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How to Choose the Best Scope for Squirrel Hunting

There something about ushering in a kid to Hunting and starting with squirrels. The chirp of the tree rats as they dart around letting the whole woods know exactly what they see walking through the woods. They’re the bane of deer stalkers and an alarm system for tree stand hunters, but more than anything else they’re fun to chase and delicious to eat.

Squirrel hunting can mean everything to a small gauge shotgun, rimfire revolver or .22 lever action rifle. Small rimfire rifles rule the woods for small game hunting because of their light weight, virtually no recoil and meat saving qualities.

Squirrel hunting optics are just as important as having a good habitat and an accurate rifle. Specialized rimfire reticles and quick pointing rifle sights are the name of the game for the modern hunter who can appreciate quality and fine tools.

Here is a quick look at the best scopes scopes for squirrel hunting:

The 4 Best Scopes for Squirrel Hunting​

Rifle Scope/Sight

Classed Best For

Simmons 511039 22 Mag 3-9x32

Squirrel Hunting with a .22LR

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire w/ BDC Reticle 4-12x40

Rimfire Squirrel Hunting

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

Red Dot sight for hunting squirrels

Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7x35

Variable power rimfire scope

Scroll down below for more insight into each scope or click on the links above to check the price.

Rifles for the Squirrel Woods

The typical choice for generations of men, women, and youth hunters who venture into the field looking for a way to brush up for the deer rut or for dinner. Rifles of the rimfire variety in .22lr, .22wmr, or the new .17hmr represent the best the shooting manufacturers can muster in terms of squirrels topping power. However, remember this; if you’d like to kill it use a .22mag. If you plan on eating it, use .22lr. The .22lr tears up meat much less and isn’t as much overkill as the .22mag.

Single shot rifles are great for kids because of their inherent safety, low weight, and simplicity to operate but for adults they leave something to be desired. Autoloaders, while not usually as accurate as their bolt action brothers, have lightning fast actions that are great for quick follow up shots on small targets such as the vitals on a squirrel. Buy a good rifle in a proven design and stock it with quality ammo and you won’t have to worry about accuracy or reliability.

Your rifle is only as good as your ability to use it and normally the weakest link in the hardware is the optic. Choose a lightweight and quality optic from a reputable manufacturer for your set up. The final product is useless if the mounts go wonky or you bang it against the truck bed and it breaks, so this certainly isn’t the place to skimp.

Choosing a Scope

With all the great manufacturers selling high quality scopes these days it’s hard to go wrong if you buy new and keep with a good company. Companies such as Vortex, Leupold, Simmons, and Nikon put out top notch optics that make bagging squirrels easy from a distance that iron sights just can’t compete.

If you’re looking for a rifle specifically for squirrels and small game there's no beating a rimfire. Several manufacturers make scopes with ballistic compensated reticles for .22lr, .22mag and .17hmr that give you a pretty accurate estimation of where your round will land at long range.

As far as construction goes, look for a trim and slim scope. .22 rifles just aren’t as big as their centerfire cousins and don’t need huge turrets or large objective bells for spotting bullet splash at 800 yards. Look for resettable zero if you plan on stretching the range of the cartridge and look for easy to adjust magnification that doesn’t require you to move away from the eye piece.

Don't discount fixed powered scopes. The debate between the fixed vs. viable powered scopes for squirrel hunting is long and distinguished. Remember, it's much easier to use a scope cam for squirrel hunting with a fixed powered scope.

Finally, look at the weight balance and feel of the optic. Just because it’s lightweight doesn’t mean when you add mounts, scope covers or other accessories it’ll still be light and feel good on your gun. Pay attention to the entire package and strive for a system that lends itself well to carrying your gun around all day chasing tree rats.

Squirrel Hunting Scope Reviews

The best scope for squirrel hunting is a rugged optic ready for action. Be sure to balance the size of your optic with your rifle, shotgun or pistol and be ready to lug it around all day. Don’t skim on a mount and rings because holding a reliable zero is critical for taking a clean shot. With all the quality optic on the market right now its hard to go wrong buying from a reputable retailer. You can’t go wrong with one of the scopes listed here and above all else look for a good scope for squirrel hunting and equipment that you can depend on year after year.

Best Scope for .22lr Squirrel Hunting:

best scope for squirrel hunting

Simmons 511039 22 MAG 3-9 x 32 Riflescope

For the ultimate value for your .22 rifle pick one of the top rated scopes online. This scope is a great deal because it brings high end features in a small package that includes everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The scope is variable powered 3-9x and parallax adjusted from 50 yards to infinity. The matte black exterior blends into the woods. The package includes its own rings for mounting and is fully coated for protection against rain.

This scope is great for the person who needs a budget minded scope with performance for picking off squirrels from a distance and not having to worry about the optic. Truly a great budget it is a frills great scope for pennies that is at home in the squirrel woods or on a weekend plinker.

Best Rimfire Scope for Squirrel Hunting Rifle:

best rimfire scope for squirrel hunting

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle

For the sharpshooter who knows what they want in a scope Nikon makes a hard to beat scope in both features and quality. Although a little large for some .22 rifles this is the scope for the seasoned expert who can appreciate the fine glass inside this scope. By no means the best on the market when compared to centerfire scopes, but for a rimfire this is defiantly top shelf.

The scope comes in two magnifications 3-9x power and 4-12x power both for 40mm objective lens. The fully multi-coated lenses allow for a crisp and bright picture with almost 98% light transmission. The whole scope is O-ring sealed and dry nitrogen purged guaranteed waterproof and never to fog.

The most interesting feature of the scope is .22lr specific ballistic drop reticle designed to be able to call the shots for the .22lr cartridge. This really helps when reaching out and stretching your shots to bag squirrels from across the field. If that doesn’t work the zero resettable target turrets are slim and perfected to be the solution to long range shooting on your favorite .22 rifle.

Best Red Dot Scope for Squirrel Hunting:

red dot scope for squirrel hunting

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

This tiny red dot belongs on top of your favorite shotgun or pistol ready to chase squirrels behind dogs or stalked through the oak stand all day. The tiny 1x25optics reflects a red dot through its HD quality sense and stays put with its integrated mount.

This red dot scope has a 3moa reticle that appears as a solid red dot adjustable with 11 different brightness levels. As with all red dot scopes this optic has zero parallax and unlimited eye relief perfect for a revolver or shotgun.

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 comes in two different versions, one solid black and another in Realtree APG camouflage ready for the woods. Included in the package is everything you need to mount and dial in the scope a CR2023 battery and lens cover to protect the glass. The optic measures a scant 2.7 inches and a tad over 3oz.

For a more in-depth look into this sight be sure to check out our full:

Bushnell TRS-25 Red Dot Review

Best Variable Power Rimfire Scope:

variable scope for squirrel hunting

Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire Scope

Vortex optics is known for making ingenious and innovative designs for the serious shooter and hunter. Their rimfire scope can throw down with the best of scopes on the market. The Diamondback 2-7x35 has plenty of magnification and wide field of view thanks to the size of the objective lens and ample exit pupil size.

The whole scope is well thought out and clearly designed by a shooter who understands what a lightweight and rugged rimfire rifle needs. The turrets are slim but easy to use and adjusting from 2x power all the way up to 7x power is easily done without fuss.

The 1” single piece tube is easy to mount and very durable protecting the fully multi-coated lenses that gather light and let you see every detail you need. The scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof and comes with a hunting specific reticle designed with small game hunting and precise snapshots in mind.


No matter how you choose to take your squirrels remember to enjoy the hunt just as much as the catch, follow all laws and be sure to take a new hunter with you. Squirrel hunting is a great gateway hunt for kids and town folk that have never chased animals. Equipping yourself with the right rifle and the best scope for squirrel hunting before trekking out is just half the battle. If anything else, make sure your equipment doesn’t get in the way and you have a ton of fun enjoying the outdoors.

The post How to Choose the Best Scope for Squirrel Hunting 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

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How to Choose the Best Scope for Squirrel Hunting


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