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Author Topic: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!  (Read 4602 times)

Offline Predat-Her

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New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« 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.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 02:13:45 PM by Predat-Her »

Offline MOSPARKY

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #1 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.
John Andrews is my hero !

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Offline Predat-Her

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 09:11:26 AM »
Thanks for the great info, MOSPARKY  :)

Offline John Andrews

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 09:38:49 AM »
Hunt slow and shoot small.
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Offline Techno

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #4 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"

Offline Predat-Her

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Gutpiles

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #6 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
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Offline bohicajuan

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #7 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!
To you gutless cowards and scumbags, who are trying to lie and rewrite history. To those out to commit genocide on the Southern people with your destruction of Confederate monuments and your attacks on Southern heritage and pride. Be happy for now. Because someday when that civil war you wanted starts. I will find you. And I will kill you.

Offline Gutpiles

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #8 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
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Offline bohicajuan

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Re: New to squirrel hunting, tips welcome!
« Reply #9 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
To you gutless cowards and scumbags, who are trying to lie and rewrite history. To those out to commit genocide on the Southern people with your destruction of Confederate monuments and your attacks on Southern heritage and pride. Be happy for now. Because someday when that civil war you wanted starts. I will find you. And I will kill you.

 


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