You Hunt, Me Shoot

Today is the official first day of spring and the time of year I most enjoy. It’s not that I particularly like tulips, or because it gets warmer, but because I associate spring with the best guy in the world: my father. Any day now, Dad will break out his gardening stuff, the lawnmower and his ammo.

It all began about six or seven years ago when something happened to my father. I don’t know if working from home just wasn’t exciting anymore, or he missed the army’s sanctioned participation in war games, or an alien probe got him, but suddenly the backyard became The Place to Be Protected and Nourished and the rather large squirrel population that inhabited the yard became Yard Enemy Number One. To my Dad, the squirrels were even more horrible and offensive than dandelions and any of them that lived within a 50 yard radius of the house had to be driven out.

Dad started his campaign to protect the sacred zone in a low key manner using some traps and smoky stuff. His tactics didn’t work and the squirrel population continued to flourish. So, Dad asked his yard-obsessed neighbor for advice, looked online, and read up on natural squirrel deterrents. Eventually, he decided to buy some fox urine to sprinkle around the yard hoping the appallingly pungent aroma would act as a squirrel deterrent. Alas, it was not to be. Mom got wind of his plan and vetoed it based on the human breathe-ability factor and hygiene concerns. Meanwhile, engaged in a continuous backyard beautification project, Dad purchased several bird feeders. These birdfeeders were the type the Lowes’ sales person swore had been designed, engineered and product tested to keep squirrels out of the bird goodies (and my dad figured the extra $15 cost was well worth it if it would help starve the little buggers out). But, the Einstein of squirrels apparently lives on our block. Within days, the squirrels had figured out how to raid the multiple birdfeeders and soon it was Squirrel Thanksgiving for the backyard squirrel population and, to make matters worse, they even invited the squirrelly neighbors. Never one to be defeated by a rodent, my dad got serious. He once again researched on the internet until he came up with a sure fire plan: he bought a BB pistol.

This was not just any BB pistol. It was the deluxe spring air loaded version with a range of 70 yards maximum, and the capacity to shoot 12 repeating rounds. The bazooka of the BB handheld world. Along with the BB pistol, Dad bought several boxes of BB pellets and got to work. At first, Dad would occasionally go onto the back porch and fire off a few shots. But the squirrels quickly learned to flee beyond range when they heard the back door open and so Operation Drive Out the Little Suckers go stepped up. One afternoon, Dad took the screens out of the downstairs windows and a few times a day, he would crank one open and let that BB pistol do its magic. This met with more success as squirrels are apparently confused by the concept that there were multiple windows that could open resulting in an ever shifting barrage of BB pellets. At last, Dad was making headway in the Great Squirrel War, but it was still not good enough. As long as there were squirrels in the backyard, they were a constant reminder of lost plantings and bulbs, and they taunted my father. Soon, my father had the screens out of all the windows that faced the backyard, and extra pellets by each bank of windows. He could go from room to room, following the squirrels along their Path of Flight, and effectively shoot at them.

This turned out to be the key strategic move in Dad’s quest to get the oversized rats with fluffy tails out of his domain. Over dinner, we’d be regaled with stories of the squirrel that “jumped five feet and then went running” when Dad shot it. When Dad opened a window, the squirrels would scatter, and he could be heard muttering, “That’s right, and tell all your little squirrel buddies to stay away, too.” After some diligent staking out at windows, most of the squirrels had moved onto other birdfeeder-rich backyards. Dad was happy, the BB pistol was getting a much deserved rest, and the backyard was flourishing. Then the new neighbors moved in. With a dog. In squirrel world, there is apparently only one thing worse than a yard with a determined man and a BB pistol: a yard with a yappy Shitzu. Thus, my dad still wages war every spring and I wait anxiously until he brings out the ammo again.

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5 Responses to “You Hunt, Me Shoot”

  1. Laina Says:

    LMAO, doesn’t your dad have a Honey Do list in the kitchen that he should be waging war on instead of the poor squirrels?

  2. Katherine Says:

    You would have to ask my mom, but I think it mainly involved the cabinets…

  3. Jilly Says:

    Would your dad like to have a basset hound?

  4. Katherine Says:

    No. Not at all. He does not want Jack. No offense to Jack!

    Does Jack even know what a squirrel is?

  5. My Boyfriend, The Hunter « Who Invented Roses Says:

    […] each year during bow season. Those that remained were either gay or from out of state. Hell, even my dad has a BB pistol to better battle the squirrels. All that being said, I’ve become pretty acclimated to the Scary […]

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