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Attacked by rabid raccoon this morning
Western PA early doe season. Definitely not the way I wanted to start off the season.
5:30 AM. I walked into the woods and heard something up in a tree about 10 yards away making a strange noise. As I went by I heard it growl, and figured it was a raccoon. I've heard them before when they are fighting. I was about 70 yards past that tree when I heard something behind me. I turned around and a raccoon is walking straight at me, about 20 yards away. I yelled at it. It stopped momentarily, then growled LOUD and charged me. I knew immediately it was rabid. I figured I couuld probably kill it with an arrow, but in the process I was probably going to get bitten and take a trip to the ER.
I decided to run. Running with 50 pounds of gear is not easy. And raccoons are faster than you think. I had to run back into the woods, away from my truck. I ran about 80 yards and stopped. I could hear it following me. I decided to start making a big loop to get back to my truck. A few times along the way I had to stop to catch my breath, and it was still following me. I finally got back to my truck, after running 400 yards with gear. I quickly threw my gear in the back seat, jumped in, and pointed the headlights down the dirt road.
30 SECONDS later here he comes!! Are you kidding me? I let him get to about 20 feet and tried to run him over with the truck. As I went by he was growing and barking LOUD (friggin' thing was probably biting the tire as I went by). Missed him. Ran at him 2 more times and missed. Finally he ran away.
Someday this will all seem funny, but at the time I was scared out of my mind. Then I was thinking, what if it had been a coyote, and I had my 9-year old with me. He'd never go in the woods again. Sounds crazy but I am going to be carrying bear spray from now on.
I called the local police, and they are getting the game warden involved. They said they never heard of a raccoon acting that way. There are houses right near there, and if they have children they should not be outside.
Needless to say I am going to another spot this afternoon.
well, that is an awesome story. crazy!
I had one do the same thing in the middle of the prairie while antelope hunting a few years ago. I put a broadhead through him at about 10 feet as he ran at me.
Not sure why you thought you couldn't kill it with an arrow and would have gotten bitten.
Would have been good to kill it but sometimes things get hectic. The highest instance of rabies around here is skunks, any aggressive one should be hammered if possible.
Be sure to run the truck through the car wash!
A similar thing happened to me a few months ago with a woodchuck. It was in my aunts backyard so I went home and got a 22. It took 9 rounds to put it down and it was coming at me while I was shooting it. I dug an extra deep hole that day.
I had a racoon do that to me a couple years ago while spring turkey hunting with my bow. I turned him into a coonkabob!
That story, though probably not so funny at the time, had me ROFLMAO! When you wrote "Are you kidding me?" I spit coffee all over my screen. Sounded like describing a scene from the VERMINATOR. Thanks for sharing...I could definitely see that happening to me.
That's a heck of a story and I'm glad you avoided hand to paw combat. 400 yards is a pretty fair chase and I suspect in the same situation I would have to go back and find some gear I ejected.
Thanks for sharing I guess I spend a lot of time in the woods behind the house with my two small grandkids and we have no shortage of raccoons, I guess it's time to consider carrying the single six in 22 mag along.
I don't care much for racoons, they're the devil's spawn. The last one that threatened me found the business end of my arrow between his eyes.. Their skull plate must be fairly tough though, this montec stopped at the frontal lobe.
Had one chase me back to the truck one night as well...Ended up jumping into the back of the pickup and crawling through the door as he circled my pickup. Turned the lights on and ran over him, then backed over him again. I shoot every one I see on sight...Vermin...nasty vermin.
That was not very smart not to kill it. That is a huge human health and safety issue. Some people......
Good thing you aren't an elephant...I'd hate to see what a mouse would have done to you...:)
Had a badger attack me once while set up in the brush calling coyotes in the winter that SOB was growling and coming fast and furious first shot to the chest with 12 ga. 00buck just made him madder second at about 10 ft stopped him. Definately scary at the time funny as heck now.
VERMINATOR, LOL, that is way too funny! Glad you are okay, but next time, just shoot the bloody thing. Still, I'd have liked to see that sight of you running away from the rabid raccoon.
Why do need a 50 lb pack to hunt does?
Scary stuff for sure, and a smart move to avoid contact. Its a normal reaction to assume that it was rabid, and while its certainly possible, that isn't necessarily the case. Coons can be very nasty in the dark, especially mature males.
If this happens to anyone else and a bite does occur, do everything you can to kill the animal, and keep the head intact for immediate testing. If the test is negative, you won't have to undergo treatment for rabies. Without the brain, theres no way to know weather the coon was rabid and you'll have to be treated.
For those who kill them and dispose of them, rubber gloves are a very good idea. Saliva in an open wound can transmit rabies even if the coon is dead.
Buddy had the same thing happen to him in Texas about a dozen years ago. Different result, though. It was at night and he had stuck a doe before sunset. The doe had run into a steep, thickly wooded canyon and he followed along with a couple of other guys who were sharing a camp with him at the time. My friend was holding a lantern when he heard something coming through the tall grass. That something turned out to be a very large raccoon. He held the lantern up to see better and pondered why the coon showed no apparent fear of him. About that time the coon pounced and attacked his leg, tearing his pants open and generally wreaking hell upon the area around his knee. My friend swatted the coon away with his lantern and managed to run back to the jeep, several hundred yards away. The other guys had heard the yelling a commotion and they all met back at the same time. Obviously, the issue of rabies was the main source of concern, although they did not have the coon nor did they have a gun or bow with which to dispatch the animal. The coon solved that problem in very short order. When they started the jeep and the headlights swung through the canyon, there he was - running at the vehicle. In short, they ran the coon over with the jeep and finished the job with a tire iron before wrapping it in a feed sack and delivering it to the hospital along with my buddy. Several days later the coon tested positive for rabies and my friend began a very serious and painful series of shots and treatments. If the disease manifested, it would have been impossible to treat. Rabies is 100% fatal at that stage.
The funny aspect of the story relates to the day my buddy received his first series of shots. Because he was already forced to leave the office, he elected to schedule a dental appointed on the same date to have a cavity filled. After the dental appointment, during which time his mouth was shot full of novocaine, he stopped by the pharmacy to have one of the anti-rabies medications filled. The pharmacist gave him a strange look, however, which prompted my buddy to glance in the mirror. His lip was sagging a healthy trickle of drool was running down the front of his shirt.
Now that is funny. At least he looked the part!
You would have reduced your risk of a bad outcome by shooting it but this way it was more of an adventure to be sure
Funny story, and something to stay aware of for sure. But... I think I would have killed it.
wild1 has created the unicoon...
TXHunter, that's the funniest thing I've read in a long time..........I love BSrs!
I own a pest control business, and I had a client call me earier this mid spring that was being chased into his home regularly by a raccoon, and he lives in town. I told him it had to be rabid or distempered. I don't do animal control, so never knew the outcome. Fur prices are terrible, no trappers/hunters, and they are over populated and get diseased.
Lots of people cant understand why he didn't shoot it.
I dont know, i probably would have ran also or took a quick look around for a club of some type to fend him off with. He said this happened at 5:30 AM. (dark)Would be pretty hard to try to hold a light, nock a arrow, draw your bow and aim at a moving critter the size of a coon in the dark.
I'm to lazy to run that far so i probably would have gave it my best field goal kicker impersonation and hoped for the best...LOL
Glad your ok!
My cur pup and I encountered a drunken, brazen acting coon on a hiking trip through the GW national forest a few years ago. Emmet killed the coon before I could shoot it. I bagged it and we took it back for testing. A few days after keeping the dog in quarantine, the test came back negative for rabies. Our camping weekend was ruined but I'm sure glad we were able to remove the offending critter.
I know it is hindsight but I have to say, I've never been bitten by something I shot with my bow. Besides, a protruding arrow makes for a fine specimen handle. ;)
Had a red fox follow me right up to my truck. I yelled, hucked rocks and he just kept coming, so I started leaving! Tried to run him over but missed. I figured he had mange cuz his fur was mostly gone and he seemed mostly blind. He didn't growl or act too agressive but he sure creeped me out!
My hunting buddy got to his 20 foot ladder stand before daylight, tied his bow to a pull up rope and started up the ladder, he had a small cap light on and as he stuck his head above the platform he found himself face to face with a largr coon. He said he was so startled he almost fell off of the stand backwards. he went back down to the ground and banged on the side of the stand and the coon climbed higher up the tree and spend all morning sitting in a fork 10 feet above the stand. he went ahead and hunted out of the stand that morning but spent more time looking up to check on the coon than watching for deer. no deer were seen that morning.
A racoon charged me about 6 years ago as I was walking into my stand one morning. I got to the stand but it followed me snapping and growling. Once it was light enough to see through my peep he received a lethal dose of Thunderhead.
4 years ago during the fall turkey season I had a similar experience. A group of us had hunted that morning and I shot a decent gobbler, long story short we went back to the cabin for lunch and to clean the bird, and there was a skunk near the skinning shed. At 11:45 a.m. It kinda wandered off, and this 12 year old kid, Jake that I had taken turkey hunting wanted to try and shoot it. I told him something wasn't right with it, obviously with its day time activity. With shotguns in hand, we snuck in the direction the skunk went.
After ten minutes not finding it, we went back to eat lunch. Twenty minutes later I went out to my truck and opened the driver side door, and saw my girlfriend had left the passenger side door open. I looked through the truck towards the woods and the freakin skunk is rushing towards me under the truck!!
I grabbed my girlfriends youth 870 20 gauge and jumped on top of the truck and slammed some shells into the chamber! The skunk ran from under the truck on my side and I started unloading on it....my friends are in the cabin, eating a nice turkey sandwich, and then it sounds like I'm under attack at my truck! They come out and I have one foot on the hood, one foot on the roof of my ford with a youth 20 gauge, trying to reload! Glad my girlfriend left that passenger door open...
Crazy story, but be grateful, it could have been a rabid skunk.
Glad it worked out for you. We had a terrible problem with raccoon overpopulation in the 80's and I had one chase me around a small urban yard once. They don't move fast but they do keep coming. I had to use a .22 pistol to put an end to the chase and I didn't care what thee neighbors thought. A rabies epidemic killed them off and they have never come back to anywhere near those numbers.
I don't feel so bad killing 14 of them out of my bedroom window some time back. Of course my wife won't let me forget the .22 skidmark and the muzzle flash burn across her comforter, the bullet hole on the inside of the vinyl window frame (line of sight vs barrel height lessons are expensive...) nor the window (that was normaly open during the summer) disintegrating as I pulled up and quickly shot at a crossing target. My screen had lots of holes in it that year....I hate coons too.
Bill in MI
50 bucks says your wife had something to do with it. i'll bet your life insurance was paid up the day before too. hehe
Had the same thing happen to me with a Ground hog. Was grouse hunting and had a Ground hog make a run right at me. At first I did not think much about it but as it was closing the distance fast I started to think that the situation was going to get pretty interesting and fast. At first I thought I was between him and his hole but as dodged out of the way like an NFL running back I soon discovered that he was not interested finding his hole ... he wanted ME.
His second run ended around 5 feet in front of me with round 3" / 8.5's in the forehead.
I literally had about 0.5 seconds to decide what to do. This thing was on a mission to kill me. I probably could have beat it with a climbing stick, but in order to do that it would basically be at my feet. I figured at some point it was going to at least scratch me, so I felt the best way to avoid an altercation was to leave. I never imagined it would follow me that far.
In the daylight I definitely would have tried to shoot it. In the dark, you have to turn your headlamp just perfectly to the side when you draw, not easy to do.
Bear spray should be here in a few days.
Practice with that UDAP spray before you employ it on an animal. A face wind, or even just subtly swirling winds, can result in serious pain for you.
I had one chasing me when I took out the garbage at night. It was just after foods....then I knew of it being around... How did u tell it was rabided? And chased u all around that long, why?
I can usually tell which animals are rabid by the signs they carry: "WARNING!!!! I AM RABIDED, (and have trouble with my spelling)"
Glad it turned out well for you I'd have used the same escape strategy, however I would also have used the additional tactic of screaming like a small child.
quite possibly rabid, but can't say for sure without a lab test....good move staying away
I understand the chase, having been chased by a swarm of bees on three times. We have 5 hives and one year this certain hive had a bad attitude. They were bees from hell. The first two times were very minor compared with the third.
I was mowing in the are but not close. They swarmed and chased me. I teed to outrun them on the tractor. No way. I ran and ran. Went into the lake and u derwater, no good. Went into the barn, no good. Went farther away, no good. Went back underwater, still mo good. When I came up, they were waiting. Finally, went into a storage building and just fought with the few who came in with me.
I was stung about 50 times and was exhausted from the running. My hands were black and blue from swatting myself all the while running. Since this was the third time, that night when the devils were back in the hive resting, I gave them a nice dose of insecticide. The next day, I removed and burned their hive and combs. Did not want any surviviors breeding with the other friendly bees.
Since then, our bees have all been docile like before.
Never did learn what caused the problem, but probably not rabid bees!
Glad you are OK Sounds hairy (pardon the pun) Daughter was dog bitten a few years ago and had to get the shots. Not as painful as once was, they give em to you in your arms now. However, 1st vacination was ....$2000 Thats right $2000 I thought when I got they bill it was a typo I called the hospital and they said its a rare vaccine? Where do they have to go get it...the moon?
Funny story but it's not when it happens to you. About 10 years ago I had gotten up in my ladder stand early in the morning. As soon as I got settled in I started hearing this growling sound above me. I thought it was a coon but wasn't sure. As it started to get light I could see sim in the top of the tree behind me. Since he wasn't in my tree I wasn't too worried until he started to come down and when he hit a branch that came within about 2 feet of me he decided to come towards me all the time growling and popping his teeth. Since it was such tight quarters I couldn't shoot him so I took my arrow and tried to jab him. Well that really pissed him off and he then ran back to the top of the tree and sat there and growled at me for the next 2 hours. When he finally decided to come back down he backed down all the way looking at me and then when got past the limb and from there he just about fell out of the tree. I was ready to put an arrow in him when he hit the ground but he must have sensed it because I never had a chance since he took off so fast when his feet hit the ground. Needless to say I didn't see any deer that morning.
"How did u tell it was rabided? And chased u all around that long, why?"
I think you answered your own question?
I've chased a lot of coons, chucks and badgers but never been chased by one. Especially a raging, rapid, rabid raccoon nor a zombie-fox like Moosenelson.
Crack me up! You guys are lucky to be alive! :)
Sorry man, but that was FUNNY! I wonder what will be on your mind the next time you hunt that spot?
2 years ago I went to pick-up my little john boat at our duck lease a few weeks after season. It was sitting upside down under a willow tree. My 4 year old son was out of the truck with me. I flipped the boar over and this Racoon came boiling out from under it. It made a big circle towards the water and into the Willow tree. It paused for a moment, then started growling and came right at me on a run. I gave him 2 with my .40 cal Glock I had in my waste band. 1st one hit him in the back, the second one in the head. He was about 2 feet away when he fell. I was pissed and gave him one more for good measure.
Needless to say my son was scared to death, but he got over it pretty quick and went over and poked the Coon a few times with a stick. He was all smiles when he told Momma the story that night. His 1 year old sister slept through the entire thing in her car seat.
An unforgettable hunt to say the least
I know it wasn't funny, but dam i cant stop laughing
I too hate coons, I like the 'devils spawn' comment. I had two come down a tree right next to me years ago right at dusk. They spotted me and one decided to get brave and started moving out on a branch about 5 feet above me growling and popping. I shot him straight between the eyes, he almost hit me on the way down! The other one didnt hang around. Another reson I carry a .22 pistol in my pack.