Over the years while sharing my life stories on the air, I've made it very clear how I feel about raccoons. I am not a fan. To be honest, they kind of freak me out. I've had a couple of run-ins with raccoons that, I think, have scarred me for life.

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Raccoons in the trees

The first was while I was on a tent camping trip at Turkey Run State Park,  near Rockville, IN. It was a seasonably warm winter, so we decided to go camping because nobody would be at the campground.

We were right about there being no other campers, but we didn't anticipate was the crazy amount of raccoons that perched themselves on the branches of the trees at night. When our dog started barking, we thought there was something in the woods, on the ground.

Shining the flashlights through the trees at ground level, we saw nothing. But, realizing that our dog was looking up as she barked, we slowly shined the lights into the above canopy of branches.

That's when we saw them. There had to have been at least 20, all peering down at us.

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It's like they were waiting for the right time to attack.  Or, maybe just steal our food. But either way, it was scary.

Raccoons try to force their way into the cabin

When my daughter was a little girl, we lived in a lakeside cabin in the woods. It was surrounded by fresh air and beautiful woods. I would often open the windows and let the fresh air in the house.

One day, while cooking dinner, with the windows open, I heard a scraping, scratching sound coming from the bathroom window. So, I went to the bathroom to investigate.

As I approached the window, I saw five raccoons trying to rip the screen out of the window to get into the house. I was terrified. Taking a broom, I beat them off of the window and saw around a dozen more raccoons in the side yard and the trees waiting to get access inside the house.

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I realize, they only wanted the food to be cooking and that the smell of the cooking food was their motivation. This video reminded me of the risks raccoons will take just to get food.

Here is what the family fishing in Gatlinburg, TN, had to say about the little boy, the fish, and the hungry raccoon.

On vacation in Gatlinburg, TN. My wife’s cousin took his 3-year-old son fishing in a creek behind the resort where we were staying. After the little boy reeled in the fish, a raccoon came and stole it.

- Rumble


 


That video reminds me of the raccoons that I encountered. But, I've met people who have befriended baby raccoons and welcomed them into their homes like an outdoor family pet.

Are raccoons dangerous?

Was I just overeating the raccoons that caught me by surprise? I mean, look at the above video, their pet raccoon seems sweet and cuddly as a cat. If you come into contact with a raccoon, even though they are kind of cute, can they be dangerous?

According to bigbluebug.com,

Raccoons can be dangerous to have on your property or in your home; raccoons are common carriers of rabies and other serious diseases that can be passed on to you and your pets. If you or a pet come into contact with a raccoon and are bitten or scratched you should seek immediate medical attention

So, if you come into contact with a raccoon, stay away from it.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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