A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!

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Friday, September 21, 2007

A quick hunt after work with a Ruger 10-22

After a particularly grueling 7 - 5 workday, I had an hour to hunt before sunset. I quickly pulled my backpack out of my Jeep, changed into my camos and hit the road. First I decided to try a new spot where the trees looked interesting and there was very little ground cover. Walking into the woods about 25 yards, I looked up and saw the largest hornet nest I'd ever seen. About 35 feet up and the size of a soccer ball. I checked it through the scope and it was crawling with hornets. Exit, stage left... I was out'a there. I went a bit further up the road and started walking a dirt road. This time I had my ProEars on, and I could hear everything. They are really amazing! I could clearly hear every nut that falls from the trees. I was aware of every sound that emanated from the very top of 90 footers. The entire forest seemed to come alive. To my right I heard a branch snap, and there was a squirrel eating a nut while standing on a stick. I was in the middle of the road with nothing to steady the rifle, so I steadied the best I could and took a shot. It looked like a hit because I saw it go airborn, but it never turned up. The sun was dropping quickly, so I went a bit further down the road until I heard something rustling at the very top of the trees. This time I headed toward a tree to give myself something to brace myself on. I remained still and in a couple of minutes the squirrel made its way down the trunk. It started chattering at me while hiding on the back side. In about a minute it popped its head out, I got it in my cross-hairs and I took 2 fast shots with my 10/22. It dropped like a stone, yet it thrashed and crawled for about 30 seconds. I had put the shot right through its head, which literally blew its brains out, yet it kept moving like a chicken with its head cut off. Now I have a better idea why I haven't been able to find some of the squirrels that I knew for sure I hit. I decided to keep this guys tail to build my coyote decoy. I'm planning on putting together 3 tails and hanging them from a bouncy stick to get the coyote's attention.

This will likely be one of the last warm days of the year. It was about 80F with zero humidity. The sweet smell of grapes was in the air, and it doesn't get much better than that. It was now 6:30 which is 1/2 hr after sunset (the end of the legal hunting day), so I unloaded my rifle and headed back to the Jeep. Work was murder today, but it's amazing how quickly I forget about it once I get into the woods. I think I'll do it again tomorrow.

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