Journal Entry 11/08/14

My goal for this hunt was to put some venison in the freezer. You'll see during this post, that didn't happen. I had recently shot my first reloads through my .25-06 and was looking forward to taking a deer with my own tailored load. Just because my goal was deer didn't mean that the “Squirrel Whisperer” wasn't going to tag along. Good thing I had it, as the squirrels were very active. They had good reason to be. The mast crop this year is still amazing, this late in the season. White oaks, red oaks, water oaks, hickory nuts, and black walnuts are all plentiful.

Excellent Mast Crop 2014

 

Lazily, I rolled out of bed and made it to the woods by sun up. In deer hunting days past I was in the woods 30 minutes prior to first light. Upon entering the wood-line, I stopped to listen and scan the area. Movement was immediate, but that pair of squirrels were about 75 yards away and not in a direction I was comfortable with shooting. I had a destination in mind and slowly made my way there. Wasn't too long before the movement began.

11-08-14 Deer-Squirrel Combo

 

I heard movement to the left of my position, in the creek bottom and quickly spotted the culprit. Digging through the leaf litter, this squirrel was in full forage mode. Fully standing with its back to me , I took a shot off my stix. The squirrel hopped straight up, and hustled to a tree to try to determine what just happened. My second shot broke and hit its mark.

 11-08-14 Squirrel #1

Even though these shots were suppressed, there was enough noise to send a squirrel behind me in to a verbal tirade. You know the sounds, the “Hey, there is something going on over here, and everybody and there cousin's, cousin needs to know!” Yeah that noise. This shot was in an unsafe direction, unless I could get this squirrel to line up in front of a tree trunk. I slid down off the log, placed my rifle along my support arm and leveled the crosshairs. The wait began...... The squirrel was on a fallen log, right smack in the middle with no safe backstop. As I watched through the glass I let the “squirrel fever” get to me. For me, it's the same as buck/deer fever. My heart started racing, “ba-boomp, ba-boomp, ba-boomp!” Deep breath, crosshairs would lower on the inhale and settle back on the squirrel on the exhale. “Calm down, Nate,” I would tell myself. I can see from this very instance the reason snipers spend hours learning to control there heart rhythm and breathing control. This squirrel must have stayed put and cursed me for seemed like 5-7 minutes. Finally the squirrel moved to a safe firing position. Again my heart began to race, and I'm pretty sure I rushed the shot. Shot breaks, squirrel leaps for the sky, and runs up the backstop tree. Couldn't believe I let this squirrel get away. A 31 yard chip shot. Last I heard was it scurrying away from the scene.

11-08-14 Squirrel miss

 

I saw a couple other squirrels chasing each other shortly after this, but it was an awkward angle, and they disappeared quickly. The final squirrel I squared off with was a 15 yard shot. He came in and perched on a fallen branch directly to my right. I again used my stix, parallaxed down to 20 yards and shot on 6 power. Placed the crosshairs on the outline of the head and pressed the shot off. “Wack,” the Eley subsonic hit with a powerful thud. This squirrel wasn't going anywhere.

11-08-14 Squirrel #2

 

I did end up patrolling for some other squirrels, and did see a few others. However, my ability to get them a prescription for 40 grain Eley subsonic wasn't filled. Guess I just have to get after filling the freezer with venison later this season.

 

Shots fired: 4

 

Squirrels taken: 2

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