So, I'm walking very slowly to the duck coop with a pail of water in my hand --- it's really slippery after our thaw and then freeze again. I notice tracks in the inch of fluffy snow we had last night. I stopped to ponder. "What are those? Cat tracks? Rat tracks?" I started to follow with my eyes where they led to.....I didn't get far. Thank goodness I had stopped where I was. Five feet in front of me was a big fat raccoon!!! .....and it wasn't moving. This is 10:00 in the morning. You usually don't see raccoons in the day that aren't sick. When they don't clear out fast when they see you, it is not a good sign either. I ran back to the house for Rick (my husband) to get the gun.
The thing you worry about with this situation is rabies. The raccoon didn't look sick, but was moving in a half-dazed mode. Rick thought that with the thaw he woke up out of his partial hibernation and was in la-la land, but, you can't take chances with rabies. If you ever find that you have to shoot an animal that you suspect might have rabies, don't shoot them in the head...you don't want to spread rabies.
Critter control.....part of homesteading.