Average: 4 (1 vote)

We live in a rural subdivision and every year will have to deal with nuisance critters getting into our garage and eating all the cat food.  It’s quite easy to do because we have a kitty-door in the wall.  Our cats will just sit there passively watching a possum, raccoon, or s skunk eat all their food.  So I use a live trap to make sure these nocturnal visitors pay the cover charge.  And if it happens to be a skunk this process can get difficult.  Here’s how I do it…

live trap raccoon cageNow before the ASPCA folks get their knickers all bunched up, I use a live trap.  I also use the catch-and-release approach.  On the other hand my neighbor down the road uses a live trap but the release part of his process is more like disposal.

TRAPS - It’s really quite simple.  I just bought this live cage trap at the local Rural King farm store and set a bowl of cat food inside.  Once the animal goes in to eat they will step on a spring loaded trip plate which snaps the door shut behind them.  They then finish their meal and are waiting there in the morning for me to take them for a ride.  I’ve never caught an animal that did not go ahead and finish the bowl of food.  There are other types of traps, but I have found this type to work best for my size and variety of unwanted visitors.  I’ve also tried using repellants and things like coyote urine powder but these just wash away and were not that successful… plus they put my own cats into a tizzy.

CAUTIONS - Raccoons are pretty hands-on animal and will try to reach through the cage and wiggle all the catches and levers and handles.  Use caution when you pick up the cage and wear gloves to avoid getting scratched.  Possums will hiss at you and claw at the ground under the cage expecting to dig their way out.   Skunks will obviously do what skunks do to protect themselves so I’ve had to develop a special technique for transporting them and releasing.  Also - do not mix up your trap bowl with the bowl your own pets use.  Keep them separated to avoid transmitting anything.

skunk cageSKUNKS - Whenever I find that a skunk is caught in the cage trap, I give them a little longer time to settle down and don’t try to move them right away.  They appear to be a fragile animal and if the sun is up and they have sat in the cage until noon, they get really tired and lethargic.  Here’s where my special technique comes into play.  I take an old bed sheet and holding it in front of me slowly walk up to the cage.  Basically I am hiding behind the sheet and not startling the skunk.  I then slowly use the sheet to fully cover the whole trap.  The skunk cannot see me (or anything else) so they don’t know what to aim at.  I then carefully pick up the cage and sheet together and wrapping the sheet fully around the cage put it into the back of my pickup.

possumDISPOSAL – Every animal (other than my neighbor’s stupid cat) gets to take a ride in the back of my pickup.  I will drive 2-3 miles out into the county and let them go into the woods.  Raccoons will take off running as soon as the cage opens.  Possums just stroll out like “whatever”.  With the skunks, I keep the whole cage covered with the sheet and open the door.  I then hold the far end of the sheet and slowly pull it until the cage door is visibly open to the skunk which will usually trot right out.  The key is to let them only see the one direction which is the opening straight into the woods.  The second aspect is to have the sheet ready in your hands to do a quick cover in case the skunk decides to spray.  They can spray fairly accurately up to 15 feet or more.  Again, if you’ve left the skunk alone for a longer time they are usually pretty docile and just wander off.  I did have one skunk that would not leave the cage and actually had to almost fling it out…that was nerve racking.

washing handsLast but not least, make sure you do a good job of washing off the cage and yourself as well.  Most of these critters are healthy, but they are known to carry some nasty diseases so use caution and clean up properly afterwards.

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Kids, Cats and the Toilet Paper Roll

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At one point during a party to watch NFL football on TV, one of my over-educated friends pointed out that he had “fixed” the toilet paper roll in our guest bathroom.  Evidently our TP roll was on backwards and (obviously) it should always unroll over the top, etc….  I quickly pointed out that the error of his ways regarding the installation was the simply because he didn’t have any children – or cats.  I’ve already raised my kids and numerous cats along the way too.  Now if your house is like mine, both cats and kids have an uncanny knack for spinning the toilet paper off the roll!

Road Trip Games for the Family

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Most Dads feel obligated to give our kids as much fun as possible every time we take them for long road trips. The point is to keep them fully occupied hopefully guaranteeing us smooth rides without all the whining and crying...and hopefully keeping our sanity as well.  Here are some fun activities and games to consider playing on long (or short) car trips:

Make it a New Year's Date

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GlassesToday it seems like 24 hours is just too short for one day - and forget getting your work done in just 8 hours. That does not include traffic; travel; shopping; taking care of the kids; mowing the yard; making meals; and taking out the trash. No matter how busy we get, there’s no excuse for compromising or giving up our role as fathers and husbands. Speaking about taking out the trash, when’s the last time you took your wife for a special New Year's night out?

Teach Your Kids How to Ride a Wheelie

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

BicycleThis article is going to share with you one of the keys to teaching your kids how to pull a great wheelie on their bicycle. Not one of those quickie almost flipped over, slammed it down, flopping around wheelies that any dufus with a bike can occasionally do by accident. You want them to learn how to ride a controlled and smooth wheelie down the street and around the corner while people stare. A wheelie so good that other guys want to be your kid.

Super Easy Toilet Clog Fix

Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

toilet boy cute babyAs a follow up to a prior article on unclogging drains, I wanted to share this simple method for clearing plugged toilets. Now I’ve taken a lot of crap over the years about this topic, and I wish somebody had just told me about this fix 20 years ago. From a very early age both of my boys have had “issues” using the toilet. One believes there is no such thing as using too much toilet paper, and the other must have a colon shaped like a Pringles can – OMG. And the only thing that has changed over the years is they are now older, bigger, and still being a pain in the commode. Now on to the easiest fix you’ll ever find…

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