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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HOWDY ALL!


1. this hunt is to take place Sept. 17-21, 2011.

2. all people who read this notice are invited to attend.

3. the hunt will take place on the southern tip of illinois in the shawnee national forest.

4. this is PRIMARILY a rimfire hunt. if you need to bring a shotgun to hunt with, we won't taunt you.....too much. lol.

5.the city closest to the hunt area is ANNA-JONESBORO. anybody who wants to make motel reservations should try to go there as it is the closest to the campground that is going to have motels. the town is about 10-15 miles away.

6. most of us plan to camp. the chosen campground is "pine hills campground" and is located not far from the town of WOLF LAKE. DIRECTIONS TO THE CAMPGROUND ARE TO FOLLOW. camping fees are $10.00 per night. be forewarned...there is NO ELECTRICITY, HOOK UPS OF ANY KIND OR DRINKING WATER! THERE ARE, pit toilets, fire pits, picnic tables and latern hooks. that is all! you will not get cell phone reception from the campground! thank god! you will have to drive a couple miles for that.

7. illinois sells a 5 day non resident license for $35.50. a habitat stamp is also required and will cost you and extra $5.50. these can be bought on-line and i highly suggest you do so.
if you go to ilinois dnr site you will find on-line license there. http://www.dnr.state.il.us
under the heading LICENSES/PERMITS/STAMPS, you will find the link for online license purchases.
you can put the dates of the hunt on the permit and it will become activated at that time. the limit on squirrels is 5/day 10 IN POSSESION. we aim to eat a bunch as we go along!
note! if you were born after jan 1,1980, you will need either a hunter safety certificate or an old hunting license issued from your own state.
ALL GUNS MUST BE CASED WHEN INSIDE A VEHICLE! PISTOL HOLSTERS DO NOT COUNT AS A CASE. IT MUST BE ZIPPERED, TIED OR IN A HARD CASE. you may carry a pistol while hunting.
NOBODY FROM OUT OF STATE NEEDS A F.O.I.D. CARD and can buy ammo without it. i can't...go figure.

8. a list of things that you may want to know about would contain these items..skeeters, ticks, chiggars, poison ivy(lots!), rattlers, copperheads, and cottenmouth water moccasins. (the snakes are all protected!)

9. PART of the area we will be hunting lies in a special regulations zone. all plants and animals EXCEPT THOSE LISTED in the hunting regs are protected and not legal to take. squirrels, yotes g-hogs and skunks are listed in the regs. and CAN BE TAKEN.

10. snake safety! there are 3 kinds of poisonous snakes there. i also was not kidding about them being protected. they actually close about 7 miles of road there,twice a year, so they can migrate to higher ground with out getting squished.

a. DO NOT PUT YOUR FEET WHERE YOU CAN'T SEE!
PRETTY BASIC. IN OTHER WORDS DON'T GO
WADING OFF THROUGH SOME HAY FIELD OR WEED PATCH ON YOUR WAY TO THE WOODS.

b. DO NOT STEP OVER LOGS OR LARGE ROCKS! INSTEAD STEP UP ON THEM AND LOOK ON THE OTHER SIDE AND IF YOU CAN,T SEE BACK UNDER IT,WALK AROUND.

c. BE VERY CAREFUL IN CLIMBING STEEP CREEKBANKS. SNAKES LIKE TO LAY UNDER THE WASHED OUT ROOTS OF TREES AND WHEN YOU
GRAB THE TRUNK TO PULL YOURSELF UP, YOUR
ENTIRE BODY CAN COME INTO STRIKING RANGE.

d. DO NOT CHASE CRIPPLED SQUIRRELS
THROUGH THE WOODS! MOST OF YOU HAVE REPEATERS AND RIMFIRE AMMO IS CHEAP! IN SNAKE COUNTRY, ANY SQUIRREL THAT EVEN LOOKS LIKE HE MIGHT
HAVE SOME LIFE IN HIM SHOULD BE SHOT AGAIN IMMEDIATELY!

e. IF YOU'RE IN THE WOODS BEFORE OR AFTER DARK CARRY A GOOD LIGHT. PROBABLY WON'T HELP BUT YOU'LL FEEL BETTER.

f. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN IN ROCKY CREEK BEDS OR ANY WET OR EVEN DAMP SPOTS AND ALONG ROCK WALLS THAT BORDER THE WATER.


11.hunters are required to keep game seperately identifiable. if you share a cooler with somebody , then you will need bags that can be marked with your name.

12. people who can't do without hook ups for trailers can camp at devil's backbone in GRAND TOWER. THE camp is right on the banks of the ole mississippi river and is about 10-15 miles from the PINE HILLS CAMP. grand tower can be located on rt. 3 just north of wolf lake.

13. no vehicles of any kind are allowed off the road. no 4 wheelers or dirt bikes, so leave em home!

14. there are places to fish around there and a one day license can be had for $5.50. just in case you need a break from hunting....yeah ...right!

15. women and children are welcome. BUT! there will be a designated camp at which after a certain time in the evening children and sensitive folks will be politely asked to make their disappearance! no offense meant to anybody and that's how we aim to NOT OFFEND ANYBODY.

16. the terrain in shawnee can be very tough. the hills only go to about 600 feet but can be quite steep. there are flat places to hunt but you may have to drive a couple of miles to get to them. in the hills you will find 99% grey squirrels. in the bottoms you will find some fox squirrels.


DIRECTIONS TO PINE HILLS CAMPGROUND:
FIND RT.3 THAT RUNS ON THE SOUTHWESTERN EDGE OF S. ILLINOIS. IT RUNS CLOSE TO THE MISS. RIVER. LOCATE THE SMALL TOWN OF WOLF LAKE. THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO THE CAMP GROUND IS ON THE SOUTH EDGE OF WOLF LAKE.THERE IS A LARGE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT JUNK YARD ALL ALONG THE ROAD THRERE. THE ROAD IS AT THE BOUNDARY EDGE OF THE JUNKYARD. THERE IS A BROWN SIGN THAT POINTS TO TRAIL OF TEARS STATE FOREST. THE ROAD ONLY GOES EAST.
TAKE THIS ROAD FOR 1-1/2 MILES AND YOU WILL FIND A SIGN THAT POINTS TO THE PINE HILLS CAMPGROUND. THE CAMP IS ABOUT 1 MILE DOWN THE ROCK ROAD. FEES ARE $10/NIGHT.
 

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I would like to take my nephew, he's never hunted and he really wants to. I never squirrel hunted before and only deer hunting a copy of times in Wisconsin. My nephew and I are in the Chicago area. What I'm getting at, assuming he can go, baseball, school, football and he parents allow it, I would like to know if I could 'hook up' with someone that knows what their doing?

Matt
 

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Miller6457 said:
I would like to know if I could 'hook up' with someone that knows what their doing?
Having never been on this hunt, I can't promise anything.

Having been on this forum a couple years, and knowing the type of folks you find here, I'm betting you won't have any trouble getting coached if you show up with a young one in tow.

These people are just like that. They won't expect anything in return and will enjoy teaching.

Here's a couple pointers, just something to chew on before you get there:

Before you can shoot a squirrel, you have to see a squirrel. That's not easy to do when they are hiding, and they WILL hide if they see you coming.

So, the best thing to do is be still, and scan the trees. Quietly walk out into a bunch of trees, and stop in a spot where you can see the tops of some. Just stand in one place quietly for a few minutes. Sit down if you wish. If you do not move at all, the squirrels will pretty much ignore you after a while and go back to what they were doing. Ten minutes is a long time for a squirrel. If you stand still for that long and see nothing, quietly move along a few yards so you can see some different trees and be still again.

Don't look at particular points, watch the whole top of the trees. Slowly scan all around and listen while you are doing this. The little buggers are just as likely to appear on the ground, and are easier to see there, so don't forget to look down sometimes, too. Squirrels talk to each other, and will "Bark" at you if they think you don't belong. If you hear them, you know what direction to be looking.

The first thing you will probably see is movement. Sometimes, it's just a branch moving differently than the others. The squirrel's weight will make it sag, and it may shake when a squirrel runs down it. Other times, you will see the squirrel running along a branch or jumping tree to tree.

Often, it's just the tail moving. Squirrels will whip their tail just because, and it's very noticeable if you are looking in that direction when they do it.

When you finally spot one, be still and watch. You have to decide what he's doing before you act.

The first question you need to answer is "Can I hit Him from here"?

If the answer is no, then work your way closer. Use trees for cover if possible, and don't scare him off.

If he's moving fast and jumping tree to tree, he might be traveling somewhere and won't stop. Sometimes you can whistle or make a kissing sound, and the squirrel will stop and look at you with a "HUH?" look on his face. If you are ready when he does this, he's yours. In the bag he goes.

Other times, the squirrel will spot you and run around the other side of the tree and hide.

Squirrels are curious, and probably won't hide very long before deciding to peek around the tree and see what you are doing. If you've been very still and are looking in the right place, you can pop him when he does that.

If you are with a buddy or another shooter, you can have him slowly walk in a big circle around to the other side of the tree. The squirrel will most likely ignore you because you are being very still and quiet, and circle around keeping the tree between him and your buddy.

Pow! Another one for the bag!

The act of shooting the squirrel usually isn't hard. If you have good eyes and iron sights you should be able to hit them farther than you can see them. (You won't be taking many 100 yard shots. A squirrel in a tree 100 yards away is very difficult to see.)

If you have poor eyes and a good scope, you might be at an advantage. A good three power scope that's got a big, bright, clear picture just might help you see the little guy when he's peeking around the tree trunk spying on you.

For practice, work on shooting from improvised rests. Learn how to hold the rifle with your hand between it and a tree so you can steady it for a good shot and not bugger up your nice walnut stock.

You can practice spotting squirrels in any park. City squirrels don't act any different from country squirrels. If you devote an afternoon to learning how to see them, it will be easier on you in the woods. You can practice making them stop when they are running this way too.

Also, work on accuracy and speed. You need to be able to put your bullet in a two inch circle at 50 yards without spending a lot of time setting up the shot.

If you can do that, you won't have any trouble at all knocking them down.

And finally, have fun with it.

Hunting and practicing for the hunt won't be any fun at all if you have to do a bunch of unpleasant stuff to make it happen.

Make your practice sessions a game, and your camp comfortable. You are going to be building memories for a lifetime, and they need to be good ones!

I hope you get to go. It's way too far away for me.

Frank
 

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I was really liking the idea of a getogether just for taking some tree rats...but I'm afraid you lost me after the info on the snakes...I would either end up locked up or dead...to me the only good snake is a dead snake..and I dont give a hoot that they are protected because if it is too close for comfort and looking to sink its fangs(ANY critter!!) into me ,..if given the chance..it is going to die first!!...so y'all have fun cuz the only reason for me to hunt there is to show you how snake on the barby tastes...(an ex Texan who has had many deep fried rattlers and gators too!),...have fun!
 
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By the time we hunt squirrels in WV, the snakes are long asleep, and I like it that way. I have a couple fair to middling squirrel woods around here, so I think I'll take the 39A out there, and maybe the Ruger Single Six as it's companion. I don't need no stinkin' snakes! ;D
 

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There are very few snakes in Md and I'm thankful for that...If there was more of them and they were protected...I'd become the newest member of the shoot-shovel-shutup :eek:
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Miller6457 said:
I would like to take my nephew, he's never hunted and he really wants to. I never squirrel hunted before and only deer hunting a copy of times in Wisconsin. My nephew and I are in the Chicago area. What I'm getting at, assuming he can go, baseball, school, football and he parents allow it, I would like to know if I could 'hook up' with someone that knows what their doing?

Matt
there are always folks willing to help out youngsters. you won't find a better place or way to learn either.

I can't promise you will kill squirrels as they are not of the stupid type and can be very difficult to get. most of us use 4x12 scopes on our rifles.

it's a camp out hunt. come for the fun of it! you will learn a great deal about squirrel hunting.

don't forget the hunters safety course if you are of an age that requires it. if you don't have the required course then you have till septembert to get one.

luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fast Frank:

there will be at least 1 and maybe 2 folks from texas there. we usually have a coouple of fellers every year come from great britain but this will be the first in about seven years that they won't make it.

luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
CalvinMD said:
I was really liking the idea of a getogether just for taking some tree rats...but I'm afraid you lost me after the info on the snakes...I would either end up locked up or dead...to me the only good snake is a dead snake..and I dont give a hoot that they are protected because if it is too close for comfort and looking to sink its fangs(ANY critter!!) into me ,..if given the chance..it is going to die first!!...so y'all have fun cuz the only reason for me to hunt there is to show you how snake on the barby tastes...(an ex Texan who has had many deep fried rattlers and gators too!),...have fun!
Lol!

most folks who go to this hunt never see a snake of any kind. They do exist so i put up the warning.

we made this picture 2 hunts back.

I would expect a feller to show common sense and if it's a snake or me, it's the snake every time. I have walked off and left them alone for years now. the one in the picture was alive when we left.

it's a wild place and it would not be the same without them.

you atre correct...rattler is tasty! lol!

luck!
 

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Thats the only way I like them or want them within 10ft of me...is on a plate with cocktail sauce
 

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For those of you familiar with Illinois laws. I was planning on bringing a revolver with some shot shells in it, to shot at the snakes to scare them away, is my nephew (12 y.o.) allowed to carry a revolver on him as well?

Thanks

Matt
 

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Your not allowed to scare the snakes.. they are protected ... I am not sure on the handgun laws and age requirement I would look up the Ill game site and see if it's posted
 

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Handgun possession is federally controlled for the most part, but I don't think you'd want a 12 year old carrying a revolver unless he had received lots of training with it. You will most likely never see a snake there. As Squacks said, there are always folks there willing to help out a youngster learn to hunt. Take your nephew out this summer and give him the opportunity to shoot some targets and learn the safe handling of firearms, etc.
 

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I was planning on getting out to the range and let figure out which marlin 22 he would want to shoot with and then have him practice with it, learn his limits as far as squirrel size target. But I have a bunch of other conditions with it. He has to finish the NRA rifle which he didn't because of baseball, then he got lazy. And he has to get the hunter Ed done.

Matt
 

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This is a warning that I post every year right before the shawnee hunt. If you are planning on bringing kids or a weak hearted woman with you, be warned that the language, jokes and story topics are unrestricted. This is not to say that kids and women are not welcome, they are, and we have them attend most years. It's just an "I told you so" post. For the most part much, but not all, of the rowdiness is contained at the far north end of the campground, but not always the case. I just don't want someone attending then being all p i s s e d off because someone said a bad word within hearing of little Joey or little Mary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
howdy all!

NOt long now!

i have a big pile started! that's why i have a truck! lol!

hoping for cool crisp windless mornings and few biting type bugs. We'll see how that goes.....lol!


luck!
 

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Wish I could make it.. maybe next year.. things will be squared away
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
howdy all!

there are already folks camped in shawnee for this upcoming hunt even though it officially starts on this sat.

there will be more in route(myself included) before then as well. Looks like the weather is going to start out COOL. that is amazing by itself!

Will be great to see old friends!

luck!
 

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Looking forward to the reports.

Couldn't make it for a couple reasons, I'm in rehab after my right knee surgery still hurts whenever I go further then a block or two at a time. Second my father two days after my surgery fell backwards hit his head and suffered a sub-dermal hemorrhage. Had to have surgery under his skull, was on life support for 11 days afterward. Was expected to be released three days ago Friday, Friday morning the doctors said he was acting a little strange again, a new CT showed more blood on the brain, the same surgery again yesterday Saturday, and now today he's bouncing back in aces. All ready breathing on his own and their going to try oral food/liquids tomorrow Monday.

So I couldn't make it out there this year man I really wanted to. Next year.

Matt
 

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Most of the Snakes in Michigan are afraid of the squirrels. ;D
 

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