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Author Topic: Ground Squirrels at a permission  (Read 557 times))

Offline ranchibi

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Ground Squirrels at a permission
« on: May 05, 2021, 04:49:50 PM »
My wife and I went to visit our friends, another couple for 3 days of card making for the wives and PCP fun for us boys. He got a permission to shoot GS’s & starlings on a private property at 4440 foot elevation about 1/2 an hour from his place. The first day Monday about 10 am, we got there and it was a bit breezy but when we pulled in to the long dirt driveway, about 20 GS’s ran across the path in front of us from a horse stable to a grassy knoll where we could see the burrows. We parked under a tree and met the folks, a wife and husband. They showed us where the GS’s and starlings hung out. The starlings usually were in a tree about 40yds from where we would set up but the GS’s where about 280 degrees around their property from 40-107yds and at 14-18 degree declines. Well, we set up a shooting table overlooking most of the front property in a shady area. We saw some starlings in the tree and we both timed our shots knowing they’d bolt once they heard us firing upon them. Friend has a FX Crown .22 with 500mm barrel shooting JSB 18gr @ 945fps and my RAW is tuned to shoot the same pellet @ 950 sea level but 958 there at 4440 elevation. He counted to three telling me what side of the tree he was shooting so I aimed at one on the other side and we both had our first blood of the day! Well, off they went so we looked for the GS’s which were sunning themselves by their burrows, anywhere from 1 to 6 at each entrance. Friend decided to use his shooting mat and I the table. From our vantage point with 15mph winds coming from the north. First shots at distances from 40-100yds were low but then compensated and the game was on and the first days tally was 25 starlings (most off hand because of the extreme inclines of the trees) and about 30 GS’s. We ended up coming back the second day and there was nary a breeze and the GS’s were out in abundance. When we first got there, I decided to leave the bipod on the table and took a stroll down the driveway and sat in the grass 42yds from a few burrows where I could see about 10. I rested the Rapid on my hand that was on my knee and got a pretty decent base and peered thru the Athlon Ares glass which is very clear and spotted the first customer. I put the crosshairs on his temple and released the trigger...thwack...fell str8 down tail stuck str8 up...glassed a couple feet right and there was a big one, and I placed the hairs on it’s forehead facing me and let one go...thwack...down in a heap no movement, I then proceeded to pick 8 more off within a 5yd radius. What surprised me was the reaction by most of the nearby squirrels which was usually to investigate their comrades body sometimes taking a bite, which was a fatal mistake. With hardly any breeze we picked off 83 squirrels in a couple of hours and between 20-30 starlings. The longest shot I recorded was a GS kill at 107yds with NSA 17.5gr. The difference in wind drift from day one to day two was immense. On the windy first day, my holdover was 10 MOA of elevation and 7-8 MOA of windage, on the second windless day the holdover I had @ 71yds was less than 1 MOA with 18gr JSB. The shot I remember the most was a large female at 71yds that I aimed for her heart (on the second day) and the owner was standing next me as I took the shot near an open mound, I know I hit her and she spun like what happened then laid in the same sunning position as before, we both looked at each other then back at the squirrel which at that moment expired and laid sideways...must have been a lung shot and she felt a pin ^#(*% but noting more! I did take some practice POI shots with NSA 17.5gr going 945fps before at my friends place from 52-135yds and @ 52 yds at 4440 foot elevation, the POI was 1/2 MOA under hitting 3/8” twigs and between 15-16 MOA @ 135yds with groups the size of a pear with really no discernible wind there. The second day was epic as there was no wind and we totaled around 82 ground squirrels and about 20 starlings easily picking them off. The owners were very very happy and want us back anytime we can! Here are a couple of photos I took, not many as I had to literally hike up and down some steep slopes to take these! Oh, we did meet the neighbors who asked if we could shoot the GS’s on their adjacent property with the wife asking us to shoot the ones in her horse corral that had a mound of large boulders...my friend said we’d shoot the ones in the dirt as there will be no ricochets and she said I don’t care if you break any windows or shoot anything because my horses get hurt from the holes the GS make and it’s cheaper to fix those than my horses! So we did take out as many as we could from her corral! And, they too welcomed us and want us back! It was an epic couple of days of pesting especially day 2! I didn’t take any property shots as it is private but it was beautiful!
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Offline mrbulk

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 07:14:41 PM »
Randall, I was waiting for this post! What an awesome way to spend time off, keep the wives occupied (;D) and meanwhile the guys get to go off and - what a haul with the hundreds of GS's and dozens of Starlings! It is truly great (and a bit sad) that I get to live vicariously through you and the other guys' pesting exploits...great storytelling and fabulous shootin'! 8)
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Offline dk1677

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2021, 09:21:44 PM »
Nice shooting Randall!
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 10:06:13 PM »
Randall, I was waiting for this post! What an awesome way to spend time off, keep the wives occupied (;D) and meanwhile the guys get to go off and - what a haul with the hundreds of GS's and dozens of Starlings! It is truly great (and a bit sad) that I get to live vicariously through you and the other guys' pesting exploits...great storytelling and fabulous shootin'! 8)

Charlie! Thank you so much kind sir! It was the best day of pesting I've ever had! That second day provided just perfect conditions....ANYONE with a PCP would have had the same results! I do hope you get a chance to have a crack at some GS's SOON! It was a long time waiting as I've had my RAW since October of last year if I remember correctly...then the pandemic....till now! My friend is interested in a FX WC Compact .22 for these outings just like yours! I told him to get the Sniper version with 700mm barrel so he then can get a shorter barrel but still have a larger reservoir and it's still compact, but still have the option of easy power with the 700.
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 10:07:56 PM »
Nice shooting Randall!

Dave! Thank you very much sir! I'll never catch up to your squirrel total but got to do what you do on a regular basis...was FUN!
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Offline mrbulk

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2021, 01:53:10 AM »
Randall I am just curious but what air set up did you guys have to keep the guns filled?

I spoke to JohnnyPDX once about pesting with him and he volunteered to bring along not only his Hill EC-3000 compressor to keep our PCP guns running, but a generator to keep the his Hill running so we could go anywhere! :D
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Offline crazyhorse1

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2021, 02:47:21 AM »
Welcome tp pesting GS'S  !! You guys had a blast.
I used to do it on horse ranches years ago and kept a written log...one female owner told me to kill everything except her dogs and horses...each day I left she hung a bag of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on a fence where I kept my spare rifles and ammo.
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Online Xraycer

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2021, 07:52:37 AM »
Holy smokes, Randall, what a fantastic opportunity!.......and, Man, did you guys ever delivered!

I know you must have been absolutely loving this, since you didn't have to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night and not having to take aim with groggy eyes and a full bladder.

I am truly envious!.......but happy for you as well   :D
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Offline Luis Leon

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2021, 08:21:23 AM »
Randall, great read. Am so happy you got to unleash the RAW. Sounds like you had a spectacular time and have acquired some great pesting permissions...
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Offline mrbulk

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2021, 05:13:34 PM »

...since you didn't have to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night and not having to take aim with groggy eyes and a full bladder.


 ;D ;D ;D
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Offline Blowpipe Sam

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 05:54:46 PM »
Great story!  But what about the ground squirrel?  I've seen ground beef, ground pork, ground lamb, and even ground turkey but never ground squirrel. ;D
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Offline PeterC

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 08:40:24 PM »
Blasting ground squirrels is good fun and you seem to have found some prime hunting areas.
Took the long drive up to N.E. California and shot GS last Tuesday at the Alturas Ranches. Once I figured out the wind, altitude and GS habits shot about 50 in two hours. If not for the 5.5 hour drive would go back again soon.
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2021, 09:02:19 PM »
Randall I am just curious but what air set up did you guys have to keep the guns filled?

I spoke to JohnnyPDX once about pesting with him and he volunteered to bring along not only his Hill EC-3000 compressor to keep our PCP guns running, but a generator to keep the his Hill running so we could go anywhere! :D

Charlie, we brought my 90cu/ft Great White tank. Friend has a 78cu/ft Tiger Shark but he brings it to me to fill at Joe B's and he has the same electric compressor as me.
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2021, 09:05:26 PM »
Welcome tp pesting GS'S  !! You guys had a blast.
I used to do it on horse ranches years ago and kept a written log...one female owner told me to kill everything except her dogs and horses...each day I left she hung a bag of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on a fence where I kept my spare rifles and ammo.

Rich, thank you kind sir! Yeah, it was special! And, like you, the folks of the permissions really appreciated our efforts but we also thanked them for letting us shoot there! You lucky dog...no cookies for us! LOL!
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2021, 09:08:34 PM »
Holy smokes, Randall, what a fantastic opportunity!.......and, Man, did you guys ever delivered!

I know you must have been absolutely loving this, since you didn't have to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night and not having to take aim with groggy eyes and a full bladder.

I am truly envious!.......but happy for you as well   :D

Dinh! Thank you so much!!! I was smiling the whole time! LOL! Yeah, much better than getting up at who knows what hour for one rat having to whiz! LOL! Oh..I am envious of your muskrat shooting too...big suckers!  :D
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2021, 09:09:27 PM »

...since you didn't have to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night and not having to take aim with groggy eyes and a full bladder.


 ;D ;D ;D

I know right Charlie!? LOL!
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2021, 09:11:07 PM »
Great story!  But what about the ground squirrel?  I've seen ground beef, ground pork, ground lamb, and even ground turkey but never ground squirrel. ;D

Carter! Thank you very much kind sir! LOL....was told to NEVER eat them....I think it might have been you! LOL!  ;D
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2021, 09:21:20 PM »
Blasting ground squirrels is good fun and you seem to have found some prime hunting areas.
Took the long drive up to N.E. California and shot GS last Tuesday at the Alturas Ranches. Once I figured out the wind, altitude and GS habits shot about 50 in two hours. If not for the 5.5 hour drive would go back again soon.

Peter! Thank you so much! I was up in Bear Valley! You did some major damage on them too, isn't it a blast, literally!?! Yeah....the wind wrecks havoc on pellets at distance even the 18gr but the slugs fair better in the wind. You can set your Impact up for .30...wind won't effect that cal very much especially with slugs! But you are right, once you figure the wind dope it gets a bit easier unless the wind is changing directions LOL! I don't usually shoot the 25gr .22 JSB which have a better BC than 18gr but they are too costly! More pricey than 17.5gr NSA, so I'd rather shoot those (which have a better BC anyway) and in fact just put an order in for more today! My drive was only 2.5 hours but we stayed there for 3 days. Hope you get out SOON! Safe passages!
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Offline ranchibi

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2021, 09:24:37 PM »
Randall, great read. Am so happy you got to unleash the RAW. Sounds like you had a spectacular time and have acquired some great pesting permissions...

Luis!!! Thank you so much kind sir! I felt just like you for once in my life..and it felt GOOD! LOL! Yes, the RAW was spot on just as advertised at longer ranges especially with the 17.5gr NSA and it was the first time shooting at distance with slugs, very fun. At 52yds at 4440 foot elevation shooting the slugs at about 945fps, I actually had to hold under 1/2 MOA!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 09:27:33 PM by ranchibi »
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Offline Bladebum

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Re: Ground Squirrels at a permission
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2021, 09:34:41 PM »
That sounds like a great time Randall! An airgun hunters paradise!!
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