Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Running of the Squirrels

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.


  1. I suppose I should have known this was NOT the post to read while trying to eat my lunch...

  2. Well, at least you have some meat for the up coming winter. It wont make up for the lose of peach pie or cobbler, but it will help. lol

  3. My apples did not set fruit this year either. I am pretty sure we got a cold snap about that time and the blooms got frosted. I usually have a mess of apples. However some people nearby did get apples to set so I bet it was a local right on the edge thing here my trees are more exposed so no fruit set :(

    The squirrels have not made the trek across the hay and corn fields into the Small Hold trees yet. Been squirrel free for at least 30 years here. Rabbits on the other hand...

  4. This reminds me of a previous post of yours. You ended up skinning them little boogers and frying them up for a meal.
    Squirrels can make havoc when it comes to fruit and nuts.
    I don't like them. We don't have to many of them here.

  5. Eating meat fro an animal covered with ticks? Ew...

  6. Doesn't that just frost the heck out of ya when the animals ruin your harvests whether it be fruits or veggies? We have to keep our red pine squirrel and chipmunk population "under control" (ahem) or they would do untold damage. Pesky little varmints.

    We had very few blossoms on our apple trees this year (Why? Dunno.) and so have very few apples growing. Our problem the last couple of years has been the blue jays who like to go from apple to apple sampling and ruining the individual apples. If it ain't one thing . . .

  7. There are no squirrels here with 2 big dogs and way too many cats. But this reminds me of my husband and his friend going squirrel hunting not long after we got married. They brought in a whole bunch of squirrels and told me to fix 'em up and cook 'em. What? We had the biggest fight over that. I'll never forget that one! And no, I did not fix 'em up and cook 'em. I would now though. My mom has enough in her yard for a whole winter's worth of good eating.

  8. Thankfully, no squirrels here but we do have to net the trees to keep the deer and the birds out. I guess eating them is the right thing to do but I'm just not sure I could! LOL!!

  9. Not many squirrels here either. You could have lived during the pioneer days! I am very impressed.

    I have made persimmon bread and it was very dark too. I think I put raisins in mine and also spices.

    I think you could just add almost equal parts of sugar and cook it down for a natural type jam. Just use instructions for any fruit jam.

    I see from the road that my little grove of persimmon trees is still alive. I don't know if they have fruit or not.