by Dara Todd


I don’t consider myself a big time hunter, but I do live in the country, and I do have my hunter’s safety.  So if some evil vermin move onto my property they best be watching where they set up camp. My father-in-law affectionately refers to me as Annie Oakley and I don’t argue.

When we moved here the abandoned barn on the property boasted a pigeon population of over 100. Between my husband and I we got it down to zero, closed all the big openings they were coming through, and dusted off our boots. We did leave a tiny opening about the size of a pigeon in the tallest part of the barn that we couldn’t reach, and over the following winter a group of two or three pigeons moved back in. Since I like target practice, we have let them set up home on the disgusting hay bales in the top of the barn.

Pigeons can lay two to three eggs about nine times a year, so if we let them, we could be back up to 100 very quickly. That won’t happen as long as I’m around.

I’ve since moved on to removing the ground squirrels who have decided that our lane, including a hole in the middle of our driveway, is a great place to make their home. These little guys take a bit more of an accurate shot. I don’t like to brag, but I only shot eight shots today and my prizes included three ground squirrels and two pigeons. My cats and dog are looking like a bunch of fatties tonight after enjoying the fruits of my labor. Maybe next time I’ll turn the ground squirrels into a fashionable hat to match my nickname.

Fat cats of Elie

Fat cats of Elie

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