Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dead armadillo chronicles

It's the shot that counts
So anyway, for about the last week there's been an armadillo living under the guest cabin in the back yard.  Now, I'm generally live and let live when it comes to wildlife, as the dog keeps most of the big critters away while the smaller ones feed the cats.  And I don't mind stuff that comes out at night, as I don't really need all those cats anyway.

But there are times when such a laissez-faire attitude borders on foolishness, such as when a normally-nocturnal animal spends all day digging up the yard. Every day for a week.  The girls are terrified of said animal, which is fine, because I don't want them playing with it anyway. And apparently armadillos are invisible to dogs, or so my own would have me believe. But wild animals that act oddly are too often sick, and I don't want critters passing anything to my critters, two-legged or four.

So as is my habit, I tried to convince him to leave in a non-lethal manner first:  I threw a trash can at him.  That seemed to keep him away for about a day.  Then I hit him with a stick.  That was good for two days.  But when he wandered out early this afternoon I figured it was time to bring out the hardware.  The hardware in this case being my new Springfield XDS in 45ACP.

Now, I don't know if you've seen an armadillo in real life*, but they have really tiny heads.  And the Lovely and Gracious sent me an article this week about a guy who was injured when his bullet ricocheted off an armadillo's mithril armor.  So maybe I was a little bit intimated by the idea of doing him in with a handgun. But still, I should have been able to kill him with 5 shots, and I thought I hit him at least twice. When he scurried back under the cabin and I figured I'd seen** the last of him.

So imagine my surprise when the girls and I came in from fishing to find said armadillo walking in circles in the driveway.  While they screamed and ran into the house, I set the crappie bucket down and went for the old standby - the 22 Hornet.

Two lessons learned:
  • Despite what you might have read, an armadillo's hide is not tough enough to stop a high-powered 224.
  • I need to get to the range in a bad way, since the XDS is my "carry" gun.

On a totally unrelated note, Good Hater will be free tomorrow thru Tuesday, so if you haven't read it and want to, here's your chance. 

* I had never seen a live one before this guy showed up.
** But not smelled.  There's no way to get the carcass out from under there.


  1. your mistake was that you're not using the right tool for the job.

    what you want to do is, you want to run him over with your truck at ~50mph. don't bother trying to hit him with a tire, just drive straight over the top. 'dillo panic response is to pogo up in the air, he'll jump up into the undercarriage of your vehicle and kill himself.

    how you get your truck up to 50mph on your yard is your problem, not mine.

    best start rolling that grass.

  2. Nice choice of pistol. I have the regular xd in that caliber. That caliber is just a finer caliber than most on it's own. Range practice is a wonderful thing. I've put, at least, 10k through the tube and she's still a fine shooter with no issues. Don't worry about breaking her (or even getting her too dirty to shoot). At least for me, no problems at all.

    As to varmints? I'm not as much a live and let live, though I always worry just a bit about your very problem... how exactly to get rid of them. Since I am in town, legality and neighborly disposition is always a concern.

    As to Bob's idea? I don't know. I'm more laughing than not. Still, if you happen to get another one, and figure out how to do that, I'd sure be interested in hearing how that all works out. *grins*

  3. You should've threatened him with a bow. Works on SWAT teams, cuz those arrows can go right through body armor.

  4. Oh, by the way, you didn't happen to "skin", gut, and prep the meat did you? I am terribly curious what those, and many other things, taste like. Mostly likely just a mushy "other" protein source of no great flavor (without a gravy that makes shoe leather palatable that is).

    For me, much of life is simply about food. If you ever become crippled badly enough that only being independently wealthy can see you fed regularly... you will know what I mean. Food, boys and girls, all about food.

    1. you didn't happen to "skin", gut, and prep the meat did you?

      Nope, he's holding down the back of the dam.

    2. Ate armadillo once, in Guatemala. Best meat I ever had. Very rich, dark, sorta like duck.

    3. Thanks Tom. I always love hearing that! Food!

  5. I am beset with cottontails. They are possibly softer targets though. Doom can eat all he wants.

    1. On good days, with mild walking involved, I would even hunt them. The rabbits around here are all bone and small to boot. And the big juicy squirrels live only in the cities. I'd take care of your problem over time.

    2. On good days, I shoot them, sometimes even mild walking is involved. I don't eat them, as I have tame rabbits that I raise. I have enough trouble getting those ate. Yesterday, my elder daughter and I went for a driveabout just before dark. Before we left, a cottontail jumped up from near my tame rabbit pens. I pulled up the AR 15 and ended him. The rabbit performed some theatrical acrobatics I am certain he never did in life. One piece landed thirty feet away across the blood and gut splattered snow. My daughter was most impressed. We left it for the cats, who don't mind their rabbits pureed.

  6. As to Bob's idea? I don't know. I'm more laughing than not.

    laughter of Doom? achievement unlocked.

    I am terribly curious what those, and many other things, taste like.

    not a bright idea. Armadillos carry and transmit leprosy.

    my previous suggestion was a joke. this, i'm absolutely not joking about.

    if you've got a dead armadillo that you think was sick, i wouldn't even touch it. scoop it up with a shovel for disposal and then dunk the shovel in bleach when you're done. ( a 20% bleach / water solution will kill all bacteria and viral cells, you can spray it on yourself to kill athlete's foot or jock itch, 100% bleach shouldn't be used on anything alive )

    leprosy isn't anything to play games with.

    1. laughter of Doom? achievement unlocked

      Now THAT'S funny. I'm so used to being me that I don't even notice until someone else does.

      Urhm, can't you just bleach the meat, then eat it? :p

  7. I'm quite like a cat. Actually, if I could get pig brain I would like to try it. And beef blood, from the butcher. Yeah, some people do eat that, or drink it, often along with milk. Hungry! Or... meow? :p