Thursday, December 3, 2015

Going Squirrel Hunting

Kubota has a half day today.

I will pick him up and his buddy The Great Brain.  We will swing my TGB's house to pick up his 12 gauge.  Then to our house to pick up Kubota's Mossberg and a .22.  Then we are off to northwest Eaton County to slay some of the squirrels that entertained us all deer season.

Part of the fun is that TGB used my Lee Load-All to reload the ammunition they will be using.  The load mimics a standard 20 gauge load (7/8 oz shot).  They think 20 gauges are for puzzies.  I let them think they are real men, unfazed by recoil.  The squirrels don't seem to notice although they run out of pattern a bit sooner than with full 1-1/8th ounce loads.

I will be the gun bearer and the "responsible adult".  It may take them a while but I expect them to figure out that one man with a shotgun (30 yard capability) and one man with a .22 LR (70 yard capability on squirrel sized targets) complements each other's strengths and backfills their weaknesses.

I will teach them a few tricks.  One trick is to have one hunter keep walking while the "shooter" stops.  The squirrel clocks around the tree, simultaneously keeping the tree between himself and the walker while trying to keep an eye on him.  Of course he is unaware of the "shooter".  The walker scores extra points if he walks three or four steps and stops for ten seconds...  Then repeat.

Safety requires that the shooter be close to the tree...maybe fifteen yards away, and that the walker move off at 10:30 to not put himself downrange.  Because the shooter is close, he should have his gun mounted and pointing up, towards the trunk.

Another "trick" is to flip you hand like a squirrel's tail.  Squirrels communicate via their tails and are addicted to gossip.  Clicking your tongue also works.

The most devastating technique is to pick a likely place and be quiet and patient.  This technique comes more easily to those of us with a few miles on the odometer.

I will take pictures if I can find my camera.

4 comments:

  1. Be sure to wear hunter's orange. it is my distinct experience that tree-rats get used to seeing orange during deer season and know for a fact that you're not squirrel hunting.

    Good luck, get lots.

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  2. Looking forward to the AAR on this one! ;-)

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  3. Looking forward to the AAR on this one! ;-)

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  4. Great tips. I never pack hunted them, but the walker/shooter has got to be deadly because squirrels aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. I found you can do a fair imitation of their chattering by sucking on the back of your hand. Like you said, they can't resist a social gathering. You are right about patience too. Squirrels have short memories. You can walk in and sit on the ground 10 ft from the other side of the tree they just ran around, and after 5-10 minutes of not moving, they just forget you are there and walk right out to say goodbye!

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