How Do You Hunt Squirrels?

harps

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Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
214
Location
Redmond Oregon
I am watching the weather, planning to go out later this week. Meanwhile...how about a discussion?

  1. What time of the day works best for you?
  2. Do you sit or do you walk?
  3. What shooting position is most common for you?
  4. Do you ever use a call?
  5. How much difference does weather make?
  6. If you see 5 squirrels on an outing, how many come home with you?
  7. Does your squirrel gun look as cool as mine? gun)
With my 375H&H
 

Huntinglife

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Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Missouri
I normally go in the morning, slowly walking and stopping for a few minutes every little ways. I always use a 22lr and most shooting positions are up against a tree.
 

Olevern

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Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
10
My squirrel gun is no doubt less cool than yours; usually take a 410 pump shotgun. Slow walk in the woods, spot and stalk; harvest.
 

WojtekTheSoldierBear

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Feb 28, 2021
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14
Location
Manchester, NH
I just started hunting squirrels up here in NH and was generally unsuccessful. I have a good bit of experience with California Ground Squirrels, which is show up at 9am when they start looking for food and sun and watch the field to see them start popping out. Headshots if you want to recover their bodies but they are nasty so it is just for cleanup purposes.

I am primarily an air rifle or rimfire hunter. I have gotten quite a few with a bow too.
 

204_ruger

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May 7, 2020
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186
Location
Arkansas
I am looking at a over and under in 410 ga and 28ga for my next squirrel gun. Season is fixing to open back up. I reload 410. So ok on ammo. I could use some more 3 inch hulls. Local Walmart has 28 ga on shelves. Seen 5 or 6 100ct AA boxes. 6 boxes 25 ct federal top gun ammo.
 

tmoxley

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Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Maryland
Always viewed squirrels as more of a leisure hunt. Slow walk through the woods and just watch/listen. They show themselves soon enough.
 

VTbluegrass

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Feb 13, 2018
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211
Location
Eastern NC
Squirrels on public land in Appalachia can be a test. "Oh its just squirrel hunting" and you come home with nothing. Worse you'll see some but never get close to a shot because they know the rodeo, absolutely glue themselves to the top of a wide branch. National forest animals in SW Virginia I am convinced are the most nervous creatures on this planet; squirrels, turkeys, a yearling doe will hammer you for moving when you shouldn't. A walk in the woods better make you happy because that's all you may get.

Eastern NC squirrels on the other hand are a leisurely hunt with a high likelihood of success. ie you can actually count on some fried squirrel by the afternoon.
 

trustyrusty22

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Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Ohio
Public land squirrels around here all wise up after opening weekend.

One thing you never hear anyone talk about with squirrel is playing the rut, just like deer. They do it twice a year. If you catch them right, they are incredibly active and vocal. Be mindful of the boars when cutting them up. They have scent glands scattered around their body. There's so little meat, that a little bit if the scent gland will ruin the whole squirrel. You can tell if you get a rutty boar because his scrotum can be as big as a 50 cent piece. Other times during the year, they will actually retract their testicles inside. Here in Ohio we have American Red Pines, Eastern Grays, and Fox squirrels. I've given up shooting pines because there's not enough meat, gray's taste the best and Fox's are biggest.

What I'll do is just sit near a heavy mast tree or den tree for about 15 minutes. Once the birds start chirping I'll make a call with my mouth from the very back of my cheek by sucking in. This usually will get a bark back about 45 seconds later. This lets me know which direction to start scanning tree tops with my binoculars looking for a limb swaying from the weight of a moving squirrel or the flicker of the top of a tail. Shotguns are very effective this time of year as they are moving around a lot, but I find they ruin too much meat, so I stick to 22lr for head shots.

On a good day, I may see eight to ten in the tree tops, but may only be able to get a shot off on 2 or so. If I can get a shot off, I'm probably taking him home 75% of the time
 

Old Hickory 45

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Oct 3, 2020
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60
Location
Burlington, Iowa
Here in SE Iowa our squirrel hunting opened Sept. 4 and has been slow going because of heavy undergrowth and tree leaf cover, plus hot dry weather. To add to it, our mast crop is good but squirrel population is low.

My score for a three outings has totaled two grays, very disappointing.
 

Coyote Shadow Tracker

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Dec 9, 2020
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Social Circle, GA
Some people here in GA don't use rifles for Squirrels. They train Red Tail Hawks. It is really cool to go on a hunt for squirrels with a Hawk. The hawk score is high unless the squirrel finds a hole in the tree. The wild Red Tails that live by my property hunt in pairs. The squirrel will be looking at the one Hawk and run to the backside of the tree. The Hawk mate is usually waiting on the backside and snags them!
 

Old rooster

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
738
Location
Montana
Some people here in GA don't use rifles for Squirrels. They train Red Tail Hawks. It is really cool to go on a hunt for squirrels with a Hawk. The hawk score is high unless the squirrel finds a hole in the tree. The wild Red Tails that live by my property hunt in pairs. The squirrel will be looking at the one Hawk and run to the backside of the tree. The Hawk mate is usually waiting on the backside and snags them!
When I lived in Louisiana a fried that moved to Georgia had me go and meet him outside Albany Georgia at a pecan plantation to kill squirrels as they ruin pecans as they only eat a small amount from 1 pecan and spend the rest of the day ruining pecans and plantation owner said NO LIMIT!
Game and Fish said it's private property and ok.
Marlin 39 22lr (for me)and the 50 cent call got us all 72 squirrels in 3 and 1/2 days.5 hunters each with a box of 22 lr cleaned out several areas.
50 cent call is 2 quarters striking the coins ends together drove the squirrels crazy.Been using that since I was 10
 

Old rooster

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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
738
Location
Montana
It sure was Old Hickory 45,I miss those days when I could climb a tree to get a squirrel if lodged on a limb and now days I would need a ladder.
Getting old is not for the weak hearted folks but the alternative is not great either.
Hank Williams said it best,"You'll never get out of this world alive".
Oh well I still enjoy the journey.
 
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