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Squirrel season under-appreciated

August 14, 2010 at 10:44 AM

SPRINGFIELD STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER

The hunting glass can be half full, rather than half empty if you walk around the table and take another look. Hunters often complain that hunting access is becoming more restricted. Maybe they’re should expand their search. Right now, there is a largely ignored hunting opportunity that is challenging, and requires very little equipment. It is available on public land all over the state. All it takes is a site permit, a hunting license and a habitat stamp. Squirrel season started in the Southern Zone on Aug. 1.

Many of us cut our hunting teeth in the squirrel timbers, taking a single shot .22 rifle and a handful of bullets. We learned how to watch and listen, and move quietly. We learned to wait for a good shooting opportunity, and we learned that opportunity doesn’t always present itself.

Squirrel hunting was our warm up for the rest of the hunting year. We had the chance to see which way the deer traveled in the morning. We watched the quail, pheasants and turkeys come into the feeding areas. Besides keeping an eye on the treetops, there was always something new to see. On Sunday mornings, Lloyd and I stayed in the squirrel timbers until the last possible minute. We wore coveralls over our good clothes so that all we had to do peel them off, put on our shined shoes and head straight to Sunday school.

The squirrels that make a living out where the trails aren’t paved may look like city squirrels, but they are a whole different critter. Wild country squirrels aren’t going to sit on the ground and chatter at you. Squirrels in the tall timber avoid detection and are masters of escape. If you see one on the ground, it will go up a tree as soon as it sees you. You may have to sit still for half an hour, or more, just to catch a glimpse of the one who’s dropping nutshells on the ground beside you. If he knows you’re down there, he’ll circle to the backside of the tree and just wait you out.

Squirrel season goes from now until January. No other hunting opportunity gives us the chance to hunt in three seasons and to see a real life time lapse as the woods changes from green, to orange and red, to bare and brown. Once you’ve gone squirrel hunting a time or two, you may wonder why you waited so long.

The pace of squirrel hunting lends itself to taking young hunters along. They get to see what hunting is like before they climb up in a deer stand. Spotting a squirrel half way up in a hickory tree will pay dividends later on when they are trying to spot a deer moving through the brush. A youngster who learns to move quiet and sit still on a squirrel hunt, is in a good position to move to the head of the deer hunting class.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I use a single shot bolt action .22 short, long, long rifle and a single shot 3” .410 and have a great time. Its one of my favorite things to do even if I don’t get to see one. Took my son out opening day and we got one and then went and had breakfast in town . It was super cool to have some one on one time. Later when the leaves start to come down I will get out the .22 WMR for some longer range shots. I’m glad its ignored other wise I’m sure there would be others who would ruin it for the folks who just like to get out in the woods and enjoy nature. Good luck to all.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/18 at 11:08 PM

I agree, I just love using .22’s. I’m sure it’ not just me as other people are also thinking practical these days.
Me and the boys have another thing scheduled in a couple of weeks on some private land scouted from Acreage for sale and we plan on taking the .22 rifles this time. Will make for a great weekend definitely.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/29 at 12:40 AM

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