This is a bit of a different story, in the way of it not (mainly) being about what adventure I have experienced, but what had recently happened on our compound while I was away. I was at a friend’s house helping to get some technical “bugs” out of an apparatus for a parade float that our church is entering in this year’s Christmas Parade. When I got home a few hours later, my wife was greeting me at the door with a shotgun that had recently been fired.
She proceeded to tell me of her afternoon “entertaining” my mother, and watching the chickens in the livestock section close to the wood line. It turns out that they were visited by an intruder of sorts, an opossum, and it was in the same pen with her beloved chickens. (Now a little past history note here: In the past, and years earlier, we have been harassed by many differing types of animals that come out of the woods.)
In the multiple decades of living in Hernando County, we have trapped and released a dozen raccoons, a handful of armadillos, at least 20 ‘possum, and the occasional wild hog. (The hog was not released). There is plenty of wooded area in this county for releasing these animals, and that is good (when a plan works accordingly).
On other instances, in the past we have been alerted by our animals that something is very wrong out in the pens, and usually end up killing some varmint or pest animal that has killed livestock. Since the accumulated storm runoff and pondage in the woods behind our property has taken its toll on the living spaces of some of the wildlife, as it has in other similar hurricane seasons, we have had to go through the routine of setting live traps on site. It turns out that as my wife and mother were in a comfortable time of enjoying a somewhat cooler afternoon outside, the comfort soon changed to hasty moves, followed by the loud “reports” from the muzzles of guns.
Again, in past years, ‘possum have found their way through the earthen, wood and steel barriers to the livestock area, and have had their way with our food source. I had to explain to my mother that when raccoon would attack the birds, they would usually go for the head, and do a quick kill before their dining experience. In cases where ‘possum have intruded, they are not picky about if the animal is dead or alive as they begin to do their thing (and as I had my wife proof read this before submission, I had to clean up that description)!
This is not only terrifying for the animal being killed, but does no good for the other birds that have to watch the scene playing out. (Back to the present.) As the two ladies were talking, my wife quickly rose up out of her chair, and headed for the house. (Mother thought that this was merely one of those “senior ladies moments.”) My wife soon came back out with a 20 gauge shotgun under her arm, and calmly motioned to my mother to be still and quiet as she neared the penned area.
It turns out that the birds started acting out, and got my wife to look into their area. When she did, she found that an opossum had decided to do a little daylight dining run. Now, my wife has, in the past, taken down big game with a rifle, but her and the shotgun are less lethal for some reason. She drew the gun barrel of the single shot 20 gauge up and fired at the direction of the animal. Apparently, she flinched when the trigger was pulled, and probably only got the tail of the animal. Ok, she may not be real good with a shotgun, but as she grew up in a family with a policeman as a father, she was very familiar with the “6-shooter” (pistol).
Her next moves were fast and deliberate, as she moved in closer, and dispatched the menacing intruder “post-haste!” This was the first time in a long time that she had used a firearm (not counting our trips to the shooting range). She did a pretty good job at protecting the investment we are stewards of. I have been told many times in the past, that my dear mom has a dislike for guns, but we have also told her time and again that as the shovel and ladders are needed tools for this location, the gun has its proper and respected place in our inventory of tools to live a “country lifestyle.” Today, my wife drove that point home in less than two minutes! Usually, you only hear of gun stories that have a heavy crime connotation, and the gun gets a much maligned bad rap. I constantly thank our God for a country that will (still) stand by the 2nd Amendment, and for a wife that knows how to “swing a hog-leg!”