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The Hunter's Chronicles - Thursday 16th February 2012.

After a year volunteering at an eco village after escaping the rat race, we towed our van back to Gloucestershire and now 'occupy' some neglected woodland surrounded by yet more woodland and fields. I hunt to eat. Everything I kill goes in the pot and as much as possible is used I.e skins tanned/cooked up to make glue, bones cooked for soup then burnt in the fire and used in compost.
Quarry spotted nearby;

Wood Pigeon – lots but elusive.
Pheasant – hard to spot but easy to hear!
Wood cock – Timid, but saw plenty when lamping rabbits and shot one only to lose it in the darkness...
Rabbit – Plenty of droppings indicating healthy population, but lamp shy and nervous.
Squirrels – Abundant!



Yesterday morning I was up at the crack of dawn. Seemingly before the squirrels! The little buggers evidently had an hours lie in, so today I too had a rest so as to be 'in sync'.
Quietly walking through the woods the noises of life were everywhere, mostly crows and little birds (Great tits, robins etc) also the odd kestrel, owl and woodpecker.
Prior to the recent cold snap, you only had to be still and sooner or later you'd hear a squirrel. Not of late however. The pesky beggars are there, but very jittery. Before, they were bold and seemingly oblivious to my presence, now they appear on edge and bolt for cover well before i'm in range. When you've eaten as many squirrels as my poor family has now, its often a relief to come back empty handed! But meat is meat and these guys are calling for me to up my game.
The tactics of the day were a blend of the usual slow, quiet walk mixed with hiding in brush and keeping dead still.
Nothing.
Then, I spied 2 playing 35-40 yards up a bank. Luckily here was fairly clear and open, often its a battle to thread the pellet through all the spindly twigs. I crouched and slowly approached.
They continued bounding around, but moved elsewhere.
Bugger.
Or not. A small female was hopping around in the leaves, she caught my scent and clung to the nearest trunk looking in my direction. I dropped to the knee. All I could make out was the head and neck. The TX200 MKIII took her down with ease. In the game bag she went.
On the way back home, I stayed vigilant, and spied 4-5 more but with no opportunities presented. I have found this on nearly all my hunts. It's almost as though these woodland Gods give you what you need but no more. My empty handed hunts most often occur when I have an animal hanging and waiting for the pot. Almost a “Tutt Tutt, Greedy boy”.

Pics
The Days Catch - Plus a previous one...


The Twins - TX200 MKII and MKIII

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