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Special limit this morning....

Squirrels, Doves, Possums, Snipes, & other critters

Special limit this morning....

Postby redblood » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:42 pm

Not my first limit on the year but a very special hunt. My older brother passed last yr very unexpectedly. An avid hunter and gun collector, he taught me much of what I know about hunting. One of my oldest hunting images was him as a teenager, disappearing in to the huge block of hardwoods that started at the end of backyard and stretched for miles deep into the creek bottoms of Little Rock Creek. I would wait patiently for him to return all the while armed with an old daisy powerline. To me his old marlin was the most impressive firearm ever constructed. As the years past I got my own 22s and chased squirrels in the same block and adjacent blocks of timber. As the years passed, my gun collection and skills improved. But my nostalgic nature never wavered for this old 22. At the time of his death, he owned so many guns we had to catalog them to keep them straight. Everything from unissued war guns, limited run pistols and custom rifles to fine over and under shotguns. But none had the value to me as this old marlin. When the gun came to me, I knew I wanted to take it back to that same block of woods that I watched it exit from as a child. No other place would be as fitting in my mind. I added a scope and a trip to the shooting bench revealed what I already knew, she could do her job if I did mine.

Walking through that same yard into the familiar block of woods , was almost like going back in time. I had done it so many times over the decades, but never with this rifle. I had barely cleared the woods edge when I saw the mornings first opportunity. A juvenile gray squirrel traveling the fields edge. Unaware of my presence, he nestled into a fork of a young red oak. I tried my best to let him settle before touching off the 1st round. I heard his introduction to the forest floor and knew he wouldnt be hard to recover. Squirrel 2 would never offer a shot but it took way long before I could come to that conclusion. The woods was eerily quiet for the next half hour. A slow moving fox would change that followed by 2 more on his heels. Looking at the time I truly felt a limit was not in the cards. 4 on a stick at 730 doesn’t usually equal a limit. Squirrel 5 was a tiny gray who chose white oaks over hickories. Squirrel 6, a bright orange fox squirrel, tumbled not 20 ft from from wear #5 landed. It was nearing 8:00 and 6 squirrels had been claimed. I made the decision to cross back to the old logging road and take it further back. It was risky because I would have travel a quarter mile of unproductive woods before I would reach my oasis. I wasn’t convinced I had the time to spare, but I reasoned it was my only chance. Surprisingly, Luck would be on my side This day. Squirrel 7 and squirrel 8 cooperated and I realized that a limit was now mine too lose. As I made my way to the large oak thicket along the banks of the creek, An overly obnoxious barker expressed his objections. Sneaking up to the tree where he had to reside, was pretty easy. I stared into the spindly oak where his voice rang true but despite my best efforts could not locate him. I was amazed that he could conceal himself in such a small tree. 10 minutes clicked off my watch as I circled round and round. Finally the barking stop and I tipped my hat and went on my way. Squirrel 9 , a lean gray, paused a bit too long and came to rest at the base of a hollow red oak. It was a tree I knew very well. One foggy morning decades removed, I netted half a limit from its branches. Today it’s offering was leaner, but I would take it. No sooner that I had picked him up I could hear the signature barking of a raspy old fox squirrel. Glancing down the gentle slope, I could see his dark tail hanging from one of the bottom branches. I followed the tail up through my scope and settled the crosshairs on his shoulder. I paused for a second when I realized that this hunt was nearing its conclusion. I didn’t want it to end, but it did with a beautiful black masked fox squirrel at exactly 8:34.

As I carried the squirrels and that old rifle back through the miles of woods, it was extremely humbling. I was thankful for every moment. I realize that I was blessed to still be alive to carry out this purest form of hunting in the same woods he stalked as young man. I was blessed with a beautiful morning and a steady hand to make this hunt both possible and bountiful. By most of all I felt honored to be able to take that old 22 and let it ring out once more in that forgotten block of timber. I know I wasn’t alone.....
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redblood
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Crappieaddict » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Great story! It took me back in time as well.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby PickettSFHunter » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:11 pm

Excellent story. Thank you for posting.


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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby ImThere » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:34 pm

Thanks for sharing. I always love reading your stories.
My condolences on your brother.


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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Matador » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:01 pm

Yes a great story. Thanks!
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby cbhunter » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:21 am

Very cool story, congrats!


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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Andy S. » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:22 am

As always RB, a great hunt and even better story you shared with us. Sorry to hear about your brother. Thank you for sharing with us.
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If I had saved all the money I spent on hunting, I'd spend it on hunting.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby FourWFarm » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:37 am

Great reading; thanks for sharing!
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Mike Belt » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:25 am

Very well written and easy to follow you through the timber. I can hear those squirrels barking as I type. Congrats on the hunt and the rifle.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby redblood » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:37 am

Thank you
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby TheLBLman » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:32 pm

Redblood, really sorry about your losing your brother.
Hope that hunt really added some closure --- sure sounded like it did.

And you might have a new career as an outdoor writer should you be interested in pursuing it.
Your writing skills are far better than many who claim to be professional writers.
But best of all, you're a real (and accomplished) hunter, not just a writer of words.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby scn » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:24 pm

Awesome hunt and story! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Southern Sportsman » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:31 am

Print-worthy story without question.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby redblood » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:55 pm

Thank you everyone for compliments. Over the years, I've many individuals that tell me that writing could be an option. It is something that has always come easy for me. I made the decision that if I were going to pursue such an endeavor, my articles would be different from what is found in most mainstream hunting publications. There are so many rehashed and bland " how to" articles out there today, it would make little sense for me to write yet another. Rather, I wouldn focus on the nostalgic nature of hunting,. Those memories and images that kindled our love of the sport. I believe to ensure the future of hunting, we have to reconnect with our hunting past. I plan to focus on a time when hunting was less about a trophy and more about sharing a moment in the outdoors. And from the my small sampling and that of a few others, it is the kind of writing many are thirsting for. I appreciate your comments and hope to be able to continue to share these moments.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Carlos » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:01 am

Thank you for sharing, nicely done!
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby JCDEERMAN » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:04 am

Thanks for sharing. I love that black one. Been trying to get one of those for a long time. Our foxsquirrels have been diminishing over the years we’ve had our place. All greys now
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby redblood » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:29 am

I'd say on a normal limitbi will kill 2 or 3. I was fox heavy that morning for sure
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby TheLBLman » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:16 am

redblood wrote:I made the decision that if I were going to pursue such an endeavor, my articles would be different from what is found in most mainstream hunting publications.

As they should be :)
I'd always rather read poor writing from a true expert, than great writing from a Bullshitter.
But your writing is great, and I know you're speaking from experience and real accomplishment.

I've all but stopped reading most things written in the more traditional outdoor publications myself.
It seems, most are written by professional writers, who, although they may be good writers, well edited,
many are not truly experienced in the subject matter for which they write.

Of course, most of these publications' readers are less experienced than the writers, so guess it's none the worse for either.

I know Redblood knows his subject matter, at least regarding squirrel hunting, unlike so much BS often read in major outdoor publications, much of which have become more about endorsing and advertising various products than quality anything.
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby Mike Belt » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:01 am

Did you find most of the fox squirrels toward the outside edge of the woods?
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Re: Special limit this morning....

Postby 'borohunter » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:25 pm

Awesome - thanks for sharing.
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