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Saturday I am going up to a new ranch to shoot California ground squirrels. These are twice if not triple the size of the pdogs (Belding's squirrels) I hunt and they are not as thick. These big guys are worse on fields than the pdogs are and they love to dig under your buildings. The main ranch should keep me busy all day and then there is a secondary ranch I can shoot as well. Mid day they go underground to cool off so I have to hit them early and then in the afternoon. I am going to try and hit both times and take a break in the middle to go see my old farmer buddy for lunch. 

 

I am going to try and get some cell phone video with either the 17's or 20p. The kind of shooting I will be doing is more suited to 22lr and 17 hmr so I may not break out the big guns much.  I am taking my two 17's, one 20p, and my big .223 bench gun. I have a hunch the Savage 17 will be the gun of the day. I am not bringing my shooting trailer as this type of hunting requires you to be ground level and mobile. I am taking my sniper chair though. Some of the best ways to hunt these guys is to drive along in a quad or side by side and step out and shoot them as you go down the roads. I'll have to do that on foot this time....next trip I might take my quad. I want to check it out first before I bring anything extra that way I can plan for the next trip. I have a pair of shooting sticks and that should get me through the day.  I'm all loaded up and will head out at 5 am. I don't get off work until 10:30 pm so it will be a short nights rest. 

 

I could not find anyone to go with me this trip. My buddy with the side by side had to cancel and another guy that has always wanted to go with me could not get his act together so I'm solo. Funny...this guy wanted to go and said he would be ready whenever I call....then you call and they don't have a license yet and don't have any ammo. I won't offer any of my ammo to those types. I will share with folks that are prepared but I'll be dammed if I am going to let some one shoot up all my ammo for a thank you. 

 

Pics and videos to follow if it all works out...........

 

 

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Hell I’d go! I’ll be in Arizona most of next week.

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I’d help you shoot those little pests!

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Good luck

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I had a good morning. It got hot quick and the critters were not real active. My Savage was the gun of choice today and I kept missing easy shots....and then I noticed both scope bases were loose and my scope was walking all over. I fixed that..kinda...and kept going. I only got a few camera shots as I had to do a little walk and talk to get to all the critters. Here are some videos.......I do have to apologize for the shaky scope. My shooting chair was not set up right and it made me wobble a bit. Not shouldering the gun made it worse but none the less I got some 17 HMR goodness blowing up critters. I took four out of one den on the same rock. I killed 20-25 total for the morning.....not pdog quantities for sure but fun anyway.  There are four videos and the computer mashed them together...just click on each segment and they should download. 

 

try these links if the others don't work

https://vimeo.com/347960333

https://vimeo.com/347959677

https://vimeo.com/347959440

https://vimeo.com/347958994

 659BKEu.jpg

 

 

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I pulled the scope off the Savage and put some thread lock on the mounts and remounted the scope.....I can only hope the zero is still maintained. I'll have to check it out on the next trip shooting. I really like this gun and with it's factory syn stock it's light enough to pack around the ranch without getting too heavy. 

 

My Marlin 917vss was acting up again today and I have had enough of the chamber being too tight. Match grade it may be but too tight is too tight. If you cannot get the rounds out, fired or not, something has to give. I'm going to polish the every loving snot out of that chamber and get it to loosen up a bit. I had to walk back 300 yards with a round stuck in the chamber to swap out guns today. I could not get that round out even with a screwdriver...and it was a live round. I finally snapped the firing pin a few more times and it went off and let go of the chamber walls. This gun was rebuilt a couple years ago and while it's a tack driver some of the old issues are showing back up. Light strikes were one of them. I'm going to work on that again myself. I will make it a project to get right. I need to try and find bolt parts or rebuild the one's I have. 

 

edit. I got after the chamber in the Marlin and worked it over without going too far. I finished by polishing it with two grits of compound and the rounds drop in freely up until the last 1/16" or so. A slight push has them in all the way and they pluck out with ease...I'll try it before I do more. I worked over the bolt internals and ran the flat firing pin over some 1500 grit to flatten the sides and smooth them out. I did the same to the internal track for the pin. The pin was still a little crunchy so I worked on it until all I could feel was the return spring compressing into it's channel. I could polish that spring channel opening a bit to get rid of that little faint click click feeling. I used very little Rem oil spray on my fingers and lubed it up. I'm hoping that does the trick with the light strikes. I'll run some rounds through it next outing at the range and confirm zero on the Savage while I'm at it. Next squirrel trip I have to get the 20p fired up with the camera for some splat video.

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Damn!  Looks like fun!

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Is it bad I'm grinning from ear to ear after watching those videos? :segrin:

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I'm glad you got to have some varmint shooting fun, even if it was not your beloved P-Dogs.

Looks like a blast !

 

They look very similar to our Gray Tree Squirrels, but it's hard to judge relative size. 

Our Fox Squirrels are also tree squirrels like the Grays, but much larger, and are good eating, IMO. 

I take it these Cali ground squirrels are not good eating. I'll have to look up their diet.

Out Fox squirrels inhabit Oak/Hickory/Walnut forests and the nuts are their primary diet, which is why I think 

they make good eating. It's hardly worth shooting a Gray squirrel for food unless I was in dire need of some protein.   

Except for the single Gray that I am supporting at the bird feeder. he has to cross some open ground from a decent stand of oak/hickory trees, 

and he/she is being fattened like a Christmas goose. Biggest gray I have ever seen. 

 

Good shooting and thanks for posting the videos.  That's pretty cool. 

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Here is another video. There were two squirrels messing around on this log. I thought I missed the first one with the first shot but it actually gut shot him and he slides off the stump as I am racking a round in the gun for the second shot. I ended up killing both. This was my first outing with Winchester lead free ammo. Some of the hits looked typical for a 17 and some knife right through. I think these lead free need a little bone to expand.....

https://vimeo.com/348051323

 

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Those are great. The slow-mo deal is unreal.

 

Greg

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4 minutes ago, GLShooter said:

Those are great. The slow-mo deal is unreal.

 

Greg

The camera works great. It does lose focus as the phone camera tries to find it's subject. What you see in the video is what I see. I figured out to turn it on and off to readjust it's focus. The phone will stay on in video mode for quite some time so I can scan around and find my targets. When it does go black I have to punch in my 6 digit code to get it back on as the facial recognition does not work upside down. 

 

The hardest part and the coolest part is not shouldering the gun. You just sit upright and look at the screen and squeeze the trigger. That circular motion to my shots is me trying to get the sniper chair aligned as I shoot. I have to have the tension just right on the swivels to make things move smoothly. If I was on a solid bench it would not be so bad. Making sure I remember to turn the video on before the shot is also key. I killed a big fat one and he tumbled down a log pile and I forgot to turn on the video. 

 

 

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That's like the deal on The Jackal with Bruce Willis dialing it in. We've had slaved cameras  for LEO snipers so we can watch and see what the shooter is  seeing but thank goodness we did not own them. I'd have gotten seasick watching some of my kids during the learning curve...LOL

 

Why not deactivate the facial rec for your hunts?

 

Greg

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17 minutes ago, GLShooter said:

That's like the deal on The Jackal with Bruce Willis dialing it in. We've had slaved cameras  for LEO snipers so we can watch and see what the shooter is  seeing but thank goodness we did not own them. I'd have gotten seasick watching some of my kids during the learning curve...LOL

 

Why not deactivate the facial rec for your hunts?

 

Greg

The phone defaults to the numbers if it cannot read my face. With the phone upside down I just tap the screen, tap it again and the keypad comes up and I enter the 6 digit code. It would be nice if it could pick up my face but it does not take long to open it up either way. 

 

I see it all real time as I'm filming and you never realize how much everything moves until you slow it down. With my bad shoulders I shoot a rifle offhand about the same as those camera views. I squeeze the trigger on the apex of the arc once I get the cross hairs circling on target. I looks like a figure eight and once that motion is covered on the critter I just wait until I am on the outer arc to squeeze as the lag time puts me centered when the trigger is pulled. On the bench I bring the cross up and right usually as I get on target and hold dead still for the shot. 

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8 hours ago, towtruck said:

 I squeeze the trigger on the apex of the arc once I get the cross hairs circling on target. I looks like a figure eight and once that motion is covered on the critter I just wait until I am on the outer arc to squeeze as the lag time puts me centered when the trigger is pulled. On the bench I bring the cross up and right usually as I get on target and hold dead still for the shot. 

That would be me too. :wink:  Hard to control that heartbeat. 

E4pPJ5F.gif

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