A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Squirrel Hunting Tips

  • Get out early. I've found that the window of opportunity to see a squirrel move is when they feed, between sunrise and 10am. Also before dusk, but that time is very short; about 15 minutes. You can occasionally find them at any hour, but early morning is your best bet.
  • Keep your eyes pealed at a distance. They will often sense your presence 50 yards or more away.
  • Look for trees dropping nuts and little holes in the ground where they have been digging. Those are the trees where the squirrels live.
  • Gut your squirrels soon after bagging them. They are much easier to skin. Bring a sharp knife and a pair of pliers to brake the bones so the paws are easier to remove.
  • If you don’t see nests, don’t be discouraged. They are likely living in old trees.
  • Carry freezer bags. You can carry your gutted game and protect your electronics should you get caught in the rain.
  • Put a few stones in your pocket when you leave the parking lot in case a squirrel is hiding around the back side of a tree. Tossing a stone into the brush on the back side might get the squirrel to move to your side of the trunk and give you a shot. If you don't grab those stones ahead of time, I'd bet you can't find anything to throw within reach when you need them.
  • When hunting at sunrise and walking toward the sun, if possible, walk past your hunting area, then cut into the woods so you can hunt with the sun to your back. If not you'll be hunting blind and you will be more visible to the squirrel.
  • If you can't have the sun to your back, stay in the shadows of the trees. It will keep you hidden and you won't be blinded by looking into the sun.
  • Walk slowly and quietly by putting down your heal, then rolling your foot forward till your toes touch down. Silence is mandatory. If you hunt in an area covered by reeds or dry leaves, it's a good idea to hunt after a rain when everything is soft and quiet.
  • Squirrels detect sound and movement. Keep movement to a minimum. If you spot a squirrel, quietly take a seat under a tree and try not to move. The squirrel will often come out within 15 minutes. I like to cover my face with netting and my head with a camo hat. Keep your muzzle down and don't wave it around. Don't swing your arms while walking.
  • If you drop a squirrel, resist the temptation to get up and pick it up. A second squirrel might come out but if you move, you've exposed your location.
  • Don't talk.
  • Squirrels don't like wind and moving trees. Try to hunt when it's calm.
  • In wooded areas with old trees, squirrels live in the hollow trunks and not in nests. If you spook a squirrel and it gets into a tree, don't expect it to come out soon. Squirrels hiding in young trees will often resurface in 15 minutes after they busted you, and often they don't even remember that they were shot. But in old trees, they are likely going down for a long winter's nap, so you might as well keep moving.

    More tips to come...

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