Day 1 came early, up by 5 to cook a bacon and egg breakfast and get our gear straight. The forecast for the day was cool but sunny and calm winds- a perfect recipe for squirrel hunting. Everybody goes to different spots that they like, and I keep it simple by hunting a ridge and piece of forest I am now well familiar with, located just over the border into West Virginia in the George Washington National Forest, 6 miles in off the nearest road, and just off of the maintained but unpaved forest road. We were in the woods by 6:30, and we had to wait for enough daylight to see where we were going. So, my hunting day started between 7-7:15 AM. And, diving into a thick, steep, and dry terrain with my 16 gauge Remington 1100- got my limit of 6 squirrels by 930 am.
Day 2 of Squirrel Camp was a completely different scene. It had rained the night before, with a warm front accompanying. It was a tough hunt with far fewer squirrels out feeding, but I got my limit by noon. Like last year, one victim was eating dinner when I took him. This one has a hickory nut in its mouth, in contrast to the squirrel with an acorn last year.
Each day, we all clean our own squirrels to bring home. Our meals consist of food that we bring in and prepare, and for the last 5 years I have put on a seafood feast for the fellas. This year, it was fried oysters, fried soft crabs, and blackened rockfish.
Speaking of rockfish,... I got out on Dan's boat the following weekend (Nov 2). We started early, launching at 6:45 AM and before the sun had come up. The forecast was for <5mph winds, but that wasn't how it played out. In fact, we spent much of the morning looking for clean water. And, due to the NW winds blowing for days, there was almost no more tide left to go out. Nonetheless, we caught fish on the west side of Smith Island, just off the rock jetties. Pearl and green plastic did the trick in shallow water. Water temp was 58F. One keeper out of probably 30-40 fish, which we worked hard to catch. No birds working fish were to be seen in the deeper water, so assuming that may come later. And right now, it looks like we may not catch a break from the wind for the next 10 days, which really sucks. Maybe something will change. Until then, this is #dealislandrandy.