It’s been my experience that grey squirrels rise from their evening slumber earlier than fox squirrels. Being in the woods as the morning sun has yet to crest the northeast Iowa hills (and if I’ve scouted out good stands of mast trees; i.e. oak, hickory and walnut) greatly improves my chances at harvesting some.
I especially mention grey squirrels for those who have not tried them as table fare. They are more suited for the table than fox squirrels, in my opinion. They are more tender no matter how prepared. Now, I’m no chef or connoisseur, but I’ll bring a couple of squirrel recipes to these pages as I’m able to fix them, and sadly, the first outing of the season brought none to the bag. My son and I had done things right, and spotted a few, but they were out of range and evaded our attempts to sneak up on them.
Not that the morning was uneventful, mind you! Listening to the early morning woods is a celebration I’ll never tire of. On the ridge to the north of us, turkeys were talking back and forth to each other in what I’m guessing was a “round-up” call after coming down from roost, and slowly moved off. But there still seemed to be hundreds of other chirpers, tweeters and whistlers in the canopy around us. One in particular took interest in the two humans perched on a fallen paper birch. In the spindly branches of a maple sapling, it would flit back and forth, always facing us, calling “wrrp? wrrp?” It really did sound like it was asking what we were up to!
As the sun rose higher, the crows and blue jays, in all their raspy loudness, seemed to take over the woods. A pair of whitetail does passed within fifty yards of us also. I did take a shot at one grey squirrel, but it zigged when I thought it might zag, and in the end, that was just fine. I would rather take home none than one. If it’s not at least a brace of them, taking one just doesn’t sit right with me.
Until the next time, take care!
P.S. What the hell – seein’s this post ain’t much (mostly because a tie rod broke on my car as I was heading to the trout stream yesterday), here’s a couple of throwback photos…
I did find a few photos of Otis. This one shows him best. He ran off on me soon after this pic was taken. It was like a kick in the chest when I asked a farmer if he had seen a golden retriever running loose and he told me to look in the ditch up on the highway not far from his house -
And here’s some proof that we used to be fishers around here!
I better include my youngest! With his first trout caught just last year -
Okay. Peace! Take care -