The epic battle begins anew. The hazel nut bushes are loaded. The past two years the squirrels got almost all of them. Prior to that, we had somewhat of an agreement. In early August as the nuts began to ripen both sides would work the bushes every day. They got about half, I got about half. But the past two years the squirrels started working the hazelnuts a month before the nuts fully ripened, giving me no chance to claim a share. This year, it's war! I have placed my defenses. After cutting some privet back far enough that the squirrels can no longer get into the hazelnuts by jumping limb to limb, I then used a long bamboo pole to bridge the gap. I strategically left a few branches on the pole to act as snare holders. My success snaring squirrels is rather abysmal. They seem to have a magical ability to run back and forth on a snare ridden pole without ever getting caught. I can snare rabbits and beavers with relative ease, but not squirrels. I have cheated some with this set up by using professionally made mink snares, which I have found work very well for rabbits and better than any homemade snares for squirrels.
But I am hedging my bet. If (when) they get past the snares, 6 baited cage traps await. I also did somewhat of a preemptive strike, having taken out 6 or 7 in the past month with the pellet gun. But, those were mostly young, dumb squirrels. The adults seem to have a sixth sense when armed men are about and turning to gray smoke, drift away. Regardless, there seems to be no end to them. I won't see any for weeks, then as soon as there is something worth taking, they materialize out of thin air.
Wish me luck, all I am hoping for is to save half the nuts!