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In the woods where I  try to control the squirrels , I have two bird tables , 4 fat ball tubes , and on trees within ten yards of the tables , there are 3 bird feeders. The bird life and numbers are terrific, with many different species feeding off the tables , and  also using the nesting boxes . 

The squirrels , were at one time constantly visiting the tables and feeders allowing me to control their numbers relatively easily. But, recently the numbers  have decreased significantly , and when they do visit , they leave the available food, and avoid the tables and feeders. Mainly going for rotting acorns .

The trail cam has them around the feeders , but not on them . 

Have they learned ?

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Doubt it.  I am finding that they are still foraging and only on one of my 6 flip tops I can get to at the moment are they actually using the flip top.  They are coming around the area foraging and occasionally stopping below the flip top and the odd pheasant feeder still with food in it, but mostly grubbing around in the leaf mould.  Anyway, how can they learn?  They die before getting the chance.   There are still a lot of acorns on the deck in my woods.

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20 hours ago, Longbower said:

The trail cam has them around the feeders , but not on them . 

Have they learned ?

I think they are just happy eating what's on the floor still, I watched one go straight past a feeder today,  didn't even glance at it.

But another area and they were queuing up to get on it.

Another cold week this week, so that might make them want the easy food. 

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On 08/02/2021 at 01:22, Longbower said:

 

The trail cam has them around the feeders , but not on them . 

Have they learned ?

 None learn  from me but I have learned that for the most part wild things do their own thing?

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I had another pleasant morning out last Friday. Met my pal and his whippets at 8am at the Country House, which is closed to the public during lockdown.

Conditions for the thermal were good, however the trees were the same temperature as air temperature, so whilst greys were easily spotted 70yds away, we were not certain for definite which tree there were in and how far away.

By the time we walked closer, the squirrel would have disappeared  and we did spend a lot of time searching for the right tree and squirrel. thankfully the dogs did help identify the correct tree when they could.

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After 4 & a half hours, we had seven greys, all plump and mostly pairs.

The wood on the lake shore was pretty cold and we saw nothing. We got most of the greys out of a warmer wood with mature oaks. They were very nervous. The whippets are now out shooting greys twice a week and the youngster is coming on nicely although she did blot her copy book by digging up a grey we had shot and buried in a badger sett an hour  earlier!

 

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Well I had a busy morning,  I was out and set up later than planned,  it was already light as i headed for my pallets,  what a difference sitting a little higher makes. 

Umbrella and camo net set up, a handful of nuts on the ledge and I was ready at 8:01, at 8:06 the first squirrel was down, he just wandered in and sat up with a nut from the floor that the birds had spilled,  JSB heavy side on and he rolled over right under the feeder.

8:20 and another is cautiously making it's way in, not happy about the dead squirrel on the floor, I know the time because I was looking at the dead squirrel with the thermal. 

This one went up to the feeder then a little higher with plenty of tail flicking, he seemed to be looking straight at me,  but settled,  Pfft whack 2nd on the floor, which lead to all hell breaking loose,  I think there were two squirrels barking,  I couldn't make out either, so I just waited. 

8:31 and down he comes from the right, very not happy yet on he comes, twitching,  barking, up and down. He was half hiding, calling then just stopped and moved forward a touch pffft whack number three is down, I reckon 25 minutes and three males down, they were all a good size but the bottom one in the picture was a beast.

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As they fell.

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There wasn't much seed left in the feeder but they came in, only one got near a nut, but he didn't finish it.

I checked the other feeders, I saw two but they saw me, so they get a pass today.

21 minutes ago, Sciurus said:

The wood on the lake shore was pretty cold and we saw nothing. We got most of the greys out of a warmer wood with mature oaks. They were very nervous. The whippets are now out shooting greys twice a week and the youngster is coming on nicely although she did blot her copy book by digging up a grey we had shot and buried in a badger sett an hour  earlier

Nice work mate, I've found another spot which is definitely warmer at BIG wood, its just further to walk, but hey ho.

And I say good dog 😂😂

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So number 26 out of 26 shots fell to the S510 today but come number 27 and disaster struck - disaster being the only thing that did strike.The "Exact" resting place of the jsb is still unknown but it was not in Nutty's head where it should have been. A long discussion with the gun ensued where threats of joining the tools in the garden shed (along with the other hoes) or stippling the laminate stock with a rusty nail were bandied about but she retaliated by dropping 28 cleanly then 29 she really redeemed herself with the shot of the season. Hour and a half, 5 dead and snowing, not a bad afternoon. 

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OK only a couple of instances but I have found that these tree rats appear to come out for food about two hours before dusk.  Had as single today at 3pm and had four just a couple of days ago at about 3.15pm just like someone had thrown a light switch.  I am going to spend more time out at that time as I do first crack of dawn.   I think this may be a winter thing as I know they appear almost at first light in the summer.

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2 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Hour and a half, 5 dead and snowing, not a bad afternoon

Very nice, while you were threatening the poor gun ( I'm not sniggering 🤭) was it not saying it's the pellet, the pellet 😅😅

1 hour ago, Walker570 said:

I am going to spend more time out at that time as I do first crack of dawn.   I think this may be a winter thing as I know they appear almost at first light in the summer.

Don't forget to factor in the temperature and the wind direction,   I really do think they sometimes stay in bed when it's cold, especially if there is a cold east wind.

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35 minutes ago, Morkin said:

Just watched the year in lake District and around Windermere is this any of you boys hunting ground ?.as they just filmed the reds not a grey in sight

That's @Sciurus patch, what channel was it on?

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15 hours ago, Mice! said:

Very nice, while you were threatening the poor gun ( I'm not sniggering 🤭) was it not saying it's the pellet, the pellet 😅😅

Don't forget to factor in the temperature and the wind direction,   I really do think they sometimes stay in bed when it's cold, especially if there is a cold east wind.

I found that quite often in the past but never found any sort of pattern to feeding.

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Morning ,I think the lake District was on channel 9 you are very lucky to have some fantastic scenery up that way compared to our flat but you have to have 1 leg longer than other to walk those hills keep up the good work tagether and take care of yourselves.

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Just a quicky, another two this morning,  both females from the other feeders where they shot off yesterday. 

20210210_095845.jpg.f78dc11b39c4f02cbdbc379a67357c2e.jpg

There pass ran out.

50 minutes ago, old man said:

I found that quite often in the past but never found any sort of pattern to feeding.

I found at one point I was looking at the wind direction as much as the rain when checking the weather, obviously depends on where you're shooting. 

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5 hours ago, Mice! said:

Just a quicky, another two this morning,  both females from the other feeders where they shot off yesterday. 

20210210_095845.jpg.f78dc11b39c4f02cbdbc379a67357c2e.jpg

There pass ran out.

I found at one point I was looking at the wind direction as much as the rain when checking the weather, obviously depends on where you're shooting. 

You’re on a roll this week. Well done!

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Well, total fail all around. Failed to get out this morning because I had chores to do here at home, then the tractor battery was flat so that upset all of those plans, so decided to test my belief that tree rats come out to play at 3pm onwards to stock up for the night.  Sat from 1pm to 3.330pm over a fliptop and a bucket of maize/peanuts etc., on the floor and not one single tree rat showed itself.   Mind I have shot 184 off that farm in the last two years.

Being a stupid stubborn old ##### rear orifice, I intend to test the theory again tomorrow afternoon. I have to collect 15 oven ready prepacks of pheasants at 9.30am for my freezer so the morning outing will have to wait.

4 pheasant crowns for £3 and lay abouts say they can't afford to eat.

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8 hours ago, Mice! said:

Just a quicky, another two this morning,  both females from the other feeders where they shot off yesterday. 

20210210_095845.jpg.f78dc11b39c4f02cbdbc379a67357c2e.jpg

There pass ran out.

I found at one point I was looking at the wind direction as much as the rain when checking the weather, obviously depends on where you're shooting. 

You know where I was bud, reasonably sheltered? Funnily enough wind, rain, sun, I could never make a pattern from it.

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2 hours ago, Fisheruk said:

You’re on a roll this week. Well done!

I was actually surprised there weren't more today, I'm a good distance from where I shot the three yesterday with a good chunk of wood across the road which I haven't got access to yet.

I've put these feeders here to draw them in, but I've only had 4 from here now I think, but there haven't been any squirrels running around,  I can fill them easily as well in the dark before shooting them.

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I changed the feeders slightly, the squirrels were dumping the feed out and eating the good bits, I put the DCM across the top to stop the pigeons helping themselves and keep it dry.

The funny thing is the blackbirds and Robin's just sit there looking at the food, but the Nuthatch's and tits squeeze under and in to come out with a nut, it's quite comical,  also got a couple of Chaffinches at the feeders as well, haven't seen any in a long while.

The first squirrel was sneaky,  she came in grabbed a nut then retreated to eat it? This happened twice but on the third trip she stopped to look around,  Pfft whack.

The second came in like she owned it, sat facing the wrong way before turning around and seemingly looking towards me. That was a mistake she won't repeat. 

Just the two with nothing else showing,  and as I couldn't feel my toes it was time to go.

 

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This was about the the angle the shot was taken at, no exit wound but massive trauma with the eye bulging, she dropped like a brick, JSB heavy to the head.

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One observation chaps, If you are sitting on a feeder that is not intended for squirrels but shooting the squirrels that visit it then you can't control the feed but if you are baiting squirrels to shoot them then going on the size of the squirrels in the photos you are wasting your money, the squirrels are as fat as a house-bound pugs!

If you can get a redundant warfarin dispenser they can be used as a squirrel feeder, they limit the feed as the squirrel needs to work for the grub and other animals and birds find it difficult to raid them.IMG_2262.jpeg.03db319c23198ba30f18608036a32128.jpeg

If you don't have access to a dispenser you can cable-tie a jar of peanut butter upside down to a tree with the lid off. The contents won't drop out until the weather warms and makes it less vulnerable to birds and mice.

I take between 160 to 200 greys a month and to be honest most are trapped, however shooting works really well when they are hungry and on the move or bark stripping, the key is to make them work for it and save your pennies.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Goldfish said:

One observation chaps, If you are sitting on a feeder that is not intended for squirrels but shooting the squirrels that visit it then you can't control the feed but if you are baiting squirrels to shoot them then going on the size of the squirrels in the photos you are wasting your money, the squirrels are as fat as a house-bound pugs!

If you can get a redundant warfarin dispenser they can be used as a squirrel feeder, they limit the feed as the squirrel needs to work for the grub and other animals and birds find it difficult to raid them.IMG_2262.jpeg.03db319c23198ba30f18608036a32128.jpeg

If you don't have access to a dispenser you can cable-tie a jar of peanut butter upside down to a tree with the lid off. The contents won't drop out until the weather warms and makes it less vulnerable to birds and mice.

I take between 160 to 200 greys a month and to be honest most are trapped, however shooting works really well when they are hungry and on the move or bark stripping, the key is to make them work for it and save your pennies.

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent! I have a passion for Skippy peanut butter and I find the large plastic jars are especially useful as @Goldfish suggests. Not affected by rain and keeps them interested. I use stainless steel cable ties to strap them to the trees, after piercing the jar on both sides to thread the tie through. I found the squirrels chewed through the plastic ties.

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Not my pennies, Goldfish, a nice charitable trust pays for the feed. Our owners do indeed use ex poison feeders but with a metal backstop welded around to prevent ricochets. The Squirrels pull out loads of feed before eating it but plenty falls on the floor, wonderful watching Nuthatches and the like mopping it up. Spoke to our estate manager re the new CO2 powered traps yesterday, the one set at the first feeder just over a week ago has been triggered once - I shot 4 there in  around an hour.

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3 minutes ago, Fisheruk said:

Excellent! I have a passion for Skippy peanut butter and I find the large plastic jars are especially useful as @Goldfish suggests. Not affected by rain and keeps them interested. I use stainless steel cable ties to strap them to the trees, after piercing the jar on both sides to thread the tie through. I found the squirrels chewed through the plastic ties.

80p a jar makes a great simple bait to try in an area before you devote more time to it, glad its working for you too 👍

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41 minutes ago, old man said:

You know where I was bud, reasonably sheltered? Funnily enough wind, rain, sun, I could never make a pattern from it.

There never is a pattern that makes sense, not to us anyway. 

8 minutes ago, Goldfish said:

One observation chaps, If you are sitting on a feeder that is not intended for squirrels but shooting the squirrels that visit it then you can't control the feed but if you are baiting squirrels to shoot them then going on the size of the squirrels in the photos you are wasting your money, the squirrels are as fat as a house-bound pugs!

I'm certainly getting some big squirrels that's for sure, I think it's a combination of acorns and my feed, but at a fiver for 12.5kg I'm not worried about that,  the nuts this week have been a treat here why it's cold, I'm putting out just enough to hopefully get the squirrels on the feeders early. 

13 minutes ago, Goldfish said:

take between 160 to 200 greys a month and to be honest most are trapped

That's some big numbers of squirrels,  are you trapping full time then?

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