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It was a really nice day today...temps in the high 70's and the grass looking like green velvet. The first wildflowers are starting to bloom and the early oaks have leaves the size of squirrels ears. I grabbed my gear, tossed it in the jeep, and headed out. I drove a bit, then parked and headed up a canyon on foot with my bow to scout for turks and do some stump shooting.

The ground squirrels were out everywhere. I started out with a few easy ones at 15 and 17. Then I shot one at 42 and another at 37. Feeling good about my set up, I ranged one at 67. I watched my arrow peak out and then decend followed by that distinctive "pop". The fletchings wiggled momentairly and then relaxed. That never gets old! Three more at one tree from 55, 42, and 49. I overshot one at 38...I must have picked up the grass behind his dirt mound.

I wound up making about a five mile loop and saw several herds of deer but no turkeys. I managed to get a few more and decided to call it a day. I was headed back to the jeep and had stopped for a drink when a squirrel ran up out of the stream bed to a hole in a bluff at eye level. I eased up my rangefinder and he was exactly 30. I let my water tube drop as I came to full draw...settled the pin on his front shoulder...and let it fly. Classic "pop" followed by the end of the arrow wiggling. What I didn't realize is that there was a dead root behind him and the arrow glanced instead of sticking into the ground. That squirrel was free to run and pulled my arrow into his hole. I jumped the creek and as I approached his hole, I watched in disbelief as my 30" FMJ just disappeared!
 

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I started to dig the hole out by hand but hit rock. So I hiked to the jeep and dug out my rock hammer and an old folding GI shovel. I opened up the hole as far back as I could reach...still no arrow. Looked like a badger had moved in, lol.

Back to the jeep and this time I was armed with my hi-lift jack. I pulled the lift mechanism off and used the jack stand as a crowbar and the foot to drag the dirt out. I checked again and there about five feet back was my fletching.

Back to the jeep for my snake stick! It is a piece of 1/2" conduit with a wire looped through it for a noose. I use it for rattlers and keep a few extra lengths with some connectors to extend it to retrieve arrows from water...trees... not that that would ever happen. I grabbed a coupling and an extra stick and hiked back for hopefully the last time.

Now it is dark but I press on. There is now a hole the size of a coyote den that was barely big enough to fit my arm in an hour earlier. I sloped the loop over the fletching, pulled the wire tight, and gave a tug. Success! There is recovery gear scattered everywhere next to an undocumented mine shaft but I had my FMJ! Life is good.

I packed everything back to the jeep, loaded up, and headed home.

It's good to get out...never know what will happen:)
 

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But it was dark, and tomorrow you'll remember something you left behind.
 

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So let me get this straight...a shot squirrel was able to pull a 30" arrow through the narrow bends and turns that led to his den, while wounded?
 

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My Elk Hunting Home
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If I shot that many FMJ's at squirrels, I'd have a whole bunch of bent arrows. I prefer my Axis 300's or TR Crush 300's for ground shooting. However, I still would have done what you did, just to find the arrow......bent, broken, or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is simply the experience of one bowhunter written for the enjoyment of other bowhunters. I realize how unbelievable it sounds...which to me is what makes it worth posting. Here is a pic I took to document the whole incident,lol.


squirrel arrow rs1.jpg


(For your reference, I am standing at eye level to the hole looking horizontally)






5Miles-Good point. I shoot 62# and things are still damp enough so between the grass, dirt, and judo points they have a relatively "soft" landing. This winter I have been doing a bit pred calling and hog hunting which is why I am tuned for fmj's. Another month and I will be tuning for my 390-grain GT's in time for the spring squirrel hatch...then back to the fmj's for deer the second sat in July.
 

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Great story! I once had a ground hog take an arrow into its' hole. I timidly reached in as far as my short arm (25"dl) could stretch and lo and behold was able to wrap my fingers around the fletching and with a firm pull I wrenched the Slick Trick standard free. I did not recover the critter.
 

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For a FMJ that is a LOT of work man! :nod: Props!

This is simply the experience of one bowhunter written for the enjoyment of other bowhunters. I realize how unbelievable it sounds...which to me is what makes it worth posting. Here is a pic I took to document the whole incident,lol.


View attachment 1624565


(For your reference, I am standing at eye level to the hole looking horizontally)






5Miles-Good point. I shoot 62# and things are still damp enough so between the grass, dirt, and judo points they have a relatively "soft" landing. This winter I have been doing a bit pred calling and hog hunting which is why I am tuned for fmj's. Another month and I will be tuning for my 390-grain GT's in time for the spring squirrel hatch...then back to the fmj's for deer the second sat in July.
 

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Ha ha ha... Great story! But you know that the aluminum is just being returned to the earth from which it came, right? The carbon core might last a bit longer than the aluminum.....

Many years ago shooting gophers, I had one run down a hole with an old 2514 aluminum. I didn't give up and reached down through the hole with my arm to just be able to get a hold of the nock end.... Some swearing by both the gopher and myself and a little while later, he was still on the end of the arrow redy to scrap with me..... Had to put him out of his misery to get my arrow back.... The whole time my buddy's just laughing his head off saying "It's just an arrow!"

(I'd dig too)....

J.
 

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Wow! Tough recovery!
Won't see me doing that... I give up on a poop after 20 minutes!
 

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That is a CLASSIC story! I'm at work, and got a few worried looks, much like you would have had there been a group of people around.

That being said, I tip my hat to your dedication, and can say that I would probably do the same thing!

Like someone else said, you will remember anything you missed. Hope you recovered all your gear with your arrow!

A.J.
 

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Great story, I would of tried to do the same thing.
 
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