How to Hunt Squirrels

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Squirrels are watchful but curious animals commonly found in your backyard.

However, in the woods, they can often be tough to find.

But, with a little knowledge and common sense, you will have a prosperous hunt your first time out!

Squirrels can also be a nourishing source of protein if you find yourself in need!

Their meat has some fat and nutrients[1], and the flavor ispretty good if cooked well.

So, learning how to hunt squirrel is worth the investment in time and a little practice.

To the fresh and non-experienced hunter, going into the woods with little education could turn the experience much less pleasurable and even pose some danger!

So, read the following for basic squirrel hunting techniques plus some tips on how to hunt safely.

Related: How to Catch Wild Rabbits

Sit Patiently and Wait

The first technique in this how to hunt squirrel guide I’m going to talk about is quite self-explanatory.

You travel to a spot that appeals to squirrels and you wait for one to enter hunting range.

This technique is great when there’s a lot of foliage. Or there are a lot of twigs underfoot that will spook a squirrel when snapped[2].

Continuously scan your environment. Look for shaking leaves, moving branches, and other actions in the greenery.

These signs will indicate that squirrels might be rushing along the limbs overhead.

Often enough, you’ll glimpse a squirrel tail in between tree branches.

How to hunt squirrels in trees where do squirrels live

Where are the Primary Places Squirrels Live?

The best spots to hunt squirrels are along mountains and valleys as well as along streams.

Squirrels, just like all creatures, need water to live. So being closer to a source of water is perfect for finding them.

Keep an eye out for squirrel nests in the trees, too.

If you can find a stream in a valley with nests close by, you’re in a decent spot!

Factors to Remember When Hunting Squirrels

Other than the main spots I mentioned above, you must look for nut producing trees (oaks, beech, hickory, etc), with empty nut shells near the base.

This is a strong sign that a squirrel has been eating here. It might be close by right now or might return shortly.

Also, step up your listening game. If you sense “cuttings” then you on the right path.

“Cutting” refers to the noise made by squirrels[3] as they cut into nuts and acorns with their teeth then drop the empty husks to the forest floor below.

Also, listen for swooshing branches. This often means a squirrel is active nearby!

Chasing Squirrels

Stalking or chasing squirrels means to hunt squirrels while on the move. This can be a bit more difficult than sitting or waiting for the animal[4].

However, using this technique you can cover more ground and probably find great hunting spots as you stalk.

Stalking spots a bit of stress on woodsmanship. By that term I mean walking without making any sound, knowing when to act, and when to stand still.

So a squirrel hunt on the move has to slide quietly along the forest floor.

When the ground is moist, walking noiselessly is easy.

While it’s dry, you’ll have to watch your step so you do not break sticks or crunch too many leaves under foot.

These will scare away squirrels before you can get near enough to get off a shot.

Understand a Squirrel’s Defense

When stalking, take a small number of steps and then wait, watch, and listen. If you don’t see or hear anything, move again.

Continue this process until you hear cutting, see movement in the trees, or locate a food source you can watch for a while.

Remember, you have to stop occasionally to listen for cutting and movement in the trees while watching where you walk.

When you see or hear a sign of a squirrel, move slowly toward the direction of the sound. Stop and wait again for more signs.

Most of the time, when you are moving and a squirrel is aware of your presence, they won’t move. This is why it is important to stay quiet and wait for a while.

After some time of sitting still, most squirrels will get restless and will begin to stir again. This is your chance to take aim or get yourself into a better position to make that shot.

Best squirrel hunting techniques where to shoot a squirrel

How to Get an Accurate Shot on a Squirrel

As soon as you see a squirrel, slowly move into position for a sure shot.

Most hunters like to use a tree to stabilize their firearm[5].

Because a squirrel is a tiny target, it’s a decent idea to practice with tiny targets at the range before you go hunting.

The Crosman CSRT is a popular practice target. It’s the right size and is compatible with .177 and .22 caliber airguns.

Practice Safe Hunting

The important thing to bear in mind is to ensure you have a proper backstop..

When squirrel hunting, you’re mostly shooting at an upward angle. You need to make certain the bullet hits ground if you miss. Or if you hit and the bullet fully penetrates the tree.

Even if you want to preserve meat by taking a headshot, aim for the chest’s vital organs instead.

The best squirrel hunting guns fire bullets that can travel over a mile if you miss..

So think about the bullet’ moving way’s path and position yourself to shoot in the safest possible direction.

If there is a house close by and you aren’t positive you can take a safe shot, leave that squirrel and go on to the next target.

Final Thoughts

It might take some time to practice how to hunt squirrels most effectively.  

But, stay persistent and you will eventually get the shot you need. Waiting for the ideal shot will let you get the most out of your hunt.

If you’ve never tried it, squirrel hunting is a worthwhile and thrilling activity.

It’s an adventure to chase and hunt squirrels. Plus you get food and fur!

Squirrel hunting is also a hobby more people are enjoying recently.

Just make sure to wear comfortable clothing, practice your marksmanship, hunt safely, and follow all hunting laws.

Good luck squirrel hunting!



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