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11/1/05 – We were shocked last week when Dave mildly commented, “I just saw something I’ve never seen at Sawbill before – a raccoon on the back deck.” Indeed, a raccoon has never been seen in the 49 years that we’ve been here, nor had we heard of one previous to that. Raccoons have been moving steadily northward for the last twenty years or so. They have been seen along Lake Superior’s north shore and near Ely. Our raccoon proved to be small and extremely docile. The leading theory is that he/she hitched a ride to Sawbill stowed away in a vehicle, or was live trapped elsewhere and released here.
After a few nights of emptied bird feeders and violated dumpsters, we invested in a raccoon sized live trap. Alison and I used all our trapping wiles (obtained mostly over the internet) to fool the little guy into capture. We were a little disappointed by how easy it was. He watched us bait the trap with marshmallows (a raccoon favorite) and was caught almost before we got back in the house. Following our internet advice, we delivered the masked marauder more than ten miles away and released her/him near a stream. – Bill
Rocky looks at us reproachfully after paying the price for his stale marshmallow cravings.
Rocky ambles to freedom at an undisclosed location within the Superior National Forest.