I belong to a writer’s research group on Yahoo, hosted by the fabulous Rayne Hall (I reviewed her book here). Even when I don’t have an open question for the group, or the topic isn’t one I can contribute knowledge to, I still read the posts. That’s how I came across the following story, courtesy of Pedar Bloom.
An author had asked about details concerning rat hunting, and Pedar posted a true tale so amazing that I repeatedly pulled it up on my smart phone and read it to people. Everyone loved it. Thanks Pedar, for letting me share:
“My wife’s cousins used to hunt rats for bounty. Their city had a problem with
rats in the sewers and paid per rat killed. They were given access to the sewer
system, vests, hard hats like miners wear with a flash light in them, and were
otherwise expected to bring their own gear.
The first time they went they brought 22 caliber repeating rifles. They entered
at the access point. The access point was about two blocks from where the big
rat colony was, and was used because it gave the hunters a way in and out away from
the main colony. They could hear the rats down the pipe even two blocks
Once they started down the pipe, large enough to stand and not touch the top,
they heard it get quiet, and then the noise changed to something like 100,000
rats scurrying. It was. They moved on towards the noise, shining their hat
lights and flashlights.
They had a lot of misconceptions about hunting rats. They thought the rats
would be afraid of loud noises. They thought the rats would have to be chased
down. They thought they would shoot a rat, and then pick up the dead rat and put
it in their bag. They thought it would be hard to find enough rats, that rats
would fear people, and worst of all, they thought that only they would be doing
When they came into view, the rats were running towards them. Thousands of
them. They were running over each other and the bottom of the pipe was a flood
of fur. They said it was like a scene from Aliens.
One of the guys fired a shot into the flood, thinking it would scare them.The
rats around the one that was shot turned on it and started to tear it apart.
They all started firing into the crowd at the front thinking it would turn them
back, but it didn’t and they had to run for it.
They got out okay. Would you go back? Neither would I, but they did. Same guns
plus an additional brother. First time they used .22 short rounds with 30 shot
clips. Not enough fire power. The rats came on so fast that they were not able
to empty their clips. This time they loaded bird shot. Wider spread. Should do
more damage. They said it did less damage and just seemed to make the rats more
Their third and last trip, 3 pump shotguns, plus the .22′s with extra clips.
Two of the brothers blasted away with the shotguns with one brother reloading
the empties. At first, the noise of the shotguns seemed to bother them and kept
them away better than the actual shooting. Once the rats realized they were
not hurt by the noise they started coming on like before.
They really thought the shotguns would do the trick and so they kept their
positions longer, and when they did decide to make a break for the access point,
the rats were closer then they had been before. The first two brothers got out
okay, but the third had some rats hanging onto his blue jeans when they pulled him
up and out.
Could have been worse.
They did some looking into it after that. Rats can be cowed alone, but as their
numbers increase they get much bolder. As the cousins found out, there is a
point where rats become predatory. A good thing for a rat hunter to know
Whew! Got your own hair-raising tale? Comment or use the ‘contact’ form, ‘cause I’d love to hear it!