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12 YEAR OLDS FIRST HUNT

We left at 4:45 am Saturday morning and drove quite a ways into the mountains to an area known to have monster size Jackrabbits. I had never been to the area so was very excited as well as getting to hunt with a newcomer to the sport. Seeing the excitement of a new hunter was well worth the trip just by itself and was pleased just in getting to take part. Tom had brought his .30 FX Impact and Nick was using a custom 22xx I had built along with myself and the .22 Marauder.

We arrived at the area nearly running over a Jackrabbit as it made it’s way across the dirt fire road, very good sign so far. The time was about 6:45 am with the weather being very pleasant along with no wind. We walked for a bit with me staying behind to take some pics and get bearings on the area that to me looked very prime.

The area was near alpine level altitude with mostly Rolling hills and patches of dense bushy cover. After about 20 min of walking Nick had spotted a Jackrabbit at 100 yards, those young eyes are very helpful. I decided to stalk the Jackrabbit leaving Tom and Nick to circle around where I planned to push it towards them. The plan had worked well and was able to get the Jackrabbit to run right into them leaving Tom with a good 30 yard head-shot that dropped him in his tracks instantly.

Seeing Nick’s enthusiasm of witnessing his father’s humane kill was very cool. We all walked back to the truck and Tom instructed Nick on how to clean and process the Jackrabbit meat.

After all that we headed back out to a bare hillside looking down into a creek bed where we set up a can at 45 yards for Nick to practice his shots, that kid is a great marksman and surprised us both with his skill.

Tom has his hands full now with Nick getting the hunting bug and being so excited about getting more involved in our sport.

After 30 minutes of practice we set out a bit more while seeing a few Jackrabbits but none that offered much of a good shot for Nick or myself. It was nice to just be out hiking around on such a beautiful day but we decided to end our hunt to head down the mountain for lunch.

The day was great fun for all of us and too a memory that will be left forever in the mind.

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Ground Squirrel 3 day hunt

On Friday April 1st, SteveO and I drove North into the Sequoia NF where we met up with several other Airgunners. The weather was a nice cool 79 degrees at 11:30am.

hunting

We met Terry, Jessi, Ron and Tom along with his 10year old son Nick at our camping area where we would spend the next 3 days hunting ground squirrel. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking as far as how lush and green everything was. The rolling hills were covered in flowers and waist high grass.

hunting

Targets out to 300 Yards

Terry and Ron set up a beautiful target area where we spent some time sighting in our guns. Targets were set up anywhere from 25 yards out to 200 yards. After several hours of target shooting it became a bit windy, still not enough to detour us from venturing out to hunt ground squirrel. The area we were hunting had rolling hills with scattered Oak trees and very large rock outcroppings.

ground squirrel hunting

I had set out across a creek where I had hunted the year before. The first thing I noticed was that the tall grass was obscuring my view from the GS holes. The only way I was able to hunt them was to find high ground as to where I could look downward over the grass. This was the way most all of us hunted throughout the trip. By this time it was late afternoon and we all met back at camp where we shared some food, drinks and some stories around the portable fire pit that Terry had brought.

firepit

The next morning had brought us a beautiful day with no wind and cool temperatures. We spent most of the morning target shooting and plinking with some very nice assortments of Airguns. Ron had brought a good amount of guns, my favorite being a custom 22xx with 40fpe. He had also brought his .30 custom Rainstorm that he let a few of us shoot, first big bore Terry had ever shot.

Custom Rainstorm .30

 

Tom had brought a .308 Slayer along with his son Nick’s custom 22xx bottle fed mini beast.

Custom 22xx Bottle gun

.308 slayer

Tom Costan with .308 Slayer

Jessi was using his Cricket bullpup that he was hitting bottles out to 100+yrds. Guys one of the best marksman I’ve ever met. Terry had brought his Tapian Mutant that proved to be super accurate and quiet, very nice looking gun as well. My choice of guns for the weekend was my regulated MK1 LD pistol carbine that proved great out to 75 yards. SteveO hunted with his trusted .25 Marauder that has taken many GS in the past years.

Around 1:00pm Tom, Nick and myself headed out to hunt together and to find some long range targets for his .308 Slayer that earlier had been hitting eggs at 200 yards. Within about 20 minutes of hiking I found several GS at 120 yards.

120 Yards

Tom was easily able to take one of them as the others never came back out.

By the end of the day we had around 20 kills between all of us, SteveO came out on top with 7 kills. The evening was met with more great food and laughs along with a brilliant night sky.

The last day we had all gotten up early and headed out in different directions by ourselves. I had chosen a spot in some rocks where I had spotted several a ground squirrel near a fallen log. Ron was several yards to my left stalking a few holes, very frustrating with the tall grass obstructing the view. What was happening was you would spot the grass moving but not be able to take a shot unless you got lucky and found a ground squirrel on a rock or poking out of a hole.

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Most of our kills were between 30 to 75 yards

 

Nick had made his way down the hill with Tom where I was able to set him up with a pretty good shot, mind you this kid is an excellent marksman and someone I would hunt with any day. Nick had the perfect shot but unfortunately his bolt had slid open making the shot very weak making a miss. I can say I missed more than ever on this trip but enjoyed time with friends more than ever. My highlight of the trip was the epic scenery and target shooting paired with some of the best hiking I’ve ever encountered. I thank all who came and can’t wait till next year.