Not only have I had squirrels on my blog (because they’ve harnessed Abba and may destroy life as we know it!) but I’ve slipped out into the woods a few times and done some small game hunting. Every year I grow more fond of small game hunting. I heartily recommend it.
Like most Americans (of the non-urban sort) I’ve overemphasized big game. Don’t get me wrong, big game is definitely more awesome. After all, filling the freezer is a proper endeavor. It separates the subspecies species ruralis carnivorae var. rednekii from the more common urbanis weenie var. metrosexx.
However, small game is more laid back; it’s much lower stress. I think modern day man (and women) may get too hung up on the flashy megafauna.
Small game takes a load off my mind. You don’t need fancy equipment, you don’t need a thousand acres, and you don’t need all day. What’s not to like? It’s a hike while armed! It’s birdwatching for mammals! It’s meditation in camoflage! The stalk is shorter and (very importantly) it’s less likely to go into overtime. If you take a shot at a squirrel and it scampers off you don’t have to track a blood trail all night. If you nail a grouse you just stuff it in your pocket and hike home. You don’t bust a spleen dragging the carcass out of the woods. Etc…
Sometimes I want to bond with nature on a mellower level than the high stakes “fill the freezer or go home empty handed, you get one shot all year” endeavor of big game hunting. Also I like that if I’m drawing a bead on a rabbit I don’t have to fret over whether it’s got antlers of such and such length or if I’m in hunting unit X versus Y and the moon is in the seventh house. Small game regs are immensely simpler than big game.
None of this matters if mother nature doesn’t cooperate. Lately she’s been a stone cold bitch. Lots of rain, lots of wind, temperatures ranging from nice to crap, etc… It’s affecting the hunt. Squirrels ‘aint dumb. They’re not going to get their ass wet in a rainstorm just because I got off work at a certain hour and only can hunt that evening.
Recently I wound up sitting on a log thinking “there’s got to be a better way”. Turns out there is. It’s called a squirrel call. Being a relatively novice/inept hunter, this is something I haven’t considered. That they exist is not necessarily news, but I’d never thought of getting one.
Amazon, as always, came to my rescue. Amazon baby I love you; you crazy bitch!
I ordered up a squirrel call (this link goes to the item on Amazon and so does the photo).
When I ordered it I checked out a few videos. It looked pretty straightforward. YMMV. I haven’t tried it in the woods yet. There are a few different call types (if you’ve spent any time outdoors you’re familiar with the different calls a squirrel makes… especially the “I know you’re there and now so does the whole damn forest” chatter I hate so much). It seemed like I could make all of the sounds.
There is another reason to buy a squirrel call. It’s a blast to torture my dog! Imagine your cat with a pound of catnip and a laser pointer. Now double that and square the results because it drives my dog absolutely bonkers.
When it showed up in my mail I took it out of my box and tried it a few times. My dog went ape!
It tore around the house upending everything in sight in a mad eyed mission to find and eliminate the squirrel that surely was there. I mean full on freak out.
So of course I piled on. I only stopped when I figured the dog would either stroke out or destroy the house. Even then I left the call lying on my kitchen table. Every now and then, with no particular pattern, I hit it. My dog can go from sound asleep to flipping over the couch in five seconds. It never gets old!
Best purchase ever! Even if forest creatures never acknowledge it I’ve gotten my $8 of fun and then some.