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Stinky mud and the maggot tree......

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Jun 1, 2009.

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  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Did a weekend run over the the White River Game Management Area in Eastern Oregon. Took our new hunter, Chase, with Sean and I, to hunt coyotes and gray diggers (California ground squirrels). These are considered a pest here. They're about the size of a typical squirrel, but are scrawny - not enough meat on them to bother trying to eat.<br>
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    Both young men had a blast, literally. No coyotes, it was too hot during the day. But the diggers were out. Shot several on Saturday.<br>
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    Saturday evening we were set up near a small irrigation canal. This has been a good location in the past for diggers. We set up camp, then went hunting and zapped some squirrels.<br>
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    Just before dark, we discovered what looked like maggots on one of the chairs. Couldn't figure out what was happening, as the chair was clean when we set it up. Cleared them off. A few minutes later, more "maggots". Then we fund them on the tent roof. Turns out they're "raining" out of a tall Ponderosa Pine. Apparently they're some sort of pine beetle larvae, and they fall to the ground, where they make their cocoons. We prudently moved the food table.<br>
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    Later that evening an animal was circling the camp, only visible as a dark gray shape at the limit of the lantern light. I didn't like an animal being that close, so I grabbed a gun (though shooting it was not my intention) and went out to see what it was. Naturally the boys tagged along. It suddenly turned and started walking towards me. I froze, then told them to BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP. They did, and I backed up too. It was a skunk, and I didn't want it to spray, and I didn't want to have to shoot it, since that would set it off too. We would have had to move camp in the middle of the night.<br>
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    Next morning we started early. It had been very hot the day before, but it cooled down considerably overnight. Cool enough the diggers were reluctant to come out that early. We did manage to whack a couple.<br>
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    As it heated up, we had more activity, but the areas we were in the diggers were very cautious and alerted in most cases before we ever saw them. They'd evidently had been "educated" quite a bit before. Still, some became victims of Darwin. We revisited some areas from the day before, and whacked some that were dining on their fallen comrades that we previously shot.<br>
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    The day heated up miserably. We were getting close to bagging it, when I suggested we try an area I hadn't hunted in for a long time, but had success in the past. By the time we got there, the clouds came in and that kept it form getting too miserable. Not many diggers, but we did get a few. Then I remembered there was a stone pile I'd had fun with in the past. We hiked to it, and the pile was infested with diggers. Hit a few, but they kept coming up. And were alert, but did not hide. I've noticed over the years that for some reason they seem to underestimate danger when they are on rock piles. We all zapped a few, but then Sean got a double, followed later by a triple. I've never done that on diggers (though I have doubled on sage rats).<br>
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    Oh yes, the stinky mud... we drove my FJ40 Land Cruiser where the road was flooded by muddy water and by thin mud. In both case we made a pretty good bow wave, and had mud all over everything. Unfortunately the mud was quite stinky, and it attracted flies. We came back after the last stand to find dozens and dozens of flies inside, and more outside.
     
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