Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

It’s Squirrel Time



Ridge Rogers with a fine squirrel

Like many outdoorsmen growing up in the south. I cut my teeth on hunting squirrels. I remember vividly, grabbing my Remington Fieldmaster pump .22 rifle and heading out into the wilds of Saluda county in search of bushytails. Nothing was more exciting than sitting against an old oak watching squirrels scamper about in the early morning light.

I wish I had a nickel for every bullet that has been put through that old .22. I would guess it’s easily in excess of fifteen-thousand rounds. And I would also safely estimate that at least a full third of those connecting on their intended target of squirrels. As a teenager growing up in a non-hunting family, my opportunities for exposure was limited. So for the first ten plus years I chased squirrels. Having only one gun, my options were indeed limited. This didn’t curtail my passion for the outdoors. Reading the annuals of Pat Robertson, Terry Madewell and others from around our state, the desire to be out there was intense.

I am thankful that the desire to be out there hasn’t waned, if anything it has grown more intense. This includes the chasing of squirrels. To this day, I fully enjoy and look forward to a good ole squirrel hunt. Sure the Remington is semi-retired and I have other guns that I use. But there is something about the squirrel hunt that still excites me.

As deer hunters, hunting squirrels in the post season is one of the best methods of scouting. By using stealth and quiet tactics we are able to scout the terrain for bucks, bedding areas and travel corridors. I wish I could remember how many great deer stand locations I found while squirrel hunting. It also enables those of us who still cherish the still hunting methods to hone our skills. By stalking into range of squirrels we fine tune our stalking skills for other game.

Many different types of weapons are used for squirrel hunting. Obviously there are the rimfire rifles of .22 featuring all three sizes of short, long and long rifle. Then there are the magnum rimfires (my personal favorites) of the .17 HMR and the .22 Magnum. While many see this as too much gun, these magnum cartridges enable far longer shots, with quick kills. I know with my Marlin .22 magnum, if I can see the squirrel, I can kill him. While I still prefer to sneak in as close as possible, I like the added advantage of knowing if need be, I can humanly take the shot.

I know others who prefer shotguns for squirrels. These are very effective and contrary to what other writers may say, there is nothing unsporting about using a shotgun for squirrels. While the 12 gauge dominates the scene, personally I prefer the smaller gauges of the 20 and even the 28 for squirrels. Regardless of the gauge, hunters need to remember that squirrels have tough hides and loads of 6 shot are best for squirrels.

A long bow will really up the challenge of squirrel hunting

For the hard core squirrel hunter there are those who hunt them with muzzleloaders, with the .36 caliber being about perfect, and those who use .22 handguns, and still others who will use archery equipment for squirrels. While I personally have never tried the muzzleloader for squirrels, I have used the handgun and longbow and will say the added challenge is humbling and thrilling.

Regardless of the weapon of choice or the method, chasing squirrels during the late season is a great way to get outdoors and an even better way to introduce the next generation to the sport we all love so much.