Squirrel Hunting: Getting Started

Published on: Jul. 15, 2013

time of day are important concerns when planning a squirrel hunt. During warm months, watch the weather forecast. If morning temps are predicted to be in the 60s or lower, you can enjoy sev­eral hours of comfortable hunting if you start hunting at first light. If temps are forecast with lows in the 70s, it’s best to postpone hunting for another day. By early morning it will already be warm and uncomfortable in the woods.

Wind is another consideration. Windy days put limbs in motion, which make it difficult to spot squirrels as they feed and move in the trees. Best days for squirrel hunting are when there is little or no wind. Mornings are often preferable, because winds tend to be lighter.

Once you have located concentrations of squirrels, hunting strategy follows two methods: sitting in one spot and waiting for squirrels to move and reveal their pres­ence, or still-hunting, which involves quietly walking through the woods, with frequent stops to look and listen for squirrels. With both methods, sit or move with the sun at your back. This makes it easier for you to spot squirrels and makes it more difficult for squirrels to spot you.

Regardless of hunting method, often when you see a squirrel it will be too far away for a good shot, which requires you to move to get closer. Move when the squir­rel is actively reaching for nuts or chasing another squir­rel. Being distracted, the squirrel will be less likely to see you. Use the trunks of larger trees and the leafy limbs of smaller ones to hide your approach.

If you are still-hunting for squirrels, every 10 steps or so, pause to look. If you end up just walking through the woods, you will fail to see many squirrels. If squirrels are not active, a good way to make them reveal themselves is to shake the limb of an understory tree and bark like a squirrel. This will often cause squirrels to bark back. You can use the same strategy to get a squirrel feeding at the top of a leafy tree to come down and take a look, putting it in better range for a good shot.

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