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Out On The Mudline

Squirrels Participate In Relocation Project

By W. P. Sissell

Trap Line 2

I seem to remember writing about our trap line that Nannette and I dutifully run every year out on our deck. We have done so well this year that we may have to move the location of our trap in the near future.

In the late thirties, Claiborn Biles taught me how to find and hunt squirrels. Most of the time we went to the woods near the McFarland Cemetery where squirrels weren’t very hard to find (that’s near and south of Sissell’s Pond and along the road that at one time led to Mr. Noel Johnson’s place). I can hear him now—“Now Mr. William don’t you shoot up here while I’m in this tree. I’m ‘gonna’ shake that squirrel out of that nest.”

Claiborn, in addition to being a good squirrel hunter, was the only one who could get on the hay bales stacked four high and hook the bale I swung up to him at just the right instant so that I felt little weight for that bale just kept going up. I had to unhook from the bale or I think he would have carried me up with it.

In the few weeks we have had our trap in service this spring we have been able to relocate ten of the little fuzzy creatures to the north side of the farm, about a mile from our home. That is some one per week. They had been “homesteading” on the topside of our ceiling.

The Wild Ones

Squirrels aren’t the only wild ones that are plentiful around here. Just a day or two ago, as we approached our driveway, Nannette pointed south and said look at the deer.  There, grazing in my neighbor’s cotton field, were eight deer—large and small.  

Now those don’t bother cotton much but I immediately thought about Robert Ferrell’s bean fields on both sides of Hotophia Creek and adjacent to that cotton field. For a number of years we have lost many acres per year to the deer. That day, as we rode down the turn row to Hotophia Creek we “spooked” three deer grazing at the edge of our bean field.

Earlier in the year we had, in the general neighborhood, visits from several flocks of wild turkeys and on the delta place we have regular visits from ducks and geese (one winter a neighbor had one hundred sixty acres of pelicans—wingspread 8-91/2 feet). I made a special trip to let Nannette see those gigantic birds. In that area the hunting rights are as valuable as the crops grown.     

I do guess Rupert bested me with his article in the Panolian about an ill-fated attempt to scare a coyote from his yard.  I watched my coyote through the bedroom window and my closest deer too, although I occasionally have to go outside to see what our “Pug” has at bay.

Our wish for you is a great week and do have a safe fourth of July. You can always reach me at 23541 Highway 6 Batesville, MS 38606 or 662-563-9879.

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