Winter Hunting – Indispensable Squirrel Hunting Tips
Many hunters are easy to scratch their heads a bit about what to do next while the deer hunting season ends. After spending weeks or months chasing a deer, it’s hard to change anything else, right? If you are exploding with some hunting partners, then it will not. Squirrel hunting is a great hunting activity after the deer season because it allows you to explore new areas without having to worry about being scared by white-tailed fish and keeps your shooting skills sharp. If you’re planning to go out after a little bushy tail this winter, here are some essential squirrel hunting tips and lessons about squirrel hunting.
When we say squirrel hunting, the first squirrel hunting tips is to know what species you are hunting. Most commonly, people hunt gray squirrels. They are large enough to get a good meal out of it and very common across the country, but especially where there are hardwood forests with oak trees. In some areas, you may also hunt fox squirrels larger than gray squirrels. They are commonly found in agricultural areas where woodland is fragmented nearby. Fortunately, in some states, the hunting season for squirrels is usually long, from late August / early September to mid-winter.
Why Squirrel Hunting is Harder in Winter?
Similar to late-season deer hunting, squirrel hunting may be more difficult later. At the beginning of the season, squirrels were full of woods. But once winter comes, that’s another story. There are several reasons why hunting squirrels in winter are more challenging.
The first one is a bit confusing. You would think that all the leaves are good because you can see the squirrel better. On the other hand, there is no way to cover up yours. Moreover, it is much more hidden than a squirrel. If there are crunchy snow or frozen leaves under your feet, it will only make things more complicated.
The other reason can be tougher to see squirrels in winter is that most of the food has dropped from the trees, and squirrels are now foraging on the ground or relying on stashed food stores. If there is snow cover, they stand out well still, but they are generally harder to spot on the ground than up in a tree.
Finally, in very cold weather, squirrels may choose not to leave their leafy nests and tree holes. And, if they don’t want to come out, you don’t have much chance to find them. All of these challenges make it even more exciting when you connect with a person. Now let’s take a look at squirrel hunting tips to help you overcome them.
Indispensable Squirrel Hunting Gear
Fortunately, you don’t need so much gear to hunt squirrels even deep in winter. Some warm clothes and hunting boots will keep you busy all day. Squirrels have very good eyesight, so no matter how you decide to hunt them, wearing high-quality camouflage clothing can help you better integrate into your life and avoid prolonged detection so you can’t shoot.
To help you see ahead further or up into the treetops, take a pair of binoculars with you. As for squirrel hunting tips related to optics, scan ahead of you as you go, looking for swishing tails and sudden movements. If you find one, move in slowly and keep an eye on it. They will probably dart for cover once they see you.
If you have a trail camera outside that would be a better, place a cellular trail camera in areas where squirrels are active. Once you have locked the area where the squirrel is active at night, you can even use night vision to watch them. WildGuarder’s night vision devices and trail cameras have excellent performance, such as, OWLER1 night vision binocular supports view over 400M range, Watcher1-4G trail camera supports sending 30s HD video. If necessary, you can pick one of them for your hunting.
In addition to these hunting optics, you’ll also need a gun of some kind. Shotguns are best if you have very spooky or active squirrels – you’re almost guaranteed to hit them with a shotgun, even when they’re on the run. Some people like to use a .22 long rifle with a good scope. This is a good option for squirrels that don’t know you are there or that climb into a tree and watch you from a branch. Similar to that option, we also like to hunt squirrels with an air rifle these days.
Speaking of shotguns, a better headset is important for shooting. The WildGuarder 5th Generation Headset EASE1, IPSC VERSION, Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a safe 82 dB, The shooting earmuff offers an NRR 27dB (Noise Reduction Rating) for the ear protection. Suitable for head circumference: 20.5in~25.2in. It will assist you to concentrate more during squirrels hunting.
The Reasonable Strategies of Squirrel Hunting
Now let’s take a look at real squirrel hunting tips. As we mentioned, squirrels may not want to leave the nest while they are still active in early winter. The best way to hunt squirrels in this situation is near a nearby potential nest tree (a tree with a hole on the side where the squirrel can nest) or leave the leaves in the early morning to make a nest. When they start to bask in the sun, they can raise their heads and you are ready to shoot-wait for them to leave the nest or pit so that you can actually retrieve them later. Usually, the best day of the winter is to hunt on squirrels from mid-morning to early afternoon. Afternoon squirrel hunting works, but they become more secretive in the evening, probably because they didn’t get the attention of predators before going to bed.
If you prefer a more active approach, try still hunting. Basically, you should walk slowly through the woods, focusing your efforts on hardwood stands – preferably oak trees with some acorns or leaves still hanging on. Take your time and be as silent as possible as you scan the treetops and ground. Even with less leaf cover, squirrels can still hide pretty well with almost any tree or log. So if you’re wondering how to find squirrels in the woods, don’t forget to use your ears – you can often hear them chirping or rustling in the leaves ahead of you if you move slow enough.
Solo squirrel hunting is definitely possible, but also challenging. If you want to try it yourself, here’s a post-squirrel hunting tip: try bringing a hunting partner. If you put a squirrel yourself, you might be too familiar with their ability to dive into the other side of the tree every time you move. With your companion, you can get them into a stationary position to shoot while moving around the tree to essentially squirrel into their shooting window. Alternatively, one of you can tap the tree or shake the surrounding brushes under the tree to try to squirrel out of the cameraless scene.
We hope these squirrel hunting tips will help you get out this winter and bag a few bushy tails. It’s an addicting new hunting activity if you haven’t tried it before. And it extends your effective hunting season just a little bit more, which is always a good thing.