|Rainy Day Squirrel Hunt
I take off with my Evanix Rainstorm under less than optimal weather conditions for a morning squirrel hunt ..... and it pays off!
|As I pulled out of the garage at a few minutes after 5:00 the rain was coming down in sheets, and I was tempted to go back to bed rather than make the hour and a half drive to the farm. But I was awake and up for a hunt, so decided to roll the dice and hope the weather would change. And about an hour into the drive it did change, for the worse …. But now I had too time much invested, and figured I’d sit in the rain all morning if nothing else, besides the temperatures were warmer than expected for early December. Wet and cold sucks, but wet alone is not that bad!
I got out to my friends farm about day break, by which time the rain had transitioned into a continuous drizzle. I have the hunting rights to this farm all to myself and have spent quite a bit of time there over the last few years. At this stage I know about every square foot of the property; where the den trees are, where the bushytails come to feed, travel routes. You pick up useful information during the hours sitting in tree stands deer hunting, of course as soon as you go back for squirrels it seems the squirrels disappear but you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a buck! I’d thought about using my climbing stand as it allows me to scan a large area, but considering the weather decided to go minimal and walk the woods with nothing but my Evanix Rainstorm .22 rifle, a tin of JSB Exacts, and a pad to sit on with the hope of keeping my backside dry.
My first stop was at the base of the tree where I’d taken a buck from my stand a couple weeks earlier. On a few days I’d seen both fox and gray squirrels, running over the ground and in the trees in good numbers. My position let me survey a wide swath of the hillside in front of me, so of course after a few minutes I heard a sound directly behind me. Leaning back and looking over my shoulder I saw a fox squirrel coming down a tree about 30 yards. I twisted around and lined up my shot, settling the crosshairs on his head, and squeezed the trigger. The pellet smacked about a half inch over its head and he jumped off the trunk hitting the ground running. I said an “oh heck” under my breath as I watched him run out of sight, but almost instantly a barking started up from around the other side of the tree. Peeking around I spotted another big red at about 40 yards, and was able to get positioned leaning my strong side up against the trunk. I placed the crosshairs on the same spot from which I’d just missed, and this time the trigger pull was followed by the sound of a solid “thunk” as the squirrel slumped off the branch.
I gathered up my game and hiked a couple hundred yards to a hillside that overlooked a stream and is bordered by hardwoods on both sides, stopping about 40 yards short of where I’d caught a quick glance of a squirrel tail disappearing around a big oak just across the water. After 15 minutes a gray poked his head over a fork in the upper branches and when I pulled the trigger he dropped like a brick…..right into the stream. I waited to see if another one might come out, but when nothing happened walked down to the bank and took off my boots, socks, and pants before wading out to collect squirrel number to. But the water got deep and I couldn’t find him. I kept looking until it felt like my toes were going to fall off, so I gave up, got dressed, and went to the far side of the farm where a trail winds through another stand of woods along the property line.
|I spotted another fox squirrel running up a shaggy oak and stopped. I squeezed between the trunks of a tree and a sapling resting my rifle against the larger of the two and estimating the distance at 60 yards held a little high. The pellet took the big squirrel right behind the front leg sending the squirrel in a jumping arc of the tree. He hit the ground thrashing, but was dead by the time I walked up to him. About this time the skies opened up and the rain started to come down in buckets. I reckoned three squirrels was good for the day, even though I’d only recovered the two, so loaded up and headed back to the car for the drive home.
I really like the Rainstorm; it is reliable, accurate and hard hitting. I also think the sidelever is great on a small game gun as it cycles vary rapidly. This is a well designed and good looking rifle that carries and shoots like a much more expensive gun. I’ve got more than thirty of my own PCPs and am constantly getting new guns in for testing, but the Rainstorm is one of the guns I find myself drawn to.
Hunting in the rain can be uncomfortable, but truth be told I much prefer snow to rain; it’s not too bad if the right cloths are worn. I forgot to bring my scope cover so had to be careful to keep the lenses covered up and dry, but if the squirrels are going to come out in the wet weather I guess I can too!
|The weather is wet and warm for December, but the squirrels are out an about. The Rainstorm .22 is powerful squirrel medicine.|