View Full Version : when to hunt squirrel

March 31, 2005, 02:15 AM
Me and my buddy go out squirrel hunting a couple times a year, and sometimes we see a lot, sometimes none at all. Anybody know when they are out and active most? I know one things for sure, they know when deer gun season is. We were sitting by a tree and one ran right up to us and the little bastard had the balls to put his paw on my boot, then run off.

March 31, 2005, 07:51 AM
Here in Michigan they are most active at first light. I stalk with the rising sun in my face and that tends to silhoutte them in the trees and makes it easier to catch movement. A cheap jar of peanut butter (plastic) with holes poked in it can be productive as well. So are Fig Newtons :cool:

bill k
March 31, 2005, 10:53 AM
Good question, here's my 2 cents worth. You find all the squirrels when you're hunting something else. Case in point, I took my nephew out last week where I deer hunt. During deer season the little critters are everywhere. However deer season is now over, so I guess the squirrels know that and stay hidden. In the course of two days we saw 2, one of which was sitting on the porch or a house.

Ohio Annie
March 31, 2005, 11:39 AM
Gray squirrels and fox squirrels have different habitats and habits. The fox squirrels that I hunt are most active in the midday hours. I have the most success in the early or midseason. Hunting after leaf fall can help though fox squirrels spend more time on the ground than grays do.

March 31, 2005, 02:26 PM
when to hunt squirrel

I think the best time to hunt squirrels is when your outside... And for god sakes wear safetyglasses if you ignore my advice and use snakeshot indoors.

Here in Southwest Virginia I treat squirrls as a year-round pest. Except for dead of winter and dog-days of summer the little buggers are very active most of the day.

March 31, 2005, 03:07 PM
Bill K hit the nail on the head. I see more squirrels when I'm deer hunting than at any other time. :D
During my deer hunts I've observed the squirrels and found that they are very active in the morning after sunrise and in the mid afternoon before sunset. I don't stalk them but have had great succes finding a good spot and sitting and waiting at the base of a tree. It's funny how they keep showing up no matter how many of their buddies you've already blasted.
Squirrels tend to see you before you see them when you're walking through the woods and tend to circle around the opposite side of a tree as you walk past and you never even knew they were there. That's why I prefer to sit and wait.

March 31, 2005, 10:18 PM
I hunt in the mountains of western maryland, and find that fox squirrels and grays act a little different. However, both are active the first few hours of daylight on nice days. On windy days they still move a little, but it's really hard to see/hear them so you may not see any even though they're there.

Fox squirrels (at least where I hunt), although much larger than grays, are also MUCH quieter, and prefer to sneak along on downed trees rather than crash through dry leaves. Grays make enough noise to wake the dead.

I find that I can sneak up on most squirrels by still-hunting, but still sit for the first 90 minutes or so in the morning.....I like watching the woods wake up.

I have also noticed that just as the weather starts to get cool, they are really active on gray cloudy days - my guess is that they start to realize it's time to store some food for winter, but that's just my own guess.

They sure are fun to watch, and fun to hunt. Good luck.


March 31, 2005, 10:31 PM
Well, they usually show up on my bird feeders every morning around 7. Or they used to anyways.. ;)

But seriously, I've found that they are most active a little after sunrise or a little before sunset. Never seem to be out midday. If you happen to have a few hundred ears of indian corn lying around, dump them over a bank, every squirrel within 5 miles seems to come to feast, at any time of day. Thats just what i've been reading of course.


March 31, 2005, 10:48 PM
In Minnesota I see the reds in the pines and the grays in the oaks, most active on calm days, especially mornings. Of course you see more while deer hunting; when else are you sitting still in the woods trying to blend in?

Raymond Losli
March 31, 2005, 11:14 PM
Any day & Everyday is a GOOD day to shoot Squirrel. I got 3 yesterday & 1 crow, & I got 3 fluffy rats today.

OK one Thing... ( I caught myself doing this today)... I could have shoot more...but
don't get greedy / it's spring right now & if you shot the crap out of the fluffy-tail RATS now.
There making some litters of little one's. / More Shooting for Latter in a month or two down the road.... :D

March 31, 2005, 11:47 PM
Raymond Losli: You might take a look at the game laws regarding hunting. My guess is that you could be fined for shooting squirrels this time of the year since they are game animals (except reds and chipmunks). Unless you are trying to reduce the population by killing the mother squirrels this time of year. This is absolutely the worst time of the year to hunt squirrels. If I caught you on my property this time of the year, I'd turn you in to a warden. Get the hint-its ILLEGAL!.

April 1, 2005, 01:11 AM
Raymond Losli should be going by the regs in his own state. The rules vary a lot.

Raymond Losli
April 1, 2005, 01:40 AM
hang on
Hunting on Ag. land mostly/ not shooting big grays or reds/ these are ground squirrel.
then in central and eastern Oregon you can shoot sage rats & rock chucks also:
These are Pest / legal / also: there's a couple of non-natives ground squirrel that are to be shoot on site to.
The big Grays and Reds .(they get big up here). on BLM or private you need to be in season.& hunting Lic. / Game Squirrel
On Agriculture they will drop poison if there not kept in control. The ground squirrel get real bad here.

April 1, 2005, 07:14 PM
Hope I didn't overreact. I just get a little irked when people are shooting game animals out of season. I love to shoot the pest type "squirrels". I have yet to figure out why there are seasons on crows now??? But, what can I say? Yes, please follow the game laws in your state. That is the heart of what I was getting at.

Raymond Losli
April 1, 2005, 08:02 PM
Hey no problemo on the Squirrel ethics. 22-rimfire.

Crow you said a mouth full there. (my trigger finger shakin) Crow season ?
where I live I do not think there is an actual season for Crow. there not a game bird I they don't want a bird-tag like they do for all other different species of Foul. Farm pest is a farm pest. black and white view on that.
Know that for a fact but they expect you to use a Shotgun like all other game bird here.. I got to admit though I will pop one with the .22 LR if I get a chance. It is just so dam hard being a good guy all the time.
You really do not realize just how many Crow there are until you actually start taking count around here in the farm valleys, year round.

Raymond Losli
April 4, 2005, 11:06 PM
Back on the subject of Squirrel Hunting again.
Today was a very good day for Me... :) but not for one Ground Squirrel.... :(
Very little wind, fair light & He was Sitting & I was Waiting
200 yard shot off a bench with .223 with 50 grn Hornady.

Fat White Boy
April 5, 2005, 01:14 PM
My friends and I shoot ground squirrels here in California. We use varmint rifles on them because of the ranges involved. The furthest I have hit one is over 300 yds. I use a .22-250 with a 5X-20X-40 scope. I know in the East/Midwest/South squirrels are eaten. Needless to say, we don't eat ground squirrels. We do have gray squirrels here and there is a season for them. But ground squirrels are a pest and you can shoot them year 'round.

Raymond Losli
April 5, 2005, 11:35 PM
fatWhiteBoy, nice shot @ 300 yds. pretty small target @ that range. with a .22 center fire.
I bet you smiling from ear to ear after that one.... :D
We have had several mild winters in a row here and the rodents are already filthy thick already.

April 6, 2005, 12:25 AM
In ID, the crow season is from August 1 to July 31 (yes you read that right!), and there are no special permits required. I cannot figure why Fish and Game ever bothered creating a season for them. But they did. :confused: :D