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Field Program

[Image Description: Two MCC members taking a brief break; one is sitting on a rock, the other is standing nearby. They are both in their uniforms, looking out at the expansive, mountain view surrounding them.]

Trials and Tribulations of a Rig Mouse

The back of a truck with containers and water jugs.

Rig mice are docile, elusive, and everlastingly hungry creatures. What they lack in size, they make up for in numbers and persistence. A rig mouse is a seasoned veteran when it comes to getting into places it doesn’t belong and stealing food it didn’t purchase. The rig mice of Northern Rockies Forestry Crew 8’s Truck Norris, are no different.

Due to a broken food bin, the mice inhabiting Crew 8’s Ford F250 (given the name “Truck Norris”), have been feasting for weeks. Thus, Crew 8 has learned a lot about their furry foes based on their eating patterns and what they leave behind. A rig mouse is rarely seen but always leaves behind its mark of triumph. This comes in the form of chewed wrappers and small bites taken from our various foods. A rig mouse’s favorite foods include Poptarts and quinoa, and when they can’t find those, plastic flagging. The rig mice will eat anything, including one bite out of each and every Golden Oreo in a pack, but man do they love Poptarts and quinoa. Crew leader Anthony Lombardo introduced the name “Mousetart” as a replacement name and it has since stuck. While on their hitch in the beginning of September, the rig mice actually ate Crew 8’s entire bag of quinoa making them drive all the way to the nearest diner for their last dinner.

While the mice have had their fair share of gorging on Crew 8’s food, on their last hitch in the Trout Creek RD of the Kootenai National Forest, they took a stand. Leaders Ben Beese and Anthony Lombardo purchased mouse traps prior to the hitch and placed them throughout the back of the rig. They used smeared cheese as bait hoping it would lure them away from the Mousetarts and quinoa. As an extra precaution, the crew’s food was stored in a provided bear box at their campsite.

On night two of the hitch, a snap echoed throughout the campsite. By morning it was revealed that the crew had caught one of them. The traps were reset and on night three there was another snap. It is safe to say, Crew 8 had successfully overcome their rig mice problem.

But, while Crew 8 won this battle, the war against the rig mice is everlasting. Or at least until we get a new food bin…