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Will Tillman conquers bat, finds scorpions

The learning curve is less steep these days for Will Tillman, a former resident of Miami, Fla.

For the past few years, 33-year-old has been acclimating himself to Georgia’s more bucolic surroundings. Since moving away from the tropical metropolis in south Florida, Tillman has experienced his share of rural encounters at his home in east McDonough.

This fall, he said, he finally freed his newly bought home of a single bat who made himself at home in the attic last summer.

“I did manage to get rid of him,” said Tillman. “I had to see how he was coming in, when the sun went down. It definitely took some investigation.”

Tillman said he did some research online before finding his solution. He also discovered, for himself, the habits of his resident bat.

“I sat outside at dusk, and I saw the bats come out,” he said. “I started noticing — everywhere I go, those were bats flying after sunset and not just birds.”

Tillman said he was able to use a heavy duty stapler and screening to block off the bat’s entrance through his attic vent. This was back in October, he said, and he has not seen the bat since.

The McDonough man acknowledged, however, that soon after his small victory, came yet another ordeal. He said he found scorpions around his house — scattered about like the occasional spider –– in a light fixture or in an outdoor crevice.

“I had never seen a scorpion in my life,” said Tillman, who admits he consulted professionals about the small arachnids.

Tillman said he has not seen the scorpions since the colder weather has arrived, but he counts the adventures among his latest in a list of yarns he has told friends over the past few years.

He said he once tried to fit into his rural surroundings, within the pasture-filled Ola community, by raising Pigmy goats. He said he kept five goats for nearly two years on his 5.5-acre property, until he sold them on Craig’s List last year.

Tillman also recalled running into a deer when he first got to Georgia, before which time he had never seen one up close. The same was true for goats, bats, foxes, rabbits, and other wildlife native to the southern state.

Tillman, formerly a police officer in Miami, said he is used to dealing with tough individuals, but has yet some things to learn about Georgia’s wildlife.

He said he plans to get back into law enforcement, though, as he is attending an area police academy to renew his law enforcement certifications. He said he hopes his next challenge will be as a police officer in the metro-Atlanta area.