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Mice!

squirrel control

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Well the feeder is up, sat in the quiet deciding which tree to put it on, listening to the birds, the breeze, passing cars, sheep.

Not sure if I saw movement or heard the branches first, squirrel moving through the trees, watched that one go, looking around I spot another scratching further away on a sunny bow without a care in the world, so the squirrels are still out and about at 20:15 .

That's good enough for me, now go tell your friends there's free food waiting. 

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First 2 this afternoon from the Big wood straight after work, according to the weather it could possibly turn into a thunderstorm but other than a spattering of rain it stayed nice.

In the wood for around 16:15, a squirrel did a runner as I moved in, not possible to get in quietly just too much dry stuff about under foot. 

Settled in and waited,  I could see something had been at the suet, I'd put a stick under the flip top to help the scent get out and that was sill in place but had moved.

After maybe 40 minutes a squirrel started moving around from my left, I was waiting for it to come through the deer fence but it turned back then sat up, I hit it but low, it went down but i put another in the body, that pellet went through from above the right shoulder and smashed the left shoulder!,  it didn't move again.

What was unusual about this squirrel was the sores on it, I took pictures and cut out the pellet to look at but hadn't realised the sores were ticks!! Only when I dropped them off for a fellas ferrets did he say, looking in proper light you could see it was really covered in them, armpits and around the head, I've never seen a squirrel with this amount of ticks before. If I had realised I'd have slung it in the bushes.

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I sat back down and ten minutes later I see another squirrel, coming through the tree tops, it never stopped,  just went straight by?

The whole time I'd been in the wood there had been a robin coming and going to the suet, back and forth, picking at bits of corn, perfect. 

Then again from the left which  is up the steep hill a squirrel came down through the tree tops, I followed its progress and it came straight to the feeder, then the fun began,  it was like a kid with a new toy,  up down and around it went, I've secured the feeder with blue nylon rope and a strap, it was playing with the loose bits, then do it all over again with a pause on the ground. 

Eventually he went back onto the feeder,  nosed at the lid before picking a piece up from the ledge and sitting up perfectly side on, pfft whack second squirrel down, bit of a twitch and still.

So two hours well spent one lovely hot sticky afternoon! The squirrels are coming down to me so it  bodes well.

First blood for the new feeder, and I've pulled tick off me already !!

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Well new feeder....a bigger feeder as well 😉 you TICKED all the right boxes there....well done

MICK

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Cheers gents, hopefully get an early morning session soon and they'll be queuing up to get on it.

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Mice, just caught up with the latest on this thread. Great report. Glad the new spot is yielding results so quickly. I have never noticed ticks on greys before , but have seen nasty sores occasionally. I shall treat any with sores more carefully in future. Are you going to put up  another feeder at the other side of the wood at some time?

 

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11 hours ago, Sciurus said:

Mice, just caught up with the latest on this thread. Great report. Glad the new spot is yielding results so quickly. I have never noticed ticks on greys before , but have seen nasty sores occasionally. I shall treat any with sores more carefully in future. Are you going to put up  another feeder at the other side of the wood at some time?

 

I've put the picture far and wide and not many have seen that number of ticks on a squirrel before if any, I was going to go out Thursday on my way home but it was pouring down so I dropped lucky.

Got another feeder just about done, I'm thinking I'll need at least 4 in the woods then I can rotate around them, it would be nice if the squirrels keep coming down the hill though 😁

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@Sciurus been out for a walk today in Brinscall woods, it's on the edge of the moors, real mix of coniferous trees and pines higher up, lots of tree damage with stripped bark, stopped at one point as we were getting rained on by fresh green pine cone.

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So there on the cones already!! This was on the younger trees.

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Not many fir trees in my woods apart rom

17 hours ago, Mice! said:

@Sciurus been out for a walk today in Brinscall woods, it's on the edge of the moors, real mix of coniferous trees and pines higher up, lots of tree damage with stripped bark, stopped at one point as we were getting rained on by fresh green pine cone.

So there on the cones already!! This was on the younger trees.

Not many fir trees in my woods apart from the odd larch and some exotic ones!  So don’t know if they are on cones here.

Last year I caught plenty  right until end of June - then on 1July they stopped coming and went onto the hazel, then oak then Beech. I was hoping with the lousy Spring, natural food would be later this year but in the last few days, my catches are down. 😡

Lets hope they keep coming to you at HH, It could stand more feeders, it’s big enough and should also bring them in from the other side of the hill and possibly from the woods over the bypass?

I have avoided ticks this year (so far). Famous last words...

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1 hour ago, Sciurus said:

have avoided ticks this year (so far). Famous last words.

I've got my gaiters in the car for next week 😉

It can certainly manage more feeders given the amount of area to cover, I'll keep popping more up as I go.

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So the calm before the storm that didn't happen.

Thunder storms were predicted so I was in wood number one just after 7 should have been  earlier but when you finish work at midnight early starts are tricky, it's been very quiet in this strip but 16 in a few weeks and you'd expect this, I topped up the feeder Wednesday and it was almost empty after a week so the squirrels have started coming again. 

Arrived this morning and I could see a couple of fat balls had gone, a Jay arrived and departed just as quickly,  nothing around,  very quiet, then a few small tits appeared going for the FB, maybe ten minutes and a squirrel appeared in the dreaded fallen pine, this is just behind the feeder, it sat there for what seemed like ten minutes but was probably two, it didn't seem like it had any intention of moving so I shot it, it dropped off the tree, frozen,  I could see the tail twitching then nothing.

I gave it another 15 minutes but there was nothing moving,  I think it being so hot and dry the squirrels are possibly staying near water?

Went to check how much feed had gone and retrieve the squirrel,  nothing there, just blood splatter so another has gone down the rabbit holes under the pine, the squirrel was tensed before the shot so no doubt ready to run.

Very little feed gone so this wood is looking good, and the owners are hardly seeing any squirrels now so their happy.

Off to the big wood, I should have probably gone here earlier but not to worry, I arrived around 8:15 and made my way into the wood, best description I've heard is like walking on corn flakes, this is despite a good rain last week, a squirrel was on the feeder but shot off.

I changed position today, bit further away,  different angle and more cover , so I thought!

It took maybe 20 minutes for things to settle,  the birds were coming and going to the suet, which has been hammered since monday, I'd filled the feeder on my way to work and since then most of the suet had gone.

Same as the previous week, I could see them coming through the trees, but they were acting strange today, a little on edge. 

I watched the first make it's way toward the feeder tree, but instead of going to the feeder, it made it's way along the branches nearest me and started barking at me!! Face veil,  camouflage jacket good background and it came straight at me! Bark bark dead.

Then it gets stranger, after maybe half an hour more barking, and their coming down the oak tree at the side of me, practically challenging me, like I'm in their space, I shot one at about 7 or 8mtrs lay on my back, it almost landed on me when it dropped.

The other two legged it, a few were still moving around but not coming down, just chasing each other.

Around ten I had nuts delivered so left the wood for 15minutes  or so, the fella dropping them off couldn't see me but the squirrels did?

Back into the wood as the storm hadn't hit, thinking I'll have another hour, another twenty minutes to settle and the chase games are back on, I watched a squirrel make it's way round and down towards the feeder, still very edgy, it stopped before it got to the tree and went into full meerkat mode once on the ground,  it was partly covered by leaves so I'm waiting when the barking starts again above me, further up this time, I lie back again and take another out the tree, obviously the other has vanished. 

The rain has started but the birds are moving around,  squirrels are still about on distant boughs, enjoying the rain and grooming but keeping out the way.

Then above and beyond the feeder tree I spot another squirrel, its probably around 30mtrs,  its grooming, stretching then goes to sleep,  I need it to be about 4 inches to the right for a safe shot, seems like every 2 or 3 minutes it shuffles along slightly, maybe 15 minutes after spotting it its shuffled and stretched far enough to have a bough behind it,  trigger sticks are fantastic,  with one hand I'd adjusted them to suit, not a chance I could have taken the shot free hand, I've never seen a more relaxed squirrel, it didn't twitch just fell with a thump.

Once again one of the squirrels had bad ticks, this time along its windpipe,  another had a few near its armpit. 

Nothing shot on the feeder today but obviously all coming to them, the squirrel with the ticks was an older male, I noticed a pellet under its skin so thought it would be mine, it was a  .22 pointed pellet without a mark on it, I'm hoping its been there a long time and not recent or that could explain why they were edgy if someone is taking pot shots going through the wood?

Another four from the big wood.

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Posted (edited)

Turning out good.  I had a squirell come screaming down a tree last week at warp speed, flashed past my hide and down to the pond where it drank for at least a minute, before slowly coming back up, straight onto the flip top and started it's last breakfast.    Never seen them go to water before

Probablyly six or sven years ago I purchased and aerosol of anti tick stuff at a game fair and must say it seemed to work. I was stalking down in Somerset and Wiltshire at the time...rife with ticks.  I don't see many on the areas I stalk thses days.

Edited by Walker570

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Mice, another great report. I wondered whether you would be out today. I should have been out at the NT Folly this morning but took notice of the thunder and rain forecast and stayed in bed. In the end it only rained abit!

I haven’t noticed ticks on greys but this week I  trapped a small one full of fleas, I am now carrying a bucket nowadays when trapping rather put them in a plastic bag.

I had a circular this week from Ruisland Horizons wanting volunteers to occasionally inspect the dormice nesting boxes. I suspect this is HH, if you are interested I will send you the details.

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10 minutes ago, Sciurus said:

had a circular this week from Ruisland Horizons wanting volunteers to occasionally inspect the dormice nesting boxes. I suspect this is HH, if you are interested I will send you the details.

Yes mate send it over, the ones I checked a few weeks ago were all full of eggs or chicks, so there getting used, just not by dormice. 

1 hour ago, Ttfjlc said:

Kamikaze squirrels whatever next @Mice!?! :lol: another enjoyable read mate 

I nearly put kamikaze squirrels 😀😀

That longer shot today was the first time 177 has made the difference,  knowing it's pretty much same point from 10-30 makes a real difference. 

1 hour ago, Walker570 said:

Never seen them go to water before

I've seen them drinking from the river behind us a couple of times, but that's probably because we were walking it two or three times a day.

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Great report mate....and not one of them has been frozen 😉😉😉😉😉

 

Mick

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28 minutes ago, mick.c said:

Great report mate....and not one of them has been frozen 😉😉😉😉😉

 

Mick

I hope there frozen now, otherwise they'll be crawling by tomorrow. 

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So I gained a permission last week for rabbits and pigeons. But there's a small wood on the land so asked permission to put a feeder up and there was no issue. Put the feeder up Sunday and put a trail camera on it. Went and checked it the next day and already squirrels using the feeder. 

Dose anyone think this is because there is a lot of squirrels in the wood or do you think it's the same one using it a lot? 

I was going to leave it a couple of weeks before shooting the wood, went and set the hide up today so they can get use to it being there. While I was there checked the camera again and there was 850 pictures all squirrels. 

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15 minutes ago, Martlandhw100 said:

So I gained a permission last week for rabbits and pigeons. But there's a small wood on the land so asked permission to put a feeder up and there was no issue. Put the feeder up Sunday and put a trail camera on it. Went and checked it the next day and already squirrels using the feeder. 

Dose anyone think this is because there is a lot of squirrels in the wood or do you think it's the same one using it a lot? 

I was going to leave it a couple of weeks before shooting the wood, went and set the hide up today so they can get use to it being there. While I was there checked the camera again and there was 850 pictures all squirrels. 

Sounds promising,  if there's one then there's more, one fella in Somerset has had 90 odd in a month off one feeder, he started shooting it after 3 days.

Obviously its different all around the country but with all the youngsters around as well your going to be very busy.

We look forward to pictures. 

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10 minutes ago, Martlandhw100 said:

So I gained a permission last week for rabbits and pigeons. But there's a small wood on the land so asked permission to put a feeder up and there was no issue. Put the feeder up Sunday and put a trail camera on it. Went and checked it the next day and already squirrels using the feeder. 

Dose anyone think this is because there is a lot of squirrels in the wood or do you think it's the same one using it a lot? 

I was going to leave it a couple of weeks before shooting the wood, went and set the hide up today so they can get use to it being there. While I was there checked the camera again and there was 850 pictures all squirrels. 

Sounds like you will have some good shooting. My personal experience is that for every one squirrel you see, there’s another 10 you don’t see. Ideally, you would leave it for a couple of weeks to let them get used to it and build up scent trails through the wood to it, but by the sound of your spot you could start shooting straight away.

I generally find that the first 2 visits will give you a big bag then it fails off a bit but still will get a few. Just not as hectic with them.

Only way to know is to get out there and shoot, and if possible, pick the best conditions and time for your first visits. One thing I can guarantee is that it will not be one squirrel. And if you do your part, double figures are on the cards.

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Posted (edited)

I’ve only just started on the squirrels this year, due to lockdown mainly. A fair few about, but mostly seem to be young skinny ones.

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Edited by Rimfireboy

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Another this morning but it should have been more, my plan was to get to the wood around 6am, despite the wind and rain. It doesn't help when you somehow don't wake up till 645 and it's an hour away!!

Decided to go anyway,  the forecast was dry but windy so why not.

As usual it was around 20 minutes for the birds and voles to come back out, and about 40 mins when a squirrel appeared,  I didn't spot it till it was fairly close because of the trees swaying, it seemed to be looking straight at me, started towards the feeder then changed its mind and bolted?

About 20 minutes later another appeared,  again just suddenly there on the tree behind the feeder, it came down slowly then sat up on a tree stump nice and relaxed, pfft.

The squirrel froze, gripped the stump then the tail whirled around,  it dropped then rolled down the bank then kind of ran for about 8m before stopping dead.

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Pellet couldn't have been better placed, the squirrel was 45° off facing me, hit it between the eye and ear. 

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Pellet came out on the opposite side below the ear at the back of the neck where the twig is, and yet it still made it around 12 metres from where I shot it, tough little critters.

I had another one appear at the side of me probably 5m away coming from the main wood, it was that close I could see a line of ticks on its chest, we ignored each other for a bit then it scarpered. 

Another seemed happy just sitting in tree tops sunning itself despite the wind.

I was over on the opposite side looking at different angles as I'd like to be looking at the main wood and watching the birds and thankfully identified Willow tits @twenty when another appeared above me!! It didn't hang around.

So I'd turned up with two mags loaded expecting loads of squirrels but I think the wind put paid to my plans.

But at least I know what's been happening to the squirrels I've lost under the fallen pine. 

There going to be in for a shock when I can turn up at half 6 a few times a week 🤨

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5 hours ago, Mice! said:

Another this morning but it should have been more, my plan was to get to the wood around 6am, despite the wind and rain. It doesn't help when you somehow don't wake up till 645 and it's an hour away!!

Decided to go anyway,  the forecast was dry but windy so why not.

As usual it was around 20 minutes for the birds and voles to come back out, and about 40 mins when a squirrel appeared,  I didn't spot it till it was fairly close because of the trees swaying, it seemed to be looking straight at me, started towards the feeder then changed its mind and bolted?

About 20 minutes later another appeared,  again just suddenly there on the tree behind the feeder, it came down slowly then sat up on a tree stump nice and relaxed, pfft.

The squirrel froze, gripped the stump then the tail whirled around,  it dropped then rolled down the bank then kind of ran for about 8m before stopping dead.

20200705_145739.jpg.95c00ba8255fe1b48ac810b738289f5c.jpg

Pellet couldn't have been better placed, the squirrel was 45° off facing me, hit it between the eye and ear. 

20200705_145628.jpg.154ac0de376cf19f89167ad25da7feb5.jpg

Pellet came out on the opposite side below the ear at the back of the neck where the twig is, and yet it still made it around 12 metres from where I shot it, tough little critters.

I had another one appear at the side of me probably 5m away coming from the main wood, it was that close I could see a line of ticks on its chest, we ignored each other for a bit then it scarpered. 

Another seemed happy just sitting in tree tops sunning itself despite the wind.

I was over on the opposite side looking at different angles as I'd like to be looking at the main wood and watching the birds and thankfully identified Willow tits @twenty when another appeared above me!! It didn't hang around.

So I'd turned up with two mags loaded expecting loads of squirrels but I think the wind put paid to my plans.

But at least I know what's been happening to the squirrels I've lost under the fallen pine. 

There going to be in for a shock when I can turn up at half 6 a few times a week 🤨

Atleast you got one tree rat down 👍

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It is amazing how sometimes they can go some distance just on automatic. With regard to your new set Martland, I think you will have a sizeable bag on your first visit, then they will taper off as you thin them out. Then a rest for a couple of weeks but still with some food there and a new bunch will turn up, eventually you clear the surrounding area and it can then go quiet for a while.   I would not be surprised if you do not get double figures on that first visit.  Get in there early and catch'em before they get out of bed.  Have fun , keep whacking and stacking.

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