Squirrel hunting is not the national past time it once was, but it is a fun way to sharpen shooting and hunting skills well before the deluge of fall hunting seasons arrive. With the right plan, you can score heavily on summertime squirrels.
1. Hunt Early
|Squirrels are most active in the cooler hours of the summer day. Public domain photo|
The heat of summer forces squirrel hunters to get out before daylight. Squirrels spend bout 16 hours a day sleeping. They, too, will be most active in the cooler hours of the summer day. Get set in a favorite spot slightly before daylight and wait patiently for the action to begin. Squirrels will be among the first critters to begin the new day.
2. Watch the Weather
Squirrels will feed every day. However, should a cool spell occur, be in the woods early. A few degrees drop in the average daily temperature will spawn feeding frenzy among squirrels at daylight. A rain during the night, coupled with a full blown cool spell is the Holy Grail of summertime squirrel hunters. The action can get hot.
3. Dress Appropriately
The summer heat and bugs keep most people out of the squirrel woods in the summer. Lighten your outer wear. Bass Pro's RedHead short sleeve shirts in neutral colors make great squirrel hunting shirts. If you prefer camo, you can't go wrong with a light weight RedHead Wicking Tee Camo T-Shirt. I couple one these comfortable shirts with a pair of World Wide Sportsman's fishing pants in tan or green. Add a dose of Repel insect repellant and your favorite RedHead hunting cap and you are ready for the squirrel woods.
4. Call and Shoot
Still hunting is an excellent way to hunt warm wether squirrels, particularly if they are on a food source such as hickory nuts. Sit still and you may be able to harvest an entire limit from one tree, as squirrels travel long distances to hit a hot tree. On the other hand, if squirrel movement is slight, you may need a stimulator.
Squirrel calls are the perfect medicine for slow periods or occasions when you experience great difficulty spotting squirrels because of dense leaf cover. Putting out a few barks and squeals on a squirrel call will often turn the trick to get a squirrel to scamper out on a limb to investigate the new squirrel on the block. There are many calls on the market. Knight & Hale and Hunter's Specialties have had small, bellows type calls on the market for a couple of decades. It works wonders. My dad used two quarters, which imitated a squirrel grating on a hickory nut when he vigorously rubbed the edges together.
You must be ready to fire as soon as a squirrel exposes itself. A Ruger 10/22 .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle geared with a red dot scope is perfect squirrel medicine. A hollow point bullet to the head will put your quarry down for keeps. Walk directly to your prey after the shot so that it does not become lost in the thick vegetation and leaf cover.
Squirrels begin feeding heavily on the nuts of Black hickories in the Missouri Ozarks in mid-July. The tasty critters will be concentrated. Enjoy the fried squirrel with biscuits and gravy.