|A Short Squirrel Hunt
I got out with the FX Royale for a quick morning hunt with the intention of bagging a couple squirrels while scouting a location to hang my stand this season.
|Iíve used the FX Royale for several hunts this season, prairie dogs in Kansas, jackrabbits in California, and squirrels in Indiana ,,,,, itís continues to impress with itís accuracy, power, inexhaustible shot count, smooth action, and overall shootability. It goes right up there with my other favorites from AirArms and Falcon. Iíve written two other articles on this gun recently, based on range work and using the gun for long range varminting, and in these pieces the gun is covered is some detail. So this time, Iím just going to jot down notes from a recent squirrel hunt.
There is a 10,000 acre state recreation about an hour north of me, where I do quite a bit of hunting every year. This year has been tougher than most, squirrel populations seem down and Iíve (for the first time) come across other hunters when Iíve been out. As a matter of fact Iíve gotten skunked a couple time, and wondered if I should move my hunting activities to the Southern part of the state to see if itís any better. However, I didnít have a lot of time as I needed to fly out on business the following morning, so figured Iíd try this well known area once more. I loaded up my day pack with water, range finder, binoculars, granola bars, and hit the road early so Iíd be in the woods at daybreak.
Arriving onsite I parked the car on the side of the road, slipped a camo windshirt over my fleece. I worked my way about a quarter mile into the woods following a horse trail, kicking up a nice little 6 point buck on the way. I found a spot were there was an abundance of mast producing trees, and sat down leaning back into the base of a tree that had a scooped out depression in the trunk which fit me like an easy chair. I woke up about a half hour later with the sun coming up behind me and lighting the woods. A lot of the leaves were off the trees, though some were still pretty well dressed in orange and burnt red colors. Hoping I hadnít missed anything with my unplanned nap I got ready to start the timer; a method that has worked well for me is to sit a spot for 20 minutes and if nothing is seen or heard, move a couple hundred yards through the woods and repeat.
Nothing happing here so I slung my pack, shouldered the rifle, and worked along a deer trail to the next likely looking spot. On a small hill overlooking the adjacent rolling hillside I pulled my pack in front of me (one reason I like a messenger style bag) and pulled my binos out. Glassing the area didnít show me any squirrels, but I did see a lot of nuts carpeting the ground. I sat and waited seeing nothing, and after 20 minutes was getting ready to leave when turning to my left (always scan the area before you get up) saw a fox squirrel on a fallen log forty yards away looking at me an twitching its tail. I slowly brought the rifle up and squeezed off the shot, watching the pellets flight as it smacked dead center in the head. This squirrel flipped backwards and was dead when it hit the ground.
I had four more sets with nothing happening, so decided to start back in the direction of the car. I pulled out my binos and started glassing the trees, and spotted an odd lump in the upper branches that turn out to be the top of a squirrels head in a tree about 100 yards away. As I stood looking something warm and wet hit my arm, looking up I saw some little bird had used me for target practice! I guess fair is fair, but this stuff burned like it was acid. I wiped it off and rinsed of with my little bottle of water free sanitizer, then slowly started moving towards the tree where Iíd seen the squirrel. I sat at the base of a tree about 30 yards away from where Iíd seen the squirrel, who was no longer visible. After a few minutes I saw a tail hanging down from a branch in a tree about 10 yards behind the one I was watching. I waited for several minutes more, with no movement at all, when all of the sudden the squirrel came running down the tree, hit open ground racing for the next tree and ran 10 feet up a small sapling and jumper to a big oak standing next to it. The squirrel was wide open with its head pointed up and its back to me, when my second shot of the day nailed him on the top of the noggin. He dropped like heíd been smacked with a brick.
I generally impose a two squirrel limit on myself, as Iím not overly fond of eating these things, and really only want the tails for fly tying. The meat is dressed, quartered, and given away to an acquaintance who grew up eating squirrel and dumplings, so everyone is happy Ö well except maybe the squirrel. This is one of the great things about airgun hunting for small game; I leave home at 6:00 and am back, showered, and ready to go out for lunch with my family by noon. It only takes a couple of squirrels to make me feel like it was a productive trip, and I donít know what Iíd do with a large number of squirrels every season if I tired for a 5 squirrel limit every time I went out. For me, itís better to have three short trips with 1-2 in the bag than one all day trip with 5.
|A great rifle, a beautiful early winters day, and a couple free hours to get out on my own ... this is where airgun hunting shines for me!|
|Taking aim with the FX Royale 500, this gun continues to impress...... superb accuracy, excellent power, high shot count, cycles rapidly ... I'm loving this rifle!!|