Squirely Sunday Surprise

As I have said so many times before, sometimes the most memorable moments happen on a spur of the moment trip or when you least expect it and it rang true once again. As I was leaving for the weekend from work someone asked me “you gonna kill anything this weekend?”. Most people I work with are intrigued with my lifestyle and some just don’t understand it but most know that I hunt. Clearly they don’t use the proper language all the time and for others in earshot it sounds horrendous, but I knew what they meant (and so did most everybody else). I said no I was headed to my hometown to spend some time with my family and attend a few events with them. No hunting on this trip.

I love going back home because of all the memories and it is always a sort of get away from the chaos at work and where I live now. Most of the weekend was uneventful but refreshing, just spending quality time with the family, and letting my dachshund Muzzy play with other dogs and run free. A huge portion of my time was spent painting garden stones and lawn and yard art for my mom. I love helping her out and the ‘paint-by-numbers’ is easy enough for this artsy-challenged girl to just be crafty! Sitting and catching up while painting outside was so calming and relaxing. Some birds were chirping, the hummingbirds wings were buzzing as they sipped the red nectar from the feeder, the blue jays were squawking and eating the peanuts put out for them, and the squirrels were chattering.

Yes the destructive squirrels had been making their presence known in the garden, mulch areas of the trees, wood piles, and all throughout the property. My parents have been battling these pests for quite some time too and were getting frustrated. Most counties in Texas do not have a closed season or bag limit for squirrel and this county was one of them. It was open season all year long and game on! We had spotted a few near the fence line of the property but safe shots were not possible with their current locations. So patience was important…

My trip was nearing the end and I was packing up to head back home. I had one last garden stone to paint that I was working on outside enjoying my last few refreshing moments. My mom had been walking around the property looking for squirrels when I heard her yell for me! The pellet gun hadn’t been sighted in so I grabbed a .22 and headed toward her. The plan in my mind was to shoot the squirrel and knock it down so my dachshund Muzzy could get him. He is still young and although he has taken a fox and tracked a few deer, I wanted him to experience the fight of a squirrel. Dog training at its finest!

As I creeped up I could see the big squirrel flattened out on a limb high above me. Muzzy hadn’t seen her yet because she wasn’t moving and was pretty high up, but I wanted to get her down for him to have. Unfortunately, my killer instinct took over and I saw myself putting the crosshairs near the heart. I was afraid of trying for a wounding shot and either missing or not having her fall out of the tree. I always try for the best shot possible to prevent wounding any animal so I knew I was doing the right thing and it actually made me happy that my first and natural choice was for the proper shot.

As I pulled the trigger the squirrel fell to the ground. It was over for her except for when Muzzy came in to make sure she was expired. He was so excited and was getting the taste and scent of squirrel that I knew would only benefit him later for another squirrel hunt. Although I would have loved to have seen him take on the squirrel this was just as good at educating him. He sniffed all around her, tasted a little blood, and even got aggressive when I wanted to take her away from him. Good Puppy!! Haha

So although my squirrely surprise Sunday was unplanned it was definitely a great time. I was able to help my parents eliminate a pest, educate my dog on another animal to hunt, and satisfy my hunting needs for the weekend! A success in my book every time!!

Apr 15, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 4


4 comments on “Squirely Sunday Surprise

  1. scott

    You hunt more than any person I know lol, but I know you really have a great time being outdoors.

    • Candace

      Hahaha thanks Scott! I wish I could do it more! Say EVERYDAY! Haha. This wasn’t even a planned hunt but it was definitely worth telling the story!

  2. We have a long-term problem with squirrels in my neighbourhood. The police used to offer a bounty on their tails, and the local council use to organise a cull every two years. But pressure from squirrel-hugging protesters brought an end to both these element of pest-control and the population of “tree-rats” has exploded. They don’t hibernate because there is plenty of food to scavenge. The gnaw holes through dustbins to get at the contents. They dig up and eat the bulbs I plant. They sharpen their teeth by chewing off twigs from my oak trees, damaging new growth and leaving a litter of twigs all over the garden and drive. No matter how squirrel-proof the bird-feeders claim to be, these squirrels find a way of raiding them. They normally build dreys to live in but, when my neighbour found loft insulation material in his garden, he found they had chewed through his soffits and nested in his roof. Being a suburban district, the use of shotguns would soon cause disturbance and attract unwanted attention, so I shoot them with my airguns. I have a selection of old and new air rifles and like them all to stay active by “tasting blood” at least one every year. My giant monkey-puzzle tree is a favourite highway for squirrels but it’s open expanse of grey trunk leaves them exposed as they go up and down, and I have smacked more there than anywhere else. But there is a great satisfaction to be derived from dislodging them from a high branch, where they thought they were safe, and watch then bump down through the branches to an undignified landing. Candace, when you said “my killer instinct took over and I saw myself putting the crosshairs near the heart” you had me re-living many identical moments!

    You must have noticed how squirrels hide round the opposite side of a tree trunk, and move round as you move round. With only one or two people out, it is impossible to surround a squirrel. One way to confuse them is to take an old anorak and drape it over a bush or branch so that it looks like another human. You can often use this on one side of a trunk while you get round to their side. It works, I’ve used this trick quite often.

    I have also been on several organised squirrel hunts, with friends, away from home. Sometimes we have taken a dog – and yes, it is lovely to watch them take on a squirrel. With people and dogs about, squirrels often run and hide in their dreys. One method we have used is to take pigeon-lofting poles to push out the drey from the ground, destroying the nest and flushing out the occupants for the waiting guns. Apart from the risk of being showered with twigs it works well but you have to quick to pick them off when they make a dash for it. Muzzy clearly has all the right instincts and I’m sure, with your help, he’ll get the chance to take one on soon enough. Congratulations on your weekend kill.

  3. Candace

    Wow Alwyn that is a bad deal with the situation you have there. There are really destructive. I actually just talked to one of my neighbors who is dealing with them stealing her garden vegetables. The day they are ripe, they are gone because the squirrels take them!.

    I know exactly what you mean about them hiding. I had my mom on the other side of the tree and he froze making for an easy take down.

    I hope you get your squirrel situation under control soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.