"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Squirrel Season Will Be Here Soon
Copyright © 2006 by Bill Scifres

The squirrel season will not open for another month--August 15, to be exact--but Mr. Bushytail is starting to ripen now--there are plenty of things to do to get ready.

First off, it is time to zero in the weapon you will use on opening day--whether it be a hard-shooting scattergun or a rifle of some description--a bow with flu-flu arrows, or even the old standby slingshot (guffaw), or somewhere between. Finding good concentrations of game can come closer to time to hunt. Squirrels travel.

It doesn’t really matter what you use. Go out with confidence--if you go--and enjoy the hunt. But be prepared for the outing with something that will bring down the game, whether it be the hard-shooting shotgun or a slingshot. Don’t regret the misses.

That, the misses, brings back memories of a very special “miss” many years ago when the late Jack Cain, one of my mentors, and I were on a squirrel hunt along Weisman Hill in Scott County. Toward the middle of the afternoon, when things were slow, we joined forces, and inadvertently walked upon a fox squirrel on a white oak tree. The squirrel heard us coming and went in a hole.

“Let’s just sit quietly . . . the squirrel will come out soon.” I said, boy that I was.

“´Aw” Jack said, “He’ll be around next time we’re here.”

Jack, incidentally, was one of the best squirrel hunters we knew. I own his rifle. 

On we went.

Getting the weapon ready you will use on opening day can be as simple as running a few rounds through it, if you are blessed with a new weapon –or a new old one. All it requires is some shooting at targets you can decipher. What you are trying to do is get the weapon to shoot where you aim. Most new guns are well bore sighted. Old guns usually shoot pretty true but you should know how both shoot.

Shooting in a new weapon--or a new old one--is fairly easy. But this is no time for movement of the weapon so use a prop, however steady you may be. Use a sand bag--a rolled up blanket or rug will do the job--to make sure you don’t move.  Make sure you rest the forearm--not the barrel--on the rest. Whether it does or not is anybody’s guess but the old-time shooters say resting the metal of the barrel touching anything can sets up vibes in the barrel and cause the projectile to go awry. 

With the Department of Natural Resources properties and ranges under the sponsorship of the DNR offering some 40 ranges in 30 counties there can be no excuses about not having a place to shoot..

Add the places to safely shoot on private property and there are literally hundreds of places to do light shooting.

In many cases hunters zeroing in their firearms for the hunting seasons are welcomed by landowners with open arms. Some even participate. It may be that the landowner will specify. But a landowner must make the decisions.

The big issue is the safety factor for stock and the people who live about. Be safe and you will make a hit with landowners.

RUFFED GROUSE--The ninth annual Indiana Chapter Sportsmen’s Banquet for the Ruffed Grouse Society is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, August 26, at the Northside K. of C., 2100 east 71st Street, Indianapolis. Cocktails and the raffle start at 5 p. m., dinner at 7: 30 p.m. Tickets may be ordered through Karl Kovach, 8949 Keevers Drive, Indianapolis, IN, 46234 or by phone: (317-291-7411).


All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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