Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Ok, so I've been in hunter mode since the beginning of summer. Not by choice, but now I'm kinda happy to have known so much more going into the actual hunting season. Between 'Rome having The Outdoor Channel on 24/7 and Google searches on everything you can think of, I've learned more than I thought.
October 2nd was the first day of archery season, being that it was written and highlighted on the calendar and dry erase board, I knew it was that day since May. October 16th, now, was the first day of small game aka squirrel season for us. I have my hunting license since we had gone out for Spring turkey and I didn't get anything then, so I thought starting small with squirrels would be the best practice. Well...the night before we went out and had a gooooood time, so needless to say, the 5 am alarm came and went. Waking up around noon, we both still wanted to go, so we threw on our camo gear and made our way to our spot.
We sat for a little and saw nothing. Now, 'Rome had been out in his tree stand plenty of times before that day and always told me about the large squirrel population. Well, we'll just say they made a big liar out of him for the first hour. Finally, he shot the first squirrel we saw that wasn't a baby. Using a .22, it was bang, bang....dead squirrel. The scope needs to be sighted in, but at least he made out. He adjusted the scope a little for me and we hoped for the best. As he began to gut it, I grabbed the gun and began a trek to a nice spot with a huge dying pine tree dead ahead, a favorite hangout of the squirrels.
I was sitting there for about 7 minutes and I looked to my left and there was a fat squirrel staring right at me. Remember, this was the first animal I had been out to shoot that I actually had a chance at getting. (Those turkeys were jerks.) As I lifted the .22 and pressed it into my shoulder, I felt my heart beating so hard that when I looked through the scope it was shaking. I propped it on my knee and bang, bang...twitchy squirrel on the ground somewhere. As I went to look for it, my hunter man came walking over to help. Sadly, I had to shoot it once more to kill it; I'm not going to make it suffer, that is just mean. All I was thinking as I walked to the next spot was...I cannot imagine seeing a deer or bear in my sights, I would be shaking so hard.
All in all, we ended up with 5 squirrels in 3 hours. I had shot 2 of them on my own, pretty proud actually. I'm sure you can tell in the first picture. The next picture is the beginning of the gutting process, at first I just started, mouth agape realizing "Holy shit, this is real, I have to do this." He tried to get me to eat a squirrel heart but HA! Yeahhhh right. (Maybe if I shoot a deer, I'll take a bite of the heart, I hear that is something you should do. Only if I shoot a buck though... I guess we'll find out.) And of course, the last picture is of my bloody hand with the entrails in the background. We had no gloves so I went into it caveman style. Barehanded and brave.
I hope this isn't too gross for you. It is quite an experience. Going out and killing an animal, gutting it, skinning it and then eating it. (The guts were still warm when I reached in and took them out... which was creepy.) We brought them home, cooked them up and I made squirrel stew. I still have some left...let me know if you want some!! Haha : )