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Hot morning squirrel

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Jun 11, 2009
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Fair Grove, MO

I got a late start yesterday morning doing a little walk about around the house. The heat kept squirrel activity to a minimum and, after an hour or so, I decided to call it done and go home emptyhanded. I had just stepped on the porch and was about to dump the powder out of my pan when this one started barking right next to the house. Fatal mistake. She had enough fat on her for me to make a pan of biscuits!

Show a full side view of your cool flinter!


This is the first turkey I killed with Ole Betsy and a pretty good story. Since she has a cylinder bore barrel, I really had to work to get a 25-yard pattern I was satisfied with for turkeys. I shot a boxcar load of shot and powder trying to get things tightened up and I finally settled on using homemade paper shot cups to give me a killing pattern.

I worked this tom and his buddy for about an hour in the woods on my farm. We had a really cold spring that year and there was no cover. I could see them both strutting from a 100 yards away while the hen they were trying to impress scratched in the leaves, paying them no mind. I was humped up in an old cull log pile, lying on my belly to lower my profile. I'd call, they'd gobble, but there was no way they were going to leave that hen.

She finally started feeding my way with them in tow. As they got closer, I realized that unless they came straight towards me, there was no way I could swing my gun to shoot because they would see me move. My prone position was now a liability and, to make matters worse, I am left handed and they were angling towards my left side. When they got to less than 20 yards from me, I decided that all I could do was let them walk past me, reposition, and then try to call them back.

When they were about 20 yards past me, I quietly shifted to a sitting position and propped my gun barrel up on a log. There was enough cover on my left side that they couldn't see me. It still was not an ideal setup but it was the best I could do given the circumstances. I softly putted and purred a couple of times and those toms immediately locked on. They turned around and started coming back, looking for a new girlfriend. However, they were so close this time that I didn't dare move a muscle. All I could do was hope that one of them would walk in front of Ole Betsy's barrel. When the second bird did, I pulled the trigger.

The big smoke cloud always makes things interesting because you can't see what has taken place. I heard and saw some birds run off, but I did not hear or see the flopping I thought I would. I immediately started mentally kicking myself for missing such an easy shot and wondering how I could have done that. Then I saw a small feather floating in the air. I leaned up a bit and saw a stone-dead gobbler lying there on the ground a mere five yards away. All that time and effort spent on maximizing my range with Ole Betsy and her first bird killed was at the distance of a free throw! Oh well, a dead bird is a dead bird.


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