Noob Squirrel Question


January 5, 2007, 11:35 AM
Is it common to hunt squirrels with .22s? If so, how do you ensure that a missed shot won't hit an unintended target, say if you're aiming at one on a 10ft limb? As the title says, I am a noob, but looking to start hunting to obtain this skill should it be needed if SHTF, EOTWAWKI, etc., so please correct any assumptions/errors that I've made.


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January 5, 2007, 12:12 PM
I guess no one hunts squirrels?? Or is a shotgun always used??


Jimmy Newman
January 5, 2007, 12:16 PM
I've done some squirrel hunting. I have occasionally used shotguns but usually use a .22 rifle. Where I squirrel hunt is very dense pine woods where there's pretty much always another branch or tree trunk behind any target. In more open areas it might be an issue.

It's good that you're thinking about things like this.

January 5, 2007, 01:08 PM
You need to be sure of your target and what is behind it. Common sense will tell you when you should/shouldn't take the shot.

Ned Flangers
January 5, 2007, 01:09 PM
Many wildlife areas have limitations on what you can shoot with. Several near me prohibit single projectile firearms, so shotguns are it. Be sure to check area rules first. And like you said, always be aware what is past your target.

January 5, 2007, 01:55 PM
I hunt squirrels with a .22 and .22 Magnum. The only tree shots I take are when the squirrel is flattened out on the large portion of the tree, with a good 4-6" of tree on either side of him if I miss (i.e., making sure of my target and backstop).

If they're on a small limb or on the side of the tree, I pass on the shot. If you're patient, they'll usually give you a shot with a good backstop.

Hope this helps, good luck, and welcome to hunting and the world of guns!


January 5, 2007, 05:52 PM
I don't hunt in populated areas and I'm usually in dense woods.

January 5, 2007, 09:07 PM
Be patient, that squirrel will come down to the ground eventually.

January 5, 2007, 10:52 PM
I've hunted squirrel with shotgun, 22 rifle and even 22 pistol .The pistol is a challenge !!

January 5, 2007, 11:34 PM
Head shots with a .22 equals no busted teeth! I quit shooting them with shotguns because I kept biting down on shot I'd missed when cleaning them.

January 6, 2007, 08:42 AM
I hunted eastern greys last month in Pennsylvania. I hunted with a borrowed break open 16 gauge. Its a single shot that throws a tight pattern of #6. I like low base ammo because it kicks less. No squirrels got away!

I'm certain you would be equally successful with a modern 20 gauge shotgun.

The new 17 cartridges are quite accurate for 100 yard shots at squirrels and other critters. Take a look at Ruger model 96 in the GunsAmerica website. I've seen new ones selling for $275.


1911 guy
January 6, 2007, 08:51 AM
Most of the time, there will be other trees behind the squirrel to stop the wayward shot. If not, wait a minute for either the tree rat to move or get yourself to a slightly different angle. If I can see the outside edge of the woodline, I pass the shot. If all I can see are trees, I take it.

January 7, 2007, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the tips and advice.


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