The weather hasn't been conducive to chasing squirrels almost all week, but today was nice and I had something happen that hasn't happened in a while: I caught a squirrel chilling in one of my trees!
I was away all morning and returning after lunch in the afternoon, I get ready to check the feeders and patrol a little bit. Once outside, I opted for patrol first, then I'd get to the feeders
I step off the patio and survey the southwest corner. Seeing nothing, I turn up the path along the house to the north end of the yard. I approach carefully, keeping my eyes open for a chipmunk that might be out. I get to the corner and have full view of the north area and see nothing. Then I pause to scan the trees west and northwest of me.
That's when something catches my eye...directly west of me there is something that isn't normal on a branch about 20 yards away...Getting the binoculars on it, I see what turns out to be a young squirrel relaxing! Because of the way this branch is shaped and forked, I can only see his head, neck and left shoulder as he lays there. He sees me, of course, but he doesn't seem alarmed. Well, that's going to end badly for him...
I raise the BSA to the shooting stick, adjust for the range (something under 20 yards--18 was measured afterwards), check the view again. I shift to the left because of a twig I see downrange and hold over just a little more than the last squirrel I got, who happened to be sitting on this same branch but took the shot a smidge too low. I pull the trigger and he takes it with a smack and recoils backwards out of sight. I thought for a moment I had lost him, but then I hear him fall behind the tree and the thrashing begins. When shot through the neck they don't run for it, they just start jumping around frantically after recovering from any knock-out effect, but it is different than a head shot.
Anyway, he makes a mess while bleeding out and dies as shown in the first picture. The second shot is a view of the entry wound--just ahead of the left shoulder and exiting just under the right ear.
He's a little one at 8 ounces, but we'll take him. What is more interesting is that there is evidence that someone has been enjoying pine cones from the tree that is next to and above this tree. Maybe it was this guy, but maybe I'll have another visitor...