Squirrel Hunting: Beginner’s Guide

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Squirrels are rodents that can be irritating at times. Though they are not harmful to humans, the rodents chew almost everything in their way. They can damage crops or eat your property, including your house wiring system leading to fire hazards.

Squirrels are very fast and not easy to catch. This makes them one of the most exciting animals to hunt. Squirrel hunting is the hunting of squirrels either to reduce boredom or to scare them from your farm or property. Some people prefer to keep the squirrels as show off treasures while others prefer to eat the lean meat of the squirrels.

Hunting them is not an easy task; you can catch nothing during the hunt. Just like deer hunting, squirrel hunting requires some tips, and in some states, you will need a license to hunt them.

How Do You Start Squirrel Hunting?

There are no large requirements that are needed to start hunting squirrels. If you have a strong desire to capture, you may choose the small game rodent as a starting point. They are mainly the best to hunt because they are available in every tree crotch and almost every season, especially the winter. 

 Most states require you to have a license if you want to hunt the rodents legally. The grant is for the small game residents, and squirrels qualify as part of them. You can kill them using an air rifle, shotgun, or shot rifle.

To begin your hunting experience, you can make your way to the trees or bushes in the mid-mornings or the late afternoon. Wait for the squirrels, and you will have your first kill within minutes.

Squirrel Hunting Tips

The little creatures may be abundant, but hunting them is not an easy task as it seems. Some essential tips that will ensure your outdoor experience is successfully are explained below

1.   Know where to hunt

You have to choose a location that has plenty of squirrels to hunt. You can identify the trees that host the squirrels or where they feed. These trees include the mulberry or the oaks trees or large trees that have trunks in them. They are mostly active in the midmorning or the late afternoons.

2.   Movement

Squirrels are very fast to hide whenever they detect any movement. They usually emerge after hearing some silence; thus, it is crucial to time your movement when hunting them.

The trick is sitting still for about 10 to 20 minutes when you identify the right spot. Being particularly keen when observing is the key to identify a squirrel. You can move slowly and quietly if you don’t spot a squirrel to another location.

3.   Squirrel calling

There are different types of calls that attract squirrels. The most common one is the “rock call. The trick is to produce a sound similar to their chewing. You perform it by rolling two small pebbles in your palms. With some luck, the method may get the squirrels out of hiding.

4.   Have the right hunting dog

A good hunting dog will track the squirrels by sight or by scent. When the dog identifies the hiding spot, it lets out small barks to the hunter. They also make the squirrels move around tree trunks, increasing the chance of shooting one. The dogs can also catch a wounded squirrel, and it can enter areas where entry is limited to you.

5.   Know the squirrels

There are different types of squirrels, including Red and Gray squirrels. Gray squirrels are found on the ground while red is tree squirrels. The red is somehow easy to shoot compared to the Gray one.

Squirrel Hunting Vest

The best squirrel hunting vest is the one that fits you right, and you are comfortable with it. Some people prefer a backpack, but it’s not ideal as it can tend to be tiresome. A good hunting vest can save you the need to carry the backpack as it has everything you need. To identify the best hunting tips, look for the following tips.

1.   Color

The color depends typically on the hunter’s choice, but it is imperative to choose a bright color like orange when hunting in the woods. This will notify the other hunters of your location to avoid getting shot accidentally. You can also go for a camo vest with some hints of orange and a top head cap.

2.   Comfort

It is essential to look for a vest that you are comfortable with. A good vest should fit you even after you have worn your hunting clothes. A right vest choice makes your hunting experience great while serving you for a long time.

3.   The vest features

Vest nowadays are fitted with a lot of features.  A good vest should help you keep your items close while providing a place to haul your catch. Some additional features can, however, make your hunting experience more enjoyable. A vest can have gear loops, compartments among other desirable features that come in handy, especially if you spend a lot of time hunting.

4.   The price of the vest

You should consider the price of the vest before making the purchase. A good vest should not be overpriced or very cheap. A cheap vest is not reliable and durable; thus, it will not serve you well. You should also be economical when choosing a vest.

Best Hunting Vest For Squirrels

This is the ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest which is made for turkey hunting but is also amazing for Squirrel Hunting. So this is the one I would suggest as I have been using it for years now and I still really haven’t noticed anything I’m missing.

ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest

Squirrel Hunting Dogs

A good dog will serve as a great companion during the hunt while leading you to the exact location the squirrels are. Not all dogs are good hunting companion though; a good dog should guide you in the woods, chase squirrels up in the trees and identify the hiding points of the squirrels.

A good dog also tricks the squirrels into moving around, increasing your chances of getting the shot. It also makes the hunting lively with a dog. To successfully utilize the dog in the hunt, you need to understand the lingo the dog causes. For instance, it will let out some barks when it identifies a squirrel, and it will start timbering when the squirrel is running away.

We have an entire article written on how to hunt Squirrels with a dog – Read it here.

Squirrel Hunting with a Bow

Hunting the small rodents can be a challenging experience. You need some techniques to kill the squirrels or cause enough damage successfully. There is some reason you may consider using a bow to hunt instead of going for the easy rifles. These include:

  • The arrows are easily reusable.
  • A bow increases your skills, and you can apply the experience in the next bow and arrow tournaments.
  • Firing an arrow is a silent experience.

Squirrel Bow Hunting Tips

1.       Choose the right bow. Bows are used for different purposes like sports, training, and also for hunting various animals. An advanced bow can have a higher impact on the squirrel, causing more damage making it less edible. A recurve or a compound bow are some excellent choices for hunting.

2.       Understand the shooting criteria. A squirrel is a short animal making it kill zone small. Firing the arrows anyhow can make you miss the animal, and it can also damage your arrows. You need to aim accurately at the squirrel to increase the chances of killing the animal.

3.       Maintain a close distance. Arrows are subjected to deflection due to wind, and this can affect your perfect shot. You need to maintain a close distance before shooting to decrease the effect the wind has on the arrow.

4.       Mostly aim for the head. Considering that the squirrel is a tiny animal, any significant impact can damage the animal ultimately. If your motive for hunting is the squirrel’s meat, you need to aim for the head. The body remains in perfect condition after killing the animal, thus more food for you. Aiming at the head also kills the animal instantly.

5.       Be patient and still. This is a technique that applies to all methods of squirrel hunting. The small animals hide instantly after detecting any noise, which makes it very important to be still even when using a bow.

You can increase your chance of successfully hunting a squirrel by taking bow hunting lessons and practicing before hunting. Bows are an effective way to get you started as you do not incur recurring costs after the initial purchase.

Best Bow For Squirrel Hunting

This is the Bear Archery Limitless Dual Cam Compound Bow – Includes Quiver, Sight, and Rest, God’s Country that you can get on the link from Amazon. It’s a cheap alternative where you get everything you need in the package. There are a ton of more advanced alternatives but I think this is just perfect for Squirrel Hunting and won’t set you back too much.

Archery Limitless Dual Cam Compound Bow – Includes Quiver, Sight, and Rest, God’s Country

Best Scope for 22lr Squirrel Hunting

When it comes to these moving targets like the squirrels, the 22lr rifles are the most suitable ones. You are guaranteed to hit them no matter the distance they are at. The ammo is super cheap yet very effective, and this makes them the best when it comes to small hunting. Some of the best 22lr ammo to use when hunting squirrels to give you precise results are:

1.   Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 BDC 150

The Nikon is specially built for the 22lr rifles. It is one of the best due to its toughness and functionality. It is very clear and weatherproof; thus, it can’t be affected by fog or water. The feature increases the chances of hitting the squirrel even from afar. Here is the cheapest one on Amazon.

2.   Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire

It is built with a transparent feature. It has an efficient light transmission and is properly sealed to ensure that no dust or moisture gets in. The vortex is very clear and accurate when it comes to hitting targets. Here is the cheapest one on Amazon.

3.   Bushnell 3.5-10×36 (DropZone 22 Reticle)

It has three holdover points, 70, 100, and 125. What this means for hunters is that you can aim up to 125 yards without making any adjustments. The scope is very light and durable because it is made from aluminum. It is very bright and clear, and this gives you good accuracy. Here is the cheapest one on Amazon.

4.   BARSKA 3-9X32 Plinker-22

The scope is cheap, and it will surely exceed your expectations. The scope was specially built for hunting. It has a multi-coated lens to make it more transparent and brighter. It can easily be adjusted when aiming to give you a pretty accurate view. Here is a link to the cheapest one on Amazon.

5.   Simmons Truplex 3-9×32 .22 Mag

The scope is available in black and silver colors in the stores. It is one of the most popular ranges used. the scope has a quick target action and its accurate zero adjustments. It makes one of the best scopes supported by the 22lr rifle. Here is a link to the cheapest one on Amazon.

Best 22lr Rifle for Squirrel Hunting

 This rifle has been used over the years in dropping animals. The tool is fantastic because its ammunition is inexpensive. It is very safe, thus suitable also for beginners, and its operations are perfect. Some of the best 22lr rifles that you can pick are:

1.   Ruger 10/22

The gun is recognized as a winner by gun lovers. The Ruger is suitable for hunting small animals like the squirrel. The gun is compatible with many most scopes. It is a semi-automatic gun and weighs about seven and a half pounds.

2.   Marlin Model 60

The semi-automatic gun offers a 14 +1 capacity and is suitable for packing and small game hunting. It is easy to operate and very accurate when hunting.

3.   Henry U.S. Survival AR

The compact gun is preferred due to its ability to carry and transport easily. It is made in a way that the hollow stock of the riffle can store magazines and barrels. It is lightweight and easy to shoot with.

4.   Ruger American Rimfire

The riffle is suitable, especially for hunters that don’t prefer semi-automatic guns. The rifle has a capacity of 10+1, which is enough for all your shooting needs.

5.   Mossberg 715T Flat Top

This is a very tactical gun with the right shooter. The fantastic weapon has a modern design with a capacity of 10 or 25. It is very easy to use, making it a recommendable hunting rifle.

6.   Henry Golden Boy Large Loop

This rifle is a lever-action rifle. The gun is mostly underrated, but it offers one of the best services. It has a capacity of about 16+1 with a steel barrel. It is fantastic for hunting even from a long-range.

Squirrel Hunting Gear

Hunting squirrel is a straightforward activity that does not require a lot of gears. The first item you need is:

  • The weapon. Chose the gun to use to put down the animal. A.22 rifle or a bow can be suitable for close-range hunting
  • Hunting vest. A vest is useful not only to keep you safe in the bushes but also to store the equipment needed in the hunt. You can also use a small backpack
  • Binoculars. It is one of the most overlooked equipment, but it is an excellent tool to identify the squirrels’ location. The ones I like best are the Bushnell Powerview 10 x 50mm Porro Prism
  • A small sharp knife. A knife is always an excellent tool to carry in any hunting trip.

Consider the weather before going hunting so that you can carry the right clothing.

When is the Squirrel Hunting Season?

Squirrels are one of the best animals that you can hunt all year round. The squirrel season varies depending on different states. Some states give guidelines on when you can and cannot hunt the squirrels. Squirrels are very active in the mid-mornings, making it the best time to go hunting.

Often, squirrel hunting occurs between February and July. This is when they return to their burrows.

Squirrel Hunting with a Shotgun?

Shotguns usually are available depending on the gauge. A higher gauge means higher power and also a higher recoil. It is essential to match the gauge of the shotgun with the size of the hunter. A good gauge for squirrels is the 12-gauge. Its power is just enough to put down the squirrel as an adult can handle the gun’s recoil. A small adult or a child can go for the .410gauge

Squirrel Hunting in Oregon

Oregon mostly hosts the Western Gray squirrel. It is illegal to hunt in these states, but hunters are required to obtain a hunting license. The states also provide season, which is open for squirrel hunting, giving a limit of 3 squirrels per day and a maximum of six in possession.

 The Western Gray squirrel is mostly found in the mixed forests, especially the Wasco, Jefferson, and Deschutes. The squirrels in this region are active throughout all seasons. They are primarily hunted for their chicken-like meat.

Squirrel Hunting in Ohio

In Ohio, squirrel hunting is one of the most adventurous outdoor activities. It has been a way of the people for many people. It is used mainly by young hunters to gain skills and woodsmanship.

The season runs from 1st September to the end of January. They are mostly hunted for meat and are mostly available in the Midwest. The most common squirrel is the black, Gray squirrel.  You will need a permit to hunt the squirrels and the department of natural resources protection allowing only 6 in a day. A wildlife act prohibits the residents from releasing any squirrels in the wild. This is due to the high number of rodents in the country, which end up destroying a lot of crops. 

Squirrel Hunting in Pa

Pennsylvania is one of the countries that offer some unique hunting experience. It is legal to hunt small game reserves like squirrels. It is a mandatory requirement to obtain a hunting license before you begin your trip. The maximum number of squirrels you can bag in a day is limited to six. The hunting regulations in pa do not require you to submit the number of small game animals you have hunted, but it is only ethical to stick to the regulated figure.

The squirrels are available throughout the season, and hunting them is one of the ways to get rid of the nuisance rodents.

Hunting Squirrel in Michigan

For all the outdoor enthusiasts, Michigan can offer the land. Hunting of squirrels is one activity that engages the peoples as it is a pure sport to begin. All you need is just equipment and some hiking gear. Michigan has both fox and grey species. The hunting season runs for the longest time from mid-September to the end of March.

The department of resources control in Michigan requires all hunters to obtain a license for all small game animals. Squirrels are qualified as small game animals. Most people hunt squirrels as a sport while some people prefer to eat an animal’s delicious meat.

Squirrel Hunting in Texas

Texas hosts more than five species of squirrels. Gray and Fox are listed as small game residents and are distributed throughout the country from central Texas to east Texas. They are found in areas that mostly hold oak trees.

The 51 east Texas counties account for almost 80% of the country squirrels. The wildlife body has set two seasons to hunt them—one in spring and the other in autumn. The limit per day is ten squirrels.

In other counties in Texas, there is no hunting season, but the limit is ten per day. When squirrels are in low numbers, it is treated as the no hunting season. All hunters in Texas are required to obtain a license before they commence hunting.

Squirrel Hunting with an Air Rifle

While it may seem odd hunting with an air gun, there are some specifically designed to put down small names. Some of the best air rifles to use in squirrel hunting are.

1.   Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 Air Rifle

The air rifle is technologically advanced, and it is one of the most noiseless riffles. It is very light to carry and easy to use and operate. It fires at about 1420 feet in just a second.

2.   Benjamin Crosman BTN2Q2WX Trail SBD Air Rifle, Wood, 0.22 Caliber

The gun is termed as a squirrel’s worst nightmare. This one has some serious punching power to it. Don’t expect a normal fence or so to stop this one it’s a monster. The only thing keeping this in second place is that Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 is even more awesome. Both are fantastic rifles

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