12:59 pm:

My hubby and b-in-law use to get racoons out of chimneys for people and the mother took off and left the babies. They bottle fed them and my hubby kept one and named him Pookie. As he got bigger he had his very own huge oak tree, a "racoon house" and swimming pool. He was kept on a collar with long chain so he go up and down his tree to sit on his limb. We had him for several years with no problem but, as he got older, we were afraid he'd bite someone especially a child since we were near a school so he brought Pook up to his buddies house who lived in the country. He lived for another 5 years then died in his sleep. But I wouldn't recommend one as a pet. We were young and stupid at the time and oblivious to some dangers of keeping a wild animal. We were lucky now that I think back. Now we have a cat that I SWEAR is Pook come back to haunt us. Same size, same coloring, same attitude.

By DuneRat, Norton Shores on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 01:40 pm:

Pegg,fla --

Check this link for lake temperatures:


Last year N.O.A.A. also had a bunch of great temperature profile information for the Great Lakes, but it's not at the links I bookmarked last year. I'll see if I can hunt it down for you.

By Ann in New Jersey on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 02:34 pm:

To DK in Bootjack - That animal could be a Fisher. I know they have been re-introduced to the UP, and we saw one a few years back at the Hurricane River campground. It was a startling sight. The picture in the Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Mammals is very similar to your description, and they do go abroad during the daytime.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 03:04 pm:

I like the idea of an attack llama. We have a few down here, but mostly emu. They can live like the long horn.

By osama-bin-llama on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 03:11 pm:

I believe that a llama might help keep out raccoons.

By Kathy from Ann Arbor/Cheboygan on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 04:00 pm:

DuneRat, many thanks for the Great Lakes temperatures link. I have a link to various buoys, but the water's of course much colder out there, so they aren't much help when you're downstate trying to decide if you should pack your swimsuit.

Way up the page there was a question about what attacks skunks. I believe Great Hroned Owls will.

By Mr.Bill on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 04:24 pm:

Kathy from ....

I also, have read the the Great Horned will dine on polecats.

By Stewart Keskitalo,D.V.M. on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 05:15 pm:

Raccoons are surely beautiful creatures.
Please do be careful with them as they are carriers of a roundworm that is dangerous both to us as well as our pets.
Raccoons pass black thin looking stools often with colorful seeds in it. They will often set up a latrine in a neighborhood that the whole family uses.
Of course our pets are attracted to this by the odor. And little children can get the stools on their hands without realizing it. The roundworm is dangerous and deadly both to pet or child if ingested. Not all raccoons have it --- more like 2/3 do.
Raccoons carry canine distemper and feline distemper as well as rabies.
I have spayed and treated raccoons as well as had them in my garbage. Enjoy them but do be careful.
As to the legality of having them as a pet, as far as I know it is not legal to have them as a pet. You do need a state license to treat them. I consulted with the vet in my practice who is licensed by the DNR and he is not aware of anyone being able to have them as a pet -- rehabilitate yes but special permission is necessary for an animal known to be carriers of rabies.

Stewart Keskitalo,D.V.M.
New Baltimore Michigan

By joe yooper on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 08:35 pm:

Of course. Wild animals are not allowed as pets.

By FLYIN da MOONEY on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 09:20 pm:

THANK YOU DR. Keskitalo...........people need to know both the legal wranglings and the dangers of keeping wild "pets". Ask a guy who once flew a baby cougar to North Carolina to the state zoo. Have you ever smelled cougar doodoo in a small plane.......???? Consider yourself lucky...LOL

By Coony on Thursday, June 9, 2005 - 10:08 pm:

I have a Llama 12 ga. double shotgun that is very good with the masked bandits. They can ruin a large sweet corn patch in one night.

By Russ E, St. Clair county on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 01:56 am:

We have a trail of many Bluebird/Tree Swallow nest boxes here. Though House Sparrows and Starlings are the greatest scourge to them, nothing can devastate a nest box as quickly and thoroughly as a Racoon. They love to eat the eggs, babys, and even the adults! Predator guards either homemade or bought are effective but the Coons often find ways to bypass or disable them! We also have chickens and ducks and over the years have lost some to Coons. Also to Possums, Skunks, occasionally a hawk. Now we have Coyotes to deal with! I know Coyotes will drive away Foxes and I think also the Racoons.(?)---By far, the greatest losses to our chickens and ducks though has been to the Great Horned Owl! Very silent, determined and efficent killers! We now have several large noisy African Geese which are great "watchdogs". So far, since having them, much less problems. But I understand A Great Horned Owl will even take one of them! Yikes!!

By Beverly, San Jose on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 05:51 am:

He looks like my snugglely soft slippers. :)

By ps, keweenaw on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 10:02 am:

Hey rob in dc - What's crazy enough to attack a skunk? - My dog!!! pewwww

By sur5er on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 05:29 pm:

ps, keweenaw: So how is your doggie smelling? Liquid fabric softner in a bucket of water does the trick if tomato juice isn't available :-) It will also make your doggie waterproof :)

By ps, keweenaw on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 03:43 pm:


I'll have to remember the fabric softener thing, bet it makes them soft.

She smells better now, but twice in 2 weeks is no fun!!

ps, keweenaw

By Copper Queen, UP, MI on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 07:45 pm:

To Sur5er, regarding the comment about the raccoon being better than a pet skunk, I have to say that I have had both, and although I loved the raccoons and their antics, they are much more trouble than a pet skunk. Skunks are the original "American Pet," having been here when Columbus arrived. The domesticated ones have had their scent gland removed, and you'd be hard pressed to find a cuter pal. Ours sleeps with us, under the covers, on cold nights. He is just a love.

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