Off to bed.
Rise and shine at 0600. It's dark out yonder. Wait, I hear a noise. What is it? I listen and there it is again. It's coming from the hen house. It's Chatty. As I open the back door I hear her squawk and know from the sound she's run-flying away from something. From what? Has to be the possum.
I grab the pellet/BB gun and flashlight, slip into hunter mode and head into the darkness. Gun in my right hand; safety off. Light in my left hand scanning back and forth. In the run I see Chatty on open ground. Feathers are ruffled but, seems to be okay. She staggers around on her (already) gimpy leg. Goose is on her outside perch snoring away.
I peek into the coop door window and see nothing. No birds on the roosts nor a woolly booger. I remember Esther stole Goose's spot in the rafters. I look through the vent. Yep, there she is and beside her, and in my face, is Wilma and Maggie. No movement, no sound. Had they jumped I'd've shit myself, I'm sure of that. I back up and start looking under the coop. And, that's when I see it. Possum! Pretty big. He, she, it (I'll use he) was positioned just out from under the coop in a stare down with Chatty. I was about 3 ft. from him on the other side of the wire. As my light hits him, he just stares at me. No fear! Well, I was cautious but, determined to remove this threat once and for all. And, I have to do it with the flickering, dimming light of a cheap flashlight.
I eased the rifle barrel through the wire and stopped about a foot from his head. Positioned the light over the barrel so I could see something that resembled proper sight alignment. Aiming for a head shot, I put the light back on him and, FIRED! He takes off under the coop and headed for the far back corner. I pumped the single shot rifle to its maximum pressure, found him and hit him again. He moved off under the porch steps toward the run where Chatty is. Chatty has not moved. It's DARK and she's scared, for sure.
I look under the coop and steps to the chicken coop entrance door. I look toward Chatty. Nothing. I don't see him. Did he find an escape? I'm at the front of the pen now, close to Chatty. I still don't see him. I shine the light in the chicken's door to the coop. There he is. As I spotlight him, he climbs into one of the nesting boxes, turns, faces me and glares. Defiant I tell ya.
Let's do this again. He's about 12 ft. from me inside a nesting box. That makes it even darker than it already is. I crouch at the pen gate and slide the barrel through the wire. Using it as a crutch, once again, I shine the light down the sights and align them at, what I think is, his head. Put the light back on him and take the shot. He doesn't move. Did I miss? I didn't hear the BB hit the wall. Surely, I hit him. Then, he wavers back and forth and leaves the nesting box. He makes a turn and moves deeper into the coop, out of sight. I'm assuming he has 3 BBs in him now so, food is probably not on his mind. Besides, the birds are high in the rafters and should be safe, at this point.
A few seconds after I lose sight of him, I hear a thump. Then, a couple more. What's with that? I'm not going in the pen. The only way I can see inside the coop from this side is through the chicken entrance. I am not sticking my head into that hole. Nope. Not me. I move around to the big door where I can peek into the window again. Well, look here. There he lays on his side. Lifeless? Ha. Don't ever believe a possum is dead. You'll end up bit. I watched for a few and, sure enough, saw him inhale and exhale a big breath. Was that his last?
Daylight pictures. My encounter was in total darkness using a flashlight.
|The initial approach|
|The coop door window|
|Possum was in the middle of the pic. Feathers are from molting, not an attack.|
|Internet picture. Couldn't get a live pic of the one I encountered. I dealt with possums several times in my life. They are some mean creatures.|
|The girls entrance. 4 ft. within the darkness is the nesting box. Straight and true. Oh look! Wilma.|
|His new resting spot in the old garden area.|