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Squirrel Hunting

Puppadore

Member
Jul 5, 2022
52
22
Long Beach
    Hello, this is purely out of curiosity. I am not against hunting.

    I shoot rats because they poop & chew everywhere in my backyard.
    I see people hunting coyotes because they can be a danger to pets.
    Racoons are hunted, because I assume they also create havoc like rats and coyotes.

    I never shoot at squirrels because I do not know how they cause harm. Maybe it is because i'm from the city and im ignorant on varmints. Do squirrels cause any harm.. or do people eat them...?
     
    There is a time and a season for every purpose under heaven.
    We get squirrels, rabbits, possums, raccoons, skunks, rats plus other hungry pest communities traveling in our avocado grove.
    Now any animal will do what is commonly hard wired into their nature, unless man changes that nature in some way.

    Addressing Squirrels: there was a time during day light hours when we were losing 10-20 avocados per day every day, many times only one bite and move on. Also those little cuties will dig ankle breaking holes, plus chew on anything and if left unaddressed will kill such things as trees.

    Addressing Raccoons: often just one biters during their shift every night they would also take another 10-30 avocados, as you can see this would not be good for any small family business.

    Addressing Others: We've a got sort of non targeting free pass deal with our oddly adopted coyotes and bob cat. In it we do the above mentioned bagging and they do the pickup takeout meals. Our caveman simple understanding has worked out just fine for all parties, we've even got a pair of non union foxes to join. :cool:
     
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    My family has hunted squirrel for generations (the outlook for the youngest generation hunting...not so good). Fried squirrel or squirrel stew is yummy, and you don't give a thought to what kind of "modified foods" you're eating like you do with grocery meat. The season just opened up here in IL, and I'm ready! It's perfect sport for airguns. It takes very little scouting or planning, your chance for success is high, so very rewarding. And it's a great excuse to get out into the woods, even if you really want to just fall asleep under the tree. I'll take squirrel hunting over fishing any day.

    In town, squirrels are known to get into attics and wreck wiring and insulation. But those aren't the ones you hunt, they are the ones you "control".
     
    They compete for nesting places here with our native song birds, and grey squirrels are not native to America in general, so they need to have their numbers kept in check. Since I’ve been culling the squirrel population in my back yard, the native song bird numbers have gone crazy. My bird feeders are always full of beautiful birds now, and not acrobatic squirrels trying to fill their bellies with my bird food!
     
    Its a love/hate war for me. The battle with squirrels and humans is epic and timeless. Squirrels have sucessfully maintained a certain reputation throughout history; Norse mythology describes Ratatosker, a gossiping, mischievous instigator on Yggdrasil, the Norse tree of life. He would spend is days relishing in insults he carried between the dragon at the base and the eagle at the top. Some say he represented the Norse god Heimdall or Odin’s drill. Some interpretations hold the view that Ratatosker was inciting so much that he was causing the eagle to start destruction of the tree, a more malevolent nature than other’s views who contend he acts as messenger for humanity, despite the mischievous actions. This passes on to thr Celts’ Goddess Queen Mebd, who was represented with a bird and a squirrel and holding the same reasoning of acting as messenger. The Loki-esque nature of squirrels is furthered by the Native Americans folklore as well, but one legend says Mikew was a ferocious beast that was too dangerous and was shrunk down to size but kept the ill-natured intent and personality. Fast forward to modern times and the squirrel is still used to indicate military intel, subversion, espionage or even infiltration. So the history is runs deep with these cute little bastards. Their implied intent and nature maintains some consistency, even in modern times. Yet we embrace them in other stories and myths, even in Christianity the squirrel was represented in artwork with an inscription that read “I shall endure and expect once again more favorable things however bad it is now, it won’t be bad forever”.

    All that history and lore to sit on the wrong end of a Marauder.
     
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    Kelh

    Member
    Jul 27, 2022
    7
    0
    Denver
      Hello, this is purely out of curiosity. I am not against hunting.

      I shoot rats because they poop & chew everywhere in my backyard.
      I see people hunting coyotes because they can be a danger to pets.
      Racoons are hunted, because I assume they also create havoc like rats and coyotes.

      I never shoot at squirrels because I do not know how they cause harm. Maybe it is because i'm from the city and im ignorant on varmints. Do squirrels cause any harm.. or do people eat them...?
      This is quite thoughtful
       
      They compete for nesting places here with our native song birds, and grey squirrels are not native to America in general, so they need to have their numbers kept in check. Since I’ve been culling the squirrel population in my back yard, the native song bird numbers have gone crazy. My bird feeders are always full of beautiful birds now, and not acrobatic squirrels trying to fill their bellies with my bird food!
      grey squirrels are native to Eastern North America
       

      lbc_PSI

      Member
      Apr 17, 2018
      639
      38
      CA, United States
        Grey Squirrels are protected in So CA so they are an uncontrolled pest in urban areas like LA.

        CA Ground Squirrels are carriers of Bubonic Plague via the fleas that they carry on their bodies. This varies year to year but should always be a consideration in dealing with them. As previously mentioned, they kill trees. They do this by digging around the roots and allowing the tree pests easy access to the root system. Their holes and burrows also create errosion issues.

        My friend had a property with lots of legacy live oaks. He allowed me to control the ground squirrels. The first order of biz was the ones burrowing near the oaks. He sold the property.. :-( ..and the new owner thought the squirrels were "cute"..until he started losing the 200 year old oaks. Sad.

        Shooting CA ground squirrels provides easy food for coyotes and other scavengers. So circle of life.
         
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        Jun 18, 2022
        52
        38
        USA
          They are rodents and have the same annoying issues as other rodents. They are a principle vector for deer ticks. They can be destructive. Any rodent that overpopulates is a hazard and needs to be controlled. That said, I hunt squirrel mainly for sport. I will kill a half dozen young she’s at the opening of the season for the table. We’ll have a traditional fall meal of deep fried squirrel. I’ll shoot another dozen or more throughout the season and pressure cook them for the dogs. Nothing goes to waste.
           
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          Ezana4CE

          Member
          Jan 15, 2021
          3,355
          1
          225
          Texas, United States
            Hello, this is purely out of curiosity. I am not against hunting…
            I never shoot at squirrels because I do not know how they cause harm. Maybe it is because i'm from the city and im ignorant on varmints. Do squirrels cause any harm.. or do people eat them...?
            @Puppadore Hawks, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, and I have something in common. When we see squirrels we think, “there goes a good meal.” In addition to damaging homes they can eat on and diminish fruit and nut harvests. I’ve recently learned that they will ravage and dominate song bird feeders as well. I’m in the country where squirrels eat prime organic and commercial fruit and nuts, as well as all natural mushrooms, insects, wild berries, and mast. I’d think twice about cooking a McDonald’s eating, scavenging city squirrel.
             
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            Puppadore

            Member
            Jul 5, 2022
            52
            22
            Long Beach
              Holy Molly, im over 40 and I never knew people eat squirrel. All my life growing up in the city i never thought squirrels would be something people voluntarily eat, only in desperate situations. Learned something new. Thank you for the answers. I have never seen squirrels as pests or food, but it is making a lot more sense now. Thanks!
               
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              Hello, this is purely out of curiosity. I am not against hunting.

              I shoot rats because they poop & chew everywhere in my backyard.
              I see people hunting coyotes because they can be a danger to pets.
              Racoons are hunted, because I assume they also create havoc like rats and coyotes.

              I never shoot at squirrels because I do not know how they cause harm. Maybe it is because i'm from the city and im ignorant on varmints. Do squirrels cause any harm.. or do people eat them...?
              Is this a trick question? How about having to replace your whole garage roof because of squirrels chewing through and nesting inside!
               
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              All of my squirrel jobs are in town. They'll chew an access hole in the vent or make an opening in a soffit to get into the attic. Once there they'll chew the wiring in your home, make food stores and raise litters. Often they'll chew an access hole to get into the wall. I've even seen them chew through sheetrock into the main bathroom.

              Literally had a squirrel call this morning. He was running laps around the guys living room.

              ETA- FWIW raccoons will make their own entrances. Seen them make an exit straight up through the roof.
               
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              The first squirrel I killed with an airgun was chewing on my gutter. They have also damaged my cast aluminum outdoor furniture. Their incisors grow constantly so they have to chew on something to keep them worn down to a managable length. I eat them. Like other wild game there is very little fat and they can be tough if not cooked long enough. The last dozen or so I've put in the electric pressure cooker for about 30 minutes. The meat then falls off the bones and I dip it in barbeque sauce as I eat it. Yummy. They are not very big so you need at least a squirrel per person. I cut the 4 legs off and the back part of the back and throw the rest away. Very little meat on the front of the back or the rib cage. Keeping only the 5 pieces avoids it looking like a rat.

              They are a good hunting target. If you can hit a squirrel in the head a deer is easy. Seeing them drop after a clean brain shot is one of lifes little joys. Airguns all the way down to 12 fpe can be used but I prefer to use a gun with at least 20 fpe. Trajectory is better and there is more penetration. I got 18 last year with one of my 25s tuned to a little over 30 fpe. Airguns are better suited to squirrels than powder burners, in my opinion. I've used both but airguns power is more appropriate. Shotguns and even 22s are overkill.
               
              In Pflugerville, Texas I have lost all the fruit from my Keiffer pear tree thanks to a family of squirrels. Every year I put out a live trap baited with peanut butter and pecans and this year I was able to get 3. My daughter is an animal lover and has freed several when I am not around. I do not feel bad that I have dispatched 3 to Squirrel Heaven so far. I wish I could just shoot them in the trees in my back yard but my neighbors homes are too close for comfort. This war is not over!
               
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              its usually high numbers that result in damage .. when i bought this house there were literally hundreds, and i was repairing chewed wires, soffets etc and they would dig up anything i tried to grow for a garden .. until i got the mrod .. i was taking them out 7 10 a day after that .. after numbers dwindled to practically nothing i stopped shooting them .. theyre fine and i like watching them in the yard if its just several .. now all i dont stand for is if one gets territorial with my chicken coop and starts chasing hens, then its lights out for that one ..