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View Full Version : Is squirrel hunting with a 22LR ethical??


wpcexpert
January 16, 2009, 07:46 PM
Now the question isn't "Is it enough gun". But does shooting squirrels, from the tree tops with solid ball ammo, violate rule #1 (Always be sure of your target and what's behind it.

Now I can't possibly count the number of squirrels that have rained down from the trees from my 22. But I also can't tell you how many shots didn't meet such squirrel.

What do think?

Not saying that I'm going to stop, just wondering. Am I the only one that shoots into the trees with a 22?

dmwphoto
January 16, 2009, 07:52 PM
I do it all the time with a clear conciense

okiebuckout
January 16, 2009, 08:55 PM
I too shoot with 22 into treetops. Where I hunt though there is no housing for several miles. All these years hunting I never really thought of that when I was squirrel hunting. I guess I only really thought about that with my larger caliber firearms. Just use a 410 if your worried. I have an old stevens 410/22 that is an excellent squirrel getter.

Wildalaska
January 16, 2009, 08:58 PM
I've never missed ;)

WildcallymenattyAlaska TM

Hawg Haggen
January 16, 2009, 09:01 PM
Shorts if you can find any make less noise.

RamSlammer
January 16, 2009, 09:15 PM
I won't shoot into treetops with a .22 unless it's a high angle. Anything less than 30 degrees I would think the bullet could have enough energy to hurt someone. I'm no physicist, but makes me feel safer anyhow.

crowbeaner
January 16, 2009, 09:20 PM
That's why we hunt in a pair with one person shooting the 22 and one with the 12 bore for the treetop shots.

JWT
January 16, 2009, 09:24 PM
Although I haven't hunted squirrels in years when I did I almost always used a .22lr. Much less damage to the meat than a scatter gun and no issue when hunting them in wood lands away from dwellings IMO.

MrNiceGuy
January 16, 2009, 09:28 PM
for this reason, i only hunt ground squirrels ;)

the only gun i will fire into the air is a shotgun, i just cant justify risking it with longer range ammo.

Hawg Haggen
January 16, 2009, 09:32 PM
I never had a problem with shooting into trees with a .22 but I hunt pretty far away from any houses. Besides a .22 is almost always going to hit at least one branch after it passes through or misses said squirrel.

Double J
January 16, 2009, 09:59 PM
Squirrels and trees are both near extinct where I live. But I consider it the American way to use the rifle. Scatterguns are unethical on squirrel, not to mention all the hazards of eating bird shot. I try to shoot the tree where it'll bleed the less sap.

Double Naught Spy
January 16, 2009, 10:18 PM
It is ethical to hunt the squirrel, but unsafe to be firing in said manner.

Coyote Hitman
January 16, 2009, 10:32 PM
I don't feel good about it around here. I am sure it is only a remote chance that I could hurt someone, but that last thing I want to do is end up with one of my misses hurting someone. I take only shots that provide me with a backstop, i.e shooting into creek bottoms and into trees situated on hillsides. Any other time, I use a scattergun.

jckeffer
January 16, 2009, 11:06 PM
Unless you shoot squirrels in a very small or low tree I can't believe there would be much of a danger. You can find a dozen or more articles on the danger of falling bullets but even the most optimistic assessments about the potential danger of a falling bullet wouldn't apply to a .22 cal. At 40 grains (2.6 grams) the energy simply would not be enough to cause an significant injury. Also, without the spin created by the rifling, the shape of a .22 cal bullet would mostly like like cause it to tumble on the way down, increasing drag and further reducing the terminal velocity.

You might want to watch out for low flying airplanes though.

L_Killkenny
January 16, 2009, 11:23 PM
100's of 1000's of .22 rounds are shot into the air every year. The count may actually be in the millions. When was the last time you heard of someone catching a round. More people die walking out to check there mail box every year.

shortwave
January 17, 2009, 12:28 AM
I`ve posted this before. Got a 22 slug in livingroom wall by couch where wife usually sits. I live in the middle of a woods. It Came from a trespassing squirrel hunter not familiar with the woods he was hunting in. IMO, people`s ignorance is what makes 22 hunting dangerous.

Nnobby45
January 17, 2009, 12:55 AM
Now I can't possibly count the number of squirrels that have rained down from the trees from my 22. But I also can't tell you how many shots didn't meet such squirrel.


I've shot a few squirrels (ground squirrel variety) with the .22 LR as well as many a Jackrabbit. Bullet holes tend to be thru and thru on both--- about always, in my experience--hp's or rn.

Sportdog
January 17, 2009, 01:01 AM
I've done it all my life and as long as it is a significant woodlot, I will continue to do so. If on the other hand I was hunting a small parcel, close to housing, I would not do it. As others have stated, I have no knowledge that someone has been injured because of this. People die in car accidents every day and you don't (or I don't) hear people saying they will refrain from driving because you may accidently kill someone. No offense to the OP but this type of question seems like fishing on a hunting forum.:(

stevelyn
January 17, 2009, 01:26 AM
I think I've killed only one squirrel with a shotgun. All the rest have been killed with a .22lr.

hogdogs
January 17, 2009, 03:39 AM
I've loads with both shotguns and .22's. I do my part to try to make sure my lead is not dangerous to non-target critters...
Brent

DiscoRacing
January 17, 2009, 07:50 AM
i go with .22 all the time.... have for 30 years now.... ive always hunted on private land tho... never really had the notion that i would be shooting toward another person.

BIGR
January 17, 2009, 08:34 AM
yes it is and it is a challenge to hit ol bushy tail with one at times. Just always be aware of your background. Use to hunt on our 400 acre farm with a .22 and most of the time there were no problems with stray bullets.

Fat White Boy
January 17, 2009, 09:35 PM
In Kollyfornia, it is legal to hunt squirrels and Grouse for that matter with.22 handguns...

MrNiceGuy
January 17, 2009, 09:53 PM
The responses in this thread have honestly shocked me somewhat.

with the high level of responsibility and proper gun ownership that this site aims to promote, the number of people who are indifferent to the consequences surprise me.

In the atmosphere i was taught to shoot, nobody would dare do something so blatantly dangerous and disregardful of others, especially solely for the enjoyment of doing it.

People die in car accidents every day and you don't (or I don't) hear people saying they will refrain from driving because you may accidently kill someone.

transportation is a necessity
looking for squirrels in trees so that you can shoot them out is a hobby

but keep trying to use that as justification.. the anti's love to cling onto ridiculous comments like that.

MeekAndMild
January 17, 2009, 10:03 PM
Best check state laws to see if dropping a bullet into someone's house is a felony. Of course if it's a house which contains people like most of my neighbors you won't have to worry about that. In fact you won't be doing any worrying at all. Ever again. I'd suppose that your neck of the woods is probably a lot like mine so be careful.

freedom475
January 17, 2009, 10:46 PM
The responses in this thread have honestly shocked me somewhat.

with the high level of responsibility and proper gun ownership that this site aims to promote, the number of people who are indifferent to the consequences surprise me.

In the atmosphere i was taught to shoot, nobody would dare do something so blatantly dangerous and disregardful of others, especially solely for the enjoyment of doing it.

I have to Agree totally with the above statement!~!

Didn't your daddy teach you anything!!??? Mine would've and Still would slap me to the ground if he caught me doing something this irresponsible.

Lets try and keep our rights in tact for our kids. Let's not give those missinformed bleeding hearts any more ammo:D

It's not that hard to line up the shot with a trunk or just wait a minute for the squirrel to move a little..... You would sure wish you had if you have to spend the next 40 YEARS stareing through bars while Bubba vents his frustrations on you.:barf:

I just love the post that says that I hunt 400acres and never worry about it:confused:....Just so you know this is less than 1/2th the distance a 22lr shoots....While shooting 22 LR's on the dusty plains of Montana for distance I have personally seen 22LR's make a large dust cloud at a measured MILE.

Rem308
January 17, 2009, 11:13 PM
I squirrel hunt a good bit each year, using my 22 LR handgun, my 22 WMR rifle, and my 12 gauge. When I'm using either of the 22's, I focus on always making sure of my backstop. When shooting up, if the squirrel is just sitting on a branch with nothing behind it, I have to pass on the shot.
More often than not, I will get in position, get steady, and if the squirrel still is not offering a safe shot, I'll use my squirrel call and they will move back to the trunk of the tree, allowing a shot.

In fact, I went this morning and took one squirrel, had to pass on another because it was on the side of a tree (No backstop) and I didn't take the shot.
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n215/pmartin_35/Hunting%202009/squirrel_jan17_09.jpg

BIGR
January 19, 2009, 05:44 PM
I just love the post that says that I hunt 400acres and never worry about it....Just so you know this is less than 1/2th the distance a 22lr shoots....While shooting 22 LR's on the dusty plains of Montana for distance I have personally seen 22LR's make a large dust cloud at a measured MILE.


If you were talking about my post then you must have misread it. No where did I say that I didn't worry about it. With caution and watching where I shot I never had any problems. Other words I always made sure of a safe backstop like my original post said.

koolminx
January 19, 2009, 06:09 PM
Please listen to yourselves!

using a 22 to shoot squirrels is cheating and just goes to prove that you retards can't hit ANYTHING with a shotgun... Ahhhhh....:confused: Er.... :(Ummmmmmm... GULP!:eek:

What I meant was... It's cheating and hurts trees more when you use a shotgun ;)

You also have no hunting sense if you can't take out a squirrel with a BB gun!

FINALLY, for those of us that will use a .22 to shoot a squirrel, we never take a shot when they are on a branch! Only when they are on the trunk! Which is anytime they are scared. :)

freedom475
January 19, 2009, 07:15 PM
Quote:

If you were talking about my post then you must have misread it. No where did I say that I didn't worry about it. With caution and watching where I shot I never had any problems. Other words I always made sure of a safe backstop like my original post said.



Sorry about that BIGR....please forgive me for bashing on you and I did misread your post.....I enjoy our rights and heritage so much it just scares me to think of being denied the right to pass them on to my kids and grandkids.

BIGR
January 19, 2009, 07:25 PM
freedom475, thats ok sometimes when we read this stuff things tend to run together and I know I've misread things before. We are all in this together and like you said it only takes a few bad apples to make all of us look bad.
I just didn't want anyone to think I was a madman hunter and I consider myself to be a safe hunter that abides by the laws.

BIGR
January 19, 2009, 07:27 PM
Koolminx, just what are you trying to say? Please explain yourself.

Sportdog
January 19, 2009, 09:34 PM
To those who took offense at my comparison of car accident drivers and shooting tree rats........take a chill pill and call your local PETA chapter in the morning. What are you supposed to say to a troll post like this? "Gee fellas, I would NEVER do anything like taking a shot like that! I'm so righteous that I shudder at the very thought! My daddy would give me a time out for even thinking such a thought." I think that the fact that this question was even posed is a sign of how political correctness has invaded even the time honored institution of hunting. To squabble amongst each other about whether we should or shouldn't shoot tree rats with a 22 seems so foolish it defies any sense of reason. It is done all the time and will be done a lot in the future with no problems. Case closed.:rolleyes:

cat9x
January 20, 2009, 10:37 AM
good OP. I stopped using .22LR on squirrels because of the very reason of not knowing what lies beyond my target. We all miss so it's inevitable. I now use a 3" .410

Double Naught Spy
January 20, 2009, 11:24 AM
It is done all the time and will be done a lot in the future with no problems.

Just because it is done all the time doesn't make it right or safe. I have known folks who have mishandled guns their entire lives without shooting themselves or somebody else unintentionally, or had an ND for that matter, but their gun handling skills were neither right or safe.

UniversalFrost
January 20, 2009, 01:23 PM
ok, only read the first few response and then jumped to the end and saw all the bikering and moaning.

me, I shot plenty with a 20 ga and a .22lr. I would like to get one of them savage model 24's that is an O/U and has a .22 barrel and a 20 or .410 barrel, now that would be the perfect setup for all conditions.

Me I shoot at squirrels with a .22 when they are on the ground or in the lower branches (yes I have taken some up higher, but not regularly) just because the offer a better target that way. the shotgun is for the ones that are up high in thick branches or they run into the leaf nests and don't offer a shot for a .22, but the .20 gauge with no 7 or 6 shot gets em' out of their bed :p .

anyway, just shoot the squirrels already. :D

L_Killkenny
January 20, 2009, 05:17 PM
It's amazing that some of you even have the balls to get out of bed in the morning. Shooting squirrels outta trees with a .22 is some of the safest hunting in the country. More than likely it's safer than shooting rifles at game on the ground. It's proven over time to be safer than deer hunting and hunting birds on the wing. Bunch of old hens.......

knight0334
January 20, 2009, 05:38 PM
I use a 22rf for squirrels on the ground, but I wont shoot'm out of the trees unless there is a hillside directly behind it.

qwik
January 20, 2009, 05:46 PM
Could use rat shot lol :p

Csspecs
January 20, 2009, 05:54 PM
Well in the past I have found about half of my .22 bullets inside of the squiral that I have shot.. So I can't see it coming out at a very high speed.

I don't take big risks, But I will trade shooting side ways into a "ok" back stop for shooting straight up..

I know that there are less than 5 people within a couple square miles of the area I hunt, and the odds are highly against it.

I know many deer hunters that think nothing of taking running shots on deer at range with no back stop. Why should I lose a lot of sleep doing something much less risky.

I have had bird shot hit by me when I was in a tree stand from a grouse hunter.... Not much you can do but try your best to be safe and hope that nothing bad happens. Because you never really know if that back stop is really enough or if your round will bounce off at a strange angle.

MrNiceGuy
January 20, 2009, 08:00 PM
I think that the fact that this question was even posed is a sign of how political correctness has invaded even the time honored institution of hunting. To squabble amongst each other about whether we should or shouldn't shoot tree rats with a 22 seems so foolish it defies any sense of reason. It is done all the time and will be done a lot in the future with no problems. Case closed.

it's not political correctness, it's common sense
something you seem to be severely lacking

SavageSniper
January 20, 2009, 08:26 PM
Ok I have been following this post and watching it go pro-con like ocean waves. I was taught from a very early age my Daddy's rules of shooting. First never point a gun at something I did not intend to shoot. The next rule was to to either shoot down or up, never on a level. I have killed a few thousand squirrels in 40 years and the ones shot with a .22 about half of them up in a tree. I have never hurt anyone nor have I heard of anyone getting hurt from a .22 re-entering earths orbit. It is what a 30 grain bullet. If it is shot straight up, it will not be lethal coming down. Saw it on Myth Busters and that was with a 30-06. I know once you go below 90 degrees you maintain ballistics but I really don't think it would be lethal. Below degrees and then you have a problem.

wpcexpert
January 20, 2009, 09:22 PM
This turned out to be more than I had expected. I've been away for a few days. When I left, there were like 13 visits.

There have been some great responses:
No offense to the OP but this type of question seems like fishing on a hunting forum
Sportdog: Maybe a little fishy, but that was what I was doin...fishin. Isn't that the point of these forums? For someone to have an idea and share so that others that love the sport can comment and discuss?

Didn't your daddy teach you anything!!??? Mine would've and Still would slap me to the ground if he caught me doing something this irresponsible.
FREEDOM: Yes, the laws of shooting were drilled into me since I can remember. But Dad will still take a squirrel's head off from the tree top. That's sort of what inspired the OP.

Just so you know this is less than 1/2th the distance a 22lr shoots

I bout fell out of the chair.

What are you supposed to say to a troll post like this? "Gee fellas, I would NEVER do anything like taking a shot like that! I'm so righteous that I shudder at the very thought!

TROLL POST??? You might to go and do some more research on the poster before call ing anyone names. Troll...wow. You know, the first thing I do when I find a post that is fishy, I go and look at their other posts. That way you can find a pattern or something. Lots of folks are quick to troll somebody for an insightful post.

If a .22lr bullet were to make it 1000yds, at impact, it would be traveling less than 360fps. To accomplish the 1000yd shot, the angle would have to be almost exactly 40 degrees.

All I'm saying is, I've taken hundreds upon hundreds of shots up into the trees. Most kills but some misses. Folks have been doing it since the inception of the 22lr. I'll continue to do, and so will thousands others. All I was doing was fishing...and what did I catch you may ask...

Diversity is the single greatest asset humans have to offer. Without it, the world would be a very dull place.