Libertarian Raccoon Trap

Pine Wood, Ready-Designed Object

Modern Investigation of early 20th Century Living


In a more rural setting than the city of Chicago, it is common practice to either shoot a nuisance animal on site or capture it and relocate it some dizzying distance away from where it was found. Several prudent laws prevent just anyone from capturing a live animal and disposing of it (or worse) in Cook County, IL. It is for this reason that non-professionals are not encouraged to take action; the alternative is to pay a service provider to act on your behalf.

The LRT is the first in a series of works aimed at reminding users of the agency available to them through objects. All solutions in this series are arrived at through a process of design, and are ideally self constructed. In this case the object is a raccoon trap designed to circumvent village ordinances that impede the non-professional’s resolution of a pest problem. The trap will aid users in solving a raccoon infestation without harming the animal or breaking the law.

The trap construction is based loosely on plans depicted in Daniel Beard’s American Handy Book for Boys. The materials used such as a lumber and found objects are more appropriate to the urban environment than those described in the book. The resources Beard calls for are more challenging to procure and in some cases illegal to harvest in a city. Instead joined and planed lumber, hardware store screws, and an outdated VCR replace what might only be found in a public park.

The bottom of the trap is left open. While it may be illegal to transport the animal, nothing prevents the animal from continuing to move on its own accord. With the trap surrounding the animal, it will hinder the pest from re-entry. It should also be noted that if the animal does or cannot move on its own, then it can not be left unattended for more than 24 hours.

In addition to the trap, users may find a Nuisance License, available from your county wildlife biologist, both helpful and informative. Navigating county offices and other Government run offices can be exhausting and unhelpful. Take, for example, this call log that took place over the course of several weeks. Each call required a description of the problem and an insistence to solve the problem without professional services.

ABC Wildlife 847.870.7175
Redirected to the department of Agriculture
Illinois Dept of Agriculture 217.782.6657
US$90 for first visit; US$85 Second Visit/Pick Up
Illinois Animal Control 708.974.6140
Left a message
Illinois Department of Natural Resources 708.974.6140
Left a message, Message returned- missed call
Illinois Animal Control (Second Call)
Given a second number to call
Illinois Department of Natural Resources 217.782.6431
Forwarded to the Department of Conservation
Department of Conservation 312.814.2070
Redirected, though informative. Described three types of Licenses available to residents. Commercial, Non-commercial (One-Time), and Nuisance License
Wildlife Biologist 847.294.4129
Left five messages, never returned call