Recent Wildlife Encounters

With spring comes the return of our animal friends.  While the deer never really left, we are seeing more of them at once.  One night, we counted 12 deer in our yard, nibbling on the bright green clover. 

The wild turkeys are back, and I’m excited to see their babies this year.  I’ll be sure to try to get a picture of them this year, since there were 13 at the beginning of last year and that number got lower every day until there were only 5 left.

I’ve also seen a few red tailed hawks in our yard, but I’m hoping they’ll leave the baby wild turkeys alone this year, or at least that I won’t witness them grabbing one again!

Most importantly, I saw a rabid racoon yesterday.  I spotted it walking in the back yard in the daylight, and my immediate thought was rabies.  It walked right toward the house, wobbling all the way, clearly disoriented.   When it got close, I banged on the window and it didn’t stop or look up, showing no reaction to the sudden noise.  Although it wasn’t foaming, it clearly was sick and I diagnosed it with rabies.  I called Ed and asked him to bring home a gun (from his parents’ house, I don’t like them here) to shoot it, but it left our yard.  It walked up our driveway, crossed the street and went toward the neighbor’s house.   I saw my cousin (who’s also our neighbor) and she said she’d call the animal control officer. 

If you’re not familiar with wild animals, you should know that if you see a nocturnal animal like a racoon in the daylight, it’s probably sick.  You should never try to approach a wild animal, especially if they are letting you get near them.  Wild animals usually avoid people, and if they don’t, that’s a good sign there’s something wrong.  Be sure to call animal control if you do see a sick animal.  They’ll want to test it for rabies.

Finally, tick season is back in our area! If you are outside, make sure to check yourself later for ticks.  I found one last week after we were outside all afternoon planting apple trees.  Be sure to check all over, including in your hair.  That’s where mine was.  And if you can’t find them all yourself, take Brad Paisley’s advice and have someone help you.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Recent Wildlife Encounters

  1. I got into some wood ticks today, and I was pretty sure I got them all off outside before any attached. Then I found one crawling around in the bathroom, so clearly I missed at least one. I second your warning to check hair and scalp — in my experience one of their favorite places to bite is in the hair behind/above the ears.

  2. Hahaha…I love that Brad Paisley song…in a redneck-at-heart kind of way. :)

    And just for the record, in places like state parks and other highly populated “nature” areas, it’s rather normal to see raccoons out in broad daylight, hoping for a handout. It was unnerving the first time I encountered one in the middle of the day (because I immediately thought of rabies), but the park ranger reassured me and said that the raccoons at the park had somewhat adapted to a human schedule (!!).

    So…I wouldn’t IMMEDIATELY think rabies with raccoons, but obviously, yours was sick! And if I ever saw a skunk or opossum wandering around in the middle of the day, I’d head the other way.

  3. Does it count if you just go outside so you have an excuse to be checked for ticks? Lol.

    Just a reminder for everyone to check your pets as well, ticks aren’t any better for them than for us.

  4. ctdaffodil

    Rabid animals really freak me out – our property is next to land trust property and there is water there….so there are animals and next town over they have had 2 rabid animal attacks – one was a fox! I understand being freaked out by a racoon in the day.

    If you want to attact turkeys (the guy at shagbark – local hardware/feed store) told me the lightly sprinkle cracked corn – he also said they will eat up a garden but mostly because they are after the bugs…..as long as they eat ticks – I’ll sprinkle corn!!

  5. Thanks for all the good advice! I imagine there are a lot of women who might like Brad Paisley as their “official tick checker!”

  6. Berry Bird- Whenever I find them in the house I wonder how long they were crawling around on me!

    Kelsey- Thanks for the note. If you’re in an area where animals are used to getting handouts, then they won’t behave like we would expect wild animals to behave.

    Kayla- Do you have to worry about ticks in Italy?

    Jena- Obviously you’re a newlywed. :)

    ctdaffodil- I heard about that fox attack on the news. That was creepy! Fortunately it looked like the man wasn’t hurt badly.

    Mom- I’m telling Dad.

  7. Not that I know of…there’s no grass or trees in the city! But there are HUGE tiger mosquitoes that we all fear.

  8. Wow 12 deer! Out at my parents we always see lots of deer but never that many at once.

    Ticks are the only thing I don’t miss from living in the country. Well and right now wild fires!

  9. I have been watching the slugs make the migration toward the tomatoes (Martin bring me my salt shaker!) and got startled by a garter snake (Think of a manly “Fat Broad” – B.C. Comic strip- and me getting my stick BAM BAM BAM!) I never kill or hurt them though I hate them. They are good for rodent removal and slugs as well!

  10. We have wild turkeys here too. Last year there was one family with twelve little babies. ALL of those babies grew up and are still wandering the neighborhood, nonchalantly stopping traffic. If they all have babies we are going to be inundated.

    We recently went hiking and picked up a truckload of ticks. The only way to kill them if they are still clinging to your clothes is to put them in the dryer on high for an hour. It dehydrates them. The washing machine I found out does not kill them, only the drier.

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