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


Friday, July 25, 2008

Another chuck and a turkey attack

After a sweltering hot week and a couple days of rain, there was finally a slight break in the weather today. Having expected this to happen, I brought my hunting gear to work and at 3:30 punched the clock, changed into my camos and headed for the woods.

The hunt began slow, though I saw a few rabbits. No sign of squirrels. I know I can't hunt them, but it's nice to know that they are there for the upcoming season. As I pushed through the field, I came across a group of tiny birds that were wandering around. They were little tiny turkeys, and as I got closer, some began pealing off into the higher grass. Some didn't appear to be as healthy, and they didn't budge. I was thinking about taking some pictures to show my wife but my camera was in my backpack and I didn't feel like taking it off. I continued pass them, when guess who comes out and stands in my path? Big Mamma Turkey! I immediately stopped and began walking backward. I passed the chicks and the protective mother decided that I needed to be chased off. I quickened my pace, but so did the bird. All of a sudden it broke into a run, flapping its wings. Realizing that it was simply protecting its young, I yelled at it to stop but it kept coming. Finally when it was just a few steps in front of me I cocked my 17 and fired a shot in its direction (not at it). Immediately the turkey went 'exit, stage left!' and did and airborne 180 with feathers coming off in all directions. It flew high into a tree and was gone.

"I yelled at it to stop but it kept coming. Finally when it was just a few steps in front of me I cocked my 17 and fired a shot in its direction..."

I soon met up with a guy who was taking his lab for a walk. It was obvious that the dog wasn't real happy to see me so I stretched out my hand for her to smell. The owner told me that his dog couldn't see my face so she didn't know what to make of me. I lifted the netting, stretched out my hand and the dog calmed down. One animal attack is enough for any day. 

It was getting late so I decided to head back to the car. On the return trip I spotted a dark shape about 50 yards out that resembled a stump or bag. I was loosing light so it was impossible to make out what it was. I stopped and watched it, waiting for some sign of movement. It didn't move so I didn't shoot. If I can't identify my target, I hold my fire. I continued to wait for any type of movement... when all of a sudden the shape broke into a run. Damn! It was a chuck and I blew the perfect opportunity for a shot! I refused to go home empty handed, so I decided to wait the chuck out. Within a few minutes the guy and the dog returned and walked right by both of us. "Hang it up for the day" I thought. "This thing must be dug in for the night". It was now 7:00 and the sun was setting quickly. I decided to wait it out for the last half hour before sunset. Everything was wet so I took a spot standing behind a tree. 15 minutes later another smaller chuck appeared from the opposite direction of the first. I could see its head through the dense brush, so I took aim at it and fired. I can't believe the amount of damage a tiny 17 cal. hollow point can dish out! The chuck rolled over. Don't believe guys who tell you that a 17 can be deflected by a blade of grass! I didn't realize it was a head shot, but it was still moving so I decided to quickly finish it off. I've made it my policy to immediately take a second shot rather than to let the animal crawl off wounded. I lost too many squirrels like that last season. When its body was visible, I took aim and fired again. This time all movement stopped. When I examined the chuck, the first shot went through its head and the second amazingly just about gutted it. I can't believe the amount of damage a tiny 17 cal. hollow point can dish out!

I left the chuck right where it was and I'll check back Saturday to see there is any evidence that a coyote or a hawk picked it up. I'm sure it won't be there by morning. That's 2 chucks down and Saturday I'm going back for that running tree stump.

GUN: Henry 17HMR Golden Boy AMMO: CCI TNT 17HMR

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