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10/6/2012: Potluck Squirrel Camp

Posted October 15th, 2012 at 10:03 PM by Skewerer

My father in law and his family has a tradition that has been going strong for close to 40 years. They celebrate the opening of squirrel season with a guys only retreat to the hunting camp. Now I'll admit that trading in my bow for my .22 is tough. But we have such a good time out there, that I realize I'm not really missing out on anything. Just a great group out there.

Friday evening everybody arrived at the camp and got settled. We fried fish and ate shrimp poppers straight off the grill. I sneaked inside and worked on a little bit of BBM before crashing hard.

The next morning (10/6/12), I was up at 5:20am. I met my "Uncle Meaux" in the kitchen and helped him cook breakfast. The rest of the boys were up in no time, and we planned our hunts from the table. As the tradition went, the oldest hunters chose first, so I was one of the last to choose my spot.

Another tradition is the "top gun" prize given to the person killing the most squirrels. Every man antes up on his way out, and must be back with his squirrels b 10:00a.m. or else he's disqualified. With the wind howling outside, I tossed my $10 onto the pile of bills on my way out the door and thought to myself, 'that's the last i'll see of that.'

I grabbed my .22 rifle and walked with my brother in law to our spots. As the sun inched its way up, I slipped quietly into the woods. Not long after getting settled, I had my first customer of the morning--a large fox squirrel. Despite the wind, I had seen a flash of brown as his tail whipped and I capitalized on his error with one well-placed shot to the chest. Squirrel #1 was in the bag!

Throughout the rest of the morning, I hunted hard and moved quickly when I managed to see a glimpse of a squirrel. The winds were really gusting, but I learned to look just below the canopy at the exposed limbs to more easily decipher movement of squirrels. I caught one raccoon snoozing with his tail hanging out of a tree hollow and snapped a couple of pictures of him. As 10:00 a.m. approached, I had 7 squirrels in my bag resulting from 7 shots with my .22 Ruger. It looked like I was managing to keep the rust off despite only squirrel hunting once a year!

I made my way back to camp and was informed that I was Top Gun! Second place had only bagged 3 squirrels, and I was the undisputed winner. It felt good to take those old farts' money!

We cleaned the squirrels and then spent the rest of the day cooking a squirrel mulligan, drinking beer, shooting our bows, and watching football. It was about as perfect as a day gets!
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  1. Old Comment
    Man that sounds great -thanks for sharing the story! I grew up squirrel hunting with my dad and brothers. Great memories for sure.
    Posted December 4th, 2012 at 11:47 AM by crosstalker crosstalker is offline

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