John's Journal... Entry 187, Day 1
REAL MEN HUNT SQUIRRELS
Cosby's Love For Squirrel Hunting
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tim Cosby, age 55, was an enforcement officer for the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries with Alabama's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for 28 years. For the last 11 years, he worked as Chief of Law Enforcement. Cosby can't remember a time when he didn't hunt.
QUESTION: When did you first start squirrel hunting?
I've heard people say they went deer hunting with their buddies this past weekend. However, these guys really didn't deer hunt with their buddies. They may have ridden to and from deer camp with their buddies. They may have visited at mealtime and slept in the camp together, but they didn't actually hunt together. Most men don't hunt out of the same stand together. I've taken my fair share of deer, and after a while, I got tired of sitting in a stand for 5 to 10 hours a day thinking about other things I could be doing rather than sitting in that stand.
When I go squirrel hunting, I can take three or four of my hunting buddies with me. We can tell tales, walk through the woods together, gather up around the tree, all shoot at the squirrels and just have a good time. We can talk and joke, brag on our shots, and in good fun, ridicule each other when we miss. There is no other form of hunting that allows men to spend more time together than squirrel hunting with a dog. I like to watch the little squirrel dogs (feists and curs) run through the timber, find the squirrel's trail and tree the squirrel. I enjoy taking youngsters squirrel hunting because the pace is generally leisurely. Youngsters can play, make noise, stomp in mud puddles, pull on vines and have a really good time, while watching the dogs and hunting with the adults. When the dog trees a squirrel, most of the time you can move the youngster into a position where he can get set up with a gun to take the squirrel. And if the youngster misses a squirrel, only a short time will pass before he has another opportunity to take another squirrel.
I like to hunt with either a Knight Disc black-powder shotgun or a Ruger .22 rifle. I've had the trigger on this rifle lightened to 21/2 crisp pounds. I have a Christensen arms barrel on it, which is a carbon-fiber-wrapped stainless-steel core barrel. This lightens the barrel. This type of barrel is much lighter than the standard .22 barrel. I have a Kahles 2.2X9.0 riflescope. The rifle also has a Hogue stock, a composite stock that can take bad-weather conditions. This rifle is very light and very accurate. I use a standard target Remington .22 long rifle shell. I don't like the hollow-point bullets. I prefer a .22 over a 12 gauge because I can see most of the squirrels I take in the tree before I get to the tree. Because I eat the squirrels I take, I always try and use some type of rest, and I aim for their heads. This way I don't damage any meat, and I don't have a lot of shot in the meat I eat. There is no way to shoot a squirrel with a shotgun and not get a lot of lead shot in the squirrel.
Cosby also breeds and trains tree and feist squirrel dogs. If
you're interested in acquiring a squirrel dog for you and your family,
you can contact Cosby at Route 2, Box 330
TOMORROW: SQUIRREL HUNTING - A WAY OF LIFE