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Re: OT: Squirrels

From: Glenn Simmons <glsimmon@swbell.net>

Haggstroms wrote:

> From: Haggstroms <hagg@alaska.net>
> I wrote an e-mail earlier about squirrel "solutions" which  probably
> offered inappropriate remedies for problem squirrels. I've received
> several private e-mails chastising me, and I'm starting to feel very
> badly about writing that e-mail. Dennis Kramb was actually the only one
> who mentioned something on-list, but then he wrote a very nice letter
> off-list and was very kind. But, it's obvious that my advice was off
> base for this situation.
> I really had no idea I was offering a fairly offensive solution, and I
> truly didn't mean to step on people's feet.
> As I said to Dennis Kramb off-list, you have to forgive me for having a
> little void in my understanding about certain issues, especially how
> they're perceived stateside. I grew up in Alaska with a basically
> "subsistence" type lifestyle - shooting game, trapping, mushing dogs,
> commercial fishing, harvesting seagull eggs, cutting up seal and whale
> (real smelly), smoking fish, flying, etc. I consider myself quite
> responsible in my own little eco-niche, don't harvest more than I need,
> never trophy hunt, and respect the balance of nature, as it exists where
> I live.
> BUT, I don't have a grasp on the view of the urban-raised person, who
> probably has never had much experience in a true "wild balanced
> ecosystem" and thus, has an urbanized view of their relationship with
> the critters of the city - squirrels, birds, mice, cats, dogs, etc. And
> who's to say that's wrong? For an urban situation, their attitude is
> probably correct and appropriate. That view probably shouldn't be
> seriously extended to the true wild, AND on my end, I did the same
> thing, by extending my view into the urban scene. So, I think I was out
> of line suggesting a rural solution to an urban problem.
> I apologize for offering an offensive solution to what many see as
> welcome additions to their local urban scene. Sorry about that.
> Kathy Haggstrom
> Anchorage, AK

I have been out of town for a couple of days but didn't realize my squirrel
comments would get this far.  As a kid I grew up on a small farm and
regularly ate squirrels, when cooked right they are quite tasty, so are frog
legs, quail and as Janet Nalale mentioned, cats and dogs....I've had these a
couple of times to and lest I forget our Louisiana people, alligator...very

As for poison, I have no ethical problems about placing Poisson in my house
if I find evidence of a mouse.  A mouse is a rodent just as a squirrel is
and both can become pests.  The only concern I have about placing Poisson
outside for squirrels is the possibility of some other animal or bird
getting hold of the Poisson bait.  Actually I like squirrels and enjoy
watching them but like any other animal (rabbits included) if the natural
predators are not around then their populations can get so large that they
become "pests."  One of my neighbors has holes in the eaves of his house the
squirrels have chewed, they now live in his attic.  If he patches a hole the
squirrels just chew another one and while they are in the attic they like to
chew on his electrical wiring, he does lose a few squirrels this way!  :)
Like Jan Brown mentioned, prairie dogs can be another pest.  I always
enjoyed going to a park in Lubbock and watching the prairie dogs but I sure
wouldn't want them in my pasture or field!  Deer are getting so thick in our
area that they are becoming a pest and dangerous.  If you don't think deer
can be dangerous just look at a car that has hit one of them.

My problem with squirrels and rabbits is how do I reduce their population
without endangering other animals and stay within the law of our city.
Linda and I saw a man a few months ago releasing trapped squirrels a couple
blocks from our house!  All he was doing was moving the problem from his
house to ours!  The eco balance is out of balance because the predators
aren't around anymore so in this case I feel that we the people have to
become the predators of these pest animals.  Squirrels are cute with their
bushy tails and the way they sit up and chatter but that does not mean they
cannot be a pest and need to be dealt with.  Our choice is how do we deal
with these pests.


Glenn, Linda & Matthew Simmons
Springfield, Southwest Missouri, USDA Climate Zone 6

mailto:glsimmon@swbell.net (primary)

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