The Elusive Tyro: Squirrel Hunting Tips

These squirrel hunting tips will help you locate the elusive tyro. Includes information on where to hunt squirrels and how to skin and cook a squirrel.

| September/October 1985

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    Whatever method you use, keep in mind that a hunted squirrel can remain motionless, and all but invisible, for hours at a time.

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Learn about these squirrel hunting tips, including locations of squirrels, ammo, hunting spots, how to skin a squirrel and a squirrel recipe. 

My old man always said, "Huntin' squirrel is easy; just sit out in the woods and act like a nut."

There are a good many reasons why squirrels are among the most hunted animals in North America. For one thing, the bushy-tail season usually opens before those for larger animals do, and provides an excuse to enjoy the early-autumn woods. Then too, squirrels are more numerous than any other huntable animal except possibly rabbits. Because of this, productive woods are often accessible to youngsters who have to be able to reach their hunting areas by foot. The weapons used for squirrel hunting—and the skills required—also demand less of an investment on the part of beginners, be they young or old. And, finally, squirrel meat has been recognized as a delicious food since long before the first Europeans settled on our shores.

Here are some helpful squirrel hunting tips. The best way to locate a good squirrel woods is simply to be in the country—hiking, camping, or fishing—before the season begins. Listen for the barks and chatters of those often vocal animals, and keep your eyes peeled for nests and for the gnawed nutshells, pinecones, corncobs, or fungi that indicate squirrels have been feeding.

Once you've located a spot and the season opens (in some parts of the country, squirrels are fair game year-round), your hunt can be as simple or as complicated as you'd like. The back-to-basics approach is simply to dress in comfortable clothes (with a blaze orange vest, in orange camouflage pattern if you prefer, for safety) and set yourself down in a likely-looking grove of trees. The early- to mid-morning and mid- to late-afternoon hours are often the most productive. (Be sure to get permission to hunt if the woods are on private land.)

Most squirrel hunters use either a .22 rifle or a shotgun. If you choose the latter, which will make it possible to shoot running animals, I'd recommend nothing smaller than No. 5 shot. Despite their size, squirrels are hard to kill; for that reason, hunters using a .22 should never shoot at a moving animal, and should always use hard-hitting hollow-point bullets. To do otherwise is to risk watching a wounded animal escape. In any hunting you owe it to your quarry not to shoot unless you're confident of a quick, clean kill.

4/30/2013 6:48:52 AM

These tips are great. The .22 rifle is a good choice for hunting squirrels. Also, it's good for young hunters, but once they get used to the recoil effect, they may try more powerful rifles. They recipe sound marvellous and I'm sure the squirrels will tast good after having been bathed in white wine and orange juice. Can't wait to cook some squirrels myself!

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