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Conservation > Living with Wildlife Living with Raccoons

Raccoons, the ring-tailed, masked bandits of the night, are found across Montana. Raccoons can be interesting and compatible neighbors, unless food sources associated with a home or agricultural operation bring them into conflict with people. By limiting access to your home and garden, the damage caused by raccoons can usually be avoided.

Raccoons are intelligent, inquisitive, and excellent climbers and will adapt and take advantage of their surroundings. They will seek out the easiest meal, which could be your garden or pet's food dish. Raccoons eat fish, insects, small mammals, fruit, berries, and corn. They will also eat eggs and birds.

Raccoons are most active at night. You may not see them, but you can identify raccoon activity by their distinctive footprint. The track may be identified in damp ground in the garden. On hard or dry surfaces, sprinkle some flour over the area to verify the footprint.

NOTE: Raccoons are not pets! It is illegal to possess a raccoon. They can carry rabies and other diseases that are harmful to humans and pets.