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  • The raccoon, like many furbearers, helped to make frontier life more bearable for the early pioneers. One interesting event occurred in Athens County, Ohio, in 1804. The settlers needed a public library, but funds were lacking. Raccoon pelts paid for 51 books that were purchased in Boston and hauled by wagon, flatboat, and pack mule to Athens County.
  • The raccoon is the only mammal with a black-ringed tail and a black mask. It has high-quality, gray-black, grizzled fur.
  • The raccoon is highly inquisitive and generally tolerant of man. However, it can be a fierce fighter when cornered. To capture raccoons, trappers take advantage of the animal's keen sense of smell, natural curiosity, and sense of security in its home territory.
  • The raccoon is abundant in every section of the United States and in the southern half of most Canadian provinces.
  • The raccoon prefers to live in wooded areas, especially areas with plenty of large, hollow trees, suitable for dens. Raccoons also make dens in ground burrows, drainage tile, and old buildings.
  • Raccoons are primarily nocturnal animals but are occasionally seen during daylight hours. This characteristic adds to the challenge for hunters and their dogs as they hunt this clever furbearer.
  • Raccoons are sociable animals that usually den and feed with others. During the cold winter months, they are known to partially hibernate, alone or in small groups, emerging on warm days to feed.
  • The raccoon's diet is diverse. The animal uses its massive, low-crowned molars to crush hard foods, such as nuts and various shelled aquatic animals. The raccoon can hold food in its forepaws while eating.
Raccoon range map
Raccoon Range
Raccoon tracks
Raccoon Tracks

Raccoon Facts

  • Mating: monogamous.
  • Breeding period: late January to early February.
  • Gestation period: 63 days.
  • Birth period: late April to early May.
  • Litters per year: 1. Number of young: 3 to 7 per litter; average 5.
  • Age females can breed: approximately 1 year.
  • Adult weight: 12 to 25 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: 3 to 6 years, on average.
  • Feeding time: generally feed at night; seldom during the day.
  • Movement: seldom range more than one-half to 1 mile from home den; young usually travel several miles from home den in their first year.
  • Typical foods: diet variable; includes nuts, fruits, grains, insects, crayfish, mice, frogs, and bird eggs.