Monday, December 8, 2014

Winter is Here. Let Indoor Hunting Season Begin!!!!

Homesteading in the middle of nature invites lots of opportunities to interact with wildlife. While most of my experiences are outdoors, some of them  (by no invitation) occur in my house.  When cold weather arrives outside, it heralds the arrival of field mice...and Indoor Hunting season.

On the first sighting of a mouse turd, Indoor Hunting season begins! I am in full blown Terminator mode to assassinate any rodent who dares cross over the line into my "indoor dwelling space."  Every mouse turd is interpreted as a sign of defiant disrespect. Every turd is a mark of REBELLION to my decree that all rodents stay OUTSIDE and eat only from the bird feeder.

If you've ever trapped mice, you've probably found one still alive. Not every assassination attempt is successful. Occasionally, I'll find a mouse trapped and practically unharmed. They might be caught by a leg or the tail. Live mice in a trap is not something I want to find. I want them DEAD in the trap.

The only good thing about catching a live mouse is the opportunity to revert to Plan B: Catch and Release. This means that I walk my trapped quarry out to the edge of our yard, and release them into the "wilds" at the edge of the property. I do this ONLY to create fear and panic in the local rodent population. The freed mouse can share with its brethren personal Intel of the horrors that await them if they enter my house. So far, I have not caught any mice that I previously trapped.

So far, the I. H. season has been good. In 3 weeks, I've had 5 kills and one C.n.R.  I even almost caught one by the tail with my bare hands! It tried to escape off my pantry cart while I was rolling it out into my kitchen. It just barely got its tail out of my grasp as it dived off the side of the cart. You should have seen the mirth on my husband's face as I excitedly told him how CLOSE I was to pegging that mouse and escorting him by the tail back out into the wilds! I don't know if that mouse ended up dead in a trap or the one I released. Either way, he is NOT in my house.

I have upped my I.H. game this year. I am deep cleaning areas in search of mouse nests (found one nest under my kitchen sink in my food gloves box). I am using more snap traps and have changed up the baits available.

Currently, I am rotating between  seriously sharp cheddar cheese, natural peanut butter or almond butter for bait.  I figure if this is their last meal, the first taste should be a LASTING one....