Boundbytheword Blog

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No Squatters Allowed! March 25, 2011

This year, we were excited to haul out the buckets and spiels and tap those trees, and got things underway last Saturday. Little did we know that over the winter we’d housed some unwelcome guests. The squatters made a fine mess of things too, which squatters will often do.

Porcupines.


The tell-tale signs being the bark-less limbs high up on our trees and the multitudes of shavings all over the ground. What I thought was leftover leaves from the fall turned out to be crumbs from the rodent banquets.

The obvious problem I have with the damn pests, is that in probability my curious dog or my huntress of a cat could end up with a face full of quills. The fact that porcupines weigh between 10-30 pounds and can have up to 30,000 quills on its evil little body leads me to believe my 9 pound cat might not like the introduction.

It isn’t just the chance of a pet encounter making me uneasy. This unwelcome vermin is ripping (or gnawing) the skin right off the limbs of my beautiful trees. That kind of damage will kill a younger tree. The more mature trees might not die from the assault, but those pointy little claws and teeth rip through the bark, and expose the tree; which makes even the mightiest one vulnerable to disease.

extent of damage on one of our maples




So although last Saturday was spent getting ready for the sugar season, this Saturday will involve a run down to the local hardware store to buy a live trap, in hopes of catching and then relocating our trespasser. In spite of my hatred of this little beast for the harm he’s inflicting on my land, I didn’t ask my husband to bring home a few extra bullets to do the job. Just because I don’t have the stomach to “off” the thing though doesn’t mean I have intentions of letting it stick around, so I hope it enjoys a road trip.

I’ve had a mantra for years – don’t mess with me, my kids, or my chocolate. Of course when my pets came along they were added to the list, and it seems my mama bear mentality extends to anything that lives on my property, or provides me with something sugary.

Porcupine intruders – time to pack your bags – it’s game time. Wish me luck in my hunting.

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14 Responses to “No Squatters Allowed!”

  1. Shirley Bickle Says:

    Hi: Noelle: I love reading your stories. This one put a smile on my face, as I remember the times when we lived in the country that our pets met up with they nasty critters. Keep posting your work. Love Aunt Shirley

  2. Rhonda Says:

    Good luck with the relocation … in the meantime…
    I wouldn’t worry too much about your cat, we always had many cats when we lived in the country and they never seemed to feel the wrath of the porcupine. The dog however is a different story… I think the difference is that some dogs, think that the porcupine looks like a fun play thing to chase. One very clear and significant childhood memory includes holding my dog while my dad took the pliers and one by one pulled the quills from his mouth! If it is any consolation though, this was a DUMB dog – Malik is definitely smarter.

    • What a horrid memory! Yikes!

      Our neighbour had a porcupine problem with his cows – they would nuzzle the porcupines, and get them in the face. Now that’s DUMB…lol.

  3. Norma Bickle Says:

    I guess there will be a lot more sympathy and a lot less laughter over our racoon problem from now on LOL

  4. Lisa Llamrei Says:

    At least your rodents are outside. I’ve got the indoor squatters. At least this time it’s mice and not rats, but they’re getting bold. One of them came out and stared at me just now. You’re definitely nicer than me. I’m leaving soon to buy traps and they won’t be the humane variety!

    • Mice are a million times better than rats. Gross me out. Bold mice though…they arn’t so great. Maybe you need to get some cats? My cat would love to come visit – it would be like an all inclusive vacation!

      • Lisa Llamrei Says:

        No thanks. Previous owners had cats and I still haven’t managed to get the smell cat pee out of the carpet on the stairs. Did catch one of the critters in the trap yesterday, though.

      • Yes…cats can be bad that way. You had better luck with your critters than I did with mine this weekend!

  5. Dale Long Says:

    Porcupines are indeed a royal pain. Raccoons too. We had a dog once that got into the porcupine, funny thing was he let my dad pull the quills out. Dad would pull a quill out, the dog would walk away and snort and then come back on his own accord. That was a smart dog. Never got into them again. In fact he found out a way of killing them without getting stuck again.

    Skunks, now they’re a real pain too. Tearing up the yard for grubs…

    Hope your trees recover.

    • We have skunks too – we see them in the summer – or at least our front lawn has evidence of them.

      My parents had racoons pooping on their roof. No lie – it is a 2 story house, and my dad had to go up there with a green garbage bag and bag off the crap. So funny – he said it looked like my golden retrreiver had been up there. Ha ha ha…but I guess that is too much information.

  6. Dennis Says:

    Porcupines are the only animal in the forest you can kill with a stick and eat it raw. Just thought everyone would like to know that just in case you ever get lost in the forest. one wack across the nose will do it. I have eaten porcupine and i have to say they are good eating. Im not sure about eating them raw but cooked they are good.


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