TOO MANY ROCK CHUCKS

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sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Well, we made a full day out of it yesterday but we saved a farmer a whole lot of barley in the process. Last Saturday went I killed 15 I estimated that I had seen maybe 70-75 before I quit for the day & that tuesday (yesterday) we would make them pay a heavy price for munching all that free barley, and we did! We started at 7am, me, one of my 4 son's & his 14 year old son. The 3 of us shot 36 chucks in the morning before the heat run us off for a lunch break back to town. We also popped quite a few ground squirrels & one field lion but we were mainly focused on chucks.

Again this year there has been a warning in the paper about some ground squirrels carrying the plague, its best not to pick them up bare handed or even handle them at all, so beware if you are a first time squirrel hunter, the plague is some bad stuff! This front page story was in the Idaho State Journal a few weeks ago.


After a trip back to town we still had some time to kill so we made a quick trip to one of Butch Cassidays favorite towns (he liked to rob it) where we picked up a hog my son had butchered. After putting it in the freezer we headed back out for the afternoon hunt. Grandson Mason was running a little low on 223 ammo so I grabbed some of mine that I had loaded for my AR & we headed back out.

It had started to cloud over a bit & the wind was picking up a little, there were some scattered rain showers going on around us but we didn't get wet, although the wind kept the chucks down in the low spots a bit. Many of these old lava craters are deep & the chucks can get down in there & get out of the wind, making it really tough to approach them. This was going to make it a challenge. This is one I sneaked up on & shot in one of the sunken craters with my 32/20 Blackhawk using a 113 gr. HP, it really "rocked" him.


We finished the afternoon with another 39 chucks for a total of 75 in one day! A new record but I way under estimated the number of chucks on this guys place, we didn't get half of them & I'll be going back in the next couple of days. Some of these old chucks are huge & they can really eat a lot of barley in a hurry.

This is my son Travis & his 14 year old son Mason, I was really proud of Mason, he has a couple of muleys under his belt, a very good black bear, a B&C antelope but not very many rock chucks until yesterday. He changed that, yesterday he got 47. breaking my old record.


You can see the barley above this lava reef, not so much below it. I killed a bunch of rock chucks here, they eat it right down to the dirt.


This bad boy was sneaking down the edge of the field & I bush whacked him with the 30 Carbine shooting 32/20 loads, the 113 gr. HP really punched his ticket. The only thing that moved was his tail, it flipped around for 5-10 seconds & it was lights out at aboout 1350 fps.



This is one of the sunken craters where the chucks like to get down out of the wind, this is where I shot the sneaky one with the 32/20. There are hundreds of these in the area. The tall reefs can be 20-30 feet tall & many run for several miles, almost always in a north-south direction.



This was a chuck harvest to help a friend & many were taken with rifles, all of mine were taken with the TC 221 FB or my 8 shot 327 or the 30 Carbine shooting 32/20's since the only rifle I own is an AR. 90 chucks in 2 days & we've taken far less than half, I've got some work to do.

Dick
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
2,237
Location
Orange County, CA
Great post and pics! I also love using my .30 Blackhawk with .32-20s for the longer range stuff. Up close I stick to my .32 Singlesix.

Used to use the .30 for woodchucks when I lived back East, but we don't have them here in CA, just fat ground squirrels that the ranchers hate. We also have the skinny little rats that some people call "gophers" but only in the desert areas.

ALL of 'em carry bubonic plague here. Keep in mind that it's their FLEAS that pass the plague along, so you don't actually have to touch the squirrel to be in peril. I don't go anywhere near them, just shoot 'em.
 

Cholo

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Dec 30, 2008
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6,234
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Georgia
Now that's some fun! It reminded me of shooting groundhogs around here in the 70's and early 80's. On a good day I collected 3 with a .22 rifle or my Single Six .22 Mag. If they got down their hole they didn't count. I can't imaging shooting that many in a day.

I miss doing that...
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,795
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I knew it would be another excellent "Tale from Soda!"
Those chucks should have planned an early hibernation. Get some more of the "boys" & go back out there & finis off a bunch more. Y'all did an excellent job of starting to thin them, but you can't "hog" all the fun. :D
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
Around here they can reach 12 pounds and are everywhere in the summer time. I had one house cat, about 10 pounds,who could kill even the biggest ones.
 

tinman

Buckeye
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,811
Location
Texas
Awesome adventure. Reminds me of way back when I did similar work (with bow and arrow) for farmers who had ground hogs around out-buildings. Can't see the much of the actual fields in those photos.....have y'all given any thought to an elevated platform/blind that would put the shooters up high enough to control an area with their long guns? Mounted to a suitable vehicle, it could be moved all over those fields as needed. :idea:
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
tinman, we can get high enough, that's not a problem, the problem is when you do that they can see you just as good as you can see them. The ground is up & down & we try to stay as low as possible so we aren't skylined but their eyes are amazing.

Most people do shoot them with rifles but I've been a handgun guy for many, many years & have taken perhaps 700-800 chucks with various revolvers & single shot handguns. The boys did use rifles on this hunt because the farmer needed them thinned out bad, so we did.

I'll make another couple of trips in there before they go down for good which will be in the next week or two & I'll have a pretty good handle on what left.

We are very mobile with the 4 wheelers, you have to be because we cover several miles when we go.

Dick
 

Joe S.

Hunter
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
4,765
Location
Central MS
Guess i missed my notification on this. I had no idea that stuff was even still around!! Glad you told me. If i ever found myself around them, I'd be apt to pick one up.



sixshot said:
Joe, I'm not sure, I've never heard anyone say. I know its bad stuff.

Dick
 

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