Squirrel Hunting 2018-2019

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Kent Goldings, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    I feel like I’ve been neglecting my duties. First 3 of the season. I actually shot one with my Henry on opening day. But, I forgot the photo.

    My Ruger 10/22 is a squirreling machine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Exonautic

    Exonautic 6.5 Creedmoor

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    how they taste? always wanted to squirrel hunt but can't see myself doing it and just tossing all the meat.
     
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  3. BDinPutnam

    BDinPutnam .308 Win Monthly Shot Winner

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    Said before and I will say it again: that is a beautiful rifle, Kent.
     
  4. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    They taste mostly of the barbecue sauce.
     
  5. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    Thanks. I’m putting together another squirrel rifle. I’ll unveil it soon.
     
  6. JamieZ

    JamieZ .357 mag

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    Ditto,,,,love the stock. I bought a walnut Ruger stock for mine that I like but that one sure is purrrty!
     
  7. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    My Ruger 10/22 was the basic walnut stocked carbine. I put on a Green Mountain Sporter barrel and Boyd’s Rimfire Hunter stock.
     
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  8. JamieZ

    JamieZ .357 mag

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    Basic stock is birch,,,, sure it wasnt birch?
     
  9. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    You’re probably right.
     
  10. FLA45fan

    FLA45fan .223 Rem

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    Nice - too bad the gun is laying in a patch of poison ivy . . .






    No - I'm just screwing with ya! Cause your 10/22 is why nicer looking than mine. Nice job!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  11. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    I’m super allergic to poison ivy. I’d be posting from the hospital.
     
  12. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    It was a disappointing Sunday morning in the woods. The high winds made it difficult to track squirrels in the trees. I was able to take on on the ground. But, it had discoloration on its hind quarters. I threw it to the coyotes.

    First blood for Savage Model 93R17 17HMR.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. HighlandLofts

    HighlandLofts 6.5 Creedmoor

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    Early in the season I would get some that had big grubs in them, generally where horses were nearby.
    May have been horse fly larvie.
    After the grub was gone for awhile it they looked ok, but the hair in the grub area would be really short.
     
  14. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    The squirrels in these woods seemed pretty overpopulated during last deer season. I took a couple dozen during January and February. I was hoping the remaining squirrels would be healthier.
     
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  15. BDinPutnam

    BDinPutnam .308 Win Monthly Shot Winner

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    Kent, what glass do you have on that 10/22 and what do you have it set to? Just curious.

    I may try to go out next weekend with my Marlin XT22.
     
  16. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    It is the excellent and economical Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x40. I usually zero at 25 yards in september loading CCI segmented subsonic. I’ll rezero to 50 later in the season when I switch to minimags.

    Sadly, they no longer manufacture this scope. They updated the design to the Prostaff Rimfire II. I have one of these for my Marlin Model 80 and I actually prefer the older design. But, the Rimfire II 3-9x40 is still an excellent scope.

    The Leupold VX1 Rimfire 2-7x28 that I put on the Henry is a great scope as well. But, I like the Nikon more for general shooting. The Henry is strictly for squirrels and plinking.

    Maybe I’ll put the Marlin Model 80 Or CZ into the rotation.
     
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  17. BDinPutnam

    BDinPutnam .308 Win Monthly Shot Winner

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    Thanks!

    Being somewhat new to this, is there a reason you use the subsonics early and the minimags later? Behavioral and environmental changes (assuming ranges and shots differ early through late) through the course of the season? My Marlin loves Fiocchi subsonics, I was going to try those if I can get out next weekend.
     
  18. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    The character of the environment changes as the season changes. As the leaves fall and the snow comes, the range will increase from less than 25 yards in September to nearly 100 yards in February.

    Subsonic ammo is more accurate in my rifles, it is also quieter. The flattest part of the bullet trajectory is closer as well. This is best between 15 and 40 yards. They are also safer to shoot up into trees.

    As the range increases to 25 to 60 yards, the higher velocity minimags shoot flat farther out. They also deliver more energy between 50 and 75 yards. You give up a little accuracy. You can no longer depend on headshots at longer range.

    During January and February, the squirrels are spending more time on the ground. The lack of foliage and snow cover increases visibility. You’re able to spot and track game much farther away. At this point, I switch to 17HMR 20 gr. game points. The 17 groups about half the size of the 22 minimags and has a more flat trajectory between 50 and 100 yards. The disadvantage is a much loader report and the zero will be depressed more than a half inch as less than 25 yards.
     
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  19. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    On reflection, use whatever ammo your gun likes best. I’ve spent a lot of time at the gun range testing different loads. The most important thing is is practice with the ammo you intend to use.
     
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  20. JamieZ

    JamieZ .357 mag

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    Reading your shit got me and the pup out in the woods today squirrel hunting. We didnt see anything but the mutt had the time of his life,,,he listened very well just like he did when I would take him hunting as a pup. I have a vibrate/shock collar for him but never had to use it (no leash was used). Walked out of the woods, walked through a big field and had to cross a busy road again,,,no problems. So then we decided to keep walking past the truck and back out into another set of fields that I usually chuck hunt in. Took a shot, whacked a chuck and the pup didnt even blink. He went running over to the chuck to sniff him out,,,,,then we called it a day. Made me wish I would of kept training him when he was younger when it comes to hunting. He is 10 now,,,he is in good shape but I could tell that his excitement running around the woods and the fields took a little toll on him.
     
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  21. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    Any excuse to get outdoors... I need a dog. I’m getting to old to rely on my own eyes.
     
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  22. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    Saturday morning was a great late summer day.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    The last couple of mornings have been slow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. GOYABEAN

    GOYABEAN .450/400 Nitro Ex

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    Have you ever tried this :D

    :rifle:
     
  25. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    Squirrel calls seem to fall into three categories: Cutting, distress, and barking.

    The quarters are a variation of the cutting call. I’ve have a homemade cutting call fashioned from a threaded tube and a washer.

    Honestly, the only call I’ve had any luck with is the squirrel distress whistle. It lights up whatever squirrels are around, but is only a bit more effective than locating squirrel by looking for movement and listening for cutting. I prefer just sitting quietly and listenimg intently. Squirrels are sloppy and noisy, once you know what to listen for, they’re easy to locate.

    I once called in a barred owl using a squirrel distress whistle. Damn thing was part vulture.
     
  26. ryguy

    ryguy .38 Special

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    Had a great morning out in the woods!

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  27. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    Ending September on a high note.

    I mounted a new Nikon Prostaff 5 3.5-14x40 scope to my Savage 93R17 17 HMR and took it out this morning on a little shake down. I was very pleased with the results. I was able to shoot the limit. I also spotted 3 whitetails. I feel good about bow season starting next week.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. BDinPutnam

    BDinPutnam .308 Win Monthly Shot Winner

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    Well done, Kent.

    Inspired by you, I was thinking might be time to start a Big Game Season 2018 thread soon, will try to open that in a bit.
     
  29. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    The 20 grain 17 HMR gampoints are laser accurate. But, they don’t seem to put the squirrels down reliably when the squirrel is hit away from a vital area. Nearly every squirrel not hit in the head or heart tries to crawl off. Some try to crawl being cripped or gutted by a poorly aimed shot. One fella was hit in the front shoulder and fell 40 feet to the forest floor. After regaining his wind, he made a break for it on three legs.

    It looks like head shots only with this gun.

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Kent Goldings

    Kent Goldings .40 S&W

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    I upgraded my CZ455 with a heavy barrel and laminate thumbhole stock. I mean it primarily for range shooting. But, I thought to get the new barrel blooded.

    The weather was a cool, cloudy, and breezy 50 degrees. With the foliage in full swing, it is getting easier to see the squirrels. I managed to shoot five, with three headshots. But, one crawled off and I couldn’t find it. It fell from the three abs hit hard, but I never even found a blood trail.

    [​IMG]
     
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