5 Reasons to Start Squirrel Hunting
If you are new to small game hunting, squirrel hunting offers one of the best chances at learning life long skills that transfer to other outdoor pursuits with a low barrier of entry. Below are five compelling reasons you should get outdoors and learn how to start squirrel hunting.
1. Squirrel Season is Long
Going after Squirrels means you can be in the woods hunting well before other hunters start their season.
You don't have to be hunting to scout out possible deer spots but if I could choose between going on a woods walk and possibly coming home with some meat. I'm going to choose to hunt while I scout.
Murphy's law applies to hunting. If you are deer hunting you will see no less than 3 squirrels making a ruckus behind your stand which will raise your heart rate thinking it's a huge buck. I have also found when I'm squirrel hunting I tend to see a lot of deer within 20 yards of my sitting spot. I use this information come deer season.
Scouting for deer while squirrel hunting makes sense as they share a passion for some very common food. Both love water, corn, and nuts.
2. Squirrel Hunting is a Great Introduction to Hunting For Kids
Squirrel hunting can be static or dynamic. You can also make the hunts short which bodes well for children who might lose interest after 2 or 3 hours.
You don't have to be up 4 hours before the sun to have a successful squirrel hunt. Squirrels are active throughout various parts of the day.
Squirrel hunting teaches kids many helpful skills that also apply to deer hunting like learning how to move through the forest slowly and quietly.
There are all kinds of other nature you'll see to keep your kids amazed and engaged while sitting silently in the foods.
3. There is an Abundance of Game
Shortly after World War II, there was a boom in the hunting interest. Small game (including squirrels) was far more popular than hunting deer which is not the case today.
For those of us who hunt primarily on public land, we understand some of the inconveniences of hunting popular game. Someone might be in a spot you planned on hunting already. Someone placed a stand right next to where you planned on putting yours. Well with squirrel hunting I've never run into another squirrel hunter in my spot. There is not a lot of pressure since people just don't pursue squirrels like they use to.
Squirrel hunting has a low skill ceiling but a high skill cap. What I mean by that is that anyone around the right trees, not making noise has a good chance of getting a squirrel if there are any in the area your hunting. But to be a squirrel master It takes a wise old veteran who has perfected his craft to turn all his little knowledge nuggets into bag limits on most of his hunts.
4. There is a Low Cost of Entry
There are many forms of hunting that require some serious spending to substantially increase your success chances. Squirrel hunting is not one of them.
You can use a .22/20ga/or a pellet gun to squirrel hunt. Again this is great for kids because they can use the same pellet gun to work on marksmanship in the backyard and not have to deal with different sights when they go into the woods. It's also great if your children are younger and might be recoil or noise-sensitive. My 9-year-old daughter started hunting this year and I had her walk with her Crossman pellet gun listed below. We worked on muzzle control and just safely handling a firearm in general. She had no pellets and just carried it around on our hunts.
A Blaze orange hat and vest are all that's required when squirrel season is taking place during other hunting seasons. This simple combo over your everyday clothes works fine since squirrels are more alarmed by movement than unnatural colors in the woods.
5. It's a Great Escape from Everyday Life
Just like most of our hobbies hunting isn't necessary for 99% of Americans. But having some form of stress relief is vitally important in today's day and age.
It's a reason to leave the concrete behind and get some dirt on your shoes.
Get outside and unplug from electronics for a day.
It's a great opportunity to spend time with your kids and pass on a time-honored tradition.
Most people don't realize it, but squirrel makes great table fare.
Squirrel hunting can be a ton of fun, and a productive way to put meat on the table for both you and your family. If you haven't tried it, take your favorite firearm out for a nice scenic nature walk and enjoy the outdoors.