Arms Locker banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Of all of the hunting possibilities, few can offer as much fun and challenge as squirrel hunting. Adding to the fun is that squirrel hunting is one of the least expensive types of hunting. So, how do you get started? What gear do you need?

There are two popular ways to hunt squirrels, with a shotgun or with a rimfire rifle. Of these two, the rimfire rifle is the more challenging and much more fun.

The .22LR is the most common rimfire squirrel caliber. Some folks use the .22WMRF or one of the new .17's, but it may not be an option. Several states' laws specifically limit squirrel hunting to the .22LR cartridge. Check your state's laws. For now, we will assume that you will use a .22LR rifle. Ballistically, the .22LR cartridge is best suited to closer than 50 or 60 yards.

Accuracy:
Almost all .22LR factory rifles are accurate enough for squirrel hunting. Within 50 yards, a $100 bolt action Marlin will take just as many squirrels as a $1500 Anschutz. Buy the Anschutz if you make big bux and just want it; but if you don't have much money, you're still in the game. Just make sure that the trigger pull is okay for you.

Scope:
A scope is a great tool for improving your success. There are three good choices among scopes: fixed power, variable power and "red dot".

Fixed power scopes have less to go wrong with them, like reticle shift. Pick a 4X (four times magnification).

Variable power scopes are far more popular. I prefer a 2X-7X or a 3X-9X.

Red dot scopes don't usually magnify the image, but project a lighted red dot to your eye. They're a great choice, but they depend on batteries, unless they are luminous/tritium.

The diameter of the front lens is called objective size. The larger the objective, the better you will see through it in dim light. Unfortunately, large objectives must sit high on the rifle, making quick aim difficult. You will likely be happiest with a 32mm-40mm objective size.

There are several great scope brands and all will suit your hunting. Good brands include, but are not limited to, Aimpoint, Bushnell, Burris, Leupold, Nikon, Pentax, Simmons, Swarovski, and Zeiss. Get at least a "fully coated" scope. Multi-coated is better than fully coated, and "fully multi-coated" is better still. You can find a fine squirrel scope on the web for less than $175, and some scopes costing as little as $40 are plenty good.

Ammunition:
Use hollowpoints for humane reasons, so you don't lose a wounded squirrel. Try different brands to find the type your rifle shoots best.

Binoculars:
These are great for spotting squirrels headed your way. Using the scope will make you wag the barrel, tipping off the squirrels.

Zero:
Sight-in your rifle for 50 yards. The bullet will stay close to your scope's line of sight from 20-55 yards.

Any questions? Now go save the world from wild squirrels!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,279 Posts
I love squirrel hunting. Calls work well if used sparingly. For general use the rubber bellows model that you tap works well. I practiced with the squirrels in the park until I could get them to respond in a predictable manner. For spring hunting when there are baby squirrels, there is a little metal call about the size of a nickel that you suck on to make a tiny crying noise. Get into some thick bushes and shake them a little while making noise with your call. It sounds like a baby squirrel has been attacked by a predator and all the adults will come to see what the ruckus is.

RIKA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,890 Posts
I like still hunting. Get them all running over the place, ignoring you, pop one, and wait about 10 minutes, and they've forgotten about you. The peanut butter on the trunk trick works great.

I use my old Winchester 260, a Weaver 4x scope and CCI Mini mags.

GBullet, have you found hollowpoints to even bother opening up on squirrel? I've never had problems with solids, but I hit them in the neck/head area anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Raider said:
... For general use the rubber bellows model that you tap works well.
That's what I use, too! I can blow on the other end to make a "baby squirrel in distress" call.

Raider said:
... I practiced with the squirrels in the park until I could get them to respond in a predictable manner. ... It sounds like a baby squirrel has been attacked by a predator and all the adults will come to see what the ruckus is.

RIKA
Splendid ideas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Magnum88C said:
GBullet, have you found hollowpoints to even bother opening up on squirrel? I've never had problems with solids, but I hit them in the neck/head area anyway.
I go for the head or back edge of the shoulders. Winchester makes a waxed lead, subsonic .22LR hollowpoint that I favor. It has expanded well for me over the last 6 seasons. Also nice is that it is quieter than many .22LR's, so it doesn't spook the rest of the squirrels.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top