Last Sunday, a few of us met a fantastic outdoorsman named Jason for a bit of squirrel hunting over trained dogs. (Treeing Feists, I believe, though I never asked Jason specifically what breed the dogs happened to be.) I’ve never actually hunted squirrels with dogs before, though I’ve been in the woods with a .22 LR rimfire, my GSP Cinders and said the words ‘find me a squirrel,’ I’m pretty sure most of what Cinders did was mark every fifth tree for two hours and burn off energy. It was still fun.
We hunted for about three hours. This is nearly the end of the season and it was quite warm on Sunday, we were all in tee shirts and jeans, so the squirrels were pretty much determined to stay in their dens, but we did see three and manage to bag two of them.
The dogs were amazing, watching the two of them dash from tree to tree, using their noses to determine if a squirrel had been on the tree recently, and if so, how recently. If the dogs thought the scent was hot, they would bark, letting us know there may be a squirrel above.
The older dog, Spoon (the white one) was getting mad at us because most of the trees had hollows that the squirrels were NOT coming out of. Jason would call ‘In a hole!’ and the dogs would move to a new tree. By the time we had been hunting for an hour, when she heard that, she would look at us like “Y’all aren’t very good at this! There is a SQUIRREL up there!”
When we finally killed the first one, I thought she would do backflips.
The second squirrel we spotted bolted straight into a hole in the tree, so there was no chance of getting that one. The third squirrel, when it hit the ground, was immediately snatched up by D.J., the younger of the two dogs. He immediately showed Jason the squirrel, then dashed to each one of us in turn, as if to say “See?! THIS is what one looks like!”
It was a great time, lots of fun, good exercise for us and the dogs, and overall better than being cooped up in a house.
I took a few photos of what Jason and Clay called ‘wild lemon,’ and I have to say, I need to grow this stuff around the house as defense against everything. The thorns were 1-3″ long.