Blasted squirrels

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Cute wee blighters, but so blasted destructive.
They eat their way through every bird feeder, they herrie the wee birds nests, they dig up my planters to bury food, and one has just thought it's Christmas has come.

I popped a huge pan of popcorn early this morning, and I have left over Hallowe'en peanuts in their shells. I also picked up two boxes of cranberries in Tesco for 25p each, marked down at the end of the day.
So, I spent an hour this morning threading them all onto strings to hang out on the Rowan tree....well one string first because it's blowing a gale and it's pouring out there, again, too.

The string is no more.

There is an utterly ecstatic squirrel frantically bounding around the garden trying to find hidey holes where the magpies won't rob him of his treasures. He's stuffed his wee face into a severe case of mumps :rolleyes: and he's in the throes of complete glee.
Now his mate has appeared, and after a standoff, they're both getting well and truly stuffed.
They've chased off the big bumbling woodpigeons, they've flyted at the moggie from across the street, they've braved next door's mutt, and there is no way on this green Earth that they are giving up their Christmas present.

Well, it lasted ten minutes on the tree. I'm disinclined to hang up the rest of the strands, but no idea how else to put them out.
They were supposed to last and be a sort of edible christmas decoration that the birds might nibble.
Squirrel food. Sod it.

M
 
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Toddy

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Good vegetarian here though.
Ah, I'm just vexed because I hoped the wee birds would find the strings interesting, and indeed where the squirrels dropped bits of the string and the popcorn broke, there are little birds busy gleaning.

It's the total destruction that the squirrels cause that really irks and frustrates though. A lot of my neighbours no longer feed the birds at all because of the voracious squirrels.
Usually I just try to make things awkward for them, but in this weather there's not much fun being out there rigging up obstacle courses.

M
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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We caught a couple raiding our apple store yesterday - they did not want to move and put on quite an aggressive display! :)

I'm quite partial to a bit of squirrel so, when (if) it stops raining, the air rifle coming out!
 

Toddy

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This pair really did not intend to give up their bounty. They saw off both the cat and the dog. They make such an astonishing racket for such wee beasts. Hisses and chattering and lunging to startle. Ever seen a cat try to run up a roughcast wall ? :D Looks damned silly clinging on there for grim death when it realises that gravity's got a hold of it :D...and the squirrel sits out of reach flyting at it full of hisses and teeth.

I think when I see the damage they cause that I really do recognise that they're just cute looking climbing rats.
 
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Woody girl

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Find someone who might like to eat the sqirrel. Then use the skins to make some warm mittens or slippers. Total revenge!
 

Toddy

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Find someone who might like to eat the sqirrel. Then use the skins to make some warm mittens or slippers. Total revenge!
They are blighters to skin; they hang on like they're stuck with superglue. Nothing like shucking a rabbit out of it's jacket. There's really only the hind legs worth eating anyway, though you can turn most of it into a bony kind of stew if needed. As far as I know (if I'm wrong I'd like someone to tell me please? ) the liver's edible too, though not much of a morsel.

M
 

Woody girl

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I have two super plump pheasants in my garden right now. My pests are rooks that destroy my bird feeders and (potential slipper) cats that think my raised beds are giant kitty poo trays!
 

Toddy

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Cats hate being affronted. If you keep a filled super soaker to hand and just squirt them anytime you see them they'll get the message pdq.
I like cats, am very fond of cats, and this is the first time in my life since I was about six that I don't have a cat, but there's no getting away from it, a badly trained one that uses neighbours gardens as toilets is just a nuisance, and a health hazard too I suppose.

People lie; cats can be trained, courtesy works, and when it doesn't, startle, shock or discombobulate them and they'll avoid.
 
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Klenchblaize

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Nov 25, 2005
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During the months of October & November I accounted for a total of 113 grey flicker tails, all within just 80 acres of woodland and taken with a .22 rimfire which is another way of conveying they were all shot while on the ground or at low level with a suitable backstop:

I confess that only some 30 made it into my freezer as they are indeed very hard work even when only using the saddle and hind legs.

K
 
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Broch

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I assume you are all using the 15 second squirrel skinning technique? Admittedly, the skin is in two pieces so little use to make anything out of but it takes the tedium out of preparing them for the table.
 

Woody girl

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Cats hate being affronted. If you keep a filled super soaker to hand and just squirt them anytime you see them they'll get the message pdq.
I like cats, am very fond of cats, and this is the first time in my life since I was about six that I don't have a cat, but there's no getting away from it, a badly trained one that uses neighbours gardens as toilets is just a nuisance, and a health hazard too I suppose.

People lie; cats can be trained, courtesy works, and when it doesn't, startle, shock or discombobulate them and they'll avoid.
I've had cats but prefer dogs. My neighbors cats hit the fence line pretty fast when I shout SLIPPERS at them. They've learned this is not a good word as they usually get a soaking immediately afterwards!
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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During the months of October & November I accounted for a total of 113 grey flicker tails, all within just 80 acres of woodland and taken with a .22 rimfire which is another way of conveying they were all shot while on the ground or at low level with a suitable backstop:

I confess that only some 30 made it into my freezer as they are indeed very hard work even when only using the saddle and hind legs.K
You're a handy man to know Klenchblaize, pity you live the other end of the country,

Isn't it surprising how many grey squirrels there are in such an area ? we need more pine martins :)

M
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
35,496
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S. Lanarkshire
I've had cats but prefer dogs. My neighbors cats hit the fence line pretty fast when I shout SLIPPERS at them. They've learned this is not a good word as they usually get a soaking immediately afterwards!
I don't dislike dogs, have been very fond of all those that we had. We were Puppy Walkers for The Guide Dogs for the Blind for a while too. I even have the wee blue enamel badge :) but to be honest, I find cats to be easy pets, while dogs I need to pay attention to like a child that doesn't quite ever grow up.
That must sound heartless, I'm really not, but I know that the mess the dogs bring into my home ends up truly annoying me, and it's no fault of the dog itself. It's just biology.

I live in a truly sodden wet bit of the country, my next door neighbour is heart roasted just now trying to keep the mess down, from mud to wet coats, boots, etc., and that's even with the kind of dog that doesn't really shed. (so far it's cost them nearly a thousand pounds in Vets bills for eating stuff. Everything from drawing pins to remote controls) The other side has a muckle great alsation and the constant housework to keep on top of the hair and mud is truly depressing. We don't live in houses that easily accommodate now. When I was little our dogs stayed in their kennels or were allowed inside only as far as the scullery door. They didn't have free roam of the house. Now folks think that's awful and borderline abuse, but the dogs knew their place and were contented enough. They were cared for, fed, walked, given attention, lived long lives, just that their world stopped before it hit the kitchen, carpets, sofas and bedrooms.

M
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mmm... easier to demonstrate than to describe but I'll try ….

Make a 20mm cut just under the tail (10mm each side)
Hold the back legs in your left hand
Stand on the tail
With one firm but not too hurried action pull the legs away from the tail until just the head and the feet are left on
Now look at the belly and there should be a pronounced V of skin pointing down
With your right hand peel that back until you can grasp it and, again with a firm action, pull it up
This will take the skin off the hind quarters
Now just chop the feet and head off

With a bit of practice this really does only take seconds.