Saturday, March 20, 2010

Annie Get Your Gun!

A week from now we're moving to the middle of nowhere, pretty much. Ten miles from town and that town has 203 people, not including us. So 205. Not that they ever really update those signs. The next nearest town is 30 miles away and that's where Walmart, the bank, doctors, hairdressers and church will be. Being a city girl most of my life, Walmart being 30 miles away qualifies as 'middle of nowhere'.

Middle of nowhere, we've been told by the neighbors (we do have 120 of them) will include the following:

deer, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, possums, 300 lb feral pigs, coyotes, and snakes. Lots of snakes including water moccasins (that, BTW, do not stay in the water), rattlesnakes, coral and one other poisonous kind I can't remember, in spite of reading an entire book called "Texas Snakes". Most snakes, it ends up, aren't poisonous and if I could get good enough at identifying them, I would lean toward leaving them alone.

My husband seems to think a hoe is the perfect way to deal with a poisonous snake. Just take an Alice in Wonderland approach and yell, "Off with her head!" or maybe he won't yell it, but he'll do it. Chop their heads off with a hoe.

I'd die of a heart attack first.

So he decided we needed to buy me a gun. I rarely even kill bugs, am terrified of lizards, and struggle with the idea of hurting any animal, which includes the squirrel that had already been run over and was flopping in front of our house. It needed to be run over again and I just wasn't brave enough, and have felt bad ever since that day. 'Put it out of misery' continues to ring in my ears but I just couldn't do it.

So this will be a stretching experience for me. But, by golly, I now have a gun. After a few trips to Cabelas and such, we ended up at a gun shop and bought me a 4-10 shotgun. I now know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle, and the different sizes they come in. It was pretty important to my husband to buy one that would not shoot across the lake, but would reach the end of our property. Hmmm, I wonder why?

My Dad tells me you need to stand at least 12 feet away from a skunk before you shoot it. He learned this after pelting one with a big rock, and coming home to have his mother strip him bare naked in the front yard and put him in the horse trough before she'd let him back in the house. I'm taking his word for it when I deal with the skunk we've seen on our carport twice already.

It seems I'm to become a bit of an Annie Oakley, target practice is scheduled for me and hopefully within a short time I'll be able to put my money where my mouth is if most critters come into our yard, and I'll be able to decrease the number of poisonous snakes around our property. I told my daughter, Sarah, this morning that I think I'd be a better shot if I had a leather skirt and jacket, complete with fringe, and a cowgirl hat that had a chin strap to hold it on my head. She made me promise if I ever do get said outfit, I won't wear it when her kids are visiting. I personally think it would endear me to them forever - Granny with a gun!

Feral pigs.... I'm pretty sure if one of those comes into our yard, my Daddy will hear me yellin' my head off, 900 miles away! I don't think I've got that much stretch in me.


Becky said...

I'm telling you ... the visual I have in my head right now ... coffee cup in one hand, shotgun in the other, cowboy boots (a must when you are walking where snakes live). I wish I could be your next door neighbor and grab a shot (photo-shot) of you tramping your property.

I had a daddy who was a hunter and it was imperative that we learn to shoot and respect guns from a young age. I learned to shoot at a grade schooler. I never really liked it, but I did it. And shooting cans off the fence at my grandpa's house was always fun.

Good luck with the target practice.

Sarah said...

Copperheads? Is that what you forgot?

Anyway, poisonous snakes have cat eyes, with a vertical slit for the pupil. Non-poisonous snakes have round pupils. If you get that close, you know :)

And I'm serious about the fringe, Mom. Some things just can't be worn after about 8 years old!!

AnnG said...

Texas will be proud to have you join our ranks of gun-toting grandmas!! And the snakes will shake in their boots when they see you coming!

Glenda said...

I'm with Becky . . . you painted a very "interesting" picture of your new Texas image!! Fun post!

Robin said...

I hear Beth Moore has a gun too - for the very same reasons. I love it! I think shooting at targets is fun, but I don't like the noise. In the case of a snake, the noise would not matter to me. Not. One. Little. Bit.
Have fun!

Judith said...

I think Sarah's right about the copperheads. I understand they have a constant irritated disposition, especially for cutsie women, struttin around in Annie Oaklie outfits. Keep that shootin' iron handy for those bigger critters.

But Don is right about a hoe being the best weapon for snakes. They might dodge bullets. When we lived on Wison street, and all of you were playing in the back yard, all of a sudden I saw a Copperhead, so O grabbed a hoe, and chopped it into little pieces.

Karen said...

I'm on the same page as Robin. The first thing I thought of was Beth Moore telling the story of going out for a walk on their property, toting her gun in one hand and lifting the other hand in praise to the Lord! I love it!

And Texas in ONE WEEK?!?! Yippee!! Can't wait for you to get here!

Love and blessings,

Sammy said...


Please, please tell us the whole story if you ever bag a snake! (Or any other animal!)

You're a braver woman than I! :-)

Good luck! :-)

Bev said...

Copperhead - that's it! I knew I'd forgotten one, and I'd forgotten that my own mother had chopped the daylights out of one in our defense. Sarah: I'm thinking I do need some boots, but that my thighs are beyond the 'skirt with fringe' point.

and heck, any way I can be more like Beth Moore - I'm all over that.

Val said...

Funny! As a northener through and through, I'm tempted to try and make a smart joke about how it seems like owning a gun in Texas is a residency requirement - but then I remember that everyone owns guns around here too (Michigan), for hunting Bambi. Good luck! I'd love to learn to target best friend does, and is quite good. Have fun!

Barb said...

Oh that poor squirrel...but I couldn't have run over it again either. The very idea makes me feel faint.

I didn't know that story about Daddy! Can't you just seem Grandma dunking him in the horse trough? Guess she didn't have fifty gallons of tomato juice on hand. lol

OK, see...if I had to buy and learn to use a shotgun to protect myself from all the dangerous critters in my back yard, I think I'd just never go outside. You know me and snakes. There's just no way I could stand there, take aim and fire at a snake. I'd be running in the opposite direction as fast as I could, praying not to run into a feral pig. And could I use a hoe to deal with a snake? I think not. Blech.

So let me tell you, I sure can't wait to come visit you in your new home. LOL Don't be surprised if I show up wearing a suit of armor. lol