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Another Short Hunt

Posted by on October 5, 2014

Was out squirrel hunting today with the Brocock Specialist, love this little gun but more about this later. So far this year has been great for squirrel hunting up here in my new home of Minnesota, as I mentioned in the last post I’ve found a lot of public land to hunt, bushytail populations are high, weather hasn’t gotten terrible yet, and I have a ton of cool guns and gear to get out in the field with. Besides the public land I’ve found, we live in a suburban area about 20 miles out of the city that has a lot of new housing developments going up in what until recently had been farmland. Lots of 5-20 acre woods that are being bulldozed (price of progress I suppose) that I’ve been going to early in the morning before construction work starts or late afternoon after it ends.

The leaves are coming off the trees, the squirrel populations are good, and I'm finding a lot of places to hunt. Of for a walk-about with my handy little Brocock Specialist over my shoulder!

The leaves are coming off the trees, the squirrel populations are good, and I’m finding a lot of places to hunt. Of for a walk-about with my handy little Brocock Specialist over my shoulder!

I reckon that most the trees and wildlife are going to be gone from these area soon, but I scout, get an idea of the squirrel populations, then give myself a limit. The one 10 acre stand of woods by my house has a lot of mast producing trees a few den trees, and I estimated probably 20 squirrels…. it’s pretty thick and probably more when counting both grays and fox squirrels, definitely more the former. Based on this I decided that I’d take eight, then shut it down …. I think I’m the only one hunting there. Well, I’ve shot seven over the last couple weeks so decided this afternoon would be my last hunting visit, though I will go back with my camera for photo work. I’ve shot these seven over 5 trips, the first was a scouting run and the next four I gave myself 2hours or 2 squirrels, which ever came first, Three times it was two squirrels, and once it was two hours that came first …… it’s a great way to hunt while conserving the limited resource on these small wooded areas.

Today was a bit colder and I was busy until late afternoon, so bundled in a jacked I rolled into the dark and overcast woods at about 4:00. Less than ten minutes in, I spotted two grays running around, coming in my direction. I slowly sank down to wait for them to move into shooting range…… and I sat………. and I sat….. but they had vanished into thin air. So I hoisted my messenger style pack and rifle and started back further into the woods. The area is a mix of mast producing trees; walnuts, hazelnuts, and acorns, with the whole north border up against cornfields. There is a fair mix of evergreens all of which covers some hills with a deep ravine running right through the middle of it.

The gun I choose today was the Brocock Specialist with a 6 shot rotary magazine. Mine is in .22 caliber and is generating about 21 fpe. This model is not shrouded and a bit on the loud side, though the muzzle is threaded and I do have accessories for it, though in this case I wasn’t worried about a little noise. The gun is accurate, and the cut-a-way stock with a well formed pistol grip comes very quickly to shoulder. I’ve found on previous hunts using this gun I shot well with it offhand, and as a matter of fact didn’t even bother with my usual (Primos Trigger) sticks. The rifles stock is black out of the box, though min is wrapped in a vinyl camo treatment. With the sling I’ve mounted, I throw the lightweight little compact over my shoulder and I am good to go. In this particular area I always have some climbing to do so really appreciate how compact the Specialist is.

P1010261 (800x600)

A while later I spotted three squirrels chasing each other around and started a slow stalk, but part was there I was busted and two of them took of like a flame had been lit under their tails. But the third one was no where to be seen, so I sat down to wait. But after 20 minutes I decided it was time to go, but first decided to sweep the are with my little compact binos …… and there in a big oak forty yards away and about 25 feet up sitting in a fork and hidden in shadows, was squirrel number three sitting on hi haunches, chewing a nut, and watching me! I leaned back against a small tree trunk, put my pack on my knee to get some elevation, and slowly squeezed the trigger. The bushy tail crumpled ……… but didn’t fall out of the tree! I spent the next half hour trying to throw a branch to knock him down, I tried shooting him down, all without success….. so I guess some owl will get dinner on me tonight. Anyways, that was how I closed out my experience at this location. With only a few self imposed rules it gave me several short hunts close to home, and at the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum, you can only do this with an airgun…… ya gotta love them!

Brocock Gun News

I’ve got some new guns coming in, and we’ll take a closer look at Brocock. Airguns of Arizona is the US importer and distributor of Brocock products and as you may have heard, Brocock was acquired by Diana (not the airgunning Diana) which is the parent company of Daystate. Brocock has new management, new production facilities, and of more importance to us ……. new products. I think Brocock is one of the underrated airgunning gems, and my hope is these changes will increase their visability and make more people aware of these hot little hunting rigs!

Extreme Benchrest!!

Looking forward to the EBR down in Tucson in November; this is one of my favorite events of the year. Great venue, great shooters, and a great chance to see lots of friends from the States and the UK. I’ve already made my flight reservtions, registered to shoot all three of the competitions (haven’t decided on guns yet), it’s a LOT of fun. Registrations to compete have just about reached capacity, but even if you’re not going to compete it is worth the trip …. hope to meet a lot of the blog readers there!

9 Responses to Another Short Hunt

  1. Lee Brown

    Jim, I’ve never seen you rave so much about a gun. I wish they were still making it I’d get one. I’ll be keeping an eye out for a used one. Love your blog.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Lee;
      Thanks, Yes I really do love this little gun. It is an honest 20 fpe, gets 18 usable shots, is dead accurate, and a pleasure to carry. I can’t wait to see what comes out of the newly acquired Brocock, it would seem to me mixing what Brocock is great at with what Daystate is great at should be very interesting!

    • Jim Chapman

      I’m working up the Contour next, which has many of the same attributes with some upgrades. Will get something posted on it soon.

  2. Mark Smith

    Love to read squirrel hunting stories. The lowly squirrel is the ghost of my past. A day in the woods with my PCP rifle is my break from reality & takes me back to my childhood. Thanks for the promoting Air Rifle Hunting. I have some in the pressure cooker now. PS Here is a little thingy I wrote a few days back, LOL.

    Ode to the Old Squirrel Hunter

    The sky is turning red, the Sun is coming up
    Got my finger on the trigger, anxious as a pup

    Been huntin em half a century, and still get the thrill
    Never seen a squirrel, I didn’t wanna kill

    When I was just a child, my daddy gave me a gun
    He said “ only kill for food, never kill for fun”

    I tried to do what my daddy said
    So I gave Squirrels to the neighbors, after we were fed

    When we were kids, hunting squirrels was a real big deal,
    Now kids use a computer to get their thrill.

    I can hear one barking , he is not far away
    I watch where I step as I make my play

    The cross hairs are resting on his little hairy head,
    If I don’t screw up in a second he will be dead.

    Anutter & anutter they fall from the tree
    Just imagine how many I could get , if only I could see.

    I never wasted my money on pills or dope
    Spent a grand on my PCP rifle & a 500 dollar scope

    Well it is 10 am and and have the limit in the bag
    Go into the house and hear my woman nag

    When I get home tomorrow, in the pressure cooker they will go,
    From there to the skillet, then fry em slow

    Never tire of huntin em, & guess I never will
    Gotta get up early in the morning , got another squirrel to kill

    • steve in KY.

      Mark Smith, That’s great reading, I to love setting under a tree with my pcp. I go every morning every evening. Last night # 43 hit the ground with my 25 .cal.for this season so far. To date # 175 and counting in three years of pcp hunting.

      • Jim Chapman

        Hello Steve, my buddy down in KY, Randy Mitchell out in Vine Grove, is the guy that got me hooked on squirrel hunting. Sounds like your having a great season so far!

    • Jim Chapman

      Thanks for sharing, a great ode to airgunning squirrels, and you know its something a guys passionate about when he gets all poetic 🙂 . Very good, enjoyed it!

  3. chris

    Hey Jim,

    Great to see another airgun Hunter here in the great north. I need to get out and ask around here,I would think the areas around nd would be great.

    Are there any hints or tips you could give about getting permission to hunt on land close to town areas.

    • Jim Chapman

      I just go and ask. I try not to interrupt farmers when they’re working (I mean nobody appreciates that, right), and make sure I’m specific about what I want to hunt, squirrel, pests, coyotes, are more likely to get your foot in the door. I have a prepared waiver I’ll give them assuming all liability, and once you’ve found a place, ask for a reference or if they know of anybody else that might let you shoot their property.

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