About the Author:
John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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December 19, 2008

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Merwin: Mice, Revisited

The other day I wrote about the damage mice sometimes do to  fishing gear. Then I remembered the following and figured you might  get a kick out of the photos.          

One of our several kayaks had been outside and in upside- down storage for a couple of years. There was a tightly fitted cover  over the cockpit to keep critters out.          

When my son Jason and I turned the boat over last summer,  there was a little chewed hole in the middle of the cockpit cover. The  cockpit itself was full of chewed, dried leaves and bits of old fabric  and feathers and general mouse fluff. Just a huge collection. But in  digging around and cleaning out, we found no mouse.
Then I noticed a small hole that had been chewed in the  bulkhead behind the seat, which seals off--or used to--the rear hatch  compartment. So we pulled the hatch off and found that compartment to  be full of mouse debris, too. I mean, there were just bushels of  stuff!
So we started pulling that out, and finally found just a  single white-footed mouse cowering in the extreme rear of the boat. We  carefully caught the mouse in gloved hands and let it go. I didn't  have the heart to stomp on it. Just an old softy, I guess....


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Throughout my younger days I purchased the first edition of every comic book that came out. I kept them safe in a dresser drawer. Came home from college to move everything from my parents' house to my apartment. You know the rest of the story. It amazed me how completely they shredded the paper. Mice are no longer tolerated.

Yours will probably be back, with family and friends - I just hope you don't find them cowering under the hood of your truck after slicing and dicing your wiring. One of my insurance customers went through this twice in one month, at over $500 a crack, before she decided negotiations were over and zero tolerance became her norm.