Sunday, February 28, 2010

Memories of a hunt

So far my best memory for hunting squirrels was at my folks ranch before I left for the Army, 1987ish. A friend had long ago purchased a Hatfield 36 caplock with all the beautiful woodwork. At this time I had never seen anything short of kit guns and my TC Hawken, the TC Hawken being the top of my experience at the time. He let me use the Hatfield for a few days while I went after bushy tails for a stew. I took it over to my known distance shooting area and was pleased that the sights and my load liked each other 350 RB with wonder lube over 40 gr 3F. 3 shots touching at 50yds... good enough for bushy tails.

I went down just below the earth dam where the trees are thick and marshy, always see greys there and today was no different. I have a favorite rock I use as a seat, flat and has a bit of shelf to the side, enough to put my possibles bag. As I sat there waiting for the buggers to get used to me being there I almost forgot why I was there. Calm day clear sky (what I could see of it lol) and clear air... intoxicating... Not long a wait I saw the buggers running around again.

The Hatfield was a LONG bugger, longest I had played till that time, and had trouble with holding it straight out. Once I got the hang of it I was fine, I think I developed a dislike of full stocks and long Bbls at that time... However when I got under the buggers, with them up in the trees I was very happy with the rifle. With the weight coming straight down on my shoulder the rifle seemed to not move at all. This rifle had full buckhorn sights, When I got the squirrel "In the TV screen" poof... down came bushy tail. I would slid it down to my foot and reload getting ready for the next lul to catch them in the open

I got 3 for dinner that day and we both had a great stew thanks to that rifle. The owner of the Hatfield as sence passed away and I don't know the fate of this rifle. I will not soon forget it.

Not long after I traded for a shorter 36 caplock that turned out to need ALOT of work... that rifle has been dragged ALL over the states and AK for the past 20 some odd years waiting for me to wake up and fix it. Well this year has been an awakening for me and I will get it done as experience for my goal of becoming a muzzleloader gunsmith like my great great grandfather I have a mission


  1. I read a story many years ago about a young lad in the great depression. Ammo could not be bought, but he found his Grandfathers flint rifle in the loft, a ball mould and some gunpowder in the shed. He went after squirrels, and by all accounts pretty much saved the family from starvation.
    Primitive times demand primitive solutions. Hang on to your Smoke Poles!
    Le Loup.

  2. Flintlocks sure can be a salvation skill/tool thats for sure :)