Author Topic: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure  (Read 9788 times)

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« on: September 30, 2009, 12:22:47 PM »
Well yesterday was my first day trying to hunt. What did I choose? Squirrels. It was a learning experience for me, and something I have never done before. This was my first time hunting (or more like scouting, but I will get into that in a minute). As the weather starts to cool, and I feel the revitalizing cool freshness of autumn waft through the morning, I am inclined to start on another project besides gardening. There are not that many people that I know that hunt. So I have taken it upon myself to do some research and learn on my own until I find someone who can teach me better.

First of all, I chose the squirrel to hunt because it is: 1) at the very beginning of the hunting season, 2) they are plentiful which means more opportunities to learn, 3) it usually takes inexpensive ammo to hunt them (.22 or #6 shot), and 4) experienced hunters agree you can learn about hunting other animals by starting to hunt squirrels.

I had done some preliminary research on squirrels and how to skin them. If I was going to shoot them I was going to know in advance how to clean them as well. I do not believe in killing just to kill. I learned about their habitat and where most likely to find them. That might seem like a no brainer, but some varieties of squirrel frequent different locales in nature. Its not always just under an oak tree. Heck I stumbled across one who was chillin on a log which had fallen over a trench.

Since my daughter goes to school I had to drop her off first, which means not getting there as early as I would have liked, but the purpose of this trip was mostly knowledge. I put on my gear (I probably need to buy traditional hunting camo because, but I am slow in doing so) and headed out into the woods. I had not studied how to stalk squirrels at this point which is probably the main reason I didn't get one, but I wanted to learn on my own first and then research later to see what I could have done later. Come to find out I did a lot of things right without even realizing it.

I did a combination of what is called still hunting and sitting. I only came across three squirrels on my trek. Two were chasing each other first thing in the morning in a cluster of pine trees (which I noticed deer must frequent because of the droppings). Another one was eating something on the middle of a log. My range was limited to 26 acres, and so I was not able to go very far. I looked to the trees and on the ground. Listening to hear any of the telltale signs that squirrels were about. Rarely did I hear anything other than birds.

I did come across the one on a log. I am not sure how I got that close without him noticing me. It couldn't have been more than 3 yards away. I put the bead on him, and waited until his head was in view. I fired. I missed. It was surprised and I had to recover from the shock of having missed it at such a close range! It started to run and I fired one more time, but I knew it was no good. I chased after it for a bit, but it never went up a tree. The only thing I can think of is that it found a niche in the ground to hide out in. There are several around there that must be burrows for rabbits or foxes. I don't know. Do squirrels make nests underground too? It just seemed to disappear.

I was using a Marlin .22 rifle with Remington hollow points. I was flabbergasted that I missed. This may have been my first time hunting, but by far was not the first time I have target practiced or fired a rifle. It should have been the easiest shot given to someone. The only thing I can think of is that because it was my first time my adrenaline raised (I was excited) and I missed. I chased after it, and my heart was beating fast out of excitement. I hoped that it was not injured. I had no way to tell if it was.

They were hollow points and if it hit at all that should have been end of story. I covered the ground several times, and I sat in the area for a good thirty minutes or so to see if it would make itself seen again, but it never did. I didn't see blood either. I went back to the log and there was no bullet hole in the log anywhere. If I had a shotgun I don't think this would have happened. I am considering using my 20 gauge the next time I go out hunting for them.

I went from area to area trying to look for squirrels but I didn't see any more that day. Considering that some say in the early morning and evening is the best time to see them I am not surprised. However, I did find out where several oak trees were and wild berry bushes. There were some of the obvious areas such as the pecan trees on the land and the orchard (which is constantly being raided by deer). If I had my shotgun I would have had a good oppritunity to shoot some doves, but even I am not that foolish to try and shoot a bird in flight with a .22 rifle.

When I was about to have to pick my daughter up after school I went to the fence and put up some RC cans. I went back to about the same distance I was from the squirrel. I shot. Almost every single shot hit. I put them on their ends and fired. Every shot hit. Confused I went back, cleaned my rifle, and picked my daughter up from school. I just hope that when I missed I didn't just wound it.

Things I learned:

  • Need better camo
  • Need to try a shotgun to see if it is better
  • Try hunting in the early morning or late evening
  • The iron sites are more accurate than the scope that came with it
  • Being out in nature is a lot more calming than I realized
  • Some birds are snitches
  • Dogs are easier to sneak up on that wildlife
  • Brining binoculars and a compass would have been nice
  • I like hunting and I can't wait to do it again
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 12:27:55 PM by ColdHaven »

Offline KYdoomer

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1976
  • Karma: 71
  • Zen Gardener
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 12:33:19 PM »
Well at least you had fun and that's what really matters.

I do disagree with Jack about the Marlin vs. Ruger thing.  I think the 10/22 is inherently more accurate than any Marlin or Rem 22 I've ever fired.  Still, your gun is accurate enough to hit squirrels at way longer ranges and you sound like a good shot.  Maybe your mounts came loose on your scope.

You will find a shotgun easier except for ruining the meat.  The first squirrel I ever shot when I was 12, I shot with a 20 gauge at about 25 paces and blew his head clean off.  I kind of felt bad but at least it was a clean kill.

Seeing three is not a bad day, but like my Dad told me.  If you want to see squirrels, just go deer hunting.

J

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 12:57:06 PM »
Well, to be honest, the scope came with the rifle, and I don't have much experience zeroing a scope. I tried doing it one evening and it never did right. Always seemed to be shooting in one direction too far. Maybe I just need to find someone who has zeroed scopes to show me the way to do it. They are aluminum scopes. They don't seem like they are cheap, but they don't look like they are expensive either. When I was hunting (sorry I wasn't clear on this) but I was using iron sites. At the very beginning I took the scope off. Perhaps I should have practiced a bit before starting my hunt, but I didn't want to scare anything away either.

The only think I can think of is that in a moment of excitement I may have pulled the rifle or not used proper breathing technique. Something I need to remedy next time I go hunting. I think next time I will bring both my rifle and shotgun. I can exchange them out over half of the day if I am not getting any results. However, I also know that I am new to this and I am going to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them.  :D Maybe I should bring my mini 14 so the squirrels think I am hunting deer then. Who knows, maybe they know what kind of rifles are used for what. I wouldn't put anything past them.

I have heard a lot about the Ruger. I have a Ruger P95 handgun so I know the quality is there. However, I chose the Marlin on several others recommendations (including Jack's). Considering my target practice with the cans after my hunt and how well I did I am willing to say it is not the rifle that is the problem, just the operator.

And yeah, I had lots of fun. So much I wanted to do it again today, but I have to actually do stuff today.  :-\

Offline KYdoomer

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1976
  • Karma: 71
  • Zen Gardener
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 01:44:03 PM »
Brother, if I told you all my learning experiences while hunting if would keep you laughing for weeks.  They include not chambering a cartridge before a deer hunt (luckily was able to recover).  It also includes not chambering a shell before my first turkey hunt (not able to recover).  Then there was the turkey hunt when we stopped to eat lunch and I had left the shotgun propped on a nearby tree and a flock of turkeys nearly landed on our heads.

Zeroing a scope isn't the easiest thing ever.  Even people that make it look easy have usually had a lot of practice. 

Many a deer hunter has shot an arrow or a high caliber round at a squirrel that got a little too close. 

And I was just messing with you about the gun.  Marlins are great guns, I just prefer my 10/22.  I wish I had my P95 back.

J

Offline Heavy G

  • Distorting the Space-Time Continuum
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 6779
  • Karma: 310
  • A misfit ant in a grasshopper world.
    • 299 Days
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 02:08:03 PM »
Good for you.  I, too, starting hunting (coyotes) to get some new experiences.  I love it.

I am thinking about going squirrel hunting too.  Just to do it.  And learn how to rustle up some stew meat.

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 02:44:19 PM »
I remember tasting squirrel meat when I was in the Cub Scouts. It was delicious. I would love to try it again. For some reason Joy has this hang up about them being technically rodents. She might try some, but if I am the only one who eats them...well thats okay with me too. :D

@ KYdoomer - Sounds like you have had some fun yourself. I am sure I will have experiences like that as well. Feel free to contribute your experience. I consider learning from others an invaluable tool.

When I was picking up my daughter at school I saw a domesticated squirrel eating an acorn not but two feet from me. I scowled at him and told him that if we weren't in the city he'd be stewing already.

@ Heavy - let me know how things turn out! I would love to hear others experience with hunting. I know people around here hunt, but I don't know anyone well enough to just walk up to them and ask if I can hang out while they teach me how to hunt. Now, if we get out NC Meet up group going to do things like hiking and hunting then maybe I can learn from some of them. Until then you guys are all I've got!  :D

Offline KYdoomer

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1976
  • Karma: 71
  • Zen Gardener
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 04:35:37 PM »
Sure Cold, I'm sure not the great white hunter, completely the opposite.  We make mistakes.  Just so long as no one loses an eye, its all fun.

My wife won't eat beef if she sees a vein so getting her to eat wild game is a real challenge so I feel for ya.

J

Offline Heavy G

  • Distorting the Space-Time Continuum
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 6779
  • Karma: 310
  • A misfit ant in a grasshopper world.
    • 299 Days
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 04:48:31 PM »

@ Heavy - let me know how things turn out! I would love to hear others experience with hunting. I know people around here hunt, but I don't know anyone well enough to just walk up to them and ask if I can hang out while they teach me how to hunt. Now, if we get out NC Meet up group going to do things like hiking and hunting then maybe I can learn from some of them. Until then you guys are all I've got!  :D


My adventure in just getting out and coyote hunting is in the thread "Just Do It" which is here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2253.0

You can see I wasn't Joe Hunter my first time out.  But it was critical to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I might need to depend on if SHTF. And it was really a great time--super relaxing.  I've been hunting a couple of more times during the Spring and love it.  Fall and especially Winter is coyote season and there are no drunk deer hunters out then so that's when I'll be going out.  In the cold rain of Washington state.  But it beats sitting on the couch. 

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 06:19:52 PM »
I remember reading that. We have coyotes here, but you rarely see them. Mostly you hear them. We heard some a few years back, and now not at all. Either the local populace took care of them or they moved on. They had been spotted on my mom's land, but once they realized they had the crackle thunder stick of Odin we never saw them again. That is one reason mom bought a mule. They tend to protect and round up a herd of goats if there is trouble.

Just as a side question. Camo. What is best for hunting? The ones I see people wear (which don't look remotely like the woods I am in) or military camo? I really would hate to have to purchase clothing just to hunt, but if I have to....I will.

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 07:24:23 PM »
I have the scope on my Plinkster on see-thru rings that I got in Wally World for less than $10. I dialed it in at 25 meters and use it for long range and the irons for that shot you just took. It works better for me that way.

I have hunted with that same Mossberg 385KA that you have, I set it on Improved Cylinder for squirrels. Using #6 and aiming at the head (profile shot) you shouldn't taint the meat.

I got a squirrel my first time out this year a couple weeks ago with the Plinkster, pretty much just doing still hunting. After sitting still for 10 minutes or so, they just start moving again and eventually you'll get your shot. Hopefully this weekend will see me doing more tree rat stalking. I can't wait for Hare season either. ;D

Offline KYdoomer

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1976
  • Karma: 71
  • Zen Gardener
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 07:30:04 PM »


Just as a side question. Camo. What is best for hunting? The ones I see people wear (which don't look remotely like the woods I am in) or military camo? I really would hate to have to purchase clothing just to hunt, but if I have to....I will.

For everything but coyotes, ducks, turkeys and really wary animals, just about any camouflage will do.  Most animals are colorblind but they see contrast much better than us. 

J

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 07:32:33 PM »
For everything but coyotes, ducks, turkeys and really wary animals, just about any camouflage will do.  Most animals are colorblind but they see contrast much better than us. 

J

That's true. I don't camo for hunting small critters. More technique than "cloaking."

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 07:57:37 PM »
I have the scope on my Plinkster on see-thru rings that I got in Wally World for less than $10. I dialed it in at 25 meters and use it for long range and the irons for that shot you just took. It works better for me that way.

I have hunted with that same Mossberg 385KA that you have, I set it on Improved Cylinder for squirrels. Using #6 and aiming at the head (profile shot) you shouldn't taint the meat.

I got a squirrel my first time out this year a couple weeks ago with the Plinkster, pretty much just doing still hunting. After sitting still for 10 minutes or so, they just start moving again and eventually you'll get your shot. Hopefully this weekend will see me doing more tree rat stalking. I can't wait for Hare season either. ;D

I might have to look into that scope at Wal-Mart. I have to go back anyway. Old Father Time gave me the wrong gauge shells.

Cool. I was wondering if I should use Improved or Modified. Question, since you have used that model and more than likely modern models of shotguns - is the Choke C-Lect on the Mossberg a nifty idea that for some reason didn't catch on, or is it worth getting another shotgun at some point?

I don't see a lot of rabbits around here. I don't know why. The squirrels have seemed scarce as well. I waited under an acorn tree for well over 30 minutes and didn't see a thing. Except for birds. Saw a lot of frichen birds.

I was wondering if maybe the reason I didn't see too many of them was because of camoflage or what. Thanks for the info guys!

Offline Heavy G

  • Distorting the Space-Time Continuum
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 6779
  • Karma: 310
  • A misfit ant in a grasshopper world.
    • 299 Days
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 08:07:36 PM »

I was wondering if maybe the reason I didn't see too many of them was because of camoflage or what. Thanks for the info guys!


My understanding is that only animals like coyotes can see well enough for camo to matter.  Lots of guys I see hunting regular animals don't even use camo. 

Offline KYdoomer

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1976
  • Karma: 71
  • Zen Gardener
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 08:11:00 PM »
Personally I'd use modified, but I run and gun instead of sitting still so you have to take that into consideration.

J

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2009, 08:13:47 PM »
That old Mossberg 20 ga is a great shotgun, for a bolt action. The C-Lect choke has always done exactly as it was designed to do. I have no idea of how they marketed it and why it wasn't/isn't more popular. You can test the pattern on a blank target and see the difference.

Personally I'd use modified, but I run and gun instead of sitting still so you have to take that into consideration.


Yeah, I have done that. Sometimes it really depends on the gun and ammo more than the choke. IMHO.

Offline TexDaddy

  • TSP Goat Wrangling Geezer. He is EVIL also.
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Forum Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 12300
  • Karma: 265
  • I live in Texas. What country are you from?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2009, 08:23:43 PM »
My understanding is that only animals like coyotes can see well enough for camo to matter.  Lots of guys I see hunting regular animals don't even use camo. 
Coyotes really smell you, more than see you. We always wore very bright orange when hunting, so maybe we wouldn't be shot by other hunters. We almost always got what we were looking for. IMO, camo helps prevent PEOPLE from seeing you, not the game.

Offline scrappy

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 245
  • Karma: 14
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2009, 09:06:00 PM »
Hey man - good for you for getting out and doing it.  I've had plenty of hunts from which I 've returned empty handed, but I usually enjoy myself anyhow.  Coming home with food is just a bonus.

Offline WVHunter

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 0
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2009, 07:57:19 AM »
Coldhaven,  KYdoomer's dad is right...everytime you go deer hunting you'll see a million squirrels.  You could just hunt like I do.  Find a nice downed log beside a big tree, curl up against that tree and take a nap.  When those squirrels start barking and jumping from limb to limb it will wake you right up.  Bang!

Offline Roswell

  • Search And Destroy
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4371
  • Karma: 102
  • Posts REALLY REALLY ugly pictures...
    • Making A Homestead, One Day at a Time
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2009, 09:46:49 AM »
CH,

Don’t get discouraged it can be tough. So far this year I have been hunting 6 times. I went small game hunting at the close of last season twice and only saw 1 squirrel which I missed. I went turkey hunting 3 times and only heard one gobble which we couldn’t bring in closer. And a couple weeks ago I went dove hunting, but also looking for squirrels in the pecan trees surrounding the field. It rained the whole time and we got nothing. Most of this is new to me. I did used to go dove hunting a lot when I was a kid but that was about it. And I do remember times when there were so many birds I couldn’t keep the gun loaded. So, I guess what I am trying to say is be persistent, even if you see nothing it is still a learning experience and always nice to get out.

As for camo, I agree it probably isn’t necessary for small game hunting, but it can’t hurt. You are going to need it hard core though if you want a turkey or are trying to call in a goose. My advice would be to go to the closest army surplus store and look at their patterns, and keep in mind the terrain you usually hunt in as well as what it looks like at that time of year. I got some really sweet camo clothes that were actually pretty cheap NATO surplus, allegedly it is the same pattern our special forces use. It works great down here almost year round, but I wouldn’t wear it while hunting Montana in the winter. God, that would be nice though, anyway I digress…  I am just getting back into hunting again and am relatively new to hunting many types of animals (each animal has to be hunted in its own way) but this community has been a big help as well as the podcasts of course. That one Jack did on Squirrel hunting was awesome. 

I can't wait for Hare season either. ;D

GD,

The only thing I have been able to shoot this year has been a rabbit that was in my backyard. It  had been eating our tulips and eyeing my garden. It wasn’t season and I live in extreme suburbia, but he had been a pest so I took him out with my air rifle and cooked him up later on.  I know it isn’t the Hare you meant, but I thought you might like to hear about that.

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2009, 03:10:43 PM »
I joke about Hare. But I really like eating hunting and eating rabbit.

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2009, 09:57:16 PM »
About hunting when it is raining or drizzling. How do you keep your barrel and other metal parts from rusting. I have watched several videos and heard here in the forum about hunting when there is some kind of precipitation, but I always wondered...how do you keep your rifle or shotgun from rusting over?

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2009, 04:47:46 AM »
I guess the same way I did as a soldier on patrol in the rain. A light coat of oil, keep the muzzle down, and clean it the first chance you get.

Offline Roswell

  • Search And Destroy
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4371
  • Karma: 102
  • Posts REALLY REALLY ugly pictures...
    • Making A Homestead, One Day at a Time
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2009, 04:59:35 AM »
I guess the same way I did as a soldier on patrol in the rain. A light coat of oil, keep the muzzle down, and clean it the first chance you get.

I was never a soldier, but that is what I do.  I think they make waterproof socks that go over the gun, but I have never used one.


Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2009, 08:36:05 PM »
Well I was at it again today. Hunting in the drizzlin rain. This time I brought my C-Lect Mossberg 20 gauge. I used #6 shot. I used the Modified setting. Since it was drizzling I used your advice. I kind of figured that oiling the gun would be a way to protect the barrel, but I thought some of you might have some high speed way to keep a firearm from rusting. Thanks for the advice guys.

Well, after I dropped off my daughter at school I headed over to where I usually hunt. I decided to not go the same route I did last time. I wanted to use the fact that it had rained recently to hide the sounds of my steps. When I was getting my gear together I saw a female turkey. By itself. Now, I have never hunted turkey, but usually I have seen them in groups around here. To see one here all by itself seemed very strange. I am not sure if had got separated from the rest or if it was the lookout. I did not think I would get anywhere, but to get to learn more about the turkey I headed towards it. They must have keen sight because as soon as it saw me walking in its direction it took off. I followed it for a little bit, but still not a wasted excursion.

So, I got the rest of my gear together and headed towards the woods. Instantly it starts to drizzle. Nice. Luckily I took the advice and had pre-oiled my shotgun. Next thing I see above me is what appeared to be a tree snake. It was light green with yellow and black lines down the length of its body. I didn't pester it, but thought it was noteworthy. I didn't think many snakes went into trees in NC. Wasn't sure of the snake, but I will look it up later.

Walking around I did not see much activity. I didn't really expect there to be. Most animals seem to go to ground and seek shelter on days like this. However, it also afforded me some camouflage by hiding my silhouette. Being darker it also meant they could not see me was well. This time I had my binoculars with me. So, bad for them. Traveling through the woods I noticed many deer trails. Now knowing more of the signs of deer trails I was able to see them pretty well. I decided to walk along some of these trails for a bit to see what I could see. Where deer may be, squirrels might be too.

I was coming from a different direction this time, but I came to about the same area I saw the squirrel the first day I hunted. I noted last time that there seemed to be many underground burrows in this area. Considering that it is near a creek I am not surprised. Last time when I chased that squirrel it seemed to disappear. If these are not rabbit dens then I am guessing they were made (or at least utilized) by squirrels. I sat down on a log, and was about to use my cooking kit since I hadn't seen anything but blue jays so far. I looked around the area with my binoculars, and then started to take off my LBE so I could get to my food.

Just as I was about to put down my shotgun I saw this squirrel come out of nowhere. Now I had been paying attention to the tree limbs and around the ground. I had been listening intently for any noise, and the first noise I heard was this squirrel scampering on the ground. It didn't see me although I thought I was pretty much out in the open. This is leading me to believe that squirrels only see movement. It started coming right for me. I lined up the shot and fired. First one connected, but because of the close range I may have overshot a little. It started to run. I got off of the log and walked towards it. It wasn't going anywhere fast. When I lined up another shot my foot sank into the ground into one of those burrows and I missed. This flustered me a bit and I forgot for a second my shotgun was not an automatic. Once I got my senses back I got out of the hole and fired again. This one hit right on.

However, at this point I thought I missed because it was still moving around. However, when I got closer I realized that it was a fatal shot. I was about to finish it by shooting it in the head with my 9mm to put it out of its misery. I didn't want it to suffer. However, it was quite obvious when I got closer to it that it already had a head shot. Once it stopped moving I collected it and put it in my bag.

Considering that I had used a shotgun I was pretty sure it would be awhile before I could get another, and so I headed back. Perhaps I should have cleaned it right then and there considering what I had read afterwards, but I read some conflicting things as far as this goes. Perhaps some of you can give me some insight into what you think is the best method of cleaning them. In the field or not? I wanted to be able to clean it somewhere that I could make sure the area was clean and I could do it on a table of some sort.

Well, I tried the method I had watched many times on the net to make sure I knew how to clean it before I hunted. It failed miserably. For some reason it was really hard to seperate the skin. I had a very sharp knife and it seemed to do okay, but not like how I had watched others do it. Maybe it is because they were cleaning them right then and there. I don't know. It took me a long time, and I am not even sure that I did it correctly. I heard some say you can ruin the meat by having the skin touch the meat, but it seemed almost unavoidable. Now I am not sure if what I have is edible.

I butchered what I could making as sure as I could that the guts were taken out without spilling their contents, but I am not sure if I even succeeded in this because none of the videos I watched showed taking out their innards. I took the meat I could get and submerged it in salt water as some have suggested to me in order to tenderize the meat, take away some of the wild taste, and make it easier to get the shot out of it. At the end of all of it I felt like a failure. I am not sure what I did right and what I did wrong.

After doing all of that I took my food kit and cooked some items with it including ramen, eggs, and some coffee.

Anyway, I hope with experience I can do better. I just felt like I didn't do any part of this right.

After that I went out and decided to use a little more time and try and get another squirrel. I went to another area. I went into a natural ditch which was located near an oak tree. I sat underneath a holly tree, and used some of its branches to put on myself in order to camoflage myself. Well no squirrel came from that direction. As I sat waiting one came within 2 yards of me. It was coming down a branch of a tree that was about a breath away from me. It started making all sorts of noises. I think it was trying to provoke movement out of me by chattering at me and moving around. While it was doing this I was slowly moving my shotgun into position. Either it didn't see me or it saw me and was trying to figure out what I was by provoking me to move.

I could have taken the shot, but because of how close it was to me, and the trees behind it, I was not sure if it would rechochet back at me. I decided not to try it because I was not sure what would happen.

Anyway, considering all that happened I decided to take pictures of me in my hunting gear so that everyone can enjoy a good laugh.

My equipment includes the following (and not all of it is seen in these pics - all I had was my cellphone):

20 Gauge Mossberg
10 #6 shells
5 # 7 1/2 shells
My kabar knock-off knife (which is surprisingly good)
Binos
Compass
My Ruger P95 (I never go into the woods without some other kind of defense)
40 + rounds of 9mm
Latex free gloves
Ziploc Bags & garbage bag
Winchester Folding cleaning knife (Bone saw, guthook, and knife)
Two canteens
One pack which holds 3 days worth of food + utensils and cooking equipment






So thats about it. If anyone has any suggestions or comments feel free to add them.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 08:40:19 PM by ColdHaven »

Offline KYdoomer

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1976
  • Karma: 71
  • Zen Gardener
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2009, 09:06:45 PM »
Squirrels have short attention spans.  One minute they see you and the next they forget about you.

How and when you dress them really depends on the temp.  Anything above 50F or so and I'd open them up and spill the guts out.  I really wouldn't worry about dressing them like a deer.  Just get the guts out so the bacteria doesn't start to swell and work.  The lower the temp, the longer you can keep the guts in.  I don't think its that huge of a concern really but others may have other experiences.  Dressing a squirrel really isn't the same as a deer.  You gut it then quarter it.  No one I know really eats anything but the front and rear "hams".  The torso really isn't worth it unless you're starving.  Everyone has their own technique, you'll find yours and then you can teach us.

Doesn't sound like a failure bro.  Anytime you get out in the wild and learn CANNOT be counted as failure. 

J

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2009, 09:30:09 PM »
Your adventure sounds fun. I don't know what backstop you had other than you said it was trees, but two yards with a shotgun would be a fairly safe shot if there was nothing else behind the tree rat. Many would have been less prudent even if they didn't know and I commend you for taking the high road. The shot where you stumbled can be avoided by having yourself in a steady shooting stance before evn bringing the gun to bear. This means you will miss shots sometimes, but safety has to come first. If it was a gunfight then maybe, but hunting usually isn't that urgent.

Overall I am envious. It has been 4 weeks since my last hunting adventure. And I'm tied up for the next few weekends. :(

Great pics BTW. If I ran into you in the woods I'd surrender!

Offline Roswell

  • Search And Destroy
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4371
  • Karma: 102
  • Posts REALLY REALLY ugly pictures...
    • Making A Homestead, One Day at a Time
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2009, 07:59:59 AM »
CH,

check out this thread on hunting Squirrel. About half way down Jack posted a really good video on how to quickly clean a squirrel in the field. It's not him in the video, but that is how he said he does it and DEV said the same thing.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=7920.0

Goatdog62

  • Guest
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2009, 02:47:20 PM »
I do the tail cutting thing then step on it and pull it all off. It seems quickest to me.

Offline LdMorgan

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Karma: 121
Re: ColdHaven's Hunting Adventure
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2009, 03:47:43 PM »
About hunting when it is raining or drizzling. How do you keep your barrel and other metal parts from rusting. I have watched several videos and heard here in the forum about hunting when there is some kind of precipitation, but I always wondered...how do you keep your rifle or shotgun from rusting over?

A little oil on the exposed metal, yes, and either a rubber finger tip or a condom over the muzzle.

Rubber finger tips are sold in drug stores. They have several medical uses. They are much cheaper than condoms, and work just as well (for muzzles!). They look sort of like little Pixie condoms.