Saturday, 20 February 2010


Just as we think the milder weather is coming we get another covering of the white stuff.Personally i like shooting once the snow has dropped,everything  is looking harder for food as they have to eat to keep warm,they forage for food longer than normal and it makes controling the pests a little easier.
As you have seen from the last few posts on the blog Squirrels  have been the main quarry,this has been a long drawn out operation to bring the squirrels under control for the land owner but we have managed to do it ,  his warm welcomes and thanks we recieve every time he see`s us makes it all worthwhile and can only promote how effective getting lads in to do a job ,safely and without any problems with the locals it can be.
There are pest control firms that could charge an arm and a leg for what we have done, but i would rather do a good job for nothing, and get more land this way , than having to go round and tap up farmers who would rather shut the door on you than give you the chance to show how reliable and what an assett you could be to them.
Shooting squirrels can be easy for the first few weeks,They will have had no bother from humans , so it makes getting in range a fair bit easier.When after a few of their mates have been shot its a different story,exocet missiles comes to mind ,even when your a hundred yards away from them they know the score,so its time to draw up another plan of attack.
This was where the shotguns came into it.The squirrels now would run for cover on the floor,the rabbit holes were proving a safe haven for those that had worked out that running down was safer than going up to the top of the trees.The air rifle was no good but the shotgun proved very effective for a couple more weeks.We got very good numbers this way and we thought we had cracked it.
Well a chat to the landowner had proved we had dramatically reduced the numbers , but he had still seen a few on his walks round with the dogs.Not wanting to be downheartened by his words we decided next time to give the woods a good sweep through and see if we could get more that way.
This time i had my rapid and dad the shotgun.
As we were combing the woods we seen nothing for hours and was wondering if he was seeing the same squirrel everytime he came out , but the next few hours proved there was more to these little grey rats than we could have imagined.
As we were having a cuppa i was sat looking up the trees and noticed a small lump sticking out from a branch,thinking nothing of it i carried on chatting to my dad and finish my drink.Picking the rifle up i just couldn`t help myself but look through the scope at this lump on the branch,to my suprise it was a foot of a squirrel,he was so tight to the branch that he could have passed for a skinned squirrel draped over it.I got dad to get his shotgun ready incase it ran and i walked back untill i could get a shot on its head.Luckily for me it didn`t run so i was able to get the cross on the spot and pull the trigger ,sending the lead for a possitive smack and resulting in a squirrrel hitting the floor.

Now this got me thinking about how many we had walked passed while we had the shotguns, complacency sets in with shotguns as you are just strolling through expecting the squirrels to bolt and you get them,so with not seeing many you think you have got them.These had learn`t quickly again that now staying put proved they survived for another day.
We decided to go to the hotspot that had produced most squirrels on the ground,we walked together now keeping to the plan if it ran the shotgun got it ,if it stayed put i would get it with the rapid.It didn`t take long for me to find one,we had lost a couple before up this old oak tree,thinking they had gone down woodpecker holes as we couldnt find them, we just carried on,this time i scanned the tree all over with the scope and as i looked at what i thought was a bulge in the main trunk was the back of a squirrel.He had squeezed into a crack in the bark, it was so much like the colour of the tree we had probarbly looked at it many times before and took it to be nothing out of the ordinary.I could just manage to see its ear and pointed it out to dad and passed him the rapid,He couldn`t beleve what he saw and just as i thought he was going to give me the rapid back he shot it.Now i dont know if this is unsporting or what,the sitters were mine ,runners his,this had been set in stone but he still had to shoot it and laugh at me as it fell.I just looked at him trying to look a little peed off but the smile soon came as it always does.

Now dad knew what to look for we soon got it together and found two more that you would have walked passed time and time again,it just goes to show how quick these little critters learn to survive.

Just as we was walking to the next wood the snow started , we decided to go for a quick cuppa as we couldn`t see the end of the cloud and as he is getting old i didnt want dad to suffer getting cold and wet.
Now the forcast for today was very light snow showers,the blizzard we got was crazy,the snow had melted on most of the fields and in the wood but within thirty minutes of this light snow shower everywhere was covered again.Thank god we had gone to the car as we would have been like snowmen in minutes.Its at times like this that the link to the met office on the blog is very lucky its not deleted.

Snow shower over we set off again,this time its was to a little wood that has the odd conifer and alot of chestnut.We scanned the trees for ages in this wood and just as we thought  it was empty one ran up a chestnut and hid.This is where two people are a must , the branches on these trees are very thick and you could walk round it for hours chasing the same squirrel round and round the same branch without even getting sight of its tail,never mind its head.I took a back seat here and just watched where i last saw the squirrel run and sent dad off to walk round the tree.As he was about three quaters of the way round i saw his shotgun go up,i looked up to where he was pointing and could see the squirrel looking down at him from a V in the branch,It didn`t even know i was there as it was watchin dad so i took aim and shot it before dad could get it,(revenge is sweet),as the grin to dad showed.It still had the cone in its mouth that it had been eating.

Just as we took the picture we noticed another squirrel running from one of the conifers so like a flash dad was hot on its heels and one shot brought it down to earth with a bump.From the picture you can see how well his camo clothing blends in with the background.

The light was fading now so we decided to walk back to the car and let the landowner know how we had got on,on the way back dad took a pigeon out that was coming in to roost,to be fair it was a good shot through the trees but i didn`t give him to much praise as he is getting pretty cocky now he has shot for a few weeks with the shotgun.
Right near the car i got a chance at a crow,it was sitting right at the top of a conifer about 40 yards away,i put the first mil dot just behind its eye and down he came with a thump.

Well that was it for the night and a happy landowner said his thanks again and hoped we would keep coming back now and then to keep on top of them,we will be there often ,as there are a few rabbits that will need our attention in the summer and we wont miss a chance to bag a few.


  1. Good jobs and good blog,
    thanks for sharing.

  2. Many thanks buddy and i am happy you like the blog,hopefully will be out again this week and will update asap.Cheers eddie