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English Squirrel Stalking

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MrTwelvette

32 Cal
Joined
Feb 14, 2024
Messages
13
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Location
Southampton uk
Inspired by Britsmoothy's smoothbore thread I decided to try squirrel stalking with my muzzle loading pedersoli 12 SxS near Newbury in Berkshire. I beat on the estate during the Pheasant season and the gamekeeper is very good to me and gives me as much squirrel shooting as I want. I poke the dreys Feb to late April, then stalk till late June at which point the Pheasants are put down in pens and my shooting stops till the following feb

3 drams henry krank medium, hard nitro card, 29g no.5 shot(American no.6 I believe) and a soggy fibre wad.

Started at 10am, ranges started close and stretched as time went on. I found myself able to spot the odd squirrel sitting in branches, particularly in conifers, but generally I still need them to move before I can see them. Had my last squirrel at about 1.30 pm

5 Recovered, two more knocked out of trees but not found ( Serves me right for not taking a dog) for 12 shots.

The squirrels in this particular wood see a lot of dog walkers, so weren't very wary at first, but ranges increased and by close of play I was struggling a bit and I don't think the patterns were quite good enough. Gun is choked cylinder and improved cylinder. I'll try a proper Skychief load next time and see how I get on.
20240609_153541.jpg
 
Some great eating there - how do you Brits prepare them?
I either fry them or make a stew.
We don't have the same history of eating squirrel that you do in the States. We tend to shoot them for pest control and forrestry management. There have been recent moves to try and popularise squirrel meet but it's still more of a recent 'trendy london restaurant' sort of thing.

I normally give them to a friend who feeds them to his ferrets. Those ones I've cut the tails off and given to someone for fly-tying.

When I'm minded I will slow cook squirrel in chicken stock and pick apart for sandwich meat.
 
Inspired by Britsmoothy's smoothbore thread I decided to try squirrel stalking with my muzzle loading pedersoli 12 SxS near Newbury in Berkshire. I beat on the estate during the Pheasant season and the gamekeeper is very good to me and gives me as much squirrel shooting as I want. I poke the dreys Feb to late April, then stalk till late June at which point the Pheasants are put down in pens and my shooting stops till the following feb

3 drams henry krank medium, hard nitro card, 29g no.5 shot(American no.6 I believe) and a soggy fibre wad.

Started at 10am, ranges started close and stretched as time went on. I found myself able to spot the odd squirrel sitting in branches, particularly in conifers, but generally I still need them to move before I can see them. Had my last squirrel at about 1.30 pm

5 Recovered, two more knocked out of trees but not found ( Serves me right for not taking a dog) for 12 shots.

The squirrels in this particular wood see a lot of dog walkers, so weren't very wary at first, but ranges increased and by close of play I was struggling a bit and I don't think the patterns were quite good enough. Gun is choked cylinder and improved cylinder. I'll try a proper Skychief load next time and see how I get on.View attachment 326252
Looks like you had a good time. I've never hunted squirrel with my double barrel. Im in the process of making a shotgun bag. Maybe by fall I'll have it done and a proper Britsmoothie hunting outfit and give it a go. Not taking a shot about that outfit either. Everybody here wears camo for every kind of hunting but I am impressed with how many of you guys in that part of the world dress for the hunt. Shows a lot of respect. Thanks for telling your story.
 
Nice job. Since old age is caught me I stopped hunting them with my 36 caliber rifle (Can't see the sights good) I switched to 12 ga. Doubles barrel. about 3 years ago. Can't wait till season comes in here in August. Now own 10 SxS two of them are 14 gauge originals one and English build and one a Belgium. Will be carrying a 14 this year. I use 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 oz lead # 5 in my 12's and squirrels are dead right there. Also used #5 lead and killed 3 spring turkeys here as well. I'll be shooting 1 1/8 of # 6 lead in the 14gauge this fall.
 
Went out again yesterday with 4 legged help this time. A borrowed black lab - jack russel cross.

Pitched up at 9 and got rained on till about 11:30. Then spent the rest of the day in full sun. Saw two squirrels but no shooting so changed woods at about 12:45.

Had my first squirrel on the ground at 14:00 with a 20 bore break open over and then switched to my pedersoli muzzleloader shooting 36 gram 5s over 80 grains henry krank medium in Skychief configuration.

Shot three squirrels between 14:30 and 15:30, then left at 16:00.

The skychief loads performed very well indeed. Took all my shots inside of 20 yards, and tbh if the squirrels had been hit any harder they'd have been inedible. None required follow up shots.

One thing i did notice, all the squirrels seem to be feeding on the ground having stayed in during the rainy morning, and all my shooting was either at squirrels on the ground, or squirrels that me and the dog had flushed into the trees from thick cover
 

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