I like sixes too--"low brass" will do nicely. What gauge is the gun?
And wow, Ginch, going hunting again after 25 years--alot has changed, so welcome back! Are you using dogs? Has your son got some shooting and gun safety experience? He's a lucky kid to have a father who will take the time out to take him shooting!
A suggestion that worked well when I took my niece out for her first hunt: we shot two bunnies and a pheasant. She got the second bunny--rolled it cleanly with a single round from her trusty 28-ga! We cleaned the pheasant and put it away. Then I showed her how to clean the rabbits, where the shot pellets went in, etc. Then I got her to help me make rabbit stew! She had an investment of time and effort into every step of that meal from walking up the bunny, to shooting it, to peeling the potatoes and parsnips, to tasting the first spoonful I bet she'll think well of hunting as she grows up: she's already talking about going again! I also gave her a little piece of cottontail fur and a small leather bag to keep it in. I explained that it is her "medicine bag," so that she sees the spiritual power hunting confers when it is done carefully and ethically
Good luck on your hunt--I hope you'll come back and let us know how it went!
#6 is probably the best all round shot and the easiest to find. Some like #4 or #5 for longer range. I also choke more for squirrels than rabbits. Rabbits are alot easier to kill than squirrels. I rabbit hunted last year with a guy who has excellent dogs(they do not chase deer) and we had several great hunts...NC Sportsman Mag actually did an article on the guy and his dogs. Usually when the dogs jump a rabbit he will circle back around way in front of the dogs...just wait and listen. When I was young and growing up in NC, the only game we had was rabbit, squirrel and quail...didn't have deer and turkey back in the 60's. Squirrel hunting is fun and it will challenge your stalking skills...also once you tree a squirrel, your hunting buddy can move around the tree to make the squirrel move around. While growing up I did more squirrel hunting than anything and still love to squirrel hunt today. One thing about squirrel hunting is that you can always get one on every hunt...unlike deer or turkey hunting. Hunting is a great sport to share with your son and it will leave long lasting memories of a great time together for both of you.
Thanks. He is going to his Hunter Safety Course tomorrow and Sunday. It is required now in our state. And then we will be off when I can find someone with a corn field to let us go in. No, I haven't got any dogs. An interesting story though is that I had a beagle, as a boy, which had lived on its own for a time in the wild. It wouldn't have done for hunting though because it could catch any rabbit it would have been after. It was amazing to me for the dog to be that fast. No, but we will just be walking them down. The boy has wanted to go for several years now, but I just got around to getting another gun so we could both have one. He'll soon be gone from the house and I don't want to misss this time together; it will come too quick
#7 1/2's for rabbits, but for heavens sake use a .22 for squirrels. Shooting squirrels with a shotgun is like shooting fish in a barrel, and is very unsporting. Most squirrels I have watched being shot with a shotgun have to be shot at least twice, and a lot of them will put a death grip on the tree, and when after several shots, it's mangled body is finally brought down, it isn't fit to eat. Head shots with a .22 are more humane, and save the body for the table. This will also make you a better shot with the rifle, if you are a deer hunter. If your excuse is that it takes too much skill, and practice, to hunt with the .22, why not just go buy some skinless chicken breasts?
I second the recommendation to shoot squirrels with a .22 A clean head shot yields a quick kill and better quality meat. Folks who complain about the "gamey" taste of squirrel are most likely eating ones bagged with a shotgun. Just one pellet from a shotgun through a tree rats abdominal cavity and you have a real good chance of urine and/or feces contaminating your dinner. Now if you can take off the squirrel's head with your .410 bore, you are a much better shot than I am!!
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