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Small Game

eclark53520

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Anyone been doing any small game hunting?

Dove and squirrel are my quarry of choice.


I was just out yesterday(took the day off) with the wife. She doesn't have a license so she wasn't hunting but she likes to walk around and see the wildlife.

First place we went was pretty much a bust. I got a shot at one, but I was shooting offhand and it was a pretty long shot, missed. He did the warning bark and the woods went pretty quiet. Made a target quick and shot to make sure the it was still shooting where i was aiming and it was, i just missed...:unhappy:

After an hour or so of tromping around in that tract of public land we stopped by the mini-mart for some snacks and headed to a completely new area i found a few days before. This place is amazing, several hundred acres and possibly into the thousands on this tract. Almost all of it is mature oak and walnut tree's with lots of standing dead tree's great for squirrel dens. The only problem, very few squirrels.

The one i did get responded to a young squirrel distress call that I've had some luck with before. When squirrels respond to this call, they come hauling ass! This particular one covered probably 100 yards in under 30 seconds.

Great looking huge fox squirrel with a very large bushy tail. I'm going to try to preserve the tail on this squirrel as I've never seen one this large.

This weekend I plan to take my daughter out to do some squirrel hunting.

Anyone got any stories?
 

anonymous golfaholic

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We used to have squirrel tournaments every year on some land that we own. It was a lot of fun, nothing serious, just a way to get a bunch of family and friends together and later we would grill out, shoot some paper and have some drinks. It was always a great time, we haven't done it in probably 4 or 5 years though.

Anyway, we would all start out at daylight. Rules where, you must use .22 rifle and the 1st person back with the most squirrels or a limit was the winner. I think it was $20 a person and you get 10 bullets, you could buy more bullets but they where $2 apiece. We have 125 wooded acres there that is surrounded on 3 sides by government land, so we didn't have a problem of anyone being too close to one another. It was fun...we need to start doing that again.
 
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eclark53520

eclark53520

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That sounds like fun!

Might have to try to get something like that together with some of my friends.

I gotta figure out where all these squirrels are hiding in this huge tract of public land. I can't believe the amount of fantastic habitat and seemingly so few squirrels around. This place should be over-run with the damn things. Maybe it was just a bad day...

I also need to find my barker...or buy a new one. I always seemed to get at least one barking with that call. They would never come running like they do to the distress call but at least i could put a stalk on one when they lit up barking off in the distance.

Hopefully once the leaves are off i can get some long-range shots with my 17. If i can see them, i can hit them with that rifle. 1" groups @ 200yds out of a factory barrel, to say i'm impressed with the $300 gun is an understatement. Savage 93R17BV with a Simmons 44mag 6.5-20X44, definitely my most fun rim fire rifle.
 

warbirdlover

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If you want squirrels you should sit in my stand during deer hunting. It's in an oak woods and there are black ones, gray ones, red ones... you name it.

I love pheasant hunting but don't have a dog. I bought a pheasant call a couple years ago (yes they do make them) and during deer hunting called a rooster right up to me. It was cool.
 

anonymous golfaholic

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I don't know that much about guns, but a rifle that shoots that well at 200 yds sounds like a lot of gun for squirrels. I realize it's a small caliber, but I can't come close to shooting that far with my little .22. I have a Rugar 10-22 with a carbon fiber bull barrel, rubber coated stock with a 3x9 Leupold scope. It's a cool little gun that shoots really well for a semi-automatic, but as you probably know, it can't reach out to 200yds with much accuracy. I'm curious about your gun. How big are the bullets compared to the .22? I'm a dummy when it comes to different rifle types.

What type of timber is on this area that your hunting? Find out what they are cutting on and then you'll find the squirrels. You might not have had a good nut crop this season though. It's my understanding that if the nut crop is bad, the squirrels won't have as many offspring.

I have never used a squirrel call before. I have a friend that had one of those barkers and it sounded really good though.
 
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eclark53520

eclark53520

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The 17HMR round is a 22mag case that's necked down to take a .17 diameter bullet. You can get 17 grain Vmax AKA Ballistic tips or 17 and 20 grain hollow point or controlled expansion bullets.

I use the 20gr hollow points simply because at anything under 100 yards those Vmax bullets absolutely destroy squirrels. If you hit them in the chest, it will literally tear them in two...that's when i realized Vmax wasn't a great hunting bullet. lol

The hollow points though, they expand just like a big game bullet. Great for killing squirrels without tearing them to pieces. It's more gun than you need, but it's fun to try and reach out and touch them beyond 100 yards. That's also where the 20x scope comes into play...

This caliber is also great for coyote's, ground hogs, long range crow, prairie dogs, etc. It's main advantage is velocity and accuracy. The 22mag carries much more kinetic energy out to about 150 yards, however, the 17hmr is by far and away much more accurate. I have never shot a 22mag rifle that got better than MOA @ 100 yards...my stock Savage 17HMR was under MOA. With a better trigger i was around half MOA.

When you're shooting at squirrel heads at ranges over 100 yds, that accuracy is needed. The energy of the 17 is more than enough.

Some reading if you're interested:

Compared: .17 HMR and .22 WMR (Magnum)
.17 HMR - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ETA: A better choice for squirrels would be the 17HM2 which is the same bullets, but slower. It's a necked down 22 stinger case(slightly longer than a 22lr). It holds the same advantages the HMR but against the 22lr.
 

anonymous golfaholic

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Wow, those are mean looking little bullets. You better stick to head shots, hahaha. Kind of reminds me of my dads .22 hornet, only rim fire. Those nosler ballistic tip bullets just look wicked.
 
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eclark53520

eclark53520

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I load Nosler Ballistic tips in my 30-06 for deer hunting.

One shot drops. Those things just destroy everything inside the chest cavity on white tailed deer. Amazing what technology has brought us in the form of terminal ballistics. With bullets like these, smaller and smaller calibers can be utilized and still make humane shots on animals. Great for smaller shooters such as kids/women since they don't have to have punishing recoil to take bigger game animals.
 

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