The Best Way To Squirrel Hunt

If you’re looking for the best way to squirrel hunt, this comprehensive guide is for you. The most commonly used squirrel hunting techniques today are still-hunting, standing hunting or using specialized squirrel hunting dogs. Seasoned hunters frequently emphasize the significance of moving stealthily and using natural cover when stalking squirrels in their woodland habitats.

The best approach to squirrel hunting involves understanding the behavior and habitat preferences of these elusive creatures. Understanding the behavior and habits of squirrels helps you prepare well and use better hunting skills. Techniques such as still-hunting, spot-and-stalk, or employing hunting dogs enhance the excitement and challenge of the pursuit. Below we will analyze in detail the best way for you when hunting squirrels.

What Hunters Should Know About Squirrels

Hunters need to understand the behavior, habitat and feeding environment of squirrels. 

Squirrel Behavior

The first step toward successful squirrel hunting is to learn their behavior and habits. Squirrels are quite active throughout the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon when they forage for food. They communicate primarily through vocalizations and body language. Squirrels emit distinct chattering sounds to alert others of danger, territorial disputes, or potential food sources. Sometimes squirrel tails also convey important signals. A twitching tail indicates excitement or agitation, while a flag-like extended tail serves as a warning or deterrent.

Social Behavior

Squirrels are gregarious species that live in communities called “dreys”. These dreys can have multiple squirrels, including a dominant male and female, their young, and other subordinate males. During the breeding season, which usually takes place in late winter or early spring, male squirrels engage in territorial fights to establish dominance and attract females. This behavior is helpful to you because it leads to increased squirrel activity and vocalization, making it easier for them to locate. 

Habitat And Feeding Patterns

Squirrels are adaptable creatures that can thrive in various habitats, including urban areas. But, they primarily inhabit deciduous forests with ample tree cover. These forests provide an abundance of food sources,like nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects, which make up the majority of a squirrel’s diet. When scouting for a hunting spot, look for areas with a high concentration of oak, hickory, walnut, or beech trees. Because these are some of the preferred food sources for squirrels. 

best way to squirrel hunt

Squirrels also have a habit of scattered hoarding, where they bury excess food in various locations for future consumption. This behavior makes it challenging to predict their movements, as they may not return to the same spot for days or even weeks. However, it also means that there is a higher chance of finding squirrels in areas with an abundance of food sources. 

Best Way To Squirrel Hunt 

The effective way to hunt squirrels that we want to guide you through includes two parts: choosing gear and hunting techniques. 

Choosing Gear

The first step in how to hunt for squirrels is choosing the right gear. What do you hunt squirrels with? A quality .22 caliber rifle with a scope provides precise shot placement and a shotgun loaded with small shot (No. 6 or No. 7) offers a wider spread at closer ranges. Depending on your goal, choose the most suitable gun. 

In terms of clothing, you should choose earthy tones and patterns that match the environment you will be hunting in. Camouflage is essential for blending in with your surroundings and avoiding detection by squirrels. Additionally, investing in a good pair of binoculars help you spot squirrels from a distance and plan your approach accordingly.

A hunting knife, as well as a game bag or backpack to carry your gear, are useful additions for squirrel hunting. And a squirrel calls to mimic their vocalizations and attract them to your location.

Read this post: What To Wear Squirrel Hunting?

Hunting Techniques

3 hunting techniques with extremely high success rates include: still hunting, stand hunting and using a squirrel dog.

Still-hunting techniques

Still-hunting is a classic and effective technique. In this method, you need to move slowly and quietly through the forest, scanning the trees for any signs of movement or sound. This technique requires patience and a keen eye, as squirrels can be quick and elusive. To begin still-hunting, you should find a wooded area with ample food sources like nuts or seeds. 

best way to squirrel hunt

While still hunting, keep an eye out for movement amid the branches and listen for the telltale noises of squirrels rustling in the foliage. Binoculars can be quite useful for detecting squirrels from a distance, especially in dense forest. You should be prepared for quick shots as squirrels are very agile and tend to dart between tree branches. 

Stand Hunting Techniques

Stand hunting is setting up a stationary position in a strategic location and waiting for game to come within range. You first scout for suitable locations where squirrels are known to frequent. Once a suitable spot is identified, you set up your stand, which could be a tree stand, ground blind, or simply a comfortable spot against a tree trunk. 

Patience is key in stand hunting. You must remain still and silent, minimizing movement and noise that could alert squirrels to their presence. Many hunters choose to bring along a cushion or portable seat for comfort during long periods of waiting. While waiting in the stand, hunters should keep a close eye and ear out for squirrel movement. Stand hunting techniques require a good understanding of squirrel behavior and habitat, as well as patience and discipline. 

Using A Squirrel Dog

Another effective technique is using a squirrel dog. These specially trained dogs can track and tree squirrels, making it easier for you to take a shot. A good squirrel dog will creep down the forest floor, tracking the squirrel and signaling you with a bark after the squirrel has been treed. They often observe squirrels hopping from tree to tree much before you do.

Training a squirrel dog might be difficult, but some breeds have a natural affinity for hunting small wildlife. The Mountain Cur is the greatest dog breed for squirrel hunting. Feists (similar to terriers) and hounds have good treeing instincts. This method may not be suitable for all hunters, as it requires additional training and equipment.

When To Hunt Squirrels

Light rain is the best time to go hunting because squirrel activity increases dramatically. It also helps you find them as they jump from one limb filled with wet leaves to another since it makes a noticeable shaking noise. Wet leaves on the ground feel softer under your feet than dry leaves. However, if there is ice on tree limbs or dense fog, you should avoid going on an expedition. Please wait and go later, after the ice melts in the sun or the fog clears.

best way to squirrel hunt

The major times for squirrel movement are in the morning and evening. If they travel a lot in one period, they will be less active in the next, therefore it is useful to pattern squirrels in your region. Do not rely on what the yard squirrels are doing because it will not accurately reflect what the wild squirrels are doing.

A bright moon the night before you plan to hunt could signal disaster because the animals are most likely out feasting late the night before you go. High winds are particularly unfavorable for squirrel hunting since they make it difficult to hear and cause unpredictable movement around the woods. 

Squirrels do not hibernate, however they will lie down for extended periods of time in inclement weather. However, rest certain that they must eat and will emerge for you to find. Any time when the weather is calm and the sun shines, regardless of temperature, is worth a shot. 

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