Have you ever "barked" a squirrel?

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by Flintlock54, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Flintlock54

    Flintlock54 6 pointer

    Dec 10, 2001
    Winchester, KY, USA.
    I did Saturday, the first time in my 40 years of squirrel hunting. I had always heard the ol' guys talk about it but thought they might have been nipping out of the old quart jar. For you pilgrams out there "barking" is where you make a clean miss on a squirrel yet it falls to the ground, deader than a door nail and not a mark on it.

    I decided to take ol' patches (my first attempt at building a kit rifle) out Saturday morning after running ball most of the day Friday to see if she still had the 'stuff'. I had two clean kills, then one flattened down on a branch. I took a careful bead, squeezed the trigger and after the smoke cleared I saw that the branch was bulged up where the squirrel had been. I figured a clean miss but went down to check anyway and sure enough a big red laid on the forest floor.

    I touched the squirrel with the muzzle of 'patches' just in case the red was playing possum but it did not move. I examined the squirrel pretty close and could not find a mark on it.

    I fixed them up Saturday night for supper.
  2. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Congratulations on your shootin' there Flint. I have never done it and you make only the second that I know that's done it.
    Where do you do your shooting now? You shoot with the Salt River Long Rifles or Brotherhood of Free Trappers any?

    INKYHUNTER Cyber-Hunter

    I never actually barked one, however I did shoot a walnut out of ones mounth with a .22 and it had the same result. It did have some chipped teeth![:D]
  4. camo

    camo Fawn

    Aug 24, 2002
    I thought barking was when the early woodsmen tried to shoot a squirrel in a way that after the ball passed through the squirrel, it would become lodged in the tree bark. Thus able to be dug out, melted down, and reused?
  5. MrBowhunter

    MrBowhunter 8 pointer

    Dec 11, 2001
    Perryopolis, PA, USA.
    I've never heard that. But I have seen squirrels run up the tree and "bark" when deer come by to eat "their" acorns. Always get a little excited when I hear a squirrel do that. 90% of the time a deer is not far off.
  6. Salty

    Salty 8 pointer

    Mar 21, 2002
    Winchester, KY
    Never barked a squirrel, but did sorta bark a groundhog. He was laying on a rock & I missed him with a 25-06, evidently rock dust contributed to his early demise.

    I have tried to bark a squirrel many times, either hit the squack or hit the tree too far from him. What calibre are you shooting? I was trying with a 40 and 36. Heard tell bigger balls do better.
  7. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Hey Salty. Looking at that last line.....
    I think Flintlock is out to kill them, not impress them.[:D]
  8. Lonestar shooter

    Lonestar shooter Fawn

    Nov 17, 2011
    I've done it a few times, but when you use a .22 you usually gotta wring their neck. Not too cool when they wake up in your bag.
  9. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    That counts as barking.

    I've tried it several times with a 36 and either hit the squirrel in the head or the shot just made the squirrel angry. I think you have to hit deep enough into the limb so that the lead ball breaks up, but shallow enough so that slivers of lead are what fly up and kill the critter. I don't think the shock of a ball hitting the limb would be enough to kill.
  10. quackrstackr

    quackrstackr Welcome to Fantasy Island Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    The Island
    I've done it with a .357 but not on purpose. :D

    Look at the new guy blowing the dust off of a thread. lol
  11. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    I thought the same when I seen this pop up today. I am glad he brought it up. That was probably Flintlock's last barked squirrel. I miss his posts.
  12. KY_Fried

    KY_Fried 10 pointer

    Nov 13, 2003
    Foster, KY, USA.
    I was watching a show in the History Channel a while back and they said the early settlers used to do that to keep from damaging the meat. They said that doing that made them such good shots that it gave us an edge in the Revolutionary War.

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