I left the house while it was still complete darkness at 6:00am. Upon arrival at my cousin's at 7, it was lighter but very foggy. He had all his gear packed in his car, and we took a quick 15 minute drive to the woods where he normally goes hunting. He gave me a camouflage hat, gloves and fleece, and I was wearing jeans and winter boots. I was told if we were hunting deer - I would be glowing wearing the jeans since they see in the violet end of the spectrum...but thank goodness I have no idea what squirrel sees...and since I walk past so many everyday, I can't imagine my jeans bothered them.
It was a slow and quiet morning. There was very little movement in the woods. I was given a brief lesson on the rifle, loading it, and looking through the viewfinder thing. I also had a quick lesson on tracking, the different kinds of poop we saw, and different noises.
I was excited. I was ready. We finally saw a squirrel. I pick up my rifle and looked through the view thing...and lost the squirrel. Cousin found it a little later, it went up a tree. He told me to shoot at it, but I was nervous to shoot up into the air, if I missed, by bullet would have went a mile...and who knew where that mile would be...the road? a back yard? so I didn't want to risk it. Cousin, with a lot more experience and a different kind of gun, got into place, aimed, and the squirrel fell out of the tree. I was so happy I was jumping up and down and high-fived cousin!
We waited a few minutes before we went over to collect it, to give it a moment to die in peace.
Cousin let me hold the squirrel at times during the rest of our morning. We were hoping to catch about 10 or so...but as I said, it was a very quiet morning. I see more squirrels walking to my car in the driveway each morning than I did in the woods. We saw all of three squirrels, and the others were too far away to shoot.
At the end of the adventure, I was happy I didn't kill anything, because I watched my cousin skin and gut the squirrel. I had a bit of an anatomy lesson and gained a new respect for hunters. It has been about 15 years since I dissected anything...and this was a good reminder.
I had a really good time, and I told cousin I would definitely go with him again if he ever wanted company...even if it is just to watch, because next time, if I make a kill...I have to gut it :(
On our way out of the woods, we saw a bald eagle. all in all, a great experience.