Squirrel hunt is fun, the season is long, and there are many ways to go after these little critters. On this episode I talk about how you can get started hunting squirrels. This is a beginners guide to start squirrel hunting.
How can you start squirrel hunting?
The first thing you should do is figure out what you are going to do with the squirrels that you take. Read, study, and think first about how to dress, skin, store, and cook your game. You do not need to spend hours doing this but have a basic plan so nothing goes to waste when you do bring your first limit of squirrels home.
How do you find squirrels to hunt?
Sometimes it seems like squirrels are everywhere when you are hunting deer, turkey, and ducks. And that is for two main reasons. Those animals tend to be drawn to things that squirrels like, so there is overlap in habitat. Second, when you sit for half a day or a whole day motionless in one spot waiting for a deer, its common to see and notice a couple squirrels, but people rarely hunt that long and patiently for squirrels. So they go to the same spots hunting squirrels and it seems like there are none there, but the truth is, they are not just hunting as patiently.
To find squirrels you most typically are looking for large mast producing trees. Acorns, chestnuts, walnuts, almost any kind of mast or nut that falls from a tree will attract squirrels. The more trees and the older the trees the better. The squirrels will then spend their days looking for food, burying food, and digging food up.
How do you hunt squirrels?
There are two main strategies. First, go into an ideal location and sit down for an hour or two and wait for squirrels to move around. You hunt with your ears first and eyes second. The other strategy is essentially still hunting, walking slowly and quietly through the woods looking for movement in the trees.
What is the best time of day to hunt squirrels?
Typically the first two hours of the day are best, and the last two hours are second best. But squirrels move all day long and its possible to hunt them at all hours. But a sunrise hunt is most ideal. However, squirrels can move even more right after a big rain storm ends, it is also easier to move quietly at this time. But you also won’t hear the squirrels much because they will make less noise on the wet ground as well.
What is the best gun to hunt squirrels with?
People typically use rimfire rifles like a .22 LR or shotguns. Either work great but I much prefer shotguns due to safety. Firing a rifle into the air is very risky. Even a .22 Long Rifle bullet can travel a quarter of a mile or more. If you hunt with a rifle make sure you are able to shoot into a hillside or other safe area.
If using a shotgun, almost any shotgun will work. Squirrels are not hard animals to take. Light loads that are #7.5 shot or #6 shot are most typical, be it with a .410, a 12 gauge or anything in between. Cheap ammo is ideal to help keep the cost down. High velocity is not needed because you are not shooting birds in the air, these are relatively stationary targets. The best advice I can give is hunt with what you practice with.
What is the most important element to hunting squirrels? Safety and stealth, hands down.
Listen to the whole podcast episode to learn how to hunt squirrels!