Was doing a summer camp gig as camp director in the mountains of VT about 25 years ago. My quarters were a primitive cabin and as it was Saturday, no new batch of campers yet. They arrive on Sunday.

Anyway, i kept a Browning Buckmark .22 with the teeny tiny shotshell loads handy to shoot mice off the rafters at night above my bed. Those loads don’t cycle. This is important to the story.

So the damn porcupines had been chewing the outside of the cabins something fierce. Serious damage.

Sunrise comes and it is raining. Sleeping in and loving it. Was a long week of camp life. Then, i am awakened by a LOUD gnawing sound on the front wall of the cabin! I leap out of bed, naked as can be, half asleep, grab the Buckmark and run outside to blast the vandal.

It is a HUGE porcupine and it commences to haul ass when i open the door. I run after it and shoot it in the center of the back as it is escaping. The tiny load of tiny lead shot has practically no effect and it keeps going! And of course, the gun malfunctioned due to the load. No choice but to pistol whip it hard or it would escape. Man, i SMACKED it hard with pistol and my gun hand. Paralyzed it but my hand is now packed with deeply embedded quills. Butt naked, in the rain, in the driveway, hand full of porcupine quills. Thank God no witnesses.

Just wanted to go back to sleep so i yanked out the quills en mass, poured some mouthwash on my hand and crawled back in bed.

Poor bugger was still breathing when i got up a few hours later. Dispatched it and dragged it into the woods. But not far enough, the waves of week long campers held their breath the rest of the summer when passing that spot.

Man i was dumb back then.


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