Wanting to Learn - Squirrel and Rabbit hunting

Discussion in 'Small Game' started by 00dlez, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. 00dlez

    00dlez New Member

    18
    Aug 21, 2014
    I've been wanting to learn to hunt and dress small game for a few years now (look how old my account is!) but having not grown up a hunter, it's been easy to put it off. I come by the forums every now and again, and see all the great stuff you guys/gals are doing but always have an excuse...

    This year I wanted to stop giving myself excuses so I went out and got my Hunter education squared away and a .22lr/20gauge over-under now lurks in the safe.

    What I need now is someone willing to show me the ropes - I could read a book or watch some online tutorials, but learning in person is far better. I'd hate to strike out on my lonesome and bag some squirrels only to bugger them up and waste the meat.

    Are there any places that you know of recommend that do this sort of thing - farms/hunting clubs? Anyone willing to teach me? I recall a thread some years ago that was kind of an open invite/family event... Something like that would be great too - I'm starting at the same place as a lot of the 8 year olds learning anyway.

    Realize its a bit of an odd request - happy to meet/speak or even buy you a dinner to talk it over. I'm in the StL area, but willing to drive ~3 hours to hunt (less obviously if you wanted to meet in person first).
     
  2. fishshooter

    fishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Reform
    Sorry didn't see the St. Louis area, we have some eastsiders that frequent here.
     

  3. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    Some of the best squirrel hunting of the year is close. Maybe you should post your general location and someone close can help out. Welcome.
     
  4. BackyardBandit

    BackyardBandit Don't mind me

    Jan 12, 2012
    West St. Louis Co.
    How old are you? Just getting into shooting guns?
     
  5. Cook

    Cook Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    I was in the same boat,never grew up around it,so learned on my own.Learned all the wrong things,and took years to learn what a mentor could have taught me in a month or two.Good luck,I'm 1600 miles away..but keep asking around,you be glad you did.
     
  6. crappiehunter18

    crappiehunter18 Active Member

    633
    Nov 9, 2014
    1st rule for squirrels IDENTIFY POISON IVY,POISON OAK!Don't lean against a tree that has them growing on pr around it.Just saying...
     
  7. rat

    rat Legbone

    Dec 13, 2005
    As for squirrels, there are some youtube instructionals to your avail, it isnt too difficult at all.

    As for the hunting, find some ground with timber, walk slowly and take a small stool and sit for 15 or 20 minutes at a time.. after a while they forget you are there and will go about their business and give you chances.
    Dont feel like you HAVE to shoot them in the head with the .22. There is no shame in killing squirrels with a shotgun, just so you can get used to hunting them and learn it.

    Be respectful of other hunters if you are on public ground, try to go through the week if you can to minimize other traffic. It shouldnt be hard to find public ground that doesnt get much pressure during the summer, especially through the week.

    Good luck, report back.
     
  8. tinker

    tinker Active Member

    352
    Dec 21, 2011
    MO Pike county - troy
    Treat your hunting clothes with permethrin . Hickory trees will be getting hit hard in middle of August. Hunt in morning. Before it gets to hot. Shoot a few. Then soak them in a bucket of cool water for a while. Then cut a slit in middle of their back get your fingers inside skin and pull away from each other. Skin will come off good. Then snip off paws. Then gut up belly n pull out guts. Wash off in clean water
    Throw them in crock pot with chicken broth. Till they are tender. Yum.
     
  9. 00dlez

    00dlez New Member

    18
    Aug 21, 2014
    I live in St. Louis City, more than willing to drive ~3 hours if needed
     
  10. 00dlez

    00dlez New Member

    18
    Aug 21, 2014
    Just turned 31 - In my mind I'm still new to shooting since I didn't grow up with it, but I've owned firearms for several years now and am very competent and safe. Shoot once or twice a month on my own, maybe 2-3 classes of some kind a year.
     
  11. rat

    rat Legbone

    Dec 13, 2005
    Is your .22/20 guage a savage 24 by chance?
     
  12. 00dlez

    00dlez New Member

    18
    Aug 21, 2014
  13. MOGC

    MOGC Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    SE Ozark's
    The advice about poison ivy is spot on. Irritating as heck. Where do you find poison oak in Missouri? It's pretty rare here.
     
  14. crappiehunter18

    crappiehunter18 Active Member

    633
    Nov 9, 2014
    Like I said.Identify.I have no clue.Went looking for chanterelles last summer walked thru pasture(hadn't bush-hogged yet)to the timber,picked up my Miniature Aussie and put her on my shoulder,next day I looked like I had radiation poisoning on my neck.NO idea what it was,but if it's itchy gives you a rash...I'll find it!
     
  15. flatlander_

    flatlander_ Really? Show me. .

    Poison oak has only been documented in 6 Missouri counties, Douglas, Mississippi, Ozark, Scott, Shannon and Taney. It is rare within those counties and is usually found in glades.
     
  16. MOGC

    MOGC Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    SE Ozark's
    Correct...
     
  17. gurgalunas

    gurgalunas Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    Platte City
    Too bad you are not west side. I don't hunt squirrels per se, but have tons. Kill plenty as they tear up bird feeders, dig up my chestnut and oak seedlings, and chew into the cabin... **** things. Can't wait for my 4 year old to get big enough to thin them with a pellet gun.
     
  18. dhaverstick

    dhaverstick High-tech Hillbilly

    970
    Jan 12, 2012
    Fair Grove, MO
    I love to squirrel hunt! Unfortunately, right now is not a good time to do it for several reasons; 1) they're not very active because it's so hot, 2) they're in between good food sources, and 3) the ticks and mosquitoes will eat you alive. In another month, though, the mast crop will start to ripen and then it is game on! Find yourself a good stand of oaks and hickories and you will have a blast. Hickory trees are my favorite to hunt. Look around on the forest floor for piles of whittled hickory nut hulls. When you find some, back off from that tree about 20 yards and wait. If you're patient, you'll be able to kill several out of the same tree. They just can't get enough hickory nuts. They're easy to spot in the trees too because you can hear them cutting on a nut and hear the hull pieces falling on the ground. Good luck!

    Darren

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    knoxdeer likes this.
  19. DoubleLiver

    DoubleLiver Gentry County, NE KS

    272
    Aug 20, 2015
    Dakota County, MN
    Rabbits are much easier to clean.
     
  20. GTOHunter

    GTOHunter Well-Known Member

    Buy Your Small Game Tag (unless You already have) and find a local Conservation Area or Mark Twain Forest near You and go Squirrel Hunting.I like early mornings or late evenings the best....or after a nice rain.You go out in the Woods and sit under a tree and when the Squirrels start moving they knock the rain off the leaves giving away where they are.A shotgun is Your best bet getting them thru the thick leaves is better with a scatter gun.