Squirrel Hunting Tips and Actionable Advice - Rifles HQ

Squirrel Hunting Tips and Actionable Advice

  • May 8, 2017

grey squirrel on the wooden platform

Once the leaves fall on the ground, each forest will become gray and dull. But if you know that this is the time gray squirrels come down from the trees and that they are ideal for hunting, you won’t think that the forest is so dull after all.

But, due to their size, behavior, and nature itself, hunting squirrels is different than hunting any other animal. That’s why you will need some tips on how to do it right!

1.    The right time of a year

All of you who want to know how to hunt squirrels must know when to hunt. Obviously, these animals are not present through the entire year and they cannot be found during the winter. This leaves autumn as the best time to hunt squirrels. Early fall or early season if you prefer the best time. There will be plenty of them and the weather will still be warm so that you will enjoy time in nature.

Bringing drinks and snacks will make your waiting far more pleasant. Yes, bringing something to sit on is recommended.

2.    Choose your weapon correctly

No matter how many tips you know and how much you discover every day, none of them will work if you made a mistake choosing your weapon. Most hunters will say that there are two alternatives here. The first one is shotguns. They are an easier option that is mostly popular among beginners. But, shotguns are loud so they will scare other squirrels and they are accurate at a distance of 40 yards and less.  In other words, shotguns shouldn’t be used! 

The best alternative are .22 rifles. Paired with a great scope, these weapons are quiet, lightweight and extremely accurate. Yes, they require precision, but once you mastered it, you will become a professional hunter. Some of the squirrel hunting guns we liked are:

  • REMINGTON 597– The rifle is the best for hunting small mammals in general, not only squirrels. It is accurate as soon as you take it out of the box. Let’s just add that it is the best autoloading rifle in the price range.

model 597 grey for hunting squirrels


  • Ruger 10/22 TAKEDOWN– Here we have a weapon that is favorite in the entire US. The magazine is very durable, allow components make it lightweight and comes with great performances.

black ruger 10 20 side viewblack ruger 10 20 side view

black ruger 10 20 side view

  • Ruger® No. 1 Centerfire Rifle– All of you who like to use just one shot to get the most from it should use this rifle. It is reliable, accurate and can withstand rough conditions.

ruger single shot rifle brown

ruger single shot rifle brown


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3.    Watch your steps

Walking and talking cannot be linked while hunting, we all know that. But, where you step is equally important. If you step on a branch or anything else that can make a sound, squirrels will run away. On the other side, it is impossible to avoid making any sound at all. The only thing to do is to move slowly and avoid stepping on anything that can make a sound.

We will also add the fact that you should stand still once you see a squirrel or you even see it running. Chasing it won’t get you anywhere.

4.    Train your eye to look for squirrels

If you want to know how to hunt squirrels, you will have to know how to find them, obviously. Due to different behavior, these animals have, compared to other mammals, locating them is difficult. All you can do is to see or hear them. The key point here is to train your eye so it can see a squirrel as soon as possible. Training will involve learning to pay attention to motion, rather than on figures. This is the best way to see a squirrel.

The second way is to train your eyes for looking unnatural shape in the forest. Both of the tips here are based on the squirrel movement. They run and then they stand still until the danger is gone. This is the moment to shoot.

5.    Approach the squirrel tactically

Many times you will see a squirrel on a branch, but it won’t see you. Now, most hunters will go directly towards the squirrel and shot. The problem is that they won’t have anything to shoot at when they come! Squirrels have superb hearing and vision, so they will notice you as soon as you move.

Instead, always approach a squirrel from an angle. This applies to all other animals because their nose and eyes are directed at the front of them, obviously.

6.    Using squirrel call

Have you ever tried calling a squirrel? Probably you have, but nothing happened. The thing with squirrel call is that it is a special ‘’language’’ so it must be used in an entirely different way than, let’s just say turkey call (squirrels are a lot smarter).

The best thing to do is to use squirrel call in the area between their tree and the food source. By doing this, you will lure them directly into a trap. Keep in mind that their tree can be 100 meters from the corn field or food source. You always should see a small improvised path, where squirrels move. Call them and wait.

Check the video below on how to use it properly:

7.    Fire and then wait

Using the rifles we have mentioned is the best coppice. Obviously, they will make a sound once a bullet is fired. All squirrels within a 100-yard radius will hear the shot! They will hide and stand still for a few minutes before they move again. This simply means that you must stand still for that period  before squirrels run again. They cannot make a difference between trees and people standing still.

After a few minutes, you can move again and look for a new squirrel. If you move straightaway as you took a shot, you would be a moving threat to other squirrels, so your chances will be lowered.

The main thing to remember:

In order to make sure you are a successful hunter, you will have to keep three things in mind. Choose the right time (autumn), choose the right weapon (.22 caliber) and train your eye to look for motion

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