I read about an old gal in West Virginia who ate home made biscuits and squirrel gravy every morning of her very long life. She "barked" the little buggers with an ancient muzzle loading, 36 caliber "squirrel gun" (natch) it was a flintlock she had inherited from her grandfather. Probably made some time in the late 18th century (the gun, that is) What is called a "southern mountain rifle".
She was frugal. She'd dig the spent ball out of the tree where she had barked the squirrel and when she had a good collection of used bullets she would melt them down and recast them in her granpa's old bullet mold. She made her gunpowder from a mixture of dried chicken poop and rust (scraped from a piece of old farm machinery).
Talk about being self sufficient!
She was the aunt of the Reverend J.D. Hooker who writes occasionally for a great woods craft and folk lore magazine published in Colorado called "The Backwoodsman", Charlie Ritchie's magazine.
I don't know if all the above is "true", of course, but it sure makes a great story.
The "tree rats" who hang out in MY yard have a habit of picking a un-ripe pear from my ancient tree, taking a few bites and spitting pear all over my driveway, throwing the munched pear down as well. This year I have a "bumper" crop of pears so I'll probably get enough for Nancy to make some of her delicious pear butter. One year, though, they destroyed every pear on that tree. The odd thing is this all started only four or five years ago. When I first moved in they didn't conduct this wasteful practice. I haven't been able to find out why they started in the first place. I'd love to do something to stop it but I'm in town so shooting squirrels is out and I won't use poison or traps, even live traps, because that would present a hardship to other critters. (I have a wonderful old groundhog living under my old smoke house and coons, possums, rabbits and even an armadilo hang around too. So do a few coyotes, whom I dearly love.)
I guess I'll just "get on" with the little buggers. It's all part of living in a small rural town. Worth it in the long run.
I'd sure love to try out The Reverend Hooker's aunt's procedure some day, though.