Total Pageviews

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Miracle Shot

Over 50 years ago when I had been reassigned to Offut AFB I was in the break room with some of other men from my flight and we were getting to know each other when one of the guys asked me if I liked to hunt. He said he had permission to hunt squirrels on some private property owned by a local banker. I told him I had hunted squirrels with my grandpa years ago and that led to an invite to go squirrel hunting with him. This banker who lived outside Omaha on several acres was having problems with squirrels chewing on his house and let this guy hunt them.

A date was set and since I lived in the barracks and he was married and lived off base he picked me up and we went squirrel hunting. As it turned out this banker had a beautiful home on quite a few acres. We parked his car and walked out into the woods and were sitting on a rock that was about the size of a large truck overlooking a gulch. It was about 100 yards across the top and about that deep.

He was obviously an experienced squirrel hunter as he had a squirrel caller plus a lever action .22 caliber rifle with a scope. I had an old .22 caliber iron sight bolt action Springfield. The clip didn't work so I shot it single action.  After we had sat on that rock with him calling squirrels we finally saw a squirrel across the gulch on the other side sitting on a limb. He tried to sight it in through his scope and confessed it was just to far away for a shot even with a scope. I tried to sight down the iron sights and the squirrel was totally obscured by the bead on the sight. I moved the sight back and forth until I had the squirrel where I thought  it was centered and then did the same going up and down. When I thought I had the squirrel behind the bead I squeezed off a round. I looked up and the squirrel just fell off the limb dead and bounced all the way to the bottom.

He was amazed that I hit it at that distance and was babbling what a great shot it was and to stay where I was and he would go to the bottom of the gully and fetch the squirrel . A few minutes later he was back up where I was holding  the squirrel huffing and puffing from the climb. He finally said I don't see where you hit it. I told him to check the head as he looked over the squirrel he stated WOW you shot it right through the ears. He said he had never seen a shot like that and with my wit I told him it really wasn't that much of a shot. I didn't expect to even come close to the squirrel.

He kept saying it was the most magnificent shot he had ever seen. At that incredible distance and I hit it in the head. I told him it was just an ordinary shot but would have been a good shot if it hadn't moved its head at the last minute because I was aiming between its eyes. He was astounded even though I was kidding him and had only hoped to come close enough to make the squirrel run away or move. Of course that story was soon all over the Air Base and people were asking me if I was the new guy that shot a squirrel at long distance with iron sights in the head through the ears all while aiming between its eyes.

I let the story have a life of its own and never did correct the story as it seemed the thing to do besides I was having fun with the story. "How did you learn to shoot that well?" was generally asked. I would tell them we would lay coke bottles on their side at that distance and try to shoot through the opening and knock the bottom out without hitting the lip of the bottle. Shooting that way was true (unlike the story) but not anywhere near that distance. At most a long shot would be half that distance. That story was pretty widespread at the time and it was right after that when I was sent up to do duty at the SAC Elite guard. I was then separated from the break room guys so did not see most of them again. I know that the story didn't have anything to do with the assignment but while it lasted it was a good story and I had a lot of fun with it.

No comments: