Introduction: Home-Made Raccoon Bait

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Raccoons are prolific animals that have been known to cause all kinds of problems for landowners and farmers, in that they quickly learn how to get into chicken coops, grain storage areas, cattle feed or fruit crops and can cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage. Typically, trapping these animals is the most effective means of eliminating them from your property, and the good news is that it can be done on a low budget! Cage traps and dog-proof type foot traps can be purchased relatively inexpensively, and bait for these traps can be made on your own with common items you can find in your own pantry or at the local grocery store. This Instructable will show you how!

Before we get started, keep this in mind:Do NOT feed wild animalsjust for the sake of feeding them. This creates unhealthy begging habits, aggression, and other problematic behavior if it did not exist previously. Only use this bait for the purpose of ridding nuisance animals or harvesting fur.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

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There are many types of baits that will attract raccoons, but I will demonstrate how to make a particularly effective variety that I've continually used with success. Because raccoons are curious creatures, they will investigate any new smell in their area and if it smells like something they could eat, they'll further check it out. Raccoons love to eat sweet items and fish, and this type of bait incorporates the odors of both and gives a crunchy, edible texture that will keep them interested in your trap set.

Here is what you'll need:

  • Dog or cat kibble

  • Sweet-flavored rice cakes
    (Caramel or any type of "berry" flavor works great - berry has a stronger odor, too)

  • Fish oil (you can either render your own or buy a basic, un-flavored version from the grocery store)

  • Jar with lid, for mixing your bait

Step 2: Mix It Up

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Fill the jar about halfway with kibble. Then crush the rice cakes into small enough pieces to easily pour into the jar. Shake the jar until you get a relatively even mixture of kibble and cakes. The bait will actually work as it is now, however the next step will add just a touch of extra unique odor that will really grab the critter's attention!

Step 3: Add Something Fishy

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Pour a small amount of fish oil into the mixture, you won't need much (maybe a half-ounce, more or less, it doesn't need to be exact) since the odor can be very strong you don't want to overpower the entire mixture with fish smell. While pure fish does attract raccoons, you'll notice that it can attract even more opossums if you have them in your area. The sweet smell reduces opossum catches and just seems to bring in more raccoon. Ideally, your finished result should smell mostly sweet with a slight odor of fish, and a little meaty aroma from the kibble as well.

Your bait is now finished and ready to catch raccoons!

Step 4: Bait and Catch!

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Your bait can be easily poured from its jar into either a dogproof raccoon trap (make sure these are legal in your area) or into the back of a cage trap. Cage traps are legal just about everywhere and are a good option for trapping around farm buildings or neighborhood backyards.

Bait your trap(s) and check them every 24 hours, as this is required by law. When you catch your raccoon, treat it with respect,do not tease the animal or treat it cruelly. Simply dispatch it humanely, or (if legal) release elsewhere. Keep in mind most states do not allow wildlife to be relocated onto public lands, so it's best to get permission from a private landowner if you choose to relocate your animal.
Always be sure to know your local regulations before partaking in any wildlife trapping activities!


Thank you for reading this tutorial, and feel free to check out Frontier Furs on Facebook to see more examples of my work!

Comments

Blowgun master (author)2016-01-07

Can you make deer bait? Cars are great bait for turkeys.

I haven't made my own deer bait, but I know from experience that corn works well :) Just make sure its legal to bait deer in your state or region before attempting to use any.

Blowgun master (author)2016-01-07

What do I do if I want to eat the raccoon if it has rabies? I'll set it up outside my fort and wait with my blowgun loaded. Do I boil it to kill the rabies?

From what I understand, the rabies virus won't survive in a carcass after 24 hours frozen. So if you have any concern about that, freeze the animal before cooking it, or simply don't eat it at all if it appears severely sick. I've cooked and eaten many healthy-looking raccoons and never gotten ill, so if handled properly the meat will generally be safe to consume.

Bootleg Outdoors (author)2015-11-15

Great instructable, thanks!

ArticAkita (author)2015-09-11

sardines packed in oil will probably work just the oil same with smoked baby oysters if you can't find fish oil baits. I used to trap chicken slaying raccoons back on the farm had used apples for bait & a catch them alive trap. cool instructable!

Lynslee (author)2015-06-18

It is against the law in California to trap raccoons as well as "harvest" their fur!

wannabemadsci (author)Lynslee2015-07-07

In California the law states that you can shoot raccoons.

TrapperEllie (author)Lynslee2015-06-19

That is a strange law! Glad you're aware of it though, many people end up mistakenly breaking their local wildlife regulations without even knowing it. In the majority of states, though, you can legally catch problem animals off your own property, though it's always a good idea to read up on your laws and make sure!

bardbard (author)2015-06-29

great idea how well dose it work

TrapperEllie (author)bardbard2015-06-29

It is definitely one of my more reliable baits I've made, I've caught many raccoons with it this past season. Of course I can't "guarantee" it'll work every single time (all animals and all trapping situations are different) but I've personally had a lot of success with it in my experience. Thanks!

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Bio: I am a trapper, crafter, and creator of the bizarre!
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