Animal Wonderland (August 1997)

Were sure getting our share of critters these days. Although we live right off the freeway in a very urban setting, weve gotten quite a show in the back yard recently. The deer population must be at an all time high, as we have been visited several times by a Mama deer and her two young whatevers. (Fawns?) Anyway, there they were out back by the apple tree not more than 50 yards away. When they wandered in we drop everything and stare out the window. They have us pretty well trained now. We were also visited by a little red fox who sauntered by the picture window and gave us the once over. Im expecting the raccoons and the possum to come by any time.

For years weve had a ground hog (woodchuck) living out by the back fence and suspected another family under the deck. We didnt particularly mind that they raided the compost pile, but got a little alarmed when they brought their black and white friends---the skunks! When we saw the skunks wandering over to the deck to check out the accommodations we called the Critter Control and now are the proud renters of a Have-A-Heart trap.

The first day we caught two squirrels and a morning dove. We let them go and changed bait. Over the next several days we caught SEVEN ground hogs, but no skunks. They seemed to have disappeared. (We told all the locals that we were releasing them at the golf course, but we found several acres of deserted land out by a creek about 8 miles away for their new home.)

I say we but trapping live animals is a mans job. (Oink, oink.) I let Steve have all the fun. When I was sure the wild animals were safe in the trap, I went in for a closer look.

When Steve was sure the ground hogs were all caught, he put cement all the way around the deck and sealed off the entrance to the Wood Chuck Hilton. We are hoping that the skunks just checked out when their playmates vanished. We should know in about a week.... (c)1997 by Ami Simms.