CLOSE


True role models don’t come around often, but when they do, they shake your soul like an earthquake
Time

The
first couple of weeks after the opening of deer season, I spend most of
my available time sitting in a tree with my bow waiting on a mature
buck. I really enjoy the peace and solitude of being in nature. It is a
great way to relieve work stress and all the pressure that builds from a
busy work schedule. If a shooter walks by and I get lucky to make a
kill shot I will take it. However, understand that if nothing shows up,
it is still a blessing to be able to enjoy the great outdoors.

This
past week, I thought I would change up the pace and do a little
squirrel hunting with friends. Clint Ellis, the owner of Farmers Feed,
called and asked if I wanted to go with a group of friends on a squirrel
hunt in Montgomery County. I did not ask any questions nor did I care
who went along, I just wanted to go. When Clint told me the meeting time
was 8 a.m., I knew that a dog would accompany us on the hunt.

Thursday
morning started off unseasonably warm and with clear skies but halfway
through the morning hunt, the cloud cover rolled in making it a little
more comfortable. The party of seven drove to the hunting woods in two
different Polaris vehicles. As we drove across cow pastures and
approached the first gate, a coyote was seen crossing a wide-open
pasture in broad daylight. The coyote wasn’t afraid of a bunch of middle
aged men talking, laughing and carrying on going squirrel hunting.

Once
we reached our hunting destination, off duty conservation officer Vance
Wood dropped the tailgate of the Polaris and opened the kennel door to
let out his beloved squirrel dog, Jazz. Jazz is a 3-year-old female
Kemmer Stock Mountain Cur. I have been along and hunted with many other
squirrel dogs in my time but something was special about Jazz. Like
other Cur dogs, they are longer legged than that of a Fiest, which means
they can potentially cover more ground and distance themselves further
from the hunting party. This makes it difficult to keep up which
requiring more walking by us.

Not in this case,
Jazz did not tree a squirrel that I could not see her smelling at the
base of the tree. It made it a lot easier for us not having to walk a
country mile just to get to the treed squirrel. What amazed me about
Jazz, is that once she smelled which tree the squirrel was hiding in and
after we arrived at the location, she would begin tugging on the vine.
Jazz would clap down on a vine with her teeth and try pulling it to stir
the squirrel. This is exactly what hunters do trying to make the
squirrel come out of hiding to get a clean shot. 

As
the morning wore on, and the temperatures, began to rise we realized
the fact that some of us needed to get back to work. [sic] Vance noticed a big
boar coon laying in the top fork of a mature oak. We gathered around
the tree and one of the hunters shot him with his 20-gauge shotgun using
a No. 8 shot. NOTE: raccoons have no closed season and no bag limits
while hunting on private land. I only wished we would have seen more
coons. They play havoc on our turkey population, especially with turkey
hens while they are nesting.

Squirrel hunting is a
great way to encourage our youth to become interested in the outdoors.
It is a social sport, meaning that talking and cutting up in the woods
has no ill effect on the hunt. You are constantly on the move and can
make as much noise as you like but make sure you take a quality squirrel
dog along to do most of the work by locating squirrels for your
friends. — Happy hunting.

Steve Long and Rob Newman have a Cast & Blast radio show 7-9 a.m. Saturday on WMSP-AM 740 and the Power Pig 101.1 FM.