When an obviously sick raccoon appeared near the house the other day, I couldn't even figure out how to load our shotgun. After having to call our neighbor over to shoot it, I decided I needed to know how to load and shoot the shotgun. John gave me a quick primer, I hit my intended target, and that was it. Until yesterday. Another raccoon appeared, this one not looking sick at all. She was at the compost pile, right by all of our chickens and our back deck. For those of you who don't know, raccoons are notorious chicken killers and egg stealers. After nary a moments thought, I called for Max to bring me the shotgun. I took aim, and sacked my first coon. We did some research to decide if we thought the raccoon might have rabies. Other than being out in the daylight, it showed no other signs of being rabid. Deciding it was safe to preserve the hide, Alex got busy with his new found camp skills. He gutted and skinned the raccoon. We spent the afternoon discussing various aspects of anatomy, hunting vs. killing, etc. while we watched Alex work. And work he did. He's going to tan the hide when we get back from Florida.