I'm happy for you that your wife wants to hunt squirrel. I sure wish that my wife did.
Here are a few tips from my grandpa that I've passed on to my grandkids, and a few thoughts on the right gun.
- I'd suggest a 20 gauge for the wife and that or a 12 gauge for you. I'd use either number 6 shot or number 7 1/2. These days I use a 22 lever action with a scope, but if I was really food hunting, I'd use the shotgun and I'd use a full choke if you have screw-in chokes.
- Fill a small bag or a pocket with pebbles or acorns and find an area with plenty of oak trees and acorns. Sneak in there, but assume the squirrels know you're there. Sit and be quiet and wait 5 minutes and then flick pebbles into the brush or onto the leaves on the ground. To a squirrel, that means that other squirrels are eating acorns and dropping the bits and shell on the forest floor. They'll then come out of hiding. Fire away and either wait there and try it again or relocate.
- If you have a squirrel up a tree in front of you and he knows you are there, he will forever be on the other side of the tree from you. Leave your wife on this side of the tree and you make a little noise as you go to the other side. He'll relocate to your wife's side of the tree and she can blast him.
- Best hunting times are early in the morning or late in the evening and on days with little wind. You can spot squirrels at a distance by looking for moving branches as they travel from tree to tree. That's harder to do on a windy day.
- Once you have 'acquired' a squirrel or two, I usually gut them in the woods but don't skin them out till I get home. I'll usually put the gutted critter in a pouch in my hunting jacket.
- You do need a compass and you need white toilet paper. Let's say you shoot 3 squirrels from where you sat. You'll quickly forget exactly where that squirrel fell. I use the compass to shoot an azimuth to the squirrel locations where they fell. As you get up to get the little bodies and to relocate, put a small patch of the toilet paper on a twig where you were and walk the azimuth line to each squirrel from that marked spot. When I used to hunt the Louisiana swamps, if you didn't use that compass, good luck finding the squirrel you shot.
- One last thing. Gray squirrel tastes better than Fox squirrel. I don't know why. Just does. And when I skin them, I cut the skin around their middle and pull it off one end at a time. And Grandpa fried the heads and then ate the brains. He loved the squirrel brains, but I just couldn't go there. Still can't. Might get Mad Squirrel Disease....