It’s early to mid March and the weather is starting to warm up in most areas of the United States. It’s time to renew your hunting license for another year and begin the hunting season all over again. When the weather warms up then it’s time for a good ole fashion squirrel hunt. The frustrating challenges that bring a hunter to the woods to squirrel hunt can be very rewarding. In early season, you’ll be sure to come out with a few ticks and mosquito bites.
Squirrel hunting is tricky but it can teach you very good skills about nature and the woods. It’s also good to take beginners because you don’t need much but a gun. I’ve compiled a list of the most important factors on how to squirrel hunt.
When to hunt
Squirrels are pretty active most of the day. They are continuously scurrying the ground for berries, acorns and a variety of nuts and seeds. As any deer or turkey hunter already knows, one of the best times to hunt for squirrels is early morning before the sun rises. You’ll hear them scurrying in the leaves and see them jumping from branch to branch.
Where to hunt
When squirrel hunting, you should setup somewhere near a nut tree such as a hickory, walnut, etc. If you listen carefully, you will hear little stems and tree pieces falling to the ground which gives away the location of the squirrel. If you’re not seeing anything within 20 minutes, feel free to walk to a different location and find another set of hickory or walnut trees. Another technique is to continually walk throughout the woods until you see movement and easily move around until you are able to take a shot. During the early season if the weather is hot, squirrels like to be near cool streams or creeks with freshwater.
What to hunt with
I recommend hunting squirrel using a 12 gauge shotgun using #6 or #7 shot size. You usually hit the target and have less pellets in the meat. Another popular gun to use is a .22 caliber rifle. Just make sure you’re comfortable and accurate with your gun because the size of the squirrel gives you a very small target.
There are calls to mimic the sound of a juvenile squirrel in trouble. When squirrels hear your call, they will usually leave their hiding places and bark as well. This gives you the opportunity to take a shot. You can also remove a leafy branch from a tree and ruffle that up and down to mimic the sound of a predatory hawk.
Other things to remember while squirrel hunting include:
- Early morning and late afternoon provide the best squirrel hunting.
- Take a trained hunting dog to lead you to the squirrels.
- Never shoot until your confident about your target.
- Be patient.
Hopefully these tips will get you out in the woods and fill your daily limit of squirrels. Be sure to check back often as we write up more articles on how to squirrel hunt.
What gun do you use to hunt squirrels? A shotgun or a rifle?
Featured photo by: Sean Gibson