John's Journal...

Oddball Methods for Bushwhacking Bushytails

Day 2: You Can Take a Limit of Squirrels if You’ll Climb High

Editor’s Note: Everybody knows about the tried and true techniques for squirrel hunting – stalking, sitting and using a dog, but, chances are you haven’t tried these wrinkles that will put more game into your bag by day’s end.

Click for Larger ViewMost hunters don’t have too-much trouble taking squirrels in the early part of the year, when the animals either are down on the ground eating acorns or in the leafy hickory nut trees cutting nuts. However, squirrel hunting gets tough later-on in the year when the bushytails rarely range far from their den trees. Click for Larger ViewStalking can be difficult then, since the squirrels can spot you for about as far away as you can see them. But, there are several tactics that will work when you’re out trying to bushwhack a bushytail in the late season. One of the best bushwhackers I ever knew about was the Right Reverend Sheppard. A religious man by nature, he would rather hunt and eat squirrels than preach a sermon that was sure to fill the collection plate. I’ve seen him stay-up on Wednesday night after prayer meeting to figure-out all kinds of wild strategies for bushwhacking bushytails. Late in the season, when all the trees were bare, you could see the light in his study on well into the wee hours of the morning as the Reverend studied strategies, consulted his journal and planned and schemed about how to take those bushytails. And, his research wasn’t in vain. The Reverend’s reasoning was quite simple. He decided that “When a squirrel comes-out of its hole to go-down the tree to look for nuts, the squirrel is looking down and not up.” Although that might seem like a very-simple deduction, it had far-reaching significance for the Reverend. Once he had made this keen observation, he decided that if he was up in a tree, and the squirrels were in the trees, and they were looking-down and not up, that they never would see him.

Click for Larger ViewThe Reverend began to hunt squirrels from a tree stand during the wintertime. He’d find areas with high squirrel concentrations and use a high-quality .22 rifle and attach a quality 3-9X big-game scope to the rifle. And, although the rifle was sighted-in at 50 yards, the Reverend would be deadly up to about 80 yards. In a morning of hunting, the Reverend could sit in his tree stand 12 to 15 feet in the air and bag a limit of bushytails before 10 am. As he explained, “Those squirrels never knew what hit them. I could shoot a squirrel, and the other squirrels in the area would look all-around but couldn’t see from where the sound came. Click for Larger ViewSo, in a short time they’d be back on the ground feeding again. All I had to do was mark the spot where I’d taken my squirrel. Then when I was finished hunting, I could come down the tree, collect my squirrels, go home and clean them for supper.”

Tomorrow: Take More Squirrels During the Rut


Check back each day this week for more about "Oddball Methods for Bushwhacking Bushytails "

Day 1: Retrieve Squirrels and Rabbits by Twisting Them
Day 2: You Can Take a Limit of Squirrels if You’ll Climb High
Day 3: Take More Squirrels During the Rut
Day 4: You Can Fiddle, Drum and Whip for Squirrels
Day 5: Quietly Stalk Hills and Water for Squirrels

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Entry 650, Day 2