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Home > Magazine > Hook'n'Bullet > Vermin Sniping: Rascals vs. Teddies

Vermin Sniping: Rascals vs. Teddies
September 14, 2012

It's come to it.

The red squirrels invaded our vintage travel trailer. We've been trying to live-trap them but they're ignoring peanut butter in favor of all the walnuts and pinecones laying around -- which they're loading into the trailer walls. We didn't want to poison due to birds of prey eating carcasses and becoming poisoned. Relocation is probably lame for reddies, anyway.

I also noticed some larger-than-usual droppings in our basement near the patched-over old garage door leading out to our open-air main garage (I guess they used to park the flivver downstairs!). So I still have rat traps and livetraps inside the basement and the trailer.

So I've been "helping" nature replace one squirrel breed with another around here lately. The big Fox squirrels have been pushed out. I call 'em Teddies. The Rascals have totally vanquished the Teddies.

The Teddies aren't invasive to our property.

And now the tide has turned. I sighted in the Sheridan pellet gun air rifle and have patrolled around the trailer for a week now. Casualties: 9 rascals.

The low point was when a Reddie was cussing me out from INSIDE our trailer walls! I had patched up all holes and gaps, but a week later a new hole appeared in the particle board under the trailer and then I got cussed out...

The Teddies have already made a comeback. They're glancing around their old turf, wondering if it's safe.

It's been educational eradicating the Rascals. First, I've really enjoyed the extra-slow strolls through the woods in the couple acres of interest surrounding our house. Hunting pace is a slow walk slowed again by half. It's enjoyable to notice everything for a change.

The next thing is that this kind of hunting is really honing my skills or making me realize how rusty I am. A rascal typically gives me ONE SECOND for a shot. When I notice one then pull up, I can get a sight picture and then ONE SECOND. At most. Basically, it's like shotgun hunting with a rifle. Of course, it's dense foliage and brush as well. I'm thinking that iron-sights might be smarter than the scope I'm using. I'm getting good at target acquisition but still... Irons are faster. And that's the whole game here. Of course, trigger control is everything. Basically, I get one second to make a perfect shot. These are small targets about 20 yards away. Sometimes 30 yards, moving through treetops. These rascals flow like smoke thru the trees, but will occasionally pause -- for LESS than one second when they're on the move.

Then there's apparel. I've had the buttstock catch in a loose jacket while visually honing in on a distant speck. ...Chance gone. And there's reloading. After a miss a rascal gets a move on, but I reload while keeping my eye on him. So there's getting a new pellet dug outta the pocket and inserted right end forward in the breech and repumping quietly, while not looking down. Usually I do have to glance down once, though -- and lose many second chances in that split second. The eyes do crazy things when being asked to go from 1 foot to finding a brown spec 30 yards away in green foliage in an instant.

I think there are 4 to go...

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