Cool weekend brings a successful squirrel hunt

By Bill Bartusek

Saturday was the 2009 Minnesota pheasant opener. I love to hunt pheasants and was really looking forward to the hunt. This year the opener is about a week earlier than most years. Harvest of farm crops has just begun due to the cool summer.

In our area around New Prague the corn crop has not been touched yet this fall. That is the same scenario at the farm where I hunt. The whole farm is planted in corn this year. That makes it almost impossible to get any roosters to fly or leave their cover.

So I decided to scrub the pheasant hunt and target some squirrels. The boys and I usually hit the woods for squirrels at least once each fall. The boys were busy this weekend so I asked a couple of my friends to join me. We headed for a friend's farm just south of Lonsdale.

Saturday was cold and windy as we entered the woods. I guess the squirrels didn't like the weather either. We didn't see many and harvested only two animals.

Sunday was warmer and had no wind so we headed for the same woods again. This time the squirrels were out and about. We saw quite a few squirrels and were able to get some quality shots at the animals. We used .22 rifles and only shoot if we can get a head shot. That way we don't ruin any meat. We ended up with four fox squirrels and one gray squirrel. They will be carefully cleaned and prepared for a nice stew later this fall. Though it was the pheasant opener, I think squirrel hunting was a better choice for success. We can chase pheasants later this fall when there is less cover.

I got word last night that Eugene and Kurt Palma both harvested elk out west last weekend. More details on the hunt when they return.

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