Yard Grizzlies, A Fearful Homestead And A Hundred Year Old Rifle

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Etymology

One of the, if not THE most common and prevalent predators in North America is the ferocious Yard Grizzly. Depending on where you live, you may know them by a different name. Regardless of location, one thing remains the same: they’re everywhere and they’re no joke.

            The yard grizzly is also very commonly known in North America as the Gray Squirrel. They can be found just about everywhere in the nation and torment all the local wildlife just the same. Stealing the food of the local birds, running off the smaller though still ferocious Ditch Tiger or Chipmunk. Hell they’ll even make entry into your dwelling and take it over, setting up shop in your walls or attics or wherever they can gain access. Terrible little monsters.

The Scene Of The Attack

Recently I visited the house I grew up in, where my mother still resides and we were chatting about her bird feeders. On the shepherds hooks you can see what look like upside down salad bowls and some of the feeders even spin like a top when something heavier than a finch sits on them. Countermeasures. Defending the crop from the venerable Yard Grizzly. During our chat she told me “I wish more birds would come by, but the squirrels keep eating all the food”. A benign statement to most, but I could hear the fear in her voice. The Yard Grizzlies have made their impact and it was clear that I had to do something about it.

The Scene Of The Attack

            I didn’t come prepared for a clash with one of America’s most feared predators, but I worried not. In the basement there’s a small gun safe with most of my older, antique or historic guns. One of which is an almost 100 year old Walther Sportsmodell single shot .22lr. In between WWI and WWII, Walther picked up a contract to make a copy of the Deutsche Sportsmodell(DSM) which is basically a shrunken down Mauser K98 action that fired .22lr. It was dropped into a smooth walnut stock that fairly closely replicated the Mauser K98k. It was used during the Third Reich to train everyone from Hitler Youth to police to even grown soldiers. They were made extremely well and are still highly regarded and fairly sought after. Utilizing a 26” barrel and adjustable V notch sights, the Sportmodell is known to be extremely accurate.

A Close Encounter

I grabbed the old rifle and a box of shells and headed out. With a handful of shells in my breast pocket, I would have to make each shot count. Sneaking around the house to the front, I could see a big bull yard Grizz right beneath the shepherds pole with two big bird feeders hanging from it. I’d need to try and stalk in a few yards. Utilizing the defilade of the yard and driveway, I was able to close the gap by three or four yards. I slowly raised up, the yard Grizz unaware of me. I leveled the old rifle and snapped off a shot. Just under 30yds and all 40 grains of my Winchester Super X slammed into the big bull and he expired near instantly.

The First Big Boar Yard Grizz

            I chambered another round and made my way to the old boar to collect him. As I retrieved him and walked by the big picture window I raised the trophy so my scared mother could see she need not worry any longer. Just as I looked back in the direction I was walking, I saw another bull yard Grizz in a full charge coming straight toward me. I dropped the first kill and leveled my rifle. I waited for the yard Grizz to get closer and closer, surely an attempt to end my life. Mid gallop, I squeezed off a round. This time the round would enter on the down stride of the beast’s charge, entering above its head into its shoulder and exiting out its rear leg. A devastating hit that instantaneously killed the monster. Another big bull down.

The Charging Boar

            Within the hour, the birds were back. Big ones, small ones. Birds of all shapes and colors. They could enjoy their seeds and nectars, never once looking over their shoulder or seeming rushed. The ferocious predators were gone and this homestead was able to live in peace, without any fear of being overrun by the legendary Yard Grizzly. A task many men may lack the gall to carry out, I knew something had to be done and I was willing to put my life on the line to see it through. One hopes they’ll never have to do such a thing twice, but if I do…I and my hundred year old rifle will be ready.

Jay Pelletier – Dangerous Game Specialist

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