When I was really little, I’d see the squirrels running around our yard in Michigan.  I wanted to catch one so bad!  I propped up a box, and baited it with peanut butter on a tongue depressor.  A string ran from the prop stick to where I watched from just inside the door.  No squirrel ever fell for my plan, and I don’t know what I would have done if I’d ever actually caught one.  It could have easily escaped from the box on the grass, I know that now.

We have a lot of squirrels and chipmunks around our house in Minnesota.  They feast on the pine nuts in our front yard, and make piles of pinecones all over the place.  The chipmunks made a home under our front stoop.  We watched them going in and out.  Then I noticed squirrels going into the garage.  Later, I found that they had been nesting in a box which contained, among other things, my daughter’s sweatshirt.  That’s was going too far, so I set a have-a-heart trap near the chipmunk hole.

With each squirrel or chipmunk we trapped, we took pictures, and then drove them about six miles from the house, to an area with no homes, and lots of nice pine trees.  We caught each release on video.  You can see them on my Facebook page or my instagram.

My son loves being able to see them up close.  The rodents don’t seem too concerned.  They have always been used to us.  It’s fun to see them exit the trap.  Most of them pause as they step out onto the ground, before scampering away with cheek pouches full of peanut butter.

I think we’re up to 17 catch-and-releases now, and it fulfills that dream I had as a 6 or 7 year old.

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