Journal Entry 11/23/2013

Rifle:  CZ 452 American “Squirrel Whisperer”

Scope:  Clearidge Ultra XP 6-20x40AO Mil-dot

Ammo:  SK SS HP 40 grain

Brad and I were in a new area, on a patch of land we had hunted before, where my brother had given us info on good squirrel movement.  We headed into the woods as it was just getting light.  There was fog in the area and the temperature was about 61 degrees.  The breeze picked up as the day progressed.

We spread out on the upper edge of a bottom to see how things would shape up.  There was movement as it became lighter on the other side of the bottom on the woodline.  Soon after that Brad caught movement on the powerline edge.  This squirrel was so active that it was very hard for Brad to draw a bead on.  After Brad almost pulling the trigger a few times the squirrel made it over to my area.  The squirrel started down a large pine and I steadied for the shot.  It stopped about 20 feet above the ground and I turned a shot loose.  A miss!  Not the right way to start the day off.  That squirrel hurriedly scurried away not to be seen again.

11-23-13 view

About 15 minutes went by before the next movement began over in Brad’s area.  There was a large nest that two squirrels emerged from.   One squirrel headed into a group of pines to eat, and the other gathered some material to fluff the nest.  Brad prepped for a shot on the male that was fluffing the nest.  When the squirrel came back out on one of the main branches to the nest, Brad was able to make a clean chest shot with Eley Subsonic out of his threaded CZ 455 American, that sent the squirrel immediately out of the tree.

Squirrel 1 11-23-13

As we gave the area about 5-10 minutes to settle, Brad and I discussed the other squirrels location.  We could hear in sound of eating going on, so we keyed in on the pines he last saw the squirrel in.  I slowly crept into the area of the pines that were within 20 yards of our location.  After glassing for a minute or so I caught movement high up in the pine.  This female was foraging for pine cones.  What’s weird for me is that I’m use to the squirrels eating on acorns this time of the year.  However, our mast crop was not good this year.  The only oaks I know of to have a crop are the willow and the water oaks, with only  a few white oaks producing.  These acorns are small and have orange centers.  They are really working the willow/water, and then moving onto the pines.  I settled into my sitx after backing off a ways based on the shot being such an extreme angle.  I powered up, somewhere between 10-14 power, and slowly pressed a shot off.  “Click, Thud”, and down came the female.  I don’t mean to be overly gruesome here but I made a shot that was placed in the eye of the squirrel.  Brain matter was on the exit side of the head.  I say all of this to tell you she was still alive, still taking breaths!  This was odd for me as most head shots result in instant mortality.  I was able to put her down by the old method of solid hit behind the neck with a good sized stick.

Squirrel 2 11-23-13

My brother happened to be deer hunting the same patch of land over 600 yards away and texted me to call in a hit on a squirrel that was trying to join him in his deerstand.  Brad and I quickly gathered our stuff and headed his way.  By the time we got there, said squirrel had moved on, but we did take the time to look in the area it headed off in with no avail.

Kevin's deerstand friend

Our next plan was to walk areas that my brother had seen good squirrel activity in.  We made our way into a patch of smaller timber and Brad caught movement of a squirrel running up a tree covered in vines.  All three of us spread out to find the squirrel.  I ended up having the best angle on the squirrel so I ended up taking the shot.  I told Brad to come to me since he spotted the squirrel so he could take it, but he insisted that I take it.  This squirrel wasn’t in a pine but had a cone in its mouth.  I had to thread a shot in between a  branch and the tree trunk to make the shot.  From my sitx I placed the crosshairs on the head and pressed through the trigger.  Another head shot, but get this, the same occurrence happened that I just told you about in an earlier paragraph.  The squirrel was still alive.  After sustaining such hydraulic shock?  I just don’t get it.  So again the stick to the back of the neck to finish the job.  For the record I’m baffled at the results of those two head shot squirrels.

Squirrel 3 11-23-13

The next squirrel we came across was in a patch of willow/water oaks foraging.  It quickly moved from tree to tree to evade all three of us.  The fourth and final squirrel of the morning was shook out of a nest by my brother.  We tried to get Brad in position to take this squirrel, but he was having trouble seeing it.  We tried all different positions but nothing was working.  The squirrel eventually made it to the tip of the tall pine on a bundle of pine cones.  I even convinced Brad to use my sitxs (which he’s not fond of) to take this squirrel.  He ended up stepping back in the woods with my brothers help to take 3 shots at the squirrel.  All were misses.  At this time he called out to me and told me if I see the squirrel to take it.  Again here’s where the stixs shine, as I took the shot from a path nearby that provided a clear view of the squirrel.  With one well placed subsonic round, I brought the squirrel out of the top of the pine.

Squirrel 4 11-23-13

There were jokes and jabs made the rest of the day about how much time it took, and how many positions Brad tired to take that last squirrel.  He’s a good sport and it’s all in fun.  That’s the end goal, FUN!  We all make mistakes out there, you just have to be able to overcome them and accept a little good natured ribbing from your buds.

Shots taken by myself:  4

Squirrels taken by myself:  3

 

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