Can squirrels see pellets in flight?

Forums Hunting Can squirrels see pellets in flight?

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    NoLandBeyond
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    That is the question I may be able to answer with this video. I finally got my ATN X-Sight 4K back from "repairs" which turned out to be a full replacement and upgrade at no cost. Now I'm rocking the 5-20x instead of the 3-14x. Decided to go ahead and mount it on my FX Crown, which hasn't been seeing much use. So I turned it into my night pesting rig.

    After getting the scope zeroed today, I took out a pest squirrel on my feeder.

    I reviewed the footage and noted that the squirrel's eyes seemed to bug out and his arms suddenly extend right before impact. I slowed it down for you guys to check out. What do you think?

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    Kayakairgun
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    He heard it coming. Pellets make noise ripping though the air. 

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    Jon86
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    He sure saw it , looked like his reaction was oh S#@!, This is gonna hurt lol. Really I don't know, but I've shot @ my share of starlings , sparrows, n pigeons n they flinch rt before impact n it's usually when I have a clear head shot .So I go for torso. Maybe they pick up on the vibration of the AG n pellet traveling. Good brain teaser, keep on pesting.

    Jon86

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    zx10wall
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    Heard either the pellet cutting through space or the shot and was startled. Doubt it was seen at all. Nice video. 

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    bubblerboy64
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    If you watch squirrels they are seldom motionless for any period of time.  My vote is for coincidental movement.    BUT can't  say that is a certainty 

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    Centercut
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    I’m with @bubblerboy64.  Coincidence. Just since this April I’ve shot over 500 ground squirrels with .30, .25, .22, and .177 pellets, and not once did I ever get the impression that the squirrel saw or heard the pellet before impact. Think about it, that pellet is traveling at over 80% of the speed of sound, so that sound gets to him micro seconds before the pellet hits, so you can pretty much rule out sound. As far as sight, they’d have to have some super animal eyes to pick up something like that and super micro second reflexes to react in time. So unless that squirrel was from the planet Krypton, I’m saying coincidence.  Just IMHO. 

    • This reply was modified 6 days ago by Centercut.
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    BeemanR7
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    Ted Bier asked the same question in one of his pigeon shooting videos and I was more than convinced that the pigeon saw it coming. I have an old Beeman R7 that I've used to keep sparrows and starlings out of my Purple Martin houses for over 30 years. So I've literally shot thousands of sparrows and starlings. And I've noticed many times (not just a few) that these birds can see the pellet coming. Not in time, in most cases. But they do flinch before impact. Could be that they hear it coming too. But I'm more than convinced that they see it coming.

    One thing that I liked about my old R7 is that I could actually watch the pellet for nearly its entire flight toward the sparrow/starling through the scope. And if I can see that pellet in the scope, surely the sparrow/starling can see it too. I used to shoot that gun so much that, after awhile, it was like watching the pellet travel in slow motion just like the videos so many people post. Surely the sparrows can see it coming just as well as I can see it going.

    • This reply was modified 6 days ago by BeemanR7.
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    Olevey
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    They never live long enough to ask them.

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    CharlieF
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    I think he was startled because God tapped him on the shoulder and whispered "Get Ready".

     

     

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    AirHunters
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    Pellets are subsonic, so they hear it just before they get hit. 

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    Hugo619
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    So many good points here, but I think BeemanR7 might have the most convincing testimony. Centercut  has a pretty good scientific explanation too so my hats off to both of you. And like Olevey said, “they don’t live long enough to ask them “.  😂  Guess we might never know 🤔

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    cea1960
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    i also agree with BeemanR7.  if we can see the pellet, surely they can see it too.  i watched a lot of videos while mending from surgery and noticed that many of the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks flinch just before impact.

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    Traum
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    interesting theory. My 2 cents I can't see a pellet travelling without magnification or knowing where someine Is shooting (where projectile is going )  my eyes ain what they were after an accident  a decade back. Now I need glasses but ain't had time to get em…anyway, I am suspicious if squirrels could pick up on something moving thay fast unless they were already watching you.  

    I have seen this phenomenon but I am not sure if it's the rifles report and instinct reaction, the shooters body language, or some thing else. I am going to see if I can find out about the rods and cones in a squirrels eye now, do they see color, what is the ability strength of there eyesight if any. some very good points made. That make me believe they can't react in the time between when they hear the shot and it hits but I have a hard time believing they can see it either. into the rabbit hole i go.

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    Traum
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    well hell I may well have under esti smated squirrels. They have very good eyesight and there peripheral vision is as good as there straight on sight. The way there eyes are they work like yellow tinted shooters glassed allegedly and cut sunlight glare. While they are color blind for the most part they can see reds and greens (dichromatic) but they cant tell the 2 apart from each other like a color blind person.  

    a person can react in .25 seconds to a visual stimuli and .17 to audio stimuli and .15 for touch.

    Another report says 9 mili seconds to react to sound I am atrocious at math conversions so Idk how much a .17 secone average correlates to 9 military seconds but food for thought. but to me they very well may be able to start a reaction to the gunshot since they seem a little faster than people.. what do yall think now?

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    NoLandBeyond
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    Ok so my gun was shooting at 806 fps and distance was 40 yards or 120 feet. So flight time based on math should be .15 seconds. 

    Speed of sound is 1125 fps so that sound would travel the 120 feet in .10 seconds. 

    The article below discusses that ground squirrels have a reaction time between 39-51 milliseconds. For reference, 100 milliseconds = 0.1 seconds.

    https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2013/08/13/snakes-squirrels-and-signals-a-tale-of-tails/

    If reaction time for a tree squirrel is anywhere close to a ground squirrel, then a squirrel would react in approximately 139 to 151 milliseconds, taking into account the time for sound to travel from the muzzle to the squirrels ear and then add on another 39 to 51 milliseconds reaction time. This could easily give the squirrel that split second of 10 milliseconds to realize God is calling them home!

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    Centercut
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    Hmmm, so .15 seconds (150 milliseconds) minus .10 seconds (100 milliseconds) means the squirrel has 150 – 100 = 50 milliseconds to react after hearing the sound of the shot. So it’s right in there with the 39 to 51 milliseconds reaction time. MAYBE enough to flinch maybe not scientifically speaking for a 40 yard shot…

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    Adam
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    I am so happy this devolved into good math.

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    brink
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    Not to start an argument but if the pellet leaves the barrel at 806 fps it slows down considerably by the time that it gets to 40 yards so the time in flight would be more than .15 seconds. If you knew the B.C. of the pellet it could be calculated fairly closely for the actual time of flight. On another note I have noticed in several videos for squirrels being shot where the video was slowed down it looked to me as if the squirrels eyes actually picked up the pellet just before it hit home. No proof and don't remember the video shots but something to watch for interesting anyway.

    RB

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    NoLandBeyond
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    I think you make a valid point Brink. Flight time is possibly even longer because in the rough math above I’m assuming a constant 806 from barrel to target. So with an even longer flight time of .15 to say .18, it gives the squirrel even more time to react, both to the sound and at the last fraction of a second, the possibility of even seeing the pellet in flight. 

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    sonny
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    Tedsholdover had a similar video about birds seeing the pellet coming. I guess if we can see pellets heading to the target they could too.

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