As a boy, the very first animal I ever hunted was a squirrel. Naturally, a small caliber rifle like the .22 I used was ideal for a boy. It made little noise and had very little recoil. More importantly, my father and grandfather wanted to teach me the basics of hunting, and there was no better way to do that than with squirrel hunting.
Squirrel Hunting Tips: An Excellent Foundation For Beginners
One of the best aspects of squirrel hunting is the skill required. In my family, we always hunt for food, so with an animal such a squirrel we always went for a head shot. Your aim has to be accurate to hit a squirrel’s head from 20 to 30 yards, especially with the open sights we used. Squirrel hunting also taught me stealth and how to clean an animal after the kill. Overall, it was an excellent foundation for the other animals I would hunt over the years.
That being said, squirrel hunting is not just for boys or those learning to hunt. I still go squirrel hunting several times each year. Unlike hunting other animals, little scouting is required. There are several public hunting areas nearby my home that are fine for squirrel hunting. The season is long, and we are always looking for ways to put more meat in the freezer. Also, remember that in survival situations, hunting small game is more feasible than hunting big game. In this article, we will cover a few strategies that can help you be more successful during your squirrel hunts.
Squirrels will often hide when they see or hear movement and then emerge when they hear silence. Because staying in one spot all day is not the best strategy, you need to alternate movement with sitting still. Your best strategy is to find a good spot and sit still for 10 to 20 minutes. Keep your eyes open and stay silent. Then slowly walk 20 yards or so and become still again. Continue this until you see a squirrel. If you spook one, stay in the area and remain still while observing the spot in which you last saw the animal.
A good place to start looking for squirrels is a nest tree. This is where the squirrels will sleep, so they return to this tree several times a day. These are typically large, dead trees, and they’ll have several holes in the trunk. Another clue to look for is a tree where the holes have smooth rims. The holes will have been worn down around the edges from squirrels climbing in and out. If you can find a nest tree, you will see squirrels.
I have heard several different types of calls to attract squirrels, but the most effective has been the rock call. For this, you are trying to simulate the sound of a squirrel chewing on a nut. Put two small pebbles in your hand and roll them around. The sound of one stone scraping against another is very similar to the sound of a squirrel’s teeth working on a nutshell. With a little luck, a squirrel will come out of its hiding place.
Red versus Grey
Red squirrels are known as tree squirrels and gray squirrels are known as ground squirrels. If you see a gray squirrel before it sees you, you might have shot. If it starts running, you’ll need a shotgun to put it down. However, red squirrels will likely run to a tree. This will often give you a chance to shoot them out of the tree unless the find a hole in which to hide. Know your squirrels, and you will know how to react to their movement.
TrailCameraExpert.com shows a video of his best squirrel hunting tips:
Squirrel hunting is a great way to put food on the table. Young squirrels are delicious chicken fried with biscuits and gravy. Old squirrels make for a great stew, or you can cook up a pot of squirrel and dumplings. In addition to that, it’s just plain fun hunting. I can head out to the local public hunting spot any morning wearing a t-shirt and jeans and spend a few hours tromping through beautiful forests. Doing just this, I almost always come home with meat. In addition, I’m not weighed down with tree stands, a pack full of gear, or head-to-toe camouflage. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Do you have any more on how to hunt squirrels? Please let us know in the comments below!
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