Indiana Squirrel Hunting
                                                        For many Hoosiers,
                                                        hunting squirrels has
                                                        been their introduction
                                                        into hunting.  So many
                                                        of us have cut our teeth
                                                        hunting squirrels.  It was
                                                        where we learned how to
                                                        shoot, sit still, observe
                                                        nature, and be at peace.

                                                        If you have not been out
                                                        squirrel hunting and you
                                                        would like to know where
                                                        to start, you are in the
                                                        right place.

If you don't own a 22 caliber rifle, one can be had at a very
reasonable price.  You can shoot it the old fashioned way with iron
sights, or add a scope for a few bucks more.  The ammunition is
very inexpensive to buy.  So what is stopping you from going after
these fine table fare animals?  Are you afraid that your friends
won't understand why you hunt and eat tree rats?  Perhaps you
don't know how to clean them, or how to cook them.  Well, rest
easy,  We have some easy to cook recipes, and we have a video of
how to clean a squirrel before as well.

If you think you might not know how to hunt for these little tree
dwelling creatures, sit back with a cup of coffee and read on my
Hoosier friend.  We will discuss how we hunt squirrels and will invite
others to share their ideas as well.  Together, we can be enjoying
some limb chickens in no time.

Stalking

One of the easiest ways to hunt these critters is to just slowly
stroll through the woods, using your eyes more than your legs,
and see if you can see one.  Odds are it will see you too, but you
should be able to distinguish which tree it is up and set up on it.  
Just find a nearby tree that gives you good shooting angles of the
tree the squirrel is up, and wait for it to move.  It is best if you
know the general area the squirrel is in.  A trick you can employ is
to throw a small limb over to the other side of the tree.  A lot of
the times, the squirrel will hear it and move around to the opposite
side of the tree the noise was made on.  This will give you a clear
shot.  If they went into a hole in the tree, you will want to set up at
a 45 degree angle to the hole and wait for them to pop out.  You
don't want to be straight out in front of the hole as the squirrel will
sit with just it's head out of the hole for quite some time to verify it
is safe.

Sitting

This method is simple, easy, and loads of fun if you are set up in an
active feeding area.  It works best if you find a group of bigger
trees that show squirrel activity.  Perhaps there are nests built and
the leaves are still green.  Maybe they are cutting a lot of acorns in
the tree, so they all gather in these trees in the morning for
breakfast.  It could be along the edge of the woods near a corn
field and there are fresh corncobs laying at the base of these
trees.  One of my favorite places to set up is in a grove of old
growth pine trees.  We're talking pine trees that only have the very
tops that are still green, the bottom limbs have all died off and for
the most part, fallen off.  Just find yourself a nice tree to lean up
against and wait for the action to begin.  Daybreak is a good time
to see the squirrels to start coming in to feed, but they will also
show up at lunch time and late afternoon.

Patterning

I like to refer to this as sniper hunting, but you are basically
patterning the squirrels.  The best time to do this is in the fall after
the corn is picked out of the field.  The  pattern can be figured out
while you are sitting in your deer blind.  See what times the
squirrels show up and where the biggest concentration of the
squirrels are at.  Once, while sitting in my deer stand, I counted
over 20 squirrels feeding along the edge of a woods and a picked
corn field.  When I go back to do some squirrel hunting, I now have
an idea where to set up in the edge of the field to wait for the
squirrels to show up.

Move and Wait

This combines the stalk and the sitting methods.  You slowly stalk
your way through the woods looking for any activity.  When you
find a likely location, you sit for a half hour to an hour and just
watch the trees.  If nothing happens, slowly stalk on to a new
location.  Many times using this method you will find new areas to
set up on at first light.

Obvious

This is like the title says, obvious.  Know your quarry.  Whenever I
hunt a woods that has corn planted around it, I slowly walk around
the woods.  Not only am I watching the trees nearest to my
location, but farther down as well.  A lot of the times, you will see
the squirrel run up a tree.  You might see an ear of corn sitting on
a limb up a big oak tree.  Sure that corn could have been there for
awhile, but more times than not, you just interrupted a squirrel
having dinner.  I have actually seen an ear fall from a tree.  If you
are walking through some old growth pines, watch for falling
crumbs from the squirrels chewing on their cones.  And finally,
don't forget to walk along these lone ditches that go through a
corn field.  If they have oak trees on the banks, odds are, there are
squirrels there that have not seen a lot of hunting pressure.


Any time that you can
spend in nature is good
time.  Add in the bonus
of getting some mighty
fine table fare and you
are doing fine.  With a
lot of public lands that
are available, squirrel
hunting is a great way
to introduce your young
one into hunting, refine
shooting skills, and get
some more time out in
the woods.