View Full Version : SoCal. Varmint hunting

February 4, 2000, 07:08 PM
Does anyone know of a legal area in southern california to do a little ground squirrel shooting. My son and I having had a tough time trying to find a decent spot. Any help would be appreciated.

February 6, 2000, 05:13 PM
Rimfire where in So. Cal ar you? I live in Bakersfield and find the hills around here are covered in them (squirrels). Got 14 yesterday.

February 7, 2000, 12:33 AM
I live in Orange County and the varmint hunting is nonexistent. Our local hills are filled with tree huggers and nature lovers. Even the BLM rangers discourage any kind of hunting even in the few designated areas. Bakersfield is looking like a good option for us.

February 7, 2000, 01:20 PM
Rimfire, I'm still looking for a great spot. I have found a few that are legal but there are ranchers that have grazing rights and they get real nervous with shooters out there. I need to find a few more spots.
As far as Orange county is concerned I know what you mean I just moved from that area 3 years ago.
I plan on doing some more looking in the next week or so. Drop me an email and I'll let you know what I find out.
what do you use to shoot the squirrels with. I was using an AR in .223 just because It was the most accurate thing I had, 1/2" at 100+ yards. Now I'm using a Ruger 10-22. I can't believe how accurate the 22 is, cheap to shoot and just plain fun.
BTW This squirrel shooting is some of the most fun I ever had.

February 7, 2000, 01:56 PM
The current squirrel zapper is a Ruger heavy barrel varmint 77/22 with a 4x12 Bushnell scope and a Harris bipod. This set up scores consistent hits at 150 yards and 200 yards with perfect (rare) conditions. I love using a 22 long rifle for ground squirrels. The few land owners I have encountered that would allow hunting on their land seem happy that we aren't using some booming centerfire. In the past I have used a Ruger MK2 with the 5 1/2 inch bull barrel for squirrels. That gun is way more accurate than I am. It still goes with me on the rifle hunts as a back up in case something goes wrong with the rifle. That pistol has had approx. 30,000 rounds through it without one jam. As you can tell, I'm a huge 22lr fan!

Art Eatman
February 7, 2000, 08:01 PM
Sometimes a rancher figures there's a squirrel behind the gun, instead of in front of it.

Save one of your better targets with a three- or five-shot tight group, and carry it along when you hunt up a rancher to ask permission. Visit a while. Explain that you don't shoot over ridges, you don't "drink on the job" and that his cows are safe. Explain that your policy is to leave a gate like you found it. You carry fence-fixing stuff with you, like staples and fence-pliers. (Assuming this is fenced country; if so, buy some danged fence-pliers and staples!) In other words, without brown-nosing, try and make friends!

Regards, Art

February 7, 2000, 08:15 PM
The current lineup of pea shootin prarie dog poppers.

[This message has been edited by PEA SHOOTER (edited February 07, 2000).]

February 8, 2000, 12:40 PM
That is a great idea about showing the rancher a nice group on a target. I used to hike in an area close to my house and ran across a guy that was having problems with his dirt bike. I ended up fixing his stuck carb floats with a rock and a stick. He tells me that he owns some land and he has a problem with cattle breaking legs in ground squirrel holes. This guy was so cool he would bring us lunch while we put a dent in his ground squirrel population. About a year ago he died as a result of a rattlesnake bite. His family took over the ranch and they are hardcore anti-gun. I guess I should start looking for more broken down dirt bikes.

February 8, 2000, 01:56 PM

You mentioned ranchers with grazing rights. This would imply that they don't own the land, but have the rights on BLM land. Is this correct? If so, and if things haven't changed drasticaly over the years, grazing rights are not ownership rights (no matter how much a rancher wants them to be).

I have had ranchers try to chase me off of BLM land in the past. Claim that their grazing rights gave them exclusive use to the land. This just isn't right. Make sure you carry a good BLM map, and that you are sure of where you are, and you should be OK.

February 8, 2000, 03:36 PM
As a land owner and owner of a few dozen cows I would be more impressed if you showed up during the off season with your fencin pliers rather than your targets. Not that that ain't a good idea too. Or maybe show up when I've got my 10 yr. old girl driving the tractor while I'm throwing bales on the rack behind. Or stacking them in the loft when it's 95 out. I may be a little more open about where I've seen that big buck hanging out all summer.(well, not the BIG one) Maybe offer to build some of those ladders to cross fences instead of stepping on the wires. Find out when he has projects going on like baling hay or fence building and be there to help. Landowners aren't as free with hunting privileges as they used to be. Lotsa vandalism, theft, and trespassing have soured many. On privately owned ground it is a privilege not a right to be able to hunt there. Try to develope some kind of friendship with them. I put up a couple thousand bales of hay every summer and if someone came out and helped me he'd sure be a friend of mine. Insure the landowner you are responsible and won't be drinking while shooting and will haul out what you haul in.

bullet placement is gun control

Art Eatman
February 8, 2000, 11:37 PM
Years ago, I and some others were leasing a ranch for hunting the wily Bambi. It wasn't all that productive a place for some unknown reason. We asked the owner if he had a better place, or knew of one.

He talked to a ranch-owner from whom he leased the grass rights. The owner had never had any lease-hunters on the place and was unsure.

What got us the deal was a description of our group: "Well, they leave a place better'n they found it."

Muleshoe's comments are absolutely right. Now is the time to find next season's hunting-place.

Regards, Art

February 9, 2000, 12:22 PM
Lots of great ideas from everyone. Thanks for the replies.