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Monday, January 10, 2011

January Hunting Behind the House (Blog Fifteen)

Two of the best squirrel hunters I have ever met, Jerry Paitsel and Craig Fields, prefer going afield with .22 rifles and 16-gauge shotguns, respectively.  Jerry feels that the rifle excels at long distance shots that result in little damaged meat while Craig believes that the 16 gauge is a wonderful compromise between a 12 and 20-gauge (in terms of weight and pellet output) that sadly has few fans today.
My choice for squirrel hunting is a Remington 20-gauge autoloader that I have owned for over 20 years.  To me, there is something aesthetically pleasing about entering the January woods while
toting a 20 gauge.  The gun is light and easy to mount, and I like having a scattergun if I jump a cottontail or flush a ruffed grouse.
Last winter, for example, while toting my “squirrel gun,” I bumped a rabbit not long after I walked out the door and entered the woodlot behind our house.  I was fortunate enough to down the bunny and the next day Elaine cooked the meat (and that from some squirrels) in a crockpot along with onions, potatoes, peas, carrots, and celery. The result was several satisfying meals.
I look forward to going afield with the 20 gauge behind our house this coming Saturday morning.  And maybe tagging a couple of silvertails and perhaps even a rabbit for Saturday supper.

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