I took off last week on the next leg of my squirrel grand slam quest, to Southern Minnesota after grays squirrel and fox squirrel. A friend has a large tract of wooded land he uses for hunting, primarily deer and turkey. He hasn’t been out in a while, but has given me carte blanche access, and I decided to use it to go after squirrel, turkey, and coyote. There are also a couple of Wildlife Management Areas close by that I’ve been wanting to explore, so I decided to run and gun living out of my car. I didn’t want to waste time driving between the land and my house or hotels (both a couple hours away), and wanted mobility so didn’t want to set up a camp per se.
The Compatto was my gun of choice again, I have stacks of guns I need to test, but keep grabbing this one on my way out the door. I consider myself an average shot and a pretty good field shot, but this rifle takes me to a new level when I’m on the hunt. I was hammering squirrels out to 60 yards and 60 feet up, and had confidence every time I pulled the trigger a squirrel would be coming down.
I took a lot of shots sitting with my forearm rested on my knee, quite a few standing while leaning against a tree truck for added support, and a few kneeling. I’ve set he trigger up to break at 18 oz after a moderate take-up, and it breaks like a glass rod. Many of you know that I’ve said a sidelver is my preferred action in PCP rifles, but the bolt on the Compatto has such a good tactile response and is so smooth that I am completely happy with it.
I shot a lot of squirrels; 10 in two days with 5 grays and 5 fox squirrels. I could have shot that number in one day, the legal limit is 10 per day and I had the opportunity but I want a healthy population to hunt all season. The squirrels were big and healthy, and also pretty spooky which makes them that more challenging and fun to hunt. I noticed that the grays were more active in the morning and late afternoon, and the fox squirrels were out a lot more throughout the day.
I’ve got several big game hunts scheduled throughout this year; deer, hogs, turkey, javalina, and exotics ….. and plenty of predator hunting as well. But I can honestly say that squirrel season is one of the highlights of my hunting year! If you haven’t gone out this year, grab your rifle and get yourself chasing bushytails! No matter where you live, odds are high there will be huntable populations in the vicinity.
Any gun putting out 12-25 fpe in .177-.25range can make a fine squirrel gun. The distance at which you can keep your groups inside of a quarter should set a maximum range for you. But here’s a hint, know what your gun is doing at close range as well. I’d say the majority of my misses have occurred at close range when I haven’t noted the 5 and 10-yard POI, so this is a basic part of my rifle preparation these days.
Here’s a link to the Video
In other News
I just wanted to give a shout out to the guys at AOA for another great job with this year’s Extreme Bench Rest. It was well attended, well organized, with some great guns and shooters. If you haven’t made it to one so far, you need to start planning for next year!
I have some cool hunts coming up; Deer and bear in Virginia, deer in Alabama, oryx in Texas, turkey in California, hogs in Texas and Florida, predators in Texas, Indiana, South Dakota, and Arizona and small game and randon coyote hunts all over the place. And I just got registered for SHOT Show, so there’s a lot happening!