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Bowhunter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been an exclusive deer/turkey hunter most my life, but I've noticed an abundance of treerats on my 50 acre farm. I've got a cousin and a girlfriend that haven't hunted before (hoping to get them into deer/turkey later this year) but I thought squirrel hunting would be a fun intro. The MDC doesn't have a whole lot of info on their website.

So I assume we all need a small game permit?

What firearm do most people use? .22?

Any tips? Recipes?

Thanks for your help!!!
 

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Squirrel hunting is as basic and easy as it gets. Take a good .22 when the leaves are off the trees, find a nice comfy place, and plant your buttocks. When the squirrels come out, shoot them in the head.:D Repeat as necessary:cheers:....

How the heck did someone start out deer hunting and never go tree rattin'?? That ain't normal! Tree rattin' oughta be mandatory before anyone can pick up a deer rifle/bow!

In all seriousness, though, it's how most folks my age started hunting, period. First you whet your appetite on something easy and abundant, then you graduate to the harder stuff like deer and turkeys. Remember that those animals were a lot more scarce then.
 

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Bowhunter
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I've always wanted to shoot the tree rats while deer hunting, but my dad never really introduced me to it. Our place is loaded with squirrels, so I think once the temperature warms up a little bit I'll be out there.
 

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[rquote=1546884&tid=107689&author=Kraus]So I've been an exclusive deer/turkey hunter most my life, but I've noticed an abundance of treerats on my 50 acre farm. I've got a cousin and a girlfriend that haven't hunted before (hoping to get them into deer/turkey later this year) but I thought squirrel hunting would be a fun intro. The MDC doesn't have a whole lot of info on their website.

So I assume we all need a small game permit?

What firearm do most people use? .22?

Any tips? Recipes?

Thanks for your help!!![/rquote]

For a new hunter, I would recommend a 20ga shotgun, lower recoil, better chance at a kill. A .22 is good for a novice shooter, but a shotgun is the place to start. I still use a 20ga single shot when them boogers are running. JMO
 

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[rquote=1546980&tid=107689&author=Kraus]Thanks! My cousin is a good shot but I might give the girlfriend the 20ga. Her eyes are pretty bad and she's a terrible shot. Hope she doesn't read this.[/rquote]

No prob, and I hope she doesn't read it either! you:stickfight:her
 

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Under appreciated
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I like to take a small camp stool and sit still. I never have much luck raoming around for them. I always liked just using a .22

I also really like sitting in ladder stands cause you get a lot of shots down intead of up.. good place to use a .17hmr.

Key is to sit still for a bit... they will forget you are there after about 15 minutes.

rats are not too intelligent. :D:D:D
 

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Your Local Know It All
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Good advice. I cut my teeth on squirrels like most and I still enjoy hunting them. As Rat stated they are not to smart. Good luck and check the recipes section for good ways to fix them critters.

BTH
 

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I need a new place to still hunt them. Grew up hunting with either a 12ga sb or a 410 bolt!
 

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You general hunting license will cover your limb bacon hunting and the season runs until February 15th. Missouri has the longest squirrel season in the nation.

Now...when it comes to hunting limb bacon, I'd rather do that as shoot a deer. The absolute best, most fun, historically accurate, proper an' fittin' firearm to use is a flintlock longrifle, preferably Southern Mountain is style, of either 32 or 36 caliber. Head shots only. If I can post a pic, here's how it's done...

[file]89313[/file]
 

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Sitting and waiting for them is ok fer some folks and sometimes you have no choice. As in when the woods floor is like walking through a bowl of corn flakes. I like to hunt them when the ground is soft and wet....then sneak through the woods nice an' slow like. Puts the "hunt" back into hunting!!!

Shotguns are ok and if I ever can't see the sights I expect I'll take one up. I just HATE picking shot out of my meat!!!! So, for me, it's a rifle...the one shown above.

They are just about perfect table fare. There's a thread going right now in small game with lots of good recipes.

Vic
 

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Egg wash, flour with salt and pepper added, hot peanut oil, and fry them until they are golden brown!
 

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[rquote=1547429&tid=107689&author=sharps4590] I just HATE picking shot out of my meat!!!! So, for me, it's a rifle...the one shown above.

Vic[/rquote]
That looks like a fun rifle to hunt squirrels with.:eek::
 

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Oh 'tis, 'tis!!! It's kept us in squirrels for a lot of years.

Vic
 

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If I could only hunt 1 animal for the rest of my live, it would be squirrel.

From the end of May till the last part of August, I always recommend being on your feet (that's not to say you're not going to be standing up against a tree for 15-20 minutes waiting for a good shot on one or more. I am always on the move keeping an eye out for swinging branches. Once you find one, I make my move and get withing 25-30 yards where my 20ga modified single shot will get them.
Mornings are always best.

As soon as the hickery nuts start up, you can think about sitting down and waiting for them to come to you. But if a squirrel is working another tree, I'm likely on the move to go get him and his buddies as they are rarely alone then. If shooting a shotgun, things get spooked up somewhat quickly so I'm likely to move on to the next batch of hickory trees rather than wait them out for an hour. It just depends, you can normally get away with 3-5 shots before it's time to move.
Mornings are still best but if you get an afternoon with highs in the 70's you'll be ok. But if it stays hot and muggy they aren't going to move till just about dark.

Early fall is a lot of fun and it's time to get the 22 out. Leaves are starting to get off the trees and you can't move around as much as you could in summer - they see and hear you better now. They're moving around a lot more too so they can come to you in about 1/2 the cases. That's why it's extra important when using a rifle to stop only where you have a rest. These things can come from nowhere sometimes. I like those 30-50 yard shots.

When all the leaves are off the ground, things really chance. Stalking is next to impossible as you go crunch with every step - so you are very likely to spook squirrels with every setup. They calm down though pretty quick. I'll sit for 20-45 minutes before getting up and moving. I like to keep to the top of ridges where they won't see you until the last minute when you find a place to sit down looking down the ridge.
The squirrels go into semi-hibernation. Hunting in the bitter cold is a waste of time; find you a sunny day where the highs are in the upper 30's or better.
I switch over to my 17hmr since 50-75 yard shots are normal. A 22 will do the job if you can arc it in. I like the 17 though as you are pretty comfortable with the fact they're dead and not wounded. That way you can keep seated and collect them when you're done instead of running and making a loud scene.
 

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[rquote=1547429&tid=107689&author=sharps4590]Sitting and waiting for them is ok fer some folks and sometimes you have no choice. As in when the woods floor is like walking through a bowl of corn flakes. I like to hunt them when the ground is soft and wet....then sneak through the woods nice an' slow like. Puts the "hunt" back into hunting!!!

Shotguns are ok and if I ever can't see the sights I expect I'll take one up. I just HATE picking shot out of my meat!!!! So, for me, it's a rifle...the one shown above.

They are just about perfect table fare. There's a thread going right now in small game with lots of good recipes.

Vic[/rquote]

I'm wiht you there, although my rifle is a little more modern than that. i use a ruger 10/22, with a nice scope, I love pickin those little furry guys off with a shot to the melon. I shot one this summer that has to be my longest with a .22. He jumped on a log about 75 yards out. I aimed at the tips of his ears and rolled him
 

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Bowhunter
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
[rquote=1550106&tid=107689&author=curtism1234]If I could only hunt 1 animal for the rest of my live, it would be squirrel.

From the end of May till the last part of August, I always recommend being on your feet (that's not to say you're not going to be standing up against a tree for 15-20 minutes waiting for a good shot on one or more. I am always on the move keeping an eye out for swinging branches. Once you find one, I make my move and get withing 25-30 yards where my 20ga modified single shot will get them.
Mornings are always best.

As soon as the hickery nuts start up, you can think about sitting down and waiting for them to come to you. But if a squirrel is working another tree, I'm likely on the move to go get him and his buddies as they are rarely alone then. If shooting a shotgun, things get spooked up somewhat quickly so I'm likely to move on to the next batch of hickory trees rather than wait them out for an hour. It just depends, you can normally get away with 3-5 shots before it's time to move.
Mornings are still best but if you get an afternoon with highs in the 70's you'll be ok. But if it stays hot and muggy they aren't going to move till just about dark.

Early fall is a lot of fun and it's time to get the 22 out. Leaves are starting to get off the trees and you can't move around as much as you could in summer - they see and hear you better now. They're moving around a lot more too so they can come to you in about 1/2 the cases. That's why it's extra important when using a rifle to stop only where you have a rest. These things can come from nowhere sometimes. I like those 30-50 yard shots.

When all the leaves are off the ground, things really chance. Stalking is next to impossible as you go crunch with every step - so you are very likely to spook squirrels with every setup. They calm down though pretty quick. I'll sit for 20-45 minutes before getting up and moving. I like to keep to the top of ridges where they won't see you until the last minute when you find a place to sit down looking down the ridge.
The squirrels go into semi-hibernation. Hunting in the bitter cold is a waste of time; find you a sunny day where the highs are in the upper 30's or better.
I switch over to my 17hmr since 50-75 yard shots are normal. A 22 will do the job if you can arc it in. I like the 17 though as you are pretty comfortable with the fact they're dead and not wounded. That way you can keep seated and collect them when you're done instead of running and making a loud scene. [/rquote]

Very insightful, thank you.
 

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I should add that you should always know what food is in season and where to find it, otherwise it's often a waste of time. The earlier in the season, the more important that is.
Water is not as important, though it doesn't hurt.


- Late May/June is mullberries
- Blackberries and grapes are good sources...July/August??? I forget
- July and August - you're looking for walnuts. They eat those because they have to not because they particuarlly like them. They may also taste some green hickories or acorns. The perfect mid-august setup is to go where there are both walnuts and hickories together so you're covered.
I should add those big fox squirrels love the field corn too so you can look right on the edge of the field.
- As soon as they have the hickories eaten, they'll move on to the acorns in early or mid-sept. Who knows, they may go back to walnuts for a couple weeks too, it just depends on the supply of hickories and how the oaks are comming along. Those wheat fields that are just comming up are a decent place to catch a fox squirrel in the open.
- Winter is the big woods is what you're looking for. Most of the time they're digging up acorns but when they're hungry they'll try to find just about anything that's left over from earlier in the year.
 
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