Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Wild Thursday: Coons, corn & peanut butter jelly

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Three young raccoons loped across a side street and into a neighbor's yard near sunset earlier this week.


My first thought was how cute.

Coons have that odd lope, kind of like a cat with a hip issue.

Then yesterday afternoon, I saw how the sweet corn my daughter was growing for 4-H was ravaged.

Now, I know where the young coons were headed. But I can't prove it. For that matter, it is possible that squirrels did the dirty deed.

I'm more than willing to blame the marauders of the backyard, those bushy-tailed bastards. But this looks like more the work of coons.

When I was a kid, I had an Amish neighbor who grew sweet corn as a cash crop. One summer she had an issue one summer with a band of corn-stealing coons. It wasn't just that they stole corn, it was the trashing of the other stalks too.

She asked if I could trap them. Back then, I don't think there was a closed season on them in Pennsylvania, or maybe she had some permission to trap them for crop damage.

So I smeared around peanut butter and jelly, then set traps. I think she gave me $5 or something for each one I caught. And it was easy.

Of course, the neighbors watched what I did, so the next time it happened, they just did the trapping themselves, and I was out some extra summer cash.

Funny the things that come back to you.

And funny the things that stick in my head, like this ridiculous song my kids listened to a few years ago.

I do mean Peanut Butter Jelly Time.

Yes, my mind does float around like that.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 22, 2010 11:15 AM.

Illinois waterfowling: blind draws was the previous entry in this blog.

Man nailed: Reportedly ran over deer with ATV is the next entry in this blog.

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