I’ve been doing a bit of squirrel hunting lately. Finally convinced the wife they are edible and good to boot. She’s so convinced, that we are having squirrel appetizers for Thanksgiving. Go big or go home, I guess. Anyway, squirrel hunting is fun and all, but what do you do with the innards now that Mr Squirrel is not using them any more? Well, if you live in the country, you can toss them in some out of the way spot and let nature take its course. I went one better and placed all them unused bits on the back side of our ridge and set my game camera up to see who would come for dinner.
Our dogs hates this, because his nose knows that something yummy is way back over there and I won’t let him roll in it. So, we keep him near the house until the smelly bits are gone.
I put the gut pile out on Tuesday, figuring it would be gone the next day. Nope, nor the next. We’ve got lots of wild life around here that would love to come to dinner, but my money was on the 4 packs of coyotes that circulate in our area of the county. Quite often, you can step outside after the sun goes down and hear coyotes howling from 4 different directions. The dog does not know who to sing with when we get quadrophonic stereo of his wild cousins. At that point he just heads in the house and pouts.
Went out this morning and a very red sky greeted me. We have rain coming, so I thought I would go out and check the camera before things got too moist. And bingo, every scrap of squirrel was gone. The dog will be happy he can roam again. I brought the little camera card back to the house and it was very interesting to see how things went down. I had placed the majority of the gut pie about 10 feet in front of the camera. I then placed a squirrel carcass draped over the top wire of a barbed wire fence that was about 8 feet from the gut pile. This was done to increase the scent trail by elevating the carcass, getting it off the ground and letting the night breezes waft it around. Much like the aroma of Mom’s home cooking, that would bring you in from outside before she had to yell at you to get in here and wash those filthy hands.
So, Wiley E. and buddies show up at 11:27 pm and check things out. Notice all the eyes glowing in the background? Ole Wiley sniffs things once or twice and they head out on to what must have seemed like a better deal. Gamey tree rat parts were second rate chow, apparently. Then, at 1:19 am Wiley shows up alone and snorfs up the pile and catches a whiff of something good on the fence. We had a pretty good moon at the time, but all this was in the deep shadows of the surrounding trees. It was rather amusing as he puzzles out how to get the carcass off the prickly barbed wire. A few tugs, a few spooks and then down the hatch and he casually wonders off. Probably looking for a tooth pick. Squirrel can be a bit stringy if you don’t bake it long enough.