A Good Day After A Rough Start - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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A Good Day After A Rough Start

I've been waiting for the first day squirrel season, my favorite hunting. I'm 72 and I think I've only missed around 7 opening mornings' weeks from 8 or 9 years old and only a couple season thanks to my government job. Hit the woods after the rain and squirrels everywhere. Using the Remington Matchmaker with a scope. Couldn't hit a bull in the backside, much less a squirrel. Quick trip to the range proved it wasn't my abilables. Scope was off two inches right and one inch low. How in the heck can that happen from the time it is a tack driver in the summer, cleaned, stored in a safe, no one touching it until opening morning? Then things changed, love the thud sound from a tree top. I hunt a hickory grove that is maybe five acres with den trees. Again as was last year most all late young very small squirrels. Dumb little things, a tree would have four to five squirrels eating, jumping and playing. When I would walk to another spot, there would be squirrel playing like kittens playing. Ones that were eating on the ground would move off a little ways and go right back to eating, like I wasn't there! BUT, the older ones, they would high tail it and not stop. Had to work at it to collect three chunky ones. What a beautiful day! All Glory to God!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 09:24 AM
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You have any good squirrel recipes?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 09:30 AM
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I quarter my squirrels, brown in the pan, add red peppers and mushrooms, pour tomato sauce over everything and let simmer till meat is tender. Serve over brown rice or mashed potatoes. Goes really well with your favorite cold beer. Good recipe for bunnies, too!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 09:34 AM
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BTW, glad to hear you're still at it, old timer! Much luck and health to you for the rest of the season!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 09:37 AM
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Good report CM!!

Sounds yummy Nanook!! I just quarter and salt & pepper flour and fry in iron skillet.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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I par boil the cut up pieces. Roll them in flour, then fry in LARD (not that so called shorting) in an iron skillet, until nice and brown on the outside. Take out of skillet, add little flour, brown the flour, add milk, salt and pepper to taste. Pour gravy over biscuits or corn bread. Bow your head and thank God for the harvest and dig in!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 11:05 AM
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Like the above I cut them into 6 pieces, legs and back cut in half ribs cut off and par boil them with a little a little salt in the water, a carrot and stalk of celery cut in half and some black peppercorns. Then shake them in a bag with flour and ground pepper and fry them in a mixture of bacon fat and butter till nice and brown. Crispy on the outside and moist and white inside.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 11:44 AM
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Darn this thread is making me hungry for squirrel!! May forget trying to ice a doe this week during early ML & go for squirrel!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 12:23 PM
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I am 72 also and shot my first squirrel at age seven and had to learn to hunt them alone at age 8 since my father worked away from home and we needed the meat. I lived in IN state in my early years where the squirrel season starts Aug. 15th every year. The early start allowed hunting them before most of the hickory nuts have been devoured as with the later start here in PA.

Started with a 410 single shot as that was the only gun we had, however, dad came home with a 22 semi auto which was legal in IN and when I was 14 I bought an Ithaca single shot lever action with iron sights and switched to 22 shot hollow points which it shot very well. The shorts do not make the loud long rifle bullet crack scaring the other squirrels eating hickory nuts into jumping out tree and makes a thud sound of the hollow point letting you know it is a good hit.

The limit was 5 and I was able to get my limit off from single hickory tree(s) with the single shot rifle numerous times as I hunted every day of the season except Sunday which was Illegal in IN at that time. I could even hunt before and after school.

My dad told to pick out some of the best producing hickory trees and hit them often so the squirrels would not be able to eat all the nuts and move to other trees meaning I would have to cover more ground looking for them. This worked well on my before and after school hunts as my time was limited as I had daily chores also and also looking back I think that was part of dad's plan to have short productive hunts and plenty of chore time. Dad said as long as you can keep nuts on the select tree squirrels will find them and keep coming to them until all the nuts are gone.

Things I learned when I was able to slip up under a hickory with several squirrels....By hunting the same trees repeatedly I knew the best spot for each tree to slip to where I had the best view of each tree exposing the prey from being hidden by lower and upper limbs leaves etc........Usually when there are a few squirrels working one hickory there is one grey located on one of the lower limbs and that is the one most lackey one to see the hunter first and ruin the chances, also by shooting the lowest on the tree it does not fall through all the limbs past the other squirrels, making aloud thud on the ground and causing the other squirrels to flee.

Shoot one, do not go to it but verify it is not going to run off and the location on the ground, even if you have another shot at the second squirrel wait until the squirrels have calmed and start back cutting again, then pick out another low squirrel and take it, on and on until you have the limit or all the squirrels on that tree. If you shoot before the squirrels have calmed back down and are back to cutting the changes are much greater they will hide, jump out or worse run to the ground and flee.

If there is a hollow tree within an escape with one or two jumps I have had good luck positing myself on the side of the escape route as sometimes they will stop or slow down on the way to the hollow tree and they are coming toward you rather than away.

If you arrive to a hickory at daylight with a squirrel is already feeding wait for a while as it is not going to leave until it is full and the other near by squirrels will hear the cuttings falling and limbs shaking and more will come in, count them as they come in so you know how many are on the tree in case the last one hides you will know he is there. You can set and wait for them to come out 15-30 minutes usually. I have learned to bark like a squirrel and after a 10-15 minute wait they will often show themselves to see where the barking is coming from usually allowing a still shot.

Squirrel barking also works well to keep a barking squirrel barking allowing one to slip in on the squirrel and see its location. Also look for the movement of the squirrels tail as they bark. I had a string of 26 squirrels during high school by using this method and all were female except 4 males??

I still get excited like a kid when I go one of those type squirrel hunts. ENJOY.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 02:27 PM
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I wanted to go squirrel hunting yesterday, but went for grouse instead. My buddy got us into doing an overnight camp out, then grouse hunt the next day. Its really a camping trip with a little hunting thrown in. Weather sucked and we didn't get into the woods until around 10:00 am. rain had quit but it was extremely wet. We didn't see a thing.
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