The great Kansas City squirrel slaughter of 1983

Naturally the story takes place in KC as I was stationed there for a couple of years while in the Marines.

A fellow I worked for invited me to go squirrel hunting with him one Saturday morning. I didn’t get too many opportunities to hunt in those days and so I excitedly jumped on the invitation.

On the designated morning I met him at his house and we drove to some woods near Grandview Missouri. We arrived a little late as I recall, since the sun was already up, but better late than never right?

Chuck briefed me on the layout of the property as we entered the edge of the woods. Then he went his way... and I went mine.

Very quickly I realized this was going to be one heck of a hunt. The place was literally crawling with squirrels! And not little grays either; big fat red ones!

I started methodically knocking them down with my Ruger 10/22. I remember a couple of excellent long shots I made that morning. I also remember two squirrels playing together in one tree. They were so engrossed in their play that they paid no heed to me whatsoever as I crept into position for the shot.

Pow! One down. The second squirrel stuck his head out from behind the tree at the exact instant of the shot, and uttered the strangest sound I ever heard from a squirrel. It actually had a little questioning tone to it as if to say “What the heck was that?”

I answered his question with another “Pow” straight thru his perfectly silhouetted head. The memory of those two squirrels makes me smile broadly.

Occasionally I heard Chuck shooting on the other end of the property, but I was too busy to take much notice.

Finally, with the morning growing old and the squirrels having begun to lay low in earnest, I turned and headed back toward the truck. When I got there I found Chuck perched on the tailgate with a cigarette in his mouth and four red squirrels laid out beside him.

“How’d you do” he said. “Sounded like a young war over there where you were at!”

“Oh I did alright” I replied as I laid my rifle down and began to pull squirrels out of my game bag and pockets. His eyes grew wide and his mouth hung open a bit as I just kept pulling out more and more squirrels from every pocket until there were fourteen laid out side by side.

“Holy smokes...I thought you were over there just wasting shells all this time!”

“No I think I did pretty good” says I with a big ole grin.

I’ve killed plenty squirrels over the years, but that morning outside Kansas City still stands as my best, most memorable squirrel hunt.

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