This is a guest post by prostaffer Steve Scaramastro.

Through the ages, cultures have all recognized the power of the Earth’s natural forces of air, earth, wind, and fire.  These are powerful forces that shape the world and impact those who live upon it.  They provide life, and can deliver death.  This morning I realized that there is a new element that joins the ranks of these ancient and powerful forces…the Benjamin Marauder.

I looked out my back window this morning and gazed across the DSZ (de-squirreled zone), which is how I refer to my backyard.  This is a defensive buffer zone that will be kept clear of all squirrel activity.  This is the only way to minimize the chances that my attic will never again be infiltrated by the dreaded Sciurus carolinensis…the eastern gray squirrel.  They’ve done damage to my home in the past, and the DSZ is the only way to prevent it from happening again.  The situation is perhaps best captured in a quote from the prison warden in the movie Cool Hand Luke:

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men squirrels you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it.

So as I looked across the DSZ and saw this infiltrator, my training instinctively took over.  I sprinted to the gun safe, then manned my position at the laundry room window.  The squirrel was scrounging around next to a maple tree I had cut up last weekend.  I eased the window open when he had is head behind the log, then settled in to a firing position using the window ledge for a gun rest, and the washing machine to support my elbows.

It was overcast, cold, windy, and the low clouds were spitting snow.  The air blowing through the window was colder than I expected, but now that I was in firing position I would not move until the job was done.  I adjusted the objective lens to bring my crosshairs into sharp focus for this distance.  When I got it dialed in I could see every pebble, every blade of grass in sharp relief, and two crystal clear crosshairs on gray fur.  It was almost time.squirrel

The cold wind continued to blow as I waited for my moment.  Snow was slashing diagonally through my scope lens, the squirrel continued his march across the DSZ in his characteristic short hops, and I continued wait for the perfect sight picture.  The air, earth, and wind were all there…and then the Marauder brought the fire.  The squirrel stood tall and motionless for a moment, and a moment is all it takes to cleanly and crisply release the match grade trigger on the Marauder.  PSST.  A silenced shot whispered from nowhere and the vermin was on the ground instantly.  The sight picture is so clear and still that it looks like you’re watching TV when it happens.  The trigger is perfect, it doesn’t ever upset your sight picture…it’s clean, crisp, and deadly.  The gun simply does…not…move when you pull the trigger.

I watched the squirrel through the scope after the shot.  It was laying lifeless on the ground in a driving north wind that was pushing huge wet snowflakes across the DSZ.

As I watched the snow pile up on the vermin I realized that if it kept up like this it would soon be covered and gone.  Then it hit me that the Marauder is the fifth element.  We now have air, earth, wind, fire, and Marauder.  They are all forces to be reckoned with, and they will all be here long after the squirrel has come and gone.

Now I’m sitting back and drinking coffee, secure in the knowledge that there’s one more squirrel who will never enter my attic.  The Marauder is back in the gun safe, quietly holding 3,000 PSI of silent, squirrel eliminating power, ready to leap back into action the moment I need it.