Raccoon Complaints on the Rise in Jacksonville, Florida

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Raccoon complaints have been the subject of several recent news stories in the Jacksonville area.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials would like to explain what the agency can and can't do for homeowners with wildlife troubles.

Normally, nuisance-wildlife complaint calls are first handled by wildlife assistance biologist Eric Dennis, who gathers the information and comes up with solutions that do not adversely affect the animal or public safety.

"Many callers expect the FWC to come out and remove the animal," Dennis said. "But we simply don't have the personnel, training or the resources to be able to do that. It's my job to educate the public as to what can be done."

Dennis explained there is not a public agency tasked with removing wildlife. A list of nuisance trappers is available at MyFWC.com/Wildlife (click on "Wildlife Assistance").

"These trappers do charge for their services," Dennis said.

"Residents can help the situation by removing attractants such as pet food and garbage that could inadvertently draw animals to their property. It's normally best to just leave the animal alone. It should eventually leave," Dennis said.

Not feeding the raccoon is the best advice. Raccoons are very adaptable and opportunistic. If there's a readily available food source, they will remain in the area.

FWC regulations prohibit people from intentionally feeding raccoons. Violators can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail.

Raccoons can be taken year-round by the use of guns, dogs, live traps or snares. They can be released only on the same property where they were trapped, or euthanized. Before discharging a firearm, be sure to check with local law enforcement to ensure a safe, legal means of discharge.

For more information about nuisance wildlife and wildlife assistance, check out MyFWC.com/Wildlife.

 

Comments

hunter25's picture

It seems liek everywhere I go

It seems liek everywhere I go people are seeing eacoons running around, even here where I live there a quite afew of them. But strangely I hardly ever see one and have never had the chance to shoot one. I have always wanted to get a hide tanned but wull have to wait. My dad even killed one years ago that was a complete cinnamon phase color. And on the subject of eating one I'm not that impressed. One of the guys shot one in Texas and we put it on the grill with the pork and venison, I have to day the flavor was fine but it was probably the chewiest and toughest piece of meat I ever tried.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Interesting article, and

Interesting article, and problem they are having down there dealing with the racoons in Jacksonville.  I can imagine that they would be a problem.  They are similar to bears, in the sense that they are scavengers, take advantage of readily accessible foor in garbage cans, and come into the suburbs.  Obviously, bears are more of a concern, because of the danger, but I tell you, racoons can be mighty mean at times. Wink

There is another solution to trapping though.  I remember last year, I think, a show like 60 minutes, or something along those lines.  It was about Detroit, and the high unemployment and poverty that is prevalant there now.  They did one segmant on a man that goes around and hunts racoons in the city limits.  There were so many abandoned properties there, in some cases almost whole blocks, that had become overrun with vegitation and such, and the racoons and other critters moved in.  Anyway, this guy went out and hunted them, and brought them back, and cooked them up.  The neighbors would come over and partake.  Not sure if I would try it, but my Dad tells me he ate racoon growing up.

Anyway, interesting dilemma they have there.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Definitely a general public

 

Definitely a general public communication that is needed as our DOW or DNR cannot handle the workload of removing nuisance wildlife.  It is good that the calls go to one person who can educate the caller in what can be done free of charge to get the animal to move on and keep the individual safe from any possible interaction.

My older brother does this nuisance wildlife removal as a side job.  He happens to make some pretty good money from removing nuisance animals from many city housing areas that are located near parks or larger woodland areas.  Most calls are for raccoon or skunk issues.  Most situations are dealt with using a live trap with the animal being euthanized.  Still not a bad way or providing an additional income. 

Now determining just why the complaints are on the rise is the beginning to the solution.  Nothing here within the article but I can only decipher that conditions are right for more raccoons successfully reproducing and more scenarios with foods being made available.  Elimination to ensure rabbies doesn't spread would be my opinion as the solution rather than relocating within the same property.  A lot of money is spent dropping rabbies vaccine pellets in raccoon infested areas to hold the disease in check.  Maybe another money making possibility for a side job.  Hmmmm?!?!?!