Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This afternoon I will have completed the backyard project.

The wayback is wooded and as usual there are abunch of little weeds and suckers that grow and every year I take the mower and level everything so Mother Nature has to start all over again. It keeps the wayback like a little fairy land and the spring suckers and shoots give the deer something to eat and also provided them with bedding and a place to have their children as almost every single year I see a newborn fawn.

Anyway, we lost a number of trees back in June and summer whipped by too fast and when I could finally get to them they were entrenched in a season's worth of weeds.

I'm finishing up now and have a little touch -up left following about a full week's worth of hack-slash, chain saw madness and grinding everything up. The trees have been bucked up and piled up for firewood for anyone that wants it.

There's a lot of it and I suppose it will just rot in peace unless someone with a huge truck and an army of husky kids wants to hump it up the hill and load it. Sometimes Neighbor Bob will run his pickup down through the backyard and snap up a load, but that doesn't happen often enough.

As I type I feel a touch of the itch that preceeds a poison ivy rash so I guess I had best wash the arm with bleach. I just stopped typing and have done this. I'm back and it stung like it always does which means I think I have headed this one off at the pass.

The radio has been on and I have checked in with Jim and Jda on the YLISSB and snagged a nice little chat with some guy in Scotland which is always nice.

Maybe later tonight I will hilltop somewhere and tomorrow I might break out one of my rifles and make sure I can still hit a bull in the ass with a canoe paddle. A few years ago I would have been at the range to make sure my rifle was sighted in for fairly close range as there is a ground hog running amok.

A few years back I would have simply baited a certain area to serve as a backstop and shot the animal but these days things have changed and I dare not do this. The town has changed and you have to be cagey and sometimes either change with it or go underground. I suppose you can say I have done both.

Several years ago I took a ground hog out that was in a yard about 4 lots away. There was a berm that would safely stop a bullet and we baited it. I got a call from Neighbor Bob reporting the ground hog was nearing the bait so I went outside with my rifle and slinged up and got on my belly. When the ground hog was eating the bait, I squeezed the shot off and rolled him up in a ball. The bullet went straight through the animal and was stopped safely in the berm.

The second the shot stopped echoing I heard a loud voice a couple doors down shout "You got him. I'll call Mark."

Mark simply went out back with a shovel and buried him where he laid and that was that.

Of course, it was illegal then and it is illegal now but things were a bit different as times have changed and the population has grown in the neighborhood. Even back then you had to be cagey but the police were not as agressive as they are now. They used to overlook stuff if you used common sense, planned ahead and did things safely. When I say they overlooked it, I simply mean that there was no big investigation unless someone did something stupid or got caught red-handed.

The people I got the biggest kick out of were the ones that would condemn you for doing something like that until Mr. Groundhog showed up in THEIR lawn and started tearing up jack. Then they would start kissing up to you to remove him.

Nine times out of ten I would refuse simply on safety grounds because they would not have a berm or other safe place to stop a bullet as most lots are fairly flat. Trying to explain to them that a NATO 7.62 round isn't going to simply stop after it exited a small ground hog was sometimes difficult. Such a round coming out of a bore at 2700 feet per second will go straight through a lot of houses with ease. It is nothing to take lightly.

Besides, if their neighbors see a guy slinged up on his belly with a rifle in their back yards you can expect to get popped and I mean right now. There is no explaining to a wierded out soccer mom because they generally can not listen to good sense or reasoning. I remember one saying to someone "Your husband SHOT an animal?"

Lady, this is Pennsylvania and on the opening day of deer week you have a million armed men in the woods. Do you think the deer you see in the back of pickups are suicides that people pick up out in the woods? Maybe we can prevent this terrible rash of suicides by putting out salt licks with some kind of anti-depressant drug in them.

Anyway, there is another ground hog in the yard and I guess that I am just going to have to trap him and release him somewhere else. My 'Caddyshack' sense of humor tells me that I ought to release him at the golf course a few miles away and my other sense says I ought to drop him off in a million dollar neighborhood just for the hell of it so they can deal with it.

Then again, maybe I ought to find a liberal neighborhood and drop him off there and watch the hand-wringing and listen to the 'puppies are poeple, too' set try and figure out what to do with the poor animal.

Oh, well. Off to the wayback to spin the wheels of industry for a couple of hours.
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