I've always had outside dogs, until this past year. Age finally caught up with my sweet pups, and both had to be put down. I haven't been able to fill the void, and slowly, varmints have started testing the boundaries at home. A raccoon here, a 'possum there, and now my homestead is being targeted by invaders looking for a free meal and warm places to pop out babies. I'm under attack, and this morning, I had to strike back.
I'm a teacher, so mornings start early, and as I padded around the house at dawn, my husband sounded the alert. 'Possum, due east. I grabbed my shotgun (conveniently placed next to my dresser for easy access), tossed on a robe over my jammies, and headed outside. The biggest 'possum I'd ever seen was lumbering across my lawn, dragging her belly in the grass like a barge full of corn on the Illinois River. I pulled up, took aim, and shot high from 45 yards. Crapstick. Shot #2 found home, and I was feeling pretty good about myself and my homeland defense program, all before 6:30 am.
Not many people would consider an opossum a trophy, but when it means I don't have to worry about a nest with 1,000 babies in my garage, I'm pretty pleased. If we could just come to an understanding and they would kindly leave a "no-fly zone" around the house, I'd appreciate it, since they help curb snake and insect populations without carrying rabies, but they just won't take the hint. Until they do, I'll have to stay on the ready--or just break down and get another pup.