The Role Mice Play In Our Outdoor Lives.
Can’t say I love them. Yet, I don’t have the desperate fear of the existence like some folks I know. My wife, in particular.
If you enjoy the outdoors the time will eventually come when you must deal with mice. Granted, they can be a real pain in the ass. Take, for instance, the mice that invaded an old hunting truck I used to own. One day I was driving along with the heater blasting to take the chill out of the air. Suddenly, what once was nice comforting heat transformed to smoke and a truck that was in serious trouble. I immediately turned the truck off suspecting an electrical problem of some kind. Nope…just mice that built a nest that started on fire. Little bastards!!
I’ll never forget a bear hunting trip about 25 years ago with a close friend staying in an old (mostly abandoned) farm house. The house seen human occupants just a few weeks each year during hunting seasons. On the other hand, the full-time residents were various vermin ranging from mice to…well, I don’t care to dwell on that. Suffice it to say sleeping at night was interesting. You could hear the faint pitter patter of feet across the old linoleum floor all night long. Even worse, those little rascals had no regard for a person sleeping as they zipped across the bed sheets tickling a person’s torso.
Yeah. Mice are sure fun. The only good mouse is a dead mouse used for fox bait. And trying to eradicate them from anywhere can be challenging as any hunt you might take on. I’ve used snap traps, poison, ultrasonic sound, even pails with spinny pop bottles to teach them a lesson. To some extent all those methods work, but none of them is the perfect answer.
Particularly frustrating for me is keeping mice out of my boat during winter storage. I’ve used moth balls, I used packs filled with dried mint leaves. Nothing is foolproof. The little rascals get in all my compartments and make a mess. In my glove box they shred anything that is chewable and seem to have a good time doing it. Worse yet, they pee and poop on everything. Once they stake their claim to your property nothing can be deemed clean anymore.
Yet, to many people mice are much more than just an occasional nuisance. I’ve known women AND MEN who shriek at the mere sight of a mouse running loose. Somehow their life can be in perfect control one minute, but add a mouse to the picture and all chaos breaks out.
Case in point, two years ago we went on a family vacation to a resort for some fishing and relaxing for a week. That goal was achieved until about the 5th night in when a mouse was witnessed scurrying along a wall. The next morning when the office opened my wife was complaining how our cabin was overrun with pestilence. Amazingly, we had existed in the cabin for several days with no sightings…but eventually all good things come to an end.
Yup, and so did the trip. We were packed and on our way headed back home a day early thanks to a furry little mammal weighing a few ounces. Indeed, the mere presence of a mouse can profoundly impact many good plans.
So, tell me about your adventures with mice. Do you have a good story? How have mice or other rodents impacted your outdoor experiences? In particular, if you have a funny incident we absolutely must hear about that.