Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Squirrel Kerfuffle

The LMM and I disagree about something.

She loves hummingbirds. We have several little hummingbird drinking stations set up, hanging from metal hooks.

There is this one squirrel who has mastered the technology of hanging onto the feeder, tipping it, and then furiously drinking the contents, emptying the container onto himself, his mouth, and the ground, in about two minutes.

The LMM keeps letting the dogs out, and going out herself, to "scare off" the squirrel. But the squirrel comes right back, of course.

My solution: Squirrel dies of a gunshot wound.

Look: (1) There is only one (now fat) squirrel who is doing this. The others try, but the thing tips if they try to drink from the top. No other squirrel has mastered the "hang, tip, and quaff" technique.
(2) we have a .22 with a scope. I can fire those little tiny 20 grain "Colibri"** shells, which have a range of about 100 meters. (The standard .22 LR shell is 40 grains, and these Colibri actually have NO powder, other than the primer)
(3) I can fire downward, with grass as the background, so there is no danger of ricochet, not that these little bullets would go anywhere.

Yes, one should be very careful firing Colibris from a long gun. Not enough power to eject the casing, and in fact the bullet may not leave the barrel, so you really, really have to check after every shot. But they are quite accurate. And at a range of 10 meters, they will kill a squirrel.

All right readers: Who is right?

**Plus, "Colibri" means "Hummingbird" in French (also Spanish, and, oddly, Rumanian). How perfect is that? The fat squirrel gets taken out by a little lead hummingbird!


Anonymous said...

Violence should never be your first option: attach a wide metal collar on the wire above the feeder to stop the squirrel from getting down to it.

If that doesn't work, shoot the bastard.

Anonymous said...

Shoot it and place its head on a pike as a warning to others who would dare challenge your authority.

Josh Hall said...

We used to use repeated slingshot hits as a deterrent. A quick google search pulled up this, which might be cool to use: http://www.catsdomain.com/

Course I have no problem with your suggested course of action, given that you already have the gear.
Just wanted to point out that slingshots are fun.

mbgillil said...

I think if he is that talented/determined, he probably deserves to drink from the feeder.

Dirty Davey said...

Maybe you need a cat?

Angus said...

That is one bad-ass squirrel.

kebko said...

I think you should concoct ever more slightly difficult obstacles between the squirrel & the nectar. You will have fun coming up with clever ways to keep him out & even more fun watching him use his squirrel skills in ways you hadn't accounted for to beat you. Even if it continues getting its reward, you can never really be that upset about getting bested by an overachieving squirrel, and you'll have lots of fun stories.

Anonymous said...

Is the LMM content with her current non lethal solutions? Seems to me that her activity is signaling behavior and should be left as is, unless you can dispose of said squirrel without detection.

Mungowitz said...

I see the solution now, a combination of the suggestions above.

1. I buy a first rate slingshot. Not that I can hit anything. But I clearly need a slingshot. I can't believe I had missed this opportunity to buy something, with cause.

2. I attach some deterrence device to the feeder.

3. I wait until the LMM leaves for an hour, and blow out the little squirrel brains with the .22.

4. I commend the commenters at KPC for being so clever. When the LMM asks what happens to the squirrel, I shake my head and say, "Perhaps those deterrence devices, and the scary slingshot, might have worked?" (Careful wording, that)

gamebill said...

I would try a heavier subsonic round. Colibri's are so light they may not take out a squirrel. Also, make sure your scope is adjusted for short range. If it is zeroed at 50 yards the point of impact will likely be different at 10 yards by as much as an inch or two. As I'm sure you're aware, there is a decent chance you may take out the feeder by accident.

In any case, you should try to take a video of the squirrel in action first. And if you could record the hunt that would be cool too. Could easily go viral on youtube.

Anonymous said...

The squirrel hasn't done anything wrong, it's just being what it is - a clever, fat animal. Surely there's a libertarian defense to be made here for the squirrel.

Anonymous said...

We used to trap and then drown the squirrels in our yard - they were destroying a good chunk of our garden.

Our back yard became the "black hole" of squirreldom for about 2 blocks. The first summer we started doing this it was amazing after a month or two how many neighbors mentioned how few squirrels there were that summer....

Trap and drown.

booklegger said...


That is to say, Hot sauce.

Birds lack the receptors to feel the "heat" from it. Mammals have the receptors, and thus a squirrel will quickly find something else to do.

Anonymous said...

Shoot the squirrel, then add the hot sauce ... along with some onion, celery, garlic, tomatoes...

Hasdrubal said...

Whatever solution you decide on, make sure to videotape the squirrel first. Then send it off to America's Funniest videos, or maybe Youtube it. Furry + clever = the "Awww, cute" reaction for a shot at your fifteen minutes.

Max said...

OT: Actually, it is not surprising that Rumanians have the same word. If you read and listen to Rumanians it sounds and reads eerily familiar for someone who mastered french.

Tim Worstall said...

"Actually, it is not surprising that Rumanians have the same word. If you read and listen to Rumanians it sounds and reads eerily familiar for someone who mastered french."

Quite, that's because it is a Romance language. Bunch of legionaries who stayed put after the fall of Rome sorta thing....

Anonymous said...

"Colibri" or at least it's German spelling, was also the codename for what came to be called the Night of the Long Knives.

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