Today, I felt like I just needed to get out, despite the fact that I have a cold. Somehow, breathing the fresh air outside always helps, no matter HOW sick I am. This time, it is just a run-of-the-mill nuisance cold. Low energy level, runny nose.
So I took my Crosman 1701P with 2x20 BSA pistol scope, shoulder stock, and a tin of Crosman Premier Lights and headed out to the woods.
While searching for squirrels and not seeing any, I saw a European Sparrow, and decided to take a shot at him. I missed. But lo and behold, a squirrel was behind me, probably 20 yards away, barking at me from his spot in the crotch of a sapling. It was kind of funny, he was so excited the whole tree was moving in time with his barking.
I reloaded the 1701P, and turned around, but the little guy was already making his way well away from me. Damn, if only I had more patience.
I walked around a while longer and saw another squirrel, but he saw me first and again left me before I could get a shot through all the tiny branches.
I was about to head home, empty-handed, when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. There was a squirrel hopping through the under brush. I lost sight of him, but this time, I decided to wait. Sure enough, he appeared on top of a tree branch, probably 20 yards away and 45 degrees up. He was only presenting his head, really watching me.
"Head shot it is!" I said to myself.
I slowly raised the 1701P, lined up the shot, and sent the CPL on its merry way.
The squirrel fell off the branch to the ground with a thump, thrashed around on the ground for probably 20 seconds, then was still.
Looking at the body, I see that the CPL entered his left cheek, just below the eye. It was a good thing I had that upward angle. When I got home and was cleaning him, I cut his cheeks and pried his mouth open. Just as I thought: the pellet had gone through the cheek, knocked out some teeth, then through the roof of his mouth and into his brain. There was no exit wound. [this 1701P has been modded by drilling the transfer port out to 1/16", which yields 640 fps from a 7.9 gr. CPL, and 20 steady shots per 2600 psi fill, down to 2000 psi]
Based on this experience and one other (I'll post about it separately) I will confirm that squirrels are indeed tough critters. I thought sure that CPL should have gone clear through.
Final resting spot:
Appointment with the Sharpfinger:
Getting ready to marinate:
He's marinating now, as I type this. For dinner tonight, I'm going to have acorn-fed, marinated and grilled squirrel shanks, and my wife is going to have to make do with grilled polish sausage. Sadly, she wanted nothing to do with this fine kill. First, she wanted me to just leave it for the coyotes. (what a waste!) Then, she told me they could carry disease in their muscles that cannot be cooked out. (I doubt it) Lastly, she made me promise to clean every thing up and take out the trash after I was done. (no problem)
It's sad that people associate meat only with the grocery store now.
I didn't read this until it was too late, or I'd have saved the tenderloins. But I'll share it with my buddies here. it's a link on how to clean a squirrel and cook 'm up. Seems very efficient. Much more so than my amateur method, which left me rinsing fur off of the meat and puzzling whether the rest of the squirrel was worth the effort to clean.
http://www.prairiestateoutdoors.com/ind ... squirrels/
It happens more than most of us like to admit. Don't mean to sound like a broken record, but if you lost one with a 16 fpe shot from a M'rod, but bagged one with a 1701P, what does that tell you? It really is all about precision shot placement.
Rock on Jeremy