This is not about fish, and not purposefully about humane trapping-and-releasing nuisance mammals. Inadvertently, though, it is.
It started during a heavy bout of landscaping, at a point where I was dispatched to pick up more topsoil; I believe we were planting a winterberry (Ilex verticillata) when this all went down. Whatever the plant, I was behind the garage picking through the pile of "stuff" that has accumulated -- pots, stakes, watering cans, bags of topsoil, mulch, and so on - when I heard some sporadic rustling from a pile of leaves. Buried in the pile was a scrap of deer netting we didn't use last year, and it ensnared an eastern chipmunk (Tamius striatus) , wrapping tightly around its neck. Not unlike this image (note: opens a .jpg file) of Lovelace in Happy Feet.
I put the entangled mess in the wheelbarrow, along with the topsoil, and called for my wife to grab the camera (I recognize a potential blog post when I see it). After a few minutes of careful snipping, the little bugger was free (and not "dispatched," which is the first thing that came to mind when thinking of what relentless predators they are).
I just didn't have the heart to do it. So, we'll probably lose a few nests we'll never know about, and we'll likely lose a few plants that we'll eventually notice "went missing." And a deer will probably get the blame.
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