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Hey all,

Just wanted to know what your techniques are on hunting the tree rat. Do you sit and wait, while calling them in, or are you like me and go hunt them down? Just curious, havent had any success this year, was looking to improve my luck this time around. Had almost decent luck last season. Used 12ga. though. Thought this year I would try my .22lr. Please include times of the day, what calls you use and how long you wait to pack up and move to a new location if you are at an unsuccessful location.

Philip
 

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Out in the west

We hunt the tree rat in mostly conifer and hardwood forest. They love pine nuts and also acorns. I've never used a call, but have thought about it.
The tactics I've used ; find a water seep or creek and just plop your self down and wait. Generally it is dry in my area, so finding water is essential. Or you can walk the creeks slowly and watch. we also drive the backwoods here and look for them. Once we locate them we bail out and go hunt'n.
Watch for cuttings, they are a good indication squirrels are in the area. Best time to start is early morning or early evening.
Shooting is usually fast, we use shotguns mostly, however I have also used archery equipment ( tremendous fun). I will be using a new cz 452 this year in 22lr. Will also be using a squirrel whistle to see if it produces some of the furry rodents, I understand it is effective at exciting the little buggers into showing themselves. It mimics the panic crys of a young squirrel.
Beware the para-squirrels...............Samm
 

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On my way into the woods I still hunt, when I find a good spot I sit for a while. When things slow down I still hunt to a new spot and repeat this as long as I can. This is the way I've found works best for me after almost 40 years of tree rat hunting. I only use my 597 with a 3-9x40 scope, this year I will take the new 917 in 17Mach 2 4-12x40AO out for a change.
 

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Mr GAP said:
In the fall when it cools off into the 50`s I like to find a spot in the woods where the sun is shining. I find a tree to sit against and promply fall asleep. If there are any squirrel`s around when I wake up I shoot them.
:D Your hunting methods seem remarkable similiar to mine! Bwahahahahah! That sunshine will put ya right to sleep in a little woods clearing laying between a couple of trees.
 

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phil in alabama said:
:D Your hunting methods seem remarkable similiar to mine! Bwahahahahah! That sunshine will put ya right to sleep in a little woods clearing laying between a couple of trees.
Many years ago, I woke up to a huge groundhog looking me in the eye, not a foot from my face, while sleeping under a tree squirrel hunting.... Don't know who jumped higher, me or the whistle pig :) Was so shook up, couldn't shoot the bugger...
 

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I normally look for a food source like acorns, and listen. I try to get to my spot early in the morning so they dont hear me coming in. Lots of rustling leaves in the fall can alert them and make it tough. After gettting in there early i rest (nap like the above hunters) or even pretend i am a stump (this takes serious acting skill). Until the squirrels come out, then i pop them as they go for breakfaste. BTW i make sure i have home made jerky for these trips and a water container. In early season when it isn't so noisy to move about i will use my 12 guage and quiet stalk them and hit my spots.

12 guageing is kinda fun because in early season it is hard to see them on the ground and it is kinda fun shooting themoff of branches. Plus the extra range of a .22 isnt much advantage. By christmas i normally switch to my cz 452 .22 lr silhouette.

I have a call, but i havent had much luck with it. Squirrels dont seem to like wind much.
 

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Tree rats

I doubt that the "tree rats" in Phoneix were squirrles. They were probably just plain old rats. We have rats in our neighbor hood that live and nest in the trees. I commonly see them walking the wires enroute to the fruit trees in the early evening. That being said; I guess if there is a squirrel population in that area it could be squirrels.
To the post that started all this, I have stayed in one spot and shot a limit in as little as two hours. Out here in California our limit is 4 per day. I have also hunted all day and not even seen a squirrel.
I've also noticed there aren't many squirrels moving on windy days. My guess is, since they are a common prey animal for hawks, coyotes, and such they depend alot on their sense of hearing. The wind muffles sounds and I think it makes them more cautious about showing themselves...........Samm
 

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Good info here. One technique is, carry some rocks in your fanny pack. If you do see one, and they see you, they will often run to the far side of a tree trunk, to keep the tree between you and them. So throw the rock past the tree...when it lands on the other side, the noise will spook them back to your side usually, and then you have a shot.
 

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This season I'll get a chance to try a method that was suggested by a poster here I think. I like hunting squirrels better than any thing else. I used to walk the woods looking for cutting stations or for cuttings under trees then take a stand and wait. Can’t walk anymore so I pretty much gave up on squirrels except to snipe them at long range with my .17HMR, fun but really not so much hunting as shooting.
That is all about to change. A poster somewhere suggested a horse as my transportation. I thought that was a good idea so I sent Jack my 13yrs AQH to a trainer who used to train for a mounted police force. Told him what I needed of Jack and he said no problem. Jack is now “bomb proof”. I can shoot over his head or under his neck or use my saddle as a rest and he is rock steady. So come October Jack and I will go a hunting squirrels. I’ll use the next few months getting Jack fitted for some custom made hearing protection. Have a local harness maker working on a few ideas.
 
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