More: Kids and Squirrel Hunting

Over the course of this series of articles, I’m going to discuss 3 types of squirrel hunting. Only you can decide which method fits the age and  experience level of the youngster you are mentoring.

Of course, weather and hunting conditions will also affect your choice.

First Type of Squirrel Hunting

 

A Douglas Squirrel

A Douglas Squirrel

 

Stalking is the most common type of squirrel hunting. If your pupil has learned the basic parts of keeping silent, moving slowly and learning to watch for squirrels (see Part 1 for more info), then this type of hunting puts all of that into practice.

Because kids have a hard time staying still, stalking helps them work off their extra energy.

Discussing the type of ground that you will walk over will be important. Few kids understand the difficulty of traveling quietly over dry, crisp leaves.

If the area you are hunting is parched dry, sitting down and waiting for squirrels may be the best idea.

If you have an opportunity to “scope out”  the area before the day you will be hunting, it helps to find places where squirrels have been feeding.

Then you can find likely hiding places or sitting positions. By clearing noise producers (dry leaves and twigs) out of your hiding/sitting places, it will make things easier when you are trying to move around in the dark before dawn.

How the Weather Affects Hunting Squirrels

Squirrels are like kids — they like to be out on calm days. They don’t seem to be troubled by sun, clouds or light rain.

However, windy days or turbulent weather helps squirrels decide to hunker-down in their nests or tree holes.

Stalking is more difficult when the leaves are on the ground. Squirrels are noted for their keen eyesight. With no leaves to hide you, squirrels will probably see you long before you catch sight of them.

Squirrel Hunting Season

Each state sets its own dates for hunting squirrel.  Unlike turkey hunting season, squirrel season has nothing to do with breeding.  This is because squirrels reproduce throughout the year, rather than in one season.

Some states have spring and fall squirrel season, some have just hunting in the fall and a few states have year-round hunting.

Next time: Hunting squirrels on water … and more!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Taking Kids Hunting for Squirrels

Taking Kids Hunting for Squirrels

In the Fall, Squirrels Move to Trees With Nuts!

Now that we know the diet and range of squirrels, let’s go hunting!  The fourmain things I think kids learn from squirrel hunting are: 

  • patience
  • stealth (how to walk slowly and quietly)
  • an appreciation for silence & the sounds of nature
  • bonding with the ‘teacher’ – kids know that their parents’ time is valuable; by taking time, they show they value their son/grandson/niece/neighbor (and that develops self-esteem)

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Kids need to complete a hunter education course before being given a gun.

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You will find that you really enjoy teaching youngsters how to hunt squirrels (or anything else). It’s an opportunity to continue an American tradition.

I can’t tell you how many reluctant “hunting-lore teachers” dread the experience (before the fact) and beam with pleasure after the experience.

It’s your opportunity to share your love of hunting with the next generation.

Preliminary Training

If kids learn these skills before the day of the hunt, it will be more enjoyable for all.

  • Teach them how to walk “Indian style” – quietly thru the woods; the object is not be be seen or heard; twigs, leaves, rocks require different approaches
  • Teach them how to walk silently on dry leaves (noise alerts the squirrels; very difficult to keep silent on crackling leaves)
  • Why and how to move in slow motion (swatting a fly, turning your head quickly alerts squirrels to motion and movement)
  • Teach hunting lore (how to spot where squirrels have been feeding; what kind of trees local squirrels prefer, etc.)
  • Teach kids to recognize signs of squirrel activity

There are skills you can share that will help them to trick squirrels – who have excellent hearing and seeing abilities —

  • You can use the squirrel’s chattering noise to cover your noise
  • They create lots of noise when there are multiple squirrels
  • They create noise when they are breaking into shells (their attention is diverted and you can move your position or gun)
  • Squirrels can’t hear your noise over their noise

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Next time: 3 types of squirrel hunting; equipment needed and more!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 9:20 pm  Comments Off on Taking Kids Hunting for Squirrels  
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