John's Journal...


Calling All Bushytails

EDITOR’S NOTE: I've learned you can take more squirrels by talking and walking to bushytails rather than by sitting and waiting on them. Instead of moving into an area where I've seen cut nuts and uneaten nuts and sitting and waiting on one or possibly two squirrels to appear, I aggressively walk, hunt, call and cover a lot of ground to find large groups of squirrels. Squirrels often travel in bands with as few as five to as many as 20 squirrels moving and feeding together. Hunting areas with larger numbers of squirrels allows me to take more bushytails in a shorter time. I call to the squirrels, listen for them to call back and then stalk in closer before I start calling again. Squirrel calling can add a new dimension to your bushytail experience and actually increase your odds of finding and taking more squirrels. The many new tactics that have Click to enlargebeen developed and the new calls on the market have made the sport of calling squirrels much more fun, exciting and productive than ever before.

If you can hear a squirrel, then you usually can pinpoint its location. If you can locate squirrels, then you should be able to see them, if you have the proper equipment. Lightweight, compact, waterproof binoculars enable you to quickly and easily spot a squirrel you may not have been able to see with your naked eye. Also because these binoculars are brighter than many other binoculars on the market, they allow you to pinpoint, even at great distances, squirrels feeding, often in the shadows of trees. Instead of using a 4X scope as many squirrel hunters do, I like a 2-7X riflescope that's clear and bright and increases the distance at which I can see the squirrels and the size of the image at which I'm aiming. By using quality optics to stay further away from the squirrels when you shoot, you drastically increase your odds for being able to bag more than one squirrel out of an area.

Calling often forces game to respond. Although a duck hunter can bag quacks without a call, and a turkey hunter can ambush a longbeard without making a Click to enlargesound, a call adds more challenge and excitement to the hunt. A call lets you know where the game is and actually may make that game come to you. In recent years, I’ve learned that squirrel calling can be as exciting and challenging as calling either ducks or turkeys. In most states, squirrel season lasts longer than either duck or turkey season. By learning to call squirrels, I can enjoy the sport of calling and hunting for a longer time each year. If you imitate the several different sounds of squirrels, you can locate squirrels. Here’s some of those squirrel sounds:
*barking - A squirrel shows excitement, alarm and location by barking. Squirrels often will bark to mark their territory or just for a form of communication to say, "Hey, I'm over here. Is anyone else around?"
*screaming - This excited call calls squirrels and denotes distress. Squirrels, like people, will come out to view an accident or a disaster. They often scream or bark at what they see or hear.
*cutting - When a bushytail eats, he’s noisy – squeaking and popping his teeth against the shells of nuts. This cutting sound is much like ringing a dinner bell for other bushytails. When a squirrel that isn’t feeding hears another one Click to enlargefeeding, the squirrel often will come to the place where it hears the cutting sound to see if it can't find a nut to eat. The cutting sound also is an all-clear call. Squirrels don't feed when danger is present. However, when that danger passes, the squirrels will return to their previous feeding activity.
*leaf rustling - Squirrels make noises when they walk in leaves. They often will hop two or three times, stop, make one to two hops and pause again. If you listen closely to the pattern of hops a squirrel makes, you can imitate the sound of a squirrel's walking through the leaves. Squirrels also dig in leaves to find nuts. By raking leaves with your hands or feet, you can simulate these sounds.


Check back each day this week for more about “HOW TO HUNT SQUIRRELS AGGRESSIVELY”

Day 1: Calling All Bushytails
Day 2: Barking
Day 3: Screaming
Day 4: Cutting
Day 5: Rustling Leaves to Draw Squirrels



Entry 320, Day 1