Day Trip and Dead Raccoon Disposal
by Bella Rum
We make an annual trip to get our Christmas ham. It would probably be less expensive to order it or find one in a local store, but it’s a fun trip so we continue to do it. We always eat lunch somewhere along the way and stop by to see my brother and nephew at his business because they aren’t too far off our path. The last watermen were unloading their harvest so I got a couple of pix. I couldn’t get too close. I didn’t want to get in the way.
Yesterday reluctantly gave way to a nice day. It started out cold and spitting rain. I had to do a few things before we left, and we got a later start than I’d hoped. Since it was so miserable outside, we almost scuttled the whole trip in hopes of catching a prettier day next week. We finally decided not to postpone it, and I’m glad. The rain soon stopped, the temperature rose into the fifties and the sun peeked out occasionally; it gradually turned into a pretty nice day for December.
Loading the Truck for Delivery
My nephew was excited that we arrived when we did. He was cooking a hindquarter of venison. The hindquarter is as tender as the tenderloin. He’d sliced it into small steaks and was frying it in the biggest cast iron pan I’ve ever seen in my life. It was about eighteen inches wide and tree or four inches deep. He and my brother occasionally cook for all the guys: drivers, loaders, pickers, shuckers, watermen, and anyone who stops by at the right time.
When he finished cooking the venison steaks, he cooked a few pints of oysters. I cannot tell you how good the venison was. It was the best I ever had. It was better than any beef I’ve ever tasted. It was nice to hang out alone for awhile with my nephew. I usually see him at family gatherings among a cast of thousands. I got to tell him how proud I am of how he and his wife have raised their three girls. Those girls are really something.
H called the county when we got home. They told him that the police would take our dead raccoon away if it was in the street because it could potentially cause harm to the public. If he was on the curb, VDOT would take care of it, but because he was in our yard, it was our problem. They advised us to bag him and take him to the dump. Fine.
My neighbor walked into her garage one night and four sets of eyes were staring at her. She had baby (kits) raccoons in her garage and a mama. She paid hundreds of dollars to get them removed.
Raccoons can carry rabies and canine distemper among other diseases. They are a rabies vector species – can carry rabies without showing symptoms. Very cute, but don’t touch.
After H talked to the county, we grabbed a couple of trash bags and some rubber gloves (left over from our caregiver days) and suited up. We double bagged him. Our plan was to to take him to the dump later today. H called the dump this morning to make sure they would take him, but they said no. They suggested we take him out in the woods and bury him. Um. Where? Exactly where would that be?
We used to own property out in the country, but we sold it. Back in the day, H would have just buried him, but we live in the burbs now on less than a half acre, and I will not dump or bury an animal on property that does not belong to me. Are they crazy? If it were a smaller non-rabies vector animal, I’d just bury it in the small stand of trees in our backyard, but I don’t want to take the chance of other animals digging it up and chewing on it. Good grief.
I was for throwing it on the curb or in the street and calling VDOT or the police to take care of it, but H would not let me. So I called the county again and told them that the dump refused to take it. She sounded surprised and told me that she would have Animal Control call me. A guy called a few minutes later and seemed very surprised that the dump refused to take it. He told us that he could only suggest that we take it to the dump. Okay. We decided that Animal Control outranked the guy at the dump. So that’s what we did. Raccoon detail complete!
Interesting Fact About Raccoons: A series of studies in the mid-to-late-twentieth century show that a raccoon can remember solutions to tasks for up to 3 years. That’s more than I can do.