I knew I should have been plinking them off when I started seeing them getting closer & closer to the house and gardens. But I didn't and now we seem to have an overabundance of squirrels.
First they started chewing the immature acorns off the oak trees. I know this because one of the acorn-heavy trees is right next to the house so I occasionally hear a steady rain of acorns on the roof of the house. Ok. Fine. Eat the tiny acorns. Have a blast.
But then the acorns weren't enough for the gluttons. They started going after my peach trees! We didn't get a single nectarine or apple this year (got blooms but not a single stinking apple, not sure why) so the peach and pear trees are our only source of homegrown tree fruit.
And would they take the peaches that were blown off by the winds and rains? Oh no. They have to chew on the peaches on the tree. Take a bite here, chew on one over there, then finally decide on a fruit that is somehow more appealing for taking off it's branch and storing in whatever squirrel hidey-hole he has hidden in my woods.
The squirrel plinking gun came out (a .22) and I sat for like three seconds before one came back to the peach tree. And I missed. He was running across the lawn towards the trees and I got excited and took a shot. Shouldn't have. I know. But I didn't want that bugger getting any more of my darned peaches. I didn't have to wait more than a few more minutes before he came back again. This time he took his time selecting a peach from the tree (and probably ruining a couple in his decision-making) and brought it down. It was a big 'un. So he had to slow down and stop to adjust his grip on the fruit. At which point I thoroughly ventilated his midsection with a 39-grain piece of lead.
I normally don't like to shoot squirrels when it's hot because they are usually full of ticks and fleas and I don't like to get the heebie-jeebies when skinning a squirrel (strange.....bugs give me the shudders but peeling the flesh off a rodent and pulling it's insides out of it's chest doesn't freak me out).
Since Moonshine technically retrieved the squirrel, I let her have it. She teased Charlie with it for at least an hour before it finally ended up in her digestive tract.
There are plenty more tree rats to eradicate from the immediate area before we harvest all of the peaches. I suppose I should dig out my cookbook and have some peach and squirrel recipes handy.