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Doves and ground squirrels

Started by Steelhead, October 15, 2023, 09:44:33 AM

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Steelhead

I've been steadily picking off some ground squirrels that are living under the foundation of the free-stall barn. There's actually a parked grader sitting about 65 yards away from the foundation that has a nice seat and roof, so it makes for a perfect stand along with multiple places to use for a rest.

Yesterday I was doing a lot of food prep for making a huge batch of jerky and also smoked salmon. While everything was either brining or soaking up spices, I took a walk up the driveway to check for squirrels. To my surprise, there were no squirrels at the foundation but there were a ton of doves flying around. I shot one at about 50 yards off of a fence post, and when I went to pick it up I saw movement on a haystack. Low and behold, there was a ground squirrel munching away and staring back at me. I tried on offhand shot and unfortunately missed it at about 50 yards. I picked up the dove, and circled the barn looking for more birds.

Not finding any within shooting range, I took a peek at the haystack again. Sure enough, that fat-cheeked little bastard was right back up there again. I used the handy metal fence post and took aim at his head. The distance was about 35-40 yards so no holdover was needed. The sound of the both impacts, the squirrel's face and followed by the slug exiting and hitting the wooden rafters was loud as hell. The ground rat dropped right between the stack and the corrugated siding of the barn (@ a 6" to 1' gap) and I heard him 'clunk' when he hit the bottom.

I circled the barn again, shot another dove, and I'll be damned if there wasn't another squirrel back up on the stack when I came around again. Same scenario...fence post rest, head shot, and down the gap again. Saving a bunch of repeated info, I did this 4 times for three doves and four squirrels. Three of the squirrels went down the gap and one fell back between the uppermost bales. I had no desire to climb the stack and take bales apart just to get a pic or two, but suffice it to say that all were very dead, lol.

As long as I have the smoker going, I'm going to throw in the doves breasts and see how the come out.
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steveoh

Cool! Good to thin the herds of ground squirrels and collared doves.

I miss that TWACK sound of smacking a squirrel's noggin. :)
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Alan

I''m at the point that I don't shoot the Morning or White Wing does; just the Eurasians.

Last season, we had so many doves of all kinds, it was possible to get your limit on any day in about 15 minutes. This year is even better believe it or not! Eurasians are a plentiful as grackles so it seems. Problem is, I'm running out of freezer space!
Alan

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).

bnowlin

Looks like you guys have the best of both worlds. Nothing to eat around here so Doves are not to be found right now.
Pleny dear here but I feed them corn as there are no acorns this year.  Not enen pecans for the squirrels.  completely different than last year. I don't shoot Bambi.  Hogs have even dissapeared because it is so dry.
Pond is getting so low I may have to give mouth to mouth to the catfish.
Life goes on.
Bobn

Steelhead

The amount of rain in NorCal this last winter kept things green well into late June, which is unheard of. Usually, things here brown out in early May and stay that way until the first significant rains of late fall. This year the amount of growth from all of the has all animals plentiful and healthy, from deer to rats to doves and everything in between. 

I'm with Alan, I don't bother with mourning doves. They aren't legal to take with airguns anyway in CA, but it's not even a temptation. The Euros outnumber the mournings 10 to 1, they're bigger, they taste WAY better, and the like landing more instead of just flying by. Mournings are for shotgunners and pass shooting. And legal with airguns, no limit, and open year-round.

Freezer burned dove breasts also fit wonderfully in a crab snare which will be coming into play in about 2.5 weeks when Dungeness crab season opens here. I love not going out-of-pocket for crab bait; venison trim leftovers and freezer burned or outdated fish and game has worked better than expensive store bought 'premium' crab bait.

Airforce Texan .308
FX Impact MKII .25
Benjamin Discovery .22
Benjamin Prowler .177
Texan .50
Sam Yang 909s Light Hunter
Born Wild Shooting Chair
Air Venturi compressor