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 Post subject: Small game hunting
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Hi everyone,

Do any of you ever do any small game hunting? Specifically, I'm talking about rabbits and squirrels.

I have been doing it a bit lately, and haven't had any success as of yet, but before I do I have a question:

How long can you wait to field dress them before they meat spoils? Also, if you field dress them right away, how long will they keep in the game bag? I'm just concerned that if I get lucky and shoot one early, it will spoil while I'm looking for the next target.

Any insight would be awesome.

Thanks,
HB


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 Post subject: Re: Small game hunting
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:00 am
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Location: Santa Fe, TX
I'll usually hunt in the morning till it starts to warm a little. Then I head for the truck, usually between 9-10am. I'll clean the squirrels and rabbits then, and ice them down in the cooler. If it's really hot I'll gut them where I killed them, and put them in the game bag. I don't like having them warm more than a couple hours.

_________________
Happy hunting,
Marty

http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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 Post subject: Re: Small game hunting
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:58 am 
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Thanks Marty,

That's the best answer I've gotten to the question.

Since we're on the topic, any tips, tricks, or tactics you're willing to share in the pursuit of these crafty critters?

Thanks,
HB


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 Post subject: Re: Small game hunting
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:25 am 
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Location: Santa Fe, TX
Squirrels in the spring time is a lot of fun. Not too cold, not too hot. I like to hunt two different area's, creak bottoms, and edges. By edges I mean edges between oak flats and pine plantation. Grays prefer the creaks and larger hardwood tree's. Fox squirrels seem to prefer the pines, and edges between the two. You can, however, find both kinds where ever you find mast(nuts). When you're walking and you find a bunch of pine cones that have been stripped of their prickly pieces it's from the squirrels going after the pine nuts in them. That's a good spot. In the hardwoods, look for hickory, oak, pecan tree's. Below the trees look for chips of nuts. The squirrels will sit on a limb, and chip the hard shells away so they can get to the nut. Those shell chips are something to look for. When you find them you know a squirrel was comfortable there, and ate his breakfast.

Other signs to look for are nests. You will see what appears to be large birds nests in the tree's. They're not birds nests most of the time. They're squirrel nests. I've seen as many as four or five nests in one large tree. Also, look for hollows in trees. Usually around them you'll see the bark smoothed down from usage.

Once you find where you want to hunt, find a place to sit quietly with good visibility to several tree's. Then just sit quietly, and don't move much. Squirrels, like most wild game, are quick to spot movement. And, they have the upper hand as they have the high ground advantage. Do NOT shoot the first squirrel that comes out. Trust me. Don't do it. Let the first one get out and become comfortable. Others will be in the area. Once they see and hear that one, they will come out too. Before you know it you'll have multiple targets. I've killed three at a time before. When you do decide to shoot, get your squirrel/squirrels, and go SIT DOWN. Sit for at least 30mins like before. Most of the time the squirrels will forget about their buddies getting blasted, and they'll come out again giving you another opportunity. If after 30 mins there's no activity move a 100yrds to another spot.

As you're walking you may spook squirrels, and they will jump on a tree. Sometimes they will move to the opposite side from you and stay there. Get some sticks, and throw them to the other side of the tree. Sometimes he'll move to your side. You can also take some string, tie to a bush on the other side, and pull string to move bush. Sometimes that will get him to move to your side. Or you can wait him out.

Midday they will sometimes like to sit or lay on a limb and sun themselves. Take binoculars on your hunts. You can sometimes spot these guys from a distance, and plan a stalk. Or get them with a 22 from a ways out.

On the subject of calls, I don't use them. I do, however, listen for the squirrels chatter, whistles, and barks. That will tell me approximately where they are. Slow stalks can sometimes get you in range. Most of the time, the best tactic is to move to the area where you heard the calls, and SIT. Do NOT move around. Soon, the squirrels will come back out and you'll get an opportunity.

_________________
Happy hunting,
Marty

http://www.feederlights.com/
The BEST HOG HUNTING LIGHTS.
http://www.inheatscents.net/
The BEST HOG HUNTING SCENTS.


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