The Brave Huntress Strikes Again! And Again! And Again!

On the way down to the chicken house, to take my girlies some scraps, today, I startle a squirrel, which bounds into the woods, startling me, in return.

Next, a deer leaps from its hiding place near the edge of the woods and races after the squirrel, such rattling of leaves and scrambling of footsteps as I’ve not heard in a while.

As I near the hen-house, which is 2/3 wood shed, I hear more scrambling. What a menagerie around here, today! I hear it again. Hmm. This is not the usual. The hennies are making a different sound, too, one I’ve heard too many times before. They’re saying, “We don’t like the sounds and smells around here, at all.”

I stop my crunching advance and listen. Another small movement comes from under the worm table. (Yeah, worm table. Gotta post about those soon.) I toss a small rock over there to scare whatever it is.

Nothing.

I begin thinking about snakes. We’ve seen a timber rattler around here, before, and it’s been so hot and dry, and there is water inside the chicken house . . .

I realize I am not dressed for actual danger, in a summer dress and flip-flops, so I really need to size up the situation.

Inching along, I peer around a corner and gasp.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor). Français : Raton lave...

Raccoon (Procyon lotor). Français : Raton laveur (Appellé Racoon en Guadeloupe) (Procyon lotor). Author: Darkone, 5. August 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There, in the deep shadows, is the glowing-eyed face of a huge, fat raccoon.

I immediately back up, out of its sight. A cornered raccoon can be deadly, roughly as dangerous as a pit bull. Odd that it just sat there looking at me.

Not wearing decent shoes, and not having my phone with me, I know the best plan is to retreat up to the house and think. Calling my husband, I learn the raccoon probably is caught in a trap, which explains why it did not attack, flee, or even move. Then he explains to me how to unlock our rifle, volunteering to come home early and help me.

I feel I ought to be able to do this, though, and want to try. So I change into jeans and real shoes, get a drink of water for all this heat and exercise, grab the rifle, and return to the chicken house via a different way, around the shop, to approach it from behind. Several branches of briars are in my path and with my nerves about to snap, I pick my way through to where I know my moment of truth awaits me.

I peer into that dark place, again, and sure enough, the raccoon is still there. I aim and squeeze the trigger.

Nothing.

Hmm. I pull out my cell phone to ask my husband a few more questions. Aarrgh! I’ve unknowingly grabbed our son’s rifle. Of  course, it is not loaded. By now my husband seems really eager to come home. But I still think I can do it and I still want to try, so, it’s back up to the house, for me, to exchange rifles and get another drink of water, and then back I go, down to the chicken house.

Since the terrain continues downhill, beyond the building, I choose a different vantage point, this time, one that puts me on a lower elevation and puts the ‘coon more at my level. I’m feeling like quite the predator, now. I aim and this time the satisfying “pop” of success makes me feel lots more intelligent.

Until I realize I’ve missed the critter entirely. Sighs.

I move closer and try again. What! Now the rifle isn’t working, again. Oh, brother!

Thinking it must have had only one bullet, I return to the house and call my husband once more, telling him I give up. He agrees to come home. I drink more water and return to putting the finishing touches on my closet project.

That was enough excitement for nothing, I think, but I do love having the experience!

And my husband says, “I never married you for a hunting buddy, anyway.”

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22 thoughts on “The Brave Huntress Strikes Again! And Again! And Again!

  1. amyleebell says:

    Great story, Katharine! Isn’t it funny how brave we feel when we actually face our fears? Even though sometimes, nothing actually comes of it. It’s just nice to know, that if we’re ever really faced with danger, we’ve got what it takes to get things done. Nice work!

  2. sanstorm says:

    Great story- could visualise the stalk very well. Was quite glad I didn’t have to read about the kill though. I’m glad you missed (though I’m sure your husband got him!)

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Hey, Sanstorm! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I am glad I have no knowledge of the kill, myself! My drive to kill the animal was based mostly upon its pain in its trapped situation.
      I’ve seen far too much of the other kills, though, of raccoons biting heads off chickens (we HAD 12, at one time . . .) and then just having a leg or so for a snack and leaving the rest, and then of the remaining chickens just walking over the corpse as if it wasn’t even there. Too gross. 🙂 Besides, it is theft and agonizing torture of helpless, caged animals on the ‘coon’s part. Just one swift blow on our part. Usually.
      I surely have enjoyed things over at your site, lately! 🙂

  3. Karen says:

    Well, I’m sitting here in the library reading this fantastic hunting story, chuckling out loud but NOT TOO loud, as it IS the library. One lady glances at me but I keep reading and chuckling.
    I can visualize all of this very well. It reminds me of the times I’ve had to kill a snake with a hoe or a weed whacker! I was trembling but I sure did not want that snake after my babies who played outdoors often.
    I am sure your husband felt like quite the hero for you too. They enjoy “protecting” us and taking care of us, don’t they?

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Oh, I am so sorry to disappoint . . .
      I do not know that much about shooting. If everything is not a “go” then I stop. I am willing, but I need more training. The raccoon was out of reach and probably ferocious, so I did not want to try anything except firearms. I do not know how to reload a gun, and the one that holds two bullets had only one in it, so after I missed, I was done. Good thing it was not a matter of my safety or I would have been DONE FOR!
      I might remind someone of Barney Fife. Somebody’s got to do the job.
      However, this incident taught us a couple things:
      1. Our sons are not here anymore to protect me and perform with guns for me.
      2. I really need some training in that department.
      So, we will wait until the heat calms down, so we do not start a forest fire or something, and we will take me out somewhere for shooting practice. Then I will be able to kill a ‘coon. 🙂
      I will do some target practice, someday. 🙂

      • Karen says:

        I am proud of your efforts so be assured of that.
        The first time I shot a gun with my hubby I misunderstood his instructions. It was a shotgun that I was shooting. I forgot to grip it tightly and it kicked real hard. I was scared and nearly tossed it to him, ran to the truck and cried. Have not tried again.

  4. Victoria says:

    What interesting timing you have, to post a story about hunting (even if it is a failed attempt) on a day like today! Nate came home today bearing a gift–an early birthday surprise, a 12-gauge shotgun of my very own. 🙂

    Funny story, though. At least the ‘coon didn’t get a chicken! Those things look so sweet, but can be so horrible, too.

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Oh, Victoria, what a coincidence! And Happy Birthday, early! 🙂
      However, if I had tried a shotgun, I probably would have landed backwards in the briars–which, of course, would have made the story more entertaining, but . . .
      Yes, raccons look beautiful, but the beauty is only skin-deep. Or, as they also say, “Pretty is as pretty does.” I never mind, so much, if a creature needs to eat. The coming back, repeatedly, for just a morsel, and killing every time, is what I try to stop.
      Anyway, thanks for visitiing, and for your comments!

  5. bats0711 says:

    I love how technology creeps into our lives. Pulling out a phone and calling someone. Great post!
    Raccoons creep me out even though they are cute, I just feel like they will turn on me in the blink of an eye.

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Thanks for the compliment, Bats!
      I fantasize about enjoying a tame, immunized raccoon, as a friend of mine once did, but I’m like you about the wild ones, when they’re cornered. If it had not been trapped, I might have been a gonner. One of my chickens certainly would have been.
      Love the new look at your place!

  6. LubbyGirl says:

    This is the very thing that would happen to me! We have all the critters you mentioned here, plus a stray mountain lion here and there. I don’t know about the snakes though. I think that would just put me over the edge, what with my morbid fear of snakes and all. But a GREAT post – really enjoyed it!

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Thanks for this comment, Lubby, and welcome to Home’s Cool! 🙂
      Um . . .
      I didn’t mention chicken hawks. Now THERE’s a nuisance! 😉 They swoop in by daylight and nab a neck, just for a few nibbles on a leg. However, it’s easier to trap them, as they are more easily fooled with using a carcass (from yesterday’s marauding) as a bait. Heh heh. 😆

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