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


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Brett comments on squirrel hunting in the rain / My response on which Henry to choose

"I'm torn between one like yours and a golden boy. Its going to be a while before I do it, they are a little pricey for me this close to Christmas, but its on my "To Do" list. I saw your note on hunting in the rain. One of the best squirrel hunts I was ever on was in a heavy wooded area in a light rain. The rain covered our sounds as we walked in the wet leaves. My buddy was about 50 yards out front with a shotgun, and I was in the rear with a 22. As I sat at the top of a hill and watched him slowly move down through a low spot, I was amazed how many squirrels he never saw would keep the tree trunk between them. Easy pickings for me in the rear. I thought I would pass along a few things I've found. Happy hunting, Brett"

Brett, thanks for your comments. Regarding hunting in the rain, looks like I should have had a second guy with me today because I hunted 2 hours in the rain, got soaked and saw nothing. There was also another guy hunting but since there were no shots, he obviously didn't see anything either. I can't remember ever seeing a squirrel move in the rain, but if it works for you, that's great! I wonder if it has something to do with the type of squirrel and the location? Like Brett said, the one thing I really like about hunting in the rain is that I can walk over brittle leaves and sticks in almost complete silence. I was happy to come across a fresh gut pile today because that tells me that the guy I felt sorry for last week sitting in the tree stand bagged one! The rain kept the bird hunters away and he obviously took advantage of the quiet. The pile hadn't been touched, so I'm guessing he nailed the deer at sunrise.

11/28/09 WHICH BARREL TO CHOOSE (Top to bottom: H001 22, H001T 22, 17HMR Golden Boy)

Brett, I have a Golden Boy in 17HMR and the H001T 22LR. A few years ago I owned an H001 like your son's and last year I hunted with the 17HMR Varmint Express. Here's a few things to consider when making your choice. The H001's are nice little rifles, but they become inaccurate when you shoot a lot and the barrel heats up. The H001T is the solution to that problem with its heavy octagon barrel. There is a trade-off for the accuracy, and that is additional weight. The H001T and the Golden Boy both have the octagon barrels and they are both balanced beautifully, making it easier to make a steady standing unsupported shot. So the choice is a nice light brush gun or a heavier, more accurate rifle.

GOLDEN BOY OR H001T? If you've chosen the H001, you can stop reading. If you now need to choose between the Golden Boy and the H001T, keep reading. These two rifles are very similar and the biggest difference is the finish. The H001T has a painted aluminum alloy finish, which is basically maintenance free. The Golden Boy looks beautiful, but you'll likely be afraid to mar the finish in the woods. It also literally reflects the sun light a flashlight, and many times I've had to put the receiver under my arm because it projected a reflection of the sun on the ground in front of me, just like I was holding a mirror.

The solution is camo tape, but be careful. The camo tape can pull off the brass finish on the receiver's underside if left on too long. In fact, it ruined my Golden Boy and Henry offered to give me a new rifle or replace it with another. In my case I took the Varmint Express. I don't know if they would be as generous with you, so don't take the chance. This year I used the non-stick camo bandage which only sticks to itself. That worked great and didn't do any damage. So the choice here is between looks and function.

WHICH CALIBER? The next decision is 'which caliber' to choose? 22 magnum is illegal to use on CT state land, so my choice was limited to 22LR or 17HMR. 17HMR is straighter shooting over longer distances than the 22LR. There are trade-offs. The 17 is much louder than the 22, which I've discovered scares game into hiding more often. 17 ammo is much more expensive than 22, and choice of ammo is limited. The 22 can shoot everything from shorts to hyper-velocity.

There's also damage to consider. The 17 HMR is awesome! I've hit woodchucks and totally gutted them with a single shot. Hit a squirrel with a 17 and the exit wound can be as big as a quarter. Using a good 22LR hollow point bullet, I've yet to hit a squirrel with the H001T which I didn't kill with the first shot to a vital area. In the photo above you'll see a chuck that I bagged with my H001 22 with a shot to the head, so I'm not saying that a 22 is no good for chucks, but it's not my first choice. So for squirrel hunting, my choice is the 22 and for chucks it's the 17, but no matter which gun you buy, I know you're going to have fun. Good luck making your choice and let us know what you decided on.

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