I killed a woodpecker recently. I don't know if it's illegal and I refuse to look it up because there may be more. If there are, I'll have to kill them too. It's not that I mind the noise, and although I don't like the holes in my silver-leaf maple tree, I killed him purely in defense. Not self-defense, but defense of the Mason Bees. They'll arrive soon and I don't want any woodpeckers eating them before they emerge. Therefore, I'm on a mission to rid my yard of woodpeckers before the bees arrive.
My weapon of choice was the Reuger .22 pistol my husband bought me for my birthday. It's a great little gun; so far I haven't missed with it, although it did take two shots to finish off the woodpecker. I much prefer one shot, one kill.
The little bird has eluded me for many days always lighting in the tree that's too close to the house for a safe shot from the front yard, and in-line with the neighbors' yards from any other angle. Today he landed in the larger tree in the side yard. I went out the front door, asking the children to keep themselves and the dog on the porch. Sneaking around the side of the house, I had a clear shot with nothing but the empty back pasture beyond my target (just in case I missed).
The first shot only winged the animal and knocked him out of the tree. The kids came running to see if I had gotten my target. I'm never sure how they'll react (especially my daughter), but even on seeing the injured bird, they were not mournful. I shot him again and took his carcass to the barn cats for their supper.
I guess I shouldn't be too worried about my kids' reaction to killing animals. My mom lost a baby chicken a few days ago. We're not sure if it was dogs, coyotes, or the three wild cats that are staying in our barn for the winter. My daughter has started feeding the cats and enjoys taunting them with an old piece of rope. They won't come near enough for her to pet, but they will pounce on the rope and play around her feet. When I mentioned that the cats may have killed Grammy's chicken, she said she'd shoot them herself if we ever found any evidence. I love raising my kids on this farm!!!