[NAFEX] The squirrel pressure is just too intense

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Mon Jul 5 08:15:27 EDT 2004


The prevalence of wild animals just seems to grow, in my experience.  I 
live in a suburb of Boston that is well groomed, but has lots of wooded 
patches between houses and several protected natural areas.  I am 42.  
My theory is twofold:

1)  In my youth, the population of birds, especially predatory birds, 
was depressed by DDT and similar insecticides.  The birds are coming 
back.
2)  In my youth, the population of everything else was depressed by pet 
dogs.  A leash law was instituted when I was about 20 - until then, 
packs of pet dogs used to roam freely, generally showing up on school 
playgrounds at recess-time.  I bet at other times they were chasing 
whatever deer, raccoons, groundhogs, coyotes, etc. that happened by.  
Even if they didn't chase large predators like coyotes, they kept down 
the population of good prey for coyotes, and made the neighborhood less 
attractive.  The predators also seem to be coming back - we now have 
lots of coyotes, and there's a fisher a few towns over, and bears can't 
be far behind.

That being said, I've not seen a change in the squirrel population in 
my lifetime.  There were plenty when I was a kid (living on a lot with 
mature oak trees) and there are still plenty (again, living on a lot 
with mature oak trees.)  1922 falls between chestnut blight  
(widespread in the NE by 1904) and Dutch Elm Disease (first reported in 
1930).   Perhaps the parks your father frequented were lined mostly 
with majestic elms, and not with trees more hospitable to squirrels.

Ginda

That being said, in
On Jul 4, 2004, at 9:27 AM, Charles Paradise wrote:

>  I still don't understand the inadequacy of natural predators.  Why 
> are fishers so uncommon?  Why don't hawks and other raptors taking 
> enough squirrels so we see less squirrels?  Makes me appreciate 
> natural predators more.  My father told me that when he was a kid 
> around 1922, that squirrels weren't seen in town parks but mostly when 
> out in the woods.  What could have been different in 1922?
>
>  Indeed shooting is illegal in my town, but I used to catch many 
> squirrels as well as about everything else in a Havahart® trap I set 
> when I had a small fenced garden.  When I really got mad about 
> squirrels ruining my crops I'd drape a shower curtain over the cage 
> then run a PVC pipe from the car exhaust to the cage and that was very 
> effective.  Not my idea of fun, shows how mad I was about the damage.
>
>  I've got two hounds and I'm going to let them have a try at squirrels.
> C. Paradise
> Massachusetts zone 5ish
>
>  Jwlehman at aol.com wrote:
>  In a message dated 7/3/2004 7:54:26 AM US Eastern Standard Time, 
> redherring at tnaccess.com writes:
> a lot of
> squirrels.  Will a BB gun with pellets work on squirrels? A 22 seems 
> like
> overkill, and I remember shotgun shells are expensive.
> I've often said one can have squirrels or nuts but not both. I feel 
> sorry for those of you that live in populated areas where shooting 
> isn't a good idea or against the law. To answer your question, no 
> normally a BB gun will not kill squirrels outright. However a pellet 
> gun with about 7 pumps will. As a BB spirels in flight, purchase 
> pellets to use with the pump air rifle.
>
> A rifle isn't necessarly overkill. If one uses (my main defense 
> ammuntion) 22 BC shorts or 22 target shorts that uses a slower burning 
> powder has a much quieter report and still has enough umpf to outright 
> kill squirrels, rabbits, crows, etc.  The report is such that my 
> neighbors seldom hear the report. I use a single shot el`cheapo rifle. 
> I keep my population under control and I livwe in a wooded area, maybe 
> total of 10 acres of woods around the house and buildings.
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