Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Albert Smith
Hunting squirrels without a gun is possible, but it takes a great deal of skill and patience. The key to successful squirrel hunting without a gun is to use your environment and knowledge of the animal’s habits to your advantage. There are several methods you can use to hunt squirrels without a gun, including trapping, snaring, and bow hunting. In this article, we will discuss these methods in detail and provide tips on how to get started. So, if you’re ready to learn how to hunt squirrels without a gun, let’s dive in!
Understand Your Prey
When it comes to hunting squirrels without a gun, the most important thing is to understand the behavior of your target. Squirrels are small, quick, and agile mammals that can often be found in trees and on the ground. They are also very social animals and can be found in groups or pairs. They are mostly active during the day, and usually take refuge in hollow trees or burrows at night. When hunting squirrels, it’s important to understand their habits and preferred habitats in order to increase your chances of success. Knowing how they communicate, where they like to hide, and when they are most active can give you the edge when it comes to outsmarting them.
Select The Right Hunting Gear
When hunting squirrels without a gun, it’s important to make sure you have the right gear for the job. Archery is one of the most popular alternatives for squirrel hunters, as a long-bow and arrows with small-game points can be effective for targeting squirrels. Air guns are also gaining in popularity, and the best option for these are those with a six-shot barrel that is 26 inches or longer. Thrown implements such as rocks and spears can also be used in some cases, but be aware that these require a great deal of skill and accuracy. Finally, don’t overlook the use of dogs or other animal companions to help flush out squirrels into open areas.
Scout Potential Hunting Areas
When hunting squirrels without a gun, it’s important to scout potential hunting areas and select your stand (a spot where you post up, not an elevated seat like a deer stand) based on locating a patch of trees with potential. Look for trees with nuts and fruits, as well as holes and cavities that might be used for nesting. If you shoot, move a few hundred yards and repeat the process. Have the right tools aside from your weapon; binoculars or other optics can be a great help in spotting squirrels while scouting the area. Bring along any animal companions you have; dogs can help flush out squirrels and other wildlife, giving you more chances to make a successful shot. Remain patient while scouting; it may take several trips before you find the right spot.
Hunt from the Ground
When hunting squirrels without a gun, one of the best ways to increase your chances of success is to hunt from the ground. This method allows you to get close and personal with your targets, and it also allows you to take advantage of cover and concealment. When hunting from the ground, it is important to select a stand (a spot where you can post up) based on locating a patch of trees with potential. You should also be sure to move a few hundred yards after shooting so as not to spook any potential targets. To increase your chances of success, bring along the right tools such as long-bows and arrows with small-game points, air guns, spears and other thrown implements such as rocks. Look for an air gun that has a six-shot magazine and a barrel that is 26 inches or greater in length. Finally, bring along binoculars or other optics to help you spot squirrels from a distance.
Utilize Trees and Poles for a Better View
When hunting squirrels, it’s important to take advantage of the trees and poles around you. By utilizing these elements, you can get a better view of your target and increase your chances of success. Set up stands in areas where there are plenty of trees and poles for cover, as this will provide you with a better vantage point for spotting squirrels. You can also use tree branches as perches or blinds to hide from the squirrels. This can be especially useful in areas that are densely populated with vegetation. Additionally, you can use poles to set up a platform or makeshift ladder from which you can observe and shoot from. This will give you an even better view of the surrounding area and help you identify potential targets. By utilizing trees and poles for a better view, you can increase your success rate when hunting squirrels without a gun.
Get Creative with Snares and Traps
Hunting squirrels without a gun can be a great way to test your hunting skills and get creative with different techniques. One of the most effective ways to hunt squirrels without a gun is by using snares and traps. Snares are simple, noose-like devices that are placed around trees or along trails that squirrels frequent. When a squirrel passes through the loop, the noose will tighten around its neck and capture it. Traps, on the other hand, are more complex and typically involve bait, a trigger mechanism and a cage or box. Both snares and traps require knowledge of animal behavior, patience and proper placement to ensure success. It’s also important to remember that trapping is regulated in many areas, so be sure to check your local regulations before setting any traps.
Set Up Decoys and Bait Stations
Hunting squirrels without a gun doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of modern tools and equipment. Setting up decoys and bait stations can be a great way to attract squirrels to a specific area. Decoys are usually small, three-dimensional replicas of squirrels that you can place in trees or on the ground. Bait stations are also great for attracting squirrels. You can set up small containers with food like nuts, seeds, or dried fruits to lure them in. Be sure to check local regulations before setting up any decoys or bait stations, as this may not be allowed in all areas.
Find the Right Time of Day to Hunt
When it comes to hunting squirrels without a gun, timing is everything. Squirrels are most active during the morning and late afternoon, so plan your hunt accordingly. If you’re using archery gear, you’ll want to hunt during the colder hours of the day when the squirrels are least likely to move around. If you’re using snares or traps, plan to hunt during the heat of the day when the squirrels are most likely to be seeking shelter from the hot sun. Additionally, if you’re hunting in an area with a lot of other hunters, consider hunting in the early morning or late evening when the woods are quieter and less likely to be disturbed by other hunters. Whatever your approach is, make sure to keep an eye on your surroundings and remain aware of your prey’s movements and habits.
Stay Downwind of Your Target
Staying downwind of your target is a must when hunting squirrels without a gun. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of alerting the animal to your presence and spooking it away. To do this, you will need to be aware of the wind direction and take steps to ensure that you are not in the line of sight of the animal. You may need to adjust your position or use natural cover to keep yourself hidden. Additionally, you can use camouflage or scent-blocking sprays to help mask your scent. If you are using a bow or throwing implements, you will need to ensure that your movements remain as quiet as possible. Move slowly and be mindful of any noise that you make, such as rustling leaves or snapping twigs.
Move Slowly and Act Naturally
When hunting squirrels without a gun, it is important to move slowly and act naturally. If you are using an alternative weapon such as a bow and arrow, long-bow, air gun, thrown implement or spear, you need to take extra care to ensure that your movements are slow and deliberate. This will ensure that the squirrels will not be spooked and remain in their natural environment. Additionally, it is important to remain as still as possible to avoid detection. It is also important to take advantage of natural elements such as trees and bushes to act as cover and blend into the environment. Moving slowly and acting naturally will give you the best chance of success when hunting squirrels without a gun.
Use Binoculars or Other Optics to Spot Squirrels
Spotting squirrels without a firearm can be tricky, but with the right tools it can be done. Binoculars or other optics are essential for any successful hunt. High-powered binoculars with a minimum of 8x magnification can help you spot squirrels from a distance. Look for signs such as movement, feeding, and nesting activity to identify their presence. When looking through the binoculars, move slowly and look around the entire area so you don’t miss an opportunity. You may also want to bring a spotting scope along to get a better view of potential hunting sites. If you don’t have binoculars, you can try using your naked eye by searching for clues like chewed nuts and broken twigs. With practice and patience, you can learn to spot squirrels without the aid of optics.
Bring Along Dogs or Other Animal Companions
Bringing a canine companion to the hunt is a great way to increase your chances of success. Dogs can be trained to point out squirrels and flush them out of hiding. This allows you to have a better view of your target and gives you more time to line up a shot. If you don’t have a dog, consider bringing along another animal like a ferret or a hawk. These animals can also be trained to help you locate game, and they can provide extra eyes and ears while you focus on the task at hand. Just make sure that you keep your companion under control and under your guidance at all times.
Remain Patient While Hunting
Hunting squirrels without a gun requires patience and determination. As a hunter, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to identify and stalk your prey. It may take multiple attempts over several days to finally get close enough for a successful shot. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t make a kill right away. Remember to stay focused and put in the work to improve your technique. With the right gear, knowledge, and practice, you can become an effective squirrel hunter without a gun.
Hunting squirrels without a gun is an exciting and rewarding experience. It takes patience, skill, and the right strategy to be successful. Whether you decide to use a bow and arrow, an air gun, a spear, or a thrown implement, it’s important to understand your prey and the landscape you’re hunting in. Select the right gear, scout potential hunting areas, set up decoys and bait stations, and stay downwind of your target to increase your chances of success. You may also want to bring along a dog or other animal companions for assistance. With the right technique and a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to bag a few squirrels without using a gun.