When raccoons and skunks are causing thousands of dollars of damage to your business, it's time to do something.
Jeff Ellingson, general manager and head golf professional at Edelweiss Golf Course near New Glarus, told madison.com the coons and skunks have caused between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of damage on five different holes at the 18-hole layout.
"They are trying to root out grubs, so they are clawing at the ground," Ellingson said. "The areas damaged look like they are covered with huge divots."
To try to stem the destruction, three people from a grounds maintenance company were hired to take out the critters.
And in a scenario reminiscent of the Bill Murray comedy "Caddyshack," two men were cited Thursday night at Edelweiss for allegedly shooting at the animals who have been wreaking havoc on the course. (In "Caddyshack," Murray's character conducts a vendetta against a golf course-destroying gopher.)
The Green County Sheriff's Office said Carlton Flanagan, 18, and Tyler Anderson, 21, both of Belleville, were cited for having an uncased firearm in a vehicle following their arrest at about 10 p.m. Thursday.
According to a Sheriff's Office news release, deputies and New Glarus police officers responded to a report of shots fired and vehicles driving on the third hole at Edelweiss.
"The investigation revealed that four subjects were out on the golf course shooting raccoons," said Deputy David Tschudy in the release. "The individuals were shooting the raccoons because they have been causing severe damage to the golf course."
Ellingson said only three people were involved, and the third individual wasn't cited because he was acting as the "spotter," trying to spot the raccoons. The three were using a golf cart.
This was the first time the golf course used weapons against the four-legged wrecking crew.
"We tried to use live traps, but the raccoons just turned the traps over to get at the food," Ellingson said.
The gunplay against the critters on Thursday night was not noted beforehand to course neighbors or authorities, so that's why a neighbor called police when he heard gunshots on the course.
"We'll go through the proper channels now," Ellingson said. "It's not that we're against raccoons and skunks, but when our course is damaged like this, we had to act."