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The raccoon prefers wooded areas near water but may be found close to large cities. It ranges from southern Canada over most of the United States and into South America. In colder northern regions the raccoon sleeps for extended periods during the winter, though it does not actually hibernate. In spring, three to four young are born. After ten or 11 weeks the mother takes them on short outings. The young remain with the mother for up to a year.

Raccoons swim and climb readily. They often live together high in hollow trees or sometimes in rock crevices, stumps, or other animals' burrows. They are mostly nocturnal and omnivorous, feeding on a variety of crayfish, crabs, frogs, fishes, and plant materials. Especially in captivity they may dip their food repeatedly in water, but they do not actually wash their food.

Raccoons are considered pests in some areas and are hunted and trapped extensively for their fur and flesh. In the southeastern United States they are the major transmitters of rabies. The scientific name of the common raccoon is Procyon lotor. The crab-eating raccoon of South America is P. cancrivorus.

From: Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia 1998

Raccoons should have all the fat, inside and out, removed, as well as the glands that are under the legs, along the spine, and in the small of the back. The meat is very dark, long-fibered, and somewhat coarse; it is improved by an hour's parboiling before continuing with a recipe. Young ones, 7 to 8 pounds, can be marinated overnight in 1 tablespoon salt per quart of water. Older ones, up to 13 or 14 pounds, should be marinated for 24 hours.

Jacqueline E. Knight


Indian Stuffed and Baked Raccoon with Apples

Amount	Measure	Ingredient	Preparation Method
1	md	Raccoon	
4	lg	Onions	
4		Strips salted pork	
2	c	Beef stock	
5	lg	Tart apples	
2	tb	Butter	
1	t	Cinnamon	
1	c	Dry bread crumbs	
1	t	Salt	
1/2	ts	Pepper	

  Skin and clean the raccoon.  Wash well and remove most of the fat.
  Place in a large soupp kettle, cover with water and bring to a boil.
  Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  Peel, core and dice the apples into a mixing bowl.  Melt the butter
  in a small saucepan and add the cinnamon, breadcrumbs, salt and
  pepper. Mix real good.  Take the racoon out of the cooking juices and
  cool. Stuff the raccoon and sew up the cavity.  Place the raccoon,
  breast down on the rack of a roasting pan, with the legs folded under
  the body and fastened with a string.  Drape the salt pork over the
  back of the raccoon and fasten with toothpicks.  Place the onions
  beside the raccoon on the rack.
  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes to brown the meat.  Reduce the
  heat to 325 degrees and add the 2 cups of beef stock.  Cook for one
  hours, basting as often as possible.  Transfer to a heated platter
  surrounded by whole onions.

Raccoon Sauce Piquante

Amount	Measure	Ingredient	Preparation Method
5	lb	Raccoon meat, cut 2" cubes	
3	pt	Water, cold	
32	oz	Tomatoes, whole, can	
1	t	Garlic, finely chopped	
6	oz	Tomato sauce	
1/2	c	Celery, finely chopped	
12	oz	Mushrooms + liquid	
1/2	c	Shallots, finely chopped	
4		Onions, white, finely chop	
1/3	c	Bell pepper, finely chopped	
1/4	c	Parsley, finely chopped	
3		Lemon peel, small slivers 
      chile powder to taste	
		Salt & pepper to taste	

  Fry game meat in minimum oil til tender to fork. Usually 20 - 35
  minutes. Remove. Make a roux of 6 Tbsp oil to equal amount flour.
  When deep (not dark) brown, add onion. Cook until transparent but
  don't burn. Add 3 pints cold water and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes,
  tomato sauce, celery, bell pepper, shallots, garlic, mushrooms. Let
  boil about 15 or 16 minutes. Add fried wildgame meat, parsley, lemon
  peel and salt & pepper to taste. Let simmer over low fire for at
  least one hour. Serve over hot rice.

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