Time to get serious

Discussion in 'Ohio Small Game Hunting' started by SQACK KILLER, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. By the time I got where I was going this morning I was pretty well convinced that I should have stayed home. snowing hard from the time I got in the truck until we got in it to come home. Squirrels were out today, but not moving around. If you have a dog that can wind them like Lefty, they don't need to touch the ground. tough hunting when the snow is pouring like it did today, and still is here. I saw a total of 7 squirrels today, 4 of which got dead. Lefty whiffed on one that I saw, so I let it go. I tried and tried to find a shot on another that he found, but it was hiding pretty well in a tangle of vines up high in the tree. I could see the thing, but could never find a clear shot. even if I had, there was a fair chance it would have gotten hung up, plus dog wandered off the tree twice, which rather pissed me off, so I gave up on that one. I missed one four times, then it ran in a hole. by then, the objective lens on my scope had so much slush on it that I could barely see through it. gathers snow quickly when you point gun up in the air for a couple of minutes on a day like today. had what I though was a good clear shot and a good rest. pretty sure I hit some small twigs on the first two shots, but squirrel moved higher in the tree and I missed it two more time before it had enough of our kind of fun. :) Lefty managed to find one more, and I made a solid head shot on it. we could have kept hunting as the snow had all but quit, but I was happy to end our day on a high note. save the dog (and my tired legs, too) for tomorrow. just never can tell where or when you'll find some squirrels. we did better today that I would have bet, but Lefty proved to me his prowess winding squirrels beyond any doubt today. he sure makes it hard for me to get mad at him for his sloppy treeing, lol.

    try again tomorrow before arctic air gets here on Thursday.

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  2. Hunted this morning fot 3 hours. With the snow turned to ice and a high of 22 with eind chills in the teens, the squirrels just weren't moving far from their dens. Max made 5 trees, but never seen a squirrel.
     
  3. correction, Arctic air clearly arrived overnight. was pretty cold today, but that was not near the issue of four inches of snow on every weed and twig in the woods. I got every bit as much snow on me today with the sun shining as I did yesterday in moderate snowfall. no matter, we had a great hunt anyway. I'm in awe of my own damn dog. I have a hard time believing how well he operates, even in the shittiest of conditions. he really is a natural. squirrels laid up today again. we found them in thick creek bottom with lots of Osage and scrubby trees. I was within 30 feet of four of the squirrels I shot before I backed off to get a better shot angle. ended up shooting these four off hand because of the heavy cover, distance of the shots, and nothing to rest on. Lefty did not tree these squirrels, but winded them and just stood and barked, looking right at three of them, which helped me to find them, too. snow on every little branch made visibility very poor in the woods, worse still with the sun shining bright. he did actually tree two for me, but after yesterday's performance, he got the benefit of the doubt from me every time he barked today, and he only went to one den tree all day. I looked extra hard everywhere he barked today, and was amazed that four times there was a squirrel right above my head. crazy good day today for dog and handler even though we froze are arses off. I hoped to get one or two squirrels today. Lefty found me another limit. three on the first drop, three on the second. Good dog, Lefty! :bowdown: tomorrow we stay home and outta the cold, feed the wood burner, and make a big pot of venison chili and jalepeno cornbread. try and muster our courage to brave the cold on Friday

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  4. after 2" of snow, it finally quit. kinda breezy, but we took both dogs out anyway just to get out of the house. started hunting about 1 this afternoon. Rats on the move as the snow was winding down, apparently, as some of the fresh tracks had a dusting of snow in them, some did not. Slick hammered one pretty fast, and almost as fast as he settled on the tree, Lefty joined in the chorus.

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    I didn't see the squirrel as I approached, so I took some action photos and coached Slick up a bit, but while I was doing that Nancy kept looking, and found him. I quickly tied Slick so he could not leave the tree, gave him some praise and encouragement and went about moving the squirrel into position for Nancy, who delivered a perfect head shot. Slick making progress at light speed. These two are gonna strike fear in the hearts of squirrels near and far next year.

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    so on we go, both dogs found an empty tree, then I notice Slick is out of my sight but moving fast, then finally barking. Little sumbitch jumped a rabbit and proceeded to run it out about 500 yards. He got toned and lightly zapped a couple of times before I got fed up and let him have it. Full power shut him up and put an end to his trash chasing for the day. I did finally manage to call him back to me without trekking a quarter mile into the thick stuff to get him. good thing for him. after that non-sense was over, we hunted on and both dogs found some more empty trees before parting ways. Lefty took off on a cross country run 400 yards to a tree while Slick went 200 the opposite direction. since Lefty doesn't need any coaching, I sent Nancy after Lefty (after helping her get her bearings. she's a bit uneasy striking off on her own that far) and I went to Slick. As I approached him he ran off the tree to me and I ordered him back on. he got back on the tree, and I found the squirrel fast. he was on the tree hard, so I didn't dick around and shot the squirrel out to him immediately without tying him, which is very good for his confidence and understanding of what he is supposed to do. I haven't heard any shooting, so off we go toward Lefty nearly 600 yards away. Slick beat me there, of course, and joined the fracas, but when I finally got there Nancy was still playing hide and seek with the squirrel, which I promptly shot since I had the squirrel on my side of the tree. three in the game bag, and that was all we would see today. big day for Slick, getting two on his own (and going rabbit hunting, too.:rolleyes:)

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  5. Tomorrow is lookin like a squirrel killin morning, then again any day i'm off work is a good squirrel killin day!
     
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  6. Only shot 2 today. A lot of dens and a few 100 yrd tracks through the woods. Must be males going den to den looking for females in heat.
     
  7. Back in the saddle, finally. squirrel rut is on down here. had a couple of trees with multiple squirrels today. 1-11-17.jpg

    pretty darn nice day to be out, and we made a full day of it covering a ton of ground while it's so nice out. It was the Lefty show all day today. he found 10 for me and my buddy, but a few got to holes on us. Slick didn't do anything today besides bark on a couple of den trees and join Lefty on his. we wound up with seven, a pretty nice 5 pt. shed all before it started raining. dogs are passed out now, and I'm not far behind...
     
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  8. That's it. I'm sick of being an armchair squirrel hunter reading all these posts. If the weather is halfway decent I'm heading out this weekend. :D
     
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  9. I left Lefty home today to work with Slick. we covered a bunch of ground, but he only found one squirrel. he missed one other that I had an easy shot at, but I didn't shoot it since he didn't tree it. He found several obvious dens and a couple of nests that I'm confident there were squirrels in, and I did tie him and shoot the one out. plus I found another nice shed today. It is goddamned hard to leave Lefty behind, but I really have to get Slick as much field time as possible, and he needs to work alone as much as possible. I suspect that squirrels were not moving to good today, and we were not in the best places, but Slick did some quality work today. He jumped a rabbit right in front of me and started to chase it, but I was able to call him off of it without zapping him since I was so close. he's a gamey little bastard. wants to chase everything, even birds occasionally. Lefty was the same way his first season.

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    two sheds in three days. this ties the most sheds I've found in an entire season, lol. both of them on public hunting ground, too. the one on the right is the one I found today. I pretty much tripped over both of them, which is the only way I ever find them.:)

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  10. according to Lefty's GPS tracking information he covered 11.79 miles yesterday. I would assume that Slick covered slightly more and me a bit less. That is a lot of ground to cover for two squirrels and a dozen dens. We needed a change of scenery, so it was a good idea, but I don't think I'm going back to Dillon Wildlife area to squirrel hunt anytime soon.

    as much as it pained me, I left Lefty behind today. Slick has really been cutting up the woods, covering ground and hunting hard. Lefty is a distraction to him, and he to Lefty, but to a lesser extent. We'll work that out later, I guess. I could feel a break out day coming for Slick, and I do soooo enjoy it when a plan comes together. I put Slick out three times today. He found one in about 15 minutes in the first woods. Wanting to set the stage for the rest of the day, I tied him without hesitation after I saw there was a squirrel there. Ker-pow. off to a good start.

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    we hunted around for a while, covering the entire section, and I'm here to tell you, Slick left no stone unturned. He really gets around in the woods better without Lefty. As we hunted our way to another section of woods that required us to cross a road, I came across this dead coyote with a trail camera pointed at it. Can anyone explain this to me? it was in what seems like a rather odd place to begin with, but what on earth is this guy doing? just coincidence that there is a dead 'yote laying 20 feet in front of his camera? He has a nice picture of me, probably one of the dog, too. :) this is a public hunting area, btw.

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    Shortly after getting across the road Slick found another tree. I tied him again, but there was not a squirrel this time. I turned him loose and he ran 80 yards and started barking. He was staying put pretty well, so I did not tie him, and to his credit, I only had to order him back on the tree one time in the 5 minutes or so I played hide and seek with the squirrel until he gave me enough head to shoot at. I'm fairly certain that he got the track backwards and goofed on the first tree, and there was just the one squirrel that had been in both places since he went straight to the tree the squirrel was in as soon as I loosed him. Two on the first drop. We got two more on the second drop and I did not tie him on either of those two. He's doing really good staying on the tree once he commits and sees that I'm coming, and just as importantly, he is staying when I'm circling the tree looking for the squirrel and/or a shot. This is when he is most tempted to wander off or come to me. We could only manage one more on the last stop, although he did make a tree right at the end, and he was stuck on it like glue and barking like he meant business. I looked awfully hard for that one, and he stayed with it, but no more shot were to be fired today. There was dead tree with a couple of holes and two leaf nests nearby. There was surely a squirrel there. Slick really is coming along in a hurry. He listened to me extremely well all day today, and I had to call him in a couple of times off of adjacent private property from a couple hundred yards out. And he does not thrash my squirrels, either. he pounces on them, but drops them immediately when I tell him. 5 squirrels, all boars. Young Slickie bustin' balls.

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  11. Awesome job Jamie with that youngster!
     
  12. Taking No Prisoners

    My buddy and I went to Jackson county yesterday on an exploratory hunt. My cousin owns 40 acres that is connected to a very large tract of public hunting. I've been threatening to go there as it is gorgeous country with great timber. It is very, very rugged. Unfortunately, I think the squirrels moved very early, and we got started too late to hit them. dogs made a dozen or so trees that did not produce a squirrel. Lefty finally got on one, but we could not find it as he was treed in a cluster of large Hemlocks. It is practically impossible to find squirrels in thick groups of conifers. We looked hard, and the squirrel finally bailed to the ground. Slick was on him in a blink, and the squirrel disappeared over a bank then reappeared almost as fast with Slick still on him and up a tree he went. Slick almost died yesterday because what I thought was just a bank was a 30-40 foot rock cliff, straight down into boulders in the creek below. I don't know how he didn't go flying off the edge, but somehow he did not. it was so thick there that we could not see there was a cliff 20 yards away from us. We never did see that squirrel again, and it would be the only one we would lay eyes on all day. We'll try it again there, and be more careful next time. Dodged a bullet this trip. I know there are lots of squirrels there, and ticks, too. Ticks horrendous today, too. We all had dozens on us all morning. everything getting washed now, including the dogs.

    Nancy and I went north today for a short hunt since time is running out and she doesn't get to go much except on weekends. On the first drop Lefty treed in about 2 minutes, but missed by a mile. I spotted the squirrel, but Lefty was on the wrong tree by a long ways. I gave him time to figure it out, but he did not, so we ended up not shooting that one. Nancy said Slick was on that tree briefly, but I did not see that. A while later Lefty and Slick split treed. Lefty off of the public ground by a couple hundred yards, so Nancy went after him, and he did have a squirrel. Meanwhile, I tied Slick and found his squirrel and shot it out. Lefty ran off of the public ground and treed again. I had to call him off of that one, and it took a while, but he did eventually come to me. I'm sure he had a squirrel. Slick made one more tree and it was a den. Lefty was being a real shithead the whole morning, barely even hunting. I got tired of it. On our second drop Lefty stayed in the box, and we took Slick by himself. He was on a tree pretty fast and squirrel offered a nice clean shot and Nancy poked his eye out. a couple hundred yards further and Slick was treed again. He had fox squirrel this time. I tied him and moved the squirrel around for Nancy, but she missed and this one ran to a hole. A few more minutes and Slick was barking around a couple of trees. Just as I started to go to him, he wandered off, but was still hot after something. It took him a couple minutes, but he finally settled on a tree and I was quite pleased that he had figured that track out correctly without much delay. That was big accomplishment for him, and a testament to how quickly he is progressing and learning to trust his nose. I tied him while Nancy took position for a shot, which went a little astray. squirrel ran around up in the tree for a few seconds then slowly started coming down the trunk. I could not see it, but Nancy was shouting at me to let Slick loose. By the time I got to the tree and freed Slick, the squirrel was on the ground and fleeing, but Slick ran it down and caught it. it bit him twice, but he finished it off. Slick made 5 trees of his own today, and four of them produced a squirrel. I doubt that you can teach a dog to run down a rat like that and dispatch it. He dropped it as soon as I got to him.

    Slick 8 months old yesterday, and taking no prisoners today. Very proud of this pup.
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    This picture is worth a thousand words, well, 17 anyway. Lefty disgruntled, Slick ecstatic, Nancy happy to be going home to finish washing off all the ticks. :D

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  13. The Slick Train Is On Track

    and it's full speed ahead, apparently. we stayed home monday out of the rain. I got caught up on chores, dogs got some much needed rest. I took Slick for a walk by himself yesterday afternoon. It is painfully obvious to me now that Lefty may never hunt to his potential with another dog, even the one he lives with day and night. He is just too jealous, too protective and too fucked up. That is mostly my fault for not handling him better when he was a pup, but some of that is his genes. the same behavior has occurred with some of his immediate family. Only an inconvenience now, but I sure hope this improves over time. For as good at finding rats as Lefty is, if Slick continues to improve at his current pace, he will easily eclipse Lefty's skill level, and does not seem to have any of the baggage that Lefty has.

    I'm really starting to buy in now. no dog gets lucky this many times and I'm not helping him out in any way at all now. I only encourage him when I know he is right, and move him on when I know he is wrong. He is covering ground, using his nose, his eyes and his ears. He is learning to trust his nose very quickly. I turned him loose the first time today about noon. He was on squirrel 200 yards out in less than two minutes, and I'm pretty sure he saw this one and chased it up a tree. He yipped a couple of times and though I could not see him, I could see he was moving fast on the gps receiver and was getting ready to zap him thinking he was chasing a deer, and just then he stopped and was barking treed, and he had one. after a couple of dens he found one more but would not stay on the tree, so I tied him. two in the bag. The drizzle continued all afternoon and in the second woods we hit he found three more and only one empty tree. The first one was in less than one minute after I let him loose.

    I could see early on that Slick had great potential, but he has surpassed every expectation I've had of him. I've shot out a dozen and a half squirrels to him in less than three weeks, which is quite amazing from where I'm standing. He is only 8 months old and still wants to run off of his trees when I close in, or if it takes a while to spot the squirrel, but he will outgrow this. He sure can find them, now knows that is what he is supposed to do, and really wants to do it. He doesn't destroy my squirrels when they hit the ground, either. He grabs them up, but a stearn "DROP" and tone from his training collar is easily enough to make him let it go and stay off of it. He is doing a great job with all of his obedience. I have an 8 month old pup that hunts like he's on a mission and listens to me! I'm just riding the wave now, trying hard not to get too anxious for next season. we still have a lot of work to do, but, damn, I must be livin' right. :cool:

    first two

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    good dog, Slickie, good dog.

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  14. Enjoying all of these posts. :D
     
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