I’m sitting at my computer around 2300 doing some work when a message comes in from my wife

“I hear something outside”

This is as meaningful as just about all of her urgent messages. It could have been anything from a car revving its engine to an intruder trying to break in.

“What do you hear?”

“Like an animal rustling”

Ok. This is could be a real threat. It could be anything from a squirrel up to a bear. It could be trying to get at the chickens or the feed. Or it could be a big cat. Worse, it could be a two legged intruder.

I stand up and grab the Winchester ’94 the not weapon weapons light and head to the porch. A quick scan from inside the house shows no movement.

I step out the door and immediately hear something scampering into the mess that lives on the porch. The rifle comes up and I’m looking for the criter.

I poke here and there and I hear it again. It moves to the corner of the porch where the screen is damaged and it can get out. It is a racoon.

“It is a racoon. Do you want it dead?”


There is a three minute discussion before she decides that yes, it should be a dead racoon. Stupid critter hasn’t moved.

“It is going to be loud.”


I pull back the hammer, line up a clean shot. From where I am there is nothing behind the critter for 200 yards at least. The rifle is pointing down so the entire ground is the backstop. If I were to miss the round would go another 10 yards max before it was in the dirt.

Yes, the gun is loaded.
Yes, I want to destroy what I’m pointing at.
I have identified my target and what is beyond it.
Booger hook to the bang stick, and I press the trigger backwards.

There is a very loud bang and the racoon is gone.

Did I miss? I move it off the porch and around the corner. I can see where it went through the tear in the screen. No sounds, no blood trail. Shit, Shit, Shit.

Still looking. Then I spot it. It is dead dead dead. That 30-30 Winchester had pushed that damn critter off the porch. It was dead before it hit the ground.

Good timing, I go put stuff away. My daughter is the one that deals with dead animals. She collects pelts and bones and such. And she has people that buy them from her.

She is pounding down the stairs and shows up ready to go investigate. We head outside.

I move around and shine my light on the racoon.

“is it dead?”

Looking at the pile of fur and bones and looking to see if it is moving. No movement. No change in position since I checked 3 minutes ago.

“It is dead.”

“It just MOVED!”

“It is dead, it didn’t move.”

“Its looking at me!”

I look at her and where she is looking. Following her line of sight there is a second racoon . She can’t see the dead one, it is blocked from her sight by a plant. She can see a very live and very big racoon.

“There’s another racoon out here! Do you want it dead too?”


Child and I go inside where we go have a conference with wife.

“Do you want it dead?”

It takes wife another 5 minutes to work out if she wants it dead or not. In the end she says “Yes, I want it dead.”

Well the position of that racoon means that I have a backstop but not as good. It is the foundation of the house. I do NOT want to punch a 30-30 through a racoon and into the foundation. It will cause damage. I decide to drop down to a .22LR

So I grab the .22 bolt action then spend a couple of long minutes searching for the magazine. I know it is right here on my desk…. Find it and put it into the rifle.

Daughter and I head back out. I’m hoping the second racoon has left. Nope he’s still there staring at us with his beady little black eyes.

I again confirm with wife that she wants it dead. Line up the shot and press the trigger.

Nice clean break and the critter take the shot.



It starts to move along the foundation so I move to the corner of the house. Line up the second shot. It is definatently wounded. I can see it is limping. I line up the shot and press the trigger. Another good hit.

It scrambles along the foundation and cuts across the yard to the shed. Daughter and I are following.

“It doesn’t look bad. I hate .22”

“It’s bleeding.”

“huh?” I am such a smart dude. “I don’t see any blood”.

“There is a huge blood trail here.”

I go back and sure enough there is a big arse blood trail. I hear the ‘coon scampering so I turn back to follow him. He’s on the wood pile. I line up one more time and press the trigger.

It goes into death throws instantly and shortly after it stops moving.


There is a huge difference in the stopping power of 30-30 v. .22lr.

Racoon are harder to kill then they look. It take better shot placement for a quick one shot kill than I delivered.

The o-light worked great as a hand held weapons light

The .22 left a lot more blood.

This should take care of the critter problem we’ve been having recently.

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By awa

5 thoughts on “Things that go bump in the night”
    1. .357 Mag lever action is on the to get list. Unfortunately the only ones I’ve seen are Rossi and I’ve not liked the sights.

      Still looking.

  1. Not sure how raccoons compare to our jack rabbits in terms of toughness. Never had a problem with one shot bunny kills with a .22 lr. I did shoot a jack once with a .223 Rem bolt action, pretty much evaporated him.

    1. They are much tougher than rabbits. I did a little research after the fact. You have to get good shot placement to take them out with a .22lr quickly with one shot. This is as much a shot placement issue as anything else. My first shot was intended to be a lung/heart shot. I got the shoulder bone instead. My second shot was suppose to be a headshot. Racoons are known for bouncing .22lr off their skulls. My third shot was to the base of the skull through the spine and did the job.

      I’ve had time to look over the entry wounds and yeah, I hit where I just described. In retrospect I think the first shot could have been placed just a little higher and it would have done the trick.

      Regardless, the end result was dead critter and it would have died from that first shot. I am just not willing to let an animal suffer so that lead to follow up shots.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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