How To Hunt Raccoons At Night?

Coon or raccoon hunting can be dated back to several decades ago, probably related to the time when the early native Americans were still very much around. Speaking of how to hunt raccoons at night, the early native Americans primarily took down coons for the sole purpose of food and pleasure.

As time evolved, coon hunting started diminishing, resulting in the overpopulation of the raccoons. As a result, crop damage went on the increase. The only possible solution to this situation is to hunt down those raccoons.

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Hunting raccoons through the woods at night with a dog ahead of you barking can be a fun experience that many hunters don’t get to partake from.

Raccoons are not too large mammals that all have an evident ringed tail and a black mask over their face. The most popular raccoon hunting technique is carried out with dogs. Hounds are released by hunters at night to scout for raccoons by searching for their scent.

Once raccoon scent is perceived by the dogs, they start barking to alert the hunter, indicating the direction the raccoon is headed. In most cases, the animals are traced by dogs to a tree, where the raccoon is feeding.

Another effective technique of hunting down raccoons is by adopting the use of game calls that are electronically powered. This method of hunting is efficient for daytime coon hunting as you’ll only be needing a small-calibre rifle and an electronic call.

When using a call, the hunter stays undercover in the same location then waits patiently, watching closely for approaching raccoons towards the call.

Hunt Raccoons At Night

When pondering on how to hunt raccoons at night, you must understand that location is as important as anything else. Isn’t that right? Having a perfect clue on where to find them can up your chances of having a bountiful harvest.

Raccoons, just like human beings, are omnivorous. This means that they eat both animal and plant food including snails, corn, nuts, berries e.t.c. If you’ll find a raccoon, it will most likely be in its location of survival.

how to hunt raccoons at night

Usually, raccoons are found among tree branches. They are easily spotted by their reflective eyes. Successful execution of any night hunting method involves first locating the possible den sight of these animals which include: tree hollows, empty old buildings, brush piles, and so on.

Large tree limbs and hallowed trees are very popular locations where raccoons nest and are easy to spot raccoons when hunting either during the day or the night. Locating nest trees on the other hand is quite difficult which will introduce the function of your dogs.

Raccoons being omnivores love to feast on high carb and protein foods so you should focus on stream and pond areas with potential sources of foods like pondweed, crayfish, and so on. You can also check for locations that have a significant amount of swamp thickets or edge habitats.

how to hunt raccoons at night

The Best Time To Hunt Raccoons

Think of how to hunt raccoons at night and you can’t overemphasize the need to carry them out at the right time. If you’re hunting for raccoons at night, you have to take cognizance of the time of the year you’ll be out hunting. Usually, during spring, the animals are hungry, having suffered a rough winter season, they need to snack heavily on some food. The best way to get this done is to set food sites around the place so you can host several raccoons during the night time.

You can as well speak with land or farm owners around you to create hunting opportunities for you by placing nests (containing eggs) at different sites in tree branches as raccoons love eggs.

What about summertime? Raccoons in hot weather will usually gather together at any close by water source to either cool off their body or search for water foods. Winter comes with the snow, limiting the movement of raccoons. Except you’ll be laying traps for the animals, winter doesn’t hold a lot of fate when night hunting for raccoons. When laying traps, be extra careful as it can be lethal for your dogs.

Autumn however is the best season of the year to hunt for raccoons at night as these animals will be getting ready to face next winter, thereby staying out longer at night. If you are looking to drop down a bag of coons, Autumn is the best time to do that.

When Are Raccoons Most Active?

You wouldn’t have known much about how to hunt raccoons at night if you can’t decisively say what time they come out of their den lactations. To answer the question, raccoons will start coming out of their hiding once it starts getting dark.

Raccoons are essentially nocturnal animals. This means that they are mainly active during the night so when going on a hunting trip, ensure to prepare for a couple of hours after sunset. They scavenge for food from potential locations at night. These animals have developed a sense of hearing and sight which helps them navigate at night. To hunt down these animals, you must be extra careful and prepared.

No matter the location on the globe that you find yourself in, the sun is either rising or is getting ready to set. If you’ll bag some raccoons, you must schedule your hunting for the nighttime.

how to hunt raccoons at night

The Right Gear For Hunting Raccoons At Night

When hunting for raccoons at night, taking along the needed equipment is as important as having every other thing that is required to make a successful hunt.

Some time ago, with a loaded 22 rifle and a carbide light, you’re all set to hunt down raccoons all night long. Nowadays, you’ll need more than just a .22 rifle and carbide light to execute night raccoon hunting. Apart from firearms, you’ll need things like a compass, boots, and every other equipment required for a successful night hunt.

The basic types of equipment needed when hunting for coons during the night are;

Knife and Ropes

Knives and ropes are essential types of equipment when talking about how to hunt raccoons at night. The night time may demand that you lay traps for the animals, this you can achieve by cutting down some tree branches, sharpening them, and tying up a few.

A typical hunting knife is a great tool to rely on after harvesting your raccoon from the woods at night. Having a multipurpose tool would also come in handy in a situation where you need to make a quick repair on your pieces of equipment. This way, you are totally in control of the night hunt.

Thick/Warm Clothes

Simplicity is the best sophistication when preparing for a night hunt. Don’t forget to take your warm clothes when watching with the dogs on a hunting trip.

.22 Loaded Rifle

There are different theories on how to hunt raccoons at night using a loaded .22 rifle. The best theory to adopt when seeking to have a successful hunt trip is to go with a bigger objective lens scope (the larger the lens diameter, the crisper the display).

Hunting Lights

Flashlights are needed when hunting at night so you should remember to pack them along when gearing up for night raccoon hunting. When mounting your firearm, you’ll appreciate a LED lamp to help you in sighting nest sites on high trees.

A good hunting light will help you better navigate your path through the tough, cold woods at night. In this case, headlights can easily replace other traditional lighting systems by offering you long-lasting (power saving bulb) use with a lightweight and rechargeable power system thereby, the need to carry about a heavy lamp is no longer needed.

how to hunt raccoons at night


Depending on the season of the year you’ve decided to go for your night hunting trip, you’ll need a waterproof boot to keep your feet warm all night. A versatile and durable boot that can serve the purpose of hunting in and out of season, all through the night.

A quality boot will take you through the vilest of terrains in the woods, keeping your feet from the creeks and attacks from critters.

A GPS Tracker

Racoon hunting today allows you to make use of state-of-the-art technology in place of the time you’ll have to invest in a dog. Let’s say what a dog can do, a GPS tracker can do the same, if not better.

Some advanced radiofrequency units will notify you if your dog is still on the move or has temporarily stopped moving. This device will prove useful during night hunting as you don’t have to mind which way your dog went, so long as you have a tracker on him.

Squalling Call For The Coons

When it’s nighttime, the raccoons seek to maintain their place of hiding. But with a coon squaller that makes a fighting or distressed raccoon sound, these animals can’t resist coming out of their hiding to attend to the call.

Night coon hunting just got better with a device as effective as this because you won’t have to expend all of your energy into manually searching for the raccoon’s den. Just a raspy sound would get them all out.

Whether you are chasing after coons with dogs or you’re making use of an electronic call, or a trap system, successful coon hunting can be recorded in areas where woods and water bodies are not too far apart. Stream corridors surrounded by trees, and generally woody environments are quite promising places to start your night hunting.

how to hunt raccoons at night

The Right Dog To Hunt For Raccoons At Night

Thinking of how to hunt raccoons at night without a clue on the right dog for the job? Read on, this segment will help you out with that. Night hunting is a very sensitive activity to carry out compared to game or desert hunting during the day. You’ll need the right hound for the night hunt.

Below are some types of coonhounds that you should pay attention to when going on your next hunting trip:

  • American Leopard
  • Black and Tan Coonhounds
  • Plotts
  • Redbones
  • Curs and Feists
  • American English Coonhound
  • Blueticks

Whatever your choice of coonhound is, be sure it is well trained to trail the slightest of raccoon scent.


You’ll find raccoons in their numbers just about the hour that the sun starts setting. This is due to their nocturnal nature.

The best time of the year to hunt for raccoons is during the warm seasons. Raccoons will often come out to eat when it’s warm, either day or night.

Yes! Your best chance of harvesting raccoons is at night. 


By now you already understand the details surrounding how to hunt raccoons at night with a high success rate. Raccoons, as you have been made to understand, are animals that are most active at night.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t still hunt for a raccoon during the day. Raccoons can be said to be opportunistic animals that will always take advantage of feeding chances, not minding even if it’s the brightest of days. The raccoon is always hanging around food sources which means you can set your hunting time by setting the feeding site.

The raccoon is also active during warm seasons. This can be of great help when planning to hunt for one at night. Very much unlike other hunting sports, coon hunting can be said to be a special sport that brings to you pleasure and exhilarating experience.

Rabbit, deer, and squirrel hunting may be carried out without needing dogs. But if you’re interested in hunting down a raccoon at night, you’ll need the help of well-trained hounds. Coonhounds have to be specifically trained for trees. This may take you a great deal of effort and time but it’ll pay off one night.

Just any hound breed won’t serve you as desired when it comes to hunting for coons at night. You need to make the right choice of coonhounds to help you navigate when searching for raccoons. It is recommended that you seek advice from a licensed breeder on the quality of hounds to go for on your next hunting trip as each breed has its unique feature and a part to play in your hunting adventure.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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