Journal Entry 11/08/2013 “Spur of the Moment”

Rifle:  CZ 452 American "Squirrel Whisperer"

Scope:  Clearidge Ultra XP 6-20x40AO Mildot

Ammo:  SK SS HP 40gr.

 

As the title reads this was completely a spur of the moment hunt.  I just so happened to head home early from work, when my buddy Chad texted me and asked my whereabouts.  I replied with "I just so happen to be home."  He said "Be here by 3 pm and we'll go squirrel hunting."  That was all it took for me to get my gear together and head out for the hunt.

We had a cold front move in overnight and it was fairly windy, with occasional 10 mph winds.  Temperature was quite cool at 54 degrees and mostly sunny.  Chad has been deer hunting a field edge and had plenty of recon on an area to the east of his box stand that was crawling with squirrels.  Chad set us up in an area about 30 yards from the field edge, overlooking a slightly sloping bottom.  We originally set up about 10 feet apart, but once the squirrels began moving we sat side by side for ease of running the camera and taking turns shooting.

No longer than five minutes after sitting down, the water oak 30 yards from us came alive.  We believe the squirrels were already in the canopy, and hid themselves while we set up.  As I glassed the tree I saw a gray squirrel.  With a little more glassing I could see a fox squirrel.  It was a color phase I have yet to take.  Chad was happy to let me have the shot.  Chad grew up seeing fox squirrels on the properties he hunts, so they are a normal occurrence for him to see.  For the places I've always hunted, fox squirrels aren't on the menu.  I readied my 452 in my stix and began to follow the fox squirrel down the tree.  Chad was rolling film and gave me the clear to shoot.  When the large, black faced, female stopped on the side of the tree I was steadied for the shot.  "Click, thud,"  I'm still getting use to that sound.  I placed my round right in the noggin at 30 yards.  One squirrel in the bag and we were barely settled.  The gray squirrel scattered through the trees as I tracked it with my scope, but never paused enough for a shot.

Fox squirrel #2 2013

I really couldn't keep up with all the shots that Chad fired.  It's hard enough for me sometimes to recall all that happened during a hunt and this one had so much action I could barely keep up.  So for Chad what I remember is him placing two solid hits on gray squirrels of which we only found one.  We searched quite a bit for the first one he shot, based on the tremendous thud it make when it hit open forest floor.  We're still baffled as to whether it crawled off or something snatched it while we continued to shoot at the returning squirrels.  The second squirrel he shot was a solid head shot with a CCI Mini-Mag.  He also fired two shots at a black fox squirrel, that missed, however it was a 61 yard shot.  He made the statement I have talked about in previous posts about losing confidence in yourself and your rifle.  It can be a tough thing to overcome in the middle of the hunt.  I can tell you this, the Squirrel Whisperer and I are clicking.  I don't want to sound over confident, but I'm making contact with just about every squirrel I take a shot at.  Confidence for me has hit a season high.  It pays to know your rifle at all yardages.

The second squirrel I took a shot at happened to be very young.  The squirrel was feeding within 10 yards of us when it paused around 7 feet up in a water oak.  I parallaxed down to 10 as the squirrel was looking in our direction, held over, and free handed the shot.  After 5 minutes or so of silence, the tree tops were back alive with more squirrels coming to this water oak to feed.  We never moved from our original position, other than to recover squirrels.

My third and fourth squirrel were taken in tandem with one another.  We had been trying to trade off shots, but again Chad was loosing his confidence.  As a hunting buddy, you need to be there to verbally rebuild that.  I encouraged Chad to continue to take shots because I know he can shoot and his Marlin XT-22 shoots those Mini-mags pretty good.  When the third squirrel gave me a shot in the water oak I made a head shot that sent it quickly out of the water oak.  The other squirrel began its route to a large pine off to my left.  When it became settled in that tree, I offered the shot to Chad.  He replied with "I have no idea where the squirrel is at?"  "If you see him shoot him."  I could see the squirrel bladed on the side of the large pine.  It was too hard of a blade for me to be confident in the shot.  It was a 45 yard shot that I later ranged.  The squirrel mistakenly moved enough to my side for me to take a shot.  One well placed upper chest shot later, squirrel number four was headed to the ground.  I remember hearing Chad say "That's awesome!" speaking about the suppressor and the loud thud from the hit.

Nate & Chad squirrel hunt

As daylight faded, Chad took a couple more shots at two squirrels that he missed with my rifle.  It was a fantastic afternoon, and I was very thankful to have the opportunity to share a patch of woods with a good friend.  There was certainly a reason I left work early and things were set into motion for a squirrel hunt.  The Lord provided many opportunities this gracious afternoon.  Plenty of game to shoot at and a good friend to share the hunt with.  Boys and girls, this is how memories are made.  The gray squirrels were cleaned for Chad's granddaddy to enjoy, and the fox squirrel will cost me another taxidermist fee this year.

Shots taken by myself:  4

Squirrels taken by myself:  4

 

 

 

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