Outdoors: Squirrel hunting a peaceful way to hunt and teach

As I think back a good many years to when I first started hunting with my dad, squirrel hunting is the first thing to cross my mind. In those days there were no deer, so opening of squirrel season was the big deal. We usually made a couple trips to the woods to scout out feeding and nesting areas. Near these we would clear away the leaves and sticks so we could move quietly.

Many hunters prefer to hunt squirrels when the leaves have fallen off the trees. On the other hand I like to hunt when there is lots of overhead cover. It is harder to locate the game, but it is also harder for them to see you. The cover makes it easier to move to a feeding squirrel.

Many times if you have chosen the proper feeding station you can quietly sit and limit out during a morning hunt. The way to locate a good feeding area is to locate a tree with plenty of nuts. Then look around it for cuttings, this is parts of nut shells dropped by the feeding animals.

To locate a den tree look for trees with holes. A good bet is a dead tree with many holes where a squirrel can take shelter. I find these spots better in the early morning when the squirrels are coming out to feed.

Squirrel hunting is a slow, peaceful way to hunt. It is one of the greatest ways to train a young hunter. You as the instructor have complete control over their gun safety, shot selection and sportsmanship. It was during squirrel hunting season my daughter learned about hunting. This is a lesson my granddaughter, Summer, will be learning this fall.

When you sit together in the quiet forest it is great to be able to answer many questions that arise. As a new day begins the woods awake with many sounds that a young hunter will question. Answering them will give the youngster a better lesson than they will ever get in a classroom.

Take a youngster hunting, it will be a great experience for both of you, for they will learn and you relive the great world of nature.

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