Journal Entry 11-09-2013 “Squirrels Everywhere”

Rifle:  CZ 452 American "Squirrel Whisperer"

Scope:  Clearidge Ultra XP 6-20x40AO Mildot

Ammo"  SK SS HP 40gr.

Brad and I were off to a late start this morning.  I was coming down with a cold and didn't feel great.  Brad just running about 5 minutes behind.  The temperature was at 30 degrees and the frost was thick.  Little to no wind until mid morning.  The leaves were really raining down this morning.

Nate's overlook 11-09-2013

After we got geared up we headed into the timber, and with in 20 yards I spotted two squirrels right in front of us chasing one another around a water oak tree.  We set up immediately to prep for a shot.  The movement was so erratic that there was little to no chance.  I even had a very young squirrel come with in 7 yards of me and head to the trees with the other squirrels.  I elected to pass on the shot on the young squirrel, but then all the squirrels intermingled and we couldn't keep up with which were which.  I told Brad it was time to start shooting and we separated about 40 yards apart to chase different sets of squirrels.

Nate on patrol with the Squirrel Whisperer

It took me a couple of different setups, but I finally got into a clearing where I could watch two squirrels actively feeding.  By this time I recall Brad firing at least twice, but it had no effect on my squirrels.  Once the first squirrel presented a shot I was ready with my CZ 452 steadied in my stix.  A 35 yard, suppressed, headshot later and I had my first squirrel down.  The second squirrel knew something was up and started making its way from feeding to the main trunk.  Once it paused I turned my first shot loose to make a marginal hit.  The squirrel only moved a small amount.  Next something happened to me that never has with a CZ 452.  I had a light primer strike, even with a J&P firing pin spring installed.  This spring is supposed to be better than stock.  Well this light strike crossed my wires.  You know what I'm talking about.  So my third shot was rushed and was a complete miss.  My fourth, and magazine emptying shot, connected to bring my second squirrel to the ground.  I did find this round after digging through the leaf litter and re-installed it in my magazine.

Brad's first 2 squirrels 11-09-13

I made my way over to collect my two squirrels, but just after crossing the creek I caught movement in another water oak.  I quickly sat down and prepped my stix.  My first shot was rushed and I didn't have a clear visual.  It was a clean miss, but made the squirrel expose it self on a higher branch.  Remember that light primer strike?  This was my next round.  When I pressed the shot off, it was a clean 35 yard head shot!  As Brad and I collected our kills and discussed our hits and misses I caught another squirrel moving in a tree by the creek.  Brad quickly got into position and I rolled film.  I laid out side ways to get the footage.  The shot should have been a fairly easy one, but Brad tried for the tougher head shot in a squatted but rested position.  It ended up being a 25 yard miss and the squirrel scurried off to evade us.

First 3 squirrels 11-09-13

We decided to walk up the creek to an area where we usually don't see much, and that was the same case today.  On our walk back, Brad caught movement in the water oaks and we made a plan to move in on this squirrel.  The squirrel spotted us and hid quickly.  Brad tried to flush the squirrel to me but ended up taking a shot when he had an opening.  He missed and the squirrel stayed put.  We got together to find a different position.  I glassed the squirrel to see that it was still in the same position and it was.  Brad's next shot connected at about 15 yards to bring the squirrel out.  As we toted this squirrel back to the others, again I caught movement in the original trees Brad was hunting.  Now you see why I named this journal entry "Squirrels Everywhere."  It gets even better after we move to another patch of woods, but lets finish up in this patch first.  We moved in to get on this squirrel, but when actively feeding there are hardly any chances for a pause to take a confident shot.  There ended up being two, but were only able to get on one.  My first shot on this squirrel was a miss and the second shot was a marginal hit.  Brad went over to check the area to find the squirrel still alive.  He moved in with his rifle and finished it off.  Our first ever co-kill.

Brad from his squirrel crop circle

From here we moved back across the field to another patch of woods.  There was immediate squirrel movement at the field edge.  A squirrel hid up in a red oak and Brad walked around it to try to get the squirrel to give up its position.  No such luck.  We both moved into the timber and discussed what our plan was.  Little did Brad or I know that he was putting himself in a "honey hole."  We spread apart around 30 yards.  I hadn't been set up 10 minutes and Brad began to shoot.  He let me know he hit the first.  When he shot at the second I caught movement in the creek bottom.  The squirrel I was on was making its way to a tree trunk with a hole in the base.  I knew where it was headed, because it could hear Brad shooting.  When it perched on the base of the tree, my crosshairs were already leveled.  "Click, Thwack," a 40 yard head shot.

40 yard squirrel head Nate 1

Brad continued to shoot.  I was figuring that he was missing, but I was wrong.  I then caught movement over my right shoulder.  A squirrel coming into a water oak that I had taken many squirrels out of in years before.  I got greedy and took an early attempt at 25 yards, but again my second light primer strike!  Again, my wires were crossed.  I cycled the bolt and rushed the shot missing the squirrel.  It scurried off in the opposite direction.  I turned to hear Brad fire again and see a squirrel run up a small tree no more than 7 yards away.  I could have filmed Brad and the squirrel in the same frame.  Brad then fired his second shot and dropped the squirrel.  Well by this time Brad had figured he was tagged out, so he waved me over to his mecca of squirrels.

Squirrel 1 7 yards

As I arrived, I could see an area littered with 3 squirrels in what he called the "Log of death", that I have decided to rename the "Highway to Squirrel Heaven."  Brad quickly explained that he hadn't taken a shot much over 15 yards and already had at least 4 or 5 down.  The last squirrel I watched him shoot jumped over one of its dead comrades on the log, and Brad had to whistle and move to get the squirrel from running him over.  Brad said there were still many more moving on the woodline/field edge.  We quickly located another squirrel.  Brad kept saying it'll be on the log in a short amount of time.  Well said squirrel did end up on a log but it was 37 yards away.  I was in great position for a shot, rested in my stix.  Brad rolled excellent footage of this kill.  I sent a 40 grain pill through the high chest of this inquisitive squirrel.  After this we spotted another squirrel that was much farther away.  I made myself comfortable for a shot, once the squirrel was in position.  It's image was somewhat blurry and I only slightly adjusted the AO past 50 yards.  I powered up to 2o, settled the crosshairs on the chest and pressed off the shot.  I thought the squirrel was hit, as it immediately disappeared.  I ranged the stump just in front of the squirrel at 57 yards.  The squirrel was at least 3-5 yards past this.  That's a really long shot for a 22.

Highway to squirrel heaven

37 yard squirrel crop circle shot

Highway to squirrel heaven 2

Squirrel 3

Squirrel 4

When recovering all the kills, we couldn't find that I had even hit the long distance squirrel.  We took a total of six squirrels out of this one spot.  It was an unexpected morning full of movement, with many great opportunities.  We were so pleased and close to our limit for the day, we decided to skip the afternoon hunt.  For the day, our combined total was 13 squirrels.  A season high for us.

Late morning take 11-09-2013

Squirrels taken by myself:  6

Shots taken by myself:  12

Total morning take 13 11-09-13

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Russell December 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Great hunt for the both of you, sorry to hear about your light strikes. I hope you can find the problem or hopefully it wont happen again.

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