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

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

A quick hunt before the storm




I've hunted on plenty of miserable days before, but I honestly can't remember one worse than this. I arrived in the woods at 8:00 and hunted til 9:30. We are supposed to get hit with the edge of a hurricane this afternoon and this is the calm before the storm. It rained last night and now it's 80F with about 100% humidity.

When I arrived at the parking area, a guy in a pick-up pulled in soon after I put my gear on. 2 hunting dogs jumped out and began running loose around the area. The guy asked me if the season was open and I informed him that squirrels opened September 1st. His dogs were running loose, which is illegal in CT WMA's. In fact, this month it appears that all WMA's have been posted with signs that all dogs not hunting must be on a leash not longer than 7 ft.

The dogs were running all over and I thought to myself that this will kill any chance of getting the jump on any squirrels foraging on the ground. It wasn't long before the dogs dropped behind me and within a minute I saw two squirrels jumping from branch to branch. Soon more appeared and in total I counted 6. Since everything was wet and soft, I silently took cover behind a tree trunk, acquired the target in my cross-hairs and fired. The first squirrel dropped with a 'THUD!'. I sighted in a second and ....CLICK... misfire*. Damn! By then the squirrels had taken cover. As soon as I took my first shot the guy called back his dogs and left. I waited behind the tree for 15 minutes and a squirrel began to venture out and run along a branch. "I silently took cover behind a tree trunk, acquired the target in my cross-hairs and fired. The first squirrel dropped with a 'THUD!'. I sighted in a second and ...CLICK... misfire*. Damn!" I took aim, fired, and dropped it. Within the next 15 minutes nothing moved so I began walking. In a couple of minutes I spotted another squirrel high up in the branches, blocked by leaves. I moved in but that was the last I saw of it. For the next hour I walked the area, then returned to my original spot and waited, but nothing moved. By then I was soaked with sweat, my glasses were fogging so often it became impossible to hunt. If I took off the face screen, the mosquitoes and gnats would have been all over me. I had 2 in the bag and decided that since it was already 9am, it's likely that nothing would be moving again until after the storm passes. I turned around and left. I can't say it was a fun morning, but it brought my season total up to 8, which is half of my total for last year and I'm only a couple weeks into the season.

GUN: Henry Varmint Express AMMO: CCI TNT 17HMR

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