ground squirrel hunting with hatsan at44
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Hunting Ground Squirrels with Crosman and Hatsan

On this hot Summer morning my friend Baxter Walton, known well for his tuning of Hatsan’s drove into the forest seeking new areas for hunting Ground Squirrels. After a little over and hour on the road we reached an area we decided to stop and check out. This area was fairly steep and went several miles down into an Oak tree valley. The area had many fallen Oak trees, rocks, stumps and tall grass that made it the perfect habitat for the California Ground Squirrel.

ground squirrel hunting with airguns

This area has been so dry that the only ones to be found running around are young and dumb juveniles. To find an adult during this time in this area would be considered a trophy, walking away by the end of the day with more than a few is very lucky. Most of these Ground Squirrels are found with binoculars from several hundred yards away, and then requires stalking them. Most of the Ground Squirrels we were spotting were sunning themselves on rocks and fallen trees.

ground squirrel hunting with airguns

Ground squirrels have eyes much like humans so if you have camo along with some cover the chances are much greater for getting close enough to shoot them. Baxter and I drove and hiked over a large portion of the mountain, stopping to sight in with a Ground Squirrel spinner target at 75 yards. Baxter had that range dialed in great with his Hatsan AT44 and was able to help me improve my skills that were horrible that morning. After the sight in we ventured down to an area I have been looking to explore and felt it to be promising from the looks of it.

hunting ground squirrels with airguns

 

We hiked down a steep embankment with rocks, Oak trees and tall dry grass with sections of baron dirt with holes all over. We spotted a “trophy”at near 400 yards away and proceeded to hike towards it in a large circle through some heavily wooded areas. By doing this we had hoped to conceal ourselves from the potential to spook the Ground Squirrel off the small boulder, and back down into his hole.

ground squirrel hunting with hatsan at44

After some time waiting in one spot we both managed to spot several Ground Squirrels and even a few dumb juveniles that were crawling about on a large fallen tree. I ended up stalking one of them into around 35 yards where I was able to make a good head-shot that sent it into a back flip. As you can see the natural camouflage of the fur can really make them difficult to see, especially when they are sitting still against rocks, grass, or a tree stump.

hunting ground squirrels with an airgun

Baxter was able to connect with one soon after I did at near 50 yards with a nice head-shot that sent the juvenile tumbling down the rock face that it was sitting on.

Bwalton pcp airgun hunting

I normally am not a fan of Hatsan’s but will say that Baxter has done wonders with his as its accurate and quite powerful. After us making several kills in this area they were quick to disappear down off the rocks, leaving the action very slow. We decided to take a much needed break from the sun and to re-hydrate in the shade enjoying the company of a fellow Airgunner.

bwalton airgun hunting

After we had taken a short break I had suggested we walk down and around the rocks with the hope to get another vantage point and to give the Ground Squirrels some time to come back out. As we moved down the hill we could see grass moving in a wake like motion as one ran up a large boulder. Baxter took his precision shot that unfortunately sent the Ground Squirrel down through a deep crack where it was never recovered.

baxter walton pcp hunting

A second Ground Squirrel ran out from his hole and was just to fast for me with a disappointing miss. We hiked back to the vehicle and drove down the long single lane road looking on every rock along the way when I spotted one under a large Oak tree down a steep embankment.

baxter walton pcp hunting ground squirrels

We stopped and hiked down below hoping to take shots upward, Baxter couldn’t see it so I tried another angle and was able to make a hit at 30 yards as the Ground Squirrel ran up the hillside.

hunting ground squirrels with the marauder

Baxter soon after spotted two more up on some rocks at some 60 yards away where we took tandem shots with what I believe to be misses, although they never came back up again. Both of us got lucky this day with at least one each but my prospect is we will bag 20 each during the late Spring when they will be out in numbers. We now know through our venture where all the hot spots are along with the best vantage points for our shots. The day was a success in just that and I thank Baxter for keeping me company and as he said “Looking forward to going back soon cause its just like fishing to me, does not matter if you do not catch anything, its just the beauty of it all, and as you can see, it was quit beautiful that day.”