The Hunt Begins

Today is opening day of squirrel season. Yay!

Everyone seems really surprised to find out that there's even a season for them at all so I thought I'd take the opportunity to enlighten my readers.

Connecticut has three squirrel season a year for 2010 they are Jan 1 - Feb 27, Sep 1 - Sep 30, Oct 16 - Dec 31. You need to obtain a license to hunt small game and once you have the hours are from 1/2 hr before sunrise - 1/2 hour after sunset. Hunting on Sundays are not allowed. 

It is prohibited to hunt with, shoot, or carry a loaded firearm within 500 feet of any building occupied by people or domestic animals, or used for storage of flammable material, or within 250 feet of such buildings when waterfowl hunting in tidal areas from land shooting positions or from floating blinds anchored adjacent to land or from rock positions, unless written permission for lesser distances is obtained from the owner and carried. Landowners, their spouse, and lineal descendants are exempt from this restriction, providing any building involved is their own. The 500 foot zone does not apply to bowhunting.

If you can hit a squirrel with an arrow I'm going to bake you a cake.

And for those of you who are worried about safety these are the rules that need to be followed.

During the period September 1 through the last day of February, hunters (including persons hunting with deer damage permits) are required to wear at least 400 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing above the waist and visible from all sides. An orange hat, in addition to a coat or vest, is strongly recommended.

You can take up to 40 squirrels a season, but you're limited to only 8 a day. According to Duddits hunting squirrels isn't as easy as you would think, some years he hasn't gotten any at all and estimates that he's only gotten 30 since he started hunting them. He claims that the number being that low is somewhat intentional because they're a pain in the ass to cook.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first time Duddit's got a squirrel so I decided to retell his story to the best of my ability.

Let's set the scene, Duddits was 8 years old, in the woods behind his grandfather's house with his father toting a .22 Chipmunk rifle that looks like this:

Duddits: "I can remember the 1st kill like it was yesterday. It was the afternoon and I started shaking uncontrollably when the squirrel was approaching and I knew I would get a shot at it. I remember everything about shooting it. I was sitting next to a downed tree, he came up another tree that had fallen against a tree. I shot him  and he fell over on the tree. After a minute he got up and started running. My dad used his shot gun and shot it off the tree. My shaking got worse as I ran up to it and then I started laughing and suddenly couldn't shut up. My Dad told me to wait a minute to make sure it was dead and then I picked it up. I carried it by its tail back to the porch wher I still coudln't sit still or shut up. My grandfather, Beep, was excited that I'd gotten my first kill and my grandmother, Meem, pretended to be happy for me."

Since the squirrels are killed for food tomorrow we'll have another recipe to share.

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