Right now I'm just going to tell you about a quick little squirrel hunting trip I took in a WMA near my house recently. Now understand, I certainly was trying to get a squirrel, I've read some mighty tasty-sounding recipes for them lately, but mostly I was just using this as an excuse to take a Sunday afternoon stroll in the woods with my little Marlin 60. The Marlin is just about my favorite of all my guns, it's just a neat little rifle, light and well-balanced and more accurate than I am. I know that certain rotary-magazine .22's are more popular with the crowd that likes to dress up guns like Barbie dolls for guys (I kid!) but this one suites me.
|Its also a Decepticon named Mini-Meg|
As soon as I pulled into the second (vacant) lot a big, fat squirrel jumped right up into a nearby tree and glared at my vehicle. Cheeky little f-er, of course a neighboring house was right behind him so he was as safe as in his mother's nest as far as I was concerned. Whatever, I got my gear out, slapped on my survivor orange cap and took off down the trail.
|What I was working with. Meager but not hopeless|
The wind was picking up a bit, so standing and listening wasn't working as well as it could have. I basically picked a few clumps of oaks out using my phone and decided to walk to each in the couple hours I had left before dark. I saw a few turkeys during my wandering, and one remarkably calm gopher tortoise, but no sign of squirrels besides a few haggard looking dreys.
|I like toitles!|
I picked a spot to sit with a bit of cover with a good shot at several nearby oaks. Seconds after I got situated a bushytail started fussing at me from behind my back. Great thing to me about squirrel hunting, I see and hear them all the time in town so when one shows up its not a huge shock, unlike being up close and personal with a deer or turkey. I calmly waited, hoping this one's curiosity would bring him around for a shot. Of course it didn't, and after five or ten minutes it shut up and went about its business. I heard a few more in the distance, then saw a big one making its way towards me then way from me across the branches.
Suddenly my heart skipped because something huge jumped up right next to me (or it seemed like it)! I snapped my head involuntarily to look and saw a big ass turkey flying right up to roost not 20 yards away. Regular butterball this was, balancing solo on a low branch, peeking around its prodigious girth to look back at me, its beard flopping into view.
So, yes, irony strikes again. Here I am, hunting squirrels, when a delicious tom turkey presents itself, shaking its rump provocatively with a come-hither shimmy. If this had been private land I'd been finishing off turkey leftovers for lunch today, but of course, the WMA I was on has no open season on the thunder chicken (except for archery season, which is long over with). Guess that's one more temptation I managed to withstand, its getting to be a way of life.
Anyhow, as you probably guessed from the roosting turkey it was just about dark, so I soon gave a sigh and arose, scaring Mr. Tom in the process (although he didn't really go far). I went ahead back across the old rail bed in the falling darkness, gallon ziplocs I had brought in my pack extremely empty.
So that's about it, just a nice evening in the woods with a bit of a twist here and there. Oh, and just in case you were wondering if any blood relative of mine can kill a deer, here's a pic of what my nephew, who's barely a teen-ager, shot last week. We were thinking of getting it mounted for his Christmas but my brother wants to wait until January, with his luck he'll kill a bigger one before then.