Squirrel is one of the great small game hunting animals, especially when using an air rifle. This small animal is ingenious and cautions you to see them in your campsite and around your camp within 15 minutes. They are changing the hunt with an airgun. The most significant advantage is, you can find them almost everywhere in the US.
However, they are a game animal or pest to you; the hunting strategies should be strong enough so you can show your family a squirrel in your hand.
Tips for Squirrel Hunting with Airguns
Even if you can see squirrels near you, using a good air rifle scope will be an essential key to your success. You can choose varieties of scope but with maximum accuracy. 4 to 12x magnification scope is best for hunting them.
1. Find Their Location for Squirrel and Rabbits
The squirrel could be found anywhere, but that does not mean they don’t have a house or feeding place. They are mainly hanging near their food source, so they look for the trees around water sources, fruit and nut trees, edge of the corps field, etc.
Squirrel mostly lives on pine trees, so look for their nest. Search for the area with heavy fruits or walnuts, look for the dropping pine cones where you can set up your air rifle to shoot as quick as possible.
2. Clean Kill for Squirrels
As they are small, you should kill them instantly with your air rifle, challenging and tricky. Aim at the primary places where one shot can kill them instantly. Aim for just behind the armpit, heart, or lungs, and the most effective area is their head.
A headshot also saves their meat and skin. Practice target in trees a lot to make a head shot comfortable for you. The range is also essential. An airgun can hit accurately at 50 yards, so practice within the range.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that the trees should be behind the squirrel because it is safe for other animals, even do not kill them if branches are behind.
3. Choose the Right Pellet (177 or 22)
Air pistols are not suitable for squirrel hunting, but air rifles with the right pellets can take down squirrels. The airgun muzzle should have 8ft/lbs of energy and 1000 FPS. The .22 caliber gas piston rifle is enough to hunt squirrels with 4x to 12x mag, and it is easy to use and pack. There are many powerful .177 caliber for hunting rabbits and squirrel.
4. Choose the Best Air Rifle for Squirrels and Rabbits
Also, you can use various pellets, but round nose or pointed standard lead pellets are incredibly effective. A 4.8-grain weight is good enough. Yet if you want a heavier projectile with a high-powered rifle, you will get the most reliable accuracy. There are many good air rifles for squirrel and rabbit hunting.
- Gamo Magnum Air Rifle, .22 Caliber
- Benjamin BPM77B-N Maximus
- Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle
- Gamo Magnum Air Rifle
5. How to Hunt Squirrel with the Right a Bait
Make a feed station and keep it under the tree. Use a simple wooden box and fill it with peanuts, or walnuts then set it up in a tree. Refill the container twice a week so squirrels will keep coming to eat, and you can shoot them.
6. Choose Hiding Place
Squirrels are brilliant, and they won’t be around you much. So find a good hiding place or build a hide where you can target them with your air rifle without many hazards. It is easy to shoot an incoming squirrel as they will only focus on the food, and you can hit them. Keep yourself unnoticed between 20 to 30m away.
7. Use Binoculars for Squirrel Hunting
Using scopes is not enough to stalk squirrels. Use good quality binoculars to locate the squirrels and identify their shelter. The combination of right squirrel hunting 22lr scope and binoculars will make your hunting easy and time-consuming for you. You can observe their activities while you are hiding and make a proper shoot using these gadgets.
8. Mimic Their Noise
Mimicking the sound of the squirrel is another effective way to call them in your shooting range. Hide in a place where you can see their movement and set your rifle on a stand or your shoulder to aim when they arrive hearing the voice. Also, listen to their sound as squirrel makes high pitched or low sound while eating or running, and sometimes they go silently.
9. Be Patient
Patience is a vital behavior to hunt an animal. You won’t see squirrels all the time around you when you are in the woods. Prepare for at least 5 to 10 days if you want to hunt in a limited area. If you don’t see any squirrels, look for a new place where they might enjoy peanuts.
Remember that airgun makes a sound when you shoot, so keep visiting other areas until you find their nests and feeding spot.
10. Maintain a Good Timing
Squirrels are mostly active after daybreak and the end of the day. Use night sight or gun light with your airgun to hunt them comfortably, even in low light conditions. Squirrels are also active in the early morning so be prepared for that.
11. Technique and Strategies
Notice squirrel activity before making a shoot. As I told you before, that airgun makes a sound which can disturb them.
Keeping yourself motionless and sitting low will make perfect squirrel shooting strategy for opportunity. You can also stalk a bit more and move stealthily not to disturb any squirrel.
What Caliber Air Rifle is Best for Squirrel Hunting?
Squirrel is a small game hunting animal, and a .22 caliber air rifle with 800 FPS is best for hunting them. You can shoot 55 yards accurately with this rifle, and you can also kill them with .177 caliber, but a .22 rifle with a 14.3-grain pellet that travels 900 FPS and has 26 ft pound of energy is best to kill a squirrel.
Are Pellet Guns Good for Squirrel Hunting?
High-powered multi pump bb guns and pellet guns are the best tools to hunt squirrels. Even a less powerful gun can take down a squirrel if you shoot at their head. So a 22 cal and .177 cal with proper power can both kill a tree squirrel. however, grey squirrels are hard to find even in squirrel hunting season.