new to squirrel hunting


new guy in the buckeye
December 11, 2011, 04:04 PM
ive only been hunting a few times the first time i took 2 squirrels but nothing ever since they seem to be staying out of range or i dont see any the ones i see it seems when i move up they do too is there any way i can atract them (sorry for the spelling) thanks

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December 11, 2011, 04:20 PM
Stop moving and stay in one place.
When they see movement, they move.

Pick a spot that has feeding activity, and hide yourself in the bushes.
If they are there, they will soon show up again as soon as they are sure it is safe.

I have had them try to climb up my leg while deer hunting in a tree blind.


new guy in the buckeye
December 11, 2011, 04:22 PM
thank you for the advice

December 11, 2011, 04:25 PM
i hunt the edge of the woods, its thinner and easier to spot a squirrel, i hunt with a rifle, and i slowly walk around as long as the other animals are making noise. once the animals in the woods stop making noise you aint gonna stand much of a chance at finding anything because they know you are their. it also helps to find a lot of big nests, you dont want to shoot the nest, but you can be sure there are squirrels that aint in the nest but close to it

new guy in the buckeye
December 11, 2011, 04:51 PM

December 11, 2011, 05:11 PM
To which I will add an old trick mentors passed to me.

Take two quarters...err...umm... "quarter sized" coins and drill a hole in the top of them, and these hang off a piece of leather (my preference) or beaded chain, long enough to hang off little finger of weak hand.

Rubbing the coins gets their attention, and when a shot presents itself, just let the coins hang off weak hand little finger while you shoot.


new guy in the buckeye
December 11, 2011, 07:12 PM
thank you how long / often do you rub them together

December 11, 2011, 09:33 PM
In Ohio, you can stalk and hunt quite effectively in the early part of the season. Later in the season after the foliage has dropped, it becomes virtually impossible to make your approach unannounced (unless the ground foliage is wet). This time of year the ground foliage will be frozen which makes the sound of your approach even more pronounced. You may see a squirrel take off in the distance, only because he's seen (heard) you first and is therefore quick to skedaddle (which is the case for any number of game species). As mentioned above, find a comfortable location and once your situated, be still. I usually give them 20 to 30 minutes and if there's no activity will move to the next location.

Other than being in a wooded (deciduous or pine) area, there's a couple of things you can look for that could indicate their presence. Tree nests made of leaves and twigs are easily identified now that the foliage has dropped. Eastern Tree Squirrels build tree nests in the heat of the summer to stay cool during the night. They won't be using tree nests this time of year, but their existance are a good indication that squirrels have recently made the area their home.

Also, it pays to know your trees. A large part of a squirrels diet is made up of nuts (walnut, hickory, beech, oak). If you find a patch of hickory, walnut, or beech trees, good chance squirrels will be hangin around. If in addition to nut trees, you spot tree nests from the previous summer, good chance you've hit paydirt. Then there's always the issue of whether or not they decide to emerge, ...that's another story. Suffice it to say early morning or late afternoon are the times of greatest activity, but I've spotted squirrels out and about during just about any time of day. --Don't go during heavy rain. Squirrels don't like it and neither will you!

Here's a couple of tree types you should become familiar with:



This time of year can be tough. Squirrels don't hibernate, but they will bed down for several days (or just come out for shorter spells) during extreme cold temperatures (low teens or single digits). A short absence of food does them little harm since they've fattened up nicely during the fall mast season.

As with all hunting, don't measure your success in number of kills. Experience, and a gradual learning curve will produce much greater long term dividends. In the mean time, enjoy yourself.

Good luck, and good hunting!

1911 guy
December 11, 2011, 11:16 PM
Everyones' first reaction to squirrel hunting is "But they're just squirrels!"

Everything you need to know to hunt any species east of the Mississippi you will learn while hunting tree rats. They have eyes and ears that make us look blind and deaf. They are, after all, near the bottom of the food chain and everything that moves in the woods is a potential threat to them. Sneaking up on them can be done, but it's usually more productive and always easier to wait them out.

Look for the things mentioned by the other posters, and I'll add a few of my own.

Squirrels tend to like edge lines. This can be the edge of a stand of pines among deciduous trees, an old fence line in the woods, a cut path, etc.

You'll hardly ever see a squirrel. You're more likely to see parts of a squirrel, like a head or tail sticking out from behind a tree. Look for this stuff. Also bear in mind that a squirrel cannot bark and keep its' tail still. The tail will flick with each bark. Look for the movement.

Another variation on the "quarter trick" is to hold one in the hollow of a cupped hand and strike it with the edge of the second quarter. Do it a few times and wait. It sounds pretty close to a squirrel cutting nuts with those big incisor teeth.

Keep an eye out for tree branches moving. They'll sway back and forth with the wind, but you can often spot a squirrel by paying attention to branches that move down suddenly as a squirrel jumps to or from it. And leaves being scattered around is a tip off. When they feel safe, they'll make enough racket chasing each other around that it sounds like a moose trying to do a polka.

1911 guy
December 12, 2011, 12:45 AM
BTW, where are you in Ohio?

December 12, 2011, 05:03 AM
The most pleasant hunting memories I have from a long life of hunting are sitting with my back to a walnut tree in pleasant early September weather in southern Michigan, waiting for a squirrel to pause and offer a shot.

I had an old Winchester bolt action .22 (Model 67?) and I'd sit there and listen to the activity until I spotted a squirrel and (usually) before long I'd get a shot and drop him. Everything would become silent and I learned not to get up and collect the squirrel, but to wait until activity resumed again. Then I'd spot another. I could usually get 2 or 3 squirrels from one location before I'd have to move. I'd pick up the squirrels and walk a hundred yards or so and sit again.

I really miss that. Those were big fox squirrels which had as much meat as a small rabbit. I hunted them in big stands of walnut and black walnut and they tasted great. My Mom was from the south and knew how to fry up a squirrel.

December 12, 2011, 05:45 AM
Years ago when I was small game hunting I used the coin trick all the time.
Hold a quarter in one hand & strike it fast 2 or 3 times with a nickel. After a while a good old squirrel would come around to check out the noise.
It's all houses now where I used to hunt. If I could hunt in my back yard I could get 2/3
of the rodents every day. I feed them every day out my back window. The red fox squirrels are fat & sassy. One summer I even had one follow me around the yard for about 3 months just like an old hound dog. We lose most of our rodents to cars not to old age. At one time we only had red fox squirrels--now we have black & grey mixed in.----------:)
The neighborhood is changing.
Have fun hunting.

Dr Dave
December 12, 2011, 06:05 AM
I am also new to hunting though I love fishing. My brother-in-law has taken me squirrel and rabbit hunting five times. One squirrel and one rabbit for me (two shots), one squirrel for him (one shot).

I was not prepared for it to be that much fun! It hurts your neck though. My bro uses a crow call for squirrels. He explained that crows, being intelligent and having sentrys in the tops of the trees, often notice danger first, so if the crows are happy the squirrels will think everything's cool.

The time we each got our squirrel, he talked back and forth to the crows, and two squirrels came out. My squirrel just stood there glaring at me as my bro kept directing me in closer; I couldn't believe he didn't run. It was an easy shot. I had a simple $100 NEF Pardner single-shot 20ga, and my brother-in-law had his fancy Zoli O/U 20ga. My squirrel was bigger.

This is the only hunting I have done, but I can totally see why some people rarely hunt anything else. My brother gave me a crow call, but so far all I can say is something rude about the crows' mothers. Squirrel hunting is not like bass fishing, the best description I've heard is: 'You see everything'.

new guy in the buckeye
December 12, 2011, 07:16 AM
im in zanesville

new guy in the buckeye
December 12, 2011, 07:29 AM
thanks everyone for the tips

Sav .250
December 12, 2011, 07:36 AM
Experience comes with time and effort. The more you go. the more you learn. I hope. :)

December 12, 2011, 07:39 AM
When I was hunting them with my Uncle many years ago He told me to sit , back against a comfortable tree and slick the gun safety off and on. They get curious and will peek out to see what is what.

December 12, 2011, 09:05 AM
What are you using rifle or shotgun ?

December 12, 2011, 09:05 AM
I'll add one little trick. If hunting with a partner, when moving from one spot to the next, put about 50 yds between you. A squirrel will move around a tree as the first person moves past. This can present shots for the second person. I’ve always done better using a .22 than a shotgun. The coin trick or other ‘cutter’ calls seem to sooth the squirrels pretty quickly after a .22 shot (CB Longs do great). A blast from a shotgun spooks them much longer.

new guy in the buckeye
December 12, 2011, 12:56 PM
im using a shotgun

Cousin Mike
December 12, 2011, 02:46 PM
You got two your first time out? Nice! I've been out probably a dozen times in the early season. Last time I went out was a blast, but I still have yet to get one. Sounds like you're not doing so bad! You hunting public land?

December 12, 2011, 02:55 PM
im using a shotgun
That is my favorite .410 with #2`s or #4`s, another thing when you are out there bark at them they will answer, Im sure you have heard a squirrel bark.............

December 12, 2011, 04:31 PM
Shotgun squirrel hunting is a bit easier, but the downside is tiny pellets in the meat. I prefer to use a .22 and wait for solid headshots, or if they are awkward on the tree, right between the shoulder blades or a heart/ lung shot like a deer. .22 hunting requires a little more precision and patience. If you are trophy hunting for tails and such, a .410 or even a lightly loaded 20 gauge would do the trick quite nicely. But for eatin', the .22 is the best way to go.

December 12, 2011, 09:53 PM
Squirrel Hunting !

December 13, 2011, 01:17 AM
i used a 17hmr for squirrel last week, first time i had one hunting, and never again.

i dont much care for hunting with other people, seems like i always loose track of them. my normal squirrel gun is a ruger 10/22 that i shoot augila sub sonicss out of. it seems i can normal take about three shots before i spoke them to much

December 13, 2011, 10:11 AM
I use a chair blind, set it up and stay put. I'm disable so doing a lot of walking is out of the question. I use the quarters and a Knight & Hale caller. With the quarters I kept dropping them so I made a holder that work real good. With the caller I can get squirrels to come or start from running after a shot. I use to practice where there were a lot of hawks around. If I did the calling right they would show up. There are several calls you need to know, the bark (all clear or ok) and the baby cry. The baby cry will bring them out of the wood work and have them on the ground heading to you. It works in pouring down rain, too. I did it while setting on the back porch because it pouring down big time. I tried it just to see how effective it was. Believe it works like no others. With the quarters there are basic to type of calls you can make. Both are related to a squirrel eating. One is the scratching sound like cutting on a nut the other is the nut falling and hitting the ground. I find the scratching call to be the most effective of the 2.

Here is photo of my quarter setup. I go tired of dropping and loosing the quarters ever time I shot. It also will allow you to wear gloves on the cold days. Each side of the quarters make a little different sound, and you need to find a quarter with a good edge. The new quarters do not make the same sound as the older ones do.

btw. A shotgun going off sends them to the next county, where a 22 does not bother them that much. It does make the look up a look but if you do a call soon after they ignore it in the most part.

December 15, 2011, 06:41 PM
expecially if you use sub sonics in your 22

December 15, 2011, 10:52 PM
two words........ bird seed

December 16, 2011, 01:29 AM
I'll pass on to you what my grandfather told me, if you want to catch a squirrel just sneak up on him and sprinkle some table salt on his tale he'll freeze and you can just reach down and grab him.

For six months my mom couldn't figure out why the salt shaker was missing all the foward 25 years, mom called me laughing after she realized why her salt shaker was always missing when my boys came for the weekend. :) lol

From my experience most people using shotguns just kinda wonder around and take shots the appear. They cover alot of ground. I've always used a .22 choosing to wait them out.

December 16, 2011, 04:01 AM
If it's a windy day stay home. Early in the season watch for the branches to shake as squirrels move about. I've done the best hunting the first few hours of daylight. Look for oak,walnut,and hickory. Squirrels can't resist hickory nuts and will concentrate on them while the nuts last. Beech trees offer squirrels den sites as well as a food source. Hunt slow and use your ears as well as your eyes. I figure that if I'm not going into the woods while it's still dark with a maglite I've slept in horribly. Shotgun or .22 ? It's your call-I use both from time to time.If you hunt the same woods from year to year you will learn the den trees and the good mast trees. Been hunting squirrels for over 40 years now-God willing I'll hunt 40 more. I'm hoping Heaven has a nice squirrel woods.

December 16, 2011, 08:21 AM
The ONLY reason I have a scope on my new Browning BL-22 is for head shots on squirrels at 50+ yards. Squirrels are nature's short attention span posterchildren. Find an area of activity and sit still. They'll soon forget all about you and go back to their normal fooling around. I have shot several from the same spot. That's OK, since they're generally flea ridden, just mark 'em down and pick 'em up when you leave and the fleas will (mostly) leave the body as it cools.

Don't worry about nests, as they don't always build them where they eat, and one squirrel may build several houses, and rotate among them, moving as they get too flea-ridden and returning at a later date. Look for food trees.

December 16, 2011, 11:27 AM
In my experience chasing grey squirrels around little patches of woods down here in FL, all you really have to do is sit still and do your best squirrel chatter impersonation.

Not only will the squirrels come bounding through the trees from all directions, but more than once I've had 4-5 medium sized deer come out of the woodwork less than 20 feet from me while doing this!

December 16, 2011, 04:28 PM
Hunt the edge of wood lots preferably where they abutt a corn field. You will get squirrels. If you are moving a lot of the time they will simply freeze and let you walk past. This time of year the mast has dropped so they will be on the ground.

December 19, 2011, 02:30 AM
Ohio here too, NW. This is my first year hunting and i go with a partner who is showing me the ropes. So far we have seen only 2 and had a shot at 1, mainly due to poor hunting areas with few nut trees and short trees. It's hard to find hunting out here that isn't already claimed.

I am hoping for some spots after deer season is over that some co-workers will show me, I wouldn't dream of stepping in their grounds during their season. Luckily they are perfectly willing to show me the squirrel hunting in their favorite deer spots.

December 26, 2011, 04:45 AM
My squirrel woods here in lake county are full of beech trees. I like to sit under one of them, as tree rats stand out against the smooth grey bark. Walking the tree line next to a brushhogged corn field is usually pretty productive as well.

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