Raccoon Behavior: Understanding Their Natural Tendencies

raccoon in den tree

No matter if you are trapping, or hunting raccoon with hounds, understanding their behavior and natural tendencies will make you more effective in your respective pursuit.

The average raccoon is 32 inches long, nose to tail, and weighs between 10 and 25 pounds. Your average raccoon weighs 15 pounds but they can reach up to 40 pounds.

Where Do Raccoons Live

Raccoon, known as coon in most parts of the country, make their home in hollow trees, rocky ledges, and even abandoned groundhog dens.

You will often find families of raccoon residing in abandoned farm buildings. Raccoons are social with each other and as long as there is enough food and space, they can achieve high population numbers in relatively small areas.

It is not uncommon to find as many as five adult raccoons in one den.

Raccoon can be found living in varied terrain, everywhere from farm country, wetlands, to the mountains.

Raccoon Behavior

Raccoon are agile tree climbers thanks to their strong clawed paws and long legs. Raccoon can reach nearly any height as long as there is something to grab on to.

Raccoon semi-hibernate during the winter making the best time to trap them during the fall and early winter months. When a raccoon wakes from their winter hibernation their fur is of little no value so trapping during this period is pointless unless removing nuisance raccoon.

Raccoon are also adept swimmers and will happily paddle around in search of food.

Raccoon share a habitat with mink, who they compete with for food and will fight over resources. Because of this, where raccoon populations are high mink populations are low.

Raccoon will travel great distances in search of food.

Raccoon Diet

Raccoon don’t discriminate when eating, and will eat just about anything when hungry. They prefer a diet of crayfish, frogs, turtles, berries and other fruits though.

When found near farmland, coon will feast on corn and can cause serious damage to an entire crop.

When these foods are not available, raccoon will resort to scavenging, including eating carrion and raiding chicken coops and bird nests for eggs.

When living near water, raccoon can be found washing their food before eating it.

Human Interaction

Raccoon will generally run at the sight of a human but they have no issue living in the same area as people. Raccoon populations can flourish in towns and even cities. When living among humans, raccoon are known for scavenging for food in yards and garbage cans.

Raccoon Mating Tendencies

Mating season for raccoon generally falls between January and the beginning of February. Litters are born in April through May.

Male, bucks, raccoon are prime for mating in early fall while females are prime from fall through early winter.

Baby raccoon are called kittens and they are born blind and completely dependent on their mothers for survival.

They nurse for a few weeks and quickly turn to solid food. Baby raccoon grow rapidly and remain with their mother until late fall.


Raccoon signs are easy to identify as they leave very distinct tracks. Their hind foot is three to five inches long and some think looks similar to a baby’s foot. You can locate raccoon nearly everywhere in the US and focusing in your trapping on their habitat will allow you to increase your trapping harvest.

Check out these articles for more raccoon trapping tips

Written by Fred

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