At any time of year, a little patience and straight shooting goes a long way when hunting for the chattering bushytail. But finding success late in the season when squirrels are least active requires a slight change of tactics.
Squirrels stay active, to some degree, year round. Yet, by the time there’s significant snow on the ground — and food supplies become scarce — those critters often change routines. They remain closer to the nest or travel only to and from a source of nourishment. That limited activity means hunters need to change up their usually more mobile games a bit.
Instead of walking the majority of the time in hopes of catching active squirrels, try something a little less, shall we say, exciting. I start my late season hunts by finding an area where nests are clear in the treetops with either tracks in the snow or obvious sources of food nearby. Once you find that, you’re golden. Now, take a good dose of patience pills, prepare your favorite rimfire rifle, and start studying the woods for the flash of a tail or barking call.
When all else fails and the squirrels aren’t playing into your wait-and-see plan of attack, I like to use an old squirrel call gifted me by my grandfather. Similar versions are still available in stores. A few barks and an active critter is likely to answer and reveal the next location to surveil.
Regardless, be sure your aim is true, more important than ever in the late season woods, as opportunities will likely be fewer and farther between. The shots may well be longer as well, as snow and ice keep you from sneaking into better range, so grab a rifle in lieu of a shotgun. Regardless how you go about the hunt, the important part is getting out in the woods. Lets see your wintertime squirrel hunting photos!