Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Exploding Squirrels

How To Liquify A Backyard Predator

I'm not going to tell you how to build a Bumbe. A "Bumbe" is Clouseau-speak for a device that explodes. "Bumbe" also doesn't attract Google searches by jihadists or disaffected 13 year olds.

Telling you how to build a Bumbe would be irresponsible, and no doubt some pinhead would decide to experiment and end up blowing his fingers off, and I'd catch heat for it.

However, I was reading about Nelly's sad encounter with a chicken-eatin' fox that went bloody apeshit in her hen coop, and my initial reaction was to post instructions in her comments on how to make an anti-fox directional mine.

Her blog's not the best place for it, though. I'm sure the last thing you want to find on a Irish blog is "Bumbe"-making directions, so I thought I'd post some thoughts here.

With our over-abundance of squirrels, I've given a great deal of thought to exterminating them in fun & creative ways, and IMHO, the most fun of all is the squirrel land mine.

See, an enterprising person could conceivably put on some rubber gloves (no fingerprints!) and then pack a small can (like a 35mm film canister) full of compressed black powder, wadding and BB's, sort of like a ginormous shotgun shell. Instead of a shotgun primer, though, there might be an igniter from a model rocket engine buried deep within the powder, with the electrical leads hanging out. The whole can would be tightly wrapped in duct tape, except the open end which would be lightly taped closed with "This Side Towards Enemy" or "Have A Nice Day" printed on it.

A reasonably clever individual could figure out how to solder the leads from the igniter to some wires that will eventually link up to a 9 volt battery. He would of course leave a sizable gap in the circuit so he didn't blow his fool head off.

An even more motivated person would know how to rig a wooden clothespin up to serve as a detonating device. He might know enough to drive a metal pushpin through each jaw of the clothespin and solder a wire to each pinpoint, being careful to avoid contact with the metal spring on the clothespin. A non-conductive wedge would be slipped in between the jaws of the clothespin, ensuring that the pushpin heads didn't complete the circuit. The clothespin would then be securely attached to the can.

An especially tasty pecan or other squirrel bait (or a dead chicken, in the case of a fox) could be wired to that wedge, and the whole shebang would be attached to the canister.

When the small can is buried in a small hole and camouflaged with some sticks and leaves, the bait is left aboveground. Now, in the case of someone who's not too familiar with the process, it wouldn't be a bad idea to trail the wires a good distance away (such as inside the house) before connecting the 9 volt battery. That also gives you the option of command detonation if you leave off the clothespin trigger and wire directly to the igniter. I'm much too lazy to sit and wait for the squirrel, though.

Now, (in theory, mind you... I can't admit to ever having done this...) the squirrel or fox or chihuahua will approach the mine, grab the bait, and in the process, tug the wedge free, completing the circuit and detonating the mine. If you wired it up tight enough, the little cute & fuzzy head will be exactly above the open end of the can and receive three ounces of ball bearings to the nasal passages. Any excess blast and shrapnel goes straight up, harming nothing except perhaps a tree branch.

If done correctly, you should hear a muffled bang, and go outside to find a smoking hole and a headless critter. Small gobbets of flesh might still be raining down, so bring an umbrella.

I can't recommend making more than one at a time. While the thought of burying a couple of dozen mines and having squirrel genocide is intriguing, I guarantee you'll forget one, and your yard guy Francisco will lose a foot when he mows next weekend. That way lies incarceration and poverty...

Do check local laws and ordinances, and if building and deploying land mines is illegal in your area, you'd best refrain and use a humane animal trap to catch 'em alive.

'Cause then, you can bring 'em inside and experiment on them!!!