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

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Monday, December 24, 2007

A quick Christmas Eve Hunt


My wife wanted me to stay home this morning and help clean up the house for Christmas tomorrow. I told her that since it rained yesterday and warmed up into the low 40s this morning, I just wanted to hit the woods for a couple of hours. I made it to the parking lot by 9am, were there were only 2 SUVs. One guy was leaving as I pulled in and wished me a Merry Christmas and left. A lot of the snow had melted, so the fields were a swampy mess. I did a quick walk through my usual area and saw nothing. Instead of turning around where I usually do, I kept walking a bit further and what do you know; I spotted what appeared to be a small squirrel in a dense clump of trees about 100 yards away. It caught sight of me and ran from the front to the back side of the tree. I knew that if I took my eye off that tree, I'd be unable to distinguish it from those around it when I got into range. I got about 30 yards away and hid behind a clump of trees. I looked around the trunk of that tree and those surrounding but saw nothing. I then looked through the branches and somehow spotted something very small at the very top of the tree. It looked like a bird on a branch, but I watched it and it didn't move. That's not normal. I had my Henry 17HMR with iron sights, so this would be a long shot; around 75 yards. I leaned up against a tree, got a bead on it and squeezed off a shot. I saw it move, but it didn't change position, run or fall. I fired again and it rolled over and dropped. What a shot! I wasn't shooting that good at paper targets! I picked up the squirrel and what I thought was a small one turned out to be the biggest one of the year. I had put 2 bullets through its neck about an inch apart. The first shot must have wounded it and the second did the job. I decided to open my first Christmas present so I gutted this one in the field. I didn't feel like getting home and struggling to get the fir off. I pulled out my knife and after a bit of cutting, the fir came off like a glove. It was still warm and felt good on my cold fingers (I know that sounds nasty but it's true). I've been carrying freezer bags with me, so the meat went into the bag with a handful of snow. The tail was beautiful so I kept it to use when making my coyote decoy. Remember I said that I hadn't seen a crow in the woods all year? Well all of a sudden there were a half dozen cawing and circling. How the heck did they know I was there? They didn't land so I didn't get a shot, but I'm sure they ate well as soon as I left.

"Merry Christmas! "Great shot......You lucky devil. I couldn't get out today at all. The wife had me cleaning and cutting up all kinds of things for our family get together. A friend of mine came by with a black squirrel that he shot for my brother in florida, he's going to have it mounted to go along with his all white albino squirrel he shot down there..... salt & pepper shakers I guess hahahaha....Anyway, congrad's on the hunt." ~Arne T."

"Nice gray. Best eating. Mostly fox squirrels here and they can be a bit on the tough side if you get an old one. Believe it or not, there ARE grays in your state! LOL but they don't make it this far south (all of a couple'a miles) not sure why unless the fox squirrels don't get along with them. Neck shots are pretty much fatal too. And if you use a shotgun on 'em............oh my. Totally uncalled for. Is for kids or guys that can't shoot. With my Ruger 10/22, I used to take nothing but head shots. Then I put a scope on it. Made it too easy so I took it back off! Grew up hunting them and rabbits. Great early memories. Shot one in a pin oak once. Landed in a small crotch in the tree. Figured I could just shoot him out. He was already very much dead and with about 4 head shots trying to dislodge him he wasn't budging. Climbed that dang tree, knocked him out with a stick. Pin oaks here have lots of little branches that stick out all over the place and did I get scratched up! Aint doing that again. Watch their tail too. If it's a good head shot, the tail, when they fall outta the tree, spins like a helicopter! Not sure why it does that but does it every time. I would take 5 bullets as a challenge. Get 4 squirrels and bring one bullet home! Dad was impressed with that! Hope Christmas was fun and hope you got lots of kewl 'toys'!" ~ Jim D.

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