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What Gun To Use

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by HuntingCherokee, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. HuntingCherokee

    HuntingCherokee Grants Pass, OR New Member

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    Today is the start of grey squirrel season here in Oregon.
    This will be my first time hunting squirrel and I don't really know what gun to use...
    I have three different .22 long rifles, A Remington with iron sights, Another Remington but this one has a small scope, and a Ruger with Iron sights.
     
  2. mortar maggot

    mortar maggot western wa Active Member

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    The one that you shot best
     
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  3. cookie

    cookie THE SOCIALIST STATE OF KALI - FORNIA Well-Known Member

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    How close can you get to the squirrels.
     
  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    .38 wadcutters.
     
  5. HuntingCherokee

    HuntingCherokee Grants Pass, OR New Member

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    Within 30 ft.
     
  6. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Open irons.
     
  7. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    20 ga.
     
  8. IT20

    IT20 Forest Grove New Member

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    I would shoot Iron sights.. but Mortar Maggot has it right.. whatever you shoot best.. One of our rabbits got lose today, just so happened it was butchering day anyhow, but it felt a lot more 'sportsman' like shooting it while it was on the move rather than stuffing it in a box and shooting it.. :) I took the shot at about 25 feet, iron sights, with my Henry lever action .22.
     
  9. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    I tend to look at it like this, if I'm shooting up a tree there better be a good background behind the bushy tail or the .22 is out and the shotgun is in. On the ground the .22 is fine, but I don't relish the thought of flinging even the little deuce-deuce into the horizon. A good spread of #4 or 6 will take them easily out to 40 yards+, and they're easier to obtain than .22's right now. One has to be a pretty bad shot to miss with a two foot wide spread at that range. Running shots? Once again the shotgun reigns supreme. If I were heading out this morning for some squirrel, the 12 gauge would be my 1st consideration, but this morning my dancing partner is my bow and the elk are calling my name.;)
     
  10. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    :thumbup: +1 on the shotgun if shooting at anything not on the ground.
     
  11. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    I REALLY like this idea, but I would consider a light 20 ga. or some .410 load.
    I mean, it's just a freakin' squirrel ( ;) )


    Dean
     
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  12. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Pellet gun
     
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  13. Will_Power

    Will_Power OR via OK Active Member

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    Looks like the .45-70 is coming out to play. Take that, squirrels!
     
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  14. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    That's funny, but I actually saw a squirrel ripped in half by a .30-30.
    Went deer hunting with a friend, once.
    The friend had never hunted before.
    Basically, he got bored and wanted to shoot the gun....so he did.
    That was the last time we went deer hunting.


    Dean
     
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  15. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    Get them before they get you!
     
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  16. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Silver Gray Squirrel hunting can be one of the most fun hunts ever. Here in my neck of the woods, the chase occurs in the Filbert orchards (Hazelnuts for the marketing division oriented). Farmers here tell me they write off the entire two exterior rows of Filbert trees on any orchard as a total loss to squirrels. The squirrels actually live in the brush drainages and woods that border the orchards, and conduct "swift insertion raids" into the Filbert orchard to seize the booty, then beat feet to the heavy brush and tall evergreen trees nearby. On the east side of Mt. Hood, and down the Willamette valley, they will be located in the oak groves.

    They are very intelligent critters, and become very wary when pressured. Their bag of tricks includes flattening out on a branch to the degree that they become part of it, and almost invisible. They can maintain their position constantly on the opposite side of a tree trunk from an enterprising hunter trying to get a shot. They employ a community warning system of vocals that convey to all their compadres in the raid that it is time to scatter for cover when a hunter is sighted. On an orchard that has not been hunted recently, the first kills will come relatively easy, and for the inexperienced, it is easy to begin to believe this is the proverbial turkey shoot. Once the word gets out to the community of rodentia, kill rates drop off dramatically (even though the population has been barely touched).

    As to weaponry, my preferred choice is an accurate scope-sighted .22 Long Rifle, loaded with RELIABLE Hollowpoints. I have discovered that a majority of hollowpoint Long Rifle ammo cannot be trusted to expand every time. CCI Mini Mags are the stalwart in this regard, and happily are quite accurate as well.

    Silver Grays are not a diminutive or delicate animal, and can be quite hard to kill. Never pull the trigger unless it is absolutely certain the bullet will impact the head or heart. Failing to adhere to this admonition will repeatedly result in lost wounded squirrels. Later in the season when "the word is out", and a majority of squirrels one is fortunate enough to see are speeding through upper tree branches, I will carry an over-under Savage with a 20ga barrel on the bottom. This is a last resort, as I do not prefer my Squirrel Stroganoff to be seasoned with Number Sixes.

    A hunting buddy has gravitated toward the .22 Magnum (and he is a meticulous adherent to proper shot placement). His preference rests on his belief that on a heart/lung shot he is granted a small margin of error by the added power. He will admit the downside of often losing some shoulder meat on the far side. I believe the .17HMR would be entirely too destructive: after all, these little nut-chompers are a delicacy to be savored for every single morsel of tasty fare they provide.

    The hunt is pleasant, usually easy traveling along the edge of the orchard, walking very quietly and stopping to listen more often than one might be inclined. Selecting a sturdy Filbert trunk to rest against, a seat on the ground for a half-hour or so can be very productive, as the Gray Ghosts begin to settle down and think all is normal once more in the neighborhood. Of course, camo clothing (and even face-paint or head nets) is very advisable: This hunt should not be discounted as anything less than very serious, and deserving of all effort toward success. A haphazard attempt will quickly result in the hunter knowing (by sound) he is a laughing stock to the local denizens. The squirrel with the visual will announce, "The idiot's right there! Right there!", and then neighbors will acknowledge the message and join the chorus. The hunter may hear six or seven squirrels and be unable to see even one.

    Good luck! It's a kick in the butt!
     
  17. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Spitpatch,

    You seem quite well educated in squirrel hunting.
    I was just wondering if you had any experience in using the CCI SGB and Velociter loads?


    Dean
     
  18. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    I still say that shooting into the horizon with anything other than a shotgun without a good backstop is bad business. Yes a pellet gun can be used safer than a .22, but I'll not advocate shooting a .22 aloft, as those without the obviously vast hunting experience of Spitpatch may get the wrong idea. That in my humble opinion is not the way those new to squirrel should be led.
     
  19. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Before you shoot, be sure of your backstop

    One of the first rules of shooting.
     
  20. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    Yep. If you are shooting a .22 or any other rifle/pistol, you need to know what is up to 3 miles in the direction you are shooting.

    That said, I prefer an accurate .22 pistol, ( High Standard, Buckmark, Colt woodsman, etc.) and position myself to use the tree as the backstop.