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Wanted: 1 kid with BB gun

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Post  middlemamma on 6/6/2011, 8:54 pm

Holy critter batman!

Joe and I were talking on our back patio this afternoon when he got home from work and I was chattering like a little school girl telling about all the newly sprouted seeds in the garden. I was pointing toward the box with all the new babies and he sees something move! I didn't see it at first but t hen our dog went NUTS!

I have no idea what it was. We both thought it was a squirrel at first then we realized there was no fluffy tail and it moved along the ground more like a ferret. We are still stumped. It was the size of a squirrel. But it passed about 3 trees escaping the dog and didn't make effort one to run up a tree. Which leads me to believe it lives in the ground.

What in the world could it have been? Never seen anything like it here on the property or anywhere around here in the 2 years we have been here.

I am ready to pay the neighbor kid to set up a stake out in my back yard with his BB gun.
middlemamma
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Post  Tril on 6/6/2011, 10:35 pm

What color was it? Did it have a tail? Size.... red or gray squirrel? Did it run with it's back up, like a ferret?
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/6/2011, 10:37 pm

Could have been your neighbor kid's ferret! Maybe he wants Charlie back?

I've seen rare squirrels with goofy tails. Don't rule out the tree rats yet. But, do you have weasles or even otters? They have that long, slender shape, too, but I imagine they are noticeably bigger.

You apparently have ground squirrels (prairie dogs to us Kansans) like crazy over there, too. Ground squirrel sounds about right from your description, but I have no idea.
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Post  middlemamma on 6/6/2011, 10:52 pm

Prairie dogs don't run like this thing though. They are kinda chubby, this thing was long and slender. It was dark brown. And friggin' lightening fast....it ran like a snake slithers if that makes any sense. If it had a tail it looked like the rest of it's body cause I couldn't tell the difference between a body and a tail.

I wish I could describe it more. Between me screaming at the dog to get it and Joe to shoot it I wasn't getting the detail I should have. LOL...I will be sure to update if we see it again.

If its the neighbor kids ferret they are 0 and 2. Cause I am sick of their dogs being in my SFG and I am ready to do something mean to them. If his ferret is in there wreaking havoc on top of their dogs I will kill that sucker. Cute or not... I don't have a garden for all the neighbors to be irresponsible pet owners and mess my SFG up! I know I sound like a witch but if I can keep my own dog out of my garden the neighbors certainly should be able to keep their dogs on THEIR 5 acres and off mine. Grrr.

I have googled images of every animal I could think of to figure out what this thing might be with no luck.

If it was a squirrel it's the first I have seen in our neck of the woods in the 2 years we have been here. We have one pine way in the back 40 and it's the only one for miles. And we see a hawk and an owl in it regularly. I have trees closer to the house but they are nothing I have ever seen a squirrel in. They are not tall at all. And the foliage is thin. They would be out in the open for any hawk or owl in the neighborhood.

It remains a mystery..... Shocked
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Post  Tril on 6/6/2011, 11:00 pm

You have these in Idaho...

Wanted: 1 kid with BB gun Long_t10

Did it look like this at all?
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Post  Miss M on 6/6/2011, 11:04 pm

My first thought was a weasel or mink... I don't know beyond that. :scratch:
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Post  middlemamma on 6/6/2011, 11:06 pm

@Tril wrote:You have these in Idaho...

Wanted: 1 kid with BB gun Long_t10

Did it look like this at all?

This is bigger than what I saw. Is that a mongoose? I looked those up but all the images are blurring in my mind. I never saw this things face...it was low to the ground. And darker brown than this. Hmmmm....
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Post  Tril on 6/7/2011, 7:30 am

It's a long tailed weasel... found in Idaho.

"Long-tailed weasels have a long slender body, short legs and a small, narrow head with long whiskers. Their fur is brown, almost the color of cinnamon, and yellowish-white underneath."

Could it have been this... a Pine Marten? They're about 12 to 17" long and run/look like a ferret.

Wanted: 1 kid with BB gun Americ10

If what you saw was smaller than a marten... then my guess is that it's a Least Weasel. They're small... only 8-10" long. They look like this:

Wanted: 1 kid with BB gun 17031_10

If what you have belongs to the weasel family... do NOT kill it. They are voracious carnivores and will keep your rodent population under control. They eat insects and grubs, too. Smile
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Post  FarmerValerie on 6/7/2011, 8:24 am

Don't they eat snakes too, I know a mongoose will, I loved the story of Rikki Tikki Tavvi.
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Post  dmsandlin on 6/7/2011, 12:05 pm

Maybe mink or ermine? They're in your area.
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Post  NHGardener on 6/7/2011, 12:32 pm

You're just going to have to post sentry and fill us in. Now we're all wondering. Very Happy
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