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Mice!

squirrel control

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    We'll I've recently been taken out by fisheruk and added to the team doing our bit to help the Red squirrels.

    It's a great location to be when the sun is rising listening to the ducks and geese waking up, last week I almost had a robin sat on my foot and buzzing around my head. 

    Possibly spotted a red last week but it was up in the pines so couldn't be 100%

    Out this morning before the sun was up, greated by a tawny owl gliding over the lake, applauded by the pigeons as loads of them streamed out of the woods and laughed at by the squirrels, they've been coming to the feeders but this morning a pair and two singles seemed more than happy to stay up high and then simply vanish.

    I've shot a couple of rats from round the bird tables and there were four more youngsters there this morning without a care in the world, but because of public access they'll have to wait till next week.

    Then this morning while chatting and counting the rats a Water rail walked out, never seen one before, really beautiful bird, so no squirrels yet there for me but maybe next time they'll come down and see me.WP_20171117_09_36_05_Pro.jpg.d2b0160cc20efd0c4f85f0596e3f967b.jpgWP_20171117_08_37_15_Pro.jpg.528c4d170f291ed25674ae92621727a1.jpg

    WP_20171117_08_33_44_Pro.jpg

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    fisheruk got four last week off the feeders, seems this morning they were happy to play high up, and I think they know we have to leave at half 9.

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    We'll I finally broke my duck this morning. Started out same as usual stealthy approach wasted given the noise made by the pigeons leaving the woods, heard the owl but didn't see it.

    so in position sat waiting between two feeders when I hear a snap, look behind me and an old fella walking towards me, I wave he says grey squirrels, I nod and off he goes, not great, but it didn't turn into what are you doing.

    I move over a bit and start tapping on my new squirrel call, I can see movement up in the tree tops and they are moving towards me! Keep this up when something to my left catches my eye, two squirrels chasing each other down a tree towards me, wait till there out of sight a move around slightly another couple of taps and up pops a grey side on ears twitching, bang, down he goes other has vanished.

    time was getting on now but still tapping on the squirrel call and they were moving from up high towards me to see what was going on, just didn't come far enough away from the footpath, good sign for next time though.WP_20171124_08_59_10_Pro.jpg.445fea57eeb9886a97169c5ffd978cb4.jpg

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    Cheers chaps, its a great place to be out and now the public are spotting reds, hopefully our pressure on the greys and feeding through the winter will get the reds through to spring and breeding, be great to see lots of baby reds running around.

    The female I shot yesterday in my garden weighed 1lb 11 ounces, pregnant female and were almost in December, just shows how much pressure the greys must put on the reds.

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    Is there any national organisation the co ordinates the control of greys? Basc NI is only starting to talk about controlling them now. Would be interested I'm helping people out with their squirrel problems 

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    Not that I know of, there are lots of different groups working in different areas such as Cumbria and Anglesey, send Suburban shooter a msg, he has been all over the place talking to different groups, and was in Ireland earlier this year.

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    I'll give him a shout. Considering the extent of the spread and numbers involved you would think one of the shooting bodies would be keen to track controlled areas, build a comparison of year on year red sightings to see what progress was being made. 

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    32 minutes ago, Rossco89 said:

    I'll give him a shout. Considering the extent of the spread and numbers involved you would think one of the shooting bodies would be keen to track controlled areas, build a comparison of year on year red sightings to see what progress was being made. 

    Some groups will be doing this such as Cumbria and Anglesea but there isn't one group covering everywhere, different approach and politics involved in different areas, Suburban shooter knows a lot more about this, send him a pm but it will probably take him a few days to get back to you 😊 

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    An uphill battle until there is a national press coverage of the need to get rid of this menace but of course we will always have the liberal tree huggin brigade like my neighbour who's wood is crawling with them and she feeds them. The general public are not aware of the damage these animals do, not only to our native reds. Since my vendetta on a small scale here I have seen a vast improvement in small song bird numbers with blue tits hovering like a mass of bumblebees over our feeders.  We can all do our bit and I will be covering a round trip of 140miles this next weekend just to kill grey squirrels.

     

    Sorry , forgot to say a thank you for the photos. 

    Edited by Walker570

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    Your welcome walker, its not just about shooting its about enjoying the surroundings.

    I was on the phone to Suburban shooter this week and I said to him don't forget that grey squirrels are probably the only wild mammals that most people see, because of this most folk won't understand or accept shooting them, what would be good would be the rspb coming out and saying that squirrel control benefits song birds, but that's not going to happen. 

    I've seen the same thing in my garden lately lots of small birds spending more time on the feeders, even my vegi misses has pointed this out and shouts squirrel along with the kids when one appears.

    blue tits, great tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, nuthatch, thrush wren, robin, blackbirds, jay magpie, collard dove, chaffinch, that's what I saw Friday doing the pots, and a squirrel.

     

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    didn,t get any the other mornin kev,,,2 damn dog walkers by 8 15,thats what i have to put up with,will leave it now till early nxt year when light comes earlier.

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    what about using one of the many air rifles once they've gone to work? Maybe try what fisheruk has done, put a couple of feeders in the wood, away from where the dog walkers go, and once there using them I'm sure you would get a few.

    I noticed the other morning that despite folk walking dogs along the footpaths that's where the squirrels were, they didn't seem bothered as its the norm, fella spying on them with a rifle and they're not so keen.

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    Feeders tucked away in the woods is probably the most effective means of killing these blighters in numbers - you need them in position now as the Squirrels need to be aware of them before the natural food dries up. Build a hide nearby and make sure you have a clear shot thru any undergrowth - if there's a branch within 20 feet of the feeder then Sod's Law says your going to hit it sooner or later. However, IMHO shooting them is not really having much effect on their numbers as far as I can tell. In a small copse of about 30 trees last year I shot 17 but this year it's alive with youngsters again and over our 5k acres, where 6 guns took over 250 last year, they seem as plentiful as ever. Much like Walker570 I have a chap locally that owns a wood and he feeds them everyday - when I spoke to him about the damage they cause he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that it's just nature. Still, at least it gives us an opportunity to get out and do some good - each one shot must take the pressure off local songbirds although increased numbers on feeders is most likely also due to the season. Shot 8 over the weekend with 6 from one feeder - but came close enough to a Fox to almost touch it and had a young Squirrel nearly climb down my arm - all added bonuses of being out in the countryside.

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    my thoughts Bruno are that shooting them has got to help the song birds, I think because of the areas where there is no control such as these woods where folk feed, them public parks, gardens your always going get squirrels moving in from other areas, think it was Dougy was putting up 40 at a time earlier in the year from a keeper trapping them, obviously no reds or public access, trapping with shooting would give much better results but you obviously need the time to check the traps.  I am getting lulls now in my garden where I don't see any then they reaper before hopefully getting shot, so I'm hoping for loads of songbirds come spring?

    Good weekend for you though getting 8.

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    11 hours ago, hawkfanz said:

    didn,t get any the other mornin kev,,,2 damn dog walkers by 8 15,thats what i have to put up with,will leave it now till early nxt year when light comes earlier.

    Dog walkers are the bane of my life!

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    Thanks Mice but I don't think it will impress the Manager - 58 might squeeze a TXT of joy from him :). Must admit to not being bothered by countless Dog walkers in the Woods that I shoot - plenty of them around but the Squirrels are so used to them it's of no concern - often get young children "discover" me and hear them running off to tell their parents that "there's a hunter in the woods" (as the last one shouted) but I normally just slip away deeper into the trees to avoid any potential confrontation.

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    I have 9 live catch cages in my little wood which I modified a bit with full width peanut feeders at the far end. OK the expanded mesh was expensive from B&Q but it is substantial enough that rats and tree rats cannot destroy it once caught, which they did with the normal thin wire peanut mesh. The little birds can help themselves, occasionally a stupid wood pecker will jump on the treadle and get trapped but we visit the wood four times a day and I am sure one knows me by name now, caught so often, even says a woodpecker thank you when it flies away.  These traps have worked wonders overt the past four years and the old buzzard has a free meal every time a tree rat gets caught.

    Woodies and pheasants and moorhens also help themselves. I cut a square out above the feeder and the small birds can get inside the feeder to feed. Almost wet myself laughing last week when a wood pigeon flew down and did head stands trying to reach into the hole.  Just great to be able to sit there and watch nature moving around.

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    6 hours ago, DC177 said:

    Dog walkers are the bane of my life!

    Ah BUT they have the right to walk anywhere they please (unlike your shooting ! ), they 'know' the Law, you see,  and they have 'the right to roam' freely ????  They are all too quick to inform you of that 'right' too !  I used to ask if I could let my dog run in THEIR 'bit of England'  ??  :no:

    Edited by Westley

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    I can just imagine the parents, don't be silly Fred there's no one hunting in the woods. 😆😆

    is there anything up in the woods Bruno telling people that there is shooting taking place? Or is it on the hush hush?

    wife and son both sat looking at wildlife books, we put a trail camera up to see what's been taking the squirrels, so far possibly a cat plus magpie jay crow and probably a stoat only been up for one day and night very interesting.

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    1 hour ago, Westley said:

    Ah BUT they have the right to walk anywhere they please (unlike your shooting ! ), they 'know' the Law, you see,  and they have 'the right to roam' freely ????  They are all too quick to inform you of that 'right' too !  I used to ask if I could let my dog run in THEIR 'bit of England'  ??  

    Actually they DO NOT have the right to walk over the golf course. But they get quite agitated nonetheless.

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    No Signs Mice and all control is kept on the quiet - despite getting strange looks (from hundreds of people out for a walk) as I make my way to the shooting positions, the owners have only received one call from a member of the public in 3 years - to date the Police have not recorded any.

    Edited by bruno22rf

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