Thursday, October 04, 2012

Advocating Squirrel Hunting

Today for the first time in my life I read The Advocate. It's a Baton Rouge newspaper that is attempting to break in to New Orleans now that the Times-Picayune isn't publishing daily. The Advocate has a New Orleans edition, so there were many good stories that pertain to New Orleans. However on the back page of the sports section was a long article entitled "Squirrels plentiful this season."

There's a picture of some guy in camouflage holding the tails of approximately 8 dead squirrels. In the article I learned that 2012 will be a great year for squirrel hunters. That's because last year was a bumper crop for nuts, and with the rains we've had lately the acorns stay on the trees and get plump, so those gluttonous squirrels have plenty to eat. Hunters usually go after the fox squirrels, as they have the most meat. Then there's this club called EASL: East Ascension Sportsman's Club, and every year they have a "squirrel rodeo." Unlike the more common rodeo with cowboys riding broncos and bulls, at a squirrel rodeo you get a large gun and hunt squirrels. I don't know the rules but I imagine you could rope the squirrels to make it seem more in line with the traditional rodeo. You get a prize if your bag of dead squirrels weighs more than other people's bags. I wonder if the bags are camouflaged also? The article doesn't say, but I don't really see a need for camouflage. Here in the city squirrels seem bright enough to see me coming no matter what I'm wearing. And they get pretty close to me, probably because we don't shoot them and put their carcasses in bags. The squirrel rodeo is this Saturday but you can't participate unless you pay the $10 to become an EASL member. Other big news: it used to be illegal to hunt squirrels with air rifles, and now it is legal. I'll bet that was a huge victory for the NRA. My favorite paragraph follows:
"The only other squirrel species seen in Louisiana's woods is the black squirrel, a species that isn't all that common and is highly prized by hunters. More often than not, taking a black squirrel means taking a trip to the taxidermist."
Truer words were never written. I don't think I've seen a black squirrel in New Orleans, but they are plentiful in Nebraska. I'm thinking about trapping a few and letting them loose at the 2013 squirrel rodeo. Oh to see the never-been-to-the-dentist smiles on those camouflage wearing squirrel eaters hootin' and a hollerin' and shootin' their guns in the air. Ayyyyyeeeeeeeee!

So, The Advocate, thanks for sharing with us city folk in New Orleans what life is like in Baton Rouge.