For this being and it’s ilk, frequenting my backyard used to be a risky and dangerous behaviour – one with potentially fatal consequences.
A couple of decades ago, dog became frenzied, straining, nearly choking herself on her run every time a woodchuck came out of it’s hole under the outhouse. This went on for many days.
After several mornings of hunt and hide, I and my trusty .22 Browning lever action dispatched one of this critter’s ancestors on the very spot he now enjoys an apple.
Every once in a while over the past few weeks, for the first time in years, I’ve been enjoying target practice with that .22.
I first looked through the open sites of that rifle around a half century ago. As my time with it accumulated, I became able to shoot far away paper targets, woodchucks and rabbits at will. Killed them all.
My backyard’s last dog has been gone for over a year. The woodchuck doesn’t really bother me that much. The way he eats apples, kind of reminds me of how a racoon handles food.
This summer, I’ve been reliably killing already chipped coffee cups and paper plates from well over one hundred feet; shooting as well as I can remember.
When hands and eyes were younger, I’d align the sites on the target, take a breath, hold still and pull the trigger.
Now, I align the sites on the target, try not to move, wait until the sites drift across the target and shoot.
Though they have many times before, lately, those sites never drift across woodchucks, racoons, or rabbits.