how to hunt squirrel

How To Squirrel Hunt: Tips & Tricks To Bag A Mess Of Squirrels

It’s early to mid March and the weather is starting to warm up in most areas of the United States and squirrel hunting season is here. It’s time to renew your hunting license for another year and begin the squirrel hunting season all over again.

When the weather warms up then it’s time for a good ole fashion squirrel hunt. The frustrating challenges that bring a hunter to the woods to squirrel hunt can be very rewarding. In early season, you’ll be sure to come out with a few ticks and mosquito bites.

Squirrel hunting is tricky but it can teach you very good skills about nature and the woods. It’s also good to take beginners because you don’t need much but a gun.

I’ve compiled a list of the most important factors you need to know to start squirrel hunting.

When is the best time to squirrel hunt

Squirrels are pretty active most of the day. They are continuously scurrying the ground for berries, acorns and a variety of nuts and seeds.

As any deer or turkey hunter already knows, one of the best times to hunt for squirrels is early morning right after sunrise. You’ll hear them scurrying in the leaves and see them jumping from branch to branch.

If a squirrel sees you, it will usually start barking at you and vibrating its tail. This makes it an easy way to spot the squirrel.

Best place to hunt squirrels

When squirrel hunting, you should setup somewhere near a nut tree such as a hickory, walnut, etc. If you listen carefully, you will hear little stems and tree pieces and nuts falling to the ground which gives away the location of the squirrel.

If you’re not seeing anything within 20 minutes, feel free to walk to a different location and find another set of hickory or walnut trees.

Another technique is to continually walk throughout the woods until you see movement and easily move around until you are able to take a shot.

During the early season if the weather is hot, squirrels like to be near cool streams or creeks with freshwater.

What gun to use for squirrel hunting?

For squirrel hunting, my recommended gun to use is a 12 gauge shotgun using #6 or #7 shot size. You normally hit the target and have less pellets in the meat.

Another popular gun to use is a .22 caliber rifle, especially for the little kiddos.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re comfortable and accurate with your gun because the size of the squirrel gives you a very small target.

What is the squirrel distress call?

There are calls to mimic the sound of a juvenile squirrel in trouble. When squirrels hear your call, they will usually leave their hiding places and bark as well. This gives you the opportunity to take a shot. You can also remove a leafy branch from a tree and ruffle that up and down to mimic the sound of a predatory hawk.

Other things to remember while squirrel hunting include:

  • Early morning and late afternoon provide the best squirrel hunting
  • Take a trained hunting dog to lead you to the squirrels
  • Never shoot until you’re confident about your target
  • Be patient


Hopefully these tips will get you out in the woods and fill your daily limit of squirrels.

Once you have your mess of squirrels, it’s time to get them cleaned and into the fryer. Here is a video we put together on How To Clean Squirrel.

Be sure to check back often as we write up more articles on how to hunt squirrel.

What gun do you use to hunt squirrels? A shotgun or a rifle?


  • Hey folks! I'm Trey Copeland, founder of Made To Hunt. I'm from Kentucky and love the outdoors. I've been hunting or fishing in many states including KY, MO, MS, AR, TN and FL as well as Mexico and Costa Rica. For more updates follow me on Twitter.

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One Comment

  1. My father and I would squirrel hunt from sun up til about lunch time every year. It was a good tradition that we no longer have. Running the dogs to find those squirrels was an excitement I’ll never forget.

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