Thoughts on traditional squirrel hunting

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okawbow

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My archery friends group had a squirrel hunt this weekend. It was warm, and I decided to take my .40 flintlock instead of my longbow.

I walked to the woods and loaded my rifle. Having just read the John James Audubon description of squirrel hunting with Daniel Boone; I put a ball in the palm of my hand, and poured just enough powder to cover the ball. I managed to get most of the powder down the bore. ( later measured to about 20 grains.)

I used deer tallow and olive oil on the patch and rammed it home.

I soon saw a couple of gray squirrels in the tops of tall hickory trees. I eased up and waited. Soon, one of the squirrels came out on a limb and offered a shot at the head. Crack!, down came a nice young gray shot through the head.

I reloaded,and waited a while and saw another squirrel at the very top of the tree. I though I was looking at the head, but hit him through the ribs. Down he came, also and remarkably, had little damage except for a .4o cal. hole through the chest. I was disgusted about not making a head shot, so didn't take a picture.

It seems that the .40 cal is a great squirrel rifle when loaded light. I enjoyed the hunt more by recreating the old event.

Untitled by okawbow, on Flickr
 

robinsroost

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Congratulations okabow, nicely done. My oldest son, (2 dogs), stuck a fox squirrel about 30' up an oak tree with a broadhead. That was two years ago and the arrow and squirrel skeleton are still there, so it was a wise choice to take the .40 instead of the bow, LOL. Keep yer powder dry......robin :bow:
 
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Silky921

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Good hunt and good story. I've fallen in love with chasing squirrels with a flinter too.

Something very special about it.
 

smo

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Great Hunt & Great Story. :hatsoff:

Tell us a little bit about your gun. :thumbsup:
 

okawbow

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smo said:
Great Hunt & Great Story. :hatsoff:

Tell us a little bit about your gun. :thumbsup:
I finished building the .40 cal about 2 months ago. I had bought an original Tennessee rifle barrel with lollipop tang and the old low sights. It was about .38 cal. and the bore was worn out. I sent the barrel to Bobby Hoyt, and he bored it out to .40 cal. And rifled it 1/48". It's a great shooting barrel.

I made the triggers and trigger guard, and made the stock from a cut off from of a large walnut plank. The wood had several flaws that all worked out by the time the stock was worked down to finished size. The lock is from the Hawken shop, and works very well.

I made the gun to use on my place near Paris, TN., where a .40 cal. Is legal for deer.

Chuck
 

Flintlock

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Seems around here, no matter how far you get back on public land, there is a home or cabin somewhere in the distance. I've gotten in the habit of only taking shots at tree'd game where my ball will strike the tree or a good size one behind it. Safety first and you really have to be patient. Congrats on the hunt.
 

okawbow

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Muzzleloader balls, especially smaller calibers, fly more like buckshot, than rifle bullets. A ball fired at a 45 degree angle will will not go nearly as far as a 22 rifle bullet. They are much safer to use on squirrels than a modern bullet.
 

coloradoclyde

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I'd rather hunt squirrels with a muzzleloader than anything else....Nothing else quite makes me feel like I'm in the 18th or 19th century...
 

azmntman

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colorado clyde said:
I'd rather hunt squirrels with a muzzleloader than anything else....Nothing else quite makes me feel like I'm in the 18th or 19th century...

:metoo: :thumbsup: Nothing like it! (cept maybe turkey season when I am known locally as "Miles Standish") actually stuck with that name from the "boys" cuz I dated a pilgrim in HS : :) idunno:
 

Spikebuck

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Great story and hunt! Very nice picture. Squirrel hunting with a flinter is as good as it gets. :thumbsup:

I have Roundball's beautiful .40 caliber Lancaster I bought from him a couple of years ago when he was thinning his herd prior to retirement. It's a deadly accurate shooter and I keep threatening to take it out squirrel hunting some day, but always seem to grab my .62 Virginia smooth rifle and the shot bag....
 

smo

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okawbow said:
smo said:
Great Hunt & Great Story. :hatsoff:

Tell us a little bit about your gun. :thumbsup:
I finished building the .40 cal about 2 months ago. I had bought an original Tennessee rifle barrel with lollipop tang and the old low sights. It was about .38 cal. and the bore was worn out. I sent the barrel to Bobby Hoyt, and he bored it out to .40 cal. And rifled it 1/48". It's a great shooting barrel.

I made the triggers and trigger guard, and made the stock from a cut off from of a large walnut plank. The wood had several flaws that all worked out by the time the stock was worked down to finished size. The lock is from the Hawken shop, and works very well.

I made the gun to use on my place near Paris, TN., where a .40 cal. Is legal for deer.

Chuck



Thanks Chuck

You done good! Nice looking rifle :thumbsup:

I live just upstream of Paris.
 

Boomerang

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azmntman said:
colorado clyde said:
I'd rather hunt squirrels with a muzzleloader than anything else....Nothing else quite makes me feel like I'm in the 18th or 19th century...

:metoo: :thumbsup: Nothing like it! (cept maybe turkey season when I am known locally as "Miles Standish") actually stuck with that name from the "boys" cuz I dated a pilgrim in HS : :) idunno:
That's funny because my wife is actually related to Miles Standish.
 

rushlake1

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Great hunt and story..

Found the 40 cal. better(less table fair)damage loaded down for squirrels..

Kept stepping down stopped at 32 cal. for less ball weight at angles.

Try to keep wood behind target(squirrel) also.

Good shooting!
 

tenngun

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I had a .36 that I used to hunt with. I gave it to a friends son years ago and now hunt tree rats with my smoothie.
I did make one kill with that .36 rifle however. Not a ball shot from it but from the gun it self. Took a shot at a branch bunny that was behind me on my fight side as I was sitting at the base of a good sized oak. Bad shot bad position needless to say I missed.
The little fuzzy jumped around the back of its tree. I started to reload. There was a hickory on my left and that tree rat thought that was a better tree to hide in then the one he was on. Down he came and ran for that tree. So close to where I was sitting I could swing my half loaded rifle at branch bunnies head, he was good over mashed taters
 

hanshi

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I've always loved my .36 SMR and shoot it well. It's my 1st pick for small game. Losing my interest in the .32 as it is getting more and more difficult to handle that small of a ball. Don't even know if I'll end up hunting with my .32 as I always grab my .36.
 

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