Who hunts small game?


January 28, 2007, 11:30 PM
I know a large number of people who say they enjoy hunting. Hunting for them is going out one weekend a year and trying to get a deer. If they get one or not they are done hunting for the entire year. Ive always wondered,why if you like hunting would you only hunt one weekend a year? I know modern gun season for deer in ohio is only about a week long. However, we have some very long small game season spanning a few months. I get alot of enjoyment out of rabbit and squirrel hunting but it seems there arent very many people who actually hunt small game. Alot of people enjoy hunting to get out in nature, and theres no better way than a nice day of squirrel hunting. All you need is a cheap .22 rifle or a shotgun. Deer hunting from a stand isnt as active as going out squirrel hunting and there have been times that ive been downright bored deer hunting. I dont really like using generalizations like 'alot of people' but that just the people that I know and have talked to. I am wondering, who all hunts small game and also if you dont, why not?

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January 28, 2007, 11:34 PM
I've hunted squirrels with a .22 or pellet gun since i was 6. lots of work skinning, but it's a lot of fun

January 29, 2007, 12:20 AM
If i had the land i would hunt deer more but as of now i squirrel hunt more than anything. I average about 45-50 a year. And i use an HM2. Great squirrel round.

January 29, 2007, 12:53 AM
i started hunting small game back when i got my first gun/license/safty class back when i was 12 and I've hunted right up to now, im 37. almost all my hunting is done with .22 LR, both rifle and handgun. the handgun hunting started over a year ago with red squirrels in the CO Rockies. Handgun hunting has really refreshed the sport for me.

i am a squirrel fanatic, every year i cravenly count down to Oct 1 st and am out the door first day of the season. my wife cooks the squirrels up like little red meat hot wings, they're awesome with some budwieser!

Some other small game i enjoy are Marmot, cotton tails, (cant stand to eat jackrabbit, like vulcanized rubber :barf: ), and occationally try for fox, racoon, and coyote, but so far no luck.

the one "small game"/fur bearer that i am most proud of getting was a 44 lb beaver with a Marlin 880 SQ several years ago.

my other interests include collecting .22 rifles and handguns, collecting books about small game/varmint hunting & rimfire firearms. so far my libray is doing quite well, my gun collection is coming along nicely too. I find myself to be out of touch with most other hunters i meet, big game hunting is fun and all, ive gotten a couple of mule deer over the years, but my pulse rises and i get kinda giddy when i hear a squirrel close by. -Eric

January 29, 2007, 01:40 AM
Bunny Wabbits with a 6" GP100 w/ Holosight. Huge fun!

I also use my .35 Remington on bunnies out to 200 - I have some very lovely rounds made of a 125gr jhp over some IMR 4895 - silly good accuracy (under 1" @ 100 yards). Bullet pushes out at around 2300fps...

For grins that most people just don't get, I also use my .350 Rem Mag - again with a 125gr. JHP and a bunch of IMR 4895. I push 2600fps but get a consistent 3/4" group out of them.

The beauty of the .35's is that I can use the same bullet in all three. More importantly, I also use the exact same gun bunny-busting that I would use on Deer. Familiarity is a wonderful thing!

1911 guy
January 29, 2007, 07:51 AM
I spend most of my hunting time on small game. I do deer hunt, but that's only one week out of the year. Small game seasons are open for several months.

January 29, 2007, 08:04 AM
Like you said, Deer and Big game is great for one shot and a week a year. However, I beleive, the thrill of a day hunting squirrels, or calling coyotes far exceeds the thrill of big game pursuits.

I like my Ruger MKII .22 and my Taurus M66 for squirrels, and the HK USP 45 tactical does a nice job on coyotes out to 50 yards. (Remingtons 185 gr +P golden saber)

January 29, 2007, 11:16 AM
Don't have any squirrel on my place, but I grew up shooting 'em and rabbit with a .22. I even got to where I could hit a rabbit on a dead run with a .22 if I had enough time before he got to cover. Shotguns were almost cheating. It taught me plenty about shooting game and marksmanship and I became a rifleman at a young age. I firmly believe growing up shooting small game with a .22 builds superior marksmanship that you just can't learn shooting static targets at the range, not to mention teaching you still hunting, general hunting technique, blending with the woods, being still and quiet.

I still love to squirrel hunt, but must ride 3 hours to the nearest woods to shoot 'em. I get in maybe a weekend or two if I'm lucky now days shooting squirrel. East Texas has a May squirrel season and I like to try to make it up there when I can, but it's hot in may and makes camping uncomfortable, plus I'm usually buried in work in May, so I often miss that. I don't do near the small game hunting any more that I'd like to, put it that way. I was lucky as a kid to grow up in a densely wooded and squirrel populated area.

I still own my old .22s that have slain so many squirrel in my youth, a Remington M512X and a Mossberg M152 autoloader, as well as several other rimfires. But, now days, when I do get to go, I like hunting with my Contender and my 10" scoped .22 LR barrel.

January 29, 2007, 11:23 AM
the one "small game"/fur bearer that i am most proud of getting was a 44 lb beaver with a Marlin 880 SQ several years ago.

Okay, I'm going to open this question up to all the perverts, but what does beaver taste like, and don't tell me chicken. :banghead: :D

January 29, 2007, 11:17 PM
me with the 44 lb beaver taken from a CO mountain pond

the beaver of N.A. has a destinct taste to it. it is deep red meat that is usually very well marbled with some fat. i find it has a slightly gamey taste, but not as bad as other animals i've eaten. it has the full bodied texture of beef and goes well in stews or would make good kabobs.

Large beavers would be very nice to get in a survival situation due to the fact that they can have a very thick, almost one peice layer of fat on their backs a bellies. the fat can be used for cooking, ie pemmican and other dishes to help you digest any wild very lean meat. the fat will help you stay warmer in cold weather to burn your internal furnace. the fur is warm and thick, its teeth can make good small scrapers, and dont forget about the tail!. - Eric

Sniper X
January 30, 2007, 04:40 PM
Lets see, been hunting rabbits, squirrels, birds, and anything that moved in the desert floor since I was about 7. I'm 40 now and still hunt and fish. I now really enjoy hunting feral pigs, coyotes, and still the small stuff especially squirrels and rabbits. I can bag rabbits on my land all day long with either the pellet gun, .22 or my bow since I live on 10 acres and in the spring summer and winter they are easy pickens but tough to hunt! Love the feral piggies but they are not small, around 3~4 hundred pounds and very fun to hunt as are coyotes because no licnese is needed for either. They even sometimes pay a bounty on coyotes.

January 30, 2007, 05:38 PM
Sounds like beaver'd be a pretty good BBQ meat. Yummm. Nothin' but nutria rat around here, though.:barf:

B.D. Turner
January 30, 2007, 06:15 PM
Deer season here in N.C. runs from October to Jan 1 we have plenty of deer here in the east. Fox squirrel season comes in during deer season. We have a nice spot full of fox squirrels but they don't get hunted much due to deer season. I like hunting gray squirrels with .22 shorts. I have an old Remington Target Master that makes the shorts all but silent. We can shoot coyote year around and I am just getting into hunting them.

Sniper X
January 30, 2007, 06:20 PM
Here in the desert we can also hunt prarie dogs year round, but i don;t know how long that'll last as they are really cute, and the libbys here are startin to get into this "moving the cute little desert animals" to a area where they are out of the hunting area. So before to long I won't be surprised to see some sort of NM legislation "protecting the cute little fellers"...

January 30, 2007, 06:24 PM
I enjoy small game as much as deer. Perhaps even more...after all, the season is much longer. Also, I get to use my all-time favorite round…the delightful .22LR! Of course, pheasant and the other upland critters are on the small game and they are fun as well. I took my daughter pheasant hunting a few weeks back and bagged 4 or 5 (I can't recall which) very nice pheasants. I cut them up, fried them up and took them to the new Years evening party. Most of the people there had never had pheasant. By night's end, I had requests that I go hunt more, that I take some of them hunting with me, and two young ladies (my wife's friends) telling my wife, "More guys should be like your husband!". Hey, you know what...I like this small game hunting business!


January 30, 2007, 07:28 PM
I've hunted small game since I was nine, with only a few years off for college and grad school. (Seemed like forever!) I mostly just hunt birds now.

I've only been deer hunting a couple of times. Never got into it, but never went with anybody who knew what they were doing, either. Almost got one once, but it was too close. I couldn't see it through the scope to make the shot. Iron sights rule!

January 30, 2007, 11:43 PM
Oh Yeah, squirel huntin' opener on Sept. 15 is the day I circle!!! Like to hunt a lot of other small game, rabbit, pheasant, duck... but I love the bushytails!


February 1, 2007, 03:55 PM
The latest T/C Encore, yes, Encore, as in Pro Hunter barrels can be had in STS or blued, in 28" or STS or blued in a 24" barrel. These barrels are offered in the rifle format and in the pistol format. They have also made available these barrels available in .17 HMR (I think it is called).

Let's not even start talking about T/C's newest rifle...a tri-lugged turn-bolt with built-in scopes bases. I think it can be had in .223...a great small-game getter.

Oh, yes, and the T/C autoloader .22LRs and .17 Mach II, the accuracy expectation per T/C is .5" at 50 yards. I can live with that.

I just fell in lust!


February 1, 2007, 04:16 PM
Its what i hunted for the very first time i ever hunted. I remember my dad letting me shoot the single shot .22 he learned to shoot with when he was young. Ever since then small game squirrels mostly have made up most of my time in the woods. It is so much fun just to sit and watch the little guys scurry around then before you leave to go home you take a couple and go make dinner. :)

February 1, 2007, 04:37 PM
I hunter jack rabbits, the season is year long and there is no bag limit here in PRK. I also go after bunnies during rabbit season. I've been using an sks and a scoped mauser. But just got a Ruger 10/22 so I plan to stop using these relative canons to hunt small game. Surprising though the sks doesn't beat up the jack rabbits too much. Never have gone after squirrels yet, of course there arn't too many tree squirrels in the mojave desert:neener:

February 1, 2007, 06:44 PM
My favorite quarry, from coyotes with a varmint rifle to pigeons & starlings with an air rifle. Also, relative to critters like bunnies and wildfowl, I've yet to have to half kill myself packing them out . . . there's a few elk that about did this old boy in . . .

Sniper X
February 2, 2007, 11:18 AM
I moved to New Mexico in 1968 and have hunted small game here ever since when I have lived here. I usually use a .22 for squirrels or prarie dogs, or rabbits but will ocoaisionally now use the pellet gun for the rabbis or squirrels on my land so they wont eat the wiring on my cars or motorcycles. I will sometimes use the M4 on larger small game like Coyotes and sometimes on the Prarie dogs but like the .22 more since you can go plink all day long for less than 5 bucks.

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