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Post Info TOPIC: The Texas Crow Patrol Introduces - SST1


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The Texas Crow Patrol Introduces - SST1
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Hi boys,

I wanted to introduce you to the newest unit under the Texas Crow Patrol umbrella. It is the “SST1” or  Skunk Suppression Team 1.  Texas Matt heads up this elite squad and as commanding officer I must state his personal ability to spot/drop skunks is simply amazing.

With our triple digit temperatures still in effect here in north Texas, our crow shooting options are quite limited.  We were forced to adapt, improvise and overcome to find a relatively high volume target that ranchers want us to liquidate.  Our prairie dogs and jack rabbits populations are at low ebb, so we thought skunks might offer us some good hunting until crows can be re-engaged later in the year.

Last Saturday night we rented (www.thermaloutfitters.com) thermal imaging and night vision gear to help boost the number of potential nighttime varmint targets.  It worked!  Our previous record was 16 skunks in one night and we smashed that TCP record with 32 taken in a 6 hour shift.

Equipment Deployed:

For guns we primarily used suppressed .22LR pistols and rifles.  I had my Ruger 22/45 “Full House” with Crimson Trace Carbon Fiber Laser Grips, complete Volquartsen Custom fire control system, TandemKross LCI Filler, Leupold DeltaPoint Reflex Sight, Streamlight TLR-1s and SWR Spectre II can.  Fun gun on skunks, but not the best choice, when a sounder of 20 plus hogs suddenly appeared on the port side of our Z71 Chevy Suburban at 2:30AM!  Matt was wielding his new Savage .22LR FV-SR II with his Sparrow suppressor.  This rifle’s action noise, even when dry fired, is louder than the report of Matt's favorite CCI Segmented Subsonic ammo.   We also had a Benelli M4 on hand when targets would not cooperate.

For skunk hunting our FoxPro ecallers weren’t used, but our new LightForce HID Corded Spotlight with their green filter worked wonderfully.  It is a powerhouse.  We used spotlights to find most of the skunks in the pastures and then switched to thermal imaging to pinpoint them if they hid behind goatweed or other ground cover.

In conclusion:

  • One important observation Texas Matt made is that skunks feed on insects, in our case grasshoppers.  Consequently, coastal pastures sprayed with insecticide do not hold skunks.  Focus on insect filled fields, to find more polecats.
  • Warm nights seem to offer more skunks sightings than cold ones, at least here in Texas.  Conversely, cold nights will offer longer range thermal detection of varmints and reduce/eliminate false positives on rocks and stumps.  It will also allow you to more easily scan trees for tree climbing varmints. SST1 will test this theory out later in the winter.  
  • Renting and trying thermal imaging and night vision equipment is very educational while boosting your hunting success.  Next time, we are going to rent higher priced options to get longer range and wider angle detection of varmints.  Thermal Outfitters is a great company to work with and they can steer you right for your night hunting situation. 
  • Armadillo’s really light up on the thermal equipment because they have “hotter” surface temperatures than furry critters.  Fourteen of them paid the price this night, too, for digging up the rancher’s pastures.
  • It would be interesting to observe a crow roost at night with thermal imaging equipment, simply for educational purposes.
  • Note I received a lifetime ban on taking any photographs of our skunk results because of an unfortunate incident about 4 years ago on this same ranch. An unanticipated wind change, while I was snapping such a dead skunk picture, filled the cab of Toyota 1 with the notorious spray.  The Gadget man barely avoided a drum-head court martial.

Just like crow control shooting over valuable and threatened crops, skunk reduction will help improve your landowner relationship.   In the case of skunks by protecting the rancher's dogs from being sprayed and reducing the threat of rabies on his property.

In this case, our rancher host was absolutely delighted with our results and we are invited back any time to hunt varmints, including crows.  That’s what I am talkin’ about!

Regards,



-- Edited by Gadget Bob on Friday 6th of September 2013 12:38:34 AM

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Gentlemen of the TCP,

Your commitment and success in reducing the North Texas varmint population deserves applause. Your desire to be on the leading edge of varmint taking technology is always impressive....as are your kill counts!

I cant wait to hear about your next adventure.

BH

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My fondest and most fervent hope is that most of your team will someday be dispatched to Washington, D.C., to clean up the skunks there. All jokes aside, I have a request that I would like you to try. An oldtimer once told me that the way to kill a skunk without having it spray as a dying "declaration", is to shoot it in the lungs with a .22 cal. "short" cartridge, and let it die peacefully. He said they usually just lay down and go to sleep. I would like some of you to test out this advice, and see if it holds merit or just male bovine fecal material. Thanks in advance.

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Bob


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Crow 187,

I very much doubt that any animal or bird dies peacefully when lung shot, they don't last long but they are still gasping for every breath until the lights go out. In my opinion I think that old timer you spoke to was full of ****.

Bob A.

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Bob, he wouldn't be the first old timer I've known that was full of that. Come to think of it, now I'm one of the old timers. I never tried it. When I used to catch skunks in steel traps in dirt holes, I used to shoot them in the head and just let them rot out of the trap. After I would shoot, there would be a greenish-yellow mist that would settle on the vegetation and ground around the back of the critters that stunk up the place for a long time. I read where a trapper could use a long pole to carry the skunk, trap and all to the river or pond and drown it. Another author suggested that a skunk can't spray if you hold his tail down when you shoot him. Since I'm the guy that's always been too scared to tell the missus, "Yes those jeans DO make your butt look big!", you can probably guess that I was too scared to try any of those pieces of advice. I was just wonderin' was all.

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Bob


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Crow, you never want to tell a female her butt is to big! If one asks you just say it only looks that way because her waist is so small!

Bob A.

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great report...and good advice


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I found that if you don't want a skunk undercoating when you have to hit one then run up its' tail  or head- the length of its' body..is all I know...never shot one that didn't release it's "pay pay la pee-yoo" cargo though!

 In any case I know this guy who shoots them with a thousand foot per second pellet rifle!

 Wish i could lawfully use that high tech gadgetry for hunting at night...too many flying squirrels that keep the bird population down when i cannot afford to lose any birds at given west nile virus that attacks all birds-and didn't seem to impact the crows at all!

 The west nile virus has seriously wiped out all but a few chickadees and nuthatches and titmice and annihilated t other birds even wiping some species out altogether it seems!(Along with the fischer cat- an imported species-that i believe has reduced our rabbit population so badly that the rabbits can only be found in certain areas where there are NO Fischer cats in evidence! The Fischers have all but placed the Black duck on the endangered species list too. hey-want to kill some Fischer cats or all of them?



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Hi MD, 187 and Bob,

In my experience a high percentage, but not all skunks, spray when shot with any weapon.  That includes high velocity CF rifles, pistols and shotguns.  I tend to think a tight pattern of BB's, 2's, 4's or 6's from nmy 10 gauge or Benelli M4 might be the best at preventing spray, but at least some will get off a blast.

A hot spotlight, like the new LightForce HID with their green filter is great for spotting varmints. 

Hi Jason,

We need you down here for a night-time foray for hogs and other varmints. 

Take care,



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