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Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:58 am
by ShadowsDad
What kind of squirrels? It sounds as though they are overpopulated.

I ask what kind because locally we have very few grey squirrels but lots (or there were lots) of Pine or red squirrels. One year they got into the siding on our house and started to tear up the innards. That was the beginning of the end for them. That year I shot over 100 of them. I've since forgotten the number. My neighbor has an ongoing war with them. I loaned him my weasel traps and he regularly gets a few. For a number of years he was getting quite a few per day, but it has slacked off considerably this year as the local population has decreased and he's just getting squirrels from "away" looking for new territory. At least that's what we think is happening.

So depending on the type of squirrel I could tell you how to build the weasel trap. It won't handle large squirrels however. BTW, it's a kill trap and if they are over populated it's precisely what needs to happen.

Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:56 am
by jww
dosco wrote:... the apple tree is not the only victim of the squirrels ... among other things, this summer they chewed up my gas grill such that the regulator and its hose were "cut" from the burner.

Someday I hope to have a nice batch of apples from the tree in the back ... although I am fairly certain that someday will be after I get a pellet rifle and kill any and all squirrels that venture on my property. Although I have "declared war" with the squirrels I have yet to follow up on that decision with any lethal treatment to the little bastards.
Land mines perhaps?

Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:56 pm
by brothers
A few years ago, almost 14 or so, a family os squirrels managed to rip off one of my mom's soffit vents and moved into her attic. We used a trap to catch them one by one over a period of a few days, and took them to the city park a couple of miles down the road and turned them loose. I believe the final count came to nine when the dust cleared. Mom would call me every day when she heard the ruckus associated with a new capture, and I'd leave my job and go take care of the squirrel and go back and reset the trap. There were a couple of days when we'd catch more than one. I got some heavier gauge hardward fabric and built some fairly substantial vents, and we could see where they had tried furiously to get into the attic, those who were stranded outside, but the new vents worked great. They made a mess out of the stuff they found in the attic, though.

At the current time, the neighborhood squirrels are quite busy. Today, for example, they decided to have a go at all of the enormous acorns our Burr Oak is covered with, it looks like they had an acorn feast at the bottom of the tree today. No problem, they're welcome to all the acorns they can harvest. I've got a Chinkapin Oak that is also covered with acorns, much smaller, but they're all very green now, and the hungry squirrels don't seem to want those, just yet.

Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:12 am
by dosco
ShadowsDad wrote:What kind of squirrels? It sounds as though they are overpopulated.
They are grey squirrels. And yes, I am fairly certain they are significantly overpopulated. Where I live is basically a hardwood Forest that has been "developed." Red and White Oak, maple, hickory, etc. Once in a while I'll see a hawk pick off a squirrel, but that doesn't happen nearly enough.

Any advice would be appreciated. And killing them is fine with me (I hear they have a 'nutty' flavor ... although I'm not sure my wife would be interested in eating squirrel).


Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:23 am
by Squire
Put 'em in a stir fry and tell her it's chicken.

Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:45 pm
by ShadowsDad
Grey squirrel is delicious, really. Make a stew or soup (boneless) and tell her it's chicken, she won't know the difference.

Sorry, my traps as designed will only work for the red type squirrel. It's a weasel trap that uses rat traps for the kill mechanism inside a box. I doubt that a rat trap will kill a grey. If you can get Conibear traps w/o a license in your state a conibear might substitute for the rat traps. You'll need to dig and find out though. I'd google trapping supplies in your state. Or buy them out of state. Let the seller know you want the traps for a large weasel box trap to use for grey squirrels. There might even be something better than a conibear. A piece of dry corncob with corn would make great bait inside the trap. Skewer it on a nail. But if you can find the traps we can work out the details. The killing happens more or less out of sight. The tail might show. They're probably also considered small game, so take that and your area into account. You might need a hunting license and there might be a season and limit. But if you have privacy and keep quiet, well, I'll let you finish the thought. You might also contact Division of Fish & Game or whatever, explain the situation and ask for their blessing to exterminate some. Me, I'd do it from a public phone at work or some such, but that's because I'm trusting.

Or you could use a havaheart and relocate the squirrels caught many miles away. But I think that's cruel to do that and they could wind right back at your doorstep. Too, unless it isn't built up where you release them you might just be giving someone else the problem. Or you could also do what my brother did after I wasn't around to shoot the groundhogs anymore (below)... use the havaheart to trap them, then kill them by any means. Exhaust run into the container they're in is efficient and cheap.

Or use a .22 Pellet gun. It doesn't need to be fancy. As long as it's .22 (definitely NOT .177) has a velocity of about or slightly more than 600 fps (feet per second) and decent accuracy it'll kill greys. It won't be silent, but it won't be highly noticeable either, especially if you fire from indoors. Heck, I used to shoot groundhogs in a residential area in NJ with a supersonic .22 rimfire and no one had a clue; all by firing from inside (muzzle inside). Just don't let any tree huggers know you're doing it. They like to love animals to death. Starving animals mean nothing to that type as long as they can see them running around.

Back to the pellet gun. Range will be limited to maybe 30 yards, and the squirrel will need to be stationary so that you can place the pellet, but in time you'll put a dent in the population.

Don't fall for mega velocity hype. 600-700 fps velocity is enough, a little more won't be terrible but don't pay big bucks for the fastest and most expensive. They can cause damage, are louder, and might not be accurate enough. Be sure of your backstop since a pellet can cause people damage and you don't want that. Choose your shots and only take safe ones.

If I lived near you I'd volunteer to do it for you, since shooting vermin is great fun and I guarantee no one would hear it happening.

Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:37 am
by dosco
Thanks for the info.

Not sure I want to use the traps ... my backyard is fenced in so theoretically I could use the traps, however I have 2 dogs and I'm concerned that if left unsupervised they might get into trouble.

A coworker used the "have-a-heart" traps for grey squirrels, he said that they are territorial so if you drop one off in a new location it is kill-or-be-killed. Not sure I want to go through the trouble of driving around relocating squirrels. I barely have time for anything else.

I am drawn to the other ideas ... I've been thinking of a pellet rifle for a long time. Thanks for the pointers on the other stuff, good to know and checkout.


Re: A story about an apple tree

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:05 pm
by brothers
I just rediscovered my old thread about the apple tree. Well, it survived maybe a year or two until my wife "accidentally" (wink wink) mowed it down and never mentioned it to me at all. I just knew. :) It was in a bad spot anyway and its best years were long gone.

Regarding squirrels, we have two or three these days, yes even in the dead of winter. The wife feeds the birds front and back flower gardens. For a while I had a bit of amusement trying to rig up barriers knowing all along that those critters have amazing learning instinct when it comes to food. They got around all of the barriers and I realized I was merely causing them to burn much energy in just getting through to the delicious bird seed, so we just welcome them and enjoy watching them climb and hang and jump, and all of the other stuff they do.