Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

30 Squirrel Hunting Tips: The Best Way to Hunt Squirrels

squirrel hunting tips

Squirrel Hunting is a tried and true method of introducing new hunters to the sport, getting meat for the dinner table and honing woodsman-ship and marksmanship skills for bigger game. Squirrel hunting tips normally revolve around teaching beginners the best way to hunt squirrels because when you first start out you don’t have your own tips and tricks to get you by. Here’s of bunch of firsthand wisdom on how to kill squirrels.

Quick Navigation
Before the Hunt
During the Hunt
After the Hunt
Late Season Squirrel Hunting Tips
Squirrel Hunting Tips with a Pellet Gun

Before the Hunt

1. Pick the Right Time of Year​

Squirrel hunting is best done in the middle to late fall. This is because they’ve had all summer and well into the fall to fatten up and get ready for the winter, or the dinner table depending on if you find them.

The leaves will also be mostly off the trees making it easier to spot them. Late fall also means less squirrel hunting in the rain, a generally losing proposition. When the weather gets rough they bed down and escape, so don’t wait for the winter storms.

2. Dress for the Occasion​

Making a squirrel hunting trip go well demands you dress for the occasion. A flexible pair of boots is a must, and so is warm clothing if it’s cold. More than anything, try and avoid any bright colored clothing except for blaze orange safety clothing if you need to wear it. Camouflage isn’t a necessity, if you sit still they won’t care, but it can help.

3. Get a Group Together​

Squirrel hunting is usually more productive in a group. Squirrels travel in groups and having multiple shooters ready makes for filling the bag faster. Taking someone on their first time squirrel hunting adventure is also great fun to pass on and tech others about getting into the field and enjoying the outdoors.

Don’t forget safety when hunting in a group. Have strict muzzle discipline and wear blaze orange to prevent shooting each other.

4. Scout Out Good Areas​

When you go squirrel hunting the most effective method is too find the areas squirrels are going to find food and the areas they’re moving in between and follow them. Plan out areas that you can move to and from without having to move through harsh areas like thick swamps or sharp ledges.

Look for the tell-tale signs of squirrels of chewed up nuts, broken acorns and shredded pine cones. When in doubt look for the hard mast trees and thick evergreens.

5. Have a Plan Ready​

The morning of is not the time to get ready for your first squirrel hunt. Have a squirrel hunting checklist in mind with plenty of ammo, shoes, proper clothing and a sack lunch ready. Although squirrel hunting is much less intensive than other hunting it helps to have the right gear and know what to do. Have what you need for squirrel hunting ready the night before so you don’t have anything to worry about before you go. Forgetting your box of ammo will surely ruin your hunt.

6. What Do You Need For Squirrel Hunting?​

Squirrel hunting can be as simple as a .22 rifle and a homemade squirrel call or an all day hike and hunt. At a minimum check your local regulations for what kind of weapon you need, where you can hunt and which licenses you need.

Pack a lunch and some water at least and wear comfortable fitting shoes coupled with warm clothes. Things like bug repellent, depending on the time of year, a compass or GPS, and a good fixed blade knife are items you should never go into the woods without. Depending on which rifle you are using, a 22lr scope, 17 HMR scope or a scope specifically for hunting squirrels is always an advantage. Experience will teach you what you should bring and what is a waste.

7. Make Sure You're Sighted In​

Squirrels’ heads are small targets. Before you go hunting spend the 12 rounds or so it takes to confirm a reasonable zero for squirrel hunting. As close to 20 yards as possible for a zero is reasonable. Any further than that and you risk missing the squirrel and trying to hit a 2 inch squirrel head at 50 yards is irresponsible no matter what your squirrel hunting technique is.

8. Pattern Your Shotgun​

The optimal squirrel hunting gun depends on what you have in mind. The shotgun is a great weapon for a beginner because you have a greater chance of hitting the squirrel, albeit a greater chance of meat destruction. The best way to fight this is to make sure you have your shotgun patterned for a fairly open shot pattern with a fairly small shot. 8-10 Pellets per inch with no. 3 or 4 shot out of a 20ga shotgun is a great squirrel hunting gun.

9. Wear Flexible Shoes​

Big heavy waffle stomper boots have no place in the woods for squirrel hunting. Leave them at home and instead opt for a thinner and more flexible pair of walking shoes or cross trainers. You need to be able to feel the forest floor underneath you and make adjustments to silently sneak up on squirrels.

10. How to Make a Squirrel Call​

Calling is a great tactic for squirrel hunting beginners because it allows you to control the hunting situation. Calling is often seen as the most effective way to kill them and it can be if you do it right. The best advice for someone who’s getting started in calling is to remember to mix up the calling and to focus on getting them to give up their position.

Calling to squirrels from 200 yards away is a waste. Focus on squirrels within 50-75 yards that you can hear when they respond. Precious few squirrels will come to a call but many will chirp and respond to help you find them. Experience is the best teacher and it’s much more forgiving than turkey or deer calling.

11. Consider a Pellet Gun​

Modern pellet guns can out shoot .22lr without burning a single grain of powder. The high quality guns pack a potent game killing shot out to ranges you can’t even hit a squirrel. They aren’t legal for hunting in all states yet but they are getting more and more acceptance every season. Remember that they are just as dangerous as other guns so watch youngsters and new shooters.

12. Be Safe​

Don’t forget the basic firearm safety rules. Everyone knows them but some people don’t follow them and they have to explain why they’ve been shot. Don’t take risks with weather getting to and from your hunting location. Finally, no squirrel is worth getting hurt so be attentive and have fun but don’t be reckless.

During the Hunt

13. Walk Slowly and Quietly​

If there’s one squirrel hunting tip for beginners it’s to slow down. Walking in the woods can be a little boring and you really want get onto the squirrels, so it can be frustrating to be told to slow down. The single most important thing you can do while squirrel hunting is to slow down, and be quiet. Squirrels rely mainly on their hearing and secondarily on their eye sight.

If you run through the woods making a ton of noise, you’ll never spot a single squirrel. Make every move slow, methodical and quiet.

14. Listen for Chips and Chirps​

How many times have you been walking through the woods and a squirrel has started chirping?

Squirrels are very vocal animals. You can predict where they’re at and how many there are based on what you hear moving through the trees. This is why calling them is an effective way to hunt them. Use this to your advantage, every time you hear something while hunting stop for a second and slowly scan up in the trees to see if you can spot dinner.

​15. Sit and Wait in a Good Spot

Think like a deer hunter. If you find a particularly good area where squirrels might be moving between hardwood groves or to an abandoned apple orchard, take a seat and listen for a while. You may find that some of the most productive squirrel hunting comes from sitting and waiting. Not all spots are created equal so look up into the trees for chewed up branches, look on the ground for sings of squirrels feeding and listen for them moving around in the trees to know if it’s a good spot.

16. Don't Shoot at the Sky​

It’s understood that you’ll be shooting upwards when you shoot at a squirrel but try and make sure you catch it between you and the tree. A tree limb will stop a .22lr bullet, a pellet or lead shot so try and make sure there’s some sort of backstop.

The chances of a round coming down and hitting someone are slim but when dealing with a potentially lethal wound err on the side of caution.

17. Make Sure You Know What's Beyond Your Target​

Urban squirrel hunting is fruitful but be sure when you crank off a round that it isn’t pointed at a school or someone’s house. Pellet guns ARE lethal and you can be charged if you fire a shot from one, or a firearm, onto or across someone else’s property.

18. Watch the Squirrel All the Way to the Ground​

Good squirrel habitat is thick and it’s imperative to watch the squirrel until it falls onto the ground so you can pick it up. This is doubly important if you’re not 100% you made a good shot and need to look for a wounded animal. It may seem dumb at first but it’s easy to lose the little body among a sea of brown leaves come fall.

19. Slip in on the Water​

Squirrels love trees that grow around water and slipping in via a creek , lake shore or river is a great trick to kill some squirrels for the dinner table. Quietly float down the river keeping an eye and ear ready for a squirrel to sound off. This is a great way to take really young and older hunters afield because there’s little walking and little noise involved.

Make sure you don’t hit paddles on the sides of your boat or drop anything in the water, it may scare the squirrels off. Instead think about using a push pole to steer your way down stream while you hunt. Check your local regulations for hunting on waterways and make sure you can legally retrieve your squirrels without trespassing.

20. Keep Game in a Breathable Bag​

When you’re hunting keep a breathable game bag handy to hold the squirrels you killed. Make sure it’s breathable so they can cool off. You can spoil game meat by keeping it in a plastic bag and trapping the hot air and heat inside. Tie off the bag outside your backpack to keep the blood off your gear.

After the Hunt

21. Process Game Meat Quickly

The best tips for cleaning squirrels is to just get it done quickly. Those little guys can heat up fast in the early season and go bad before you realize there’s a problem. Get them skinned out, quartered and on ice with 2-3 hours of a kill to prevent them from going bad.

22. Have Recipes Ready​

Squirrel meat is fantastic and better with recipes you can make from them. Squirrels meat in general is pretty bland, but takes on flavor really well. Beginner squirrel hunters should try new recipes and keep a cookbook of which ones they like best. Squirrel meat is light and takes on the flavors you add to it and it makes a great beef substitute.

23. Keep a Log of When You Went and How the Hunting Was​

Hunting can be very weather dependent and squirrel hunting is best around the acorn drops. Keep a log of particularly good hunting weekends and track them from year to year. Dates like first frost, acorn drop and hard freeze dates can help you plan out which weekends you should go hunting.

24. Don't Over-hunt a Population​

Many people hunt squirrels on their back 40 or with even their backyard with a pellet gun. If you do this kind of causal backyard hunting be careful not to over hunt the area. Squirrels just like deer can be over-hunted, pressured and leave. Especially in suburban areas with fewer habitats and food available you can stunt a population easily.

Late Season Squirrel Hunting Tips

25. Focus on Food Sources​

In late fall and winter, food is the most important thing in the woods. All animals at this time need calories and the squirrel is no different. Any squirrels active during this time will be looking for food. Focus your efforts on areas with hard mast still on the ground, winter forbs just coming and areas with evergreens they can eat off of. Areas with no food, especially this time of year, will hold little to no active squirrels.

26. Look for Cover​

Squirrels need cover to survive but in late fall and in winter they need shelter and cover from snow, stormy winds and from predators that can now see them a lot easier. Go to evergreen thickets, thickly grown hardwood ridges and areas that will still have food and you’ll find squirrels. Stay away from barren clear cuts and open hard woods, there’s not enough protection.

27. Be Prepared to Move a Long Way​

One of the best winter squirrel hunting tips is to be prepared to move a long way to hunt. In wintertime squirrels will only be active when they absolutely have to and only in very select areas. Move through areas and check thoroughly but stick to areas with fresh sign and don’t be afraid to walk a long distance if there’s snow on the ground.

Squirrel Hunting Tips with a Pellet Gun

28. Use a Premium Pellet

Don’t use cheap projectiles when using a pellet gun for squirrel hunting. It’s tempting to use BB’s or cheaply made lead pellets but try and overcome the temptation. A good hunting projectile will penetrate deeper, be more accurate and kill more humanly. You owe it to the game you’re hunting to use the most effective equipment you can.

29. Make a Good First Shot​

Many pellet gun hunters assume because they’re not using a gun they need more than one shot. Make a good first round hit. If you need to follow up, do so, but if you start putting multiple pellets into a squirrel, you start ruining too much meat.

30. Don't Skimp on Safety​

Modern pellets guns aren’t exactly Red Ryder BB guns and they’ll do more than just shoot your eye out. Demand the same exact safety standard you would if you had a shotgun or high powered rifle with muzzle discipline. Also remember that bare lead pellets are poisonous and youngsters don’t know not to eat them. Wash your hands and keep lead exposure to a minimum.

These squirrel hunting tips and trick can mean the difference between filling your limit and going home empty handed. Look out for good locations try sitting and calling and you’ll figure out the best way to hunt squirrels.

The post 30 Squirrel Hunting Tips: The Best Way to Hunt Squirrels appeared first on Good Game Hunting.



This post first appeared on Best Trail Camera Reviews: The Ultimate Buyers Gui, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

30 Squirrel Hunting Tips: The Best Way to Hunt Squirrels

×

Subscribe to Best Trail Camera Reviews: The Ultimate Buyers Gui

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription

×