Defense of Property in Northern Wisconsin from Porcupines

10-22 next to Porcupine damage on Garage door frame in Northern Wisconsin

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- He woke in the early morning hours, well before sunrise. What was that noise? It sounded like a mouse, chewing on something. Then he realized the noise was not from inside the house. It was from outside the house. He grabbed a rifle, the ubiquitous Ruger 10-22. Prior experience had shown him a .357 magnum was too much gun. Putting on hearing protection in the middle of the night is inconvenient, not to mention waking the entire family. Fortunately, the family dog was kenneled at night. His doggy talents were unsuited to the task required.

The pest was revealed by an LED flashlight from WalMart. It slowly waddled into the garage as he approached. Tossing a couple of expended lead bullets, set aside for re-casting, ahead of it, turned its path back outside. There was no need to exacerbate the damage by firing a round inside. Once on the grass, a .22 Long Rifle to the back of the head dispatched the beast efficiently and instantly.

Porcupines are destructive pests in North American forests. They are one of the largest rodents in North America. Their teeth are continually growing, so they must continually chew to keep their tooth length in reasonable limits.

While their chewing on and eating bark during winter months is said to add little nutrition to their diet, the practice does enormous damage to trees.  My brother recently harvested mature trees from some of the family land. A number of those trees were planted by our parents.

Porcupines are destructive pests in North American forests.
Porcupines are destructive pests in North American forests.

Many of the trees had been damaged by porcupines. The pests significantly reduced the return on the slow-growing crop.

Porcupines not only damage trees in the forest. They love to chew on plywood and pressed board. While my brother and I were expanding and refurbishing the family hunting cabin, the damage by porcupines mounted to hundreds of dollars in material and dozens of hours of labor.

Hoplophobes seldom consider how valuable the gun is as a tool of rural residents.

Porcupines are a pest of the North Woods. Rattlesnakes are a danger when they take up residence under the front step in the desert. I have used personal firearms to dispatch both.

A rural resident does not have the luxury of calling “animal control” to manage his pests. It would be an impractically expensive and time-wasting system. Few, if any, rural governments could afford, or county boards vote for, such a frivolous expenditure of tax dollars.

When most people either grew up on a farm or had relatives there, the push to disarm them never got off the ground. It was only after a majority had left the land to live in cities for a generation, that restrictions on gun ownership made headway in the United States or in Australia.

Those who wish us disarmed claim they don't intend to take guns from farmers and hunters. Tell that to the farmers and hunters in Australia and New Zealand, who find many of their family heirlooms now banned by law.

When I interviewed an Australian Member of Parliament about the passage of the extreme 1997 law, he specifically remembered the inclusion of .22 rifles, and shotguns. There was no consideration of farmers. The legislators saw no downside. The big effort was to get it passed while emotions were high, before any debate was allowed by the media. Air guns, crossbows, and slingshots were included “to cover as much as possible, with this legislation, realizing the momentum would never be greater”.

The most important change was to move from the expectation an Australian had a right to a gun, to the presumption they did not.

I do not see that happening in the United States.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    Witold PileckiloveaducktomcatSGT_WombatBudro Recent comment authors
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    loveaduck
    Member
    loveaduck

    Any of us in rural areas, not just farmers/ranchers, have a need for guns. Coyotes are the main problem here. The local cougar is only rarely present and the black bear comes around at night and doesn’t really bother anyone.

    tomcat
    Member
    tomcat

    It is a well known fact the the Ausies do not have a Bill of Rights and that rose up and bit them right in the a–. We can be thankful that our founding fathers had enough sense to provide one for us. Our current challenge is to keep the sticky fingers of the progressives off our Constitution and BoR.

    Witold Pilecki
    Member

    I would not call what I live on a “farm” but I do have poultry, and right now I am still waiting to dispatch Mr. Fox before he makes off with any more birds. He is slated to get a 150 grain .30-.30 lead pill through the lungs next time I see him lurking around the yard. After that he will go to the taxidermist to be mounted, because he is one spectacular animal. I used my .22LR Browning Buckmark to take out a rat that was making his home under my front porch, and getting free meals under the… Read more »

    Budro
    Member
    Budro

    If you are planning on stuffing the fox, you might want to reconsider the .22! A 30-30 might not leave enough fox to stuff.

    Witold Pilecki
    Member

    LOL….I know, kind of overkill. But my Marlin 336 is dialed in at 100 yards, and I need to get him from the deck with a single shot. He is good at using cover, and takes off before I could get in .22 range. I really don’t want to try a head hot, keeping his head and face intact.

    I was hoping that since there is not a whole lot of mass, there would not be much bullet expansion, and therefore not much damage. But, he sure would be dead.

    Ej harbet
    Member
    Ej harbet

    Herds of people are easier to control/oppress. It’s why authoritarians of all flavors love cities. And cool Wisconsin is why Mr Weingarten isn’t in Yuma where hell keeps it’s foyer.
    Thanks for the great article.I heard you mention 10/22s on lock and load and I hope Mr fray gives one a try.I love my takedown backpacker variant. Be well

    Tionico
    Member
    Tionico

    True enough.
    I carry an “airplane key” with me wherever I go. Never can tell when it might be needed.

    Other types of tools are every bit as important.

    “Don’t leave the house without it”.

    SGT_Wombat
    Member
    SGT_Wombat

    Sorry, don’t get that reference. What exactly is an “airplane key?”

    Knute
    Member
    Knute

    Make that NEVER, do city folk understand how vital firearms are to farmers and ranchers. Even amongst firearm owners (in a city anyway), Most do not understand. I always carry extra ammunition for whatever firearm I might have, that day. City gun owners praise my preparedness, but cannot understand why I carry loose ammo or speed strips instead of speedloaders (I’m mostly a revolver guy). I do so, I tell them, because I don’t “carry” a gun, I USE guns, regularly. I might have to shoot skunks, coons, porkys, a cow that’s down and suffering, and that will die anyway,… Read more »