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Time to get serious

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

  1. Tomorrow is lookin like a squirrel killin morning, then again any day i'm off work is a good squirrel killin day!
     
    Jamie Miller and bluedog like this.
  2. 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.
     

  3. 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...
     
    bluedog likes this.
  4. 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
     
    Jamie Miller likes this.
  5. 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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  6. 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.

    1-19 small.jpg

    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.

    1-19 small 1.JPG

    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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  7. Awesome job Jamie with that youngster!
     
  8. 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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    bluedog, SQACK KILLER and Deehntr56 like this.
  9. 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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  10. Enjoying all of these posts. :D
     
  11. The hour glass is nearly drained on another squirrel season. I am getting pretty worn down chasing two dogs around, but hunters and dogs need to hunt, so I decided to try something different today. I took both dogs and put them in the most unlikely places to find a squirrel that I could think of at a local public hunting area with the intention of just going for a walk in the woods with my dogs and my rifle. Each dog found three squirrels for me in stupid ass places. A testament to just how many squirrels there really are, and proof that they are always just where you find them; pretty much anywhere. One that Slick nailed bailed from a leaf nest to the ground and the chase was on. He nearly caught it, but, alas, rat made it up a tree and into a hole. the rest of the squirrels we found came home with us. none of them cooperated much, but the rifle ultimately found 5 rat skulls. A rather bizarre day of squirrel hunting, but some squirrels were moving, and the dogs performed. shooter did ok, too. Lefty does not need any more practice, so tomorrow Slick and I will say farewell to squirrel season together.

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  12. Solid
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    Not unlike the rock he is perched on for his last hero shot of the season, Slick delivered another solid performance today. The conditions were less than desirable with 20-25mph winds and rain off and on for the duration. Besides that, for all intents and purposes, Slick is still a puppy only 8 months old. We hit it hard today and hunted far and wide, and I can tell you for certain that Slick had more left in the tank when we quit today than I did. We visited two of my hotspots, which produced a total of three squirrels and about 15 dens. Two came home with us, and one bailed out to the ground and Slick chased it out of my sight, about 100 yards, and up a tree, but it gave us the slip. High winds make for difficult shots at moving targets swaying in the tops of trees. The third one I shot I only had about 1/3 of its head and shoulder to shoot at after a long game of hide-and-seek, so I took it, swaying and all. I hit its front leg and it crawled down the tree to the ground and made a run for it, but Slick caught it easily and finished it off handily despite being bit. We also visited a couple of oddball places which produced another three, two of which got dead. The last tree he made was a giant cottonwood that had two squirrels. this may well have been the best job Slick has done staying on a tree for me. It took me a long time to finally get a makeable shot, which I made, but the second squirrel timbered out, Slick with it the whole way, then it bailed to the ground and after a short chase it ran up another giant cottonwood and vanished. That would be the last squirrel we would see, but he did go to a couple more dens. Slick hunted his ass off today and found 6 for me, but took a beating in the process. he's gimping on a front foot and has a big gash behind his ear that I did not even notice until we got home.

    gash 1-31-17.jpg

    I have no idea how that happened. it's ugly, but does not seem to be bothering him much, not as much as his foot, anyway. he's probably still in less pain than my sorry ass. at least one small part of me is glad it's over.;)
     
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  13. Nice wrap up for the season. I went out Sunday in the snow. I sat for awhile and walked for awhile. In 4 hours I only cut 2 sets of fresh squirrel tracks in the snow. Monday I was busy and Tuesday work. I wish our squirrel season ran through February like a lot of states do. Seems like I don't really get a chance to go out much until after muzzleloader season.
     
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