Last night I heard the trap snap and rattle around 1:30 a.m., and I got up to investigate. I was surprised to hear the trap go off, as I didn't have any bait in it. The night before I'd put cherry pie filling on the pressure plate, but the raccoons managed to eat the cherries off the plate without setting off the trap.
Last night my trapping plans were put on hold by an escaped Doodle the rooster and the stupid chicken. Unlike the other hens, the stupid chicken won't let me get near her, let alone pick her up, and she has a habit of not being able to figure out how to go in the door of the chicken pen. Doodle isn't tame either, plus he's something of a sneak. Doodle scooted out in the morning while I was feeding the flock, and the stupid chicken scooted out yesterday afternoon as I was trying to lure Doodle back into the pen with blueberries.
So eventually, I got both chickens back into the pen, but at this point I was nearly late for an evening meeting. The meeting ran very long, and by the time I got home I decided not to take the time to bait the trap for the raccoons. Apparently, raccoons prefer no bait in the trap. More likely, I suspect some scent of cherries remained or perhaps a smidgeon on the plate itself and the investigation of where the cherries were led to this bandit's capture.
A second raccoon also haunts my chicken pen, and that one remained in the area even after this one was caught. I know that because the railroad ties I've placed against the bottom edge of the chicken pen were shifted or rolled when I got up this morning, and they were still in place after I discovered bandit #1 in the trap.
So progress has been made, and I'm hoping bandit #2 will soon be joining his friend elsewhere. I'm hoping that capture doesn't take long. I'm more than ready to return to sleeping through the night without being awakened by a raccoon attack.