Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Summertime Squirrel Hunting
By Steve Hickoff
Admit it—you miss being out in the woods. Spring turkey hunting ended too fast. Here are some reasons why you should consider summertime squirrel hunting and how-to once you do:
Hang tree stands for early fall bow seasons while scouting and hunting summer squirrels.
Ride to scout. Search out squirrel haunts with your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side. Four-wheel to spots that hold this small game. Cut the engine. Survey the habitat. Plan your stalk. At worst, you have an excuse to ride some more.
Get an older edition of “The Joy of Cooking” and you’ll find culinary squirrel wisdom inside. Does squirrel taste like chicken? No, but it goes well in Brunswick stew recipes. Many game cookery titles offer squirrel cooking options.
HOW TO DO IT
1. Check your state’s hunting regulations. Numerous locations offer summer squirrel hunting opportunities. You don’t have to put your turkey hunting camouflage away just yet—wear it for squirrels. When does squirrel season open in your state? Mark that date.
2. Ride to the spot you’ll hunt. Ease quietly into the woods. Move either with a slow stalking rhythm, or simply sit with your back against a tree the way you would turkey hunting. Both work. Mix it up.
3. Find what they eat. Look for nut-rich woods (old mast and new as fall approaches), with shagbark hickories, white oaks, and beech trees. Sit nearby. Chances are squirrels that spooked on your approach will reveal themselves within the hour.
4. Lurk near den trees. Dens are those leafy basketball-sized dwellings you see sitting at the tops of oaks and such. These reflect squirrel activity (old and new).
5. Shotguns (No. 6 loads are favored by many), and .22 rifles can be used, including pellet guns. Check your law book for firearms regulations in your state.
6. Like to call your wild game? Me too. Use squirrel calls, from standard plastic single-reed options to modern bellows-type calls; both can work. Squeak. Bark. Make that weird clicking you hear from squirrels. It can pull one into view, sometimes from behind a tree where it had been hiding—ideally in range.