Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Midwest Slacker: Urban Squirrel Hunting

That is how I spent my afternoon. I was visiting friends in Milwaukee, just hanging out outside, when the neighbor kid comes up to show us his squirrel protecting hat. We begin to laugh, until we see his dad wearing leather gloves and setting up an Elmer Fudd type trap.

Let me tell you how to trap a squirrel. On top of a staircase or a surface with a ledge, constuct an Elmer Fudd box trap, making sure the top is weighted, with additional weight towards the front of the trap. Prop up withstick and string. Place Cheez-its underneath the trap, and garbage still in the bag next to it. The garbage is for the enticing smell and also for the crinkling sound that is attractive to squirrels. On the steps, spread around corn or seeds, often sold as "Critter Feed." This is best done as a multiple person operation, strategically placing your friends around so that squirrels to be spotted easily.

As our wily foe, the common squirrel, begins to nosh upon the corn, crinkle the garbage bag. They will then notice the Cheez-its and go to town on them. Tug the string, and you have a squirrel!

Exracting the critter is the difficult bit. You must set up a second box on the next step down with a rodent-sized hole cut into the top, and also a second, smaller slit. This second one is important because the squirrel will not escape to somewhere without daylight. Nudge the first trap so the corner covers the second one's hole. Throw a towel over the box, and try to hold onto the little bastard, around the neck if you can. They have sharp teeth and claws and can easily slip away. Take a picture, then let the poor guy go.

Also recommended: Gopher fishing.


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