- March 3, 2021
I’ll be honest, I don’t do much squirrel hunting these days, but when I began hunting as a teenager, squirrel hunting was high on my list of priorities. Many other hunting and fishing opportunities slowly crowded out my squirrel hunting over the years, but I still have fond memories of those early days. For those
I’ll be honest, I don’t do much squirrel hunting these days, but when I began hunting as a teenager, squirrel hunting was high on my list of priorities. Many other hunting and fishing opportunities slowly crowded out my squirrel hunting over the years, but I still have fond memories of those early days.
For those who may not be interested in joining the ice fishing crowd, a rabbit hunt or maybe even a squirrel hunt would be just the ticket for some late winter hunting excitement and some much-needed physical exercise. Of course, you may have already gotten plenty of that physical exercise shoveling the driveway but shoveling the driveway isn’t as exhilarating as hunting.
It’s pretty obvious that if you do plan to do some late season squirrel hunting this year, you will have to factor in some serious snow covering. Trudging through the squirrel woods this winter will certainly provide some exercise, and if you are fortunate enough to own a pair of snowshoes, you may want to don those as well. Actually, I kind of like a good hike in the woods after a heavy snowfall, and a squirrel hunt can combine a hunt with a snowshoe jaunt as well.
If you’ve done some squirrel hunting in the past, especially in the fall season, you’ve probably tried to zero in on the morning and late afternoon hunts; squirrels are particularly active at those times in the fall but not so much in late winter. By this time of year and with the heavy snow cover, you are probably better off hunting the “warmer” mid-day hours instead. Naturally, you want to concentrate your efforts in wooded areas that offer a variety of nuts like walnuts, beechnuts, hickory nuts, and acorns.
In the warmer early fall days, I know that sitting for long periods of time and waiting for the squirrels to make a move is a typical approach, but I suspect this colder period moves will be more frequent. The “still hunt” approach may be better-move slowly and deliberately and stop frequently.
When I first got into squirrel hunting, I used a shotgun-mainly because it was the only gun available to me. It was a single barrel 16 gage H&R, but it brought home the bacon or squirrel, I should say. As time went on, I got into hunting squirrels with a rifle, and that is still my preference today. Any number of 22 rifles are fine choices-lever action, bolt action, or even single shot as long as they are pretty accurate. Without a doubt, a scope will greatly improve your chances of taking game, especially when your target is as small as a squirrel. Add to the fact that your target is small that you very likely will be taking some fairly long shots, and in this kind of hunting, 50 yards is a long shot.
Grant it, you don’t get the same thrill hunting winter squirrels as you would taking aim at a large, racked buck, but it’s still fun, and it gets you outdoors in a hunting scenario. I might add that a late winter squirrel hunt would also be a good outing for a youngster just getting into hunting; the chances for success are pretty likely, and the outdoor winter experience is well worth it.