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Out With A Bang

I could not resist.  It was cold, bitter cold, but I had to get out just one more day to enjoy one of my favorite hunts…squirrel with a handgun.   Usually it is a single action pistol but this time it had to be the racier semi-auto.  Good thing…I needed it!

I sat for over an hour knowing full well that the squirrels would be holed up in a tree den, defying the arctic cold temps and wind.  I tried calling them but nothing.  I even grated my wood call against my shooting stick to mimic a feeding squirrel.  I guess they are smart enough to know squirrels don’t feed in this weather.  The sunlight was starting to fade and I knew I only had enough time for one more trick.  The rabbit distress.  Over the years, this trick has accounted for more squirrels for me than any other.  Twenty to thirty seconds of wailing on the distress call was all it took.  In a large cottonwood 40 yards out.   Two beautiful fox squirrels appeared from a hole in a large branch and scurried down the tree.  Now…if you have ever tried to steady a pistol with frozen hands I can tell you…it ain’t easy!  I steadied the red dot on the lead squirrel and squeezed the trigger with a finger so cold I could not feel the release as the trigger broke clean at 4 lbs.  The crack of the 22 echoed through the woods and that squirrel nearly fell off the branch from laughter.  A clear miss!  If you have never witnessed a squirrel turn on its back a laugh hysterically you are missing out!  Now the second squirrel was pitched on the tree trunk.  I quickly reorganized my shooting stick and placed the red dot on the furry critter.   At t he crack of the 22, I knew it was a good hit.

I will get through but the close of so many seasons in one day is tough on me.  Maybe we should stagger them if just for a few days so we don’t have to suffer so much on January 31.  But wait…there are coyotes to call and turkey season is just around the corner…Oh the anticipation is just killing me!

Jeff

So cold my camera was blurred!
Before the squirrels appeared these does walked within spitting distance. Ode to next year!
See the deer?

About jeff rawlinson

Jeff is the Education Manager in the Communications Division with Game and Parks where he has worked for the last 15 years. He oversees the Hunter Education, Boater Education, Hunter Outreach and Shooting Range Development for the Commission and is a devout hunter, angler, wildlife viewer, naturalist, father and husband. He holds a BS and MS from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has been a Hunter Education Instructor for over 20 years, NRA firearms instructor and range officer, National Archery in the Schools Program Archery Instructor Specialist and member of the National NASP Board, sits on the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Hunter Recruitment and Retention Committee and Education Committee. Jeff is an avid handgun hunter, loves to chase turkeys in the spring, squirrel hunting enthusiast and philosopher of the outdoors. He is an avid shooter and loves to spend outdoor time with family and friends. He has a passion for exciting others about the outdoors. A history buff, Jeff is a strong supporter of our North American Model of Conservation and tries to spread the message of its importance and relevance every chance he gets.

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