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


Monday, April 24, 2006

First Woodchuck since I was a kid with a Henry H001

Rifle: Henry H001 .22LR 

 It's my understanding that it's the driest Spring on record. Yesterday must have changed that because it started raining hard Saturday night and didn't let up till today. I've come up empty looking for woodchucks over the past month, but I reasoned that if there's anything living in the ground, the water would likely force it out. So right after work I headed for the fields. I pulled into the parking area and started combing the fields around the farm. It was like a swamp and my feet were covered with mud and soaked. The area was filled with fresh turkey and deer tracks, so that was encouraging. They were nice to see, but of course they're out of season. I walked through the 4 fields behind the farm and for the first time there were squirrels. About a half dozen in one field. I backtracked and looked closely around the structure because it just seemed like a good place for a woodchuck to hang out. I didn't see anything, and proceeded to comb the two fields to the left. The gnats were murder and it was like a mud pit. I didn't see anything in either field, but there were lots of tracks there as well. I then left the fields, crossed the street and combed those fields. I was soaked and it was time to go.

"I moved about 20 yards away and got down on my stomach to wait him out. Not 30 seconds later my cell phone rings!!! It was my wife."

I walked down the street toward the farm where my JEEP was parked and unloaded my rifle as I walked. As I neared the JEEP, I looked at the hill 100 yards directly ahead and there stood a good size chuck looking straight at me. I said, "I don't believe it!" My gun was unloaded, so I slowly reached into my pocket, pulled out a single bullet and hand loaded it directly into the chamber. I slowly closed the action and began walking toward the chuck. It was already on the move, likely toward its' hole, so I moved in quickly. The chuck then disappeared from sight and I saw a large hole nearby. I moved about 20 yards away and got down on my stomach to wait him out. Not 30 seconds later my cell phone rings!!! It was my wife. I whispered to her that I was right in front of a chuck and I'd have to call her back (Damn! I knew that would happen!). I laid there for about 5 minutes and then I saw him come out. My scope was sighted in at 50 yards, so I decided to use the iron sights instead. I squeezed off one round and it went down. My first kill of the year and I really worked for it. And get this one; Saturday I walked the fields in the rain and I lost my scope's protective covers. While I was walking through one of the fields today, I looked down and there it was! What are the odds of that happening? On the way home two deer ran in front of my JEEP and into the woods. I said to myself, "This was an excellent day!". I wish my son could have been with me. Maybe next time. My wife was upset when she heard of the woodchuck's passing and said that she'd be holding a funeral service for it.

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