Man reeeediculous---been up since 4:30-- colder than a well diggers como se llama in Alaska---well not really but, here I set in my shorts and t-shirt drinkin' coffee and wonderin' what was I thinkin' gettin' up this early. Heck its 27 degrees out side with a chill factor of about 15---talked to my Aunt( Erna Lea) up in Weatherford last night---14 degrees with a chill factor of 8 this mornin'---. When I let Jake out to do his business all I could do was think ----hurry up--- and then Buddy, my Mother in law's lil guy, said --I need to go too---so man it was from the icebox to the freezer---twice. Well, actually just open the front door---tie a rope on and send em out----don't take long but that blast of cold air takes your breath away and it takes a while to get warmed up agin.
Talkin' to my aunt last night reminds me of a Christmas holiday spent in Brock, Texas at Mama Fronie's and Daddy Ernie's. It was unusually cold but didn't keep me from hittin' the woods. There were 2 small patches of woods that always held a bunch of squirrels---peanut fields surrounded the 2 wooded areas and squirrels love peanuts. Me, Penny and Lassie, the squirrel dogs, and my trusty 22 would head to those woods everyday and hunt 'til we had to find us a warm spot---well I did. The dogs just found a spot out of the wind and curled up n went to sleep. DOGS NOWADAYS ARE SPOILED. I'd go to Erna Lea's and shed some of my protective clothin'---get me some hot choclate --visit with my aunt---cousins Woody and Sheila-- they were little guys---warm up a bit and head back out.
As always the dogs were more than ready to get back to it. Most of the woods there were post oaks and not real big trees. The squirrels would den up in nests built out of leaves and stuff----sometimes there would be 3-4 in a nest----I had me a "poke pole"--a long tree branch that I carried to poke the nest ---and the chase was on. I would wait 'til I got a good shot, take one and then start lookin for the others. That's where Penny and Lassie came in. They would watch the ones a runnin' and follow them until they stopped----barkin' treed---then it was search the tree til you could see the squirrel. Sometimes it would only be a tail stickin out---they can flatten out on a limb and almost dissapear. Walk up to the tree and stand still--the dogs millin' round the tree--the squirrel would give itself away movin' around watchin the dogs. Pow 'n another on my carryin stick. The carryin stick was a small tree limb sharpened on both ends---in the hind feet of the squirrels there are tendons----slice the hind foot--push the stick under the tendon and you have em on your carryin' stick. Now they have fancy squirrel holders or game bags to carry em in. Dad showed me how to make my carryin stick.
Just as I was startin to get warm---not really--Jake had to make another run outside----dang its cold out there. Coffee don't do no good---guess I need some brandy in it. HA!
There were some nests to high to reach with my poke pole and I would find a rock or a peice of wood and throw at the nest. Before throwin' anything at the nest I would rub my poke pole on the tree as high as I could reach and sometimes this would wake em up and get 'em runnin'. I was taught not to shoot into a nest as you mite hit one and it wouldn't come out. If they didn't come out by rubbin' the tree or throwin' I would shoot the limb that the nest was made on----this would stir em up---if they were home. At times the squirrels would have been on the ground searchin' for acorns or comin' from the peanut field. The dogs would pick up the scent and follow til they treed. Barkin' "...come on we got em cornered". Sometimes the squirrel was not in the tree that they marked so I would walk around the other trees lookin', as they can jump from one tree to the next----sometime find em, sometime not ----that's why they call it huntin'.
Over a period of 2 weeks I shot 36 squirrels--amazin I can remember the amount---I do----didn't hurt the population any and got many a smile from my family as they ate squirrel dumplins, fried squirrel, mashed taters, biscuits and gravy. Mama Fronie could make those little boogers taste so good and there would be nothin left but a pile of bones. The older ones would be made into dumplins---young ones fried. Man, makin' me hungry---been a long time since I had any squirrel. If it was up to Little Girl---that would be never. LOL!.
One of these days----