Hunting Woodpeckers

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Martin Hash
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Hunting Woodpeckers

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:55 pm

People don't use stucco on their houses in the Pacific Northwest because the porous nature of the surface cultivates mold and mildew, but I like the uniform nature of the texture so when a synthetic version of stucco was introduced 20 years ago while I was building my house, I excitedly became one of the first users. Lots of people had lots of problems with the technology but I never did until about a decade later when woodpeckers discovered they could peck through the stuff pretty easily, turning my house into swiss cheese. Synthetic stucco is pretty easy to repair, so I would patch the damage after each woodpecker season. Unfortunately, the patches were no more resistant to the woodpeckers, so year-after-year they would peck a hole just above our Master bedroom's bay window. The woodpeckers wouldn't raise their families in the holes but every other bird species would, so we had a constant stream of bird noise and shit on the windows. One day I was drinking from a whiskey glass, and the slight buzz made me creative: “This glass would fit perfectly in that hole,” I thought, so I went outside and stuck it in; no more pecking, and no more bird families. My wife didn't notice for months, but when she did, she was pissed and made derogatory comments about how I performed home repair.
Glass in Hole.jpg
The holes I could get to via a ladder but we've got some 40' chimneys, and woodpeckers just about topped them there were so many holes. From a man-lift we covered the regions where they pecked with tin trim, but the woodpeckers just moved their attempts down the chimney. My son, Heath, took matters into his own hands and bought a pellet gun. While we were traveling around the world, he would text me pictures of dead woodpeckers he had shot. I felt bad for the woodpeckers; as a kid, I had shot frogs with my BB gun when I saw their eyes pop above the water, and I still fell bad about that. Eventually, Heath left the woodpecker hunting up to me. “Here's how you cock and load the rifle,” he said. “And just sight them through the scope.” “That's my bad eye,” I complained. Heath just looked at me sternly.
Dead Woodpecker s.jpg
Heath had killed off most of the woodpeckers over the years but at least one had found his way to our chimney. For days I could hear it tapping away outside my office window, but I didn't want to look. One day Heath came over and said, “there's a huge hole in the chimney! Haven't you been hunting the woodpeckers?” I smiled sheepishly. Heath was not amused; he put the pellet gun in my arms. “Don't make me come back here,” he warned,

The next morning I could hear the telltale rapping on the chimney. I fiddled around with the pellet gun and went outside. I squinting through my kaleidoscope eye, took aim at the woodpecker, and after a while, finally pulled the trigger, but had forgotten to flip the safety so nothing happened. My nerve was gone so I shot the pellet into the bushes and went back into the house. The woodpecker kept pecking away.
Pellet Gun.jpg
The next morning the woodpecker was at it again. This time I made sure the safety was off, took aim, and fired before I chickened out. I don't know where the pellet went but the bird flew away. Mission accomplished, I thought, but there was rapping again 30 minutes later. I didn't go outside a second time; I just pretended not to hear it while I worked. This went on for a couple weeks. Then, one day, POP! I hit him. The woodpecker fell to the ground but he wasn't dead, he just couldn't fly. I was just as surprised as the woodpecker and stood there as he ran into the big 6' arborvitae maze. The gun was empty and the pellets were in the house. I thought of bashing him with the gun butt, but decided to get another pellet.

There was no sign of the woodpecker when I came out of the house, but I could hear a rustling sound as I slowly went through maze; walking carefully through the byways and alleys, images of Elmer Fudd hunting rabbits in my head, but I couldn't ever catch up to the woodpecker. Then I heard him outside the maze on the far side. I had to retrace my convoluted path, and when I finally got around to where I'd last heard the woodpecker, he made a loud screech and flew away. I watched him get out of my gun's range, strangely happy that I hadn't killed him, and hopeful that I'd taught the little bastard a lesson and he wouldn't come back; I went back into the house smiling. 10 minutes later I heard pecking, and rushed outside; the woodpecker flew away immediately; he had learned that lesson, I wouldn't be getting any more shots off. I looked up at the hole, forlornly, and said to myself, “I bet a whiskey glass would fit in that.”
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Speaker to Animals
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Re: Hunting Woodpeckers

Post by Speaker to Animals » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:02 pm

It actually sounds like a fun time to sit out there with a bottle of whiskey and some air rifles, hunting woodpeckers.

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Re: Hunting Woodpeckers

Post by TheReal_ND » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:08 pm

Disavow. Lol'd tho