it’s a frickin’ zoo out there.


That’s the scene at the bird feeder at the moment.  Chunko Squirrel, sitting right underneath the left feeder, is a new arrival.  The smaller squirrels, one of which is sitting in the sunlight on the footpath, just mill around the bottom of the feeder and eat the stuff the birds dropped.  The feeders have spring-loaded covers over the feeder holes, so when a squirrel sits on the bird perches, the holes close.

Before all the rodent busters out there chime up with “KILL ‘EM ALL!!!1!1!ONE!!”, I don’t shoot the squirrels.  It’s only a twenty-yard shot from the kitchen window, but other than my weird inhibition to kill stuff what don’t need killin’, there’s also the matter of safety.  The road is twenty yards behind and a few feet below that dark line of trees in the background, and I can’t guarantee that even a .22 would remain on the property.  I’d rather not shoot a neighbor’s car…or worse, put a bullet in someone’s head by accident as they’re tooling down to the grocery store for some milk and cookies.  Because that would just be rude.

Now, if Mr. Chunko A. Squirrel won’t stop pawing that feeder and scaring off the birds, however, I can’t guarantee that I won’t break out the airsoft gun for some corrective action…


36 thoughts on “it’s a frickin’ zoo out there.

  1. lenf says:

    They will not respond to corrective action. They will evade and improvise. They will not stop. They like it. When the time comes, a 410 with #4 shot will do the trick and keep the lead inside the fences.

  2. JD says:

    Frozen Paintballs. . . Just sayin. . .

  3. TBG says:

    This is what you need…


  4. Jay G. says:

    This is where .22 birdshot comes in handy. You have a 16″ .22LR rifle?

  5. Glamdring says:


    Or you could “Let the Dawgs Out”

  6. MarkHB says:

    Remote controlled fart machine. See ThinkGeek for details. Besides which, the hits you’d get off the YouTube video of serially remote-farting squirrels? Dude. You’d win the Internets.

  7. Matthew Carberry says:

    Lenf, I think you might have meant…

    “Listen, and understand. That squirrel is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until that feeder is empty.”

    • lenf says:

      Matt, Yes. And may I say ‘in a nutshell’.
      Add to this the fact that they are territorial and always pushing on the frontier so that you may shoot and shoot and there will come a lull. And then they will be back. If it wasn’t so much fun it might get discouraging.

    • perlhaqr says:


      Nicely done, sir. 🙂

  8. Air rifle+fat squirrels = really delicious squirrel dumplings.

    Just sayin’.

    • Tam says:

      I’m sayin’!

      Marko, bro, you live in the country now.

      How is Castle Frostbite going to be ready for teh Zombocalypse if y’all don’t know how to make squirrel stew?

  9. Mark B. says:

    And Marko, it’s all fun and games until one of ’em tunnels through a soffet and sets up shop in your attic. They ARE NOT delightful, antic-prone little furballs . . .


  10. Ancient Woodsman says:

    That was a nice disertation, very well done. I too like to feed the birds but sometimes have to battle the rodentia over the whole idea – as they don’t seem to read the same wildlife-management books we do. If you ever get to the point of harvesting the grey, though, oven-fried squirrel can’t be beat. Don’t eat the reds unless you are desperate.

    And no, it doesn’t taste like chicken. It tastes like squirrel.

  11. TattooedIntellectual says:

    Mr. Chunko A Squirrel, may actually be “bun in the oven” Mrs Chunkita A Squirrel.

  12. wolfwalker says:

    FWIW: Chunko = gray squirrel, a.k.a. tree-rat. They’ll eat a feeder empty just ’cause they can, and they’re damn near impossible to dissuade.

    Other squirrel = red squirrel, much less of a varmint.

    Ambulance Driver: I seem to recall reading somewhere that gray squirrels can carry a prion disease not unlike Mad Cow.

  13. Gerry N. says:

    Wait until the skwerl is in front of that very handily placed stump, then administer one bullet to the brainpan. After that it’s but the work of a few minutes to clean and cut it into serving size pieces. The question then becomes what to make for supper, braised, fried, stewed, or tree rat with biscuits and gravy. If your kids are reluctant to eat squirrel or tree rat, call it “limb bacon” and they’ll love it. Mine did. At least until my son reached about 11, then it was “tree rat” again.

    Here in W. Wa. we’ve had an infestation of Eastern Grays which are about three times the size of our native Western Grays and are not protected. I live in town, my yard is surrounded by good solid board fences, so my squirrel gun of choice is a .303 cal. #4 MkI* loaded with a .310 round ball and .5cc of Unique. Barely makes a sound and a head shot will go right through. (Around here a .22 is far too loud.) A careful choice of backstop and a modicum of patience win out in the end. A few raw peanuts or sunflower seeds in front of the stump speeds things up very well.

    Now that it’s just me and the missus, one tree rat = one delicious dinner.

    Gerry N.

    • perlhaqr says:

      I didn’t realize they were big enough for two people. Of course, if you have to use a .303 to take ’em out, maybe we’ve got different definitions of what constitutes a “squirrel”. 😉

  14. emdfl says:

    I used to shoot the racoon yard-menace with the paintball gun. Usually it only took a couple of hits for them to figure out that they could raise hell in the other yards in the neighborhood without getting hit by small stinging objects.

  15. Will says:

    Make a portable backstop (runners, or wheels for no snow), and position it for shots from the window. Might have to move it around a couple times to get a proper location (mark or measure for future use).
    Airgun or maybe .22 CB ammo or similar. Or get creative: miniature trebuchet in the back yard with sandbag or billiard ball?

  16. Maybe I ought to post my own squirrel in the attic story. Needless to say, when you trap one at 5 in the morning on a day you need to leave for work, the thoughts of squirrel and dumplings go right out the door.

    I’ve got no illusions about what happened to him. This yearling squirrel was moved more than 20 miles away from his territory and food cache in the early spring at least a month before everything starts budding. He was toast. But option-A was drowning him in the bathtub, and that would have meant a mess to clean up when I got home.

    I understand in the really old days they use to wait until they could get the squirrel between the rifle and a stout tree. This let them pry the bullet out with a patch knife and remelt it.

    • perlhaqr says:

      I understand in the really old days they use to wait until they could get the squirrel between the rifle and a stout tree. This let them pry the bullet out with a patch knife and remelt it.

      I’ve been told that was one of my Grammaw’s grandmother’s tricks as a little girl. Grammaw said, so it’s true.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Nope, you wait till the fat bastard is ON the stump, and shoot the stump bark itself right next to his noggin; the bark flies up stunning him long enough to run out and whack him, thereby avoiding damaging the meat or busting open the nasty innards.

    It’s called “barkin'” the squirrel…at least that’s the way my daddy told the story, and he always stuck to it. He said he and his brothers each got one .22 cartridge per day, and if they came home from their middle Tennessee woodlot empty-handed, they didn’t eat that day (mid-30’s and the depth of depression).

    He cooked it up in a dee-licious squirrel pie (kinda like a pot pie); I don’t know about the rest of it, but that part was confirmed by me quite a few times. Thinking back on that makes me want to dig out my old rifle and check out the pine trees in the yard…might piss off some old farts on the golf course out back though.

  18. Gerry N. says:


    I said my #4 was the gun of choice using a .310″ round ball and a miniscule charge of powder. I chose it because it is subsonic and for all practical purposes silent yet has power enough to take a tree rat with one shot. I then stated that a .22 was far too loud. Those aren’t the only reasons, one must take into account the seriously elevated fun factor involved in taking edible game in mid city using a full battle rifle.

    Don’t HAVE to, WANT to. There’s a difference. I could equally have chosen my .30-40 Krag Carbine or my tip-up H&R Topper .30-30, they are excellent with cat sneeze loads as well. And I still have the crossbow I made in High School Metal Shop in ’61. It’s a bit dusty, but still lethal.

    A squirrel that yields two generous servings is plenty for two, considering the mashed potatoes ‘n gravy, steamed carrots, creamed corn and a plate of fresh baking powder biscuits go along with it. Then there’s dessert….m-mmm, dessert….can’t forget dessert.

    Gerry N.

  19. Antibubba says:

    What I see, sir, is the perfect setting for a Red Ryder BB Gun. Just watch out for icicles!

  20. Kevin says:

    Open door, let loose the Jak, the Jack Ruskell Terrorist of War.
    That is how it is done!
    If you have ever played Dawn of War and heard “Death from above” and below and elsewhere, thats Jak.
    Dumb Squirrels do not realize how fast this Terrorist can climb and how high he can jump!
    Especially when you are a mutated Jack Ruskell Terrorist that is twice as big and inhumanely(or is that indogly?) faster then a normal Terrorist?
    Squirrels are but warmups for the Crows he really hates!

  21. thebastidge says:

    How are rats with feathers more desirable than rats with fluffy tails?

  22. bob r says:

    We have 5 Filbert trees. We also have squirrels beyond count. Equals: Bob doesn’t get any Filberts.

    I’d happily shoot the suckers just for fun, never mind eating them and being able to get a few nuts. The wife informs me it is decidedly not in my best interest — seems she likes the little beggars. Go figure.

  23. Kevin says:

    No idea. It is a Jack Ruskel. But if he has a choice he always goes after the crows.
    He drives me nutz, but don’t even try to touch my youngest, they be best buddies.
    Thats his only saving grace!

  24. CapitalGGeek says:

    You need one of the ‘Droll Yankee’ birdfeeders. I’m sure you could figure out some way to bump the power.

    Video at

  25. ASM826 says:

    Rats with fuzzy tails. I swear, if they had the regular rat tail, they would be extinct. The women of the world would have demanded it.

    A decent quality air rifle makes it sporting, buy some pointed hunting pellets and go for head shots.

    If you are unsure of what is behind your target, relocate the feeding site to a different side of the house, facing the woods, perhaps. Dried corn in a squirrel feeder set up in front of a wood pile would make a good bait and berm for some air rifle hunting.

  26. JKosprey says:

    I say get a falconers license. I’ve hunted lots of squirrels, but none so satisfying as when your own trained bird of death swoops down to take them out!

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