So this is what I reasoned: It's almost 8:00pm about 20 degrees F out, Genetics for tomorrow is canceled, and I don't have work until 2:00pm..... I'm going bag packing!!!
So after my wonderful epiphany, I grabbed my sleeping bag, a tarp, and my .22. Then loaded the ol'
After locking up my car, I walked until I couldn't hear the road anymore, and decided I was good and lost. First, a little recon to make sure the places was decently safe. Then, pitch the tarp, and off into the dark to see if I could find any coons.
The funny thing about Raccoon hunting is this, all my friends are usually much more successful than I am. But then again, I hunt raccoon the legal way. My preferred method of raccoon hunting is to sit in the bush, all lights off, and call them in with a raccoon squawl or a fighting coon call. This usually works great if the coons are close by, but that's not always the case. Tonight was a peach of a night to be out though! Cool as a cucumber! and calm too; I could hear everything! A few lone mice flipped leaves looking for food around me. I could hear the uneven sound of rabbits loping around through the scrub. And what is more, I could hear the scratch of claws supporting a heavy body scrambling around in the tree tops. That's a good sign! After a good sit, with nothing coming in to my calls, I decided to check out the area where I heard the coons up in the trees. I've found coons will often times hear you coming towards them, then they will find a fat branch, high up in a tree, to hide behind; virtually invisible to the naked eye at night.
I decided to head back to camp around night time noon (that's mid night for all you day time folks). My shelter was a tarp, a sleeping bag, and the clothes on my back. The whole thing was just an idear I thought of on my way out here. I call it, the tarp burrito, you can check it out in the YouTube video here>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV92sa6Ncb0
The whole shelter actually kept me pretty warm the whole night, granted, the majority of that success comes from dressing properly for the occasion. I slept in all my layers, these include a polyester tshirt as the base layer, then fleece long sleeve and pants, then a tightly woven wind and rain proof coat and snow pants. I was content as a fat coon in a nice den :) As I flipped back the tarp to great the balmy 20 degree F morning, I had to do the full round of stretching to work the stiffness out of the joints. Then, off to the woods I went to collect some chow!
In the day light, I could easily see habitat and what I wish I would have see last night. I saw plenty of narly old coon den trees (oh, I'll be back another night. You can count on that!) And I finally spotted a squirrel dart up a huge cotton wood tree in the distance. As I neared the tree the squirrel was no where to be seen, but I would consider myself as close to a professional squirrel hunter as they come, and I know the ways of the squirrel! (You may laugh, but its true :D ) I parked my hieny about 20 yards away form that tree and worked my magic, which entails a whole lot of nothing. The trick with squirrels is a little patience and know-how. You see, squirrels will climb a tree and hid on top of a branch so you can't see them, but they're curious. They know they didn't hear you leave, so they quietly sneak over to another branch and peak their head out to watch. If they see you, they'll just sit there and watch you, and if they don't see you, after five or ten minutes, they'll start to move again. So I just sat there, enjoying the view, and on the other side of the tree, I spotted the rust-red colored head of my Fox Squirrel peaking over a branch at me, and that's all I needed. You don't have to worry about moving too much as you get into shooting position, they won't move. They think you haven't spotted them. So I raised my Ruger .22 and squeezed off one shot, which is all I ever need, and I had breakfast!