SQUIRREL HUNTING STRATEGIES
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SQUIRREL HUNTING STRATEGIES

Welcome to the hunting strategies page! I, Andrew Lewand, have been successfully hunting squirrels, both gray and red, for over 20 years and have tried a wide variety of techniques for experiencing productive and fun hunts. Over the past two season, I have really concentrated on which techniques and tricks to employ to harvest gray squirrels at certain periods of the season. Give these tips a try in your area, you may find your hunting success and pleasure really intensifies!

EARLY SEASON ( SEPTEMBER- EARLY OCTOBER)

As the squirrel season starts, I totally concentrate on the feeding pattern of the squirrel. My favorite technique is to SLOWLY stalk through the woods, LISTENING for falling debris from feeding squirrels in the trees. Beech trees are my first target, so a little pre season scouting to locate productive trees will pay off in dividends.
When I hear evidence of an overhead squirrel, I immediately look for movement of the game. If all goes well, the sun will be right and the falling particles will be easily seen, giving away the squirrel's location. From this point the stalk is on. don't hurry your shot! If you move slowly, avoiding downed branches and their tell tale "snap" the squirrel will be busy feeding and pay no attention to you. Don't forget, th eearly season canopy of leaves will work in your favor as well. To make the shot, I ALWAYS use a rimfire .22. No shotguns for me, that is just a personal preference.
If the action is slow, I resort to calling to the squirrels to liven up the forest. See my calling section.

MID SEASON ( MID OCTOBER - EARLY NOVEMBER)

By now, the beech nuts have gone and I have to concentrate on another food source... corn! I set up for action now as opposed to my stalking technique.
Obviously, I am going to select hunting grounds that are proximate to cut corm fields. A typical set up is near a hedgerow between hardwoods and the corn itself. Hunters can attempt to do some quick scouting by looking for fallen corn husks or squirrels tracks in snow if any is present. From here it is a waiting game. When a squirrel is shot, stay put because more squirrels will often be following in pursuit of the corn.

LATE SEASON ( DECEMBER - FEBRUARY )

If you are still pursuing squirrels at this point, use the snow to your advantage. Look for abundant tracks near tree bases so you know where the busiest section of woods will be. It is best to be hunting at day break, as squirrels are said to be most active from dawn to mid day and spend the rest of the day in sleep.

SQUIRREL CALLING... DO THOSE THINGS REALLY WORK?

I was skeptical at first. Then I tried them! The squirrel calls on the market really work. I personally like the Knight & Hale Squirrel Buster Deluxe. It produces three separate sounds and comes with a audio cassette explaining it's use.

Here is how I use it...

SQUIRREL DISTRESS SERIES- I always use this call first and only after a lull in the hunting action. I really like this call in September. Produce a "Wee-wee-weee" sound and immediately after doing so, shake a sapling with leaves on it. Thissound immitates a young squirrel that has been traumatized by some sort of predator. After this short series, listen carefuly for the excited chatter or bark of nearby squirrels. At this point, the call has done it's job and you must stalk the squirrel. Sometimes, the adult squirrels will approach, but 90% of the time they just give their position away and that's enough for me!

THE BARK CALL - To add variety to my calling I will use the standard bark call. This works well, again, when there is a "lull" in the normal hunting action. By using this call, the communication lines are opened up and squirrels will vocalize to let their position be know. Unfortunately for them, they are telling you where they are!

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