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

Squirrel Hunting Basics


As February rolls around, hunters and land managers are getting anxious about getting into the woods with a gun in your hand. For this time of year, few things are as fun as squirrel hunting.

It is a low pressure affair. In most areas the eastern grey squirrel is in abundance, and activity is high on most days. Finding action in the squirrel woods is usually not a difficult proposition.

A typical hunt for squirrels in our neck of the woods involves a tandem of fellows. One with a rimfire rifle and one with a shotgun. These two will work together to take a brace of squirrels. Our tactics are about as simple as they come. We ease into a likely location just before day break and sit against a tree. Usually the same tree so we can talk to one another. As the squirrels start to emerge from their sleep. The fellow with the rifle is ready to snipe any distant squirrel that provides an opportunity.

As one emerges and sits on a branch to preen and straighten its fur for the day, a well-placed .22 long rifle bullet finds its mark. As the squirrel falls to the ground, another scurries off to find refuge and the scattergun finds its mark.

When the action begins to slow, we move to pick up any squirrels we were able to bag, move a hundred yards sit down and repeat the process. This tactic is one of the most productive I have tried in almost fifty years of hunting squirrels.

In my day, squirrel is how all boys were introduced to the sport of hunting. We took .22 single shot rifles and 16 or 20 gauge shotguns into the woods and learned to hunt by chasing squirrels. Squirrels are not particularly cagy or even super intelligent, but they are paranoid and this alone can make hunting them challenging at times. It is seldom that the squirrel hunter comes home empty handed unless it was by choice. But killing a limit is another thing entirely. Too much pressure and the squirrels go into hiding and will wait you out.

Stealth is critical when stalking bushytails. Slipping through the forest as slow and silent as possible is difficult at best, try this while carrying a limited range gun, and it compiles the test of skill.

A few years ago, I decided to try and add to the challenge of hunting squirrels and began using a handgun chambered for .22 Long Rifle. This indeed tested my ability to stalk within range and the ability to execute the shot.

Another alternative weapon for squirrel hunting is to use black powder muzzle loaders. The effort of one shot, and open sights makes killing a squirrel a lot more difficult. Best are the .32, .36 and the .40 calibers for squirrels. Most of the black powder bullets will not expand on impact and the squirrel will simply have a .36 or .40 caliber hole through it.

Lastly, archery hunting squirrels is also a great challenge. I prefer to use my traditional bow for this because the arrows are easier to find and it is so light weight that carrying it for hours generates zero fatigue. A longbow or recurve loaded with Flu-Flu arrows and either a Judo tip or a G5 Outdoors small game head are all that is needed for killing squirrels with a bow. It is difficult, but a great thrill when your arrow hits home.

Squirrel hunting is a great way to introduce youngsters to the outdoors, they are there for the fun and the low pressure of killing a Boone and Crocket squirrel are minimal, at best.

If you are able, take the time this month to enjoy creation and spend some time either alone, or with a young person and share the great outdoors.