Journal Entry 10/18/14

Rifle: CZ 452 “Squirrel Whisperer”

 

Scope: Clearidge Ultra XP 6-20x40AO

 

Ammo: Eley SS HP

 

Opening weekend bought a little cooler morning temperature at 55°. If there was any wind it was under 5mph. Foliage was still thick and the mast was still raining down. For me there is no reason for the squirrels to be in the tree tops working with the amount of mast on the forest floor. They could basically bury an acorn every so many inches before they came upon the next one.

 

We arrived a little after first light, readied our rifles and stepped into the timber. The first squirrel we spotted was high in a white oak working the acorns. It came down about midway the trunk of the tree and I could have taken a shot, but we were trying to get video. When we couldn't I didn't pull the trigger. There were at least two squirrels working this area. They ended up about 20 yards over from the original tree when we moved in on them. The squirrel I put in my crosshairs was perched on a branch, through some medium thick foilage, shelling an acorn. It was faced away from me and was a pretty extreme angle. I guessed at a 15-20 yards shot so I held at the top of the squirrels body/neck area. I couldn't see the head. When I broke the shot, the thud was powerful. The squirrel came out of the tree, but when it hit the ground it was on the move. Obviously my shot was off the mark. The squirrel hid on the back of the white oak it was in, and when I moved in, it scurried away. Sadly, we looked for it with no luck. In squirrel hunting, if your shot is off the mark, these incredibly tough creatures have a tendency to crawl off. There is nothing more that I hate than having one crawl off, that means I didn't do my part. Crawl offs will happen if you hunt long enough and you have to be able to accept them and move on. You do owe that game animal a respectful search for it's recovery.

 

The next squirrel was gonna be Brad's. We spotted a couple of squirrels as we were slowly combing through the woods. They were working a white oak and hickory tree that were within 10 yards of one another. The first squirrel plucked a hickory nut and quickly made its way through the tree tops, down into the bottom and out of sight for us. The squirrel in the white oak caught sight of us and tried to hide where all the large branches came together on the tree. As I moved around the tree to video, Brad stayed put for the shot. He told me that if I had an open shot he didn't want this one to get away, so take the shot if you have it. That's what ended up happening. I made it 3/4's the way around the tree when I had a clear shot. I adjusted my AO to 25 yards and powered up to 10. Settled the crosshairs low as I'm a ½ inch high with subsonics at this distance. The shot entered the arm and exited the ear. This squirrel was a little mangy, and had recent evidence of a bot fly infestation. I collected the squirrel and was preparing it for my squirrel carrier, when the next squirrel showed up in the hickory tree.

 10-18-14 First Squirrel

Brad was ready for this squirrel. I had a tough time catching it on video as fast as it went down. It was probably a 20 yard shot and Brad made a good one. This squirrel was equally mangy. We did a little more stalking around that morning, but there were no more opportunities at squirrels.

 10-18-14 Brad's squirrel

The afternoon was a lot slower and very breezy. The squirrels we did spot were in unsafe directions to shoot. Only two down for the day, but as the leaves begin to change color, and fall I think the production will pick up.

 10-18-14 Squirrels with CZ's

Shots taken by myself: 2

 

Squirrels taken: 1

10-18-14 Squirrels with CZ 452 American

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