We had squirrels move into our attic, and getting the little bastages out has literally been a two year, multi-front war. I’ve patched holes, and they’ve chewed back in. I’ve constructed one way exits, and they’ve been ineffective. Each time I manage to get them out for a time, and each time they eventually get their way back in. I read about using mothballs to annoy them out, and then nixed the idea because of all of our breathing issues in the house. They ignore rat poison, BTW, so don’t even try that.
There are two of the interlopers cavorting about in my attic now.
So I research the crap out of it, and to hire a professional wildlife wrangler to humanely trap and remove them and patch the holes will cost $500+. Seriously. So I went to Lowe’s and bought a squirrel trap. And baited it with extra-crunchy, natural peanut butter in all its oily goodness. According to the oracle of the Internet, it should be irresistible to the little fuzzy tailed tree rats.
When researching the trap, I found out that once you have trapped the squirrel, you have to drive it 10-12 miles away to insure that it won’t find its way back to you. Doing the math, that means a 20-25 minute round trip. Per squirrel. So I decide that when I get them trapped, I will instead just shoot them. Because, after all, I’m sure Squirrel Heaven is farther than 10-12 miles away from here.
Now I have a real problem. My deed restrictions prevent the use of firearms on my property. No huge deal, but I have to kinda do the executions on the downlow as to not annoy my direct next door neighbors. That means, as fun as it would be, I could not perform the executions with the AR-15 with the holographic site. A hollow point varmint .223 round traveling at 3000 ft/sec would vaporize a squirrel and therefore require little cleanup, but would be loud as hell. As would any of my handguns. But my dad has a Ruger 10/22 .22 rifle with a scope, so I borrowed it from him. I spent $4 on a box of subsonic hollowpoint 22 LRs, and I’m ready to perform the coup de grace when the little d!ckweasels crawl into the trap to eat the nummy peanut butter.
The little azzhats have ignored the trap for 2 weeks.
Mind you, all this time I believe that my lovely wife is laboring under the delusion that I’m going to be driving the little guys to greener pastures when I catch them. I had not discussed executing the critters with her, I had just unilaterally elected not to go out of my way to attempt to relocate them. Gradually, though, her hatred grew to where she was cool with me sniping the little guys as they scampered merrily around the back yard. So last weekend I added “squirrel bait (aka birdseed)” to the grocery list.
Now, when dad loaned me the 22, he told me that the scope is off and the gun shoots low and to the right. My reaction (internally) was “yeah, old dad with bad eyesight can’t shoot anymore”. I figured that the upstairs bathroom, which overlooks the backyard, is the perfect snipers nest.
At this point, I have turned into Bill Murray as Carl Spackler, the insane grounds keeper from Caddyshack. I’m muttering under my breath, looking out the windows, and running around caressing a stainless steel 22 rifle.
“License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that’s all she wrote.”
A few days ago, one of the little monsters is sitting defiantly in the crook of a tree in the backyard, nibbling on some sunflower seeds. Sensing the end of his squirrel life was drawing near, I ran upstairs, donned my ghillie suit made of toilet paper and bathroom accessories, slowly slid the window up, and took aim at the trespassing vermin. The squirrel was all of 10 yards away, and looked as big as a house in the scope. I took up the slack on the trigger, and BLAM!
I scared the piss out of the little guy as the bullet shot low and to the right, blowing a chunk out of the branch he was sitting on. The little dude jumped two feet in the air, fell to the ground, and ran like mad. Now, I don’t have a lot of experience with this scope and gun, and I was a bit wound up, so I figured that it was the shooters fault.
The next day, TWO of the little varmints were nosing about the yard, nibbling their way to obesity on the birdseed I had scattered about. Again, I ninja-ed upstairs, slowly slid the window up, and squeezed off another round at the closest squirrel. This one was about 15 yards away, and resembled a bull moose in the scope. This time, the squirrel did some matrix like moves, jumping and spinning in the air, and ran off again untouched.
Furious now, I went outside and setup a 2×2 piece of plywood against the tree in the center of the backyard. Upon it I spray painted 5 “squirrel center of mass” sized targets, then returned to my sniper’s perch. I took careful aim and with the cross-hairs of the scope on the center of the middle target, and fired. The bullet hole appeared. Low and to the right, by about 6 inches. I burned through a few rounds, and I got that scope dialed in to dead center. I left the plywood up against the tree as a backstop, since 22 LRs are moving really fast and it never hurts to have a solid safe bullet catcher, and piled up birdseed in front of it.
When I returned home from picking the kids up from school today, Varmint Target Alpha (VT Alpha) was in the kill zone, merrily nibbling away at its last meal. I put one kid in the high chair with enough goldfish to keep him busy, and put the older kid on the Wii. I then low crawled up the stairs and slowly slid the window up. Its an exercise in patience, because the little monsters have learned that the sound of the window opening is the harbinger of a rain of death in the form of hot lead. Inch window up, watch squirrel perk up, wait until squirrel resumes squirrel-like behavior, repeat. The squirrel is sitting in front of the plywood and appears to be the size of Wisconsin in the scope. I can see the evil glint in its flinty little eyes.
The subsonic round from my dead on balls scoped sniper rifle left the barrel of the gun traveling at 800 feet/second. The spinning hollow point round entered VT Alpha right below the left arm, and traveled transversely through the body, then exited just above the right hip, where it furrowed into the ground behind it. During its journey, it likely encountered one or both lungs, the heart, and perhaps a portion of VT Alpha’s last meal of birdseed. VT Alpha said something like “I’m hit, varmint down! Varmint DOWN!”, scampered 10 feet, and dropped stone dead.
I went outside to perform the coup de grace, because while VT Alpha is a mortal enemy, a true warrior does not enjoy the suffering of his enemies. But VT Alpha had slipped the mortal coil, and was scampering about in fields of birdseed in the clearing at the end of the path. Standing over the body of my sworn enemy, I pondered the horrors of war, and what causes man to take up arms against varmint.
I then smeared my torso with the blood of my kill and ate its heart, because that’s where his power was.
Okay, I made that part up. What I did do was glove up and take the body to the edge of my property. I saw a buzzard circling there a short time ago, the circle of life continues.
So, as I typed this, I heard the scampering footfalls of VT Beta overhead, enjoying another run about my attic. I suppressed the urge to fire the rifle wantonly into the ceiling, knowing that his days are numbered now as well. I wonder, does he see the shadow of the hawk, does he feel the cold wind on his shoulder? I hope so…