Back at the goal again. It’s been a while, so to refresh you loyal readers (Mom) I’d like to shoot a squirrel in every state. Sometimes I travel just for the squirrel, but mostly it’s a side trip during another family escapade. Recently, I tried to turn a trip to the Big Apple into a New England hunting foray, but after asking about flying into NYC with a shotgun, I found it was not such a good idea and jail time was a real possibility.
The only squirrel open for hunting during August in Michigan is the Red. About half the size of a fox squirrel, they make a weird almost tropical bird-like noise and are mean little turds. They don’t hibernate and will run off the much bigger gray squirrels from their 2-5 acre territories.
I hunted just off the North Country Trail in the Hiawatha National Forest where the southern deciduous forest transitions to boreal in the Upper Peninsula. Impenetrably thick undergrowth make seeing the squirrels on the ground nearly impossible, and the mosquitos–slow and clumsy compared to the mosquitos in Matagorda–made it necessary to bathe in DEET before heading out.
I hadn’t walked 20 minutes before a flash of fur bounded across my trail into the dark green ferns and disappeared into a jack pine thicket. I stared intently, but couldn’t detect movement. I began creeping down the trail again. After about 5 steps, strange high pitch screaming harried me from behind. I turned and the little buck was berating me just 10 feet off the ground, tail quivering with hatred. I silenced him with my trusty Ithaca 20 gauge double barrel, and it felt nice.
I love the Upper Peninsula and the Great Lakes. Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald played in the background as we journeyed from one outdoor activity to the next. Food was surprisingly good at the taverns, and the only fast food we saw was in Grand Rapids. A good thing.
My buddy Jeff over at Homestead Dad gave us the inside scoop on must see spots. The first one we hit was the glass bottom boat at Kitch-iti-kipi.
All in all, fantastic trip.