Reader Input Needed

I trapped a raccon last night.

He and his mate have been sneaking into my barn and trying to get into the winter chicken quarters. Luckily, my father and I are notorious for overbuilding things and they were not able to immediately break in, though they did manage to start working wire staples loose on the door.

I know that I should kill the raccoon.

In the heat of the moment I’d have no problem blowing him away. But once he’s trapped it seems so, well, coldblooded.

I sense my father’s dissapointment. He and my uncle could not understand why I could not shoot the neighbors dog when it went after my poultry. Intellectually I have no problem - I have a moral obligation to protect my livestock, as well as a financial obligation to my family. But, I have to confess, I may be a bit squishy when it comes to doing the actual deed.

I cannot move the raccoon somewhere else - it is illegal to transport raccoons in the state of Virginia (for good reason - the spread of disease between raccoon subpopulations AND I’d simply be exporting my problem to someone else). The animal control people say to just kill it.

I can’t shoot it - I don’t want to ding up the cage and a ricochet at close range might be a possibility - I only shoot at things at a good distance. If I let it out first, I’ll have to shoot at a moving target, which makes me nervous. I like to take my time when preparing to loose a round.

So, given that releasing the animal locally is not an option,

And moving him is not an option,

What should I do with him?

You have until 5:30 to e-mail me. Then I go home, and lacking a better alternative, do him in.

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