Sunday, August 10, 2014

Midnight, er, Daytime Marauder, busted!

Since the skunk incident, I've not caught anything in the live trap, although the bait was stolen a couple of times. Our trap has seen better days and setting it is a science, not too trigger happy or to firmly, I even hung the grapes from the top so whatever was there had to really try for them. I also painted the hive door with oil and nothing seemed to be bothering it since. We were at some friends last Sunday and they told about a relative who had a bar of Irish Spring soap by a door and when questioned said that it kept the mice out, HUH?? It does have a strong scent, I can attest to that because when I was a rural carrier we got samples to deliver and they stunk up my car so bad I had all the windows open, my head hanging out and I still wanted to throw up, that was not a good day. So I have never bought it since, until last week. I didn't want my hives to get contaminated with the smell so I put a bar of soap inside the top cement block on each side of each hive. The next day I checked the hives and caught a mouse in each one, so much for that idea! But.....that was the last time! Everyday the smell was stronger and stronger, nothing has bothered the mouse traps, the bait or the live trap, could it be keeping everything away? Could it be that easy?

But I still wanted to know what had chewed on my door and it took my friend, Becky to come up with the solution. "Well," she said, "You have a Game Camera, don't you???" DUH!! A few years ago I purchased an $89 Moultrie Game Camera to spy on some beavers who were building a dam at the bridge. If you have never heard of them, they are a digital camera in a weather proof box that straps to a post or tree to moniter wildlife in the area. I never got a good picture of the beavers but it was instrumental in catching a couple of two legged skunks that vandalized our old house at the farm with our tractor, destroyed a road sign with the same tractor and then, to add insult to injury, stole gas on more than one occasion. But they were stupid and greedy.  

As you can only imagine, this didn't set well, stealing gas was one thing, but the needless vandalism to the house Bruce and his sisters grew up in, was something else entirely. With some strategically place sand in front of the gas barrel and the game camera on a nearby post, a mere 36 hours later we found a perfect foot print .....

....and pictures of his truck with three initials in the back window that helped identify him!

By the time the deputy came that evening, we knew who it was and where he and his accomplice lived and all they had to do was arrest them. It took two years but we received over $2000 restitution. That was satisfying! And I would imagine they think twice before messing around someplace they have no business being.

So for the last couple of years, the game camera has been quietly protecting the gas barrel at the farm and periodically I download the pictures to see if there is anything nefarious going on over there. I keep getting this guy.

And this guy....

....and the fireman the night the grove nearly burned, the camera doesn't miss a thing around here.

But getting back to my story, I took the game camera to the bee hives yesterday and set it up, checking the card today. I see that Pepe Le Pew is still hanging around.

And this is the little bugger who is chewing my hive!! I should have known.

In broad daylight no less, the nerve!!

I just wish I could catch him so I could slap the snot out of him and haul his butt a couple of counties away, let him try to find his way back then.  

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