When I first started hunting, the primer to the deer season was small game hunting. I spent many an autumn day strolling through the rolling hardwoods of my Northern Michigan homeland with a .22 in my hands looking for the bushy-tailed tree ninjas that are squirrels. I got very good at shooting squirrels, a fact that to this day has me thinking they must have some annual squirrel convention and plan how to ruin my deer seasons as retaliation.
After many years of thumping squirrel after squirrel with my trusty Ruger 10/22, I got on a kick of using it for target shooting and it became another project and not really a good hunting rifle anymore. I then switched my squirrel hammer to a .22 pistol, or the .17 HMR, which was awesome for those long-range timber tiger swats.
Then one day I got a box from the UPS guy that changed how I hunted squirrels. It was from Gamo, the air rifle company. Their new Raptor PBA pellets were making these rifles into screamingly fast whack masters. After a few shots on the target range, my mind went to one thing, squirrels. I got my father-in-law, Brian, hooked on the idea too, and he went out and got his own Gamo. It was on, family style.
Get in the ring
Now Gamo is doing something that, when I first heard about it, I had to laugh. I got a press release for the inaugural Gamo Squirrel Master Classic, a squirrel hunting competition to be held in late February in Montgomery, Alabama. The press release said that many of the Gamo-endorsee celebrities in the hunting world would be attending and competing as part of a team event.
Among those celebrities involved include Shawn Michaels, the Showstopper of WWE wrestling fame, as well as McMillian River Adventures Television. Also attending is Jackie Bushman from Buckmasters, Keith Warren and Brian “The Pigman” Quaca. The names that really drew my attention were those of my good friends, the Bone Collectors, Michael Waddell, Nick Mundt, and Travis “T-Bone” Turner.
The press release said these hunting masters would team with members of Gamo’s staff and distributors as well as members of the outdoor media for a team competition using Gamo’s Whisper Fusion Pro air rifle. To be honest it sounded kind of crazy, but also a heck of a lot of fun. I was rather envious of those guys who got invited, and then I realized I was one of them.
Don’t hate me
The event will take place February 19 to 20 and will be filmed by the Buckmasters crew as well as the Bone Collector guys. I’ve never heard of anything like this. I was told they would be working on some other footage that will show up in commercials and online video. One of my outdoor editor friends said that it sure seemed like a long way to go for squirrels, but added that it was just different enough and sounded fun enough to make for a seriously fun event.
If you’re like me and curious about this event, check Gamo’s website at www.gamousa.com. They are also going to be covering it on their social media sites including Facebook at www.facebook.com/GamoOutdoorUSA and Twitter at www.twitter.com/GamoOutdoor. If you’d like more information, contact Fedor Palacios, the Marketing Communications Manager at Gamo. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you can imagine, I’m excited about taking part in the Squirrel Master Classic. I started thinking of my strategy for the hunt. There’s going to be a lot of accomplished hunters there, and even a few squirrel dogs. How’s a Northern Michigan redneck going to compete with the likes of that?
My plan is simple, actually. I’m going to go deer hunting. I’ll tell everyone that I’m not squirrel hunting; I’m deer hunting. That way, I’m sure to see hundreds of loud, obnoxious squirrels. It’s in the bag. Of course, I fully expect that the deer, which will be in late rut in that part of the world, will show up and ruin my squirrel hunt. It’s only logical.
Look for the full wrap-up to my adventures at the Gamo Squirrel Master Classic coming soon. Also keep an eye on your favorite outdoor shows later on to see the footage. Who knows, you may see a crazed Michigan redneck squirrel hunter in there somewhere.
Images courtesy Gamo Outdoors USA