Monday, July 6, 2009
Thieves in the Night
If you're a camper, I'll bet that at some point masked bandits have visited your campsite during the night. They come with a specific purpose in mind...to steal your food.
Raccoons have been raiding campsites ever since they figured out how much more convenient it is to get a meal that's ready to go than to hunt the woods for dinner.
I can remember accompanying my daughter's Girl Scout troop on campouts. We were always strictly instructed to hang food high overhead on clotheslines to discourage raccoons. Of course the girls would much rather see the animals come in and feed because they are adorable and fun to watch. The Humane Society of the United States has an interesting fact sheet on raccoons.
Over the weekend, I left a few food items outside on tables. Next morning I discovered a new bag of chips that had been opened and devoured (whole grains apparently are highly desirable). They gobbled asparagus. They feasted on uncooked corn on the cob. One of them even tried to open a jar of peanuts, but the lid simply wouldn't come undone. As I cleaned up the mess, I had to laugh. It didn't take a Sherlock Holmes to identify tons of tiny pawprints.
Next night I purposely left out a big plate of grilled asparagus. The critters came in, politely ate it up, and didn't bother anything else.
I think our raccoons were appreciative of the gesture, in hopes of being invited again!