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Out again today and slowly beginning to realise that this might be my last year on the Squizzers - increasing muscle wastage and Arthritis are making my forays more and more difficult so with a good dose of steroids and painkillers I forced myself into the car and off to the woods. Last 2 txt's from the  man in charge reports that all Hoppers are still being emptied but I only had the strength to visit the first 2 that I came to so I should be happy that these 2 produced 3 kills - 3 shots and 3 stone dead on the floor, all small and scrawny but a Squirrel is a Squirrel so at least it was worth the effort.

 

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4 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

Out again today and slowly beginning to realise that this might be my last year on the Squizzers - increasing muscle wastage and Arthritis are making my forays more and more difficult so with a good dose of steroids and painkillers I forced myself into the car and off to the woods. Last 2 txt's from the  man in charge reports that all Hoppers are still being emptied but I only had the strength to visit the first 2 that I came to so I should be happy that these 2 produced 3 kills - 3 shots and 3 stone dead on the floor, all small and scrawny but a Squirrel is a Squirrel so at least it was worth the effort.

 

Really sorry to hear that Bruno, not as sorry as the three squirrels though ?? 

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Out early doors this morning, in the woods for 0615. Nice morning gentle breeze and cool, now its light earlier we can get to some different areas before the dog walkers are up and about.

It was almost too easy this morning walked slowly around the corner and there is the squirrel sat on a bird table waiting for me it seemed, it seemed to be feeding really fast not happy, lent against an oak shot was about 69ft, sounds really far that way , one down within ten minutes, and i think that's four over the weekend between us.

And one rat, half grown giving me the run around, in out in out for about ten minutes, everything seemed to startle it. Nothing better than shooting rats when there are ducklings about

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welcome headshot 303, give us some background then fella everyone loves a read about squirrel shooting.

Are you in a hide? What rifle are you using? And be sure to add your squirrels to the total on the vermin section.

44 minutes ago, Headshot 303 said:

Had a good day last week and the greys keep coming 6, female and 1,  Mail looks like this mail has been round the block a couple of times not now ??

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Hello mate Yes I have got an BSA R10 22 it's come in the original walnut stock but I changed a lot of different pieces to brass fittings and to a camouflage stock  I have just gone  camouflage mad  I love hunting grey squirrels as I do it in a couple of places i use feeders topping them up with peanuts which cost a fortune but they you go any sport cost you money if it's something you enjoy  why not yes I love sitting like I do in the house as well as in the Hide  I am new to this forms I will soon get used to it yes I logged a male and female Grey squirrels  on the Liverpool grey area on Facebook there is a guy that keeps a log of numbers in different areas  with the first line of a postcode.

Edited by Headshot 303
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1 minute ago, Headshot 303 said:

Hello mate Yes I have got an BSA R10 22 it's come in the original walnut stock but I changed a lot of different pieces to brass fittings and to a camouflage stock  I have just gone  camouflage mad  I love hunting grey squirrels as I do it in a couple of places are use feeders topping them up with peanuts which cost a fortune but they you go any sport cost you money if it's something you enjoy  why not yes I love sitting like I do in the house as well as in the Hide  I am new to this forms I will soon get used to it yes I logged a male and female Grey squirrels  on the Liverpool grey area on Facebook there is a guy that keeps a log of numbers in different areas  with the first line of a postcode This was probably one of the worst days I've had in the hide I  only had one grey this day the rain just didn't stop not stopped this little chap coming 

The guy on Facebook is Suburban shooter he's on here as well, but log your squirrels on here as well, the aim is always to shoot/ trap more than the previous year keeping the pressure on the greys and limiting there spread especially in areas with reds ? 

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1 minute ago, Mice! said:

The guy on Facebook is Suburban shooter he's on here as well, but log your squirrels on here as well, the aim is always to shoot/ trap more than the previous year keeping the pressure on the greys and limiting there spread especially in areas with reds ? 

Yes I will do mate  we all do a good job to keep them down the way I look at it the more we get before the breeding season works well and just keep getting what comes in from the outside  I will share a lot that I get up to on here ?

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2 more this morning despite a light spitting of rain - first was taken free standing (not a shot I take very often) but I think I under estimated the range and the pellet struck in the upper chest/neck area and Nutty managed to scarper up a tree that was actually closer to me - he paused for a second too long and shot#2 hit him between the shoulders (couldn't see his head clearly) yet he still managed to struggle his way to a tree covered in Ivy where I lost sight of him - sat down in view of the nearby Hopper and less than 5 minutes later he came crashing down about 5 yards from me stone dead. Second decided to play a "Whack a Mole " type game with me by sitting on the blind side of the Hopper where I could only see the front half of his head as he leant down to grab a peanut but he had it in his mind to pop his head up occasionally to look around - on the fifth occasion his mind became splattered on a branch just behind him and he fell without any complaints at all. Home at 9:30 and after informing the Boys in Blue I sent a txt to the man moaning that 2 Hoppers were needing attention - got a reply at 11:15 saying that both had been sorted and filled - hard life eh!! Total this season for the owners is now 45.

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25 minutes ago, bruno22rf said:

2 more this morning despite a light spitting of rain - first was taken free standing (not a shot I take very often) but I think I under estimated the range and the pellet struck in the upper chest/neck area and Nutty managed to scarper up a tree that was actually closer to me - he paused for a second too long and shot#2 hit him between the shoulders (couldn't see his head clearly) yet he still managed to struggle his way to a tree covered in Ivy where I lost sight of him - sat down in view of the nearby Hopper and less than 5 minutes later he came crashing down about 5 yards from me stone dead. Second decided to play a "Whack a Mole " type game with me by sitting on the blind side of the Hopper where I could only see the front half of his head as he leant down to grab a peanut but he had it in his mind to pop his head up occasionally to look around - on the fifth occasion his mind became splattered on a branch just behind him and he fell without any complaints at all. Home at 9:30 and after informing the Boys in Blue I sent a txt to the man moaning that 2 Hoppers were needing attention - got a reply at 11:15 saying that both had been sorted and filled - hard life eh!! Total this season for the owners is now 45.

Whack a mole ? that's what the rat was doing to me yesterday.

how many between all of you then Bruno??

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16 minutes ago, Mice! said:

Whack a mole ? that's what the rat was doing to me yesterday.

how many between all of you then Bruno??

Just has I was reading your post I knew what was going to say when you said it come crashing down after 5 minutes ? the same thing happened to me awhile ago, The funniest thing that happened to me I was locking up in the trees and just in front of me there was a squirrel stuck between two branches on its back legs how long it was there I do not now it looked like it had no energy to move because it probably was struggling that much it was about 12 foot from the ground so I went for the headshot ?

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48 minutes ago, Headshot 303 said:

Just has I was reading your post I knew what was going to say when you said it come crashing down after 5 minutes ? the same thing happened to me awhile ago, The funniest thing that happened to me I was locking up in the trees and just in front of me there was a squirrel stuck between two branches on its back legs how long it was there I do not now it looked like it had no energy to move because it probably was struggling that much it was about 12 foot from the ground so I went for the headshot ?

You get days like that mate least you got them in the end 

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1 hour ago, Headshot 303 said:

 Do you use squirrel feeders Mate

He does with a bloke who's job is to top them up no less, if you go on the vermin section you will see a couple of threads about feeders, i think his pics are on there plus other folks as well.

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Pretty much as Mice has said but there now seems to be 2 guys doing the job normally (my areas) on a Weds/Thurs - they cover all the main Woodlands on the 5k acres so must walk a few miles each week covering approx. 40 sites that, last year, were covered by 6 of us with the manager chipping in occasionally. We all have specific areas designated but are allowed to shoot any wood that we like so long as the man is informed in advance as they prefer only one gun on each site. It's a dream perm really yet I get the impression that they struggle to get volunteers - I put this down to volunteers having to join a local Airgun club and stay at least 6 months before the Range owner will determine if they are a good enough shot or not to apply with his reference. Strange thing is that the owners have a gathering every year which involves mainly twitchers and hobby conservationists being invited along with all staff members - we shooters are not welcome :no:.

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we are the dirty secret Bruno and you know it. Conservationists often don't like the idea these days that to protect one spieces you have to control another, grey squirrel / red squirrel or mink / water vole.

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This is the best way to cull  Grey squirrels and some good tips for first time shooters  

how I shoot squirrels in all four seasons, but the method I am going to tell you about now warrants its own feature to get the best out of it.

The wood was just over 100 acres in size and I spent thousands of hours walking it at the weekends. The forestry contractor was over the moon with what I was shooting, but even he would see just as many again through the week. A lot of the squirrels got used to me and knew what was coming over time, so to outwit them I devised a new plan. 

The wood was used for a pheasant shoot, so most of my shots were around the pens in the winter. The feed bins were a ready supply of nourishment for the squirrels without any effort at all for them to find it. I had made a deal with the gamekeeper that I would commit to shooting the pens when I came up, but would also like to set up a feed bin in another location. The trouble with the pens was that the birds could spook with me around, when they were young, and also I was shooting through the fences most times, so it was a little difficult in some areas. 

Another problem was cover because where the pens were built there were a lot of conifer trees, and these were great for keeping the birds safe and warm, but it was a problem trying to get through to the squirrels for a clean shot. I had to get my own feeder away from the pens and locate it somewhere so that I could see any squirrels coming toward it through the trees. 

Top us your feeders regularly as they will soon empty the foodTop us your feeders regularly as they will soon empty the food

The right spot

When looking where to put the feeder, find an area where the trees start to thin out so you get a good view of the squirrels coming to it. I find it is less productive if you set up in the middle of the wood because you never know from which direction the squirrels will be coming so there is a good chance you will be seen by at least one of them, if not more. 

The best location is near the edge of the wood. Don’t worry if you think you are away from the main haunts, because the squirrel will travel a distance if he knows there is a good food supply. This also helps in getting more shots off; if you have the squirrels travelling a good way, then as you shoot them the next one has less chance of hearing the gun go off, or the sound of the pellet impacting another of its mates as it is coming toward you.

Now you have found your prime location, it is time to feed it as regularly as you can. Check the bins yourself every other day before your planned shoot, to see how much food is getting eaten. Obviously, some food will have been eaten by birds, but mostly it will have been eaten by squirrels so it will give you an idea of how many are visiting the bin.

Look for activity of feeding in the areaLook for activity of feeding in the area

 

The feed I use is a mix of sunflower seeds and nuts. The squirrels love this and as soon as you get one squirrel feeding confidently on the bins, more will follow. Another good mix is maize and wheat, but a lot of the wheat will be taken by birds, so this requires a more regular top up.

Which feeder?

You can get all kinds of different feeders. I first started with a big feeder that the shoot used, but later went to a smaller one that I could fix to a tree. This makes the squirrels more confident to feed when up in the tree and they’ll sit still longer, as opposed to feeding on the ground. Feeders have evolved so much over the years, and a friend has made me some good ones lately that the squirrels seem not to destroy so quickly. 

Cover up your skin with a head net and glovesCover up your skin with a head net and gloves

Once you have found your location, you need to set up some sort of hide. I try to use as much natural flora as possible for the hide so that I can leave it in situ, then the odd repairs won’t take long if needed. If you prefer a camo net, that will be fine, but leave it set up so the squirrels get used to it. Your hide should be around 25-30 yards from the feeder, giving you a perfect distance for your zero. If you are shooting further, then it is worth checking your distances to trees around you and marking the tree, so you do not need to guess if a shot presents itself. It is also worth checking your pellet impact at certain heights. Gravity has a strange effect on the pellet and you will be surprised how much higher your pellet will strike at the greater angles. 

Ready to go

OK, we have set up the feeder and the hide is all built. You will have been topping up the feeder for at least five days and already it is showing signs of activity. Now we will get prepared for the morning shoot. When shooting from a hide for hours in the winter it is going to be cold and you’re going to need things to keep you going whilst you wait for the squirrels to arrive. You kit list should include a spare pair of socks, and another layer for your legs and top half once you’re settled. Remember whilst walking to the hide you will be warm, but once you sit for a while you will get cold. A hot flask or two is a must, and food. All this kit will fit into a rucksack and won’t be too heavy to carry to the hide. I have made the mistake of not taking these essentials and because of me being pig-headed and wanting to stay and shoot more squirrels, I nearly got hypothermia. That will never happen again, so please be prepared for any situation.

When you’re all set up and the light starts breaking, you will see squirrels bounding through the trees straight away. The quicker you can shoot the squirrel the better because this will not disturb any others that are on their way. When you shoot your squirrels, do not be tempted to go and retrieve them. I have shot a dozen squirrels, and the next ones will still be above their deceased companions and feeding without any problems. You will only run the risk of getting spotted if you keep coming out of the hide, and a face net and gloves are essential to stay hidden from the sharp eyes of the squirrel, in my opinion. Also don’t forget to look on the ground for any squirrels feeding. They may prefer to dig up an acorn or chestnut that they buried in the autumn, and if you have set your feed area where the floor is pretty clear, you will have no worries getting them, too.

Squirrels will still be feeing on the ground so look out for themSquirrels will still be feeing on the ground so look out for them

So there you have it. You will not make squirrel shooting any easier than if you this method. Set it up to suit your needs and preferences – no way is it set in stone, so work it how you feel best. Good luck.

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On 4/21/2018 at 10:58, bruno22rf said:

Out again today and slowly beginning to realise that this might be my last year on the Squizzers - increasing muscle wastage and Arthritis are making my forays more and more difficult so with a good dose of steroids and painkillers I forced myself into the car and off to the woods. Last 2 txt's from the  man in charge reports that all Hoppers are still being emptied but I only had the strength to visit the first 2 that I came to so I should be happy that these 2 produced 3 kills - 3 shots and 3 stone dead on the floor, all small and scrawny but a Squirrel is a Squirrel so at least it was worth the effort.

 

Oh mate sorry to hear . You need to recruit a protege or apprentice to help you out but good to hear that you are carrying on the good work.        Have you worked out how far they are coming from ?           Last conversation that we had you were surprised that they were making it as far as your wood.        All the best, SS

 

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