Jul 19, 2011

Country Livin'

One of the things that I like about living out in the boonies is that we have wildlife. Deer are a common sight in the fields across the street, hawks and vultures circle on the thermals above us regularly, there are at least two dens of red foxes within a mile of the house, and most nights I can hear coyotes singing in the valley.

I tend to take a "live and let live" approach with the critters. I don't mind having them in the yard, wandering by, building nests in my garage (although the polka-dot effect on the truck gets old), or just standing there looking tasty. I like watching deer (and envisioning proper shot placement) and always get a chuckle out of fox kits wrestling in the grass.

Where I draw the line, however, is when "wildlife" changes to "nuisance wildlife". When they start causing damage to property (and crapping on the truck is not damage, just annoying), they need to go.

There's been a growing hole under the shed for a few weeks thanks to a woodchuck (gopher, groundhog) that has successfully avoided me so far. I've spotted it out on the lawn several times, and grabbed the .22, but it's always made it back to the hole before I got a sight picture. The shed holds our lawn tractor and assorted other implements, and having the floor collapse would be a Bad Thing. Woodchuck needs to go.

A coworker suggested cheap bubblegum as a good way to get rid of them - apparently it will block up the GI tract and eventually kill them. I chucked a handful of Double-Bubble down the hole a few days ago, and the gum disappeared.

This morning as I was getting ready to leave for work (just before 6am) I looked out the kitchen window and saw the 'chuck sitting right at the mouth of the hole, chewing bubble gum and kicking ass, except he was all out of ... wait, no. Wrong movie, sorry.

The 'chuck was sitting there, noshing on green something-or-other (likely a strawberry plant from the bed next to the shed) and looking sleepy. I opened the safe and grabbed the .22 in the front row (my Savage target gun*), and quietly slipped onto the deck. Instead of going to the rail and trying for a shot that way, I just took the shot from the door, between the balusters, and watched the woodchuck look surprised and then fall over backwards.

I finished getting ready for work, put my stuff in the truck, grabbed a pair of gloves, and heaved the carcass over a nearby embankment. The foxes, 'yotes, crows, and vultures will enjoy it.

And at 6am in the country ... no one calls in a gunshot.

* - A Savage MarkII BTVS, with Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 scope, and usually loaded with Federal bulk-pack 36gr HVHP. It's a great 'chuck gun, Appleseed gun, and bench gun. Not so much for plinking because it's a heavy sumbitch.


DaddyBear said...

I have a Savage Mark II and I love it. Mine is the basic synthetic stock and blued hardware with a no-name stock, but it's a tack driver.

Weer'd Beard said...

I woulda eaten him!

FYI if you again have an elusive 'chuck, buy a half-pound of dry ice pellets and wait until after dark. Pour the ice into all visible holes, and then backfill them with dirt.

'Chuck problem solved.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Glad you have some Game nearby in case TSHTF. All I have is Suburban Yuppie, and they ain't good eatin'!

Old NFO said...

LOL- Now some poor Yote is gonna have to try to digest that bubble gum :-)

Anonymous said...

The polka-dot effect on the truck isn't just unsightly; it could really be eating away the finish. Otherwise, live-and-let-live sounds good to me!