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Georgia Squirrel Hunt 2017

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
At this past year's southeast shoot, woodsrunner's made the generous invitation for me to make a quick trip down to Georgia to join him and his bunch for their annual squirrel. The only rule: you HAD to use a smokepole - no exceptions! So, I made it a point to hasten my plans to buy a smallbore .36 cal flintlock to meet the requirement, and met him at the designated plantation house last Saturday.

The plantation where these boys hunt is beautiful! Deer, turkey, wood ducks, quail, squirrels and other creatures call it home. The river running through the property was host to the occasional sound of deer diving in to cross it when we got too close to their beds. Definitely the kind of sights and sounds you love if you're an outdoorsman.

The weekend started out a little crazy. Woodsrunner drove us to a starting point to try and roust some squirrels, but on the way there, he spotted a bobcat just 10 yards away. He told me to get out of the truck and shoot it ASAP. I jumped out of the truck and primed the pan, shocked at how this cat held his ground and refused to budge, presuming that he was guarding a kill. I lined him up and let one rip. The cat was down...but something strange was unveiled when the smoke cleared. He was in a foothold trap! :tooth: We laughed: so much for a great story about how I stalked up on an angry, stubborn bobcat! Oh, well. I kept the pelt and plan on having in turned into a felt-backed rug.

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The bobcat was hit with one of my home cast .350" roundballs. Here's a pic comparing the one retrieved from the bobcat and an unfired sample:
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As the hours churned, the squirrels piled up. By the time the first night came, we had a HUGE pile of fried squirrel "wing" to go around.

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Everyone got their fill!

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Woodsrunner made sure the we had a fresh, hot pot of collard green to go around the table:

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Oh, and that bobcat did not go to waste...fried bobcat fritters anyone? It wasn't bad at all!

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There was even banjo music to go with the deep woods experience...(RUN!) :jester:

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The only time the gun rack was full was when the sun had set:

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Overall, it was an awesome experience. Tons of camaraderie and stories shared by all:

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Thanks again, woodsrunner, for the invite. I would do it again in a heartbeat. You have great taste in company and were an amazing host!
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,864 Senior Member
    Neat story and pics
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Neat hunt with good company! That bobcat pelt will make a fine small rug and will probably scare the stuffing out of any dog that rounds the corner and spies it! :roll2:

    Bobcats are hard on the rabbits and quail, so taking one is a good thing.

    Fried squirrel is good eats, and so is bobcat.......and groundhog........and a lot of other critters. They ARE made of meat, after all! :up:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    A couple of those guys look familiar- - - -I think we've met at a smokepole gathering or three around the country! Hopefully we won't have a flood again and I'll be able to get to the York shoot this year. I've got an extra chunk gun if you'd like to compete!
    Jerry
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Great times and a good hunt.

    I ask because I don't know, but is it legal for you to take the bobcat? Was it trapped by a legal trapper?
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Great times and a good hunt.

    I ask because I don't know, but is it legal for you to take the bobcat? Was it trapped by a legal trapper?

    Yes. The legal season for bobcat was underway, and the private land trapper is working with the family to thin them out due to their impact on the quail. He was aware that I was taking the cat and fine with it. He would've had to dispatch it himself if hadn't so, all he did was come back and reset it. Guess what? They caught another one in the same trap the very next AM!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    A couple of those guys look familiar- - - -I think we've met at a smokepole gathering or three around the country! Hopefully we won't have a flood again and I'll be able to get to the York shoot this year. I've got an extra chunk gun if you'd like to compete!
    Jerry

    I really want to go this year, but now I'm up against a PCS move. I'll have to see how the timing works out, but I appreciate the invite!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Yes. The legal season for bobcat was underway, and the private land trapper is working with the family to thin them out due to their impact on the quail. He was aware that I was taking the cat and fine with it. He would've had to dispatch it himself if hadn't so, all he did was come back and reset it. Guess what? They caught another one in the same trap the very next AM!

    Cool. Like I said I didn't know. I was concerned you might get sideways.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Cool. Like I said I didn't know. I was concerned you might get sideways.
    The crazy thing is that there's *no limit* on bobcat in Georgia. Sweeter still, a non-resident military 3-day hunting license costs...

    ...$3.50
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    That is cool. I would say you got your 3.50 worth.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Looks like alot of fun and good food!
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    OK, here's who we are left to right!
    Luis...He drove about 12-13 hours one way to hunt with us! Has a standing invitation to come back next year!

    Joe...He is a very respected archaeologist for the state of Florida, fluently speaks the Seminole version of the Creek Indian tongue and is an honorary member of the Seminole Tribe in Florida. The Seminoles hold Joe in the highest regard. One of the most intelligent, level-headed people that I've ever known.

    Jamie...also an archaeologist, retired from the state of Florida. Directed the Florida Restoration and Preservation Laboratory for historic objects found in Florida. Cleaned, preserved and selected Florida's 25% of Mel Fisher's Atocha's treasures.

    Scott...Has his own machine shop business, and can make just about anything out of metal that you need. He made the caplock rifle he is holding. He is the most profound squirrel hunter I've ever known....kills more than any of us, and 99% are head shots!

    Billy, with the beard...Like me, he's a pedigreed North Georgia Mountain Country Boy from just 4-5 miles from my home! He made the rifles that Joe, he and I are holding! Give Billy a hand saw, hammer and square, and he can build a mansion! What he can build with hand tools is unbelievable!

    Me...wore out old forester who has enjoyed a great life!

    Josh...My 15 year old Grandson! He's holding my smoothbore with the 51 inch barrel! He's my pride and joy, and I'll leave him most of my possessions when I cross the bar and put to sea.

    We had a great time and killed a croaker sack full of grey squirrels! We hunt on a 1,500 acre old Anti-Belem Cotton Plantation where I've managed the timber and wildlife for many years.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    That is awesome guys.

    I have taken ONE shot at a bobcat. I would have hit him too, except the guy whose legs the cat ran through was jumping up and down hollerin and cussin. That was a distraction that cost me a cat, and the price of a tag.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Isn't Billy the one who shot the bear that needed to be finished off with a 1911? He looks different with face fur!
    Jerry
  • TurdusMerulaTurdusMerula Member Posts: 293 Member
    You eat squirrels?
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour
    -William Blake-
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    That looks like you guys had a great time! Thanks for sharing.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    You eat squirrels?
    Yep. They are delicious!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • TurdusMerulaTurdusMerula Member Posts: 293 Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Yep. They are delicious!

    Interesting. I have always been wondering why some people hunt them nowadays :) A couple of centuries ago they were used as a currency here and later they were hunted for their fur. But not to be eaten.
    We have a saying that squirrels are like rats, they only have better PR agents :)
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour
    -William Blake-
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    There are nicknamed "tree rats" here, but it does not make them any worse tasting. They taste just like rabbit but with less meat on them.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,864 Senior Member
    You eat squirrels?
    As you saw in some comments, some of us do; but, it does or may depend on which type of squirrel and their usual diet.

    I've eaten Greys, eastern and western fox, and some type of black squirrel and all were good.

    Growing up in Wisconsin I was told the red squirrel was not good to eat because it tasted like a pine tree
    I never ate a pine tree either
    but it may have been that those squirrels are small and not worth the trouble as long as you have something else to eat.

    I have, also, eaten flying squirrel when at a survival school at Eglin AFB, Fl. They're so small that they are not equal to the calories expended to catch them.

    I don't agree they taste like rabbit
    I'd say they taste like squirrel
    but, I never ate a squirrel from Michigan.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,864 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    There are nicknamed "tree rats" here, but it does not make them any worse tasting. They taste just like rabbit but with less meat on them.
    So is a rabbit a grass rat, then? :uhm:
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Six, we seem to be lacking a bullet damage analysis. Maybe you just forgot?

    You know, that's a good point. You wouldn't think much of what a tiny roundball will do, but at 10 paces, you would *think* that it would fully penetrate a bobcat. In reality, a pure lead ball apparently opens so violently that it won't exit on a broadside shot, even on a critter that small. it was tucked in on the offside hide. Meat damage was minimal with very little bloodshot meat, but the cat expired quickly.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,269 Senior Member
    Interesting. I have always been wondering why some people hunt them nowadays :) A couple of centuries ago they were used as a currency here and later they were hunted for their fur. But not to be eaten.
    We have a saying that squirrels are like rats, they only have better PR agents :)

    Human contact is the only 'dirty' thing about rats. If I were on a deserted island, I wouldn't be afraid to eat a rat. It's when they get in our sewers and trash that they spread disease.

    Squirrel is good eats. Best to brine them overnite, then pressure cook them for a few minutes to soften them up. Squirrel Pot Pie is my favorite..........
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Ned, I had forgotten about SERE :yikes:!

    Yes, Billy did use a 1911 that I had traded to him 13 days earlier to finish off a 230+- pound female black bear that attacked him after he had wounded it with his caplock muzzleloader. Said he knew better than to gamble on knocking the bear down with a .36cal, but took the shot anyhow! The wounded bear charged him, he jumped behind a large oak tree at the last second and emptied a 7 shot clip into the bear from about 15 feet to his feet killing it! Black bears WILL attack humans, and 95% of attacks end up in death! Billy was also with me when I shot the black bear up a tree with my .50cal Hershel House flintlock, breaking the flint when I fired wounding the bear with a head shot! That was an "interesting" time too! :tooth:
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,202 Senior Member
    You guys really, really, really suck. Sounds like you had a great time.

    As for squirrels for table fare, the small greys around here (Colorado) live primarily in pines and other coniferous trees. My son killed a couple years ago, and I tried to eat them. Like someone stated before, I'm not sure what pine trees taste like, but these definitely had a taste that resembled kerosene. I haven't had a desire to eat another one.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,383 Senior Member
    What a Fantastic time, Thanks for sharing the experience
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    This is one of the very best threads I've ever read on here. Also Turdus, I love squirrel. Young ones don't even require tenderizing measures. They have a flavor superior to rabbit, which is good also. Especially when they live around nut trees or acorns. I've eaten Gray or Cat Squirrels and Red Fox Squirrels and both were great, especially when served with Biscuits and/or Mashed potatos and a good squirrel gravy made with the water you boiled the potatoes in. I can make myself sick eating that.

    I've shot one Bobcat. With my .270 at about 65 yards. It ruined the pelt as there wasn't much left for awhile around the exit wound.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Congratulations Luis. That was a wonderful story complete with photos. Glad you got to blood that rifle, Tip does nice work. Keep yer powder dry..........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,166 Senior Member
    nice trip
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God 9 not by works, lest any man should boast.
    Ephesians 2:8-9
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,944 Senior Member
    Most excellent!

    Beautiful guns, by the way.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,365 Senior Member
    Sounds like a great time, Luis!

    Strange as it sounds, hunting squirrels with a .22 rimfire can still give me the shakes. Seriously. LOL.

    JerryBobCo... If you think squirrels out of pines are bad, you'll change your mind if you eat one that's been feeding in cypress in the late fall. Those=really nasty.

    I love squirrel, but I learned pretty quick not to shoot them when they were heavily into evergreens.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
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