Chasing Gray Ghosts

Most squirrel hunters walk quietly through bottomlands, pausing every few feet to look for movement. Occasionally, they sit on logs to watch big trees for squirrels and listen for acorns dropping.

Squirrel hunting with dogs differs vastly from still hunting, as I discovered on a hunt last fall. We chased excited dogs with shotguns over our shoulders. When the dogs barked, the hunt was on.

"The dogs do the work and find the scent," Chester Thompson of Thompson's Country Kennels in DeRidder, La., says. "It's a social event. People don't need to keep quiet. They can talk and don't need to worry about crunching leaves."

When we came upon the dogs barking excitedly around a tree trunk, we covered all possible exit routes. When a squirrel started moving, it didn't stop. Runners would hit the branches in third gear.

Squirrels often hide so well that people can't find them, even if the dogs can. A binocular will help you pinpoint squirrels in a branch fork or thick foliage. (337-309-0908; thompsonscountrykennels.com) --J.F.

Braggin' Board

DALE SPRINKLE FAIRFAX, VA

After work, Dale had his two sons stage a drive for him in some local woods. The boys managed to stir up this well-built eight-pointer. Dale planted an arrow in his side at 40 yards. The hunt was caught on tape with a camcorder that Dale keeps in his stand.

Send your trophy shots and stories to Braggin' Board, Outdoor Life, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016.