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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Miracle Shot Squirrel Hunting

In my younger days we would keep our shooting skills sharp by squirrel hunting with a .22 caliber rifle. We also practiced on coke bottles laid on their side and shot through the lip of the bottle knocking the bottom out. All in all that kept your skills pretty sharp so you would generally hit what you aimed at.

When I was in the USAF we were sitting around talking about our exploits and the topic of squirrel hunting came up. One of the guys said he knew of a place to hunt and it was small game season why didn't we both go squirrel hunting. He would have his wife fix what ever we shot for dinner. I love squirrels even though they are considered a rodent. So we obtained our small game licences and headed out one day.

We were both sitting on a huge boulder looking down about 200 feet to the bottom and had a commanding view of the gorge we were hunting. He had a squirrel call and he used that a few times and a squirrel from the opposite side of the ravine answered. He had a 4X scope on his rifle and I simply had iron sights. He finally found the squirrel sitting on a limb and told me it was to far off for him to shoot and pointed it out to me. I sighted in and in order to even see the squirrel behind the bead of the sight, I had to move the front sight from side to side until I thought I had it somewhat centered. I told him I'd go ahead and shoot him and after I got the squirrel in what I thought was the approximate center of the bead I shot. I looked up just to see the squirrel topple off the limb and bounce all the way to the bottom in what appeared to be slow motion.

I left my rifle on the boulder and started to climb down. I figured if the chance shot didn't kill the squirrel the fall did. That was my dinner down there. It took a good hour to climb down and retrieve the dead squirrel. To get back up I had to toss the squirrel up to him and then swing my leg up and over the boulder. When I got upright and sitting again he said I don't see where you hit it. I told him I made a head shot (joking) and he said that is amazing you shot it through one ear and out the other. I told him that really wasn't such an amazing shot because I had aimed between its eyes and it must have turned its head just as I shot. Of course my intention was to just scare the squirrel which would have been an astounding shot in itself at that distance. To this day he thinks I aimed between its eyes. I couldn't even see the squirrel behind the bead of the sight so coming within a yard or two of it was a miracle. I don't think he missed telling anyone at the air base about that shot. I have always chuckled over that story. Maybe some day I will get to tell him the truth but then again even given the chance I think I'll just let it stand. I don't think he would believe the truth anyway.

Seeing an episode by Larry the Cable Guy on TV reminded me of that time and its a good story and one to be shared.


Pam and Bill said...

Hello There!
Linked over from motherearth news. Have been out your way a few times. Lived in Colorado Springs for 20 years and once took a trip to Lake Powell and took a shortcut from Redwing over La Veta pass to 160. Pretty country. Thanks for sharing.

Bruce said...

Thanks Pam and Bill for visiting. We do live in beautiful country and if you get this way again give us a holler.