2017 Upland and small game thread.

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by Birdman, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    I have a lot of respect for successful handgun hunters. I spent a couple years developing a love affair with a 10 inch 357 Rem Max Contender, only to get frustrated and swear off of anything without a stock in the field.

    May need to give it another try. Still have the frame...
     
  2. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    It can be frustrating, especially passing up on shots that would be easy with a rifle. When you're successful its very rewarding. No matter what barrel you plan to hunt big game with I always recommend getting a 22lr barrel also. You can get in a lot of inexpensive practice and build confidence in your abilities hunting small game.
     
  3. Danno

    Danno Tracker

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    Awesome thread. Gonna have to give that jerky recipe a try...sounds real good! Heading out to western WI tonight for three days squirrel/grouse/turkey. Normally use a CZ452 for my squirrel gun but this year since I have a turkey tag I'm bringing a 12Ga. and K22 revolver. Also have some light loads for the 12ga for squirrel. I'm thinking the extra full choke my give it some extra range, and if they are less than 20 yards away out comes the K22. With my handgun prowess I'm sure the little varmints will just sit up in the trees laughing at me...
     
  4. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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  5. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    If you haven't already, it's likely worthwhile patterning those lighter loads before you head out - going real tight with the choke doesn't always produce the results one would like, and I generally favor more open chokes myself.

    Based on what I witnessed the other day, I think these are well worth playing around with: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2...arget-ammunition-12-gauge-2-3-4-7-8-oz-8-shot Recoil has been virtually nill in the guns I've tried them in (Stoeger P350 and Stoeger Condor), they out-pattern some high-test field loads, and report is indeed reduced, though not as much as I'd like; these are nowhere near as quiet as reduced .410 loads, but that is to be expected. These Winchesters absolutely destroyed red squirrels at close range - I literally saw one launched about twenty feet through the air by a direct hit - and the harder shot used in the AA loads seems to be quite effective; I scored a fringe hit on the back end of one squirrel, only a few pellets hitting it. The squirrel tried to escape, but fell out of the tree and within a minute or two had expired. I thought I'd have to reload and shoot again, but that proved unnecessary - the #8 shot clearly penetrated enough to do the job, even with only a few pellets in a less than optimal spot...I was impressed :dblthumb:
    I'd likely feel confident out to twenty yards or so with these on even the bigger fox and gray squirrels (assuming a good hit was made of course), but without thorough pattern/choke testing, I don't think I'd push them much further.
    Aguila offers these little gems, but they are expensive and hard to find, not to mention they aren't designed to function in repeaters: http://rockymountainbushcraft.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-aguila-12-gauge-minishell-game.html They seem to pattern well, though I don't know how the report would be (I'd ultimately like to try some and see) compared to the Winchester AA low recoil/noise stuff; they have a smaller payload, but factory velocity is rated higher...

    Regardless, good luck with the hunting :dblthumb: :44:

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~

    P.S. Winchester also offers the same reduced 7/8 ounce AA load in 20 gauge (it is essentially a 20 gauge target load weight-wise anyhow I think). I have some, but have yet to try them out. Given the 20 bore's smaller diameter, they might well be quieter in that application, especially with a long barrel... http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/winchester-aa-low-recoil-12-gauge-shotshells
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  6. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    Got a couple more yesterday.

    1008171117a.jpg
     
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  7. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    Headed to the swamp in an hour or so. Leaving the beloved .22 at home and taking an old Iver Johnson single 16, inherited from my Pawpaw. I’ll let y’all know how it goes. :D
     
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  8. WesinND

    WesinND Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sharptailed grouse numbers seem like they have been down in my part of North Dakota this year. I know there are more birds in the western part of the state. I enjoy walking and trying to find them anyway, it's one of my favorite kinds of hunting. I went out last weekend and saw three birds, but they all flushed wild 150 yards or so in front of us. This weekend Sam and I walked a field I've been successful in years past. It had been mowed this summer and had alfalfa in it, and a bean field to the north. It looked good. We were barely out of the truck and two birds flushed, I whoa'd Sam and we watched them land in the brushy shelter belt between the alfalfa and beans. The wind was in our face. We walked up the edge and bumped a couple of birds, then Sam pointed and three birds flushed. I got one, and Sam found it in the beans and retrieved it to hand. We continued on, Sam on the north side of the brush and me on the south, and Sam locked up on point again. Before I could get to the other side of the brush, Sam broke and flushed the birds. He was too exited. So I told him "no", and made him walk at heel for awhile. We jumped a nice buck out of the brush about 15 yards ahead of us, I had to remind Sam to 'whoa' and he did, we watched the buck run across the field. So we only got o ne bird but it was a good hunt.

    I left my 16 gauge Model 12 at home and took my Benelli Montefeltro 12 Gauge that I have been hunting with for over 12 years. I have used it on more upland game than probably any other shotgun. It has a IC choke it and Federal 7 1/2 game loads is what I normally use during the early season.

    I cleaned it with a new Benchmade 'Grizzly Creek' folder I got at the Base Exchange on sale. I didn't need another knife, but I seen to have this affliction. It came very sharp out of the box, and did very well. I skinned this one because my wife wants to make jalapeno poppers.

    Sam with Sharptail.jpg Benchmade.jpg
     
  9. Danno

    Danno Tracker

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  10. SlayerOfBunnies

    SlayerOfBunnies Guide

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    Zapped another fox squirrel today (pretty small game)...
    [​IMG]

    ... and a red squirrel Friday (much smaller game)...
    [​IMG]
     
  11. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    Nice lookin rifle, good shooting.
     
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  12. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    image.jpeg Even the handicapped are getting some action. Ran into 11-12 blue grouse taking my dad out. Got 3 of them. Saw an herd of elk up close and one large moose bull that came ultra close to us as we were tooling down the road. Close call!

    After that little trip he was wiped out and I had to take him home, but at least he got some hunting in and seen lots of wildlife.
     
  13. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    Only two grays with Pawpaw’s 16. 85 degrees is just too hot for good squirrel hunting. At least for me. Love the way this old gun looks and carries. By far my favorite single.

    608D4F50-1501-421A-B8F9-11A11A0FF555.jpeg
    08A39B7A-F755-40D2-B504-1369CFCC5F2C.jpeg
     
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  14. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    @SlayerOfBunnies, how do you like that Ruger? I’d like to pick up a more accurate .22, and I’ve had good experience with the centerfire Americans.
     
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  15. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    1013171617.jpg



    1013171624.jpg



    Jerky time! Got a couple more yesterday.
     
  16. SlayerOfBunnies

    SlayerOfBunnies Guide

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    I love the thing. It's light, tough and accurate. It really seems to like CCI mini- mags. The scope is a vortex diamondback 4x12 with an adjustable objective lens.

    The squirrels aren't that fond of it though.
     
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  17. Nonc-Tobe

    Nonc-Tobe I call it a black pot Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    IMG_3062.JPG
    4 and a rabbit opening day Oct 7th
     
  18. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Well, the ole 'woods chickens' have eluded me thus far this year....really hoping to bag at least one, but this season is looking ominously similar to last year at present :rolleyes: :(

    That said, they are active, just not as consistently & in the same areas I'm used to seeing them. Found a gaggle of 'em yesterday in an apple/softwood thicket bordering a big field, but they took off before I could get too near them - never got a clear peep at one in that thick stuff.
    While crashing out of the woods and into a clear cut a while later, I think one took off literally right in front me; never saw it, but looked up to vibrating branches - a tick or two later, I heard the telltale sound of a bird weaving in to land in the woods up the hill behind me. Trudged back up to look, but no luck.
    My only real shot (literally) at a bird thus far came last weekend, when I briefly saw one - again, tucked up under an apple tree in a field-bordering thicket - but hesitated too long....he moved behind a clump of trees after a second, and I never got another good look at him, as the bird took off right after that. I didn't have enough confidence in myself when I saw the bird for that fraction of time, but I should have taken the shot - he was in some thick, dark stuff, but I think some of that hard AA shot would have made it in there...:rolleyes: :oops:
    Hopefully, I'll be back at it again this coming week....fingers crossed :D :dblthumb:

    My gf's brother bagged his first squirrel with the Goose Gun last weekend - the only critter we got a shot at that day (aside from the grouse inccident I choked on above). Yesterday, we were out from a tick before 4 pm until dark. Once again, the chipmunks were out in full force, and so were the red squirrels. I think we downed seven of the latter, with him getting three with the Mossberg 183T .410 (stoked with 3" #6 stuff) and me four with the Condor and Winchester Low Recoil AAs. He couldn't find the last one he shot in a brush pile at dusk, and my last squirrel, which I plastered at close range, disappeared as well; I put it down by the driveway, but couldn't find it again even with a flashlight. It was the only one I hit full-on all day, tearing it up pretty good, so I know he didn't spring back to life.....maybe a predator snuck in and got him while I was chasing the last squirrel I heard before dark.....dunno.
    On the squirrel note, I didn't seem to get too many pellets from the Winchester load into any squirrel but that last one throughout the day - some of the shots were long/steep, and I was probably not 'aiming in' as well I should have. That said, all the squirrels went down, and once again the hardened #8 AA shot seemed to be working quite well :dblthumb: I only got to fire the Condor's lower barrel the entire time (bottom tube always fires first) and ended up with only one AA shell left after the disappearing squirrel act, though I had a pocketful of Remmie #6 game loads for backup, with one in the top barrel for backup by dusk.
    Also on the squirrel note, the lanky, 6'5" teenage fellow we call Lurch (in size and demeanor, he fits the Adams Family butler almost to a T :D) missed a longer shot on one squirrel, but dropped a running red a little while later - I've never actually done that, and I was quite impressed that he pulled it off with the little .410 :dblthumb:

    Looking forward to getting back out again asap....probably need to do some actual pattern work at some point too :45: lol.

    Glad to see everyone else is enjoying being out there & having some success too :dblthumb: :44:

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  19. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Good to hear - happy you & the 12 gauge did well :dblthumb:

    Don't feel too bad on missing them with the little K22 - I've seen more people miss squirrels with handguns than hit 'em :D I can shoot them well on the range, but only once did I go out with a .22 handgun and get a squirrel - that was mostly a matter of opportune luck :4: :dblthumb: I almost always shoot better with revolvers vs. autos, but I hate cleaning them. My buddy has a nice old Mark II Ruger that is scary accurate (like, I can make a tennis ball jump at will out to 25 yards accurate) for such a basic gun, and I might be able to hit a squirrel if it'd let me get close enough :rolleyes: :D
    Speaking of said buddy, he has my father's old Beretta 76 - a very nice target grade .22 autopistol that I would put up against the S&W 41 any day - and that thing can pick apart clay pigeon pieces out to sixty yards all day long with a red dot :eek: :dblthumb: That one squirrel I got with a .22 pistol was with that gun w/open sights....I also missed at least one other squirrel with it, so there ya go :oops: :rolleyes:
    Now, when we were using airguns, we both made some great shots with .177 Crosman 357-6 CO2 revolvers - probably my best shot ever was a squirrel I head-shotted with one of those guns (with the aid of a red dot) while camping one morning :dblthumb: The next year, I came back and promptly missed every squirrel I shot at with the same combo, so there ya go again....handgunning for squirrels ain't easy....or maybe I just suck with 'em, I dunno lol

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  20. possumjon

    possumjon Supporter Supporter

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    Scores this guy with my recurve so far this year. By far the toughest squirrel I've ever eaten? Not sure why
    rps20171009_213339.jpg rps20171009_213317.jpg
     
  21. jasam

    jasam Scout

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    Fine shot with a recurve @possumjon. I usually just shoot at them
     
  22. possumjon

    possumjon Supporter Supporter

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    I can't tell you how many I miss lol. One good thing about one piece broadheads you can resharpen. I swear they dodge arrows as good as deer, probably easy compared to the birds of prey they're used to
     
  23. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Some great hunting stories forming on this board relatively early in most of the seasons - nice to see folks having success on squirrels, deer, and everything in between :dblthumb: :44:

    Went out again yesterday afternoon with Lurch and we ended up having something of a banner day; took a few pics with my crappy flip phone, but I don't even know if I can get them transferred, nevermind make them look decent on the 'puter :rolleyes: :oops:

    I think we each bagged five squirrels apiece, including four within yards of the cabin. I missed a chance to pop one of the still-invasive beavers down by pond just before dark, and another red squirrel evaded us and went into a hole near the wooden steps outside the cabin - kindda bummed about missing those opportunities, but there was certainly no shortage of 'targets of opportunity' yesterday :dblthumb: :D
    If I counted right, since October 3rd, Lurch and I have accounted for 22 squirrels, including 13 with the Condor and Winchester AA Low Recoil loads; had to take two hasty shots at one squirrel yesterday, as it was about to jump trees & Lurch didn't have a shot at first - hit the squirrel too far back, but the top barrel brought it down for good.
    The reds are much thicker near the cabin this year than I had thought, so I was happy to thin them out some yesterday, and rather miffed that I couldn't get that last one right before dark...

    Also, and finally, we managed to tag into some grouse too. In what is probably the oddest such encounter I've ever had, both Lurch and I fired a shot each at two birds within probably thirty seconds' worth of time :eek: :D

    I saw the first bird, a good-sized male, running the woods between a big field & the old farm road. He stepped into a semi-open spot, and though I didn't have the best shot, I fired - Lurch apparently was in a better spot & fired as well. I later noted two wounds on the bird, one in the upper cheast/lower neck, and another in the head. I honestly think I may have fringe hit the bird with the lower shot, while Lurch delivered the bang-flop hit to the head with the Mossberg .410 :D :dblthumb:

    As the first grouse started flapping its last, I looked up to my right & saw movement which I took to be a squirrel. Well, turned out to be a female grouse which proceeded to hop to a neighboring hardwood, angle down, and enter pre-launch mode :eek:. Once again, I fired first and the .410 echoed a tick later; I think Lurch might have hit a hair over the bird, but I'm not sure. My top barrel's worth of Remmie #6 Game Load (and maybe some of his Federal #6) about blew up the back end of the bird, which went straight down. I discovered later that many pellets had penetrated well, unfortunately riddling most of the breast in the process.
    Both birds were well & truly dead when we got to them, and after some excited high-fiving, we decided to call half a kill each, or one bird total apeice :D The high body hits we achieved on the male grouse proved fortuitous - I only found one pellet hit in the breast when cleaning the bird :dblthumb:

    I have to say, eighteen-year old Lurch has impressed me despite his relative lack of extensive shooting experience. He's got quick reflexes, and has a seemingly innate ability to lead & hit moving game, even with the relatively diminutive .410 :eek: :dblthumb: Even in my prime (which I'm well passed now :rolleyes: :oops: :D), I don't think I could do any better, and despite having far fewer years 'in the business' as it were, the big fellow seems to be a natural fit for hunting & hitting things. If he stays interested, I think he'll do well for a long spell....he certainly seems to enjoy it, and it gets him out of the house & away from World of Tanks, so it looks like a win-win :D :dblthumb:

    Hoping we can get out & have some luck on birds - while thinning some more pests - but even if we don't bag any more, there are two more birds in the freezer now than there were all of last year, so I guess I can't complain lol

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  24. SlayerOfBunnies

    SlayerOfBunnies Guide

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    Boom - more squirrels (huzzah)...
    [​IMG]

    Those are a couple from yesterday.
     
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  25. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    @SlayerOfBunnies you take some of the most tasteful hunting pics I’ve seen. Nice job!
     
  26. SlayerOfBunnies

    SlayerOfBunnies Guide

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    Hey thanks! No point grossing folks out. :)
     
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  27. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Tracker

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    IMG_0883.JPG We still have almost all our leaf cover on, but it was a nice cool morning in the Carolinas so I decided to take my little Feist out for a hunt. He started hammering them pretty quick but with all the leaves I only saw 8 and was able to take these 4. When the leaves fall it will be game on
     
  28. jasam

    jasam Scout

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    Hard to beat a feist or a cur dog.
     
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  29. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    I sorta stopped shooting the squirrels by me for now.

    There are so many this year that it isn’t “hunting” anymore... just “shooting”.
     
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  30. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Another snowshoe hare with the Charger.

    Hare, .43 Cent Dinner, Duraglas Jug 069.JPG
     
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  31. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Nice lookin' bunny there pab :dblthumb:

    On a semi-related note, I've always been intrigued with the idea of going out west someday to try my hand hunting jackrabbits :D Then again, I've also entertained thoughts of heading south/southwest and attempting to pick some of those big fox squirrels out of those tall oaks, so there's that too :rolleyes: :4: :dblthumb:

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
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  32. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Thanks @Squirrelhunter! I've always wanted to hunt fox and gray squirrels too. We only have reds around here.
     
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  33. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    This year is weird for rabbit. I haven't shot/seen one yet while out hunting. Last year we were lousy with them, so much so that I was passing on squirrels because I prefer the taste of rabbit much more. I think the local coyote population has something to do with it.
     
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  34. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    We have a fair number of grays here in NH - even have a season on 'em, though I've never gone out after them; I suppose if I wanted to actually eat squirrel, those would be the way to go though :D :dblthumb:
    I don't think I've ever seen a gray in the woods here. Normally, I only see them in semi-urban settings, where they go for peoples' bird seed & grow as big as cats :eek: I've had a number of close calls with semi-suicidal grays kamikaze'ing across the roads here in town, but out in the forests, red squirrels (and a surprising number of heart-attack-inducing chipmunks :eek: :rolleyes: :D) reign supreme here too. Though entertaining to watch at times, the reds are terrible pests - they have caused considerable damage to buildings on the family property (and many others in the area) over the years :mad:
    I believe there were once quite a few more grays around, but that the red squirrels (who reproduce multiple times per year) more or less drove them out. At least to some degree, red squirrels are cannibalistic, and they are certainly aggressive & territorial - so all that probably helps account for the relative dearth of the larger gray squirrels. I once saw a big gray chase some reds away from a bird feeder it was at, but otherwise, the big squirrels seem much more mild mannered than their smaller cousins...

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
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  35. Harpoon

    Harpoon Scout

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    First one this year, got a late start, 2 more added later. They are skittish this year. Seem real busy. FullSizeRender.jpg
     
  36. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Tracker

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    Pretty picture, what kinda knife is that ? I like it.
     
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  37. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Not sure, but it looks like one of Schrade's 'Old Timer' series.

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
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  38. Harpoon

    Harpoon Scout

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    It's an oldish, '97, I believe, Case Copperlock. Best small game folder, for me anyway.
     
  39. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Tracker

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    Looks like maybe " Case XX" on the scales ? Can't make out the blade tho
     
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  40. 55dougie

    55dougie Scout

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    Turkey hunting this morning and look what I called in with my Witter Long Box call..... no more turkeys for him...

    [​IMG]
     
  41. dmangler

    dmangler Scout

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    Nice work! What does the fox say? Pew pew pew pew pew
     
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  42. hashbrown

    hashbrown Tracker

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    I accidentally left my truck window open over night and this sombitch was inside my truck eating my snacks!

    trash panda.jpg
     
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  43. slysir

    slysir Scout

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    Was the raccoon in there too?? :cool::rolleyes:

    -John
     
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  44. vdeal

    vdeal Supporter Supporter

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    Slow season here. I got out once last week for squirrel and heard or saw nothing. The local WMA isn't that great of a place for critters in my book and the grouse have entirely disappeared. I need to go to my grandparent's old farm and hit the oak trees along the field edge and see if they show themselves (squirrel that is). Cool thing about last week is that I ran upon a reenactor squirrel hunting in 17th century garb. Breeches, wool overcoat, flintlock, powder horn, etc. Except for the blaze orange hat he was the real deal - pretty cool.
     
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  45. Birdman

    Birdman Guide

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    You just made me spit coffee on myself. Hahaha.
     
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  46. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    That's the best laugh I've had in a long time! :dblthumb::D
     
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  47. Harpoon

    Harpoon Scout

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    FullSizeRender.jpg 2 quick ones for the pot:
     
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  48. Squirrelhunter

    Squirrelhunter Scout

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    Nice job - what gun you running there?

    Kind Regards,

    ~ SH ~
     
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  49. Harpoon

    Harpoon Scout

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    Ithaca single shot .410
     
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