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Squirrel Hunting Bonanza


Double Hammer guns make excellent squirrels guns.

Double Hammer guns make excellent squirrels guns.

Like many young men back in the day, I cut my teeth in the hunting world by hunting squirrels. A trusty .22 semiauto under my arm and a passion for learning everything I could about the outdoors fueled a passion that is growing with age. Now, over forty years later and the passion is stronger than ever.

Few things are as exciting or fun as wandering through the late winter woods, with a good ole side by side looking for squirrels. It is what I term ‘stress free’ hunting. Success is usually obtainable and enjoyable. As the leaves are gone, now is a great time to be out in the woods either introducing younger or new hunters to the sport, or just enjoying a trip down memory lane.

There are many ways to hunt squirrels. Still hunting, stand hunting, dogs hunting, floating along rivers are all excellent methods of killing the eastern grey squirrel. And I really enjoy listening to a good Cur or Feist chasing a grey squirrel. Bu when I want to fill my game bag I use a mixture of stand hunting with still hunting. The morning begins with me slipping into the predawn forest and finding a likely big oak to sit against. As the sun begins to rise and the squirrels begin to emerge from their nests, I take my .22 and one by one am able to take several before they become wise to my presence. Most times, two is about the maximum at the initial stand but I have on many occasions taken a limit without ever moving. Marking where they fall when shot, I remain as still as possible and they seldom pick out the source of the disturbance.

After the initial carnage, I will slowly pick up the casualties and begin a planned, slow and methodical walk through the woods. Most of my routes follow close by a stream of some sort. I will also often step into the stream to quieten my approach. If not squirrels were seen, I will move about fifty yards and lean against a tree and wait while looking for any unsuspecting targets. When a squirrel is spotted, an approach is planned and made before he either escapes or I am able to kill him.

This tactic is best done early in the morning for the best chances of success. For afternoon hunts, I basically reverse the technique. Beginning several hours before sunset. I slowly stalk through the woods until I reach a likely spot to sit for the remainder of the evening. Squirrels do not seem too afraid of slow movement and approaching them is excellent practice for stalking big game.

Whether you stand hunt, still hunt or combine it, hunting squirrels is a great way to pass the long winter days while we wait for the start of turkey season.