Quick Pest Control Hunt

During firearm deer season, I realized that chipmunks were really making a comeback on my land. I don’t mind having them in the woods, but they really become a problem when they start moving toward the house and vehicles. I’ve received a lot of the parts I was needing for my 1322 ACP project, and decided it was time to take it in the woods for a test drive.

A beautiful late fall day in my woods
A beautiful late fall day in my woods

I began my excursion initially after a squirrel. He stayed about 30 yards away, right on the west property line. With 8.2 FPE at the muzzle and my 1322 zeroed at 20 yards with a duplex reticle scope, there just wasn’t enough margin for error to warrant taking the shot. That’s when I saw a quick scurry 20 yards away toward the east. The chipmunk stopped on a large log, facing me.

As you can tell from the above picture, there’s a lot of saplings mixed with fairly mature trees. These saplings make living shooting sticks, and this time was no exception. Steadying my shot with a sapling, I slowly squeezed off the shot. I pulled a little to the left and missed the intended brain shot. Instead, it smacked through the right cheek, deflected, and exited the ribs on its left side.

The chipmunk was blown off the log by the impact, kicked a time or two, and lay still. The 1322 drew its first blood:

The 1322 scores its first kill
The 1322 scores its first kill

A little further away, I spotted something on a fallen log that spans my weather creek. Through my range finder I could see a chipmunk from the shoulders down, this time 18 yards away. Steadying my shot once more with a sapling, I aimed right between the shoulder blades. This time, I didn’t pull the shot. The smack of the impact is shockingly loud when you hunt with a LDC! Unfortunately, he tumbled down into some rocks and I was unable to retrieve him. At any rate, I’ve taken two chipmunks out of the woods, hopefully helping to keep them from crowding into my yard, vehicles, and home.

First Squirrel of the Season!

I’m taking it easy on the squirrels on my property this year, which is why it has taken me until today to shoot one. I was on my back deck doing some long range shooting when I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. There was a squirrel 45 yards away resting on a limb in the shade. His tail was dangling down, which is what attracted my attention.

The scope I recently reviewed is still performing well and my calculated holdover, combined with steadying my shot on the deck rail, sent my Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum .22 pellet right through the squirrel’s fuse box. It took awhile for me to find him among all the weeds and leaves:

First Squirrel of 2018 Season
First Squirrel of 2018 Season

This is the first squirrel I’ve taken with my B3-3 after extensive modifications. These pellets average 565 fps at the muzzle. You might notice the white plastic part on the end of the underlever. It is a new magnetic catch that I’ve been developing with my 3d printer.

I turned the squirrel over to see if there was an exit wound. No, but the pellet smashed through the other side of the skull and came to rest right under the skin just behind the nose:

The pellet is in that bulge between the eye and nose
The pellet is in that bulge between the eye and nose

With the temperatures being just under 90*F, I quickly skinned and cleaned the squirrel so I could get the meat cooling in the refrigerator. Once that chore was done, I came back to see what 5.82 FPE of impact energy would do to a squirrel. Part of the damage was seen when I was rinsing the carcass. I noticed that part of the backbone appeared to be broken. This is probably due to the angle of the shot pushing the head forward. Here’s the entry wound:

The entry is just below and forward in relation to the ear hole
The entry is just below and forward in relation to the ear hole

The lower jaw was broken and the eye on this side was slightly bulged out. I continued to skin the skull to reveal where the pellet exited the skull and came to rest just under the skin:

The pellet and exit hole
The pellet and exit hole

The pellet had taken at least a partial turn and exited the skull sideways before running out of steam. To give you an idea of the path the pellet took, I’ve inserted a wire into the skull:

The pellet and the path it took
The pellet and the path it took

This is all the result of careful modification, tuning, and many thousands of hours of shooting. I have learned to prize accuracy over power, and my heavily reworked B3-3 is among the most accurate rifles I’ve had the privilege to own. It only produces a hair over 10 FPE at the muzzle, but the fast shot cycle, shot to shot consistency, and good barrel makes up for the lack of power.

Slow Cooked Raccoon and Gravy

My Vortek tuned Gamo Shadow 1000 puts out 16 fpe at the muzzle and is quite a tack driver. I took a nice raccoon at 43 yards and like nearly everything I kill, had to try eating it. Slow cooking in a crock pot is a sure fire way to cook almost any kind of meat, and coon was no exception.

I cooked up the front legs and shoulders as well as the back legs. I was careful to remove the scent glands in the armpits as well as in the back legs. The meat was soaked in salt water overnight to draw out excess blood. Now that the meat was chilled, it was easy to remove the excess fat. A couple inches of beef stock was added to the crock pot, then the coon meat followed. A few good shakes of cajun seasoning was added for extra kick. After several hours at a low temperature it looked really good:

Slow cooked raccoon
Slow cooked raccoon

When the meat begins to draw away from the end of the bones, you know the meat is going to be melt in your mouth tender. I then removed much of the broth in preparation for gravy making:

This is going to turn into an amazing gravy
This is going to turn into an amazing gravy

The cooking juices go into a pan where they are brought to a boil. As they are heating up, I prepared a corn starch slurry by mixing corn starch to cold water. This is what makes the gravy thick. Stir it into the boiling broth, then reduce the temperature. It’ll thicken and look like this:

Homemade gravy
Homemade gravy

So how does slow cooked raccoon taste? A lot like the best beef roast you ever tried. The texture of the meat is better than beef or venison. I’d say raccoon is my favorite wild meat that I’ve tried so far.