Trouble finding squirrels

Forums Hunting Trouble finding squirrels

  • Views : 676
  • Link

    Glem.Chally
    Participant
    Member

    When I used my springer I set up in a more urban environment and slayed squirrels mostly off a feeder.  But now that I have my PCP I need to go out in the woods and having a harder time finding squirrels.  I set up a feeder in October and a week or month later I came back and sat at it for a few hours,  saw nothing.  I did use bird seed but it has worked before for me.  I’ve spent hours roaming around there and only seen 1-2 and they’re not the grey squirrels I’m used to they’re fox squirrels.

    I barely see any birds or anything it’s so strange.  At my urban feeder area there was constantly birds and I think their attention interested the squirrels to the feeder,  anyways I went this past weekend and same thing  now 3 months after initially putting the feeder the feeder isn’t even empty yet!

    I’ve done hours of walk and stalk as well and see basically nothing,  the odd chickadee or whatever.  I have a great permission that’s in a little city in the country but alas there’s no firearms in the city limits (25 acre farm).  And my PCP is a firearm here….so here in the center of the map the raised section is mostly in a legal shooting area to the left of Cultus lake  (The area right of the red line,  left is in “city limits”).  There’s forestry roads I can drive my car up I get some funny looks as most guys park at the bottom and dirt bike or quad to the top and trails all through there.

    https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Chilliwack,+BC/@49.0623346,-122.0190049,6549m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x54843f9d75e9f3a7:0x1d49386fd2f9a230!8m2!3d49.1579401!4d-121.9514666

    So this is the area I go and hike around with my Royale,   which I’m ashamed to say I have NO kills with.   This is about an hour and ten minutes away for me so really that’s not too bad but want to improve my chances.

    Any suggestions?  I think I’m going to set up a few more feeders and use whole oats or peanuts.  I know shooting off feeders is a bit frowned on but up here fox and grey squirrels are an invasive species and there’s no season, no limit and no license required.  And I want to improve my chances!

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    Most squirrels spend the majority of their time in a 2-4 acre area. Scout for them on days, and at times when they’re most likely to be foraging. Usually right before bad weather, or during the warm or sunny break after lousy weather. By scouting during peak times, you can be sure that they’re in that area or they’re not. Morning is usually good. They seem to be most active an hour after sunrise and then 4 hours after that. Could be a regional thing though.

    Focus on areas that have what they need naturally. Areas with a lot of oak and hickory will almost always produce. Oak and hickory bordering a farm growing any kind of seed, corn, grain, etc is even better! 

    Scan the treetops! If you see nests (big leaf balls) there’s squirrels. If you start seeing lots of nests, you’re probably in an area with a lot of hardwood. Prime. Now move in quietly, sit down and don’t move a muscle for at least 10-15 mins. Look for ANY movement. Also, (and I know it sounds funny) listen for the sound of chewing. I’ve zeroed in on squirrels many times after their chewing gave them away. 

    Hopefully this helps a little bit(?)

    Brian

     

    Link

    Glem.Chally
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks very much Brian that’s great suggestions,

    The forest here is mainly conifers like Douglas Fir,  Cedar, Pine and some Cottonwood/Alder I have seen some evidence of them so it looks promising.  And at least I have seen a few up there.

    I haven’t really put in a full effort with the feeder with using peanuts or something specifically for them and where I set it up was just a place close to the entrance of the forestry service road not much thought put into it.  I have found this place and it looks good,  there’s some water in that area kind of like a bog that I did see one when I was up there some time last summer.  I might set up a few little ones up in this strip between the bog/opening and the road,  haven’t seen any people in that area and some good big trees in there.  There’s old rotten stumps that are 8 feet across from when they first logged it and now the second growth has bounced back in full force.

    Here’s the strip,  I’ll most likely set up a few feeders and actually use this little pop up blind that I have once I see some action there.  If you zoom out it almost looks like at one point there was a road through there before they detoured it around.  It’s really beautiful in there and no bugs even in summer.

    https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Chilliwack,+BC/@49.0517643,-122.027233,294m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x54843f9d75e9f3a7:0x1d49386fd2f9a230!8m2!3d49.1579401!4d-121.9514666

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    I think we figured it out. If the area is mainly pine and spruce you’re not going to find fox and grey, only red (as in the species red, not color) They’re also called pine squirrels by some. They are the squirreliest of squirrels and regarded as a pest. No closed season and no limit on reds where I live. 

    Find the hardwoods! Trees with nuts. Acorns, walnut, hickory. Feeders will only bring them in closer if they’re already in the immediate area.

    Go get em! 

    Link

    BigTinBoat
    Participant
    Member

    Welcome to the world of Hunting, (not pesting) For most hunters (at least the ones I know) the goal is the experience you get from finding, tracking and then possibly killing the game animal you are “hunting”. For me it’s about the experience more then it is the kill. Being out in the clean air, walking, looking, finding the signs. Don’t just look up, look down and find the “cut” nuts on among the leaves, the tiny dug up patches of dirt from them burying nuts. That’s why it’s called Hunting and not killing. Kinda like why fishing is not called “Catching” ’cause it doesn’t happen every time out.
    Like Brian said, get out in the woods and find the food, (be there at the right time) you will find the squirrels. Just like with deer, they will each have their own “areas”. One of the last times I was out deer hunting I had 24 deer walk within shooting range of me. My buddy who was just about 150yds away did not see a single one. I was sitting there from about 2:00pm till dark and I only saw the deer during a 15min window. If I hadn’t been there during that 15mins I wouldn’t have seen a single thing. Not even a squirrel that day. And I didn’t take a shot, I let them all pass. I usually look for a perfect broadside or quartering away shot to almost guarantee a kill if I shoot. (This year I went 5 for 5 on deer I hit being recovered, all within about 80yds)
    I took my brother out the next night and put him in that stand. He saw about 14 deer but not a one came in for a shot. I sat in a different stand and wound up sticking a nice fat doe. 22yds, broadside resulted in a double lung hit.

    I’d bet that most guys who put videos up of their “hunting” trip only put up 1 out of 10 they shoot. It might look like they kill every time, but there’s a whole lot of trips they aren’t showing.

    BTW – I’ve never seen a country squirrel eating bird food, that’s for those city dwellers.

    Link

    Glem.Chally
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks for the tips guys,  very helpful.  Next time I’m out there I’ll pay closer attention to the trees,  I see that we have “Garry Oak” kind of in that area I’ll see if I can find some nut bearing trees although it’s a different climate here than the East coast or central Canada.  More like a boreal rainforest here so different species of trees.  In the city I see your point about the bird seed BTB they are an opportunist,  I see them every day in the back yard but they are technically off limits.

    I’ll change my methods and try the above,  yeah I love the getting out part and exploring as much as the killing no doubt.  I’m eager to see what this Royale will do!

    Thanks again fellas,  +1 to the both of you.

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    Some raging clues you’re onto them. Took these today at a new permission. With evidence like this, you don’t need to be an aborist to know you’re in a hardwood forest! Good luck out there.

    Link

    Droptine26
    Participant
    Member

    Jim Chapman just did a basic squirrel hunting video on you tube.check it out.
    https://youtu.be/eti09DjkvG4

    Link

    Glem.Chally
    Participant
    Member

    Yeah too bad I can’t bring my own Oak or other hardwood trees with me to the West coast,  I gotta work with what I have.  Thanks I’ll check out that video.  I’ve seen them climbing big Fir and in Spruce too this year I’ll figure out where they are.

    Link

    Monkyshine
    Participant
    Member

    Glem my feeders have whole corn in them and are full of squirrels and coons all night. Took a bit before they took to them but nonstop now. Peanuts are great but expensive here. 50 lb bag of deer corn here is 6.50 USD. Cheap. I also run cameras to keep up on time and animal’s visiting. Got this shot of barred owl at 530 in morning according to time stamp. He might have caught a mouse eating the corn droppings. 

    Link

    Glem.Chally
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks for the heads up about the corn,  I’ll definitely have a look for that at maybe some feed supply places maybe a mixture of corn and whole wheat grains I know they love them.  And the more I hear/see about these trail cameras the more I like them.  And agreed peanuts are too expensive.

    Link

    Quad82
    Participant
    Member

    Best trick I have learned is to stick an ear of corn in the crotch of a tree either with a lag bolt/ screw or wire it in. They tend to act safer or less nervous in the tree than on the ground, plus are easier to see and the deer don’t rob the baite.   Woods/wild squirrels are a whole different animal than $#!+ /city squirrels. 

    Link

    allan_wind
    Participant
    Member

    Owls are cool.

    Link

    cea1960
    Participant
    Member

    i have a problem with squirrels stealing the whole and cracked corn from the feeders.  corn is cheap so i don’t mind, but the black oil safflower seed i hang for the cardinals isn’t.  the squirrels definitely like the safflower seed best.  try some of that. cost more than corn, but not as much as peanuts.

    Link

    Jubileehunte
    Participant
    Member


    I built this feeder to act as a backstop for pesting in a friends backyard. The squirrels were getting in her crawl space under her house. It’s a 10 gallon feeder and will hold 50lbs of corn. It’s very effective and eliminated the danger of hitting a neighbors house. The corn gets the squirrel to sit perfectly still for a good 10 seconds. Makes for a very ethical shot every time. Those shots are hard to come by walking through the woods; especially with a hold sensitive springer. 

    Link

    dark1961
    Participant
    Member

    Non-GMO Project Verified Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries | 100% Non-Irradiated | Certified Kosher Parve | USA Grown | Field Traced (We tell you which field we grew it in) Palouse Brand Try this Stuff! It’s on Amazon for like $14.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.