Once again there's no power at work so I'm out hunting again. Trees are down all over the path throughout the meadows, so it's obvious that the pheasant stocking truck hasn't been able to bring birds in for at least two days. I only spotted one bird hunter this morning and his bag was empty.
I wanted this to be a relaxing hunt, so I didn't get into the woods until 8:00. One guy was out ahead of me; the same guy I ran into yesterday who had a shotgun. Yesterday I told him how much I enjoyed squirrel hunting, and guess what I was hearing in the background this morning? The sound of a .22LR rifle! The squirrel hunting evangelist strikes again.
And speaking of evangelist, my sermon today is titled, 'The Prodigal Squirrel'. Having not gone more than five minutes into the woods, I spotted a nice fat gray on the side of a big oak tree. It didn't appear to have seen me and it moved up, down and around the trunk. I quietly closed in, staying behind large trees and walking in almost silently due to the wet reeds, the result of melted snow. The last time I saw this squirrel it had moved around to the back of the trunk and never reappeared. After a fifteen minute wait, I walked past the tree and took a seat beneath another.
It wasn't long before a different squirrel appeared on the branch of a tree to my right. Steadying myself, I aimed at the head and took a shot. The squirrel rolled over and hit the ground behind a berm. It had to be a kill, so as in my last hunt, I sat tight in hopes that a second squirrel would show itself. It seemed to be a good call because within minutes another did came out of hiding, onto a branch of a nearby tree. Taking careful aim, I squeezed off a head shot and it went down. This time I immediately ran toward the squirrel and retrieved it. Finding the first squirrel would be simple, or at least I though. I searched every inch of that area for over a half an hour and it wasn't there! I hate to shoot something and then lose it by dropping it into the swamp, wounding it and letting it crawl away or simply not being able to find it. How could this have happened? I looked everywhere numerous times. It just wasn't there. Since I was quickly losing the morning, I made a decision to hunt for another couple more hours, then return and search some more.
Upon my return, I was exasperated when after another half hour I still came up empty. I then decided to take the squirrel I had in my game bag and photograph it alone with my Henry rifle. Looking closer at the squirrel, I discovered that it had two entry wounds and not just one. It dawned on me that instead of hitting it in the head, I shot low due to the close range which broke its arm and knocked it off the tree. I'm guessing it managed to get back into a tree and attempted to run across the branches. That's when I landed the head shot. And now the Biblical context: The Lost Squirrel had been Found! No, it wasn't "made alive again", but it was close enough to make a catchy title for this post. The squirrel I had been looking for had been in the palm of my hand all along. I think the Bible says something similar to that as well, almost. The squirrel had been shot twice with my Henry H001T Octagon .22LR lever rifle.
This brings my squirrel count to 11 on 11/1/11!!