Your Reasons to Winter Squirrel Hunting

Introduction

Most people dismiss winter squirrel hunting due to the small size of squirrels. That’s quite unfair. There is much more to squirrels than it seems. Despite a single squirrel may not provide enough meal for a family, it is enough for one person. Squirrels are delicious if you prepare them in the right manner.

Squirrels are one of the species you can hunt through all the seasons including the winter season. This is because this game animal become comparatively available and easy to hunt in winter season.

Mornings are the best times to hunt since you’ll get squirrels still in their nests or on the nearest ground. To get the best out of your hunting, you need to have squirrel hunting gear in winter.

This article gives out reasons why you need to chase winter squirrels. Read on to find effective winter squirrel hunting tips.

In considering winter hunting if you are looking for rifle scope for your rifle you make sure that your rifle scope is weather proof or at least fog proof. You can learn about some fog proof rifle scope by reading this blogs: Best Rimfire Scope under 200, Best Rifle scope under 200, Best long range rifle scopes, Best .22 Mag Scope , Best 22 Rimfire Scope .

Food

Food is an essential need in everyone’s life. In winter, getting food is sometimes tricky. It is the period where most people prefer staying indoors. Stocking of food during such times can be of great help in the future. The weather during winter is so cold. There are so many options of what you can use as food in such seasons.

Squirrels are of many possibilities. Who doesn’t love a fresh cooked squirrel in their meal? Fox and Grey squirrel are favorite among the hunters. This is mostly due to their size and the fact that they provide the most meat to a hunter. Red squirrels are also hunted by some.

Although a single squirrel may not provide enough meal for your family, one squirrel is enough for one person. Besides, some squirrels are big enough for two people. When well prepared, these animals are very delicious. They are easy to hunt during the first seasons of winter. If you kill lots of them, they can serve you for the next winter season.

Winter squirrel hunting in Michigan is a very popular and common practice by the locals. Michigan people can have a good source of food winter squirrel hunting . In Michigan, generally the two largest tree squirrels, fox squirrel and gray squirrel, are only allowed to hunt in winter between Sept. 15 – Mar. 31 by the Michigan department of natural resources authority  .

Reduce the squirrel population       

In most areas, the squirrel population is out of control and sometimes irritates the human neighbors. These small creatures multiply so fast and have a vast community. This means that you have a lot of animals to hunt and have a delicious meal with your family. Winter squirrel hunting can significantly reduce their population.

Squirrels are animals that can attack your store and cause harm. They feed on grains so severely. When you reduce their population, you save your store and your grains on the agro field.


Photo Source – Internet

It is the best season

Do squirrels move in cold weather?

During winter, squirrels reduce their movement and generally stay in their den. There are many kinds (more than 200 species) of squirrels and some of them find their mate and hibernate in this cold weather. In winter, some squirrel kinds come out a bit late in shiny morning when the weather a bit warmer. That time they generally stay in the tree ground to eat fallen mast of the trees, pinecones etc.    

Will squirrels come out in the cold?

Research shows that animals spend most of their time in their beds and rarely step out in search of food. It is because they need to reserve that energy for future use. Their shelters are mainly in areas away from the drifting snow. As a hunter, you must focus on such places.

 Is squirrel hunting good in the snow?

In winter, as temperatures rises because of sunshine, late mornings (around 8am to 9am) are the best times to start squirrel hunting. Because, that time, they move out in search of food. One can spot this small game animal quickly compared to the other seasons because less or no leaves in the tree, less bushes and white snow in the ground. If you have a good camouflage hunting clothing then you are in a better position to hunt them. This makes squirrel hunting in snow a good thing.

After finishing the hunt, if you have a lot of squirrel to carry and too heavy for you,  it is easy to drag it on the snow than the ground. Since, snow is very slippery.

Besides, one can quickly note the squirrel movements in the nearest woods and in the highways if there is no heavy snowfall. It is also so easy to notice blood of your animal if it is wounded and flee away, so you can track and catch them.

Automatic freezer

Unlike other seasons, butchering squirrel meat during the winter season is very easy. This makes squirrel hunting in snow ideal as the snow acts as a natural preservative. During other seasons, field dressing is usually a race against time to avoid meat from spoiling. Low temperatures enable you to prepare the meat at your own pace.

However, some seasons are too cold that you can’t let out meat for so long before it freezes too solid. I mean, who likes butchering frozen meat? Frozen meat is hard to cut through, and its temperature is just unbearable. The only advantage is that it lasts long before going bad.

Camo is cheap

Snow camo is cheap compared to other camos. Pure white camo is the best and provides excellent results. When there is snow, you need to put on your camo and ensure that everything is white. This is one of the best squirrel hunting tips for beginners.

Squirrels will hardly identify you as everything will be white. However, it is difficult for you to notice their movements because everything tends to be white.

Great Hunting experience

If hunting is in your passion and makes you happy, then you will also enjoy winter hunting. If you have a chance of winter squirrel hunting then take it. You can even take family members and friends with you. You don’t have to be bothered by ticks or mosquitoes while you hunt. The squirrels are visible in the winter easily since no heavy cover of trees and bushes. Just find a suitable spot , wait for the game and hunt it when it will be in your shooting range.


Photo Source – Internet

Some tips on winter squirrel hunting

If you see a good amount of squirrel movement in a certain area then take a stand in a distance of couple hundred yards if possible, stay patiently and let the squirrel come to you.  If you don’t keep the distance they will see you first and be hidden before you know it.

You may find a good amount of fox squirrels nearby cornfields, so you may look into that option. If you know some location of den trees, sit tight in there and wait. Winter squirrels may show up there too. You can also go to mountains or hilly tracks where wind may be favorable and squirrels are out of their dens. 

If you still hunting, make sure you walk very slowly , stop now and then, scan both ground and tree branches, try to listen very carefully the little noises the squirrels make, wait for few minutes there without any movement (if possible), if nothing shows up, move ahead stealthily for 20 to 40 yards and repeat the same process.

In winter the leaves that cover the trees are no more that may be advantageous and as well as disadvantageous for us since we can spot on the squirrels easily, so can they. Squirrels have good eye sights just like deer and ducks. So, lightweight hunting Binoculars, proper camouflage and maintain a reasonable distance can solve this problem.

Do not hunt squirrel in the coldest and very strong windy weather. Hunt in late morning to midday hours when the weather is warm. Start your winter hunting by 8 a.m. or 9 a.m.

Hunting squirrels in January

People always inquiring if there are squirrels in January since January is a dry month. Hunting squirrels in January can be challenging for someone. But if you are smart you can handle it. In this time of the year tree mast already fallen on the ground.

So after the bitter cold night, the squirrels come out from the nest and stay on the tree ground scratching through the leaves  in late morning (around 8 – 9 a.m.) when weather is warmer. So you can easily find and hunt them on the ground if you stay in the right spot on the right time.

What is the best caliber for squirrel hunting?

This is a questions asked frequently by beginner hunters. A hunter with perfect eye can kill squirrels with .22 or .17 caliber rifle scope. But remember, if you use .17 caliber, you must aim for the head shot. Since the bullet is comparatively big for squirrel and the typical squirrel hunting distance (less than 60 yards mostly) can damage the meat and the hunted squirrel may not suitable for your memorial photos.

Some hunters prefer to hunt squirrels by Air Rifle and Shot Gun.

Squirrel hunting in pine trees

Squirrel eat pinecones all year-round. If you cannot find any mast making trees in your hunting locations, look for pine trees. To figure out their existence scan the ground around the pine trees and search for disposed pinecones, gnawed cone petals or piles of cone petals.

Conclusion

How do you hunt squirrels in the winter? I believe you now have the answer to this question. Winter squirrels can be of great help during the winter season. According to research and experience, winter squirrel hunting is much easier than hunting in other seasons. Squirrels are in plenty during this season. This article has outlined some reasons as to why you need to hunt winter squirrels.

Merrill Daley
 

Hi, my name is Merrill Daley, a Shooting expert & Part time blogger. My articles were featured on the industries biggest publications, because of the high quality of research. After shooting almost 5 years, I decided to start my own blog Scope Picks.

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