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My wife Linda and I are living in the wild kingdom. Behind and beside our house is 10 acres of woods bordered by a lake, pond and brook, and across the road the woods run for five miles along the stream.

So it’s no surprise we have had every wild critter in our yard, and even in our house. Before we enclosed the foundation of our house, lots of animals got into our basement, including that skunk that blasted me right in the face.

One time I was walking up the steps taking me outdoors from the basement when I met a racoon coming down the steps. We stared at each other and eventually he turned and climbed back out.

And did I tell you about the snake in our kitchen? Linda hates snakes, and when I got home, she was standing on a chair while the snake slithered around the floor. Another time, she saw a snake near our walkway. She tried to hit it but missed, hitting a granite wall and breaking her wrist.

Bats used to get in our house a lot, and I’d hit and kill them. Sadly, we haven’t seen a bat for years.

Because we live next to a stream, we’d get lots of snapping turtles, which buried their eggs in Linda’s flower garden. I had a huge snapping turtle chase me out of our brook where I was fishing. And it followed me onto shore and chased me through the woods.

We did enjoy seeing a lot of wild animals, but I did have to shoot a fox in our driveway and two woodchucks eating things in Linda’s garden. The fox was acting strangely so I shot it, and it turned out to be rabid.

And one night while we were sleeping, a bear bent over the poles holding Linda’s bird feeders and destroyed every feeder.

One day a lady walked out of our woods carrying a loon that had swallowed a lead sinker. We got it to Avian Haven, but the loon eventually died.

Yes, living the wild life is not always easy.

George Smith has spent his life advocating for hunters, anglers, wildlife and conservation. He has been awarded many lifetime achievement awards including from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife...