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Black Powder Hunting Secrets

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Scurrying through the air and dancing on the limbs with the grace of a ballerina, making leaps into space and catching distant branches like a trapeze artist, high-flying squirrels provide some of the most sporting hunting in the U.S. today. Since the settling of these shores, Americans have utilized squirrel hunting to feed their families and to learn stalking skills, patience and the ability to observe wild things in the woods.


To insure a productive black-powder squirrel hunt, you must locate an area where the squirrels are likely to be or where you already know squirrels are. Many hunters amble aimlessly through the woods in hopes of running into a good place to hunt. However, intense scouting can reduce the amount of time required to find the squirrels and actually increase the number of squirrels in your game bag after the day's hunt.


My favorite way to scout is by canoe. By canoeing along a stream or the edge of a riverbank, I can fish and hunt at the same time. Although my primary concern is fishing before squirrel season starts, I make mental notes of where I see concentrations of either squirrels or nut trees. Then when squirrel season arrives, I can use my canoe to transport me to my hunting grounds. By utilizing a canoe for scouting and hunting, I can cover more ground quicker and quieter than I can by walking. When you pinpoint the squirrels, you can leave the canoe on the bank and begin to hunt as soon as you get out of the craft.

Be sure to check with your individual state about laws governing hunting from a canoe. In some states, you must have the landowner's permission before you can leave the canoe and hunt.

Ride The Roads

Another method that is equally effective in scouting is to ride the roads. Often productive squirrel woods may be just off an old logging road or a woods trail that can be surveyed from a pickup truck, a three-wheeler or a four- wheel-drive vehicle. Ride the ridges, and watch the hollows. Oftentimes by making six or eight stops to watch and listen, you'll find one or two good areas for taking bushytails.

Use Topographical Maps

Also topo maps can save you legwork. Look at a map, and find where two or three hollows run together to make a large flat. Often plenty of hardwoods and bushytails will be in these kinds of areas.

Too you can learn from a topo map how the ridges run in the region you plan to hunt. A good location may be a wide hollow between two high ridges. Quick, on-site scouting will tell you if there are any nut trees in the area that may home squirrels.

Black-Powder Hunting Secrets is $15.50

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Night Hawk Publications
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Birmingham, AL 35243

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