we are residential. my backyard neighbor has a trap he's been using for the friendly skunks that we have but I don't know if it is big enough for coons. I haven't had a problem with them eating the corn in the past, HOWEVER... when I planted the corn seeds they kept digging them up and eating them. so I wonder if they'll remember and come back for more. after planting the corn twice I gave up. now I have a bunch of rows missing stalks
actually, prior to this year I hadn't seen coon evidence for about 2 or years at all. but this year they've been eating chickens and getting into trouble.
1) The traps come in several different sizes. I'm *almost* an expert on the sizes b/c Cat #2 kept escaping when we first rescued her, but she wouldn't come back into the house, even for food. (She's probably the least intelligent--all right, the dumbest--cat I've ever had, and that's saying something; I've had over 20 of 'em.)
I went to the hardware store to buy a trap. The assistant thought I wanted to trap raccoons when I asked for a "live trap," and handed me down a HUGE box. "Ah, she's a pretty small cat, maybe 8 or 9 pounds," I said. He got the smallest trap down. Maybe an underfed chipmunk could've fit into it...
I was feeling kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: "Too big, too small." Then, with the third trap, we hit pay dirt! I could probably catch small to medium raccoons in it, and any cat at all, even the biggest Maine Coon I've ever seen (28 lb). "Just right."
2) Re. raccoons:
Terribly smart. God-awfully smart. Not only will they remember, but they'll tell their friends, relatives, and countrymen all about where you've planted corn this year and how good it is. We had an avocado tree in Berkeley. Every now and then, the tree produced edible avocadoes. I couldn't dissuade the raccoons--and there were hordes of them, sometimes five or six at once--with a broom or a large stick. It took the hose and the power nozzle, cinched down to the "single stream" setting, and some very...ah...tricky and pinpoint aim on tender parts of the raccoons' anatomy to motivate them to leave. (And I'm not talking about their nose or eyes, either.
Two gardening friends of mine lost valuable garden helpers to raccoons: one rabbit, whose multiply protected hutch was vandalized by these goons (sorry: 'coons), and a slug/snail-patrolling duck, hunted out of its secure house and made into dinner by these marauders.
I live too close in for weaponry, but if I were in less-populated quarters, I'm truly not sure what tactics I'd use. I despise these animals now for what they did to my friends' rabbit and duck, but people have given raccoons entrÃƒÂ©e to the cities by leaving food lying around everywhere (dog and cat food in bowls outdoors, for example).
I'm fortunate enough that gardening is not required for my subsistence. If it were, I would have no qualms about taking out the competition for my food. But as it stands, I have no moral grounds on which to take a stand.