Among the small game, hunting squirrels are the most tricky yet fun and adventurous. Squirrels are so fast that they can be out of your sight with a blink of an eye. You have to be cautious and hold patience while hunting a squirrel.
Yet, it’s a small game but not an easy task. To be successful in hunting squirrels, there are a few steps you can’t skip. You have to prepare yourself to complete the steps, including the legal action.
Readout this write-up on ‘squirrel hunting in 5 steps’. For knowing the throughout the hunting process. Also, you will get to know the ABC or 101 of squirrel hunting. So without stretching more, let’s get started
Squirrel Hunting 101:
Step 1: Ensuring A Legal Permit
Before hunting squirrels, the first thing you have to ensure is legal permission on your state level. The permission criteria may vary depending on your abiding area or the area you want to explore. Better you consult with the state park department.
According to the department of environmental conservation (DEC) of NY state, you have to have a wildlife hunting and shooting license. And the license should preserve and comply with the authority regulations. Additionally, the department always has different programs to offer the hunter a pleasant hunting experience. These programs vary from season to season.
There is also a rule for weapons and protected animals. You have to use the guided arms. However, you can hunt red squirrels in NY unlimitedly as they are not protected in this particular state. But always make sure to check the local guidance thoroughly.
Other than that, the permit will differ based on time, location, and season. Also, you will require extra permission from the owner if you are planning to hunt on private property.
Step 2: Spotting The Habitat of Squirrel
It’s a crucial step of hunting squirrels to spot down the probable habitat of squirrels accurately. Squirrels are mostly found in calm, dense and areas abounded with food and water.
The conservation department of Missouri has described the habitat of a squirrel into the medium to the dense wilderness. The nuts (food) and shelter trees like oak, hickory, maple, pecan, elm, walnut, etc., dense tree areas are appropriate for squirrels. They have also stated that squirrels tend to relocate near water sources during drought.
Step 3: Fixing Up The Best Time
The Best Time of The Year For Hunting Squirrels
Many areas like NY have no limit or seasonal regulation on red squirrels. So you can hunt the red squirrels anytime and in any season. For gray, black, and fox squirrels, the season is September to February and November to February. As a basic season, you can count for early to mid-fall until it starts snowing. This time is the specific period when the squirrel gets active in stocking food for winter.
The Best Time of Day To Squirrel Hunt
The best time of the day for hunting squirrels is commonly dawn to dusk. But the specific part of the day may differ with the species.
For gray squirrels, you have to forge before the sun comes up. And for fox squirrels, the best time of the day is the second or fourth hour of the morning. Moreover, squirrels avoided moving on clear and bright days and the warmest part of the day. They tend to be most active on foggy days or in the first hour of the afternoon.
Step 4: How To Hunt Squirrel
With A Bow
Hunting a squirrel with a bow is a traditional and convenient way, especially for beginners. Before starting with firearms, it’s best to whet your aim and skill with bow hunters on small games. The best advantage of using a bow is that it’s completely soundless. One important thing to remember is to choose the specific broadhead for hunting small game. If you use too large a broadhead, it will damage the meat, which is undesirable.
With A Shotgun
After the bow, the shotgun is another convenient arm for beginners. As the shot goes on void over long-distance, it’s safe to run in a mid-populated area. Moreover, the board shell of the shotgun doesn’t affect the meat. All you have to choose is the right barrel size for you. A shorter barrel, for example, .410-gauge, is perfect for squirrel hunting.
Be sure about choosing a regular shell of 20 to 12-gauge. A large shell can extend the time of sorting out the squirrel meat. Another drawback of using a shotgun for squirrel hunting is the sound. It will scare out the other squirrels nearby.
With A .22 Caliber Rifle
It’s the more preferred arm for hunting squirrels. The precision of a .22 caliber rifle shell and the speed is favorable for hunting down squirrels and other small games. Also, it will keep the meat and the hide as much intact as possible.
Squirrel Hunting With Dogs
A dog can be your best mate while hunting for squirrels. Squirrels are fast-moving animals, and it can be so unpredictable to trace out. If you can train your dog, it can track down the squirrels and send you an exact signal when they trace one. Yet the training process is time consuming and tricky, but the help you can get is worth it. Some specific breeds are good for squirrel hunting. Like American Blue Gascon Hounds, Airedale Terrier, Finnish Spitz, Mountain Cur, and other Hounds and Terrier breeds.
Step 5: Follow The Ultimate Rules of Hunting Squirrel
Choosing the method: Completing this final step of squirrel hunting, you have to decide first which method you want to follow. Is it ground hunting or tree hunting/ dog hunting?
Tree hunting is comparatively less safe. Cause here, you have the risk of missing shots, damaging trees, even missing a target on the squirrel to tree branches can hurt yourself too. However, tree hunting mostly depends on your dog.
So if you don’t have a trained dog, the better you opt-out for ground hunting. Here you have two options. One you can wait for the target, another one is stalking your prey.
Taking the position: when you are satisfied with trace and tracking and sure about the position of your aim, then calm down and take your position.
Be patient: Don’t haste to shoot after taking the position. Wait, wait, and be consistent and wait for the right moment. Hold your position, be patient, strengthen your grip on your arms.
Where to shoot a squirrel: The best spot to shoot a squirrel is its head. As the squirrels are small and they move too fast to predict. If you aim for any other parts of the body, reduce the chances of getting it right if you missed the shot. So aim to shoot on the head.
It will knock down the small game for sure and will also lessen the ache. Moreover, it will help to preserve the meat and fur entirely.
After the successful shoot, collect your trophy, clean and preserve it as quickly as possible. For being more confident while hunting a squirrel, try to wear camouflage cloth, use bait, and always be quiet and patient.