Did you know squirrels fight to the death?



Author Topic: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?  (Read 1577 times)

Offline Bobbo

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Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« on: April 28, 2013, 12:49:50 PM »
I can only take credit for the top squirrel in the first picture below.



I was looking out the picture window into my front yard (squirrel scan) when I heard a HORRIBLE ruckus about 3 feet in front of me. Under a lily in the flower bed, a pair of squirrels were fighting. There was horrible squealing and thudding and thumping. Seriously.

I grabbed my R9, but was afraid to open the door right by them as I was afraid they would run off, so I went out the back door. Durn if there wasn't a squirrel standing in the middle of the back yard too!  Since I wasn't being stealthy, yet, he saw me and took off to climb a 6 foot privacy fence at the side of the yard. Unfortunately (for him) at the top, he stopped and turned to look back to see if, just maybe, he should have gone on over. Yep, he should have. It was about 25 yards, and I caught him right in the head. He fell back into my yard, I went to make sure he was done, then went on out front.

When I peeked out front, all was still and quiet. I stepped out to walk around to where the fight was, and a squirrel hiding under that lily took off. I said to myself "Self, only one squirrel took off." I walked on over there and saw the other squirrel, laying under the lily on his back with all 4 feet in the air, gasping for breath. I walked over there, but when I got about 10 feet away, he turned over, jumped up, and ran about 20 feet. That was as far as he could make it. I was about 10 yards away so I put a pellet in his head to put him out of his misery. He was done for anyway, as I later learned, but I sped it up.

The only damage I could find on the second squirrel was the head shot, at least until I skinned him. The next picture is what I found. The only damage *I* did was a head shot, so the leg, shoulder and side damage was from the fight. The chest wall was gnawed all the way through into the chest cavity so the squirrel couldn't breath. This picture really doesn't do justice to the amount of damage on the underside of the leg.


« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 12:53:35 PM by Bobbo »
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Offline justcbri

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 12:53:37 PM »
Team work, the squirrels helped you out to rid you yard of them.
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Offline Nikoman

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 01:23:20 PM »
Nice forensic work, Bobbo! ;D
That's some good shootin' there! ;)
Thanks for sharing this, it's quite amazing what these furry little beasts will do to protect a territory.
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Offline Sqrl Klr

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 02:29:16 PM »
Why didn't you kill the bully too? Maybe you'll score him later? I hope you do. Good post and pics thanks for the info. ;)

Offline dk1677

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 07:08:00 PM »
Dang! Never saw that!
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Offline Bobbo

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 10:30:39 AM »
Why didn't you kill the bully too? Maybe you'll score him later? I hope you do. Good post and pics thanks for the info. ;)

Keeping my eyes peeled for him. He saw me step around the corner and took off. I'll get him. Eventually.
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Offline gamo2hammerli

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 10:46:53 AM »
Wow....even squirrels have UFC.
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Offline Pcsail364

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 12:17:09 PM »
a little crzy on the fight but nice shooting
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Offline Mark Mowrey

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 06:23:12 PM »
I took a shot on a squirrel that was by the bird feeder.  The squirrel dropped where he was, but after a second or two, he did the little kick flip thing.  On his second kick, Another squirrel ran in from nowhere and attacked the down squirrel.  Looked like the attacker grabbed a hold of the downed squirrel with his front legs, was kicking and scratching with his hind legs, and was biting at the neck.  So... I shot the second one too.  Completely caught me off guard to see the second one attack.

Offline Sqrl Klr

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 12:00:10 AM »
Yes! Glad to hear you got both of them Mark. When they see a chance to kill another competing male so it will no longer be in their territory they will go for it so they will have claim to the food and females sounds like.

Offline Mebits

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 12:55:10 AM »
I have found that too many squirrels leads to aggressive behavior, most notably gnawing on my feeders. Even when there is plenty of food around and on the ground. Uncool. But I realize that it's because they are feeling stressed. Too many squirrels in too small an area. I find if I eliminate the fourth (or fifth and sixth and seventh) squirrel, behavior gets much less aggressive.
 
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Offline Mark Mowrey

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 11:44:12 AM »
When they see a chance to kill another competing male...

I forgot to include the fact that they were both indeed males.

Offline only1harry

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 02:58:37 PM »
Males do most of the fighting.  I have watched them fight fiercely when I used to have plenty of squirrels around.  One time I observed a squirrel walk away wounded and being protected by his buddies from further attacks, and managed to drive off the attacking or invading group of squirrels.  This is usually in the Spring and in April, sometimes beginning of May.  I think it has to do with taking over a territory that also has a female or more in it, not just good food sources.  The less squirrels you have, the less they fight.  You get no fighting at all if you are down to just a handful in the area, or if there is plenty of food.  I have watched a >100 squirrels eat in peace within a 100yd radius all around me when I went to hunt on 30 acres of private land a few years back.  The forest floor was a bed of acorns.  There was tons of food for them.  It is when they feel the need to mate that they start to seriously fight and injure or kill each other.  It's their hormones and they can't help it.
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Offline Sqrl Klr

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 04:43:49 PM »
That makes sense Harry since that's right when the young nutters leave their nests and arrive in new territory which could increase crowding in some already infested areas creating tension for the other nutters hence a prime situation for fighting to get the defeated nutters to leave the area if not killed.

Offline Mod90

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 08:13:47 PM »
I have to ask, did you get a good look at the assailant and can you remember what he looked like or what he was wearing? I get the feeling the killer will soon be apprehended by the authorities  ;D
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Offline Bobbo

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 10:02:47 PM »
No, I didn't get a good look at the mugger. However, we have a very large male that I suspect. I have been laying for him for a while already. I will get him. Eventually.
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Offline oakey

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 10:23:55 PM »
Will I go to *(&^ if I kill a squirrel?
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Offline Bobbo

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2013, 08:32:42 PM »
Finally got the mugger! I've been after this guy for 2 years. He was cagey, but not cagey enough. He had learned to watch our kitchen through the picture window when he was in our yard. When I walked into the kitchen, where I could see him and he could see me, he would scram.

Finally, I saw him from a different room where he couldn't see me. I went the long way around to get my .22 caliber R9, and slipped out to my sniper hide. He had also learned to watch the sniper hide, though! As soon as I stepped into the hide, he jumped onto a tree and went around the back.

There was a small bushy tree between me and him where we couldn't see each other though. I just stayed there, still and quiet, and waited. After about 5 minutes, he jumped from the tree where his (and my) view was blocked onto a tree about 2 feet over where we could see each other. I was ready. I put one in the pumphouse. Normally, if I don't anchor them on the spot, they run through heavy undergrowth right there to a group of trees about 5 feet away. When he disappeared, I searched the undergrowth thoroughly. I couldn't find him so I figured I didn't hit him as well as I thought and he escaped.

Two days later, my wife was on the riding mower cutting the grass, and texted me that she found my dead squirrel. Instead of running through the cover to the close trees, he ran across open ground trying to get to the tree, about 50 yards away, where his nest was. He was laying about 10 feet short of the tree. I never dreamed he would opt for open ground instead of the cover, so I didn't search over that direction.

Sorry about the pic, but like I said, he had been dead 2 days when she found him.

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Offline oakey

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2013, 09:03:57 PM »
Squirrels are not an easy kill. They are knotty little critters.

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Offline Kurushu

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Re: Did you know squirrels fight to the death?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2013, 05:44:11 AM »
U have never seen that among nutters... viscous little buggers!!
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