Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 26

Handguns for Bushytails By Jeff McNelis artwork by scott calpino F YOU’RE A HUNTER, chances are, when you were a kid, you got your start hunting squirrels. For me, there was always a sense of wonder to the squirrel woods, and I’m not ashamed to say it is still there for me today. There is just something special about making your way through the pre-dawn autumn woods on a frosty morning when you know your destination is a spot at the base of an oak tree and your quarry for the day is the eastern gray squirrel. And the scent of the woods in the fall is the best aroma known to man. I remember many mornings that started out with me, sitting with my back to a tree, anxiously awaiting the sun’s arrival. I can also remember many fall afternoons, sitting on a ridge, watching the sun slowly sink in the west and regretting that the day had ended so soon. Also, chances are your first squirrel hunting days included a shotgun. I remember my first gun, a bolt action 16-gauge J.C. Higgins (Montgomery Ward). It was a basic, stripped-down model, but it was a jewel to me. Follow-up shots with the awkward bolt action were, to say the least, slow, so I learned to make the first shot count. Any squirrel that came within 25 yards of me was living on borrowed time. To this day, just picking up that old gun brings back many fond memories of my first days afield. 26 I As I got older, I graduated from the shotgun to an ancient Mossberg bolt action .22. It had an equally ancient Weaver 4x rimfire scope that wasn’t much bigger around than a drinking straw. The biggest challenge was actually finding the squirrel in the severely restricted field of view. Once I did, though, the big cumbersome Mossberg was deadly out to 50 yards or so. And I could stuff the tube full (18 cartridges) and be good for all day. The natural progression for hunters seems to be to go from the “shooter” stage, when a youngster just wants to get as much action as possible, to the more mellow “sportsman” stage, where satisfaction comes from the total hunting experience. This is the stage that I have pretty much evolved to now, and I’ve discovered that the challenge of using a handgun for squirrels fills that need for me. I always liked the western style single action revolvers, so I purchased a Ruger 6½-inch barrel Super Single Six .22. This gun was capable of more accuracy than I was, although I soon learned that handgun accuracy is way short of rifle accuracy. But it was a handy size gun for carrying and was accurate enough if I did my part. During the time I was enjoying my handgun hunts for squirrels, the turkey population in our area was ballooning, and I eventually let the Single Six get away from me in a trade for a camouflage turkey gun. And because the first six weeks of small game season coincided with (and conflicted with) archery and fall turkey GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009
Contents
Hunting Low for High Country Bears
Double Eagle
Life & Times of the Whitetail
What is Public Access?
Fulfilling a Dream
Wild Goose Chase
Hunter Education Celebrates 50
The Old Beech Tree
Handguns for Bushytails
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
Trapper’s Tips
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Hunting Low for High Country Bears
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Double Eagle
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - What is Public Access?
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Fulfilling a Dream
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Wild Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Hunter Education Celebrates 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - The Old Beech Tree
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Handguns for Bushytails
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Trapper’s Tips
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover4
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