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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Of Squirrels and solutions…one mans problem

My name is (name redacted to protect the innocent), and I have a problem...a squirrel problem.  This is a problem that has haunted my home and family for years.  I’ll spare you all of the humiliating details but know has been a long and difficult process for me and my family.  Sometime late last year I hit rock bottom and knew something had to change.  Here is a brief history of my struggle. 

As is probably too common, at first I didn’t even realize that i had a problem.  I didn’t take it seriously and basically took half hearted measures to control it, paying it only lip service really.  My first pellet gun purchase was a Daisy 10-pump type gun.  

The old 10-pump Daisy pellet gun wasn’t great for hunting was more of an ‘assisted suicide’ type gun.  If a squirrel was begging for a mercy killing I could get it done...but beyond that it wasn’t too great.  It’s range was short and it’s power inadequate for anything other than very simple tasks.  After a few shocking episodes demonstrated the inadequacy of that gun for my task I knew I had to replace it.  

Next I got a Crosman break barrel gun...and it was good.  This is the gun that ‘laid down the law’ at my house.  Prior to its arrival the squirrels were running the show around here.  They would chew on my house with impunity, destroying everything in their path.  The squirrels were unleashing wanton destruction upon my homestead.  The Crosman TR77 changed all that.  It was the line in the sand.  It marked the day I would stand up not just for myself...but for all mankind (except maybe for  hobo’s and hippies that live in vans and under bridges and stuff).  No longer would I stand idle and suffer the cruel urges of Scurious Carolenisis...otherwise known as The Eastern Grey Squirrel.

The Crossman TR77 did a good job.  The squirrels learned to respect it as a new authority.  When squirrels woke me up by chewing on my home it literally became the long arm of the law.  No squirrel was safe on my roof.

After 6 months of sustained combat, the TR77 had fought hard enough to buy me some breathing room.  No longer was the house covered in squirrels.  No longer did I have to suffer the indignity of watching squirrels chew up my wooden deck out longer would I have to watch my children weep as these vermin lurked in the trees above them and destroyed their home.  For now at least there were some rules...there was some order.  The Crosman TR77 had become a plague upon those squirrels.  

The TR77 racked up a body count of 58 squirrels in it’s 6-month tour.  Today the hard-core group is long gone...dead and buried.  While it may seem fitting to sit back and basque in the security provided by the Crosman, it’s important to remember that nature abhors a vacuum.  Slowly, steadily, squirrels are infiltrating from neighboring properties.  It’s nothing unmanageable, but these squirrels are smaller, and a little more skittish.  The new squirrels spend a lot of time hanging out at the far end of the effective range of the TR77.  In a way it’s just natural selection...the squirrels that were most comfortable being close to my home are the ones who’s genes were stamped out of the pool.  

The new squirrels represent a unique challenge, requiring a shift in strategy.  My goal is always to strike like the Grim Reaper.  I want a squirrel to drop in his tracks...for his ghost to still be standing there holding an acorn when his wood-chewing, home-destroying-body hits the ground.  I don’t want my nemesis to suffer...but to meet a lightening quick and humane demise.   

The problem is I can’t guaranty that type of exit for him at 20 yards and beyond with the current gun.  Nor can I allow these squirrels to linger in relative safety just beyond my effective range, massing for a counter attack.  No, the only acceptable solution was that I needed to extend my range.  I needed to extend it straight into the heart of their destroy their morale through attrition.  

What came next was a blur of research that took me into the darkest corners of the internet.  To places where men secretively discussed topics such as Foot-Pounds-of-Energy, Hammer Spring Tension, and Standard Deviation of Velocity.  It was here, in these small dens of online resistance, that these freedom fighters provided me with the solutions I so desperately needed.

After countless days of planning, research, and risk analysis, I decided that the solution to my problem...was the Benjamin Marauder.  The gun was advertised as quiet, accurate, and powerful.  Most importantly was the claim on accuracy, for if this held true then there was nowhere in my area of operations that a squirrel was safe.  This was the weapon that could bring the rule of law to my yard...forever.  Eternal peace was within my grasp. 

After a few weeks of tense anticipation it all came together today.  I configured the weapon to fit my mission profile then I settled in to get it zero'd.  

I used a few quick shots to walk the scope to zero, then I grabbed a magazine and settled in for my first 10-shot group.  The compared to my TR77...was breathtaking. 

I was simply not prepared for the level of accuracy that this gun delivers.  It is SO different from what I was used to.  It is so accurate that as the pellets stacked up one on top of the other I started to think that something was broken...nothing could be THIS accurate.  Surely the gun had fired one or two pellets but not 10...surely it couldn’t have stacked 10 pellets into a group this small.

After a quick check of the empty magazine and the target itself...I was startled to learn that it had indeed worked perfectly.  This gun had shrunk my groups from 6 inches...down to well under half an inch.  At 25 yards and beyond I now had the secret weapon.  I now had the ability to strike from a distance at which the squirrels were totally unaccustomed.

Sitting there, alone in my backyard gazing the target, seeing what I saw, knowing what I knew...I felt a sense of awe flow deeply and completely over my soul.  This must be what it felt like for the scientists in the Manhattan Project during WWII the first time they tested a nuclear bomb.  It was an earth shattering and fundamental shift in weaponry.  It validated everything I suspected, it rewarded all the hard work...I now had the ultimate solution.  With this new weapon in my hands...I would never fear another squirrel again.

There would be no more waking up early to the noise of my home being destroyed.  There would be no more walking out back with a beer to relax, only to find wood damage on my deck.  There would be no more stolen tomatoes or chewed up shingles.  No sir...the tide had turned.  There would be no more...squirrels.  
***Certain aspects of the actual story may have been embellished by the author for emphasis and entertainment but the material portions of the story are that the TR77 was good but the Marauder looks to be world class...not quite as powerful as Fat Man or Little Boy...but world class none-the-less.

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