You can't be friends with a squirrel!  A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.  ~Sarah Jessica Parker

Kyle tripped over an animal carcass while walking to our next location to squirrel hunt with dad. He splattered in the snow. 2/16/13

This past Saturday, me, dad and Kyle participated in a squirrel hunt contest, hosted by Gutchess Hardwoods, mom's work.  Everyone had two or three people to a team.  It started at daybreak and ended at 3:00 pm.  Since it's small game season, they assigned points for the legal animals in addition to squirrel, after all it was a squirrel hunt.  We received a list of our legal targets such as coyote, crow, pheasant, rabbit and naturally squirrel, along with a point system for each.  You were docked if you shot a red squirrel.  Raccoon and fox were also on the list but I refuse to shoot either.  I don't know who came up with the list or the point system, but both needed to be reevaluated.

I've only ever seen a fox once in my life, and believe it or not, it ran across the road in front of me a few months ago near my parents house.  So cool!  I felt blessed and privileged to see this miniature dog-like beast scurry past me.  Since I haven't seen many foxes, actually only that one, and let's face it my love for raccoons Raccoon or Cat? is an instant protector of the fury nocturnal bandits, both critters didn't make my list of small game to shoot.  On a side note, I do want to state a fact.  If a sick animal, of any kind approaches me or my family, even a raccoon, I wouldn't think twice about putting it down.  I told Kyle about my adjusted list and he gave me the orneriest look and said, "I'm shooting them Aunt Heather!  They are worth more points."  I told him I'm doing it on principle.  One, "I like those animals and I don't want to shoot them"; two "We weren't planning on eating them, unlike the squirrels so I see no point in killing them"; and three "I'm your Aunt and you have to live with me if you do shoot them."  With that I gave him a very unsure smile, half serious and half joking.  Turning the conversation quickly to his side, Kyle said, "Pap pap is planning on shooting them."  I smiled and confirmed his thoughts by saying, "Yes, pappy does what he wants."  And with that the discussion was over.

The night before we gathered up our cloths, rifles and .22 bullets, so the morning would run smoothly.  Dad let me use Ryan's .22, while Kyle picked his semiautomatic, with what seemed like an endless clip.  I asked him, "Are you planning on turning our small game into Swiss cheese?"  He just laughed.  It's always exciting getting ready for a day of hunting, it really is!  Even when I was younger, before I could hunt, watching mom gather dad's stuff in preparation for the following day was exhilarating.  Maybe it's the anticipation of what might happen and what creatures will make themselves known.

Throughout the evening Kyle kept saying, "Squirrel".  He was cracking me up!  That was taken from the Disney movie Up.  We would be packing my trusty backpack with provisions like a Thermos of water, crackers, apples and such and Kyle would just throw out there, squirrel!  We became Thing 1 and Thing 2 echoing the word, squirrel every-now-and-again.  I don't think anybody else got our humor.

Kyle enjoying a fall day with his pap on the quad. 11/18/03

The next morning didn't move as swiftly as I'd like.  Dad is slowing up in his old age.  He used to be dressed, fed, at his location,  and ready and waiting for the action, even before sunrise.  Not so much now-a-days, but he's still faster than Kyle, just not what he used to be.  Right before we headed out I let the boys run around in the snow.  I swear they saw the guns and saw us getting layered up for the cold, and knew they weren't invited.  So Scooby and Seven took it upon themselves to go for their own walk.  I'm guessing they were mad at me for not taking them on their hike the week prior.  So this little hiccup delayed us because dad had to leave on the quad and go and track down the bad dogs.

As dad was playing bounty hunter, Kyle and I headed up the woods in dad's direction.  Would you believe Kyle complained the entire way up the hill?  Yep!  He didn't want to wear his bibs, or his hat, or a T-shirt under his bibs (he wanted to go bare chested), or warm socks, or gloves and he certainly didn't want to walk with all the clothing on while holding his own .22.

Read the full story Squirrel!


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