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Hunting Main Board => Squirrel Hunting => Topic started by: Predat-Her on October 01, 2012, 01:59:53 PM

Title: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Predat-Her on October 01, 2012, 01:59:53 PM
Alright, so I'm new to hunting, seeing as I'm a vegetarian  :-P but I've been doing lots of research and have decided to start including wild game in my diet as long as I'm the one that does the killing. I have a Crosman Phantom air rifle with a centerpoint scope that can pack on a maximum 7.8 ft-lbs or so depending on the pellet I use, and I've decided to use premier hollow points. I live in Canada and do not have a valid gun license yet which is why I've chosen to hunt with am air rifle. I've used some old stuffed squirrel toys I had as a kid, filled up some tiny bags with red paint and placed them where the vitals are located in an actual squirrel and that's what I've been practicing on and I'm very confident in the power of my gun and my accuracy and the toys are all basically destroyed now.

I just have a few questions:
1) My sister has a pure bred German Shepherd, he's incredibly smart and seems to have a natural treeing instinct and a fondness of chasing birds and squirrels especially. Just saying the word "squirrel" will send him jumping up and searching all the trees nearby. I know they aren't traditional hunting dogs, but could I use him to tree the squirrels and distract them so I have a better shot? He's excellent at stalking and has almost caught birds on more than one occasion but he allowed his excitement to get the best of his and he pounced too soon.

2) I have some food such as sunflower seeds, walnuts and peanut butter I intend to use to bait the squirrels to a station. My question is, how long does it take for squirrels to discover a bait pile? And how long should I set up the station before I actually start hunting it? I'm incredibly pale and purchased a camo shirt in order to blend in while I wait near the bait pile but should I also purchase a camo balaclava to hide my face in case it reflects and scares the squirrels off?

3) I'm hunting an area that's a 5 minute ATV drive away from my house and at best I'm maybe 15 minutes away from my house depending on where I'm set up in the woods. What should I use to carry the squirrels back to my house? Should I gut and skin them immediately or wait until I get home?

4) What are the best times to hunt squirrel? And most importantly: How do I go about cooking a squirrel? Are there tiny bones I have to remove? And any other tips would be appreciated.
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: MOSPARKY on October 02, 2012, 01:03:22 AM
Welcome to the pile and the journey to enlightenment.
 
 1) Dogs now nothing of pedigrees or bloodlines. While german shepherds are not commonly known as hunting dogs, they are known to have a good nose. That combined with a desire to hunt is about all you need. Most dogs will run a squirrel to tree on sight, but sniffing out a hot trail is another matter. Using the dog as a distraction is a great technique. when hunting with a partner, this technique has paid off many times. Squirrels will pay very close attention to the barking, bouncing fur ball and not so much to the slow and quietly moving person with the odd looking stick.

2) Here is where you need to check into your local game laws. Here in Missouri the code mentions nothing about baiting for small game. For deer it is definately forbidden. When I took my daughters for their hunter ed classes, the officers teaching the class told us that the wild life code is what they call a permissive code. Oddly, this means that if the code does not give you specific permission to do so, it"s illegal.
 I admit I have been tempted to paint a few trees with peanut butter, but have no idea now long it might take for them to find it. Now if I did this in my yard I think it would be a matter of minutes.
 Most squirrel hunters I've run into do not bother with a head net or balaclava. I have used them when bowhunting deer and found myself in the close company of several squirrels at once. It certainly won't reduce your odds for success, so I'd say try it. The thing to remember is the squirrels will pick up on movement alot faster than they will the shine from your face. Both are important. If the shine from your face gets you noticed, he may not head for the hills if you don't move. Once you get noticed, you will be under scrutiny until the next distraction, then it's anybodies guess wheither he'll look again later.

3) Skinning the squirrel is easiest done while the body is still warm, but involves alot of movement. I'd at least wait until you're ready to move on to another location. As far as spoilage, I've waited a few hours before skinning with no ill effects, but the hide didn't come off nearly as easy.
 I've carried them by the tail, used a fish stringer ( the kind with a sharp spike on one end and a ring at the other) I ran that thru the rear leg between the bone and the tendon just above the ankle joint, or in a game bag made into the back of my hunting vest.

4) Generally the most activity will be from dawn until about 10 a.m. but squirrel don't wear watches. Weather and time of year can cause that to vary quite a bit. Movement sometimes picks up a little a little before sunset. Truely the best time to hunt is whenever you can get to the woods. Even mid afternoon can be productive. In after noon you may have to look sharp, but you may find them sunning themselves in a limb.
 As far as cooking them, there's more ways than I can shake a stick at. Many say young squirrels are best for frying. Once they go in my freezer, I can't tell old from young, so they get cooked however I feel like.
 The only small bones I'd worry about would be the rib cage. There is next to no meat on the rib section, so it usually gets pitched with the hide.

 We have a pretty nice section on the main page of the site called Big58cals critter somethin' or another, I suggest you look it over for some really good how-to's for skinning, cleaning and butchering  your game be it squirrel, deer or turkey. We have another section for wild game recipes that are really good. Check them out as well.
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Predat-Her on October 02, 2012, 09:11:26 AM
Thanks for the great info, MOSPARKY  :)
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: John Andrews on October 03, 2012, 09:38:49 AM
Hunt slow and shoot small.
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Techno on October 03, 2012, 05:33:48 PM
I actually thought this post was a joke of some sorts.... if it isn't then I will chime in

To get in the cool club you will need a .17HMR and get a tat saying "only head shots count"
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Predat-Her on October 03, 2012, 06:23:55 PM
I actually thought this post was a joke of some sorts.... if it isn't then I will chime in

To get in the cool club you will need a .17HMR and get a tat saying "only head shots count"

I understand your confusion; I'm not exactly the stereotype associated with a budding hunter. I'm a female, vegetarian, fairly young (18) but I assure you I am being completely honest in pursuing my interest in hunting. I'm gone through a realization that I have a deep disconnect with my food and where it comes from, and I've realized I can no longer view myself as separate from the rest of the natural world as I have been trying to do. Since embracing the act and idea of hunting, I've actually been a lot happier and I'm starting to understand a lot of things a lot better. I'm not playing into the ignorance that a lot of vegetarians claim when it comes to the animals killed for our diet anymore.
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Gutpiles on October 03, 2012, 07:10:39 PM
Keep it up Tech and you're not gonna get to be in the "only head shots count" club!   ;D

Welcome aboard Predat-Her!!!  We're glad to have you!  It's nice to see an open mind from someone with a lifestyle that normally doesn't play very well with our crowd.   O0 

Welcome to the Dark Side  :twisted:

 ;D
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: bohicajuan on October 03, 2012, 07:19:14 PM
Cool Club? Cool Club? Did someone say Cool Club??

To be IN THE COOL CLUB......You must be standing next to ME!!!! 8) 8) :twisted: :roll: :wink:

Shooting a Ruger Single-Six and a Black Widow recurve will help too..... :twisted: :roll: :wink:

But mainly you need to stand next to ME! O0 O0 8) ;D

Only THE COOLEST get to be on the cover of Flashlight Magazine!
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Gutpiles on October 03, 2012, 07:35:54 PM
Predat-Her - I'm glad you've already gotten some good info in this thread because as you can see, we often have them spiral out of control.   ;D

Ignore the guy sitting in the corner with his flashlight and talking to himself about chaps.....it's a looooong story.   :uglystupid2

 ;D
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: bohicajuan on October 03, 2012, 07:43:56 PM
HEY!! You can give those chaps to Cam Newton. After all, he DID get SPANKED HARD last week!! ;D :twisted: :roll: :wink: :knuppel2 :knuppel2
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Predat-Her on October 03, 2012, 08:04:30 PM
Hahaha you guys are crazy, I already feel at home  8)
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Techno on October 03, 2012, 09:08:21 PM
we often have them spiral out of control.   ;D



Wait, this one was once in control?

BTW that GS could be one bad arse squirrel dog. I had a doberman that was a tree dog deluxe. Put that dog in some timber with squirrels and praise the heck out of it when it trees!
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: John Andrews on October 04, 2012, 08:40:31 AM
Predat, you see how is here and see why we have fun. We do seem to veer off subject matter on occasions. It often ends in a free-for-all!  ;D
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Predat-Her on October 04, 2012, 09:28:46 AM
Techno: He seems to really enjoy it when I ask him to go find a squirrel. Just saying the word "Squirrel" or, as we sometimes call it "Squiller" sends him into a frenzy hahaha
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Techno on October 04, 2012, 10:20:59 PM
Well I will tell you like I tell my wife "I ain't gonna sit here and speculate... turn that sum'beetch loose and let'um run!!"
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: Big58cal on October 05, 2012, 06:27:22 PM
I actually thought this post was a joke of some sorts.... if it isn't then I will chime in

To get in the cool club you will need a .17HMR and get a tat saying "only head shots count"

Or you could just push the right buttons on the moderators and push them far enough to where they're tired of your crap.  :)
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: John Andrews on October 06, 2012, 04:14:42 AM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D  ;D ;D ;D

I got home yesterday with a couple of squirrels and one of my wife's muppet pups jumped up and yanked one of the squirrels right our if my hands. The little dustmop might have potential!  ;D
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: meatisgood on December 20, 2012, 12:44:32 PM
Welcome to the world of MEAT, tree rats are fun to hunt and very tasty. I use a jack for squirrel and rabbit she does a good job. but if you decide not to use a dog just go out and sit under and around some mast tress and you'll find some. they will all be on the ground right now so be sure to be looking down as well as up. also make sure to stay sittin after your first shot, if you get up you will scare the rest off and no more meat for you. instead after a minute or so use a call to bring them back in. I use a nylon bolt and scrape it with a dime, this simulates the sound they make chippin into a nut.
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: John Andrews on December 31, 2012, 08:33:38 AM
My brother and I went out yesterday and didn't see much. I saw two gray tails blasting lightspeed through the brush and brother Don whacked one before that, a gray. He was really blasting away at two and got one. That's a fantastic score, considering his normal shooting.  ;D 

I could hear him blasting away and figured he must have gotten his limit.  :roll: ;D

During this time of winter in SE Iowa when a few squirrels finally do get out and run, it's usually a very short window of time.  :sad:
Title: Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
Post by: BBF on January 01, 2013, 12:01:51 PM
Hi Veggie Schreck :D

I'm on your side of the Border so I understand the Firearms License Tango you got to dance to.
Your present  air rifle is restricted to no more than 500 fps if you do not need a PAL/POL to carry it. The only squirrels I have ever shot with an air rifle was many years ago in the old country. The rifle was a Diana and I have no clue as to the Vel. produced. It had no problems doing in squirrels and crows with the only pelet that was available there called a Diabolo  flat point looking like an hourglass.
I'd do a few penetration tests on wet books and progressively thicker pieces of dressed lumber to see what you can get and then give yourself a max. distance to shoot at animals.

PS
After having typed the above I checked out that Crosman rifle you got. The Ad indicated it could produce velocities upward to 1000 fps. That puts it into the Firearm bracket and yes it would do just fine on squirrels and grouse if you have such an birds in your location.




Get your PAL pronto and even a standard 22 rimfire rifle is way more usefull or better yet a shotgun.
At 18 unless you are built like an elf you can handle a 20 gauge, certainly a 410.