Dad's Memories

- 01 September 98 - 01 September 98

Rabbits, Woodchuck, & Rats

Our ( Bill Hall & I ) warm weather hunting focussed on Rabbits (excellent stew), Woodchuck ( farmers nuisance) and as a last resort--Rats .

RABBIT-- There was an area near Meriden Ct..where there where many "brush piles" providing good cover , and heavily populated by Rabbits. Our Rabbit routine was to "jump on" a brush pile to shake 'em out-and then shoot 'em on the run.- mine a 20 gauge pump shotgun, Bill a single shot 410 gauge shotgun.

Bill's premise was- you don't even have to hit 'em, if a shot passes close by they'll be scared to death. But Beverly , Bills wife, complained of finding shotgun pellets in her Rabbit Stew, so we changed our tactics . I went with a 22 cal pump, Bill changed to his 22 cal Colt Woodsman pistol. That markedly reduced our yield, but it actually was more enjoyable--gave them bunnies an edge on us--but we still managed to fill the stewpot--most of the time-- it took a bit longer , more fun.

WOODCHUCK---Several landowners --with Orchards and large open fields- let it be known at the Lyman Gunsight shop, that they would appreciate having some nuisance Chucks "removed" from their fields.

Bill picked up a .222 cal, scope sighted, hi-velocity Rifle at the Lyman plant, and we tried our hand at this Woodchuck exercise. Locating Chuck-holes was easy - the hunt part required interminable waiting for a Chuck to emerge from the burrow. We'd find a Chuck hole and set up 100 -200 yds away and get comfortable--we took turns as "shooter", shifting the rifle every 10 minutes. Mostly it became a "dry hunt" as no Mr. Chuck stuck his head above the selected Burrow.

When an unlucky Chuck came up to look about, I was amazed at the damage that little 222 hi-velocity rifle did on impact. I learned to respect that gun --no end. Not our most favorite "cup of tea ' what with the extended, often fruitless, time waiting around,-- we opted for more action-- like shooting Rats at the town dump.

RATS--- Meriden Ct. had a town dump-out in the boondocks-- and with nothing more interesting on the docket, we'd go out there - for target practise, to shoot Rats .As with dumps everywhere, there was an abundance of Rats, some about the size of Squirrels-BIG rats--live target practise. Made you feel a bit "jumpy" seeing so many , busy at their homesite.

We'd set up 50-60 feet off, at a location not in current use, Me--22cal rifle-,-Bill--his 22 cal Woodsman , and set a limit at a 50 shot box of shells . We did reduce the varmint population quite a bit, and Bill got his share with that 22 Woodsman. I tried my hand with it, not very successfully.

One plus about shooting Rats--we did not have anything to "clean" and bring home.

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