The weather is warming up, and hunters are gearing up. All over the United States hunters are beginning to get ready to renew licenses for squirrel hunting season. But even though it may feel like a good time to hunt, this is technically the early hunting season, meaning squirrel hunting may be a little trickier right now than later on in the year.
Looking for some guidance? Here are some tips from a gun store in Olathe, KS for early season squirrel hunting.
The right time to hunt
Squirrels are constantly eating, so they are pretty active all day long. They can regularly be observed on the ground grazing for acorns, seeds, nuts and berries, and munching on leaves and buds up in trees. As far as when to hunt squirrels, the best times of the day are early in the morning before sunrise (just as long as you can see) and late afternoon. You might hear squirrels up in the trees jumping around. You’ll know if one sees you because it’ll start chirping loudly, vibrating its tail and paws on the branch it’s sitting on. All this noise makes the squirrel easy to spot.
Where to hunt
Instead of walking around and making noise when squirrel hunting, setup a stakeout spot near a large nut tree, like a walnut or hickory. While sitting still, listen for nuts, twigs, leaves and other small pieces of tree falling to the ground. Look in the direction of where the tree debris is falling from to pinpoint the location of the squirrel. If you don’t see any squirrels after 15 to 20 minutes, move to a different location and post up under another nut tree.
Another technique is to walk through the woods listening for movement until you see a squirrel. The weather may be hot during the early squirrel hunting season, so check areas near streams and creeks.
What gun to hunt with
Most squirrel hunters recommend using a shotgun or rifle. A 12-gauge shotgun—a #6 or #7 shot size—is likely to hit the squirrel and leave fewer pellets in the meat. Some folks prefer using a .22 caliber rifle, which is a good size gun for hunters of any age or size. Because squirrels are small targets, if you choose a .22 rifle, make sure you practice using it so you’re comfortable and accurate with your aim.
Sometimes you have to make a little noise to catch the attention of squirrels, but it has to be the right kind of noise. If you use a call that mimics the sound of a juvenile squirrel in trouble, nearby squirrels will hear it and leave their hiding places to bark back. You have the opportunity to take a shot when they pop out. Another trick is to scare squirrels out by removing a leafy branch from a tree and shaking it around to mimic the sound of a predator.
Harrison Street Pawn is your go-to gun store in Olathe, KS for a selection of hunting guns and ammo. Visit us today!