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


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just Call Me Itchy

I took a vacation day today to have a quick early hunt, then to take my wife to the beach as promised. It rained (again) last night, but for some reason the water had receded and the fields were accessible. I started hunting at 7am and for two hours the only thing I saw were squirrels. I was surprised that the bugs weren't bad either. I think it had to do with the fact that the temperature has dropped about 20 degrees from what it had been.
"A big fat chuck came running across the field about 30 yards in front of me and disappeared...I hit the dirt and within less than 5 second I must have been covered by a thousand mosquitoes!" 
 It was now 9am and I had to get home, but I decided to give it one last walk-through. This time I decided to lighten my load by jettisoning my revolver and backpack, which included my ThermaCELL unit. Well what do you know? On the return trip a big, fat chuck came running across the field about 30 yards in front of me and disappeared into the brush. I immediately hit the dirt, hoping to wait him out. Within less than 5 second I must have been covered by a thousand mosquitoes! I am not exaggerating. They were covering me in swarms. For some reason they were ignoring me for the most part as I walked, but whenever I stopped, they swarmed. I could feel them biting me through my gloves, shirt and face screen, so I said 'The hell with this!', got up, brushed them off and started walking. Within seconds most were gone. I was so angry that after all that work to locate a target, I couldn't take a shot due to those stink'n bugs. My wife is afraid that I'm going to come down with West Nile Virus or something because I'm getting bit so much. I don't think about it, but when there are that many, I'm out'a there. I'm thinking that I should wait until it drys out before hunting the area again, but if you know me, I'll be there again Saturday. I have a very short memory. Oh, while I was there I came up on two deer. I took the photo below of one of them.

10-9-08 I sat silently under a tree off the side of the road with my revolver in hand waiting for a big fat chuck to reveal itself. As I sat there motionless, I was surprised to see another hunter come walking toward me. It seems that around here I'm one of the few hunters pursuing small game this time of year. I enjoy trying to disappear when someone comes walking by, so I held perfectly still and a guy wearing a red plaid shirt, jeans and a hat who carried what looked like a 22 went walking right past me. I said to myself, "This guy has to be nuts, walking into this area unprotected from the mosquitoes". It's been raining off an on for weeks and the fields are flooded. The floodwaters have cut me off from many of my favorite woodchuck hunting spots this month. Mosquitoes are hatching and swarming everywhere. Did you ever see that 'OFF' commercial where the guy sticks his unprotected arm in the bag that's loaded with them and they immediately attack his arm by the hundreds? Well, that what it's like out here, but worse. They are not only hatching along the ponds and streams, but they are coming out of the wet mud by the thousands and they attack anything that has movement.

"He came RUNNING down the road toward the street like his ass was on fire..." I took the picture above of myself when I came out of the woods to show you what I have to do to survive in this area. I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt that closes around my neck, a net over my entire head that exposes only my eyes, and they are covered with my glasses. The ProEars amplify sound 9X, keep me from going def when I fire my magnum handgun, as well as keeping my ears covered and protected. I wore a hat because if my balding head touches the net, they can nail it right through the netting. I also wear leather fingerless shooting gloves to protect my hands from thorns and keep them from being bitten. Long pants of course as well as boots. Recently I also started carrying a TheraCELL unit to repell mosquitoes and I douse myself with 40 DET before going out. With all this I STILL end up getting bit, but not all that much.

Remember that hunter that came walking by? In less than five minutes he came RUNNING down the road toward the street like his ass was on fire because I have no doubt he was getting eaten alive. He didn't see me on that pass either. LOL! Is it worth putting all this stuff on when it's in the 80's and my sweat is constantly fogging up my glasses? Of course not. It must have something to do with compulsive behavior because I always have the thought in the back of my head that if I don't go out today, that's the day that the chucks will decide to go tanning in every open field. That sure hasn't happened over the last two days. In fact, the last three times out I've seen nothing. My wife wants me to take a vacation day next week to take her to the beach again. I agreed if I can hunt in the morning and sleep while she drives me to the beach. Hey, I'm a glutton for punishment. When I got home and looked in the mirror I noticed that I had 5 bites around my eyes.

I shot at the indoor range early this morning before the hunt and I'll have something posted about it on the RANGE page.

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