Coon cans and can’ts

In Louisiana, there are only three animals you can hunt all year round: coyotes, feral hogs and raccoons. For that reason, hunting raccoons isn’t very heavily regulated. That’s because, even though they appear cute on animal shows, in the wild they are a major nuisance and a destructive force to both landowners and homeowners.

Raccoons may be hunted at night throughout the year, but only with a .22 rifle. The hunting of raccoons with dogs is allowed year-round, but the hunter must have the dogs under control and be in possession of a .22 rifle. One rifle per group is allowed.

During trapping season, which runs from mid-November to the end of March, there isn’t any bag limit for hunters of raccoon. Outside of the trapping season, there is a bag limit of two per person — regardless of daytime or nighttime hunting. Hunting of raccoons from boats is prohibited.

Raccoons rarely live more than two years. They will eat almost anything — from birds, eggs, fish and fruit to nuts, insects, snakes and frogs. But given a choice, they apparently would just eat human garbage if there was enough of it. That’s one reason that so many landowners want raccoons hunted or trapped on their property. They consistently turn over trash cans or drag trash out of dumpsters. They also raid any bird feeders or hummingbird feeders they can find, and pilfer gardens and crop fields, leaving major damage.

When trying to access structures, they often uncap chimneys, tear off shingles and can even chew holes through the sides of buildings, including houses.

When prepared correctly, raccoons can be tasty. Jones and his hunting companions don’t eat the raccoons, but they always try and find someone who will put them to good use for supper.

About Kinny Haddox 591 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.