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So I haven't shot the golf course since it opened,  that's been kind of deliberate.  I knew it would be mad busy for a few weeks as people got back out and who could blame them.
 
When I checked the feeder last week it was completely empty and the floor was clean, I topped up and looked along the edge of the course looking for other areas to shoot.
 
Quick msg last night asking if I can shoot for an hour and got the green light, this is the first time I've been allowed on when the golfer's are out so that's a big step as far as I'm concerned. 
 
I was in and set up by 640, feed was down, and on the ground so I've had visitors,  settled in to wait and listen to the birds, I could hear an owl call,  and I think it was calling to young in the trees behind me, whilst looking up hoping to spot them a squirrel went through the trees over the top of me!! The Jay's were screeching at the owls, songbirds all over the feeder when up pops a squirrel on the feeder, took a nut of the ledge and sat back on the flip top lid, full feeder behind it as the backstop,  Pfft whack flop. 
 
Today was the first time I've had a Jay in the cross hairs, they normally flash in and out, but there were at least four about, one landed just behind the feeder,  sat there looking around,  probably only a few seconds but it seemed like longer before it flew off into the trees.
 
Probably only 5 maybe ten minutes later I see another bounding along on the floor, straight up onto the feeder,  paused looking down at the dead one, then sat back with another nut, same spot only side on, Pfft WHACK CRACK flop, it sounded so very loud in the still morning air, really did sound like someone Teeing of, I'm wondering can we get pellets that make less noise on impact ?
 
With that I thought right, don't push your luck, tidy up and vanish,  typically as I'm getting sorted another squirrel comes in, it stopped short then went up into the trees, a few weeks ago it would have been shot, but the backstop wasn't 100% so I let it go.
 
So a Male and female in less than an hour then I slunk away leaving only foot prints 😉
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3 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

Tidy .I had an introduction to a golf course a few weeks ago but it came to nothing. I think someone of the committeee where fluffy lovers.

It's a delicate one, everyone is on board,  but they naturally don't want any grief, and I can understand golfer's not wanting some stranger wandering around with a gun, hopefully I'll be able to just keep popping in shooting the feeder for an hour and keep on top of the squirrels. 

The fluffy brigade still don't want rabbits on the course though normally?

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2 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Tidy .I had an introduction to a golf course a few weeks ago but it came to nothing. I think someone of the committeee where fluffy lovers.

Three places I used to shoot are now golf courses. The golfers have done more damage to the countryside than the squirrels.

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I have had a poor few weeks, it was either too cold or too sunny for the thermal.. Either way, the greys were keeping a low profile, but the wheat was growing nicely in one of my feeders! 

Last week, I must have received a report each day of greys getting run over so they must be on the move but they are not yet going into gardens. Unfortunately we also had a report of a red being run over in Hawkshead.

This morning was a lovely day and I made an early start at a local Stately Home before the visitors arrived. The first wood was empty but as I walked along the road there was a grey trotting down the road 50 yds in front of me, which then ran up a tall stump and glared up at me. I cycled a cartridge into the mossy .410, aimed and pulled the trigger- nothing! Thinking The safety was still on I checked but it was definitely off. Somehow the gun hadn’t cocked. I cycled another cartridge but too late, the grey was already off, never to be seen again. Grrrr

Further on There is a small chapel on the Estate, surrounded by tall beeches and yews, which I rarely visit, but I decided to look at. Sure enough I got a signal in the fork of a Beech and my companion dropped a large male threading the shot through the branches.

Moving on to the next wood, we had to avoid two walkers, who arrived early and looked totally lost 50 yards out of the car park! When they finally moved off, we followed the track through the wood to the spot where we normally see greys but nothing, however 100 yds ahead there was another grey trotting down the track which then scurried about in the fallen oak leaves. A quick stalk but it had disappeared and the thermals had redded  out. Another 100 yds further on, there was another grey trotting down the path and into a large damaged oak. We circled the tree, it was riddled with holes and cracks and we thought we had lost it, but sure enough it couldn’t resist lifting its head to look at me and this time my gun was cocked and down came a young male. The first youngster I had seen this year.

Although we only shot two, it was such a grand day to be out and perhaps we were not concentrating as much as we should  as there was Plenty of birds and roe deer to distract us   and like mice has just posted we also saw 3 jays together.

We will have to return soon before the leaves are out.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mice! said:

It's a delicate one, everyone is on board,  but they naturally don't want any grief, and I can understand golfer's not wanting some stranger wandering around with a gun, hopefully I'll be able to just keep popping in shooting the feeder for an hour and keep on top of the squirrels. 

The fluffy brigade still don't want rabbits on the course though normally?

I gave them a full breakdown as to how I would go about it. With just one flip top adjacent to the machinery buildings, no wandering around and air rifle only. I calculated I could have reduced the tree rat population in the whole golf course from that spot with some tasty refreshments for the tree rats. Their loss.

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52 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

I gave them a full breakdown as to how I would go about it. With just one flip top adjacent to the machinery buildings, no wandering around and air rifle only. I calculated I could have reduced the tree rat population in the whole golf course from that spot with some tasty refreshments for the tree rats. Their loss.

They probably didn't believe you?

58 minutes ago, Sciurus said:

We will have to return soon before the leaves are out.

 

Won't be long I don't think,  a week or so at the most.

I've not seen any youngsters yet, I'm looking though.

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14 hours ago, Sciurus said:

but sure enough it couldn’t resist lifting its head to look at me and this time my gun was cocked and down came a young male

Just had my first youngster of the year, small female. 

Nothing for an hour at the hill top feeder so I went walk about to try and avoid the blank, I wouldn't have got this one without the thermal or sticks, I'd had false readings all morning,  blue, great, Willow tits,  woodpeckers and Nuthatch's,  pigeons everywhere but no squirrels,  I saw a couple way off walking in but none near the feeder.

This one was high up in pine, poking its head out, probably wondering what the noise was as I crushed the dry undergrowth moving around, it was so small on the thermal I thought it was a tit again or maybe a robin, but it didn't fly off and I managed to pick out where it was.

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Tiny little thing, get ready folks.

And I saw two or three more squirrels as I left at the bottom of the hill where the big feeder was, so I know where I'm going tomorrow. 

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Was out this morning and even though the sun was shining there was a cold wind blowing off the fells, saw a grey right away but it saw me at the same time and was off, surprised it could move as the flip top feeder was empty, waited around till I started to seize up and decided to go on to the next permission even closer to the Pennines.

I thought the only thing that was going to be a highlight was a hare that got within 10 feet of me but after two hours sat in the same place, finally a grey appeared on the feeder and ate his last peanut, followed half an hour later by another young male, so could have been worse after five hours but at least it didn't snow!

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22 hours ago, ratchers said:

thought the only thing that was going to be a highlight was a hare that got within 10 feet of me but after two hours sat in the same place, finally a grey appeared on the feeder and ate his last peanut, followed half an hour later by another young male, so could have been worse after five hours but at least it didn't snow!

That's persistence for sure 👏👏

Is it April?
Sat at a feeder for two hours this morning and couldn't feel my feet!!
Two squirrels scampered off when I arrived through the trees, one went around the feeder but never gave it a look, I could see a couple playing away in the distance, just not where I was.

I'd just sent a msg and picture @Sciurus, I was rubbing my eye, something in it, when the sun came around and made things easier!!

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Just out of shot I caught a flash of grey go up an oak, at least I thought I did? fifteen- eighteen minutes later it jumped onto the floor then up onto the feeder tree, came head down and sniffed the air, for the last time, jsb away and the squirrel grabbed the tree, shook, tail curled over and she fell to the floor.

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I should have had a second but it was saved by a twig.
Only 4 this week but three days out in beautiful surroundings, to ask for more would be rude.
Topped up another feeder in a different area and called it a day, enjoy the weather everyone.

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Had an enjoyable weekend up in the woods with the kids, we put up two more feeders and filled everything up , saw squirrels, deer, woodpeckers and small birds galore, the kids enjoyed the sights sounds and smells of the woods and the weather was fantastic, all set for the week ahead.

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Well, I saw a tree rat sneeking away into the undergrowth last week and since then both myself and my wife have not see a flick of a tail (in our own wood).  I had been up since six this morning working in the garden/garden room potting up plants and then replacing the inner panel to the driver door on my Landie and by 12.30pm I was feeling like I needed a sit down, so I grabbed the rimmy and went down the wood and sat in one of the cabins where the tree rat was last seen on camera.

Noted that one of our robin pairs had youngsters in a nest in our log pile. Saw one of them take a shell out for disposal. Then a rabbit popped out and had me grabbing the rifle thinking it was tree rat. Settled again but with a constant buzz of a queen wasp under the floor of the cabin. Magpie came and went before I could get a bead, then I saw a movement and thought it was Mrs Rabbit again but wait!!!! it has a bushy tail.  Whop!! at 15yrds as the lump of lead arrived and job done.

I sat a further 30mins but had a yearning for a cuppa and knew my wife had brought a large pack of jammy filled cakes earlier......................................  

Edited by Walker570
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I had a nice walk round this morning but drew a blank as the thermal was redding out. I did see one grey but couldn’t get anywhere near it.

I mention this to illustrate the difference between wild and urban greys.

My son phoned me today in a panic, he has got another grey in his attic. He had one last year and it cost him £500 to have the roofing felt and valley gutter repaired. They had also chewed through the pvc fascia which I blanked off. This morning he could hear scurrying in the boxed eaves so he popped up into the attic with a broom and instead of running off, a large grey faced up to him and hissed. Even though he is a well built  6 footer, he was out the loft in a shot!

I have now got the job of going to Staffordshire and set a few traps and leave an air rifle with him. I also suspect I’ll be the one at the top of a ladder as well! Kids!

I don’t mind to much as it will give me an opportunity to call in at Solware and get some Fiocchi cartridges, which I can’t get locally.

Tomorrow, the forecast is dull so I am out again with my pal with the whippets, who has seen some young greys in a local wood. Game on.

 

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1 hour ago, Sciurus said:

Even though he is a well built  6 footer, he was out the loft in a shot!

Scared of a squirrel 😅😅 where did you go wrong 😂😂

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I

7 hours ago, Mice! said:

Scared of a squirrel 😅😅 where did you go wrong 😂😂

I don’t know !

He was very  keen on shooting, then went to University and it was downhill from then on. You know the usual- beer and women. He does Tough Mudders and Ironman challenges but passes on a bit of unarmed squirrel wrestling in the dark. 😂

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Now I know the answer to get him out of his fear for squirrels.  Find a big area of really deep mud and using a live cage throw the squirrels in the mud for him to get at.   Hope he gets it sorted they can make one hell of a mess.  When I was in Texas my friend had raccoons take up residence in his roof space.... now they realy can tell you not to get close.  A 357 Mag lever action seemed to be the answer as they climbed the tree to gain access.  Always did wonder where the bullet landed:hmm:

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A good day for me (for a change)!

It had drizzled overnight and was overcast for the first time in a few weeks. The fallen leaves were damp so no noisy crunching.

Anyhow,The two of us, with thermals, 2 whippets  and .410 Hushpowers had a walk round 3 smallish woods and ended up with a total of eight, half were juveniles. We should have had two more but they were just too fast zig zagging down the oaks. These greys were sitting tight and then after a warning shot to move them on, the shooting was very fast and exciting. I think only one grey was shot stationary.

My next job is to sort out the grey in my sons loft! With or without a 357 mag lever rifle!

To be continued......

 

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10 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Always did wonder where the bullet landed

Mexico??

5 hours ago, Sciurus said:

Anyhow,The two of us, with thermals, 2 whippets  and .410 Hushpowers had a walk round 3 smallish woods and ended up with a total of eight

Great morning out there mate, I only saw one and shot one, then moved the golf club feeder so I can get more access 😉

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Mexico would be a good guess:good:  I had a buzzard on the dead squirrel I shot a couple of days ago and I could hear another squirrel grumbling up in the tree above me, so we do have another in our wood.  Maybe tomorrow.

UPDATE!!   My Forest Ranger(part time wife) just came back from the wood and reported one in a catcher. Nipped down with the air rifle and yes, a big fat female, so probably more than one disposed of. This one could probably be the one swearing at the buzzard earlier.

Edited by Walker570
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It was a good morning for me.

I have never been confident shooting with the .410  Hushpower with its full choke and the drainpipe on the end. 

Turned out I was shooting 6-9 inches low. I have now raised the stock by taping some rubber strips on top of the stock and what a difference it has made. The gun comes up nicely and I am now looking at the target rather than aiming.  I pulled off some very nice shots even if I say so myself.

The dogs didn’t spot any greys today, everything was spotted with the thermal, but they did get some picking up - whether it was needed or not!

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I have the same gun in 12ga and it shoots a foot low at 30yds.  Gave it the old pipe lagging & gaffa tape treatment but I still couldn't hit a barn door with it trying to shoot roosting pigeons and crows!

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13 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Now I know the answer to get him out of his fear for squirrels.  Find a big area of really deep mud and using a live cage throw the squirrels in the mud for him to get at.   Hope he gets it sorted they can make one hell of a mess.  When I was in Texas my friend had raccoons take up residence in his roof space.... now they realy can tell you not to get close.  A 357 Mag lever action seemed to be the answer as they climbed the tree to gain access.  Always did wonder where the bullet landed

Oh, my! My 375H&H magnum, it doesn’t take prisoners.A real stopper if ever I saw one.

Edited by Fisheruk
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