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My Vast Knowledge
Posted by Michael Strahan on Dec 10 2004
Holly (is that your real name, or are you a Christmas wreath?  Or perhaps is that the name of your Japanese motorcycle- "Holly Davidson"?),

Indulge me in correcting a misconception you made at the beginning of your post (I know you know this).  I don't just SEEM to be an expert on this topic, I am THE FOREMOST expert on this and almost every topic posted here.  I realize that others may occasionally add things that it appears I didn't know, but I assure you that it only appears that way.  I routinely allow openings in my material to allow others who are just now earning their spurs to step in and try to look good.  It's understandable that you'd make such a mistake, and as I said before, there's no shame in looking ridiculous.

SCORING YOUR TROPHY

Scoring your buck red squirrel has long been the subject of controversy.  In the old days we used to go with the squared measurement of the hide, but as you have discovered (and apparently done), the hide can be stretched to unrealistic proportions, making this an arbitrary measurement.  Anyone who is halfway knowledgable about this (it appears you are just short of half) is aware that buck squirrels don't grow antlers, per se.  They're horns, and they're only rarely found on the oldest males.  I have the largest collection of squirrel horn mounts ever assembled in one place, as I have collected all 267 species of squirrels in the world.  I believe I am the only current holder of the "Daisy" award for this feat of hunting skill.  But because horned specimens are so rare, the Boone and Crockett club, at my recommendation, adopted skull measurement for use by the Great Unwashed Masses out there who needed some sort of objective standard to go by.  Later, this measurement was adopted for other large predators such as bears, wolves, coyotes and the great cats.  Skull measurements may be taken with finely-calibrated calipers, but only by an official measurer and after the requisite drying period.  Squirrel skulls make fine trophies, by the way.  I've seen some bronzed for keychains and even used inside snow globes.

Your comment about the tails isn't as stupid as it sounds.  They can indeed be used on Mepps spinners and even for fly-tying.  I generally suggest this method if the rest of the hide is too badly-rubbed for a rug or full-body mount.  They also make a fine slip-cover for the swizzle stick that comes from a bear.

WANTON WASTE

I already covered this in another thread, but apparently I need to repeat myself; something I enjoy doing anyway.  Something I enjoy doing anyway.  The State Troopers are all over this one.  Be sure to salvage ALL the edible meat, as defined in the Alaska Hunting Regulations.  I know a well-known guide who was busted last year for failure to salvage the neck meat on three trophy reds over near Stony River.  The hunters were from Texas, and apparently pressured the guide to leave the meat or it would affect his tip.  The Troopers confiscated two Red Ryder BB guns, the guide's pellet rifle, and a slingshot they had for backup, along with the airplane (yes, they were doing aerial spotting) and assorted camp gear.  This sort of thing is so unnecessary, and shows a total lack of respect for the animal.  Make advance arrangements for a mid-hunt meat haul, and contact your meat processor ahead of time.  They'll pick the meat up at the air freight company if you're on an extended hunt, and process it while you're afield.  Some folks opt to drive the Alcan with a freezer in a trailer just to get the meat home.  This is a good alternative, but I usually recommend shipping it air freight directly to your door.  It's not too expensive and it usually arrives in good shape.  Squirrel makes excellent jerky, by the way, and our family always enjoys a fine squirrel roast at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  If you have a large crowd, you can roast an entire squirrel for a traditional favorite.  When I lived in Hawaii, the locals often served them this way at luau.

Just remember, any time you have a question about anything related to hunting, I'm THE MAN.  There is really no need to ask anyone else, except out of courtesy.

Good Hunting!

-Mike

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