If you haven't read the first part of this story, you may want to go over to the sidebar, and click on, "Scouting The High Country For Ground Squirrel Habitat, Took The .22 Disco Along."
After finishing lunch, and putting things away, I headed back to the main 4x4 track, that I was following up the side of the mountain.
According to my Forest Service Map, the 4x4 track that I was on, dead ended at a game tank that's about seven miles from the paved county road. Since I was already about four miles in, I decided to go to the end, to see what I might find along the way.
I went another couple of miles without seeing any likely ground squirrel country. At this point, I was at about 9000 foot elevation. The road made a large lazy uphill "S" turn. When I hit the top of the "S" I came out into a nice small valley that was about 300 yards long, by maybe 100/150 yards wide.
Naked eye, I could see ground squirrels on stumps and deadfall. I grabbed my FS map, and marked an "S" on it, for squirrels at that spot, and just kept on going. I wanted to see the game tank at the end of the road, and the country around it. Those can be some good areas for hunting tree squirrels in the fall.
When I got to the end of the road, there was the tank, and I was surprised to see a tree stand mounted nearby. It was obvious that it had been there for many, many years. The locked chain, that was holding it to the tree, had started to embed itself into the bark.
Since this was the end of the road, I decided to get out my canvas chair, sit in the shade, have a gatorade, and take in the sights and sounds of the forest. While sitting there, a couple of Abert's tree squirrels came out of the woods, and headed for the game tank. Once over the berm I lost sight of them, but it sure made me think about coming back in the fall, and using that tree stand to my advantage.
Also, while sitting there, I spotted what looked to me like a ground squirrel sitting on a stump, to the left rear of the tank. My binos confirmed that the bump on the stump, was in fact a ground squirrel.
I slipped over to my vehicle to retrieve my Disco, range finder, and bipod. The squirrel ranged right at 52 yards. The wind was almost zero. I rested my right shoulder against a tree, and settled the Disco onto my bipod. Since I'm sighted in dead on at 40 yards, I let a little daylight show between the horizontal crosshair and the top of the squirrels head. When the crosshairs were nice and steady, I launched the pellet.
The 16 grain JSB center punched the furballs skull, and it dropped out of sight. When I got over to it, it was DRT behind the stump. Below is a picture of the squirrel, with a quarter laying on it, to give perspective to the size of these squirrels heads.
To consistently make head shots on these guys, at these ranges, you need a gun that will group its shots well inside that quarter, more like inside a nickel, at 50/60 yards, and my .22 Disco does that with ease.
I hung around for a little while longer, and while I was sitting there, another Abert's squirrel came out of the forest and headed over to the game tank. For sure, I will be back to this spot when tree squirrel season opens in October.
On my way out, I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of some of the ground squirrels, that I saw sitting on stumps and blowdowns, in that small valley that I passed through on my way in.
Exploring this area was a fun adventure, and well worthwhile. When the high temps and humidity drop, I will be back.