I grew up an avid squirrel hunter. Before firearms deer season came around, and before I was introduced to bowhunting, I spent many an after-school afternoon patrolling the local hardwood ridges with my .22 slung over my shoulder. For years though, squirrel hunting took a forgotten back seat to other fall pursuits. Now, with my oldest daughter Raelyn showing an increasing interest in the outdoors, it is a natural shift back to my .22 toting ways. In fact, just a few short days ago, Raelyn plinked her first aluminum can with my .22 up at Grandma’s house over Thanksgiving. She is not a big fan of loud noises and is pretty intimidated by firearms, so we are taking it extremely slow and got her started with a handful of shots using suppressed “CB” .22 ammo. She did great and is looking forward to shooting again soon.

Back to the squirrel hunting though, I picked Raelyn up from school on a Wednesday, and we made a short trek to some local public land. With a backpack full of snacks and water bottles, we walked out some long oak and hickory ridges looking for some active squirrels. The weather seemed to be perfect, but the squirrels were fairly uncooperative until late. We found one big buck squirrel bouncing through the leaves in a hickory stand, then another right at dark on our hike back out to the truck. The noise of that squirrel’s incisors on a big walnut betrayed its location to Raelyn’s attentive ears, and she stalked us in close for me to take the shot.

Those big fox squirrels are quite the hefty little critter. Two skinned, gutted, and submerged in a mixture of broth and vegetables in the slow cooker is a fine meal!